I instantly thought about gardens, and when I think of gardens, I think of ponds of water! I knew that I would need some water to bead around so I thought up a design and took it to work(Purple Sage Beads, Saginaw, MI) and had one of the owners, Vicki Hubbard, make me some custom fused glass pieces. They were perfect(and exactly the way I drew them)!
The finished piece actually turned out different from what I originally planned, but it worked out all the same. I bezelled the glass pieces with seed beads, and knew I needed fringe with leaves to cascade below...
I planned a flower sequence that I liked (leaving out some of the brightest orange flowers) and then made fringe with leaves for all three sections.
I added the metal branch pieces to all three sections. I was amazed that the curved pieces on either side fit so perfectly considering this is not where I had planned on putting them when I ordered the glass.
Next I connected the three pieces with swarovski crystals in blue zircon, lime, and mocca. To each connector strand I added a jump ring which holds the flat backed, sew-on, mocca, leaf crystals.
The hardest part of this piece was trying to decide what to make the straps like. So many choices...so little time! I finally stumbled upon something that I thought worked. It is RAW, 4mm blue zircon swarovski crystals with some of the seed beads for embellishment. I added some wire guardians to the ends of the strap so that I could have a nice sturdy connection with the toggle from the kit.
I was told that this challenge will be published in the April/May issue of Beadwork magazine, so keep your eyes peeled! It was so much fun to do, I encourage every serious beader to apply to participate in one of the future challenges.