Hello, my dear beady friends! Do I have a delightful pile of jewelry to share with you!
So, Art Elements is hosting another Use Your Stash Challenge to start off the new year. You may remember a similar challenge that I participated in before. The general idea is to take this opportunity to pillage your stash of art beads and actually use them. No waiting for the “perfect” project or feeling like they’re too pretty to use. You bought them to make jewelry, not to collect them!
So, I hauled out my box of handmade beads that I’ve purchased over the years and got busy beading!
The first thing I made was this pair of earrings. The magpie feathers are from Scorched Earth on Etsy (who you will soon find out is a favorite of mine) and the beaded section is a single unit from my Daybreak Bracelet pattern. I didn’t want it to be too stark, so instead of making the beaded section in black and white, I used powdery green, matte silver, and mottled black. I was worried the proportions wouldn’t work out, but I ended up really liking it!
These next earrings feature some gorgeous leaves (also by Scorched Earth) that have this gorgeous blue/green sheen to them. Seriously, photos cannot do the gloss on these things justice. I used my Perky Pips pattern to make flowers for the top. I managed to find the perfect blue color to match the leaves and I think they turned out really special.
I have a whole bunch of these little drops (again, from Scorched Earth) because Petra keeps making them in gorgeous new colors. Usually, I just pop them on kidney-style earrings and wear them plain, but I wanted to add some beading to these. I used my Diadem Bracelet pattern to make the diamond-shaped unit and really pushed myself on colors. The yellow is certainly out of my comfort zone, but I think it balanced those lovely little butterscotch drops.
I also have a ton of these spikes from Scorched Earth and I also usually wear them plain because the color is so rich and the long shape is super flattering. This time, I used my Dainty Duo Drops pattern to make the top section in matte gray, bright silver, and mottled blue. I think the top-heavy proportions on this one turned out really cool.
So, this pair is probably going to be something I keep instead of something I sell (since I just attached beads with jump rings, it doesn’t feel like I really did anything, haha). But, I combined more Scorched Earth spikes with these stunning mint glass rings from Thornburg Bead Studio. They’re much lighter weight than they look and I love the combo of the glossy green and mint with the matte silver findings. They’re gonna be a little gift to myself. <3
I wanted to push myself away from just adding art bead dangles to my usual earrings, so I decided to use some bigger pieces to make pendants. This gorgeous teardrop is a wood pendant with paint splashes in fuchsia, purple, and turquoise that I bought from Summer Wind Art. I used my Cup Blossom design to make a coordinating flower and then made it into a slider to go on some gorgeous sari silk in a purple/pink blend. It’s waaaay brighter than my usual color palette and getting the flower to sit right was tricky, but I think I finally got a handle on it.
After that, I picked up another Summer Wind Art pendant and used my Tetrabella pattern to make a fancy-pants little connector for it. If the last pendant was a color challenge for me, this one was pure indulgence. Matte gold and earthy greens and antiqued bronze? Oh, you are speaking my language. I love how it turned out and I miiiiight need to make a whole bracelet in those colors now. I love them so much.
So, yes, I was a very busy bee! I have tons more art beads in my stash (and I promise, not all of them are from those three shops – that’s just the inspiration I was feeling this month) and I am definitely feeling the inspiration to USE them. How about you? Are you itching to dive into your stash of hoarded beads?
In the meantime, check out everyone else who participated! The Art Elements team is full of crazy talented people, so I can’t wait to see what they made. <3