Monday, May 1, 2017

The UFO -- Completed!

It's every beader's dirty little secret - that stack of half-finished, reconsidered, abandoned, incomplete, wrongly-turned projects that lie, lonely and unfinished, in the bead room. Our own stash of UFOs - unfinished objects.

Karen Williams, in her wise and encouraging way, brought together a group of beaders to dig into their UFO pile with the mission of finishing one or more of them. Karen's great at giving me a kick in the creative pants, so I had to jump in. Read all the way down, because this one took several turns along the way...

Several years ago, I wanted to build a necklace around a lovely abalone cabochon.

 The original vision was for one side of the necklace to be a Cellini spiral, with the other side a multi-strand collection of pearls. The Cellini spiral turned out great, but I couldn't get the multi-strand part of lay correctly, no matter how many times I tried.

It wasn't ugly, but it certainly wasn't right. In fact, it was so not right, I never took a picture of it. Just took the pearls off and put it aside into the UFO pile.

Until Karen's nudge. There weren't enough of the seed beads I used in the spiral to make a matching side, so that option was off the table. I decided to try the pearl idea again, this time in a braid or other structured format.

But again, it didn't work. This is that version, but this is not the final result of the challenge:

Yeah, again not right. So far from what I had in my imagination.

So what to do? I took a deep breath, picked up a pair of sharp scissors, and cut that spiral in half.


The resulting halves were too short to be a necklace, so I had to finish them off and add a couple of purple jade and sterling silver beads to make a necklace that I could wear without choking. The final version, while not what I had originally imagined, is wearable, satisfying, and most importantly, complete.

Whew! Thanks, Karen, for providing the motivation and the accountability. Now, go check out what some of my beady buddies have finished from their own UFO collection:

Karen Williams, Baublicious
Francie Broadie,  FAB
Christine Van Dyke Altmiller, One Kiss Creations
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Liz Hart, Treetop Life
Amy Severino, Amy Beads
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Christi Carter, Sweetpea Path
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Margo Lynn Hablutzel, My World and It's Full of Books


CraftyHope said...

That act of bravery to cut the spiral!! I can't even imagine. The spiral is indeed perfect for the focal, and I can't imagine that you would have been able to find or make anything additional that would have worked as well with it. Awesome job finding that courage and making this beauty of a necklace complete! You're my hero!

MLH860 said...

I think the end result is quite beautiful. I agree with Hope, brave of you to cut the spiral but I think it's very elegant in the way it frames the cabochon.

bailaora said...

what a great beadwork, the Cellini is really breathtaking, congratulations!

Amy S. said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS. Bobbie, you really had me gasping in awe and horror while I read this post. I'm incredibly impressed that you cut that stunning cellini spiral to finally get the look you desired. And you really knocked it out of the park. The color way on that spiral absolutely took my breath away. The entire piece is a showstopper!

AntiquityTravelers said...

I have such Celini envy! you do the most beautiful beadwork!!! I'm not sure I'd be able to cut straight through it - you are brave! but in the end it came together amazingly well. Just like it was always meant to be. Well done! phew :)

Karen Williams said...

I love how the Cellini spiral makes me think of seashells - it pairs so beautifully with your abalone cabochon. I totally see where you were trying to go with the pearls on one side. It's interesting how heavy they looked in the design.

You are so brave, cutting the spiral. I really like how you finished off the necklace with the silver findings and purple jade. And now all of your spiral will be visible when you wear the necklace!

Thanks so much for joining in! I was really very selfish in my setting up this UFO hop as I needed the extra push to get me over my creative hump. :)

Liz E said...

I'm glad you finished this. It's so beautiful it shouldn't languish unloved. The Cellini is amazing. I think the one long side is just a little too overpowering. Cutting it was the perfect answer. You did what had to be done, and your risk was well rewarded! Someone is going to come by your fair table, take one look at this completed UFO, and fall madly in love with it.

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Bobbie,
It is very frustrating when you have an idea in your minds eye, but in reality it just does not work. Tell me how many times did you bring the blade to the spiral until you actually cut it? You my friend are a lot braver than I, but the end result is beautiful.

Francie said...

Wow! What a long journey for one piece, but kudos to you for persisting. I know well the struggle of having a vision that just isn't working they way you want it to. It's easy to give up and just be disappointed in the piece. It is much harder to cut it apart and try again, and again until you get it right. For me, this is often how things end up in the UFO drawer in the first place. And cutting a finished spiral in half!!! I would have totally freaked out at that, but it was just what it needed. The finished piece is lovely. Thank you for sharing your problem solving journey. It's good for people to know that the creative process isn't always simple.

Christine Altmiller said...

You are a brave and crazy woman, Bobbie ~ Snip Snip!!! But the result is stunning ~ Truly stunning! The Abalone and the spiral are finally seeing the light of day and are they going to turn heads!!!

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KipperCat said...

What a perfect solution! Kudos to you for repeatedly coming back to it until you could get it right. The spiral is so beautiful. I'm glad you found a way to keep it. The final result is stunning.