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
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!