18 September 2013

Baubles and Beads :: Hole Punching, Cord Threading Magical Fun!

As usual, I am a bit late to the party. But I always bring a great treat, so I hope you will agree!

A few weeks ago I shared a sneak peek of the pieces that were sent to my by Baubles and Beads, a bead store out of Berkeley, California. Great ingredients to work with! A little spicy with a diverse flavor profile for sure! (Am I watching too much Food Network?)

Today is reveal day!

Of course, I left my percolator on a little too long. That means I almost burnt all the ideas that I had! I love the colors and textures of everything they sent that I think I may have spent too long just fondling it all and not really making anything. That all had to change the other night.

I started with that yummy purple leather strap. It is like buttah, y'all. While the purple leather is a lovely deep shade, I was most drawn to the back, the wine colored suede. And then I spied that perforated metal circle.

[Look! You can still buy these little kits! I thought they had gone the way of the dinosaurs."
Do you remember those plastic lacing grids as a kid? I would save up my pennies and go and buy these little kits that would show you how to do a sort of counted cross stitch to make a picture of a rainbow or a puppy or something. That is what I thought of when I picked that brass piece up.

[In Stitches bracelet - I think this would look great with a stack of purple and teal baubles, don't you?]

I formed the disk with my bracelet bending pliers just for a gentle curve. Then I managed to poke some holes in the leather and then I used a tiny bit of beading wire folded in half as a needle to poke the aqua cord through the holes, essentially cross stitching my way along. At the ends I was at a loss, until I noticed some brass eyelets on the pounding side of my room, you know with all the hammers and stuff. So I poked some more holes and made some nice reinforced brass connection points (since the leather is very soft, I needed something to make it stable). I used the gray pearls woven with teal seed beads and some matte lavender peanut beads for the back. I think I will call this In Stitches.

Next up, I took those little pyramid squares. They each had a hole in the top, but to me they were a bit too big. So I got out my metal shears and cut them up! I did have to file the edges because they were sharp, and I also punched a few more holes so they could dangle like this. I like to work in threes so that is what I did.

[Giza's Hidden Treasures - rather Egyptian looking, don't you think?]
With my hair at chin length, I like earrings that are a little bit longer so that they peek out from my coiffure. Red is a color that I associate with fall, so I added some little Swarovski dangles to the center of each pyramid, the inverted shape nestling in there just right! These would be great with any color in them.

I also had two of them left, so I just threw them on some longer kidney wires. I have always wanted a pair of 'diamond' earrings. Now I have them! Get it? (Okay, still holding out hope that my husband will one day surprise me with a pair, but that is highly unlikely!) The cool thing is that I can switch the direction of the diamond shape (sorry I didn't get a picture but you can tell what they would look like from the ones above)., from sticky-outy to pointy-inny, really easily making these very versatile.

[Poor Girl's Diamonds - even the poorest among us wants to wear diamonds!]

 Okay, the last piece is the one that I really fretted about. That big crescent shaped brass piece is not only large, but it is substantial. I knew that once I started on it there was no going back! It is also a blank canvas so I knew that I had to embellish it in some way. I thought about stamping words, hammering textures, adding patinas. But I also knew that I had this lovely silky kumihumo (God Bless You!) cord that they sent and I was trying to use as much of their products as possible.

So at about 9:30 last night I started by punching out my first hole with my screw punch. It is such thick metal that I really feared for that tiny tool's life! I was able to make it all the way around where I marked them, along the scalloped edge and across the top. In keeping with the embroidery flair in the first piece, I decided that I would do something similar. I fashioned a 'needle' from a small piece of beading wire doubled over to help me pull the three cords through the holes and just started sewing. It was sort of cool to see how the pattern would come to life. I went first in one direction, and then came back the entire length in the other direction. I just knotted them tightly to the back and added a little dab of Hypo-Cement to make sure they would say put.

For the beaded part, I used the brass hex spacers (I call them cornerless cubes) and the table cut wine colored czech glass ovals. I loved the rich color that echoed the burgundy and gold cords. But I needed some green. So I found a strand of some beads that worked with the shape and the tones. The tag said something I can't recall (something like schwama stone but that sounds ridiculous!), but they are a bit shimmery and a very deep dark forest green.

[Autumn's Armor - just the thing to take on Fall in!]

This looks like an armored breastplate to me and the colors are decidedly fall, so I am naming this Autumn's Armor, something to steel yourself with against the coming cold! I was worried about comfort, but it is very light and not scratch at all. I am wearing it today and it must be a wowza piece as people are stopping me and asking about it!

There are others playing along with me. Please go to the Baubles & Beads blog for a reveal of all the participants. As I understand it, they will be giving away design team bead pack to one lucky reader!

They also let me know that they have a special online coupon code for you to get 20% off until September 30. The code is BPSEP and you can use it on their webstore: Baubles & Beads.

Thank you to Lisa Kaufman and Kate Richbourg of Baubles & Beads for the chance to design these pieces with their fun components. I will be getting another goodie box in a few months, so you can watch for more fun to come!


Kim said...

I love what you did with the kit. I would have been stumped by the neck piece. You created a stunning necklace with it.

Michelle Mach said...

Amazing! You really hit this one out of the park!

You were so brave to punch holes in the crescent. I was too scared! :) I love how you wove the cord through it. Cool idea to cut apart the larger brass pieces. I never thought about doing that. And that bracelet is yummy. I'm a little jealous of that beautiful plum shade of shade you received.

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

Wow, do you know what you are doing. I love it ALLLLLLL!

I almost COVET the jewelry which you made, and, as always, I learn from you!

jean xox

Cassi said...

Beautiful pieces --I really love how you cut the larger pieces and created those earrings!

lunedreams said...

Wow, you used it ALL! I am so impressed! (I am starting to think I should use the round grid on a bracelet, love it curved like that). I didn't even think of using the individual cubelets on those square pieces, those made great earrings. Love the red Czech glass with those green stones, they look like moss agate, and stitching was a great way to break up that big stretch of brass.

Ema Kilroy said...

Very creative Erin! I remember those little sewing kits, I loved them! I see how your bracelet emulates that idea. Your pieces are beautiful and inventive, I love them all.

Kate Richbourg said...

Wow Erin. I can't decide which piece I like better. The diamond earrings are really great. All the pieces really have a lot of style.

Great job and thanks for your hard work.

Lori Anderson said...

Very clever with the diamonds! They stumped me. We must have the same type of moms who taught us needlework at a young age.

Dawn Doucette said...

Erin, I totally dig the diamond dangle earrings! Your idea to snip them apart is brilliant! And I bet they are super light-weight too! Gorgeous on all account dear friend!

aneri_masi said...

Sweet!!! Loved the pieces with threadwork in them the best :)

Cindy said...

Erin, you have stretched the boundaries of creativity here with these designs! Really, your pieces are so incredibly different! The cuff bracelet is beautiful - from the stitched grid to the beaded band. It is a beauty. I know you will look fabulous in either pair of earrings with your new hair style (love the reference to diamonds!), and my goodness, the collar is amazing! What a great idea to stitch the various threads through...love it!

Anonymous said...

I love seeing how different designers tackle the same bead soup, and you've certainly nailed this one Miss Erin! Love each and every piece, but that bib style necklace is just so striking, I'm not surprised you've been getting stopped all day!

Becky Pancake said...

Erin all of your pieces are great. The purple bracelet is my favorite.

KayzKreationz said...

What great pieces. I especially love your Autumn's Armor necklace. Love everything going on with it.

fanciful devices said...

what a creative and attractive use of the neck piece! that is a really hard one to use successfully, and you did it. way to go. way to go with all of these.

Anonymous said...

Miss Erin: you really let your inner child come out to play! I love that crescent necklace, very ancient tribal. Way cool!

Treasures by Louise said...

Very nice! I Love the Autumn's Armor necklace, and appreciate the effort you went to punch all those holes.

LisaS said...

Great work Erin! I really like the necklace with the brass crescent. Quite a challenging piece to work with in my opinion.

PiPa said...

That is a gorgeous reveal! Really nice bracelet and earrings, but the necklace is sooo cool!!!


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