Thursday, September 2, 2010

Challenge necklace

During a trip to Midwest Beads a few months ago, Steve decided to pick out a few pieces for me as a challenge.  I got nervous that he'd pick yellow or orange or gold or something else I would have difficulties working with, but he's a good husband and would never do that to me.  He picked a large, dark blue stone bead and a pack of mixed beads.  He also included a magnetic clasp:

Because I've been on a bezelling kick lately, I chose these seed beads to go with the large bead:

Due to having a number of other projects I wanted to get done first, these pieces sat, waiting, looking at me questioningly every time I opened the case.  I knew I wanted to bezel the large bead, but I didn't know what to do for the rest of the necklace.

As you may have picked up from the rest of my projects, I'm more comfortable with symmetry and solid colors than with mixed sets.  That was part of the hesitation.  Another hesitation was that I've been really into stitching lately and haven't done much stringing.

But this week I sat down with the beads and stared at them.  I had thought to have the bead hang vertically with some dangly bits off of the bottom.  But then I turned it 90 degrees and the ideas started popping.

I bezelled the crap out of that bead on Sunday and Monday.  No, I don't know what "bezelled the crap out of that bead" means, but it sounds good, doesn't it?  I did have to fight with it some, especially after the bead went sailing out of the half-finished bezel at Alterra coffee shop Monday night.  I had difficulties getting it back into the bezel, which did not make any sense to me.  It slipped out easily enough, so it should slip back in easily, right?  Yeah.  Not really.

But the bezel finally contained the bead, which is its purpose.  Then I realized that I had to thread 2 wires through the holes which were now all covered up by the bezel.  With a long flexible needle and my trusty needle-nosed pliers, I was successful!  There was one casualty, however.  The needle did not survive.  The pliers snapped it in two while I was forcing the second wire through.  It was able to finish the job, and I gave it a little mental salute as I threw it into my empty Chamomile Lavender tea paper cup.

Tuesday night I sat down to string.  A normal person would have just grabbed beads and strung, but I am not a normal person.  If you haven't figured that out by now, you don't know me at all!  When I was looking at the mixed bead collection, I noticed some dangly kind of beads.  I thought it would be neat to have some dangling off of the bottom strand of the necklace.

I set to work separating all of the beads in the mix.  I decided that some of them were too shiny for this project and set them aside.  After I got partway through, I determined that I wouldn't have enough beads to continue both strands all the way to the back, so I joined them after 4 inches to have a single strand to finish the necklace off.  I still didn't have enough, and I didn't want to put the shiny beads in, so Steve and I raided my stash and found something that "would do".  None of the pictures show these beads, though - they're okay, but not spectacular.  My hair covers them, anyway, and they'll remain hidden unless one of you comes up to me and lifts my hair to check them out.

Here's a close up of the finished necklace, sans the hidden stash beads:

And here I am with it on:

I think it turned out well, and I look forward to future challenges!  I encourage you to challenge your friends, whether it be with jewelry or scrapbooking or any craft.  Trade some pieces from your own stash with a friend and see what each of you can come up with!  Take some pictures and send them to me ( and I'll post them here.