Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Very Vintage Challenge

Today is the day. Time to reveal what we've made for the Very Vintage Challenge, hosted by Michelle Mach. This is a kit challenge where each participant has bought an autumn-themed kit to create with. What makes this kit challenge a bit special was the fact that Michelle not only sold full kits, but also a few "mini kits" with fewer items, but in the same style and on the same theme as the big kits.

I choose the small kit, as you can see above, because I thought it was very cute. My plan was to do something simple with just a few pieces (not really adding to the kit) so that each and every piece could shine. Just look at the pic: it doesn't need much more to make a lovely necklace, right? I also decided early on that I wanted to do something asymmetrical as I'm no good at it. But of cause nothing really went as planned.

First I added a few beads, thinking I'd like them on each side of the branch. Very nice and elegant, no bead dangles except the acrylic leaves (was going to drill a hole at the tip of the brass leaf). And a well balanced asymmetry. It was also important that the branch would be used in a different way from last time I used that component. But for some reason I gave up that idea. Perhaps I couldn't make the pieces fit the way I wanted; I'm not sure exactly why it began to move in a completly different direction.

I gave up the round pendant, which I wanted to use as a clasp, for another idea I got. Then I wanted to add a few more flowers on top of the red ones I'd selected for my original idea. Before I know it, I'd added several pieces and come up with a design I wouldn't normally work with as I don't like "cha-cha style" jewellery (rassel as we say in Sweden). And whether or not I'd added too many pieces considering the rules of the challenge, well, I totally forgot about it being a kit challenge once I'd begun! (Hope I didn't bend the rules -- and the whole idea of a kit challenge -- too much...)

Ok, enough talk and trying to build up suspense. You want to see it, right?

Can you spot the clasp before I point it out?

I kind of cheated myself out of the asymmetry "ultimatum", didn't I? Adding beads like this, it's almost always asymmetric to some degree, but you don't see it as well do to the number of beads. As you can see I've added quite a lot to the kit -- would you believe me if I say I just realised that last night? D'oh. There's several czech glass beads in different colours as well as a few tiny fire-polished drops and two rough-cut czech rounds. I also added a chain and a Vintaj leaf charm by the branch component. I did not use the round charm from the kit.

The leaf charm wasn't added as mere embellishment. If you haven't already figured it out, it's the clasp. I bent it and made a hook clasp in the same way I did with my barn swallow focal.

One detail I forgot to get a good pic of is how the beaded chain on the right is attached to the branch. Just like with the leaf and flower pendant, I made a loop on the middle of a piece of wire, trimmed the ends and crimped it onto the dapped branch. Sort of like a staple or claw.

Adding the two round-ish beads to the end of ech beaded section was really just something I did because the chain was soldered and I had to shorten it. That's why I prefer open links (if they're sturdy enough). Also had some idea about making a more defined transition from beaded to unbeaded chain.

This is a short necklace. I don't have a photo of worn, I'm afraid, but I did take a photo of it hanging. This one shows what the necklace would look like worn -- if it had been long. I kind of like it -- even if you can see that that loop on the left isn't properly closed... But it has nothing to do with how the necklace actually lies around your neck.

So... Am I happy with the results? Well, kind of. I finished on time despite knowing I can find it hard to work with kits (still I can't say no to a kit challenge!). And I like the colours. This style of jewellery isn't really my cup of tea, though, so perhaps I'd preferred to string the beads. Perhaps even add a few tiny beads in between the dangles to make it more like the "in progress" pic below. Or add the beads to twisted wire for a more "airy" design and interesting texture. And as for the final result, I'm still wondering if I did the right thing by adding a chain and not beads as initially intended. What do you think? Keep the chain or go with my small dark brown square wooden beads instead? Or both?

Another "in progress" pic below: at this point (measuring the length of the beaded sections) it looks like a neat lariat necklace:

 Well, I might sound negative, but those who know we knows that's my style. Never really satisified, finding faults and always looking for ways to improve things. So in the end I'm probably more pleased than it sounds like. And I'm really glad I signed up for this challenge. So a big thank you, Michelle, for creating an inspiring and beautiful kit to work with!


Before you go, I just wanted to mention that you might want to come back again soon. I've decided to host a birthday giveaway next month (Nov 3rd) and already next week (Oct 14th) I'm participating in another hop, the Sari Ribbon Blog Party, hosted by Brenda Sue Landsdowne (B'Sue). That said, now, don't miss all the other participants in this fun Very Vintage challenge today:

Andrew: The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton

Cat: Boo Beads

Chris: beadjewelry.net

Cilla: Tell Your Girlfriends

Cyndi: Beading Arts

Cynthia: Cynth's Blog

Dawn: Morning Glory Beading

Donetta: Simply Gorgeous

Heather: As I Bead It

Holly: SilverRose Designs

Kate: We Can Make That at Home

Kristina: Wild Roses and Blackberries (You are here!)

Lauren: Laurel Moon Jewelry & Beads

Linda: Lutka & Co

Lisa: Lucid Mood Studio

Lola: Bead Lola Bead

Mary: MLH Jewelry

Melinda: Melinda Orr Metal & Clay Jewelry Designs

Michelle H.: Firefly Visions

Michelle M. (hostess): Beads & Books

Salla: Blog by Salla

Shannon: Falling into the Sky

Shay: Shaiha's Ramblings

Shel: MiShel Designs

Shirley: Beads and Bread

Stephanie: Pixybug Designs

Tari: Pearl and Pebbles

Terry: Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry

Tracy: The Bead Junkie

Have fun hopping -- and thanks for visiting!


  1. Love it!!! What a clever way to create a clasp...that's one of those things that make me say "Why didn't I think of that?" I also love the addition of the Czech beads. And I think the chain was the right choice.

  2. Love the clasp and the leaf clusters! Great use of your beads ~

  3. Such a pretty necklace. How clever of you to use the log component as part of the clasp.

  4. Oh lush. The beads you've added were an excellent addition. ;-)

  5. I love your clasp in the front.Great ideas! I adore Czech beads too. Very nice!

  6. I did go look at the brown beads, and I can see why you would consider them. However, I think the chain was the right way to go. Congratulations on the clasp solution, that was awesome. I'd love for you to do a post on that with some close-ups. This is not really my style necklace either, but I would be thrilled if I had created it. Be very pleased with your results. I'm glad you use the extra pieces, it truly makes the necklace.

  7. Oh how beautiful and extremely clever - this rocks!!

  8. Totally clever clasp! I love it when it can be integrated into a design! Enjoy the day! Erin

  9. Beautiful! What a cool clasp too! I like the chain, but I think I would also like the combination of wood and chain that you mentioned. Give it a shot and see!

  10. the clasp is wonderful! and I completely envy your dangles! I can never seem to sit and do that many.

  11. What a clever clasp! I am in awe of those who can cleverly create a clasp that looks like part of the design rather than "just" a clasp. The piece is lovely. I think maybe a beaded neckline with the chain incorporated.

  12. Your clasp is so clever!! I love asymmetrical designs...this is gorgeous :-)

  13. Your necklace came out beautifully! Love the little flower you added!

  14. Beautiful work with the clasp -- my goodness. And I love the flower clusters!

  15. LOVE the necklace! LOVE the clasp! Great balance and color!

  16. I really like the drape on this. The pieces are lovely in their arrangement, and the way they sit when you wear it is even lovelier. Nice design!

  17. I like your finished necklace as it is. I would not change anything. The clasp is very ingenious! Nice work! Beautiful necklace!

  18. Such a lush necklace with so many flowers! So cute! I think it's great.

  19. I love that you made the branch the clasp, very cool! and the rest is terrific!

  20. Okay, that clasp? Ingenius! Love the way you did that! And the necklace itself is lovely...I'd leave the chain, I think!

  21. I love it--very pretty! I am a fan of chain and short necklaces, so of course I wouldn't want you to change a thing.

    The clasp is very clever--I couldn't figure out where it was (or how it worked) until you pointed it out. I like your additional beads, too. They fit in perfectly with the kit beads. The rule was you could add or subtract anything you wanted to the kit, so you're safe!

    Hope to see you in another challenge!

  22. Gorgeous design and a very clever clasp concept - love it!

  23. Thank you for all your comments!

    It's been very fun -- and inspirational -- to hop around and see what everyone has done with their kits. Now I'll have to focus on my next hop. It'll be the first time I use sari ribbon so we'll just have to see how that turns out...

  24. Beautifully and cleverly done, and I love the colors! Back in August you left such kind words on my post about Elmer's glue for crackle paint, sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. Thank you! Your blog inspires me to do more jewelry.



A few words can mean so much. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

PS! Feel free to email me if you don't want to comment publicly -- look under Contact (under the header)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...