Oct 13, 2012

My Bead Table Blog Hop Reveal

Please note: I am having computer problems!! For "The Do Over Challenge" please click here For "My Bewitching Home, click here.  Namaste and fly well! Rita  ♥

Welcome to the "My Bead Table Blog Hop" hosted by Lisa Lodge of "A Grateful Artist." Lisa Lodge is a very talented jewelry designer whose work appears in numerous jewelry magazines. Lisa brought artists together for the challenge of creating using random beads and findings from her bead table. Participants may add from their own bead table as well, but are not to purchase anything new for the challenge. Here are the beads Lisa sent me:

Lisa's bead table challenge incorporates two methods of design from Anderson's book: "The Leftover Bead Method" and "The Random Purchase Method" -- two methods of design ensuring that, as Anderson states in her book, "no bead goes unloved." 

I've been creating jewelry inspired by Lori Anderson's new "Bead Soup" book "recipes" and for the "My Bead Table" design challenge, I was inspired by the  blue Czech glass and a copper fossilized leaf beads of "Autumn Harvest Soup" (page 81, soup by Lori Anderson & design by Barbara Lewis). 

After I photographed Lisa's bead table soup, I separated the beads to work with later. Here are the beads from lisa as colorways:

I created two necklaces. One very traditional using the blue millefiori beads in the upper left, and one artistic style using the rhyolite gemstone beads in the center bottom and the orange glass beads. Yet both necklaces are inspired by the exact same soup ingredients in the "Autumn Harvest Soup" recipe (page 81) in the book "Bead Soup" -- and both represent and celebrate October in Florida. 

For my first jewelry project, I thought about the ocean and sailing. Working with the millefiori beads Lisa sent, my traditional necklace was inspired by their cobalt blue color.

Thinking of how to use the blue Czech faceted rondelle beads in "Autumn Havest soup" and Lisa's millefiori beads, I remade the necklace twice before I was happy with the design. I wanted a nautical style necklace to wear with simple gold hoops, a great navy sweater and my favorite silk skirt:

The print of my favorite silk skirt helped me create the jewelry design and colorway.
 I hoped the chain maille components would bring out the nautical chain in my silk skirt, while the gold, blue and red added a sailing and ocean style.  

I first used all the millefiori beads, creating a metal focal with accent beads.  The design wasn't stream-lined enough, however, and the various millefiori shapes took away from the patterns of the design. 

First try: A mess! Not nautical, but chaotic. Boo!!

I took away the hearts, millifori rondelles, accent beads, and gold flower. I placed the Czech rondelles, red Swarovski beads and citrine beads around the clasp. I used only the elongated cushion shape millefiori glass,  repeating the shape of the byzantine sections, and the pattern changed from messy to chic, giving the necklace simple but strong style.

I had to take away details. Once the elongated millefiori cushion beads were moved together, leaving the top of the necklace for byzantine chain alone, the design finally took shape. The necklace looks pretty worn against a navy sweater, my navy blue boots, the silk skirt and an upswept hair style. Perfect for Florida fall fashion.

Second Try: much better! Strong style and cohesive design for a nautical style
A longer, 28" necklace with simple beads and brass byzantine chain, and a touch of bling in the back.

If you are interested in creating byzantine chain, it is a great beginner weave! M.A.I.L. (Maille Artisans International League) has a  listing of weave tutorials to explore and another great site, CGMaille, has even more excellent weave tutorials!  Keep in mind byzantine can also be adjusted for the appropriate AR (aspect ratio) by simply adding or taking away rings. Not many weaves are that flexible. In the brass chain above, I've used 4 rings to increase the AR since I made my own jump rings with 20 gauge brass wire.

My second necklace was also inspired by the same soup in "Bead Soup" began with a copper leaf and a bead bag from a previous project. The copper leaf was a gift from one of my daughters, and reminded me of the migrating birds coming home to my garden for winter. I ended up not adding it to the necklace itself, but it started the entire tree/ leaf/ bird design!

Thinking of Lisa's rules, I decided to peek into leftover bead soups. This bag of bead soup had lots of unakite beads in several cool cuts for gemstone beads: bicones, sticks, various round sizes, as well as complete wire wrapped components, all from a previous jewelry project:

Since October is the time when birds to return to Florida for the winter, the copper leaf reminded me of my bird garden. I watch through the window as the garden fills with birds, families that return year after year.
 I was inspired to begin my design with a bird's nest. I'm familiar with several tutorials, but Art-Z Jewelry's bird's nest pin tutorial is my favorite. I created a bird's nest using copper and brown color coated Artistic wire, adding ocean jasper pears for the eggs.

From there, I began experimenting with the unakite components, brass birds, the wooden flower and other shapes of ocean jasper. Once I added the wooden flower, I accented it with a special wooden om from Finland.

 I used golden coral sticks as branches, separating them with soft matte lavender beads. To balance the length of coral, I added a frame of pretty chain and beads that unified the wire wrapped components. Inthis picture, I experimented with color blocks of pearls, but I also considered adding suede cord instead of pearls....

I love this design, and I'm pleased it rests comfortably on the neck. I'm very pleased that leftover beads could become something so special! I would not have even peeked into the bead soup bag to create a lovely Bird's nest necklace, nor would I have created a nautical necklace because the blue millefiori beads were outside my norm. Both Anderson's methods worked! "The Leftover Bead" method and "Random Bead method" created two very different --and very nice -- jewelry pieces for Florida Fall.

Thank you Lisa for hosting the "Bead Table Challenge"!

 The Participants: 

 Your Host: Lisa Lodge

Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Michelle Buettner, Mishel Designs
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Kathleen Douglas, Washoe Kat's
Mary Anne Klinglesmith Flesch, Hand Crafted Serenity
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Tanya Goodwin, A Work in Progress
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Shelly Joyce, Au jour le jour
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Susan Lloyd, Designs by Susan
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Kristen Stevens, My Bead Journey
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends you are here :) 
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories


  1. Gorgeous and very creative! Love it!

  2. Wow, Rita! Awesome job. I esp. love the nautical necklace with the spotted beads. I really enjoy reading your posts. They are always jam packed with interesting and helpful information, with a dash of inspiration as well! So glad you could participate in the hop! Lisa :-)


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