Apr 16, 2014

Spring Fever Design Challenge with THEa Elements, BlueberriBeads, and Smitten Beads

Welcome to the Spring Fever Challenge, co-hosted by Lesley Watt of The Gossiping GoddessCaroline Dewey of  BlueberriBeads, and Claire Braunbarth of Smitten Beads.  

Our challenge was to create with bead mixes made with art jewelry elements from each hostess. Participants each received beautiful ceramic layered flowers and coordinating beads by Lesley Watt (THEA Elements), lovely sari ribbon from Claire Braunbarth (Smitten Beads), and beads by Carolyn Dewey (BlueBerriBeads) featuring her beloved, quintessential ceramic birds. 

The bead mix I received is full of vibrant color! 

As I meditated on the happy colors, I began to relish the memories of blue, yellow and cream colorways from my life: my kitchen growing up with yellow checkered curtains, years spent happy, laughing with my sister as our mom chatted with us. I thought of childhood and nature, remembering my wild child hair that I was warned "would attract birds for a nest" -- haha! 
Oh, how I now love and cherish my memories and my bead mix. 

Spring has sprung!  

Here in Orlando, life is warm and lovely year round, 
yet spring brings even more lovely changes ...

the sun shines brightly, and each day is very warm

Our backyard fountains and pool comes to life 

Soft clouds gently dance in the sky

Sweet, clean ocean air breezes across the peninsula

Daily tropical afternoon showers bring rainbows

Everywhere flowers bloom and life gets growing

This week, the lunar eclipse was so magical, my family stayed up all night long to experience it! My daughter and grandson played outside in the middle of night. 


My grandson in the eerie light of the lunar eclipse

And I finished my jewelry, working as the sun and moon danced! 

THEa ELEMENTS Ceramic Flower Focal & Floral blue bead:

Rosary chain stations in brass with blue chalcedony rondelles and yellow AB crystal rondelles,
sunshine yellow ceramic round beads by THEa Elements accented with Swarovski sapphire bicones;
AND so excited to addvery special beads: orange yellow lampwork made by Lori Anderson! She gifted the rare beads to me in our Pantone swap, and I love how they perfectly reflect the sunset shades in Lesley's beautiful flower, as if always meant for this necklace. So uplifting and full of warmth!

Among her many talents, Lori Anderson of Pretty Things also makes lampwork beads! Isn't she incredible? I love the beads she gifted me, and they are wonderful in the spring necklace. Her lampwork in sunset, along with Lesley's yellow ceramics, look so pretty! I also added lampwork by SueBeads along with the blue ceramic bead in the clasp. 

In addition, I created coordinating earrings. I was delighted when some of my left over beautiful recycled glass discs gifted from my lovely BSBP6 partner, Mags Saari (see her blog! She is an AMAZING artist) coordinated with the pretty blue of Lesley's ceramic art beads! I added Swarovski bicones (from Margot Potter store :) in sunny yellow and sapphire, and the sunset AB rondelles. The wonderful gold triangle jump rings are from my beloved Windbent. 

 Blueberri Beads Ceramic Feather

Along with Caroline's popular and lovely "mummy and baby" birdies, I was given a feather.
Inspiration struck as I decided to celebrate the feather and design with unique carved bones recently given to me by Heather Richter, and faux carved bone beads by Nicole Welch. I added a little abstract feather by Scorched Earth at the clasp. So often in spring, my girls and i would begin camping, or gather with friends around campfires singing, "The Earth The Air The Fire the Water Returns Returns Returns Returns...." This necklace reminds me of earth in spring, drumming, celebrating mother, returning to each other.

Ceramic feather, bone, agate, faux bone, cotton ribbon, antique copper and brass.

In honor of the lunar eclipse, I made coordinating turtle earrings with crescent moons.
The turtles arrived in the mail as a surprise gift just in time to become lunar lovelies!

I added a little abstract leaf to the clasp - it looks like a smile! -- from Scorched Earth

With the birds, I created a Mother's Day pearl lariat necklace. I decided to use the sweet birds as charms, and made three beaded rondelles to add to the ceramic charms. I wasn't sure if i should keep the lariat simple with the mummy and baby, keeping two of my beaded beads for earrings, but I decided to create "fringe" instead. I like the effect. 

I strung freshwater pearls with pearlized blue seed bead spacers into a very long necklace; 
using the ceramic clasp by Pajado Art House, I made a lariat of pearls. The beaded beads (pattern by Datz Katz) were made to coordinate, as garden flowers for the sweet BlueberriBeads birds.

Smitten Beads Sari Silk Ribbon
With the sari ribbon, I was thrilled to create a soft, gentle necklace for a a seed bead
focal I created with The Color of Dreams bead. The blue of the silk and the purple lace
 look so pretty with the crystals and blue freshwater pearls.

I wanted to braid or arrange the ribbons in a brilliant way..
I tried to think of something clever, but I'm hoping I'll get new ideas
 today from our reveals! For now, they are soft against the lush focal.

Caroline Dewison - http://www.blueberribeads.co.uk 
Erin Prais – Hintz – http://treasures-found.blogspot.co.uk/
see what has sprung up! 

Thanks for looking!  


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What beautiful designs Rita - all unique and full of joy you can't but help smile. I do so love your inspirational posts and I'm so glad you could join us in this challenge.

  3. I love how you made so many things that are so different. The two necklaces that use the sari silk are my favorites, although you did that lovely flower pendant proud in the first necklace. Well, all of it. Too hard to choose!

  4. Oh Rita...such beautiful pieces!!! You did so many and each one is just amazing!

    Happy Spring!


  5. Oh Rita...such beautiful pieces!!! You did so many and each one is just amazing!

    Happy Spring!


  6. So jealous our spring seems to still be full of WINTER! ARGH! lovely colors and work!

  7. What gorgeous designs! I just love how you celebrated the lunar eclipse in the second necklace. I really like how you incorporated a couple challenges in the third necklace and I just love the lariat. I keep telling myself that I need to play with that type of necklace. The design that really shines though (in my mind) is the first one. It has such a gentle energy that really does sing of spring.

  8. I'm not sure I can pick a favorite. Good thing I don't have to choose, because I love them all. I wanted in on this so bad, but when I tried to leave a comment on the design challenge, Google refused to play nice with Wordpress and it just wouldn't let me that day. I figured it was not meant to be this round. Seeing these is the next best thing. Lovely job.

  9. Dear Rita; As always your designs are stunning. I love all of them but my favorite is the first necklace with the yellow and blue rosary chain. That colour combo is great and adding the sunny orange beads to it is genius! Just like more sunshine!

  10. I admire you and your art on creating beauty with both words and beads, very exceptional talent!

    My favourite this time is the necklace with feathers <3

  11. I admire your art on creating beauty with both words and beads, very exceptional talent!

    My favourite is the feather necklace!

  12. Absolutely beautiful designs and a beautiful story to go with it sharing your precious memories and oh I how I wish I was in sunny Orlando x

  13. I do love reading your posts Rita! You have so much fun designing.

    You've created some beautiful pieces, thank you for joining us in the challenge!

  14. Love the combinations - all the designs really sing!

  15. Rita-All of your pieces are beautiful. I love how you paired the pearls with pearlized seed beads. It gives the lariat a real flow. The colors in your first piece are perfect. Your photos are wonderful. You have done a great job as always . Thanks for sharing your Spring!

  16. Wow, saved the best for last! I especially love your flower necklaces! The first one demonstrates the sun shining for me just perfectly, how did you do that its gorgeous. I loved what you did with the sari silk necklace too, I would so wear that. You really tell a wonderful story in your blog and the thoughts and feelings you put into it are very special, I loved all your photos. Can I come to stay on holiday lol

  17. Rita you sure did those beads proud. So Many designs and all are beautiful. I had a hard time designing with yellow until I paired it with blue and now I enjoy it. I am smitten with your Mother's day necklace and the Color of Dreams piece is awesome.

  18. Wow, love all of your awesome jewelry. Good thing I don't have to pick a favorite.

  19. I swear I am so sorry I have been completely lax in my hopping!!! These were all so gorgeous!!!!


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Namaste --