A Little Winter Romance

December’s inspiration for the Art Bead Challenge, Sleeping Beauty by Erte, offered some spectacular color combinations! I love its twist on the primary palette, with the darkened red and blue, muted yellow and the surprising addition of soft lavender. I decided to create a bracelet this month, and focused on an expanded complementary palette of rich red through orange-yellow, accented with the print’s deep blue.

The center strand starts with two Czech glass beads patterned very similarly to the dress in the painting! Vivid lapis rounds surround the center bead, which is one of Erin Prais-Hintz’s frosted flake charms in ginger and bezeled in brass. A brass disc bead completes the strand. I designed this strand to be reversible; warm and classic in the photo on the left, the bracelet takes on a frosty, elegant feel when the focal charm is flipped to reveal a second snowflake in steel with a silver bezel in the top, right photo.

A second strand is made up of vintage glass rosary beads in the same deep red, etched with delicate gold swirls. The last strand is a length of bronze chain embellished with bright red rondelles tipped with deep blue. The strands, which combine the rich gold of the 3-cut seed beads, the cool silver of the rosary, and the warm bronze chain, are joined by a curved bronze cuff connector handcrafted by THEAtoo.

This is one of my favorite projects of the year - what a great inspiration print to end the Art Bead Scene challenges for 2012! There's still plenty of time to join in the fun! Click over to the Art Bead Scene’s Flickr page to see all the entries for this month.


Giveaway Winner

The winner of my Saki Silver giveaway (by selection of the random number generator), is Renetha of Lamplight Crafts.

Congratulations to Renetha, and thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog and took the time to leave a comment!


Santa, I'm going to need some new tools...

Hammering, sanding, stamping, joining metals – that’s how I spent last Sunday at YaYa Beads in Augusta, getting my first taste of metalworking. YaYa Beads’ owner, Lesley, a terrifically talented jewelry designer and teacher, profiled the cold connections workshop on her Sweet Freedom blog. Here’s my first pendant.

I had to leave the pendant behind in the tumbler, and when it arrived in yesterday’s mail, I couldn’t have been more excited if the envelope had been from Tiffany’s! Oh, the possibilities! This is a skill I am definitely going to pursue in the new year!


Gratitude and a Giveaway

This Saki focal necklace with its simple quad stitch chain is on its way to my sister.  Despite a very trying year, she inspired us all by taking the month of November to post everything she was grateful for on Facebook. This is going to her to let her know how grateful I am that she’s part of my life.
I fell in love with the modern Asian design aesthetic of Saki Silver when I came upon one of their pendants at my local bead store. When I saw they were exhibiting at an Atlanta bead show last month, I was there when the doors opened, meeting and chatting with co-founder, Liz Chumtong, and learning about their company and products. The toggle that serves as the focal in my sister’s necklace is made of shibuichi, a copper/silver alloy.  Having happily spent my entire show budget at Saki, I stopped by only one other booth, manned by the Atlanta Bead Society, where I saw a very simple necklace made of quad stitch and learned it was from Beth Stone’s Seed Bead Stitching.

The palette for my neckstrap began with a tube of café au lait seed beads from Beverly Ash Gilbert. I added some bright accents with 3 and 4mm pacific opal crystals, and lots of silver beads, including 2mm sterling rounds, 3mm cubes, and 8/0 3-cuts for sparkle. To add more depth and echo the undertones in the toggle, I added some rich burgundy pearls and jet crystals.
And now for the fun part. I am so grateful to those of you who take the time to stop by my blog and share in my beading adventures. So I’m sharing some of my favorite things with you!

Just be a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this post. I will be sending one follower a generous portion of my bead soup recipe and two Saki toggles – a 34mm shibuichi like the one in my sister’s necklace, and because I think this soup would be fantastic with silver, a 36mm sterling silver sunburst design. And a copy of Beth Stone’s Seed Bead Stitching, where you’ll find some interesting variations on traditional stitches. I’ll choose the winner on Sunday, December 9th. Good luck! (Note: If you don’t have e-mail turned on in your profile, please leave a way to contact you in your comment.)