Thursday, December 31, 2009

Beadwork Challenge

A month or so ago I was contacted by Beadwork magazine to let me know I was chosen to be the reader participant in their beadwork challenge. I was just tickled! They sent me the kit, which was provided by fusion beads. The day I received the kit in the mail we had our first snowfall here in Michigan, so it was a surprise to open the package and find lots of bright flowers and springy colors.
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 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.


Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

coolmoon said...

BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations. I wanted to participate as a challenger too, but they sent me an email that they weren't interested. Whatever. My shop keeps me busy full time anyway and no deadlines!
Love the piece - drool, ooh, ahhh....

SharDon Exclusives said...

Absolutely GORGEOUS WORK!!! Your beading is wonderful and I have loved each piece. Thank you for sharing such beauties with us.