Sunday, December 15, 2013

Znetshows Winter Pearl Challenge (and Glossi!)

My favorite bead company has done it again!  They sponsored a "Winter Pearl Challenge", and asked their designers to pick a generous stash of pearls and crystals...and to put our fingers into gear and create some pretty pieces from all the gorgeous beads we received.  Emphasis on winter...this challenge was to be featured in Znetshows' Glossi (an e-magazine), winter edition. 

I chose a colorway called "Steel Rose", which I thought was perfect for winter: icy crystal, a sparkly barely-there gray crystal, a darker metallic gray crystal, and (be still my beating heart) a crystal with a rosy blush.  Then I chose tiny 3 mm white pearls (the most versatile "ingredient" in this mix, hands down),  6 mm pale gray pearls, and 10 mm darker gray pearls.  Opening the box was like opening a treasure chest:
See what I mean?  Oh, those little (4mm) cube crystals!  And the teardrops! 
My first project was a pair of earrings.  I made loops of the tiny white pearls, using beading wire and a crimp, which I covered with a silver crimp cover.  I added the loops to a simple arrangement of a large dark gray pearl topped with another tiny white pearl for a classically elegant earring, perfect for winter (or for any season...pearls are seasonless).  Can you imagine my excitement when I opened the Glossi link to discover MY EARRINGS on the cover!

I!  Such an honor!  My second project was a necklace.  I started with a silver connector, one with space for a center dangle, with room also for a couple of smaller dangles on each side.  For the focal piece, I used a Znetshows crystal from one of the previous challenges...the key chain challenge.  The crystals are large and gorgeous, and have a finish that creates a different color on each side.  The name of this "color" is Sahara Green.  If I had my way, it would be called Alexandrite.  It's green(ish) on one side, but on the other side it has the most beautiful purple "flash"...spectacular.  I used a silver paddle headpin and an ornate silver bead cap for this dangle.  The other dangles are made using the teardrop and cube crystals from this challenge.  The necklace itself is a continuous rope of my favorite 3 mm white pearls, and attach to the silver connector with crystal teardrop and pearl connectors made with silver eye pins.

Now for the bracelets.  I made two.  The first is made from five loops of memory wire, and has a different arrangement of pearls and crystals on each loop.  I struggle with symmetry...I prefer symmetry over asymmetry, although when using memory wire, I usually end up with exactly the same arrangements on each loop of wire, which isn't visually pleasing.  I worked HARD to create a bracelet in which each loop of wire had a different arrangement...what do you think? 

My final piece is a three-strand bracelet, using a combination of the pearls and crystals in a different way...different for me, that is!  Strand #1 is actually the last of the beautifully wire-wrapped white pearls from Jeannie Dukic's last Do-Over Challenge.  I had just enough for this bracelet.  The second  piece is a super-simple strand of randomly-chosen (oh, so hard for me to do random!) 4 mm crystal cubes.  I paid no attention to the colors I randomly chose, and I was thrilled with the outcome.  The final strand is comprised of a mix of the three pearls chosen for this challenge, with some crystal rondelles tossed in for some sparkle.  The bracelet is finished with two using a decorative silver headpin and crystal beads; the other using a silver paddle headpin and pearls. 

And there you have it!  I LOVED this challenge!  It was a joy to receive another package of gorgeousness from Znetshows, and a joy to create pretty pieces of jewelry with them.  All my gratitude and thanks to Bill and to Hope for this amazing opportunity.
But guess what?  There's a super Znetshows give-away for our friends and fans!  Details are here, on the Znetshows blog!  Go there now, and enter to win!  And while you're there, take a look at the creations from the other Znetshows designers...they are spectacular!


  1. I love all of your creations, especially the earrings!

  2. I love your work! I feel honored to say - you are my Bead Soup Partner!! YAY! My email is


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