Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Amy's Summer Lovin' Kit Challenge

From time to time, Amy, from Amy Beads, hosts a bead challenge using beads from her stash and/or beads she thinks are pretty cool.  She sells the challenge kits in her etsy shop (along with some fabulous beaded baubles) and those lucky enough to grab a kit are in for a fun time.

This challenge featured a polymer focal from Pennys Lane and some wonderful coordinating beads.

When I got the kit, I was immediately drawn to the pendant.  The colors are almost luminous and the silver and gold just melt into each other.  The coordinating black, gray and peach/gold beads Amy chose are the perfect compliment to the focal.

I stared at the beads for quite a while and it dawned on me that this would be more of a challenge than I had anticipated.  The colors palette is not one I normally gravitate toward.  I love the gold and silver, but rarely use them together.  I also couldn't decide if I should add an accent color or keep to the metallic tones. 

I decided to keep with the metallic palette and the bigger pearls screamed "right angle weave."  I started working with the pearls and created a small, 4 inch beaded strip that I embellished using a technique I learned from Marcia DeCoster's book Beaded Opulence.

Marcia's "Cassiopeia" necklace features a removable pendant hanging from a strip of beautifully embellished right angle weave.  My pearls were a bit bigger than the ones she used in the project, but the end result was just as stunning.

I wanted to extend the beadwork and used the last pearl as a starting point for Marcia Balonis's A Different Kind of Spiral.  The right angle weave spine continued from the strip, adding a bit of interest on the ends.  (Check out Marcia's etsy shop for more great patterns.)

I really liked the change from right angle weave to spiral and wanted to keep the rest of the necklace simple so I attached a length of velvet ribbon.

I used the flower part of Lisa Kan's Corsage Cuff, published in the February/March issue of Beadwork Magazine as an accent.

I love Lisa's design for both the bracelet and the flower and I love how the flower works here.

I took the pictures above with my husband's camera and the colors are not quite true to life.  The orange seed beads are much lighter and closer to the color of the peach pearls.  The picture below was taken with my camera.

I was really excited to see this come together.  Both the colors and design are a far reach from what I'm used to doing.  I wish you could see it in person.  It looks so much better than in the photos.

Since I didn't use the pendant in the above necklace, I really wanted to create something else.  I kept the soft colors in the pendant and started bezeling.

I thought about different ways to create a necklace around the bezeled pendant and finally settled on something inspired by Bohemian Inspired Jewelry by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel.  This time I turned to Lorelei's "Ocean Love" necklace.

I turned two leaf headpins from Miss Fickle Media into links and attached them to a length of braided silk cord.

I then paired a few beads from Amy's kit with some delicious dark pearls to create the front of the necklace.

This necklace doesn't use as many beads from the kit, but I love how it turned out.  The dark pearls set off the lighter colors in the pendant and in the silk cords.

Amy, thank you for a lovely challenge and such a beautiful selection of beads.  I had a great time!

Please take a few minutes to see what these other talented people have done with the same set of beads.  Those with no blog sent their pictures to Amy and you can see their work on her blog.

Renetha LampLightCrafts
Lori B.
Shirley Beads and Bread
Kristen My Bead Journey
Lucy K.
Debbie Beechy Beetique
Tanya A Work in Progress - you are here


  1. I so, so love what you created, especially as bead weaving is something I do. not. do. Gorgeous. The second necklace showcases the focal so beautifully.

  2. Love your necklaces! Both of them are beautiful!

  3. Tanya - both of these pieces are so pretty! I love your bezel and the pearls you chose to compliment the focal. And the other RAW necklace is just gorgeous!
    Thank you so much for participating!

  4. Wow Tanya two incredible pieces. I barely managed one. I really like the one which includes the focal. It's big and bold, but in subtle earthy colors which this wall flower loves.

  5. Beautiful Work Tanya! I love the texture in the first piece, that one has to be my fave out of the two. But the Bezeling is stunning as well! Lovely work!

  6. I love what you did in both pieces. I really love anything spiral, so your fun spiral on the first piece really made me happy. Very beautiful and modular!

  7. Two pieces... you are a total rockstar in my book! LOVE them both! I love the rope necklace for it's simplicity and elegance. I love the bohemian necklace for it's pop of color with the chocolate pearls! Both are fantastic designs! {Hugs!}

  8. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love your first necklace. And since I can't tell from the computer how gorgeous it is, you can just mail it to me to see in person. I'll send it back, really....:)
    Then you turn around and rocked the pendant too! I adore those dark pearls, it really sets off the whole piece. Great job!!!!

  9. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I love all of these. I love the combination of stitches in the first necklace and the braided cord in the last piece. Great job!

  10. Both pieces are so pretty. I love the RAW work in the first and the braiding in the second. What gorgeous chocolate pearls you added!

  11. Both of these are stunning, simply gorgeous! I am loving that Boho style ... LOVE how the pearls draw out the colors in the pendant - beautifully done!

  12. Hi Tanya,
    I love both pieces they are gorgeous! I like how you did the spiral going into the RAW then into the spiral again genius! I thought the same as you when I saw the kit I knew right off that I was going to use RAW. I love the dark pearls in the second necklace they really set it off and the bezel around the pendant is beautiful, I also love the braided silk for the back of the necklace, nice!

  13. Both the pieces are extremely gorgeous <3

  14. Stunning! both pieces are just beautiful! I am rather jealous!

  15. Spectacular, I love both of your pieces!!