Monday, August 29, 2011

And the big Reveal...

...for Andrew Thornton's awesome August Reader's Challenge is today!  Yay!


So, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Andrew's Reader's Challenge, this is, I believe, his second Reader's Challenge.  His first was back in July, and I had such fun hopping around and checking out what everyone was making that I wanted to participate in his next Challenge.  And when I saw his palette of choice, and those awesome artbeads and other accompanying things, I knew even more that I had to make sure to get a kit so I could play along.  


Admittedly, red is a bit out of my comfort zone, but come on, beads by the likes of: Diane Hawkey, Marsha Neal, Sue Kennedy, and Bernadette Fuentes?  And that awesome mystery component, sculpted by Andrew himself?  Oh yum, indeed!


Not to mention all that vintage acrylic, Swarovski crystals, the copper chain, and a other accompanying goodies?  How could I pass that up? Nah, I couldn't.  So in goes my order.  It arrives, and then life kicks in.  And not in a small way.  Change, chaos and loss are my middle name this month.  And then add Hurricane Irene into the mix.  Can we say fun?  Well, perhaps no. 

As a result of real life, the August Challenge did indeed prove to be a challenge, but I'm glad I persevered and was able to finish this on time....actually, not only on time, but with multiple pieces to show for my effort!  I'm sure that those who know me are now picking themselves up off of the floor.  But you know what?  You might as well stay down there on the floor because I'm about to floor you again.  Those two pieces I completed?  They were done about a week before the deadline.  Whoa.  Really.  Truly.  And more than that, I completed a companion piece as well.  What can I say, when the chips are down, and I'm feeling distressed and life hands me lemons, my muse apparently hits high gear and gets me creative.  So it's all good in the end, and September is just around the corner.

So, then, what did I create with this luscious bounty of beads?  Well, this!


This necklace features not only the components from Andrew, but I added some awesome fiber beads in yellow from Eleanore Brown, some incredible red sari silk and antiqued brass chain. I fashioned the links and clasp from brass wire.  This was the first time I'd worked in raw brass wire and I do think that I will be using it more often!  I really enjoyed working with it, and think it'd add another dimension to what I work with already.
 

The yummy vintage acrylic, Swarovski crystals, and a other mixed goodies I strung into two sections and used one for the back of the necklace and the other for a third front section of the necklace. 


All in all, I'm quite pleased with how this necklace came out!  It hangs very nicely on the neck, and isn't really as heavy as it would look to be. 

For the next piece, I created another necklace.  This one with a totally different vibe to it.  This is more of a charm necklace, based upon the "Magic" loveliness created by Diane Hawkey


I used the awesome Marsha Neal floral charm as the last charm, and built up from there.  You'll find copper chain holding it all together, and the other charms are Czech glass, turquoise and a resin paddle that I'd made a while back and let get a tad patina'ed on the resin paper. 


Attached to a long copper chain using a texturized and oxidized copper washer and turquoise, the necklace falls 29 inches, with the charms measuring an additional 5 1/2 inches.  There is no clasp, as this necklace easily pulls over your head.  I love this necklace and really can't wait to wear it!
 
I also created an accompanying piece - but that was mainly by accident!  I'd been wanting a simple turquoise and copper necklace to wear to work, and grabbed some of the turquoise pillows I'd had, a copper clasp I'd made a while back and that lovely chain from Andrew that I hadn't worked into either of my other pieces.    

This necklace flew together, and by happy coincidence, when I put both the charm necklace and the turquoise necklace on Cecilia, my lovely dress form, I realized that they'd work wonderfully layered together!
 

I am also very happy with how both of these pieces have turned out, and it's quite likely that they'll be a part of my wardrobe for a while!

Of course, please visit Andrew's blog for the start of this Reader's Challenge Blog Hop, and well, just because his blog is always full of fun, interesting stuff.  Including details on the opening of his brick and mortar, Allegory Gallery!  I'm off, now, to check out what everyone else had made, and you must visit too!  Just for ease, here is a list of everyone else who is participating in this awesome blog hop:

Holly Westfall - you are here!

14 comments:

Christine Altmiller said...

wow!!! what lovely layers and textures in the sunburst necklace! just beautiful! and i love the added turquoise and the look of movement on the magic necklace! fantastic!

Alice said...

Holly, both pieces are beautiful and so unique! I thought I would have a difficult time with this kit since red is not my favorite color, but the components were all so gorgous that I had not problem working with them.

Sally Russick said...

Holly! I don't know which I like better, they are both gorgeous!! I love that fiber bead! The mix of colors for both are wonderful!
Great work!!!

I have to agree with Alice, I have a tough time with red but the beads for the challenge were just so beautiful that it was easy working with them.

JeannieK said...

These a moxie fab. You could wear them together for an awesome statement piece

Rebecca said...

Gorgeous. I especially love the Magic piece - I am a sucker for red and turquoise! It looks like a really cool piece that I would wear all the time.

Green Shoot Jewellery Designs said...

I love what you did with your august challenge pieces, really stunning!
Deb x

Leslie Todd said...

Holly, your pieces are stunning. I love your brass work and the way you used the sari silk.

I was up until the wee hours working on my pieces, and one of them isn't finished. Wish I was as organized as you were!

Cillaw said...

Great work. I like how they are layered and you can wear them alone with style.
Very Nice
Cilla

Therese's Treasures said...

I really like all three of your necklaces Holly. I love the red and gold in the first one with all the different textures. The second one I like that the charm is the focal and how the third necklace fits perfectly with the second necklace.
Therese

Andrew Thornton said...

Oh, wow! Really great pieces! I am in awe of folks who created more than one piece. I love how you layered the latter two! Great job. I love the texture and layers of the first and am really smitten with that long necklace with the cascade of dangles at the bottom. REALLY MAGICAL! Good job!

CraftyHope said...

I find that sometimes the act of creating really does help all those other things just melt away. I'm glad you found an escape from the stress and chaos going on around you (and early too!) Your designs are beautiful. I especially like the second one with all the color to it. Lovely!

Erin Fickert-Rowland said...

Wow! I love what you made! That "magic" piece is beautiful, and the accompanying turquoise necklace works perfectly with it!

diane hawkey said...

Really wonderful. I love the turquoise with the red. Both pieces really speak to me.

Shaiha said...

Woah! I am totally in awe of both( I guess that I should say all 3)pieces. I am not a big lover of red but I think that you just changed my mind.

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