The long awaited reveal has finally arrived. Are you excited? I am!
My partner this year was Caroline Dewison from BlueberriBeads. I consider myself very lucky! Caroline is a wonderful ceramic bead artist in the UK. I have always been fond of her adorable birds and urchin beads, but I didn't tell Caroline that. That's exactly what she sent me! Well, birds, urchins, one of her new house beads, more ceramics, and a whole bowl full of extra beads.
Here's a little reminder of the oh-so Springy purple and green soup I received.
The bronze clasp is by another talented UK artist, Lesley from Thea Elements. I've never used one of Lesley's clasps before, but they are definitely one of the best I've ever had the pleasure of designing with.
So, knowing I had to use the clasp, I excitedly moved on to my first piece. How could I resist doing yet another sea themed bracelet?
In the bracelet, I used the clasp Caroline sent me, her ceramic urchin bead, chunky fluorite and citrine gemstones, a sand dollar charm, and agate and citrine as charms between the chunkier beads. All of the extra beads were from my stash, I'm glad to say!
I wire wrapped all the beads in solid brass and torch fired my own ball ended headpins to use wtih the faceted agate beads I added.
Here's another picture of that sweet urchin bead Caroline made.
My second piece ended up being in a very different colour palette. I just love the zesty little chartreuse Czech glass drops Caroline added to her soup. And what goes better with green than purple? I stacked them on copper wire and added a pair of beautiful lampwork 'butterfly wings' by Earthshine Beads. Decorative copper earwires, et voila, Spring earrings!
I'm not usually a pastel-loving kind of person, but for Caroline's birds I made an exception. The soft lavender tones of her bird bead really won me over. I ended up using a mix of cream and pastel purple and green for this bracelet with just a hint of blue.
It's a variation on a series of bird bracelets I've done recently. Caroline's bird sits above a nest of agate eggs and Czech glass blossoms. I used the Golem lentil she sent me and some more beads from my own stash. The speckled, egg-like creamy ceramic beads are by Thea Elements. The ceramic daisy clasp and purple rounds are by Tan Grey.
And now for the finale...I chose to use Caroline's large, purple bird as my focal bead. The purple beads Caroline included in her soup were just perfect for each other. I immediately made the bird into a "stacked" pendant with its own nest (purple eggs included!) and one of those adorable butterflies dangling below. I added the leaf for an extra woodland-feel.
I had a bit of trouble deciding what to string the pendant on. I wanted something simple but different at the same time. I played around with silks and copper chains, but decided on using some recycled leather and wooden beads from my stash.
I used the leather to weave the wooden circles together for a collar style at the front of the necklace. I thought the necklace looked great sitting just below the neck, so I kept the overall length fairly short.
I wire wrapped Caroline's dimpled ceramic beads at each end of the wooden beads to frame the focal area. To finish it off, I made a brass clasp and wire wrapped it those teeny-tiny purple Czech glass beads.
And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed seeing what I created. I have to thank Caroline for being such a great swap partner and for sending me this fantastic soup to work with. Of course, a huge thank you to Lori Anderson for pairing us and for hosting this wonderful blog hop!
You can check out what the rest of the participants made at this link.