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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Some of My Recent Creations

I am mostly packed now, and anxiously awaiting my trip home.  I find it hard to be very productive during these times.  For one thing, I always feel antsy before big trips.  Also, once I have something packed, I don't feel like unearthing it again until I reach my destination.  So, now seems like a perfect time to document some of the pieces of jewelry I made this semester!

Scott gave me this lovely silver bead with a gingko leaf as a gift some time ago.  It was made by Anne Choi.

I didn't think to photograph just the bead before making the necklace!
As is often the case when I receive a special bead, it took me some time to decide how to use it.  I received some unexpected inspiration when we visited Austria last spring.  One evening, when we went out to dinner, a woman at the next table was wearing an amazing necklace.  It was chain with long metal beads added in such a way that they rustled like leaves.  I knew then that I wanted to incorporate that concept into whatever I made with the gingko leaf bead, but wasn't sure how.  I decided that I probably wanted to use green beads of some sort to echo the leaf theme, but when I started experimenting, I discovered that may green drop-shaped beads didn't fit very neatly onto jump rings.  I finally tried the beads you see on the tassel below the bead with some jump rings made of fairly thin wire, and had success!  I didn't have very many of these particular jump rings, and I didn't feel like trying to source more exactly like them, so I decided to be content with just a small section of the necklace rustling like leaves.  One thing I like about the beads I ended up using is that they are shaped sort of like gingko leaves.

The entire necklace!
I beaded a ring to create a bail for the gingko leave bead + tassel.  I used cellini spiral (a variation of peyote stitch that incorporates different sizes of beads to create a spiral) for the rope it is on.  I added some spiky beads near the front of the necklace, both for added texture and to keep the pendant in place (and keep the clasp from migrating to the front of the necklace).

Following the theme of using different sizes of beads, I also made this bangle.

This time, I arranged the different sizes of beads in a different sequence so that instead of getting a spiral, I have more of a zig-zag or bumpy effect.  I'm looking forward to wearing it once I no longer have to wear long sleeves every day.

For a quicker project with less bead weaving, I designed a necklace with this bead that I bought from a coworker a few years ago.

Again, I didn't think to photograph the bead on its own before adding anything to it.  Check out the detailed barnacles on it!

I originally had grander plans for the necklace, but eventually decided that I didn't want the large seashell bead to be lost in a sea of other things.  So I ended up with a single-strand necklace with two glass beads covered in smaller beads, and everything else fairly simple.

One of the many things I'm looking forward to back home is slightly better equipment to take pictures of my jewelry.  The kitchen window sill and I had a good run, though, I suppose.  My beading projects provided a welcome distraction from some of the more challenging aspects of this semester, and as has happened many times in my life, I was grateful to have a portable hobby.

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