Monday, May 9, 2011

Bead Unique Feature...times 2!

So, one day a couple months ago, I get this email.  It's from Joanna Feller (the Managing Editor of Bead Unique Magazine), and she's asking me to be part of their Bead Challenge feature.  This is a cool feature. The idea is that they send you and 3 other people the same or very similar item, and you use your own bead stash to create something out of it, and send it back within a few weeks. You can't turn something like that down, so I say yes, and a couple weeks later, I get a package in the mail containing a HUGE clear acrylic cabochon with a decal of a butterfly on it.  Those of you who know me know that I don't usually work with acrylic.  If plastic even comes into play in my work, it's Vintage Lucite, or Bakelite.  The color of the butterfly was blue and black, but the blue was unlike anything I had in my private collection, let alone my bead shop, so I set out to order beads to match online....easier said than done since computer monitors can vary color so much.

I decided on a white background for my cab, and gilt-lined white opal seed beads for the main necklace color.  There was a bright gold flourish on either side of the butterfly, so I thought that a brassy victorian gold might work, and it did.  I fleshed out the pallette with a few blue Delica beads, and a discontinued Swarovski color named White Opal Sky Blue which is a milky blue on one side, and the equivalent of Swarovski Jetnut on the other.  I had the beads, now what was I going to do with them?

The cab was so large, that it pretty much ruled out a bracelet, or barrett, so I had to choose between a necklace, or an impressive belt buckle...I decided on necklace.  I surrounded the cab with Peyote Stich, edged it with Brick Stitch, and added a Picot edging to create a lacy look.  It needed some substance, so I chose to add a heavily embellished Peyote strip on either side, connected to the cab with several rows of Right Angle Weave to add a feminine touch.  I realized pretty immediately that I couldn't make the whole necklace with the embellishment (it would look WAY too heavy), so I opted for 4 strips of the heavily embellished Peyote linked with triple strung strands to lighten the load.

After the necklace was done, I realized that the cab needed something because it wasn't drawing my eye down.  After a little debate (and a little confirmation by my husband), I added the fringe.  I was amazingly happy with the results.  I'm considering kitting this one eventually (you know, when I have a moment of spare time ;).

The Butterfly Garden Necklace is pictured in the June 2011 issue of Bead Unique Magazine on page 34.  By some miracle, my Hammered Teardop Earrings also appear in this issue on page 38.  Thanks to everyone who has given their opinions, and support to me to make it possible for me to continue to be published in a national magazine; I appreciate it more than you could know.  And where do I go from here?  The skies' the limit baby!

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