Friday, April 7, 2017

Bead Peeps Swap-n-Hop Reveal...

Today is the day for the 3rd annual Bead Peeps Swap -n- Hop...

This swap was again hosted by Linda Anderson . This is the 3rd year she has stepped up and hosted this swap so that some of us beady jewelry artists can swap some beads with a partner, create some awesomeness from said swapped beads and then share it on our blogs/Instagram for the world to see! I love doing these swaps it pushes me to work with and/or through things that I naturally do not gravitate towards or would not typically purchase and work with.  Every time I participate I like to try a new technique whether it be something small or something substantial, I try to push myself a little.

So this time my partner was Dana Philips. She makes ceramic beads and pendants. When I found that out I was so excited!! I love earthenware, mugs, plaques, beads you name it I love it! I was hoping to get some whimsical, cute animal or a pendant stamped with something, but what I got was much different, we are supposed to have a challenge and it was a little challenging, but in a good way. I am totally ordering a couple of pendants from her, the ones that I will order will be whimsical and / or a cute little animal. 

Okay now on to what we sent each other. The first batch will be what I sent to Dana.


All the pendants were made by yours truly. If you know me then you know that I adore soft soldering, love everything about it! As you can see I soldered 5 pendants for Dana. In case it's not obvious there's a real butterfly wing pendant, a real four leaf clover pendant ( my brother-in-law finds so many it's uncanny, one would think would have better luck than he does), the blue one is Kyanite, the gray is labradorite and the orange is aragonite, all gemstones. Then the others are 2 verdigris pendants that I patinated, the round one has vintage metal flowers attached. Then the cloche pendant is one that I assembled there's a cutie pie gnome(love gnomes) a little moss and a tiny mushroom that I made and painted. Then of course I threw in some coordinating beads, some toggle clasps and ribbon.

Now onto what Dana sent me.

The lampwork focal is Lorna Johnston, the little lampwork beads are by Jill Cage, the flower drops are from Bandana Girl ( Melinda Orr). The ceramic beads are made by Dana, I didn't know what the focal was, I was a little embarrassed I didn't want to be insulting in any way but I was clueless. Dana said it the seed from the tree of life series and it's named  Ellcrys, she also made the 5 ceramic beads and the headpins. She then sent a vintage key (right up my alley) some reclaimed brass beads and some oversized brass lobster clasps.

Now what I made with everything I was sent and of course a little bit about the how and why.

Really loved these drops. I wanted to use something a bit more colorful but after trying out, I don't know 10 combos, I decided that I liked the shape and muted colors of the Jasper beads the best.

Now these were made with  the lampwork beads that I was sent. I love the color purple so I had to use them somehow. I'm not a fancy girl, so making fussy things is hard for me, but these beads were beautiful and they called to be made fancy, like something you would wear to a party or with a formal gown ( you may not think so but that just goes to show how plain and unfussy my style is). I don't usually make my own components but I couldn't find any ear wires I like with the design so I made them myself out of 20 gauge sterling wire I even added the little bead and hammered to keep them in place. I really like how they turned out.

I rarely work with lamp work beads. I love them, I own many, especially sculptural beads, but to me they are something that I would collect like little tchotchkes, little pretties that you display, not something I make jewelry with. So this bead was hard for me. I had to think on it for a while and then I had one of those light bulb moments and I just knew what it would become, something for me to wear. I love long necklaces and have been making myself necklaces that I can layer and this became something for me to wear. I made the tassel using a couple of pieces of scrap leather that I had ( I cut apart leather clothing from thrift shops when I can get them for a reasonable price), cut a fringe and then rolled them together and added them to a bead cap. The bead cap was a bright silver so bright you could stop traffic with it  and I hated it so I added some Novacan black to give it that dark color I wanted. Then or course I wire wrapped some crystals and some leather lacing to finish it off. I left the ends of the leather undone so that I can adjust the length as it suits my needs.

Okay Dana said this was the tree of life seed, but having gone to Catholic school when I first saw the seed it reminded me of the Sacred Heart  that used to be one of my scapulars. The sacred heart symbolizes Jesus Christ's physical heart and his divine love for humanity. The tree of life thing had me stumped so I rolled with what I thought it was when I first saw it, so I paired it a vintage religious medallion of Jesus. I also used pearls, some brass chain, brown leather and one of those oversized lobster clasps that Dana sent. I must admit this turned out to be my favorite piece, this is for sure mine to keep. I can't wait to wear it.

This is what became of the vintage key. I tied a little vintage lace to it. Stacked some vintage mother of pearl buttons to hang the key from. I also soldered a large mother of pearl button into a connector  ( I simply couldn't pass up soldering and using something I soldered in a design). For this I have been hoarding this vintage silver chain I had to use it for this piece, I think it's sterling, the original clasp was broken but it was stamped.

And lastly I asked Dana which of my focals she was going to use and she said she wanted to work with the labradorite or the butterfly  I only had time to work on one so I chose the labradorite since I'm obsessed with  this stone.

I made a super long necklace this is one continuous piece. That can be worn different ways, there is no clasp at all. This one is also a keeper for me. So it's my soldered pendant and a smattering of labradorite beads, then I added the briolette drop to a jump ring at the end of the long chain. I cannot tell you how much I love this piece.

I want to thank Linda for hosting and Dana for being my partner I can't wait to see what you came up with! Oh and here are the other participants.

Linda Anderson (Hostess)
Hope Smitherman

Seed Beaders

Until next time,