27 August 2013

Lorelei's Michaels Challenge

The talented Miss Lorelei does these challenges from time to time where she picks a set of beads from Michaels or some other retail bead store, and challenges her readers to make something. I cannot say no to a good challenge, and despite the fact that I have yet to even start on my own Challenge of Travel jewelry, I had to do this! Plus, I live like 1.2 miles from Michaels so I had no excuse.

I have to say that I was very intrigued by the color palette. Miss Lorelei is a wiz with color. She has a way of combining colors that is surprising and fresh. This palette was no different. Although I will admit to being stumped just a tad. I have had these beads on my table for weeks, since I bought them right away the next day after Lorelei announced the challenge. But of course I waited until last night to begin!

When I went shopping for the beads she picked out, I could find some but not others. So I substituted the green pearls for the jade rounds, since I only found one strand and the color was a bit too washed out for my taste. I liked the bright green and the wonky holes in these pearls. I did find the blue and white rounds that she had, but I also spotted all these other ones. I really liked the shape of the saucers and the pattern on the tiny rounds. So I took some creative liberties. ;-)

I will admit that the owl button was hard to find and when I got it I was stumped by what I would do with it. It needed something as it was quite tiny, and the eyes are so hollow. I knew that I wanted it to be the focal, so I made it into one. Actually, I made it into four in different colorways: navy, olive, cyclamen opal and greige.

I remembered that I had some Crystal Clay lying around from some previous projects, and a lot of flat backed hot fix chatons from when I worked for the Jolee's Jewels line a few years ago. And of course I have bezels galore in my studio! So I set off to make the focals. But those eyes were so hollow and empty! Why not make them yellow, like all my owls? Aha! I put the larger golden amber colored chatons UNDER the button to give that hint of a surprise.

I started with using what was described on the Bead Landing package as 'green waxed cotton cord' with the blue and white beads. Um. No. This is definitely not waxed. If you want that, you should head to Lorelei's Jewelry Accord shop. She has the most delicious array of colors. If you like using fibers, you must check out what she has in store for you. I just didn't have time at the last minute the night before to order some. But I know that I should have a better array of colors on hand.

Originally, I was just going to string the saucer beads on the cord and tie knots, but I noticed that they had the prettiest star shape when I turned it on the side. That changed the plans. It was a struggle to make this cord work through the holes, but I love that it brings that pop of green over to this side. I don't know about you, but when I do something like this with fiber, I always cut off too little and then end up scrapping it and I hate to wasted things like that! My first attempt was on the other side, and I was using about 14" of cord. Too small! So I cut it all off, said a few choice words and started over on the other side with at least 36" of cord. That is my tip to you... overestimate the amount of cord you will need by 3x. ;-)

[The Wisdom of Last Minutes]

For the owl focal I went with the one with the blue crystals and the golden eyes, per my daughter's suggestion that it brings out the blue (although in this light it looks more black - trust me that it is blue). I think she is right. I call this 'The Wisdom of Last Minutes' because I literally didn't start on this until about 8pm yesterday and I am quite delighted with the way it turned out, despite all the curse words I lobbed at those blue and white beads and that cord.

[Forest Sentry]
Of course as soon as I crimped the last crimp, I looked down on the table and saw that I hadn't even touched the strand of dark amber colored shell disks. Doh! I had a wee little polymer clay owl pendant from Heather Powers at Humblebeads lying there (a Humblebead is always lying close by ;-) and since the other piece has an owl-y flair I thought that I would whip up a little memory wire bracelet with this charm. It looks like this wise fellow is watching over the forest like a sentry and keeping an eye on things. A few more curse words were flung at the pearls with their wonky holes that made my memory wire lose its focus. But I pushed on.

[Safari Stars]
And of course, today is my day over at Earrings Everyday and I didn't have anything prepared. So I created these earrings with some of the leftovers. A few more naughty words were hurled at the non-waxed cotton cord. But I triumphed!

And so to celebrate the fact that I got to bed before 1am and was so prolific with the things that I managed to create, I would like to giveaway this wee blingy owl pendant to someone who leaves a comment answering the following question:

Do you work better at the last minute or
are you the sort that gets it done right away?
Do tell!
No, seriously.
Because I have a sickness that makes me wait until the very last minute
and I would like to know how to break myself of that bad habit. ;-)

[And be sure that I have a way to contact you either in your comment or in your profile
because you can't win if I can't find you!]


Lorelei Eurto said...

Duuuuuuuuude! YOU ROCKED IT. I knew you would! I love every technique and the little owl pendants, INGENIOUS!!!
Love that you knotted the beads in the first necklace, laying those disc shaped beads flat was brilliant. Love the brown and green color palette and that owl from Heather is to die for.
The earrings turned out BOHO-FABULOUS! And that is what I have to say about that.
thanks for playing!

Serena Trent said...

Love how you made that green POP!

The Cabby Crafter said...

I love what youve made, as always! I am a crammer. Ideas come when the know im in crunch time mode. The funny thing is that my husband knows when i have to beat a deadline so he goes to bed all by himself and doesn't wait up. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Those earrings turned out FAB! And to answer your question: 99% of the time, I am a wait till the last minute and scramble to get it done kind of gal. Every once in a VERY great while, I will get an idea and just have to get it out of my head right away. I feel like I come up with my best work under pressure. BUT when inspiration strikes, it can't be ignored!

CraftyHope said...

I felt like I waited for the last minute with my design too since I just finished it up yesterday. I really love what you did with the addition of the rhinestones to the owl buttons. And the green 'waxed' linen cord works so well with this palette. I don't know why I didn't think of that (I have some that is actually waxed in that shade) myself. I like the way your memory wire bracelet turned out too. Nice!

As far as your question, had you asked me this in college I would have absolutely told you that I work better at the last minute. Now, I don't know anymore. It all depends on the materials I think and how much they inspire me. I know, that's a flaky answer but it's true!

Amy F said...

Stunning work - you really knocked it out of the park!

Tanya said...

Those are all just amazing! I love the pearls and the shade of green just works so well .. and that non waxed cording is perfect.

I am just blown away by the pendants, though. That is just genius and they turned out so well!

As for your question, I have to finish a bit ahead of time when I am doing bead weaving. It's hard to leave that to the last minute. :) I also get a bit stressed if I don't have a plan and my husband isn't very fond of that, lol.

Unknown said...

Erin I KNEW when I went to your page that you would make Exquisiteness! Really just love everything you made..such a WOW!!

Malin de Koning said...

I love the earrings Erin! I saw them on Earrings Everyday also. And I love that you've made those cute owl pendants too.

Malin de Koning said...

I love the earrings Erin! I saw them on Earrings Everyday also. And I love that you've made those cute owl pendants too.

Heather Powers said...

Ahhh! I love what you did with my owl charm. He does look quite ready for the challenge. It's so fun to see how just one bead - those pearls - totally change the feel of the beads. They add such a rich pop of color and really look great with the waxed linen. We are once again sharing a brain!!!

Unknown said...

I lay everything out RIGHT AWAY , move it around & then make it w/in hours of the deadline! I also try to scrimp on waste & run short, ( or my least fave? breaking fiber OR realizing all the beads' holes don't fit the (^%*&$^ fiber...). This might be the best use of that clay I've seen, I didn't notice it 'til you said you had used it, nicely done).

Saraccino said...

The owls look so great! I already liked the little buttons, but now as pendants with the amber eyes, they are so beautiful!

I also already saw your earrings at earrings everyday :)

...and.... I am so a last minute person. Somehow a deadline says to me: Oh, just wait for the adrenaline rush ^^

Jennifer said...

If I'm inspired i can get on a roll and get things done early. Like one year I made a bunch of fine silver initial charms for Christmas presents.

Ann Schroeder said...

I love the things you made! That green with the blue is a gorgeous combination. And those owl pendants are fabulous! Thanks for the chance to win one.

I don't necessarily do things right away, but I am not a last minute girl. I don't do as well under pressure. The thing that keeps me from procrastinating is that I don't like to be stressed, and I know the cure for that is to get stuff done!

Unknown said...

I think everything is awesome but I especially love the earrings. So much fun!

All my best work is done at the last minute! Definitely work best under pressure.

Naomi Rose Designs said...

I lovevallnof these, but the Humble bead owl is awesomne!
I'm kinda both a crammer and fast starter.
I tend to look things over, play with layouts and materials, then scrasp it all and do something new at the last minute.

I too, have yet to start on my Staycation/Challenge of Travel, post.
Glad I'm not the only one ;)

Carolyn said...

I do like what you did with the beads.

I looked at doing the challenge but was not inspired with the bead choices. Of course that was just last week. Obviously, I don't do well at the last minute. I like to choose the beads and then change the beads around and then make the item at the last minute.

Thanks for a chance to win one of the pendants.


Jewelry Treasures by Louise said...

Beautiful work, just what I imagined doing, if I had not procrastinated. LOL. I 'think' its better at the last minute, and do procrastinate sometimes. I bought the beads but then just looked at them for a week. Then I had other things to attend to! Deadlines and challenges do help motivate at times. For myself, I think the best policy would be to not leave it 'til the end, but that doesn't always work! another vote for last minute, reluctantly.

Anonymous said...

Mmmhmm, love what you have created in this challenge Miss Erin! I, personally, would wear everything you've made here!
As for your question, why yes, I'm definitely a last minute creator. For example, I have one thing laid out on a board for Saturday's hop, and another still percolating in my head. I'll get there (but TG your Saturday starts much later than mine as it will give me time to finish AND take photos!).

Anonymous said...

First off, I love love love the designs! Totally a home run! I love your combination of cord and color and the owl pendants rock! I work better when under pressure at the last minute. Sometimes my beads need to sit for a while....then I forget about them....then its ooooohhhhh nnnnoooo! When I'm under pressure, my idea bubbles floating around in my head seem to hold together a little better. Not sure why that is.....:-)

pretty please count me in for this amazing giveaway! Thanks a bunch!

Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Wow! You made some awesome pieces! Love that color pallette! As for me.......I always have ideas when a challenge is offered and there is a deadline. I have the ideas all fleshed out way ahead of time ......then, I get down to the last couple of days and have to push to get the job done and always, the idea comes out much better than my original idea. I think the pressure makes me work better.
Lee (Stregajewellry@yahoo.com)

Unknown said...

Hi Erin --
Well have to say that I love your treatment of the Michaels Bead Challenge, especially the use of the green pearls as it just looks so elegant -- and I have to let you know directly that I think us "last minuters" need that push to jump-start the creative juices -- I know that whenever I try to do things in advance, I never really "feel" the pulse of the project so I say don't question how one works, just let it flow


Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

How beautiful! I just worked with a similar palette yesterday and wrote about it yesterday on my blog!
As for last minute work...I am trying to "roll with it" lately.
Normally I am very frustrated if I cannot get things done in a certain time frame which I set for myself. I seem to have given up on that for the time being and just let things happen. It is very hard for me. It seems I have to do it, though! love jean

Lisa Cone - Inspired Adornments said...

Simply gorgeous! I can't believe you got that fiber through the bead holes...twice! I would have given up!

I started my project early on and was done quite early. It made for MUCH less stress. I should do that more often. That being said, I still haven't done my Travel challenge yet. Bad Lisa.

Becky Pancake said...

Erin your owl focals are over the top fabulous. The crystals under the eyes is brilliant. I tried cord and couldn't make it look right in my design. You did it really well. Isn't it fun to see what other designers do with the same materials?I don't usually wait until the last minute to start my design. I do however push myself to see how many designs I can finish until my time is up so I end up working until the very last minute and quite often my last design is my best. Thanx for being so generous with your beautiful owl focal and offering us a chance to win it.I do procrastinate about lots of things in my life but not usually my beading.

Jenn said...

Deeee-licious! Love, love, love your creations and what you did with Lorelei's challenge. I'm both. If I want to create something according to a plan, I need time. If I can roll with the reality, I can do something last minute as long as I don't expect the results to meet what was in my head. But sometimes those are the best surprises!

Lauren Huber said...

I am a total last minute kind of girl. I just work better under pressure! ...And I have huge procrastination problems, haha.


KayzKreationz said...

I love them all . And the owl vocals are so cute. I usually try to get things done right away, but sometimes I seem to work better under pressure. It seems to come together better for me.


Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Oh, I do much better with time, but, unfortunately, I always wait 'til the last minute - and the disaster that is on my table today for the upcoming Challenge of Travel hop (I will persevere and figure something out!) attests to. Tip for the day - raw polymer clay removes alcohol inks from metal (oh, tip 2 as well - do not rush filling bezels with resin because even if it looks like everything's okay, when you come back to them, you overfilled them - add resin slowly and let it level before adding more).....

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

And, BTW, I absolutely love the necklace - brilliant!

Dawn Doucette said...

Girllllll, you rocked the color palette! I'm totally inspired by how you pulled all those funk dubious beads together!

I live about 30 miles from the nearest Michaels, so I was in the safe zone... Until Joanne's decided they couldn't handle being so far away from me (30 mi. the other direction) so THEY had to go and build one 1.2 miles up the road. SO with that being said, I now need a support group for all things beady. LOL

Do I procrastinate or tackle things right away... I'd have to say BOTH. If I have the materials that suit me on hand, then things get done lickety split. If I have to order bits & pieces, then likely the project will wait until the 11th hour. :) I always say I work better under pressure, but lately I'm finding I like the relaxed feeling of NOT having to crush my brain for that last minute idea. Whooooo, whoooooo would have thought? ;)

Love the owls! Have an awesome day!

Lynn said...

HI Erin,

I'm DEFINITELY a last minute person. It's sad, but I'm a huge procrastinator. That happens when you have extra time on your hands. A little bit of advice: If that is the way you work, not having a real job may not improve things. I had that luxury. When you have a lot of time, its a lot easier to waste it or fill it up doing other things that need to get done. You do such beautiful work now, that I'm not sure that having more time would do anything but possibly increase your output, if that is a major goal of yours. If not, the status quo might just be the best thing for you. It sounds like you thrive on being busy. Just make sure to do things for yourself occasionally to mitigate the stress. If you want to get intellectual about the topic of Procrastination Google "Timothy Psychl", who publishes a blog about procrastination on Psychology Today. But you probably don't have time to waste on that! By the way, I love owls, and yours are VERY cute!


Charis Designs said...

Wowser! You took those owls to a whole new level. The necklace is amazing and I love the bright pop of color. I really do try to work ahead, but it always seems to be last minute before it's all pulled together. There's just something about last minute inspiration!! Christie


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