Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Finding my flow...

Whilst I'm really looking forward to this year's Bead Soup Blog Party, I'm still reaping the rewards from last year. Because of the fun I had working with materials I hadn't chosen, I decided that rather than sell the pieces I made, I'd trade them for beads. I've received a lot of absolutely fascinating stuff in return, and now I have my mojo back I've made a start on making use of them.

The purple faceted rounds in this set come from Liz, creator of the webcomic Adrastus, and I fell in love with them the second I saw them. I mean, the shape is fantastic and the purple/white/red colour combination is usual and classic at once - what's not to get excited about? So when I was thinking about a purple piece and rummaging through my beading bag, they were a natural choice. I made the earrings first, intending them to stand alone, but then I decided I liked the combination of the colourful glass and smooth Swarovski pearls too much to just stop there.

I've been experimenting a lot with memory wire chokers lately, largely because I bought a job lot of fifty a few years back for an event that never happened and they've been taking up space ever since. As necklace bases, they carry heavy limitations, mostly because limitations are the only heavy thing they will carry. All-round colour coverage, therefore, requires a lot of seed beads and a certain amount of gritting of teeth.

While I'm not a seed beader in the classic sense, I like to have a decent range in stock for spacers and accents, and nothing hangs quite so nicely or feels quite so tactile as long strings of Delicas double strung on loom thread. Here, I used metallic aubergine faceted Delicas with lilac and red accents to echo the colours of the focals. To stop it getting too monotonous, I used a few more Swarovski pearls for texture. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with the focals, but by the time I got close to the centre it felt obvious - I do like the 3-3-3 symmetry of it, though.

I knew how I wanted to complete the set long before I finished the necklace - I knew the conventional third part would be a bracelet, but something about the colour combination and the lines seemed to beg for a hair accessory. I can really visualise the silver-plated comb tucked into an elegant up-do or a dark, curly bob. This time, I accompanied the focal and pearls with some of the pretty crystal rondelles that came with the focals for a little extra sparkle.

All in all, it made for a fun afternoon's work, and I'm really starting to feel like a designer again.

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