Saturday, 13 April 2013

BSBP reveal - updated!

This is an updated post, with further pictures and explanations of what, why and when.

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.


1990's style!
For this one, I was inspired by a de-clutter I had recently: I'd found a photo of me from my student days in the 1990s, proudly wearing a necklace that I'd made from wooden beads strung onto leather cord (I didn't know how to tie it properly at the time, so I used to tie it with a reef-knot every day). Ana's beads seemed to want to go with some other blue-green beads that my sisters had given me; I added some nice spacers purchased from Hobbycraft in Solihull.

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.


This was a bracelet I made from the sheer pleasure of discovering how light and wearable beads are when strung on fibre. The green focal was a present from my sister. I was a bit worried that my knotting would come undone, so I did a round-turn and about five half-hitches! - that's why there seems to be quite a lot of blue cord next to the clasp components. There is also a leaf charm, ceramic beads and ice-blue glass pearls.


And this necklace has the most beautiful beads of all. I'd been watching Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring, and it occurred to me that the special blue focal would have suited Arwen. I also remembered I had some light-blue crystals which went nicely with it. So I found some of my other most lovely beads which reminded me of woodlands and nature in general - lovely lampwork; leaf-like Czech glass; pearls (Tolkien seemed to like to write about jewellery with pearls) and two moss agate beads from Brighton which I'd been saving for ages.

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!



31 comments:

  1. Such pretty pieces. The striped beads necklace is striking and I like how you've used the smoked glass beads on the last piece to complement the bail.

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  2. Sarah, these are just awesome :-) Great work with the fabric flower, I love it. And the ingenius use of the focal in the last necklace with the chain tassels. I think this last necklace is my favourite.

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  3. everything is amazing! I love all the shades of blue!

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  4. Lovely work!!!!! Kristin Oppold

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  5. Awesome eye-candy, Sarah... that flower is quite striking!

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  6. Lots of awesome pieces most in my favorite colors. If I had to choose I guess I'd pick the one with the striped round beads. It feels a bit nautical to me. Our local beach just opened for the season so I'm in that kinda mood.

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  7. They alreasy look pretty interesting!!!

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  8. The first thing that struck me about your pieces were the colors! They're so vibrant and bold :)

    You definitely have some beautiful pieces here!

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  9. very inventive projects!congrats!

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  10. Lovely pieces ! That last one is my favorite :)

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  11. Beautiful pieces! Great job.
    kathy

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  12. Outstanding designs, really gorgeous pieces. Great job.

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  13. You did a nice soup cooking, Sarah. My clear favourite is that smart blue/green necklace with your handmade clasp. It has a very elegant style! And you did a great job with your picture collages in Power Point (I know how difficult it is to work with ;0)). If you like to have an easy tool, I have a hot tip :0) - perhaps you would like to give it a try? --> http://www.picmonkey.com/

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  14. Very nice pieces. The 1990's style necklace is is my favourite. So lovely!

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  15. I don't know which one I like the best. They are all fab!!!! Great Job!

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  16. excellent job making the most of your soup! I think your power point collages are great, but I too can imagine that must have been a lot of work and toatlly second the picmonkey is pretty darn quick and easy.

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  17. Very pretty with spring/summer colours and feel.
    I love the 90's necklace.Great job!

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  18. Wow what beautiful pieces you created.

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  19. Good job using your soup Sarah. My favorite is the flower brooch. Kudos on making your first clasp.

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  20. I really like the first necklace you made using the blue and red... very southwestern, in my humble opinion... :)

    And the brooch is amazing! I like how you made matching earrings to go with it!

    <3,
    Andrea
    http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/

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  21. Beautiful and creative work. Love the fabric brooch. Great job on everything!

    Oh my, your captcha keeps wanting me to prove I'm not a robot. While I'm not a robot, I still don't see very well. I will try one more time.

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  22. very pretty! The brooch is excellent!

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  23. I think you nailed it--that flower was begging to become a brooch!

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  24. So many pretty pieces! You did a great job with the soup you received!

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  25. Sarah, I love everything you've designed. Excellent work. I'm now a follower to your blog. (I'm in the 3rd reveal, postponed to 27th)

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  26. Love what you ended up doing with the fabric flower. Beautiful work! -Shiraz (secretsongdesigns.blogspot.com)

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  27. You've made a beautiful array of pieces. That brooch was inspired. How neat to have a collaborative piece with your mom. And your hook clasp is gorgeous. Nicely done all in all!!

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  28. Pretty, pretty! I think my favorite piece is the flower brooch, but the colors and fun of all the pieces makes it obvious that you had a blast working with your soup!

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  29. Great job on your pieces. I love the update...fatastic job with your soup!

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