Bead swaps and design challenges are a great way to get the creative juices flowing, so when I saw a call on the Facebook group Bead Peeps for a swap, I was all in. And I lucked out, too, getting the lovely Lori Alainn Blanchard of Alainn Jewelry as my partner. She sent me the delicious beads below for me to work with:
and the handcrafted focal:
Lori had asked me what colors I find most challenging to work with, and then, as any good swap partner would, she sent me that exact thing -- flourescent creamsicle orange.
I could almost hear her laughing from several hundred miles away.....;-
The first thing I worked on was the right way to highlight the focal, and I hoped to use the tilas to do so. But after
banging my head against the wall trying several different unsuccessful configurations, I decided the tilas wanted to work elsewhere, and concentrated on the focal. Here's what happened:
All I added from my stash was some merlot and dark gold seed beads, the lapis rounds in the neckstrap, and my own fabricated gold clasp. And if you look really closely in the first round of beads around the focal, you'll see that I used some of the creamsicle seeds there.
Next up was a bracelet:
Then I wanted to use the faceted Czech glass Lori had sent. Initially, I thought those would go with the focal, but once I'd finished the centerpiece, the greens and blues of the Czech glass just didn't work with the reds and turquoises, so I set them aside on the worktable. They ended up near a piece I'd done several months ago and called Iris - the blues and greens worked really well together! Serendipity worked in my favor this time!
There were other colors of seed beads that I hadn't yet used, so a pair of freeform peyote earrings seemed to be in order:
And a ring:
And, finally, something to celebrate that challenging creamsicle color! I call these earrings Creamsicle Conundrum:
Here's a family picture:
Thanks for reading all the way down, thanks to Lori for being a fun and generous partner, and thanks to Linda Anderson for hosting the swap!
Now, go look at all the creations from others who've taken part in the swap challenge -- get ready for some serious eye candy!