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Thursday, December 31, 2009


Yippee! Not only did I really enjoy the process of creating this necklace, for the "Carpe Beadum" contest, I won $100 worth of semi-precious beads, a $25 gift certificate to the 1 Stop Bead Shop in Ohio, and a $50 gift certificate at Good River Gallery. I can't wait to play with my goodies!

I loved the focal bead (lampwork by Hannah Rosner) when I saw its photo, and even more in person when the kit arrived. The supporting beads were top quality (1 Stop Bead Shop) and a great color selection. I decided the shiny finish on the focal bead demanded other shiny beads, so set aside the Toho Copper Gold Iris Metallic Matte for future use. I think I used everything else in the kit as I worked.

I thought the shape of the focal bead and its depth would require weight and dimension in the necklace, so imagined a group of netted ropes. The color in the focal transitioned from a deep indigo, through lavender, gold and hints of green, to ivory, and reminded me on ink spilled on parchment. I decided to make three ropes to re-create the ombre color shift.

To organize the ropes, and create an accent place for the Swarovski crystal and the remaining lampwork spacers, I stitched peyote spacer bars with three thru-holes to organize the ropes, and then began the ropes themselves, making many samples before finding the perfect blends of color to emulate the focal bead ombre. I also realized I wanted a more delicate rope at the center of the piece and a more substantial one at the sides and back, so changed the sizes of beads from 11 and 8 to 15 and 11, hence MORE samples were needed.
When I finished the 24k rose gold spacer bars, I fringed them, and thought the result looked like squid in movement. This reinforced the name I had in mind for the piece, "INK."
The weaving of each rope was done from back to center front with a Russian spiral weave, and the fewest changes of thread possible. The accent section has seven thread passes, from the step down to three beads at the end of the rope, through the bar and accent beads to three loose beads that were the basis of the smaller central rope, and back. This required much sampling and planning to place the "squid" with the spacing and angles I had in mind.
The center tassel was created by fringing circular flat peyote, and the vermiel bead caps added a final elegance. Simple earrings finished the project.
And those matte metallic beads? They have found homes in two other pieces, this one in my etsy shop, Purple Majesty:

and also here on one of my work-in-progress trays, with these gorgeous Swarovski Arctic Ice rectangles, waiting for a bit more time and idea maturation to be completed:

Maybe those lovely beady winnings will work their way into the finished product!


  1. It's stunning work!! congratulations !! well deserved victory!!! I love everything in it, shape, colour combination!!! SUPERB!!!!!!

  2. Congrats again on winning - and thank you for sharing the process for creating it!

  3. I love your Carpe Beadum piece; it's very inspiring. I would love a chance to participate in this competition. Will it be happening again?


  4. I think the 1 Stop Bead Shop and the Good River Gallery who sponsored the competition enjoyed the process, so hopefully, yes. I'm sure Hannah will keep us posted!