Andrew Thornton hosts challenges using design kits available through his Allegory Gallery. The limited number of kits generally don’t last long, so I was thrilled to get one of the Good Earth Challenge kits. When I saw the kit on Andrew’s blog, I knew this challenge was for me! I love the colors and all the beads. Here are pictures of some of the beads:
Each challenge kit also includes a mystery component. In this case there were two – a gorgeous leaf pendant and a strand of five faux Moroccan amber beads, both hand made by Andrew.
I had two ideas right away. One actually made it to life. A friend at work was wearing a necklace with a round pendant and a series of dangles along the chain. I had a wooden cut-out pendant that I knew would work for a similar look with many of the long beads in the kit. I wanted to use a lot of the beads from the kit without many other elements. They really appealed to me as a set. I was originally going to hang everything off chain, but none of the chain I had was quite the right size, so I strung things from the waxed linen in the kit.
I really like how this necklace turned out. I believe the only things not from the kit are the wooden round and the chain and clasp at the back. I layered the wooden round with the feather charm. I love how the way it hangs when I wear it makes the dangles look sort of feather-like as well. I always try to learn from what I make to do better next time. I learned after seeing the pictures of this necklace that I should pay more attention to which way the linen strands are positioned and where the beads are hanging for a neater look.
In the past two years or so, I’ve been trying so hard to alter the type of jewelry I make and learn new techniques that sometimes I felt I had to abandon my old techniques like stringing on beading wire. Lately I’ve seen so many pretty things made with that technique. I realized I don’t have to abandon it, but bring my new knowledge to it such as using art beads. I had the perfect chance with Andrew’s polymer clay leaf charm. I love the color combination on this charm. There were lots of great beads in the kit that would work with it, but I also wanted to bring out that blue-green color peeking out around the edges. I found a small strand of long beads in my stash with just that color in them!
I added those blue-green beads, but other than that and the stringing materials, all the beads and the pendant are from the kit, including the clasp. I’m very pleased with how it turned out.
I must have liked the color combination of adding some blue-green tones to the colors in the kit because I was opening a destash package that included a lampwork bead (sadly, artist unknown) and decided to use it as a focal for a bracelet with beads from the kit.
All of the beads in the bracelet are beads from the kit except the blue-green dyed jade rounds and the lampwork focal. I loved working some of the unique beads from the kit into my designs such as the metal tubes near the focal in the bracelet and some of the sequins from the mix in the necklace. This bracelet also uses one of my own handmade clasps which still gives me a thrill!
These three pieces were what I had made by the original reveal date, but once it got postponed a week, I decided to make more! I got three Round Rabbit multi-hole connectors in a destash a while ago and have tried to use them in various ways. I had sort of a Kristin Oppold vibe in mind, but nothing was quite right. I tried again with some beads from this kit. After several tries, I settled for using just one of the connectors for a simple look.
This uses the artisan clay beads, metal beads, some sequins and one other lopsided bead (I love that kind of thing) from the kit.
I have an idea for some of the faux Moroccan amber beads that I wasn’t able to complete because I need a heavier gauge of wire. I did have fun trying a salt and vinegar patina on the sort of wimpy component I made, though. You’ll be seeing that necklace in the future. However, I did make this happy necklace. I love the colors! They look like a cool, refreshing drink on a summer day. This used three of the faux amber beads, two green beads, two gold spacers, two mottled beads and a bit of leftover waxed linen.
This challenge was so much fun because I loved every bead. It was such a pleasure to work with these beautiful materials.
Thank you to Andrew Thornton for sponsoring this wonderful challenge and putting together such an amazing kit! Please click on the links below to see what the other participants made. I know I can’t wait!