Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dark Bloom Design Challenge Kit...Reveal time!

So it's time again for another Andrew Thornton design challenge reveal! This month is Dark Bloom...a gorgeous blend of black, grey and silver to perfectly accent the rich purples and pinks...a fantastic palette!

In case, you haven't been following or aren't familiar with Andrew's design kits, I will mention just a couple of things...he is VERY generous with the contents of our kits. We get a premium blend of seed beads and assorted glass, a clasp, waxed linen, vintage glass, czech glass, crystals and the "mystery" component, a surprise until it arrives in your mailbox :)'s a wonderful way to get inspired! So for any who follow my blog you know lately I've been creating a lot of bracelets...particularly the stacking/layering style. I love them and they allow for such versatility. I think the nature of the bead styles in these kits lends nicely to these bracelets. The sizes of the beads are well suited to lots of them being worn together and Andrew coordinates everything so just seems right.

I don't do much designing with seed beads anymore...they tend to be stoppers or fillers for larger beads...but with this kit I decided to challenge myself to use more of the beautiful premium blend which is mostly seed beads. I'm experimenting lately with making my own jump rings, so this bracelet came together with the marrying of a personal challenge to use the seed beads and wanting to experiment with more ways I could use my handmade jump rings. Oh, and one of my first attempts at making ball headpins! I love how this turned out...simple but so stylish! All metal findings made by me, all beads are from the kit.

This bracelet shows another of my latest design favorites...Irish waxed linen. This stuff is great fun to design with comes in 30+ colors, creates durable designs this has replaced my use of flexible bead wire pretty much completely. I hate using crimps, I never feel like they are secure and even though its "flexible" beading wire still has a stiffness and lack of me anyway. Waxed linen has flexibility, movement and a boho feel that I really like for my designs. So every thing in this bracelet is from the kit except the copper snap clasp.

For this bracelet I went a simple design so the polymer charm would really be the focus. This was our "mystery" component, handmade by Andrew. I'm sure the flat black beads are some type of gemstone, but haven't had a chance to look them up. I used some of my handmade twisted jump rings, gunmetal clasp and faceted glass. Focal, beads and clasps are from the kit. All jump rings are handmade by me.

For this double wrap bracelet I used glass beads from the 4 mini strands to make the different sections, separated by acrylic chips from the premium blend and the rest of the waxed linen. Added a snap clasp and VOILA!

Earrings to coordinate with any of the bracelet designs...

and last I loved the look of my first bracelet with the seed beads and jump rings so much I thought it would make a nice necklace design too. So that's it for me...all the bracelets can be stacked together or worn separately and the earrings and necklace coordinate nicely with everything. Thanks to Andrew for another beautiful and inspiring kit! If you are interested in playing along the kits sell out fast so keep an eye out on Andrew's blog...I believe the next one is scheduled to go on sale tomorrow evening ;)

I hope you will hop around now to the other participants and see what beautiful designs they created!

Andrew Thornton, Laurel Ross, Alison Herrington, Geri Colgrove, Crystal Lombardo Farrell


  1. Wow, you designed a lot of pieces, I like the way you made your own components. All your pieces are so fluid, this makes a beautiful set!

  2. I just loved this designs and I had to chuckle about the crimps. I am the same way, never trusted those pesky things.

  3. I love how you are using your beautiful jump rings! Gorgeous! I love that first bracelet especially.

  4. I love your pieces, and I am so impressed that you are making your own jump rings! You've inspired me to try using Irish waxed linen. I've never fully trusted crimps, either, so maybe it's time for me to try a new stringing material.

  5. You've created an entire collection! Very impressive! I like how you've used the seed beads in the first bracelet and last necklace, to give texture to the rings. I bet the stacked bracelets look great together! The waxed linen lets the bracelets flow nicely and drape almost like fabric. The earrings you made are lots of fun and I bet they have a lot of movement! Nicely done! And thank you so much for participating! I always look forward to seeing what you'll make!