The cover piece struck my eye. I've always loved asymmetry in my designs; you can see it in some of my earrings! I thought this was a beautiful incorporation of this idea and sent my imagination racing! I purchased the issue, raced home and poured over the pages and sketched out some ideas. I can honestly tell you this was the first time I had sketched anything! I'd always found myself inspired by the beads that I see, and when I actually touch them, I have a better idea of how I would want them to be presented in the piece.
Of course, I can't find the sketches now! The inspiration naturally came from the presentation of the necklace on the cover of the magazine, since I am biased about my love of amber. Being cost efficient, the dollar store beside my work sells stone chip beads for a dollar a package, as supposed to local bead and craft stores selling amber chip strands for anywhere from $6 to $10. Certain splurges were necessary, all in the name of 'art' and 'vision'. Some things just can't be compromised, you know.
Here's where it all turned around - with this set!
Molokai necklace, no. 3
I hung onto this necklace for the longest time, wore it every second day this past summer (it looked incredibly cute with a pale yellow eyelet tee I own!) and finally listed it on Etsy for someone else to enjoy as much as I do.
Here's what I used:
- calcite chips
- tourmaline coins
- Mexican turquoise cut slab, drilled lengthwise
- brass mask pendant and bells
I had some beads left over (and also bought a few more), and took to work on some matching pieces to make a set!
Some Memory Wire, round turquoise beads and a few antiqued brass beads, the bracelet is a beauty as a one-size-fits-all, especially for those like me who are extremely petite and like the look of stacked bangles. (Argh!) This bracelet is also currently available on my Etsy shop!
I didn't want the earrings to overpower the necklace if they were worn together, or even with all three pieces together. This is blue jasper, a great alternative to turquoise, especially because I couldn't find any in the shape that I wanted! The colour is also quite beautiful, and stone agate around the blue crystal mirrored a similar effect to the turquoise slab and its natural black veins. Carefully selected calcite chips and tourmaline coins were added, then with a brass bell dangling on the bottom of each. I love these earrings. I never wore them, but I certainly admired them. These are also on sale in my Etsy shop!
What this magazine did for me - this specific magazine issue - was nothing more than serendipitous. I've never thought that 'judging a book by its cover' would get me anywhere - and it has! While flipping through this issue, I had come across my second design, what was to become a 'signature'. BeadStyle Magazine calls this pattern 'Dynamic Duo', focusing on the contrasting shapes of the beads. I love the dangliness of it all! I had so many seed beads around (the bane of a beader's existence at times) it was great to see an alternative of how I could use them.
I had always been a collector of charms and unique beads, but was always hesitant on how to showcase them in a unique way. This setting is incredibly versatile - imagine replacing a few of those headpins with a favourite charm, buttons, or a large pendant? Take a look at some of the latest designs featuring this element:
This is the most recent necklace I've made using the seed beads and long glass beads using this setting. The pendant came from a recycled keychain I picked up from Value Village. I had used calcite, tigers eye and agate chips, as well as beads of lava rock beads from Earthworks. (They reminded me of wood eaten away by insects, fitting for the pendant.) The chips and the lava rock's character give an organic sense to the piece, and the oval chain, black glass cubes and the pendant itself, give a sense of microscopic inspection and discovery.
The dangling setting was necessary for this piece because I wanted an organic movement as supposed to making a strand. The black glass tubes are nice and sleek, almost like the scope of a magnifier, and the stone chips create a rugged landscape. I've held onto this one for a little while, but not nearly as long as I held onto the Molokai necklace, no. 3. This one's in the Etsy shop, as well!
Oh, I almost forgot - matching earrings!
The moral of the story? If something strikes you, and the voice inside your brain won't shut up about what you just saw, jump at it - you just had an inspiration. I passed by that magazine a few times before I decided to bring it to the cash register. These are two designs that I enjoy incorporating into my pieces, even together at times! I'm also a sold fan of BeadStyle Magazine, and look forward to more opportunities of inspiration!
Photography credit: Cassandra Watsham
Photography credit: Cassandra Watsham