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Archive for the ‘Swap_Exchange_Trade’ Category

I completed an art charm swap—now this time I was at the last minute, but I did get them to the hostess on time (she threatened me and I had to send it priority post, but still–it counts).  I tried to do too many “new things” in 1 swap, and had no idea what amount of time I needed. The only requirements were to use purple and/or green, and silver findings, and they needed to be no longer than 1 1/2″ including the findings.

First, I decided to make artistic “paper” by layering colors of paint.  I used 4 shades of purple and 4 shades of green, along with white and black..  I put on base colors, then started adding colors and textures.  I dipped a straw in the paint then blew hard, so droplets of color went on the paper.  I also dipped it and just tapped the end, so I got small circles of color.  I took various pieces of sponges, added paint and twisted them, adding another overlay of color.  I put on plastic gloves and dotted some on with the tips of my fingers, so the smudges would show other colors through.  In just small circles I really needed colors to be everywhere.  I took a piece of carpet tape that was made of strips of fiber and added paint to it, then laid it on my paper and pressed the print.  It reminded me of shoe tread somehow.

After all those layers were applied, drying in between, I took a 1 inch circle punch and began to cut it—-BUT it wasn’t heavy duty enough for all those paint layers, so  ended up tracing around one and cutting each circle by hand.  I took glue, glued 2 backs together, and began coating first one side then the other.  Each side had at least 2 layers on.

Now came the problem (other than the circle punch).  I bought an assortment of eyelets, but mistakenly thought I could punch the hole myself.  Nothing doing—that became a lot of work.  Once I actually had a hole through each charm, I inserted the eyelet.  I did have an eyelet setter, but it was either the wrong size or I didn’t use it right.  Regardless, I ended up bending over each metal tube with jewelry pliers.  I guess I need to brush up on how to set those eyelets some other time. I put a drop of paint on a sponge brush and went around the cut edges of the charms to seal them.  Slow, but it really looked much better. I tried a few in white, but black I think looked better.

I added a silver jump ring.  On each charm, we needed to add our name and email, so I attached a biz card to each charm.  All these were put in a ziploc bag, then that bag inside a bubble lined mailer.


I really struggled with my first time in the bead soup design challenge and must apologize to Lori Anderson and to Rochelle Brisson.  However, better late than never I do want to show you the piece I finally designed.  Part of the challenge was the clasp so I really wanted to show off the gorgeous flower toggle Rochelle sent.  It took a bit, but I finally managed to connect it directly to the cabochon she sent.  A pale blue agate, I believe, I love its simple beauty.  Rochelle sent it with kiwi stones and pale blue glass beads, plus black bicones.  To these I added smaller kiwi stones I already had and flat cubes in pale green-blue.

I really like the final look of the toggle with the teardrop pendant. I think the flower and vine on the toggle add femininity to the overall design.  It brings a hint of delicacy, but the surrounding kiwi stones add strength and character. By adding the kiwi stones and silver with black bicones, the contrasts really show and bring out the best in the design.  Across the back of the necklace is a series of black bicones and silver rounds.  I had never designed something like this.  Actually asymmetric, from the front it looks quite balanced.  Rochelle sent the larger, longer kiwi stones that I used for the earrings and the upper pieces on the necklace.

I still must apologize to all the Pretty Scene Bead Soup Design Challenge participants.

Now, anyone who knows me may laugh, but I’m joining in my first bead swap party (hence a virgin partier–lol). Lori Anderson, author of Pretty Things blog, organizes these world wide web blog parties two or three times a year.  You simply sign up on her blog and wait to hear from her.  She personally matches each player with a partner (not a small feat, there are 344 in this swap!!).  Each swap has a different theme, this one is all about the clasp. No lobster claw accepted.  With your clasp, pair up other beads, including a focal bead, and send the stash to your partner.  I sent mine out today, but I can’t show off the goodies until later—don’t want to ruin the surprise for my blog partner!  My partner is Rochelle Brisson .

The only real rule to the design is to use the clasp.  The beads are optional.  It is expected that you will need to add some of your own inventory to complete your design.

I think the idea of receiving a collection of beads someone else chose is intriguing. It will be a great way to move me out of my comfort zone.  That is one of the goal’s for the Bead Swap Parties.  Try something new and different.  So, stay tuned.  Once my beads arrive, I’ll be posting a quick photo and then, off to designing!!

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