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!


  1. Oh my goodness did you ever out do yourself, Kat. This is beyond gorgeous! ♥ it so much my friend...Sharon Wagoner


Thanks for your comments!