Like I've said in a previous entry, Hope sent me an incredible array of goodies. At first my brain went right to, "What one single piece can I make that incorporates ALL of this?". Then I received a simple encouraging comment from Lori saying, "Remember, you can make more than one thing.". Those were the words I needed to hear, and I immediately set to work on my first piece. What I want to show you first is my piece de resistance, since it it the thing I spent the most time on, and am most excited about.
Part of the bead soup my partner sent really had an "antique-y" feel to it. These items included a large Tim Holtz key pendant, a soldered glass dome link displaying a yellowed dictionary segment, and four breathtaking antique Mother of Pearl buttons. Hope not only sent me beautiful bead soup, but the packaging itself was really stunning. I knew I needed to somehow incorporate the gorgeous lace ribbon and lovely weathered old dictionary snippets (used as tags) in my design. I developed my design for this necklace around these elements. I gathered pearl seed beads, Swarovski faux pearls, various other key charms and a key toggle, some glass domes, and I set to work. I cut the old dictionary tags into the shape of my glass domes and glued them in place to create unique cabochons. I embroidered around the cabochons and buttons, adding Swarovski pearls here and there. I added beaded loops to the bottom of the embroidered bib to hang the three keys from. After I finished the embroidery portion of my necklace, I moved onto the rest. I knew I wanted to have the two "straps" of the necklace be asymmetrical, so I wire wrapped one side- utilizing the remaining Mother of Pearl button and the soldered link- and I strung the other half, weaving the antique-looking lace ribbon around various sized pearls. I finished the necklace off by using the loop half of the nice clasp that Hope sent, pairing it with my own Patera key-shaped toggle bar. One thing I still cannot decide, though... What should I name it? Any ideas?
One of my favorite parts of this soup was the hand-embellished buttons which Hope painted bright yellow-green, royal purple, and vibrant blue. I found a seed bead mix which complemented these buttons perfectly, so I automatically knew I wanted to do a little bead weaving with them. Along with the other treasures came some adorable lucite flowers, in the same color palate as the buttons. The only problem was that the colors of the lucite flowers weren't quite as vibrant and saturated as the buttons. The solution? Running over to CVS and buying a pack of Crayola markers! That's right! I colored the lucite to match those awesome buttons. Now, these are water soluble markers we're talking about. Ideally, I would've sprayed them with a coat of Mod Podge acrylic sealant before working with them. But I didn't, and I was happy enough... coming home from work with marker all over my fingers. Oh, by the way, I used three-drop peyote stitch on this piece.
The focal Hope sent was really exceptional: a large lampwork glass bead in shades of blue. She also sent a variety of glass beads in complementary blue hues. I wanted to retain that all-glass-and-all-blue feeling to complement and enhance the focal, so I chose to make my necklace entirely out of blue glass. Even the clasp is a cobalt blue borosilicate glass toggle!
Okay, maybe this was the most underwhelming way to finish, but- hey!- I just posted in order of production. I made these last because I still had so many cool leftovers from the soup, and I wanted to make a pair of earrings. I also don't do too much wire wrapping, so I was attempting to leave my comfort zone... if only for a moment.
This has been such an amazing experience from start to finish, and I hope to be involved in more of the upcoming BSBP's! The following is a list of all the current participants. My goal is to try to visit them all, how about you??
These are the partner pairs.
For a total of 362 people making jewelry!