Andrew Thornton is one of my favourite bloggers. I was so excited to see his Readers' Challenge and thrilled when I managed to snag a kit for the August challenge. (See his July challenge here.) When it arrived in the post, I couldn't believe just how many beautiful beads were included. A beautiful Diane Hawkey 'magic' bead, a sweet Marsha Neal charm, a generous bunch of Swarovski crystal elements, two pretty lampworks from Bernadette Fuentes and Sue Kennedy. Some vintage acrylic, a luxury bead mix, copper chain....a bounty of treasure to work with! I've been dying to get my hands on Diane Hawkey for a good while now and Marsha Neal makes some utterly gorgeous botanical pieces - I've a few of her pendants now and I adore them. A very pleasing selection to me!
Now, I love red. It's one of my favourite colours to wear. But not to work with in jewellery design, for some reason. (Unless combined with turquoise, of course!) I have tried to work out what this reason is. I think it's primarily because of the lack of shade variation within red. I'm really no colour expert, so I may be using the wrong technical terms here but if you think of blue from very pale to very dark, there is a huge variation of shade to pick from. Similarly with green. (Oh yes, and they are my favourite colours to work with!) But with red, very pale is pink. And very dark verges on brown. And I know there is still texture and shape to work with but I think the lack of shade variation shies me away. So one of the reasons I bought this kit was to give myself that personal challenge; to work with red 'en masse'. I've also had requests for more red pieces at the craft fairs I've recently started participating in, so this kit was always going to give me a good push that I needed!
And this piece is such a good example of why I *love* challenges like this. I love red, but I hardly ever work with it. I love Swarovski crystal but usually resort to using it in the same old ways. I have had the tiny red bell and cool toggle from MissFickleMedia for forever it seems, love them but never could think of how to use them. And spreading out the elements of Andrew's pretty package out in front of me, this bracelet started to take form.....I am so pleased with how this has turned out! Totally different from anything I have made before. A bit kooky perhaps but I think it is a success. Any thoughts? Is it too off the wall for you or would you wear it? All comments gratefully received!
I still have a fair sized bounty left over from Andrew's gorgeous kit, which you can see here. Including the mystery item, a beautiful Andrew Thornton original copper coin, which you can see here! It has a gorgeous heft and weight to it, and is a beautiful shade or selection of shades I should say, of shimmering, rich copper. I had intended to incorporate it into this piece but it just didn't sit right - and time has run away with me for a second piece, which I fully intend to create using the lampworks, Andrew's coin and Marsha's beautiful charm. So watch this space for further pieces using these components!
Please check out the other challengees and see what beautiful goodies they have come up with.
Thanks so much Andrew for creating this beautiful kit and sharing it with us - it has really stretched me, in a very positive way!