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Recently, Sally Russick issued a Black and White Challenge on her blog The Studio Sublimemake a piece using only black and white (with a few minor exceptions.)

This was much more difficult than I thought it would be.  It’s not as though I don’t like black and white.  Although I love color, I also love high contrast.  My eyeglasses are black and white!


However, I struggled with this challenge, making and re-making two different necklaces multiple times, and not really liking either of them.  One was designed around this bead my mom bought upon hearing I had entered the challenge.


It’s really my kind of bead, but it just wasn’t working for me.  Neither were some black wooden beads I had in different shapes, sizes and textures or a variety of black and white glass beads I bought at a flea market some years back.  The flea market beads were the first things that came to mind with this challenge.  My dad gave me some black buttons, and I did end up using one as a closure on my finished piece.


I looked through the made jewelry I have because I intend to take much of it apart and re-make it in a style that suits my look now.  I found a necklace that had black and white polka dot beads.  I still love the larger bead I used as a pendant, so I decided I to use that and added some waxed linen with beads hanging down.  I love how it looks like a little creature.


I also had a necklace of black and white furnace glass with lots of silver.  I thought perhaps I could use the polka dot pendant and lined furnace glass together.  The geometric nature of that appealed to me.

I tried multiple designs with the pendant, but they were all too close to my old “strung beads” style that I am trying to change, and they seemed very busy.  I had purchased some black hemp cord because I thought macramé would go with the bead my mom bought.  I had used a lot of it up in various failed attempts.  However, the last bit of it ended up working for me with the polka dot pendant and furnace glass using knotting.  It is a simple necklace, but it allows the beads to stand out and the black and white to really pop.


I’m glad I entered the black and white challenge.  Thank you, Sally!  In the past, if something didn’t work out, it would get abandoned.  This encouraged me to stick with it.  If I’m not challenged, I can’t grow.

  ImagePlease visit the other people listed below who took on this challenge to see what they’ve created.  I can’t wait to see the variety and get inspired.  Maybe I’ll come up with an idea for my other black and white beads yet!

Sally Russick
Monique Urquhart
Patti Vanderbloemen
Veralynne Malone
Duane Clark
D Lynne Bowland
Michelle Buettner
Pam Sears
Therese Frank
Dawn Doucette
Nicole Rennell
Cynthia Machata
Alice Peterson
Carolyn Lawson
Evelyn Shelby
Ailsa Cordner
Michelle Escano
Mischelle Fanucchi
Jess Green
Adrienne Berry
Lynsey Brooks
Kashmira Patel
Ann Schroeder – You are here
Marlene Cupo
Susan F.
Susan Kennedy
Kathy Lindemer
Paula Kramer
Lisa Johnson
Sandi Volpe
Donna Bradley
Karin Slaton
Jasvanti Patel
Stefanie Teufel
Liz Engriser
Christine Altmiller