|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
, 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: