Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Directionally Challenged -- Baubles and Beads Design Team Reveal

I was excited to be included in the Baubles and Beads Design Team challenge this month.  The very awesome thing about getting a package of beads in the mail that I didn't choose is being pushed to think outside my comfort zone.  In this case, I was absolutely and completely lost.  Everything was very cool, but my mind was completely blank, blank as blank can be.  I had no road map, lost my way, and had no directions.  "Go forth and create!" they said.  Well, OK then!


To remind you, these are the components Baubles and Beads sent to me:


A very eclectic mix!  Hmm.  Well, I rarely work in gold tones.  And I'm not a geometric sort of gal, either, so the pyramid squares and circle grid blew my mind a little (who knew the power of beads?).  I loved the fall colors of the Chinese knotting cord, and the brass hex beads and Swarovski pearls are elements I love.  I love Czech glass, particularly when it's in a cool shape like the royal blue ovals, and the bronze leather strap was something I haven't seen anywhere else.  And then a roll of wire.  Wire, I adore.  Not as much as pie.  But I do like wire.  (More on that in a minute).


I made three pieces using almost everything in the package.  


The first piece involved the circle grid.  I lay in bed one day and thought, "I could embroider that."  And so I did.  For the longest time, the embroidered circle sat on my work bench, taunting me.  I wanted so much to use it in a bracelet, but every design I tried made me twitch.  "Not. Right."  Giving up on an idea is horribly difficult for me (VERY Type A here -- no, really?) but I gave in without giving up and dug into trays and bins and created this:



I used the raw brass connector and wove two colors of the Chinese knotting cord through the frame AFTER I lightly sanded the edges of the grid.  Raw brass can sometimes have a sharper edge in places, so use a small flat file and lightly file in only one direction before using.



I also used the bronze Swarovski crystal pearls, and the brass hex beads provided me.  (I absolutely LOVE those hex beads.)  From my stash, I added a lampwork bead, a couple of leaf beads, dyed jade that matched the cording, and chain in a matte finish.  I intentionally mixed the raw brass with oxidized brass for a subtle color shift.


Then the brain took another holiday and I thought about the scalloped collar stamping.  I really wanted to design the HECK out of that thing, but all of my ideas required a lot of risk.  


One idea required a significant style change (say hey steampunk).  While I own tons of watch pieces and rivets and such, I have absolutely ZERO experience with steampunk, and if I started punching holes and messed up -- well woops, there goes my piece.  Then I thought about etching, but I quickly realized that while I've done that once (in a class), I didn't want to practice with ammonia or ferric acid or any of that sort of thing and once again, risk not only messing up my piece but blowing something up.


I did a sketch and came up with this idea, but the metal is thick, I didn't have the right saw blades, and AGAIN -- cut into the metal, screw it up, buh bye project.  But it's a cool idea and I will have to buy some of the collars and try it anyway at a later date.


So I asked Zack.  I flipped the piece across the table and said, "What's that?" and without a second thought he said, "A tiara."


OMG this is SO my kid, because I have to admit -- the first time I looked at that piece, *I* immediately thought, "tiara".  So tiara it must be.


I still had that embroidered circle -- could I use it?


Meh.  If I could have etched the brass or seed beaded it or something impressive, maybe.  But I wasn't coming up with anything impressive at ALL and I really, really  wanted to do something different.  Lying in bed, watching a movie, my brain must have realigned itself, because I suddenly had it -- buttons.  While searching for buttons, I found some fabric and glitter and things just started coming together.



A little more about the filing.... I applied the Modge Podge Matte one night, and it was dry the next day.  I had planned to tear off the excess paper as I wanted some of the oxidized brass to show here and there around the edges.  In some places, though, the Modge Podge wasn't quite dry enough so the paper just would NOT cooperate.  Using the file, though, I was able to neatly remove the paper quick as quick.  


As for the German glass glitter, it is a very very fine powder glitter, so I recommend wearing gloves if you're going to do a lot of manipulating. This type of glitter is ground-up glass, and if you get it under your fingernails, it can cut.  Get it in your eyes, you can scratch a retina.  Get it on the cat , and you just have a confused although decorative cat who won't feel like licking himself for a while.


The final result:


I have to say this is my favorite piece.  I used vintage mother of pearl and vintage crystal buttons, and a couple of Swarovski crystal flat backs and hot-glued that bad boy together.  There are SO many people who do this vintage style MUCH much better (like my friend Diane Cook), but I'm still rather happy.


If I keep on and make this a tiara, it's going to need combs wired on or satin elastic or .... something.  And after I made it this far, I thought it looked pretty good flipped upside down as a neck piece, so I may finish it up with some tiny rhinestone chain and pearls.  Zack was very proud of me, which matters the most.


The last piece used the blue vintage-style Czech glass beads, the hex beads, and the Swarovski pearls again:


I used two lampwork beads from my stash and used the hex beads as end caps and added texture with the Swarovski glass pearls and a brass bird charm.  This style comes naturally to me -- I actually made it yesterday while talking to a friend and she was surprised I got it all together as quickly as I did.  Go me!


There you have it -- done, done, and done!  I'm proud I didn't give up, I'm proud that I didn't beg off sick, and I'm proud that I did stretch myself.  Thanks to Baubles and Beads for their contribution of goodies!


You can visit the other Design Team partners by clicking here:




1.  Get 20% off your order at http://baublesandbeads.com/store/
until September 30th by using code BPSEP

2.  Visit THIS LINK to comment and win the exact kit shown
at the top of the page.

3.  Leave a comment below on my blog to win
a roll of 24 gauge antique copper non-tarnish wire.


WOW.  This was a long one.  I hope you had fun!




(powered by pie)

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

60 comments:

  1. I love how your pieces turned out! I think the necklace is my favorite :)

    Would love to win that wire!

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  2. You did a great job and I really like the tiara idea as well!
    Kitty

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  3. great thought to embroider the grid.

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  4. good job Lori! I know poor health can get in the way of creativity, it has for me my eye sight has gone down hill so much I can't see to do bead weaving any more, I can hardly see my larger components to make jewelry at all, But I am glad you were able to finish your pieces in time, I love the necklace!

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  5. Love what you did with the grid, you totally rocked that whole design! Well done, looks like you had fun!

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  6. Lori! I love what you did!!! xoxox jean!!! So pretty!!! As always!!!

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  7. Jennifer6:55 AM

    LOVE that tiara!

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  8. I really love that you covered the bib form. What a refreshing necklace! The weaving is really nice and neat and looks great! What a great idea :)

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  9. Great pieces! I love your tiara - so creative, go Zach. :)

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  10. Awesome creativity and getting outside of your box! Glad you felt well enough to accomplish these. Hope you can have more better days! My favorite is the bracelet because I have a soft spot for Czech glass beads. I thought the other two pieces were genius creations though. I was wondering if you were going to try macramé?!

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  11. These are just so creative Lori! I love the embroidered disk pendant, I love the tiara, you really went outside the box!

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  12. You did an awesome job with your pieces, really love the bracelet. Your tiara was really a genius idea and think it would make a neat bib type necklace.

    Would love a chance to win the wire.

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  13. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Love your wook!

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  14. VERY pretty Lori! I would have been scratching my head with those components too. You did great. the tiara is amazing and sooooo YOU!

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  15. Wow! I think you have done a bang-up job. I especially love the brass neck piece, but then what you did with the Chinese knotting cord rocked and the sweet little swallow bracelet . . .

    I like them all.
    Theresa

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  16. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that first necklace so much - your embroidery is just fantastic...BRILLIANT! I would not have known what to do with the brass piece, either - you did fantastic! Love the lampwork beads you used - gorgeous colors!

    I loved reading your post today!

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  17. Wow --I am so impressed how you took that circle grid and made it so much more. And I also love that you and Zach are so sympatico --I love the vintage look of your tiara :-)

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  18. love the creativity on changing the pieces to ones you wanted

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  19. I absolutely love the necklace with the round, brass grid. Adding the embroidery adds so much texture, color, it's stunning! And that tiara, you & Zack created pure magic there! I am a sucker for Czech Glass, and I love how you brought out the beautiful blue with the lampwork. As always, super impressed with your work! Beautiful! Love & Hugs

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  20. Wow, I love all your pieces! The way you wove the Chinese knotting cord through the pendant is perfect. The tiara is magical! (That piece really had me stumped in the kit.) I like the bracelet, too, and am a tiny bit jealous that you got to work with cobalt blue. :) [Please don't enter me in the drawing. Someone else needs that wire more than I do!]

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  21. Love Tiaras!!! I just adore the vintage look. The bracelet and necklace are gorgeous. Have a great week Lori.

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  22. Your pieces all turned out great! My favorite is the bracelet. I like how you described your creative thinking.

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  23. I LOVE what you did with the scalloped piece-genius! And the embroidered grid looks great!

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  24. I like that your embroidered rather than just beading the grid. The "tiara" collar is great. If I want pieces of the metal to show I usually burn the paper with a lighter on the edges before I glue it down but that's a different look altogether and it's sweet the way it is.

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  25. i did have fun and keep blogging! (more often). hope you are feeling better

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  26. Wow! Such unique artistry!

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  27. Once again, awesome job, Lori! When I first saw the pic of what you received, I was so intrigued to see with what you would do with it. Excellent job on all of it - but the bracelet is my favorite.

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  28. What great pieces. Love what you did with the cord! Your tiara/necklace focal is amazing! i think it would make a stunning necklace.

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  29. That was an adventure! Love how your pieces came out.

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  30. These are all so very well done!!! I Love all of them. Each has it's own "specialness", I am so glad you had fun and did a little stretching!!! Great Job Lori!!! Have a Blessed day!!!

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  31. These are terrific, Miss Lori! I am loving the weaving of the cord. Great texture! And the idea to make the scallop into a crown is certainly inspired. Love the vintage vibe! It was fun to do this and especially to see how so many other creative minds play. I am late as usual but I am at the party now. Come by and see what I did! Enjoy the day! Erin

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  32. I love each and every piece you created!! What a creative idea, the tiara. The bracelet is absolutely my favorite.

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  33. Lori, I look at your jewelry and so often think, "that's the most beautiful jewelry I've ever seen -- Lori's so good!" and now today, you took it all to an entirely new level of sublime. You just blew me away!!

    Your grid embroidery is gorgeous -- completely brilliant!! The chain, the bead choices, the colorway -- outstanding.

    You have the most beautiful beads, and the patterns you created in all your jewelry for Beads and Baubles are inviting and enchanting, so wonderful to the eye! Art.

    I hope someday someday to be able to create as you do! It's all gorgeous!

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  34. Great job Lori! Do I have to pick one favorite? I don't think I can. The tiara is quite inventive. They are all so beautiful.

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  35. I love the bracelet the most!

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  36. Hey Lori-
    Wow! Your jewelry always amazes me and this collection is no exception. I can't decide which piece I like the most. Thanks for your hard work and each piece is so inspirational.

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  37. Awesome pieces :) I knew you'd figure out what to do with all those goodies.:)

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  38. Wow! Lori it is such a blessing to see you creating these amazing pieces with "random" supplies. I love each of these beautiful creations!!! Bless you Dear...

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  39. oh, i love all three of these pieces! my favorite is the tiara, which is funny. because i'm not a tiara kinda girl.

    you go!

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  40. What absolutely wonderful designs! I am so utterly impressed--how inventive and creative and cool. I don't even think I can pick a favorite! :)

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  41. I must say I was eagerly awaiting your reveal and you did not disappoint! Along with Zach, I'm SUPER proud of you for going beyond your comfort zone and making all these pieces!

    Especially the tiara because that's something I would have NEVER thought to do :)

    I admit, even though I'm taken away with all your pieces, my favorite is the bracelet!

    Fantastic job my friend ^.^

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  42. I love how those blue ovals and the lampwork beads work together. Copper wire (and copper coloring in general) is something in which I am just branching out and getting interested, so it would be awesome to win that!

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  43. I knew you had it in you. You did fantastic. I truly love every piece.
    Kathy

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  44. Yes, I had fun! The embroidered grid is beautiful...the colors of the whole necklace are copacetic! Thank you for sharing this adventure.

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  45. It's great to see you making jewelry again. All of your pieces are wonderful. The embroidered pendant necklace is my favorite.

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  46. Lori, what cool pieces you made. I really love the way you stretched your limits with the first two. Both the embroidering and the mixed media of the second one are right up my alley and I think they turned out superb and very, very cool!

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  47. Yup - you did go outside your zone! And you had fabulous results -- thanks for sharing the process. I always learn so much when people explain their thought process!

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  48. You rocked your pieces! Great job! Pretty please count me in for your awesome giveaway! Thanks!

    Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

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  49. Home Run! On all the pieces actually, but the tiara is super cool!

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  50. Wow, What a challenge. Loved the woven brass, great idea.

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  51. I just knew that you surpass yourself! I just adore the necklace.

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  52. You are so amazingly creative Lori! I absolutely love the woven disk necklace to bits. Bright, bold and beautifully put together. And I would never in a million years have thought to use the big brass doohickey as a tiara. Inspired!

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  53. Lori, I love everything that you created!!! You are so very talented...I think my favorite piece has to be the bracelet...But then again, I am a bracelet gal! :)

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  54. Love all three pieces, but am especially inspired by the weaving you did with the pendant. Your color style is great!

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  55. I do like Zack's idea for a tiara though I would have liked to see you go a little crazy and steampunk it out! There IS such a thing as a little steam, you know, a gear here, a cog there... That necklace is fantastic and my favorite piece. I just love those colors!

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  56. Always love your Jewelery and so glad you will be blogging occasionally.

    I am undecided whether it is the brass necklace or the bracelet I like the best.

    I would love to win the copper wire. Thanks for the opportunity.

    Carolyn
    Carolynscreations@live.com

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  57. I really LIKE that bracelet! Great job on the creativity. Thanks for sharing. I am pinning the bracelet as beautiful inspiration, too.

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  58. So gorgeous! My favourite has to be the last bracelet, although they are all stonking pieces :-) Czech glass - lampwork glass - antiqued brass - how can it not be my fave though?! The tiara is beautiful too - I love it's vintage feel, the buttons were an inspired idea. And i LOVE the embroidered circle! Gorgeous!

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