|The beautiful flower focal from Ana, now converted to a brooch|
This morning was the first sunshine we've had in about three weeks so I took loads of photos all in a rush and then had to figure out what to do with them! So I've been playing around with Powerpoint to make composite pictures.
|Brooch and earrings|
The brooch and earrings were an inspired last-minute creation: I'd been wondering and wondering how to use this gorgeous fabric focal. Finally my mother came up with the idea to attach it to a brooch back and we came up with the crystals-on-three-chains design together. We thought it went well with her black pashmina (looking rather washed-out in sunlight in the small pictures on the right).
I'm not very confident at using bead caps, but these ones seemed to fit well onto a pair of frosted, translucent purple beads I had; adding a couple of green-cored seed beads made some great dangly earrings. I think they go with the brooch while avoiding being too matchy-matchy. Although I am not supposed to be making myself any more dangly earrings because I already have so many. Oh well...
This necklace was actually the first thing I made with the bead soup. The Bead Soup rules are that we have to use (at least) both the clasp and the focal. I thought that this clasp went nicely with the striking pewter focal, so that became my starting-point. I had some pewter tubes whose curves mirrored the swirls in the pewter focal, so those went in too. And my son had carefully chosen a bright red bead when we were buying the clasp for Ana, so I included that too. That set me off on a red-and-cyan colourscheme because for some reason I was reminiscing about computer games of my childhood ... so in went lots of blue beads. Hurrah for BBC Micro Red-alternating-with-Cyan.
Originally the chain sections lay on either side of the neck, and the pewter tubes either side of the focal, but that made the front section heavy and at the sides it reminded me of fish-gills! So I switched them round and that seemed to go better. Using my new waxed cotton, I threaded the beads and tubes onto some orange cotton, threading it through the chain section to achieve a rather jumbled look with the mosaic-tile beads.
I like the bright colours of this one, but to be honest I think the design ended up a bit over-worked and not so much my personal style. I think my decision to use the clasp and focal and to incorporate fibre ended up sending me down a one-way street that I maybe shouldn't have gone down.
I am very, very proud of my first ever hand-made clasp-hook! I was very pleased that I managed to hammer the silver-plated copper without the copper showing through at all. The hammering makes the wire stiff so that it keeps its shape. I have to admit though that the silver-plated oval came "off the shelf" from Beadalon. And I didn't make my own spring-ends but used clam-shells instead, to avoid the need for gluing.
All in all I was really pleased with how many of Ana's beads I managed to use. There are just a few left, including the gorgeous flamingo-pink shell beads, which I'm planning to make into a multistrand bracelet (and will post pics at a later date).
Check here for the full list of participants in the Second Reveal. And here to see the amazingly creative pieces Ana has made from the things I sent her.
Thank you Ana for being such a great bead-swap partner! And thanks to Lori Anderson for hosting, and for providing words of encouragement early on!