Monday, August 1, 2011

Andrew's July Reader's Challenge

Last month, Andrew Thornton announced his very 1st  Reader’s Challenge.  He offered a limited number of kits in his shop for purchase and challenged us to create a piece with the components in the kit and post it today.I loved the colors and mixture of elements he chose, so I dove in and purchased one the included a ceramic leaf pendant from Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studio, a ceramic tube bead from Keith O'Connor, a lampwork glass bead by Bernadette Fuentes, plus a mix of Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, semi-precious stones, vintage glass, brass chain, and a tiny seed beads. To top it off, the kit included a mystery of Andrew's own handmade copper coins carved with a leaf !

To me, the most challenging part was the seed beads!  I never string stuff!  After staring at everything for a couple weeks, I finally got a game plan together, and came up with this quirky, fun necklace!  It is definitely a step in a different direction  from my usual style, without totally losing myself.

I decided I wanted a multi-strand portion, so I used the bead mix to create 1 strand on beading wire, then wire-wrapped selected beads with alternating lengths of the chain that was supplied in the kit, then decided the 3rd strand would be simply chain.

I punched holes in in Andrew's lovely leaf coin and used it as a 3-strand connector on one side, then used a bronze cone from my stash for the other end, to add to the assymetrical quirkiness.

I wanted to make my own clasp to match, but the largest brass wire I had was 18g so I used 16g copper wire, and wrapped it with 22g brass.  The mixed metals really work with this one, I think, so  I also used some copper beads to embellish the big ceramic tube.

Melanie's leaf pendant and a little Czech glass teardrop charm are the perfect embellishment to the clasp side.

I ran out of the chain that was supplied, so I made my own out of more 18g brass wire for the back of the necklace.  Taking the photo with the necklace lying flat doesn't really show it off to it's true glory..the strands drape much more nicely when worn!  This would have been a great time to own a cool mannequin!

Thanks for stopping by! Go and visit the other challenge participants and see the gorgeousness...

Jessica Nelson
Holly Baldwin
Paula Kramer
Karyn Bonfiglio
Sally Russick
Lori Bowring Michaud
Norma Turvey
Anne Dixon
Mary K McGraw
Patty Gasparino
and our host... Andrew Thornton ... Katie James, Sarajo Wentling, and Margriet Schnabel will have pieces here as well.

Thanks Andrew!  It was fun pushing my boundaries!


  1. I like what you made and with as little stringing as possible! Nice the way you converted the coin into a three strand link.

  2. Irpitation of the july challenge kit! ans especially what you did with Andrew's secret ingredient! Its beautiful!

  3. I like all the details you put into the necklace. Great job.

  4. The clasp is terrific Melissa. I almost drilled a second hold in Andrew's coin to use it as a connector, great idea!

  5. Wow, I love the colors and elements in this kit, Melissa! What a gorgeous design. I love multi strand necklaces, and you pulled it all together beautifully.

  6. Anonymous6:14 PM

    Melissa! Your necklace is beautiful! I love the draping of the three strands, I almost drilled more holes too. And your two tone clasp that you made is gorgeous! Beautiful job!!

  7. I am just charmed with your result! How lovely! I like how you've customized the pendant to make it work in the piece and provide an asymmetrical focus that really makes all the parts and pieces pop! Good job!

  8. I absolutely love everything about your design. Very ingenious use of materials! Sounds like you had FUN!

  9. I love the multi-strand section, and everything about this. Lovely!

  10. Love this and love the clasp!I agree the mixed metals work really weel with this! Beautiful!

  11. This is one of my favorites, Miss Melissa! I love the multi strands and the asymmetry. I think that you challenged yourself with this one and lived to tell the tale! And what a beautiful tale it is. Enjoy the day! Erin

  12. Oh Melissa, this is fabulous! I love how you incorporated everything and it is so balanced and keeps you looking over the whole piece. Perfect!

  13. Melissa,you have created a stunning piece..there is so much to see..makes me want to grab a cup of tea and stay and stare for a while.Hugs,Cat

  14. I love it! The quirkiness is just my style.


I love reading your comments!!!


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