Then, I saw the selection of challenge beads...
...and realized that I had just bought most of those same beads earlier in the week (beading world coincidences make me laugh!)...I knew I had to play. The colors are so delicious, I probably would have been sucked in anyway, but already having a lot of the beads made it even easier.
I love the way all the strands look next to each other in the photo so I decided to let that be my guide and I put together a multi-strand necklace for my first piece:
The rules state that we are allowed to add two other types of beads to our finished designs. I went a teensy bit beyond that because I only had 1 strand of some of the challenge beads and I needed to make necklace strands certain lengths so they would lay correctly. The brown "lava" beads on the back half of the longest strand are extras (although they are from Michael's so maybe that's a gray area? LOL) The copper ceramic gear spacers, the copper daisy spacers, the two copper melon beads and the copper seed beads are all extras as are the chain, wire and clasp.
Here's a closeup of the center front...
...and of the side.
I made a pair of earrings with the last few leftovers from the necklace. The only "non-challenge" items added are the brass daisy spacer, etched brass bead caps, brass wire and earring wires.
This was actually the first design that came into my head, but it wasn't quite fully formed so I made the multi-strand piece first and then I realized that what the picture in my head had been missing was the addition of the bright pink rounds at the bottom of each floral rectangle bead.
I wasn't sure how that would work out so I wired up a couple of them and let them sit on my work surface for a few days - I figured they could always become earrings if the necklace idea didn't work out.
But, I decided I liked the idea so I strung up the whole thing. Just added a few seed beads for the loops and some chocolate brown deerskin lace, cord ends and a clasp.
The coordinating earrings basically mimic the pendants on the necklace except I added three of the bright pink beads as dangles for a little movement and swing. I love how those beads just glow!
These beads just all look so very yummy together that I went back to my multi-strand idea for the bracelet. The add-ins are a strand of copper-lined, clear AB seed beads, turquoise seed beads and the copper buttefly disk (from Michael's also), some cones, clasp and copper wire. I love the way the addition of the ivory beads completely changes the color palette to something so much brighter and more summery whereas the earlier pieces with all the dark brown looked more mysterious and made me think of a Moroccan spice bazaar (or what I imagine one to be like considering I've never been to Morocco LOL)
The earrings feature the final leftovers with a few of the seed beads thrown in.
The one thing I found really challenging...for some reason I couldn't come up with names for any of these pieces and that's not normally something I have an issue with so if anyone has any brilliant suggestions...I'm open!
Hope you enjoyed my designs. Here's a link to the rest of the hop.