Thursday, February 27, 2014

Radiant Orchid Challenge Blog Hop

Andrew Thornton has done it again!
“What?” you ask.
He’s organized another fun blog hop...
This time, he put together a great kit using Pantone’s color of the year – radiant orchid. 

photo from Andrew's blog
The kit contained "a selection of handmade polymer clay beads, Czech glass, Swarovski crystal, gemstones, a lampwork glass bead and a Luxury Bead Blend."
The Luxury Bead Blend has Japanese Miyuki seed beads, Toho seed beads, freshwater pearls, amethyst, Czech glass, African recycled glass, Chinese Crytal, Swarovski crystal, vintage sequins, German glass, flourite and Javanese lampwork glass."

I dumped everything out on my worktable and stared at the glittering mess; my mind a total blank. And yes, I did stare blankly into space. Or so it seemed to my husband. In reality I was visualizing. 
But first I had to sort everything. 
I was excited to find some of my favorite gems in the mix- amethyst, garnet and tourmaline. 
I knew I wouldn't use the tiniest seed beads, so it didn't matter when I dropped them on the floor. 

I love Andrew's challenges because they always inspire me to stretch myself. 

His "mystery component", 2 fire enameled
filigree beads screamed EARRINGS at me. So that's what I made. 

There were just four rice shaped freshwater pearls and 6 Swarovski 6mm bicones.
Perfect for my dangles. My cheap silver chain broke as I was attaching pearl and crystal units so I used 5mm sterling silver jump rings and finished them off with my handcrafted earwires. 

Stephanie Dixon of ParaWire inspired me to crochet something.  (I had a lot of fun hanging out at their  booth at the To Bead True Blue show in Tucson) I’ve crocheted wire bracelets before, but never a necklace. Out came the 26 gauge “smokey quartz” copper wire I purchased in Tucson. 
It was my first time using ParaWire and I love it

I crocheted 3 chains of randomly spaced beads which I loosely braided.  I tried to make these really cool end caps from a Wig Jig "tut", but didn't love the way they turned out.
photo from Wig Jig

Instead, I finished off the ends with Vintaj Natural Brass Magnolia Leaf  Bead Caps from Lima Beads and a handcrafted hook. 

Of course I have tons of materials left over to play with. I definitely see a bracelet or two in my future and several pairs of earrings.

Thank you, Andrew, for inspiring me once again!

There were just 20 kits! 
I can't wait to see what the other designers did with the same raw materials!

Check them out...
Rebecca Anderson
Jeanne Steck - ME - you're here!
Carol Carlson
Leah Tees
Andrew Thornton, Alison Herrington, Laurel Ross, Joanne Goldberg, Julie Katz, Irene Leniham, Linda Starosciak


  1. Loving seeing what everyone has done with these kits, it's so fun!

  2. Jeanne, the crocheted necklace is just great. I've never been a fan of crocheting wire, but you have just changed my mind!

    1. Thank you Carole!
      I didn't think I like crocheted necklaces. But the ParaWire is so flexible. This really is a fun necklace to wear!

  3. Great pieces! I bet the earrings have a lot of fun, flirty movement! And the necklace has so much texture and richness to it! I think you have done a most excellent job! Both pieces are incredible!

    1. Thanks Andrew! I really love the earrings! They are a lot of fun to wear!
      I don't suppose you have more of those enameled filigrees?