Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blissful Garden Beads' March Bead Challenge Submission

The voting will be open for 3 days.
You can vote at Heather's Blog.
Spread the word!

What a tremendous honor to be allowed to participate in Heather Davis of Blissful Garden Beads' Bead Challenge this month! Being as this was my first Challenge submission, I was a little intimidated.  I had seen several Challenges I could have participated in freely, but for some reason they always seemed beyond my comfort zone. I decided to "go for it" and hopped on the first chance I had to sign up!  I received the GORGEOUS handmade Artisan bead created by the lovely Heather of Blissful Garden Beads almost immediately I had a visit from my ever elusive Muse! I pondered on the design for a bit, made a sketch, then let it marinate a bit longer. By the time the actual fabrication process was put into motion, the bead seemed to speak to me in high definition! The design took on a whole life of its own. No telling what it would have turned out to be had I not gotten so busy with work and other daily routines and had time to put some thought into the chain portion. I may just have to expound on the initial submission when I have a few moments to steal away with my thoughts and a consult my Muse...keep an eye out for more on that later! ;)

At any rate, here are the photos of my submission.  Hope you like it!


Hand made entirely of copper sheet and wire along with a nice chunky chain I scored on Etsy.  I used 2 gauges of copper sheet and wire.  Frame is hand sawn, filed and finished.  The vines are solid copper wire which I balled myself (have you ever tried to ball 16ga copper?!  I learned a thing or two there LOL) and fashioned into vines to embellish the bead frame.  After I had the frame cut and filed to my liking, I soldered on the vines then tossed it into the pickle for a bit.  While I was waiting for the pickle to do it's magic, I cut and drilled a couple of disks for the bead top and bottom and selected a piece of balled large gauge wire for the bead.  After the pickle bath I gave the frame a good rinse -- it was now time to finalize exactly how the bead was going to attach to the frame.  My first attempt was a fail but I took that and applied what I learned from not working and took a different approach.  You'll notice that there are no holes drilled in the frame.  I had soldered a ring on one corner and used the vine on the opposite corner as bale rings.  For the bead, I took an end of the vine up top and made a loop, looped the bead wire and wove it into the others -- VIOLA!  Bead attached!  It took a little fanangling of holding my tongue just right and tweaking the vines to keep the bead from trying to flip.  Then into the tumbler it went -- I went to bed for a little shut eye.  After a few hours playing in the tumbler I gave it a quick dip in the patina solution, good rinse, dry, polish up the high spots.  I decided to have the clasp at the pendant rather than in the back to incorporate the swirling up toward the chain and we were good to go!

I wish I'd gotten pictures of each process, but I was flying solo and doing a balancing act with the tax preparer on the phone, so, we will have to imagine the process pictures.  LOL

I am tossing around name
ideas: Brambles to Blooms or; Secret Gardens or; Treasures
Within...something along those lines.


Don't forget to pop over to Heather's Blog and check out all the other entries -- there are some AMAZINGLY creative folks out there! Voting will be opened tonight so be thinking about that while you peruse the pretties!

My first bead challenge!

I am SO excited to have been one of the lucky few to be included in the March Bead Challenge held by Heather Davis of Blissful Garden Beads!  Today is the reveal day!  I will be making a post later on today with pictures of my submission...Until then, feel free to pop over to Heather's page to have a look see of all the entries!