I've been waiting for this day for a long, long time! My partner, Dana James at Dana's Jewelry Design sent me some seriously and completely luscious beads for my ingredients. I was in awe. Pearls are some of my favorites gems but I felt totally out of my league with these beauties. Check out the abalone--that soft, shimmery, silvery gray just whispered to my soul. I totally loved the rose quartz rectangular beads and the kyanite ovals. Check out the Swarovski crystals in two different sizes! The heart-shaped clasp caught me by the throat because it's beautiful and funky. The Bead Addict in me came out in full force and giggled--a little maniacally--with glee over such a treasure. How could she resist?
After I got HER calmed down enough to start thinking about what I was going to do with my wonderful ingredients. I admit that panic settled in because these ingredients cried out for something more elegant than plain ole' soup. I also felt trapped because I normally don't do hearts. Understand I give heart-embellished jewelry to others who do hearts, but I rarely if ever do hearts for myself. The Bead Addict had already declared that what ever was made from this mix of treasures from Dana would be ours--I mean mine.
Since I teach classes at two different universities, I checked my calendar. The Bead Party would fall what would be my midterms week! I had to use my time wisely and get this delicate creation done NOW. About that time, the horror of the BP Oil Catastrophe hit the news and I realized that the damage done could spread world-wide. It hit me that these precious gifts from the sea might become exceedingly rare and I understood that Dana blessed me with something even more than mere beads--but a gift that could turn into an heirloom treasure. Thank you Dana. I hope I did justice to your wonderful and beautiful gift!
Click on the pictures for better viewing and detail!
So I put on my music CD that was a symphony to whale song and created. The first piece that I did was the necklace... I was enchanted with the rose quartz Dana had included, but wanted to reserve them for something else. So I pawed through my stash and ran across a diamond-shaped rose quartz strand. That maniacal giggling you hear in the background is Bead Addict. Another addition were the biwa stick pearls my husband had bought for me a couple of years ago. They were elegant and totally out of my area of stringing "expertise" but they worked well with what I was doing...framing that gorgeous abalone focal. I also added a couple of different colors in the Swarovski crystals to emphasize the gorgeous pink ones Dana included.
I completed this choker-style necklace with silver-plated chain and one of my own clasps. I did find one last tiny heart toggle, left over from a project I did for my aunt. To me, that was fate, because it was still within the theme of what Dana sent me.
Then I because I'm on a huge bracelet kick lately, I made one with some of the left over ingredients. This was totally out of the box for me because I experimented with danglies. Since we decided...I mean I decided to keep this, I wanted to try something I haven't really worked on before.
I used Dana's heart clasp because it was too pretty to hide in the back of a necklace. Secondly, it just seemed so natural to use that toggle in a piece of jewelry as part of the ensemble's focal. I used silver pearl head pins to combine the pearls and the stones to form danglies. The bracelet has a good weight to it--not to heavy but not so light you forget you're wearing it. It doesn't jingle-jangle--something that would get on my nerves since I use my hands a lot in teaching.
Well, what's a bracelet and a necklace without matching earrings?!?! This was rather fun because I stretched myself again here. I wanted a pair of earrings that would compliment the necklace alone, without the bracelet. But I also wanted a pair of earrings that would compliment the bracelet if I chose to wear that without the necklace. Then to top it all off, I wanted a pair of earrings that I could wear with both the necklace AND the bracelet as a matching set. So this is what I came up with as a solution
Starting from left to right, the gray pearl buttons with the pink Swarovski crystals would be perfect for wearing alone or with the bracelet. They would also compliment the necklace. The kyanite and cyclamen Swarovski crystals would compliment either the necklace or the bracelet...or could be worn alone. The gray ablalone and white button pearls with the the crystals would fit the necklace well.
So what got me out of my normal box? Using pearls and making danglies. Thank you Dana for giving a shot in the you-know-where to boost me from my conventional form of beading!
I hope you visit others who are unveiling their Party Pieces as well.
Carol, Carol Bradley Designs
Wanda, A Frayed of Fibers
Diana, Vintage Blue Studio
Marieke, Marieke's Blog
KJ, Silver Parrot
Maire, Maire Dodd
Shannon, Miss Fickle Media
Dana (and MY Partner!), Dana's Jewelry Design
Charlene, The Bead Dreamer
Elisabeth, Beads for Busy Gals
Missy, Melissa Rappaport
I also want to thank Lori Anderson, our coordinator, for all the encouragement she gives us!The fact that she keeps nearly 100 women together for this event is simply amazing and I wanna be like her when I grow up! :D
Enjoy the soup...