Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Very Vintage Challenge

 When I saw the opportunity to join yet another blog hop and challenge back in September (was it September, or was it late August?  eh, whatever!  ;)) , I jumped at the chance!  I'm becoming addicted to challenges and well, have been addicted to blog hops from the beginning!  This one was hosted by Michelle Mach, who holds regular challenges at her blog...do check them out, they're on my list of "must do" for the future!

Michelle's challenge this time was geared around vintage lucite pieces, Vintaj Natural Brass, and a few miscellaneous pieces.  We could make whatever accessory we wanted, and I anxiously awaited my kit's arrival.  

These are the challenge pieces
Interesting mix, no?

Once the kit arrived, I realized that I had a whole bunch of other things on my plate, so put the kit away in my muffin tin.  Every time I sat down to the bead table, I'd pull the kit out and wait for it to speak to me.  No go.  But finally, procastination kicked me in the rear and said it was time to get to work.  So I grabbed the kit and rummaged through my own beads to see what I had that would work.  Lo and behold, I had a bunch of carnelian that just about matched that awesome teardrop pendant perfectly.  I grab some vintage mother of pearl cylinder beads that I'd grabbed from an old necklace of mine as it was falling apart, and then realize that I had a bunch of Vintaj pieces of my own that I could work in.  I pull out some antiqued brass chain.  Grab some other beads that had gone used in other challenges, find my trusty wire and I was all set.

Until my assistant came in to help me.  She kept grabbing at my beads, she pulled my findings, and generally made a mess of things.  I eventually ended up having to chase her to get back the wire she'd steal from my table. 

I swear, she stole that same piece of wire abut 8 times!
Anyone need a new assistant?

Finally, the fingers started work well, and the muse was calling the shots.  My first project was a pair of earrings.

Those awesome Vintaj connectors worked so well
with those cute red beads and the MOP.
I really think I have a new favorite pair of earrings!  Next up, I worked on a necklace.  This necklace really is a prime example of "Let the Muse have her say!"  I kept wanting to add things to it, to make it fancier.  But no, it wanted to be a simple piece.

The antiqued, etched brass chain worked so well with the simply wrapped carnelian and MOP cylinders.  It's accented simply with two more of the Vintaj connectors I'd found in my own stash (and matched Michelle's sendings perfectly!) and finished nicely with an Art Deco'ish Vintaj toggle clasp. 

The cool lucite teardrop I wrapped with Vintaj wire.

Finally, I knew I wanted to finish with a bracelet.  And with this one, I didn't put any thought into it at all.  I just let it happen.  And I have to say that I'm especially happy with this bracelet.  It came out so well, and proves that when I don't put much forethought and planning into a piece, I'm happiest with the outcome.  When I fight what is supposed to come out of something is when I'm unhappy with the design!

The awesome Vintaj (i think!) leaf blank I texturized and stamped with the word "Nest".  Then I added a second hole, and created wrapped links on either side.  I threw together a quick birds nest, and then wire wrapped and twisted and there you have it!  The clasp is another Vintaj toggle clasp that I'd had in my stash.

And, well, there you have it, three pieces made for Michelle's awesome challenge!  Please don't forget to check out the other participants!

And do answer me this question, if you don't mind - are you a planner in your designs?  Or do you free form it more?  And when you fight with your muse, do you like your final piece?

The Fabulous Challenge Participants
Please visit everyone's blog to see what each person made:

Holly - SilverRose Designs - you are here!
Michelle H. - Firefly Visions


salla said...

wonderful pieces! I may have to steal the idea of wrapping wire around that large lucite drop, as I am totally loving that effect!

Judy said...

My assistant does the same thing...goes in the same little drawer and takes out the wire. It is hard to get good help these days!
I absolutely love your necklace! When I saw the components I thought wow...this is a challenge, but what you did was just awesome! Super job!

Christine Altmiller said...

holly---these are gorgeous! each one of them!!! the necklace reminds me of pumpkin bars with thick cream cheese icing! the earrings would be an immediate favorite and the bracelet is so full of the motion and the colors of fall! fantastic! i am split. sometimes i design in my head. sometimes i just pick up a needle and come-what-may. but when i fight with my muse, i am usually disappointed with the end results. the beads and the muse ultimately know what is best. we are just the assembler :-)

Firefly Visions said...

The incorporation of the lucite oval into the design is fantastic! I couldn't quite figure out how to work it into a design, but love how you chose to create your own bail by wirewrapping. And oh my gosh! That bracelet is just gorgeous. The clasp is fantastic, the little nest is adorable, and I love the colors.

Shel said...

Beautiful - as usual! These are all really nice, but the first one's my favorite!!

Therese's Treasures said...

All of your pieces are very pretty, I really like the necklace.

Cyndi L said...

What a beautiful set you made! They will look great individually, or even all worn together :-)

Lutka And Co. said...

All very pretty! I especially like the bracelet. Love what you did with the metal leaf!

Chris said...

You nailed it with the rich colors and textures! Nice work!

As for me, I tend to plan a little, on the most basic level, then just freeform explore from there.

For example, I might decide on the type of beadweaving stitch to use, or the object I'm going to make (like my weirdo dream catcher for this challenge). But then I dump a bunch of components in front of me and start playing. :)

Cynthia said...

I will answer your question first - to only say: If the muse ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". It never pays to disagree with the muse.
Now on to the compliments ;-) I love all 3 designs, with the bracelet being my favorite. You are about the third person I've seen in this blog hop to use a crystal with the acorn bead cap, and I'm loving it. I do not think I would have ever thought of it, but will have to give it a try.
Great job on everything.

uptwnsh said...

I really like all the ways you have used the hop bits, so boho vintage! Love your style!

Bead Lola Bead said...

Beautiful collection! I really like the first pair of earrings!

As for planner vs. freeform, I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I start with an idea or concept, but am quick to change direction if things aren't working right or are requiring too much time. When the beads start speaking to me though, that's when I'm in the zone! =D

maneki said...

Lovely jewellery! My fave is the necklace with the drop. I really like the colours and the design. Great job!

I also have assistants like that (11 actually, but not all are interested in jewellery making or photography). Especially one of them just have to chew on all threads, chains and wire I use when he's near (I don't sell so no one has to worry about getting cat drool covered jewellery).

laurelmoon said...

Great pieces! I love the colors and I love how your designs turned out. (And is that a Norton anthology you've posed them on? hee!) These are awesome!

Anonymous said...

All very beautiful! I love how you made a bale for the teardrop-it looks great! The little birds nest is adorable, and I love the leaf stamping.

As for me, I try to start with a plan, but it seems I never stick to the plan. Everything just sort of comes together the way it's meant to.

Mary said...

Awesome!! love the way you let the pieces come together! Love the wire nest on the bracelet yummy

Michelle Mach said...

I love all three pieces! I really like how you textured and stamped the leaf blank and how you added the wirewrapping around the drop focal. And those red beads really pop on those filigree earrings. So pretty!

Hmm . . . I love to sketch and plan my designs, but I think sometimes my best work just happens on the fly without me trying to control it!

Hope to see you in another challenge!

Tracy said...

Gorgeous designs, love the necklace especially. And your assistant is adorable.

Cillaw said...

Beautiful!! I wanted a word on my leaf too and I just couldn't think of the perfect one, but you did!!!
Everything you made is great but I love the bracelet.
My assistants grab the bubble wrap.
Great Work!

Erin Fickert-Rowland said...

You challenge-lovin' fool! You did a brilliant job! I love the necklace with the lucite teardrop, but that bracelet is my favorite!! It is perfect and gorgeous! Wonderful, Holly!

My Life Under the Bus said...

Oh you did awesome all that yummy wire wrapping!!! That bracelet of course is my favorite just because of the NEST! XOXO


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