I'm so happy today to be able to post photos of two new bracelets, made for the Choose Your Own Adventure blog hop hosted by Mandi Ainsworth and Karen Williams. The idea behind the blog hop was to create something in freeform peyote stitch, which is one of my favorite techniques. I thought it was an awesome idea, not only for people like me who already adore freeform, but for those who would like to try it out for size. I am really enjoying being part of their Facebook group as well, and highly recommend stopping by if you're of a mind to try out some freeform yourself; they have some wonderful ideas and tips in the posts.
I tried something new with this first one. I used leftover bead soup from my Honeybutter necklace (made years ago in freeform right angle weave) and have named it Honeycomb. Instead of starting off with one strip of peyote and working off of that strip continuously, I made several strips and then wove them together with more freeform. When I start with a single strip, the edges tend to have scallops from connecting new lines of peyote to the original strip, and I wanted to see how it would lie if you didn't have the scallops doing the connecting. I really like how it makes for several 'paths' in the work, and then ends in fairly solid peyote at the ends. The clasp is from the Elegant Elements line of findings.
For those of you looking for a similar color palette, the original Honeybutter soup mix started off with a bead mix of the same name which is, I think, manufactured by Miyuki, and if you do a Google search, you should be able to find the same basic mix in several sizes of seed beads and firepolish beads as well. I then added a TON of my own stash beads (Swarovski, freshwater pearls, faceted glass, cubic zirconia, triangle/cube/hex/24kt gold plated seed beads, etc etc) into the mix to make it more unique, but you could certainly use their mix as is.
With my second bracelet, Compass, I had more of a true adventure, even though I didn't try anything 'new to me' with it, because it truly evolved as I worked with it. I had a fairly plain, been-there-done-that plan in my head as I started, and didn't plan the chains or jump rings or the basic steampunkery feel to the piece. It just happened as I worked, which is what I think freeform is really all about - seeing where it leads you. I used my own custom Chocolate Cherry bead soup mix (which was concocted for a special friend by request) and a Lisa Peters Art focal cab and freshwater pearls for the side 'cabs.' The base idea was to create something with my Atlantis Cuff tutorial frame work.
I really like the double clasp, which to me adds some complexity and is visually very cool when worn. The clasps are attached with double jump rings threaded through the gaps left in the peyote work, and then one jump ring is attach to those two, to hang the clasps. The rings for the other side of the clasp are attached the same way. And although it makes it slightly trickier to clasp (you would definitely need help doing it up) it also makes for a very secure connection which is likely to last longer than using thread loops for attachment. I am usually a bead snob - I admit it. I like to use sterling silver beads and chain or 24kt gold plated beads and findings... but I have lately been smitten with this bronze colored base metal look, and it seems to go really well with the 'chocolate' part of the mix as well as adding a more antique feel to it. And although the metal is very soft, I think that the doubled jump rings do make up for some of that and will hold very well.
I had planned to have three pieces to be revealed all together, but the last one is still a work in progress, as it turned into a much bigger project than I thought. It was *supposed* to be a bracelet, but it decided to be a necklace instead and I am just now finishing some of the edging, which comes before the fringing, which comes before the clasping... so it may be awhile, lol. It uses the bead soup shown below, faceted sugilite, sunstone, and an unmistakable feeling of magic. It has a fortune teller feel for me, something that would be used to predict and unmask and show secrets. I can see a lady with long flowing hair, dressed in a gypsy style, a lady who has an accent you just can't place and a sparkle in her eye...
I haven't advertised it very much, but if you'd like a bead soup custom made to your shades/bead preferences, you can order one in my shop - you give me the colors you're looking for or send me a photo of your focal and I create a soup for you from that. I decided to offer that awhile back when some of my friends asked, and I know that making a soup isn't what everyone enjoys, even though they like to work with the results. :)
I can't wait to go hop around and see what adventures everyone else has had with their freeform experiences, and I really hope you will, too. There is bound to be some really gorgeous eye candy out there!! Here's the participant list, please come along! (If my links below don't work for some reason, please go to Karen's Blog at Skunk Hill Studio to find clickable links on her post!!)
Mandi Ainsworth - Adventure Guide
Karen Williams - Adventure Guide
Melody Marie Murray
Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten
Julie Schmidt Bowen