25 September 2012

Toast of the Town


Today I am delighted to reveal a special project that I was asked to work on.

Back on August 1st I was approached to create a piece of jewelry using beads and findings from Michaels for their October Jewelry Celebration month. The promotion is called "Made by Me, Inspired by Life" and features 21 designers, bloggers and well-known DIYers. I am thrilled that I have this opportunity to be among the designers hand selected for this Michaels.com jewelry celebration. Apparently through their online channels (website, Facebook, blogs and Twitter) they reach an audience of 8 million people. Zoinks! Who wouldn't jump at that chance? I am very thrilled to be a part of this group, some very well known to me and some new to me. I find it hard to believe that I am hanging with the likes of Fernando Dasilva who is an author and Swarovski Ambassador, and Erica Domesek of the popular blog P.S. I Made This fame. I hope you will come over to Michaels.com and see all the beautiful pieces of jewelry that were made by these very talented people.

Because I joined in at the last minute on this, they gave me a few extra days to complete this piece. But I still had to have it shipped by the following Friday. I was so inspired that I completed it in two days. But as we tell our kids, when you get done with your test, take that time to go back over it and make sure that it is complete. So that is what I did.

I was basically given carte blanche to design whatever I wanted. And since I do design work for Halcraft of the Bead Gallery line, I chose to stay within those products. But if you know me at all, you know I need an inspiration to get started. An image, a song, a poem... something that will get my creativity loosened up. So I struck out for Michaels with my smartphone attuned to Design-Seeds.com to see what I could find to inspire me.

{Toasting Tones from Design Seeds}
Since this is a celebration, I thought of champagne and found the perfect picture to accompany my design. This palette from Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds features classy gray, rich gold and creamy pearl tones.

My very favorite new bead in the Bead Gallery line at Michaels has to be these champagne colored glass coin pearls. They look so much like the real thing because of their irregular surface and their shimmering color. Every time I go into Michaels I buy whatever strands of them I can find. I don't even care if I get them on sale or have to pay full price. Yes, I love them that much. (Sorry, if you shop the Plover, WI store for the lack of them as I own all those strands! ;-) And note to Halcraft... I would buy them in every single color under the heavens if you offered them. Just sayin'...

I also found some pretty shell beads in cream and grays as well as some embossed silver plated lentils and spacers.


For this necklace design I wanted to go lush so that meant it had to be multi-strand. I came up with a design that is two 42" strands but it is really broken into four 21" lengths. You can see here that I did a sort of pattern on each strand that repeats colors and textures, yet each strand - and each section on each strand -  is completely different.


For this design to work, you need to have a ring that all the strands can fit through. And some sort of closure on the opposite side. A toggle bar or a hook will work equally well.


The ring must be free to move around, so there really isn't anything attached to it, just running through the center. That little trick allows this necklace can be worn multiple ways. That is something very important to me, to be multi-faceted. My jewelry has to be as well.


This necklace can be worn torsade style, twisted tightly with the pretty clasp in the front, behind or even off to the side.


It can also be worn long, with whatever part you want in front and the ring off to the side. The toggle bar or hook just sort of blends into the beads and you can even adjust the strands for multiple lengths. In fact, I have found at least 7 different ways to wear this necklace and that makes me very happy!

{Toast of the Town necklace designed for Michaels.com}
My favorite way to wear it is untwisted and loose so that each strand can be pulled through at a different length. This is one of the most versatile pieces of jewelry that I have ever designed and for that reason alone I wish that I hadn't had to relinquish this necklace to Michaels as I am unlikely to get it back. This Toast of the Town necklace is versatile, classy and trendy. It makes a statement and would be just as at home in a business suit or on the dancefloor with that perfect little black dress or even jeans and a t-shirt. You can click the link above to go right to the instructions. If you make one of your own, please share it with me! (And you can even leave a review on the Michaels.com website as well!)

I have to tell you a secret... I loved this soooooo much... that I almost didn't send it! I got so inspired and created this so very quickly (another way that I know my vision is a good one!) that I still had about 5 days left to send it to Michaels and I almost - ALMOST - went back and came up with a different design. Ultimately, I decided that it was meant to be on this website for all the world to see, not stuck in only my jewelry box. But I will be making more like it... and pushing the limits of what can be done with this form.

The following weekend after I made this, I had to attend a wedding of my friend Kelly (whom I designed for as well - I will have to share that one sometime), and I needed something to wear with my new magenta and purple dress. So I went back to my stash and found the perfect beads and recreated this necklace in a more vibrant colorway.


{Juicy - inspired by Toast of the Town}


What do you think about this color?


I even made some earrings to match.

I am looking forward to making more like it in the future. Versatility is my calling card, and this may very well become a signature look for me. Imagine the possibilities.....

If you would like to make one like this yourself, the instructions can be found on the Michaels.com website.



25 comments:

Courtney said...

I would have had a hard time parting with it as well. Really wonderful colors and flow.

Your purples ~ stunning!

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

What a stunning necklace! Don't know if I could part with it!

A Half-Baked Notion said...

Beautiful and classic, Erin! Both colour-ways are just stunning.

Penny Neville said...

I love the versatility that you created with both designs, that is a really wonderful feature for all of us glam girls. Erin both designs are luxe!

Erin S said...

congrats on your Michael's claim to fame--what a wonderful compliment to be asked, and I must say you rose to the occasion with your versatile piece.

Also, I freakin' LOVE that necklace you currently have in your blog masthead!

Lola said...

Beautiful necklace -- fantastic design! Thanks for the tip on those glass coin pearls Erin ... they really do look like the real thing!

Congrats on being a part of Michael's jewlery celebration!

Katie Hacker said...

Super pretty, Erin!!!

NEDbeads said...

I absolutely love it!!!!! What a fabulous idea, Erin!!! I may have to make one of these for myself, I am in love with your idea!! Gorgeous colorways, both of them!!

Alice said...

Congratulations on getting to be a part of this group! They know talent when they see it. At one time I was a snob about purchasing at Michaels or Hobby Lobby, but as bead prices are on the rise I find myself going there more and more. The selection at Miachels is huge and sometimes I'm a bit overwhelmed. That's because I tend to purchase only the beads that I can already envision a design while still in the store.

I love both of your pieces. They are both elegant, yet I can also see them with a pair of jeans and a nice tee. I love the fact that the first one is so beautifully long!

I definately see a trip to Michaels in the near future.

Patti Van said...

Congratulations!!!!!! I love this design, especially the fact that it can be worn in so many different ways! Both are stunning...but the first one is truly spectacular!

cw whitedogjewelry said...

Congratulations! You must be very excited about all of this. I think it's a wonderful opportunity to show a gazillion people your talent. 'sound like it was a fun adventure as well.
'wishing you continued success and happiness.
I love the necklace, the changeability, colors, it all works!

carolynchenault said...

Love how versatile your design is! I'll have to check out Michael's website for jewelry month!

Off the Beadin' Path said...

Well, Michael's, here I come! Your designs are overwhelmingly beautiful and brilliant! You were made for this opportunity! Each one is sparkling and elegant! Hey, see you in 2 weeks!!

Orion Designs said...

Erin - you created a stunning and versatile piece of jewelry that will inspire so many designers. Being selected by Michael's was a well deserved honor. You're one of the most talented designers I've come across ... ever.

Jennifer Jangles said...

Yay Erin! That necklace is beautiful and perfect for Michael's. I always love to hear how you come up with the inspiration.

Have a great day,
Jennifer

Mellisa said...

Really a beautiful necklace design and I do love the versatility! Congratulations on the Michael's opportunity, it's a great feather in your cap :)

JeannieK said...

High five Erin. These are supremely beautiful!

Kristen said...

No I couldn't part with it but I say that about all your creations don't I!

stregajewellry said...

I do love Design Seeds. Her photos and color palettes are so gorgeous! I love those coin beads! What a fantastic design! Congratulations! I'm glad you sent it to Micheal's and shared the love with all of us! P.S. I love the magenta!

Roxanne Mendoza said...

Congrats Erin!!! So excited for you! :)

Brandi Hussey said...

Oh, Miss Erin, it's totally lush. I can absolutely see why you wanted to keep the original! Congrats on partnering with Michael's!

Dawn Doucette said...

Erin, you rock! Congratulations on being part of Michaels.com design party! That is truly awesome and you are UBER deserving!!

I love your design and I REALLY love your pink and purple creation. I'm totally crushing on that right.this.second!!

Have a wonderful, inspired day!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Congratulations Erin! Your Toast of the Town necklace is gorgeous! I love that it can be worn in more than one way.

Anonymous said...

Hello Erin! I just looked at all the beautiful designs in this challenge and yours was by far my most favorite piece. Congratulations to you for being picked to do this! I look forward to meeting you the end of October at Heather's retreat! Diana Kolowski baublesbeadsandmore.etsy.com

kiwiken said...

You're a genius! Such a pretty design, love the colours of both of them, and that it can be worn in different ways is the icing on the cake! With all the necklaces I own, I always struggle to find the right one for an outfit, and if it has the right colours, for sure it is the wrong size... This would be the perfect solution to the problem!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin