Thursday, June 28, 2012

4th of July Jewelry Challenge

Ahh, I love a good challenge.  Especially those that stretch my creative juices and make me a little uncomfortable.  Last night I joined an artsy "Meet-up" group for a 4th of July Jewelry Jumble Challenge.   Everyone was given the same pre-sorted bag of beads  ($10) and had two hours to come up with a piece of jewelry they would wear, using the beads provided.  I was scared!  I brought my jewelry tools, wire, chain and hoped for the best.  I was also nervous because I couldn't find my crimp beads to close up a necklace, so it meant having to purchase some from another member....something shy little old me was dreading!

The beads were all in 4th of July colors -- red, white and blue.  The host had chosen some delicious looking real white free-formed pearls, some Swarovsky teardrop crystals and other pearls and glass beads.  There were also some blue millefiori beads that threw me for a loop because they didn't seem to go with all the other higher end beads.

I let the beads speak to me, and those white pearls just begged to be hung by a chain and be featured.  I am a big believer of putting the "money" in the middle, so that's where I put my favorite beads, and worked up from there.  Since I didn't want to ask anyone for crimp beads, I also figured out a way to make the entire necklace out of chain and wire -- it also took care of my personal challenge of not using any of my own beads -- just those provided!

Here's my 4th of July necklace, and accompanying earrings.  Finished in about 75 minutes, with time to spare to chat and see what everyone else has created!   I am also showing you the two beads that refused to co-operate and work with my design.  These little orphans will just have to be used elsewhere.

I'm pleased.  I was certainly challenged, and there was that underlying fear that the necklaces would be judged at the end.  Would I have stood a chance if it was?  Hard to say!  Everyone has a different idea of what is beautiful, and I tend to design for myself, 'cause I'm the one wearing it.  Happy 4th of July my fellow creative peeps!