Friday, April 26, 2013

What's new? A spiral rope bracelet, and a metal challenge

I know it looks like I've been ignoring my blog, slacking off ... not true!

A few weeks ago, I was selected to participate in the 5x5 challenge over on Artisan Whimsy. For this challenge, 5 designers were each sent 5 metal components (we were all sent the same 5 components - shown below), and our challenge was to play with them, test them, and design with them. Easy, right?

metal components for 5x5 challenge

The challenge ends today, and our designs will be published in next month's Bead Chat Magazine - so I can't reveal any more details until after the publication date. But trust me - I haven't been slacking! Creating with some of these components was quite challenging!! But I love what I came up with ... stay tuned.

In the interim, once I completed all my challenge pieces (I finished on Tuesday, with 3 days to spare!) - I had 2 left over, orphaned, tourmaline nuggets. Some of their gorgeous brothers and sisters had found their way early on into one of my 5x5 challenge designs, and then the remainder of that strand was adopted by one of my dear bloggy friends (*waves at BackstoryBeads*).

Then, late in my challenge design process, I saw a perfect opportunity to use more of the tourmaline nuggets in a second one of my design pieces - their deep teal green color was perfect! Fortunately, I had squirreled away TWO of these strands for myself, so I still had a full strand left. Yay! After completing my piece for the challenge, I still had quite a few left, so I made a matching bracelet and pair of earrings. After all this creating, 2 little nuggets remained - these 2 were a little lopsided, and both were drilled crookedly, so they needed a little special care.

I decided to make a simple spiral rope bracelet, using one as a focal, and the other as a dangle:

 spiral bracelet with tourmaline focal

 spiral bracelet with tourmaline focal

I didn't have any prefabricated beadcaps small enough for this rope (I used 11/0s as the core), so I made my own, with galvanized purple 15/0s. I had forgotten how small 15s are, until I tried to do tubular herringbone with them! But I love the result:

15/0 herringbone beadcaps

I topped the beadcaps with 4mm faceted amethyst rounds.

Making the beadcaps:
beginning of the herringbone beadcap

one beadcap attached, and one orphaned tourmaline nugget, waiting to become a dangle

This bracelet is now available in my Etsy shop!


dreaminofbeads / SAS Jewelry Designs said...

Beautiful. Can't wait to see your challenge pieces.

dreaminofbeads / SAS Jewelry Designs said...

Beautiful. Can't wait to see your challenge pieces.

BackstoryBeads said...

Who needs purchased bead caps when you can create a gorgeous signature touch like these? Can you believe I still haven't tried spiral stitch despite how often I've been inspired by your designs? It's absolutely next on my list. Can't wait to see the 5x5 challenge pieces revealed!!!