So here's what arrived in the mail:
Actually, this is only a portion of what was in the package. Cynthia sent both black dyed and natural white howlite. I just forgot to take a picture of the whole pack before jumping in. Bad, bad beady swapper, I know.
I've done several necklaces with a sterling armature that I shape and then use as a framework for freeform peyote (see some of them in posts here and here). It's a fun technique that seemed well suited to these spikes. But these beauties cried out for copper.
To keep the focus on the cool spikes, I decided to keep the accent beads black and white as well.
A lot more beading could have gone onto this frame, but less was more here.
I have two black spikes left over, lurking on my worktable. I think they're destined to be some bold earrings, but you never know what'll happen.
Want to see what Cynthia made with her spikes? Go here. And keep your eyes open for gemstone spikes at your local bead store -- they are big fun to work with!