Agata, my partner this year, is a polymer clay genius, and she sent me a couple of truly gorgeous handmade focals. Faced with these, I did what I did best and panicked: I'd known I'd be working with a focal bead, but my normal technique of attaching a jump ring to one end and threading it onto a chain obviously wasn't going to cut it for a project like this. Okay, that was fine. I could cope. Yeah.
Ideas for each of the focals hit me more or less immediately and more or less simultaneously, but several weeks of dithering about the materials and worrying about the details ensued. I looked, I shopped, I worried, I shopped some more, I made at least six pieces utterly unrelated to the challenge and then I pulled my head out of my backside and got on with it.
Here are the finished pieces: I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them.
Black Rabbit scene in Watership Down, except, um, without the graphically-animated rabbit death, obviously.
...Moving swiftly onwards...
To see what Agata made from the beads I sent, check out her blog. I've been there already, and as always, I'm in awe of her creativity and technical skills.
Thanks to Agata and to Lori, and I hope to see you all next year!