Friday, September 5, 2014

Blue Fantasy Blog Hop and it's Spikey Cool

Two broken needles, three mistakes (corrected), one bead broken mid design, and 4 design ideas later, I turned out the necklace.  Here's how it went down.

 I was digging the crap out of messing around with the spike beads but nervous as a virgin bride at the same time.  It's my first time out with them and when the package came and they were in it,  I felt that same mix of horror/fascination I got the first time viewing The Exorcist, when Regan does the 360 degree head turn on Father Karras.  Freaking scary, but you can't look away.  I had not worked with them before, but I thought a bead embroidery piece might work well, as long as I had seed beads to match.

One thing about living in Key West is there are not a slew of bead stores, so if you don't have seed beads in stock and you are 5 days out from the deadline, you're outta luck.  Fortunately, I did have beads that I think worked well.

Every experienced beader knows that now and again, a bead, thread, or stitch will misbehave like it's possessed.  Most times we can rescue something from its demonic undertaking and carry on.   But, when my bead broke, it was way back in the beginning of the design of one of the medallions.  I had already edged the piece and was stitching and tying off thread when it happened and I had never had that happen before.  I wanted to throw myself down the stairs like Father Karrass did in the Exorcist movie, except there are no stairs in my house.  No -- next idea please.

I decided to see if I could sneak a new bead in along with the other beads.  Beads can be funny about you adding beads in a row after the fact, and refuse to let the new bead lay (or is it lie) just right. However, I think I pulled a quick one on them with it being really late at night, cause even I have trouble telling just where that new bead is.

Oh, and did I mention how an edge bead just decided to up and free itself from the design after I had completed the edging.  This I could not figure how to rescue, so I pulled the whole dang thing out and redid it after a long, low hissing sigh and a few choice words.

The beads weren't finished taunting me.  I had finished the fringe and tied the thread off when I noticed one of the fringes was missing a bead.  Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  After loud prolonged moaning that alarmed even my bead hardy dogs, I figured a way to rescue it without completely redoing the fringe.  I started a new thread and stitched through all the fringes, except for about the last three (one of which had the missing bead).  I cut the thread they were on so there would be a long enough thread left to stitch back through the design and tie it off.  Then, I added the last three fringes.  So several of the fringes now have two threads passing through them.  Not a bad thing, I figure.  Ha-ha, naughty beads, I got the last laugh.  Or, did I?

My First design idea was to link the medallions into a bib style necklace (see picture just before the earrings), but was not digging how that was looking as I went along.  Next, I was going to just use one medallion in the necklace, but felt it looked too common/boring.  This is a  blue FANTASY  challenge after all.

This will tell you more about me than I really want you to know but when I first saw that this was a Blue Fantasy challenge, all I could think of was the Fantasy Suite on The Bachelor in which the dude gets to hook up with 3 girls (one at a time of course) in nice hotel suites before he picks two to meet his mom and dad (ha, ha -now that I read this it sounds so ridiculous).  Anyway, if I were the gals, I would want to be rocking a pretty hot necklace for that event, eh?  With that in mind, I decided to make a long one-stranded necklace with the linked medallions, which I was happy with, until I saw there was about a half inch gap in the strand.  How did that happen????  I know I pulled the thread really tightly as I was stitching and tying it off.  It's a conspiracy, I thought.  Those conniving beads convinced the thread to pull a quick one on me.  This meant war!!!

 I was determined to make it work despite all the bead shenanigans.  I prayed to the bead gods long and hard (translate desperately) for a solution and came up with the idea of doubling the long strand by hooking the center to the medallions.  Of course, this meant the necklace was now too short to close around my neck, so I added a jump ring to secure a few beads to the end on each side and Voila..

 Here is what I started with.

And Here is what I made.

I was going to link these medallions in a bib style but decided against that.   Spike in left corner had just been glued to lacy's stiff stuff prior to stitching.  Medallion is right corner is completed.  Medallion in center still needed to be edged.

Nothing too fancy but I like them.

Now on to the rest of those hoppers with a big thanks to our host, Lisa Lodge.

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Karen Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Candida Elkins Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life
Gloria Allen, Wings and Beads
Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog
Lisa Prewitt Knappenberger, LiRaysa Designs
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Raissa de Guzman, Abloro

Jill Bradley, Jilly Beads


  1. As I was reading through the post I thought "how can the necklace top this story?" Then I came to the picture: stunning through and through. My eyes dance up and down the piece. And those earrings are fabulous and I need them!!! Well done.

  2. Despite all the difficulties, you created a gorgeous necklace! I love how you connected all your pieces together, it is fabulous.

  3. Hi Terri, I favor bead embroidery too. Your design is wonderful. It looks great on you. I enjoyed reading your post and I am glad that you found ways to work through your problems. You are right, beads sometimes have a mind of their own.

  4. Just love the necklace and earrings! You definitely mastered the spike.

  5. You and your jewelry are beautiful! As a new beader I am completely jealous of the bead embroidery designs and yours is stunning! To die's a gift from heaven all wrapped up in the sky, the stars and a ribbon of gold. If you had wings I'd think you were an angel...and all of us designers just know there are beads in heaven!

  6. I loved reading your post! You tamed the wild spike! Those earrings look pretty fancy to me..and I love how you wrapped them. You 'more than saved' the's beautiful.

  7. Sometimes it is hard to get the beads to do what you want. It is like they have a mind of their own. The end result is fantastic!

  8. That is some supercool wire-wrapping on those earrings. And your seed beading is amazing.

  9. These are both really wow pieces! Love them.

  10. Great set! They look terrific on you.

  11. Absolutely FANTABULOUS!!!! I would LOVE TO wear this collection and I am not fond of blue at all...WOWZA!

  12. I would say that the bead gods answered your prayers. I just love the necklace, it's gorgeous and your earrings are perfect.

  13. Gorgeous necklace and earrings, loved the story of how it got made.

  14. Terri - the words that came to mind upon viewing your necklace and earrings were super, cool, and awesome! So beautiful! You went through quite a process to get there, and the results were totally worth it. Thanks for being in the hop!

  15. I couldn't get past the fact that you are in key west Kate Mckinnon is teaching a workshop and I would well, I'm not going, anyway. Lucky you

  16. I couldn't get past the fact that you are in key west Kate Mckinnon is teaching a workshop and I would well, I'm not going, anyway. Lucky you


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