Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mid-Week Flutterings, I Mean, Mutterings - Jacaranda Blooms Lima Beads "Fresh Pick" Necklace

I'm pretty pleased with today's necklace. Back in June I blogged about doing a "Fresh Pick" which is one of the features of the Lima Beads site. I named the pick "Jacaranda Blooms" because of the purple dogtooth amethyst and purple freshwater cultured pearls that caught my eye and recalled to me the lovely colors of the jacaranda tree.

I ended up buying the picks from Lima Beads soon after, but didn't get around to making a necklace with them until this weekend (almost 3 months!). I tried a number of things, and ended up not using several of the pieces. This is what I've got so far.

I wrapped the larger piece of dogtooth amethyst in 20 gauge oxidized brass colored beading wire from Accessories Susan and added a Vintaj brass butterfly charm from Lima Beads, as well, also used the same wire to make the bead links. Accessories Susan antiqued brass fluted 5mm bead caps decorate the dark brown jasper (called antique jasper at the Lima Beads site) which reminded me of bark.

This was the first time my first try at doing this sort of wrapping actually seems to have worked out and look good. Have to also give huge kudos to Wubbers pliers for letting me make the bends in the wire without marring the finish.

Then I strung the beads on Soft Flex Metallics 21 strand .014 inch Antique Brass flex wire, because of the tiny hole size of the tsavorite and pearls I was going to use, which I got from I did one side's strand at a time, finishing both ends with wire guardians and Scrimps from Rings & Things.

While the design is repetitive, and sort of symmetrical, I decided to make it a little bit different by having one side feature a line of pearls then a grouping of "wild orchid" potato freshwater cultured pearls, antique jasper and tiny (2.5 - 3.5 mm) tsavorite faceted rondelles (which add the bright green, to give just an impression of leaves on a jacaranda branch) and the other side featuring the antique jasper in place of the pearls. The little groupings have two lovely oxidized brass filigree bead caps at each end of them, also from Accessories Susan. Lastly, I added an antique gold plated curb chain, which I think I picked up from Michael's, long ago, because the necklace just seemed to need it.

I've still got some bits of the pick left over and am deciding whether or not I want to try and add them or use them in other pieces. I do think this one is finished - I kind of like it as it is. And that means I've got plenty of left over pearl, jasper and dogtooth amethyst to make bracelets and earrings and maybe another pendant necklace, too.

So, this is another design full of little departures from my comfy zone. It's also one where the beads seemed to lead me where I should go rather than me having a fully conceived design idea before I started. Does that ever happen to you? I'd love to hear about it.

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Blogger Tracy said...

It looks just lovely! Focal piece is well done. I've not yet tried wrapping yet, but I'm getting around to it... eventually.

I usually don't start out with a design in mind. I pick out beads that go together, and then the design sort of comes together on the board.

September 9, 2009 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Dawno said...

Tracy - thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!

I don't do much of this sort of free-form wire-wrapping yet, this is my first piece that incorporates it. Now that I've done it, I'll probably do more

Your style of design is pretty much like mine. It's rather rare that I come up with an idea first and then assemble the beads to make it.

Perhaps that's why I have 5 bead design boards laid out with jumbles of beads all over them. :-)

September 9, 2009 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger Davinia said...

Being a new beader and not having a clue what I'm doing most of the time I'm a bit like Tracy and just pick things I think look good together and only just get by on a wing and a prayer. I couldn't tell you what a bicone or a roundelle is and wire is either thick or thin (I need to learn about gauges I think!)but it's the most excited I've been about craft for a long time and I'm loving it and I'm loving your most recent piece. Mmm, wire wrapping...something else to learn.

September 9, 2009 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Dawno said...

Davinia, I know exactly what you mean. It took me a while to learn all those shape names and figure out gauge sizes, etc. Supplier sites and blogs all helped in the education process, though. I was always "I don't know much about this but I know what I like!" and the learning came along next.

September 9, 2009 at 5:07 PM  

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