Welcome to reveal day for the first annual Bead Peeps Swap ‘n’ Hop. This is a combination jewelry design challenge and blog hop, hostessed by Linda Anderson of Cherry On Top Designs.
Bead Peeps is a group of jewelry hobbyists, artists, and designers on Facebook. The Swap ‘n’ Hop is an event where some of us in that group signed up to swap artisan jewelry components, make jewelry with them, and then share what we’ve made on our blogs.
I was partnered with Shirley Jones Moore. You can read a little about her in this post where I introduced my Swap ‘n’ Hop partner. You can also follow her on her blog, and visit her online store to see more of her artisan jewelry and components.
You can see what I sent Shirley in this post where I revealed our swap components. Shirley sent me a lovely color palette of earth tones to work with. I adore earth tones. She tossed a little bit of sparkle in there too. Who doesn’t like a little sparkle?
The initial challenge for me was not the colors. It was the shapes of some of the components. You see, Shirley is a seed beader, and I am not. She made the beaded focal, connectors, and toggle clasp for me. And they are amazing. I envy her talent. But I was stumped for how to attach them without breaking out some thread and learning to bead weave. Which was not gonna happen.
My first inclination was to use the two sets of connectors in earrings. Anytime I’m presented with a pair of beads or components, I automatically think “earrings!” I was determined not to give in to instincts this time. I wanted to use them in a necklace, with the beaded focal.
Eventually, and at the next to last minute, I decided to use wire to incorporate the focal and connectors in a necklace. I turned the focal into a pendant bail of sorts, with an organic abstract swirl design of copper wire. The beaded tubes also have copper wire swirls added. The beaded rectangles are joined to the necklace with textured oval copper jump rings.
For the pendant, I wrapped a large piece of mauve moukaite from my stash with copper wire swirls. The rest of the necklace uses some of the rose gold Czech glass as wire-wrapped beaded links. And I used more copper wire to make a swirl connector and hook for the clasp.
The next design uses the beaded toggle clasp and the moukaite beads from Shirley. I’m not sure how sturdy this design is for wearing. I threaded some beading wire through the weave on the beaded toggle and then crimped it. I added some copper spacers to accent the moukaite. I’ve never used a beaded clasp and I wonder if the bead wire will tear through or distort the weaving.
The textured bronze (or brass?) rectangle became the focal of a second necklace. It was made by Sharyl McMillian-Nelson. I used a strand of moukaite beads from my stash for the neckline. The back of the necklace is finished with some antique-finish brass chain and a lobster clasp, to make the length adjustable.
I even used some of the “just in case” seed beads Shirley sent. I wrapped some around the brass focal, using antiqued brass wire. And I used a few more as spacers between the moukaite beads. Look at me , using seed beads.
I had a few moukaite and Czech glass beads from Shirley left over after finishing the two necklaces and bracelet. Some of them happened to be pairs. So, of course, I made earrings. I also had a small pile of seed beads. I’ll find a project for them eventually.
I had planned to use all of my beads and components in a single necklace design. I tried various designs. In the end, I was thrown off by the colors more than the shapes. While the maroon beads in the toggle match those in the beaded focal and connectors, the rust colored ones just didn’t “go” with the mauve. But they all look wonderful with moukaite. So, I have this collection of earthy fall-colored jewelry.
I’d like to thank my partner, Shirley, for the challenge and the lovely beads. I’m headed over to her blog to see what she made with the goodies I sent her. And then I’ll stop by to thank our hostess and see what she’s designed. And then I’ll follow the links to the rest of the hop participants. I hope you’ll join the hop too. There’s lots of amazing artisan jewelry to be seen.
Btw, I’d love your thoughts on my designs for this challenge. If you’re in the mood, please leave a comment below. And note that it may not show up right away because I use comment moderation to keep the spammers under control. And whether you feel like commenting or not, go ahead and click a few social sharing buttons to share this post with your friends on social media. It’s much appreciated.