Several months ago, I was invited to participate in a challenge for a magazine called “Bead Design Studio”. I agreed, even though my major beef with the current flock of beading magazines is that they tend to be “all jewelry all the time”. But the timing was right, and a challenge from time to time is a good thing that forces me to think in different ways about my materials and processes.
The magazine is now on the newsstands, so I can finally post pictures. We were each provided with a ceramic “cabochon” and four coordinating “lentils” as the start of our project. The “cabochon” had two holes in it, which made it possible to use it as a pendant, and the four “lentils” had good sized holes the length of the bead rather than through the depth of the bead at one edge, which is what I have come to expect from “lentils”. As I said, a good challenge.
Since this was for a magazine mostly about jewelry, I decided to make a box to keep the jewelry in, allowing me to use my fabric collage, free motion quilting, and embellishment skills to decorate the sides of the box, while devoting my bead embroidery to the lid.
The colors and flowers on the “cabochon” felt like a breath of spring, when in fact, it was raining and blowing all the leaves off the trees right outside my window. I decided that a walk in the spring woods would feel good right about then, when the first of the crocus and snowdrops were coming up.
I had a great time creating this jewelry box for the challenge, but I have to admit that I initially had my doubts. The pale blue, cream and yellow color scheme is not one I would normally work with. (That’s why they call it a challenge!!) But I gradually warmed up to it.
And what happened to those four “lentils”, you ask? Take another look at the first picture. I decided to use them as the feet for the box.
Even if you don’t usually participate in challenges, I encourage you to do one from time to time. It will freshen up your outlook, force you to re-evaluate whatever is “normal” in your studio work, and may surprise you by being a joy to work on.
Be well, my little chickadees!