Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bead Peeps Swap 'n' Hop - The Creamsicle Conundrum

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!

Linda Anderson
- Hostess -





CatherineLa Vite


Maria RosaSharrow


Terry JeanetteCarter


KellyHosford Patterson


KristinaHahn Eleniak

Robin LynneShowstack

Ingevon Roos










Tami Norris



BobbieRafferty  (You are here!)


Divya N said...

Oh such gorgeous pieces!! I love the amount of detailing and layers in the blue necklace, it is indeed quite grand

Linda A. said...

Bobbie - OUTSTANDING work! WOWSERS! When I saw what Lori was sending I was like..... that'll be a challenge. ;) You handled it like a CHAMP! And yes...we both laughed about the orange beads. I love the creativity of the earrings with the barrels on top and the ring.....just adorable! You rose to the challenge, beautifully!


Nelly May said...

Gasp! What an amazing array of work!
Your main necklace is beautifully stitched and showcases that focal perfectly.

Maria Rosa Sharrow said...

Beautiful pieces. That focal deserved the necklace that you beaded it. Both are beautifully combined, it's a breathtaking piece! All of your pieces were beautifully executed.

I'm totally impressed with how you turned your dislike of orange into beautiful pieces of jewelry. It's always most difficult to use those things we dislike, but from your pieces I would have never guessed it!

Robin Reed said...

These are just amazing!!! Love the colors including the creamsicle and all the blues and just touches of burgandy...I am not a seeder but I do love looking at it! You did a fabulous job!!!

Anonymous said...

Amazing pieces Bobbie! I'm glad I could challenge you! You highlighted that focal beautifully! Yay for serendipity moments!!!! Those freeform earrings are delicious! And what a cute ring! Creamsicle conundrum conquered!!!!

ChristinaMarieH said...

Love your beadwork necklace with the creamsicle orange!

Marianne Baxter said...

wow I love them all. Very hard to pick a favorie but I think it is the Tila piece and the blue and green necklace. Great job.

Lori Schneider said...

Wow that's a lot of intricate work. Great use of your beads

motidana said...

What a fantastic collection! I love every piece you have made but my favorite one is the blue necklace. I love the way you've highlighted the lovely focal with equisite embroidery! Totally inspiring !!

motidana said...

What a fantastic collection! I love every piece you have made but my favorite one is the blue necklace. I love the way you've highlighted the lovely focal with equisite embroidery! Totally inspiring !!

AntiquityTravelers said...

Stunning beadwork as always Bobbie! that first beaded focal is really amazing - the story it tells, the multiple panels, all those flowing beads! I mean what is not to LOVE about this?! Creamsicle orange... that would be head scratch for me too. Those are sweet little earrings and perfect for summer! There is just so much beady goodness in this post! hard to know where to start - except to say GORGEOUS work

Becky Pancake said...

Hi Bobbie, Your first necklace is very impressive. Kudos to you for working with a color that is difficult for you. The Creamsicle Conundrum earrings pair really well with the beautiful bracelet.

Krafty Max said...

OH MY GOODNESS! I just love everything!! You did such a GREAT job!! I especially love large necklace!! Being another seed beader I can see how much work you put into it!! WONDERFUL SWAP!! ~KM

Natalie @ NorthShore Days said...

wow your pieces are amazing. I am in love with your turquoise and orange bracelet...gorgeous!

Robin Showstack said...

I LOVE the idea of a "family" photo. LOL My favorite piece has to be the necklace with the hand crafted focal cabochon! Great job on all the pieces!

sam Waghorn said...

Love all of the fab pieces your first necklace is amazing! but i am totally in love with the bracelet with orange beads and turquoise daggers. You did a fantastic job.

Shaiha said...

Beautiful designs! That first necklace is truly a showstopper.

bairozan said...

That first necklace is fabulous! I also like the colors of the bracelet and your other creations are beautiful - you did well finding how to soften the challenging color!

CraftyHope said...

Oh what beauties you created. That necklace though. . . it's AMAZING!! I adore the wings and drop additions (I don't know what else to call them.) It's definitely a statement piece and sure to garner lots of well deserved attention!!