Oct 20, 2012

Do Over Challenge Reveal and Blog Hop

Please note: I am having computer problems!! For "My Bead Table" Blog Hop, click here.  For "My Bewitching Home blog hop, click here.  Namaste and fly well! Rita  ♥
Three Women Dressed as Gypsies Dance in a Field Near the Mountain. Photographer Vern C. Gorst, ca. 1929-1932  University of Washington Libraries, Digital Collection.

Welcome to the 4th Do Over Challenge hosted by artist extraordinaire Jeannie K. Dukic. The Do Over Challenge is annual blog hop in which participants are given Jewelry by Jeannie to recreate. If someone does not transform the piece, they are charged the full amount for the jewelry! It's an excellent method for designing jewelry, and fits perfectly as the "Random Purchase Method" that Lori Anderson describes and explores in her new book, "Bead Soup."

Last night as I was finishing up the final touches of my Do Over Challenge necklace, I asked my spouse to stop by our local craft store to pick up additional Czech black diamond beads and a little Stiff Stuff for my next jewelry project. Because we were both celebrating a little extra income this week from intense overtime last week, I asked for a luxury item too: a new jewelry magazine! My sweet spouse bought two. As I dove into the table of contents looking for friends' and acquaintance's work,  there was Jeannie K.Dukic, published  in Jewelry Stringing, Fall 2012. "There's Jeannie!" I exclaimed, pointing to her name, "That's who is hosting the challenge for the necklace I'm working on right now! Oh, isn't this fun? She's an incredible artist and instructor." I shared, smiling and honored.

Jeannie's Blog shares the motto, "Be brave enough to live your life creatively." Her art graces the words. She is a mixed media artist, creating fine arts in many forms: beads, jewelry, clay, painting, paper, textiles, drawing and more. I feel fortunate to participate in the challenge, and am indeed braver and more creative thanks to Jeannie and the many amazing artists like her who inspire with their beauty every day!

Here is the pretty necklace I received for the challenge, a black and white lampwork and crystal silver necklace. The lampwork beads also have touches of olive:

The challenge is to use at least 50% of the necklace, adding from our own stash as needed. The necklace had three lampwork focal beads, and a generous amount of fancy crystals in unique cube/round cuts and beautifully faceted styles. Most of the crystals were AB, and color danced from the beads.

The spacers were similar in style to the crystals: beautifully shaped and geometrical silver endcaps:

The spectator colorway, ornate style, and uniquely shaped crystals of the original necklace gave me a lot to work with. The jewelry started out pretty! The components were all strong, and although I don't often work in black and white, ideas came easily. I looked through photography for a story of the black and white colorway, and came across Gorst's amazing dancing gypsies!

My treasure box was full of a black & white colorway of beads!

Magically, the necklace perfectly complimented a special treasure box of black and white beads I've been gathering.

The colorway of my bead treasures was perfect for Jeannie's necklace. The wooden fairy box held several bold, sophisticated polymer clay beads. Two softly patterned  black and white swirled clay beads and a dramatic black bead full of ornate infinity symbols and accents in silver -- all gifted to me by Margareta Saari of Finland. There were also several beautiful black and deep blue polymer beads created and gifted to me by Tina Holden.

  And my most recent treasure: textured, wonderful lava beads from Lori Anderson.

 Wanting to write a full review of Anderson's "Book Soup," I've been creating jewelry inspired by the "recipes" found in the book. The Do Over Challenge's necklace had perfect beads for a "Blue Onion Soup" lariat design (page 78, design by Libby Leuchtman) and so I gathered pearls, Czech beads, findings, and a gorgeous ceramic focal by Christine Hoffer of "Beadfreaky."  I loved the idea of making a multi-strand lariat! It seemed to carry the spirit of dancing gypsies, while honoring and incorporating the special collection of beads.

 I created three strands for my Do Over necklace: stringing the larger, geometric shaped crystals with white freshwater pearls and silver Czech beads; wire wrapping a beaded chain using lava beads, the smallest crystals, and black diamond Czech glass; and lastly, stringing obsidian and black diamond Czech glass beads.

I made a gunmetal jump ring to attach all three strands to the focal, and let the opposite ends of the bead strands fall through the large focal opening.

 I gathered the white and black lariat strands with a faceted jasper bead, stacks of large hole gunmetal disks, and a large fantasy faceted crystal quartz rondelle. I added some of the beaded chain for a touch of the AB crystal and lava bead, and finished the lariat with mother of pearl.

Thank you for stopping by:)
Enjoy all the courageously creative Do Over Challenge Jewelry of the Day!

The participants: 

Host Jeannie K Dukic http://site.jkdjewelry.com/blog
Miranda Ackerley http://mirandack.com/
Rita Avila http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com/  (you are here)



  1. Granted...the necklace DID indeed start out beautiful..BUT...the final necklace is just drop dead gorgeous!!!! Truly!!! Love the combination of beads you used and I, personally, love black and white together! beautiful!

  2. You put me to shame. The work that went into these creations is magnificant. Love them all, and you!

  3. The necklace is incredible! The work and thought that went into it just makes my heart sing. I can't every get the words out to describe it. Thank you so much for participating, the pleasure was all mine. I hope you join me for the 5th Do Over Challenge. I host them twice a year.

  4. Rita, you inspired me to try the challenge next time (I wanted this time, but would have made my end of October a mad one): you mixed materials beautifully. You know I am not fond of black: but this necklace is gorgeous and I would wear it in a jiffy! Lovely, lovely, **lovely**

  5. You make wonders! I said it a couple of times before but it is true :-D I'm so honoured that my polymer clay bead (the very modest one!) made its' way to this fabulous design <3 Love!

  6. Wow, Rita, that design is simply STUNNING! It takes my breath away! It's GORGEOUS!!! I LOVE every bit of it!!! WOW... Amazing transformation! You took the original design and not only kicked it up a notch, you kicked it into a different orbit! LOL It's gorgeous!!! I LOVE love LOOOOVE it!!! You are amazing, Rita!!! Fantastic job!!! =)

  7. I am just in awe of your necklace. It is flat out incredible.

  8. This is just an Amazing necklace! The way you used what you were given and what you had is wonderful! LOVE it!!!

  9. WOW what a fantastic necklace you created!!!

  10. I love black & white and you certainly took your necklace to a new level.


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Namaste --