Saturday, July 5, 2014

Creative Spark Summer 2014 Reveal

My beads for the Summer Days and Nights ZNet Shows design challenge. Aren't they yummy?
I am so thrilled to be on the design team for ZNet Shows! They have the most delicious cultured sea glass, crystals, and other fun things that are perfect to create your own gorgeous creations.

Several times each year, we are challenged to create pieces from ZNet pieces that are sent to us, sight unseen. This time, the challenge was to create daytime casual looks AND dressier night time looks, both featuring the cultured sea glass.  Here's the link to Creative Spark, the online magazine of all of the designers' creations.  But if you're interested in the thought process (yes, there actually was one!) behind my pieces, read on.

I know the selections were sent at random, but I would almost think some good elf was sitting on the shelf when the packets were doled out, because I am an incurable sucker for this spectacular shade of teal/ocean blue, and the soft lavender reminds me of the inside of a seashell that you might find on a sunset stroll down the beach. I opened the package and made very happy sounds. "Squee" was likely uttered.

I wanted my designs to relate to each other somehow, and decided that the necklaces would involve chain, and the earrings would have some movement.


The cultured sea glass shapes are strung on leather, with ZNet Show chain leftover from another design challenge. I made the toggle from one of the dumbbell shaped beads, which inspired the bracelet:


You can see more clearly here how I used the dumbbell as a toggle.  Even though it's drilled end-to-end, the shape allowed me to tie the leather securely around the middle for a lasting connector. Now if only my torso was shaped like this bead...ah well!


The adorable starfish beads screamed to be the focus of the earrings, and the lentils dangling from the leather provided the casual, swinging mood I was looking for. These got worn the day they were made. Like I said, I am a completely sucker for this color.

Now for the dressier pieces.  First up, the necklace, again with cultured sea glass and chain, this time sterling silver chain from my own stash.


This shade of blue is a little lighter, a little more subtle, and a perfect foil for the delicate purple. I can see this necklace being worn to a romantic picnic on the beachfront or to a candlelit dinner overlooking a beautiful mountain vista (two of my favorite summer destinations -- not that I'm channeling my own vacation wishes here or anything...)

For the bracelet, I used the lovely lavender barrels in a matte finish. This was my opportunity to try making a chain, so what you see is completely fabricated from 18-gauge sterling wire. It is really slinky and sensuous on the arm.


Finally, the earrings.  They're pretty simple, but since there's a fair amount going on with the necklace, I thought simple would be good.  Plus, both beads are suspended from the same headpin, so they swing gently and independently as you move.


 Thanks to ZNet for the opportunity to create with such lovely materials. And thanks to Hope Smitherman for editing Creative Spark and for so kindly nudging each of us to remember the deadlines. Please go check out the online zine, and check out the individual blogs of each of the design team, where they'll give you a more in depth peek into their creative process.  Here they are:

Amy Severino
BobbieRafferty (you're here!)

18 comments:

CraftyHope said...

Bobbie, you rock! I love the designs you created and see a few resemblances in what I also created (the hourglass as a toggle!) but you really went above and beyond with your creations. The bracelet you made and created the chain for is so, so awesome. I hope you enjoyed the challenge and am so glad you got to participate!

Ann Schroeder said...

I'm loving the sea glass with the leather cord! Also, it was so clever to use the barbell beads as toggles! And the barrels with your wire work look like they would fell lovely on. All great pieces!

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Bobbie,
All of your pieces are beautiful, fun and sensual for the summer months. I really like the bracelet design with the purple barrel beads, I think I will give that one a try.
Therese

Divya N said...

First off I love the colors - they look so cool and serene. The earrings are really pretty and the idea of using a dumbbell as a toggle is really cool. But I love the chain bracket the best. Its simply a superb idea. well done

Tammie Everly said...

Those are amazing colors you chose+ that snaky lavender and silver bracelet is great. :-D

Andrea Trank said...

We must be on the same page. I used the same colors and also put mine with cord. Lovely creations and beautifully written post.

coolmoon said...

These challenges are so fun! LOVE the night time pieces especially!

Christina Miles said...

Wow... I really like all your designs..so elegant..Its funny how we work better with certain colors..I know I do too! I really like that lavender bracelet with the chain work, beautiful!

Shaiha said...

What great designs! I love the idea of the sea glass with leather and the toggle was such a great idea. I have to admit though what really steals the show is the Sterling bracelet. That is so gorgeous.

Kathy Lindemer said...

All of your designs are wonderful. I am intrigued by the chain that you made for the bracelet. Really a great design!

Renetha said...

I like all of your designs, but those earrings are divine!

AntiquityTravelers said...

You know how I love your sea glass designs! I am always drooling over how you pull your piece together and then photograph them! But I am so drawn to both these bracelets .... they are just so simple, and elegant and yummy! LOVE them! the toggle on the blue is perfectly gorgeous, and that lavender ... well you had me at hello. OMG I love that one! I would love to see that one on - beautiful as always my friend

stregajewellry said...

Love these designs! The "evening" set is my fav. The blue and purple are so great together! I am a real "bracelet freak" and both of those made me smile.

Chris said...

Nothing like a bead challenge to be able to showcase your skills. Everything is so different. I will buck the trend here with my favorite. I admires the skills for all the work that went into what you created but I love the earrings. Very wearable. Thank you for sharing!

Becky Pancake said...

Hi Bobbie, I agree that Znet is a great place to design for. I am a sucker for that color too. The sea glass looks great with the leather cord. Kudos to you for making your own chain. All of your designs are beautiful.

Donetta said...

So lovely! I can't stop looking at the gorgeous handmade chain bracelet with the matte lavender barrel beads...I can tell that it's a slinky showstopper on the wrist!

Klaudete said...

Love, love, love the barrel bead bracelet, I bet it has awesome movement while you wear it. Great work!

Christine said...

Your designs are all so unique and lovely - it's impossible to pick a favorite. I do love how you made the dumbbell toggle and your lavender bracelet is divine!