ABS Challenge – Feb – Star Lovers | Jewelry

The folks at Art Bead Scene Studio feature beautiful artwork every month, and challenge their readers to create art beads, and art-bead-incorporating jewelry, inspired by the artwork. February’s inspiration is a piece, Star Lovers, by Warwick Goble.

ABS Challenge Feb 2018 -- Inspiration

I’d first made beads for the challenge, which I detailed in my previous post, and now, it’s time for some jewelry with these beads.

Jewelry #1

I made this set inspired by the main colors from the picture, adding to the color of the beads. As usual, I had a different idea at first, but the making process took me in a different direction. (Mostly because the intersection of compatible colors from the clay, from the ones in the picture, and from the beads in my stash is a small, difficult one.) I’m not disappointed with the results, though.

ABS Challenge Feb 2018 -- Earrings #1

I used quite a few faux beads of gunmetal color as accessories to the polymer beads, most of them as connectors for the beads in the necklace. The wire work is just a basic eye loop plus wire securing by winding it at both ends. I combined some of the faux beads to form bunches for an element of fun, since the color scheme began to look (and feel) a bit monotonous.

ABS Challenge Feb 2018 -- Necklace

The gunmetal beads look lighter or darker depending on the amount of ambient light, and of course, I clicked these pictures at different times of the day. (I like them better when they’re lighter.)

Jewelry #2

I made these earrings inspired by the flowing elements in the picture, with a couple of secondary colors added in.

ABS Challenge Feb 2018 -- Earrings #2

In each earring, I connected two triangular beads so the flow of the swirling patterns in them becomes additive. The placement of the jump rings, with the silver metallic beads and creamish faux pearl beads, adds to the flow of the pattern.

That’s it for today!

Overall, the beads were fun to make, but the jewelry was a bit tedious because of difficulties finding stuff that works with the color and shape of the beads. Isn’t that what a challenge is for, though? 😉



I finally sat down and finished the beaded jewelry set that I was working on! And I’m pretty thrilled with the result!

Beadwork Jewelry

Beadwork Jewelry

These are essentially beaded bezels around the polymer clay button beads that I made a while back. I used Peyote stitch for the bezel, of course. I started this at around the same time that I made the Peyote stitch tube, so the beads are still the non-uniform ones. I love how the pieces have turned out, though. Making the loops and connections was pretty fun too — especially when I got the ones on the central piece of the necklace correct with just a bit of planning ahead. 🙂

Now that my stash has uniform beads, and more importantly, since I’m more confident in my beading skills, I can’t wait to make my next beading project. I’m afraid I’ll feel the need for size 15 beads soon, and they’re not available locally. (I used size 11 in the current pieces, and had to stitch differently in the innermost row because the beads were too big.)

Peyote Stitch Tube

Before I get started my next PCA project, I thought I’d practice some peyote stitching with the beads currently in my stash. (Yeah, the not-so-uniform beads.) And I ended up making a small tube that I can thread a rope necklace or thick chain through.

Peyote necklace tube

This is not tubular peyote, it’s flat peyote whose top and bottom edges I joined when I decided that the sheet was large enough. I actually used three colors of beads here, though the difference in two of the colors is so small that they appear to be the same. Not that it takes away anything from the overall look at all. 🙂 The sheet has one row of stitches per color, so it’s a 3-row repeat pattern.

As for beading progress — the tension in my stitching has improved as I’ve practiced, and I’ve gained more confidence in how much I can tug at the thread to make the beads settle well. I’ve even started working on some nice peyote bezels for the polymer clay button beads that I made earlier. But more on that in another post, since I haven’t gotten to work much on them, and I’m eager to meet my self-imposed quota of PCA projects for this month. 🙂

Crocheted Polymer Clay Jewelry

My first project in the PCA art retreat. And my first batch of improvisations to compensate for lack of supplies where I live. 😉

Crocheted Polymer Clay Jewelry

Crocheted Polymer Clay Jewelry

This project uses the invisible spool knitting technique of wire crochet to embellish organic polymer clay beads with a delicate wire mesh, creating teardrop-shaped earrings and pendant. The wire crochet technique is used to create a fine necklace as well.

I could make the beads without much hassle. (Thanks to my sis for lending me her supplies to add the shine on them.) However, I can’t find the fine wire needed for the project here. So I used what I could lay my hands on — a thicker gauge wire.

Now, this wire does not really hold its shape while I work on it, so I couldn’t use the invisible spool knitting technique. I did regular crochet instead, which makes for a thicker mesh.

The wire mesh is also not the least bit delicate — if anything, it’s strong and yet springy 🙂 — but I wanted to work with it instead of trying to force it to be something it wasn’t, so I made the pieces look more traditional Indian instead of modern, by adding more wire-crocheted accompaniments for the earrings. Instead of making a fine necklace, I made a tube that a cord (or a seed-bead necklace) can be strung into.

And I also made a tiny piece that I added as a charm to an old scrunchy bracelet that I’d made. 🙂

So many improvisations! Love the results! ❤ ❤

Hearts bracelet

I made this macramé bracelet using yarn left from my autumn leaf lace top project.

Hearts bracelet

Hearts bracelet

I started out with two cords folded in half, which I made into reverse lark’s head knots around a jump ring pair. I started making symmetrical double half hitch knots from center to sides — I crossed the central cords and used them as carriers to knot the remaining. (This cross-and-knot is what the bracelet rows are mainly made of.)

I added two more cords in the next two rows, while I slowly started to incline the carrier cords more and more, so the two sides eventually made an inverted heart-like ‘/\’.

I continued making outward-moving double half hitch knots. After a few rows, I threaded a metal bead through the two central cords. (I really need more small beads that can fit a macramé cord through them. It’s so difficult to find them where I live — either they’re only wide enough for thin wires, or they’re huge beads.) I knotted the same inverted heart around the bead, leaving the worker cords lax around the bead. Rinse and repeat — a fixed number of plain inverted heart rows, followed by one around a bead.

After a while, I had reached bracelet size, but I guess I had grossly miscalculated the length of cords required, and I had so much of it left. Not enough for another bracelet, though. So I decided to make this piece longer. I can wind the piece around itself, chain a different short piece to its ends, and turn it into a double-loop bracelet. Or I can just add a long-enough chain and turn it into a fancy necklace. There are just so many possibilities, aren’t there? 🙂

I finished the piece by imitating reverse lark’s head knots around another jump ring pair and securing the ends before I snipped them off.

Torus necklace

Remember the Torus pendant that I’d made a while ago? There are more of those metallic-silver tori in my stash — three, to be precise — and I’d really wanted to use them for something. Earrings were my persistent initial thought, but these tori are too big for earrings. I know my wrists are small for a bracelet with a torus focal piece, and I didn’t want to make another pendant. So I decided they would all go together in one necklace. Of course, they needed something else to add to the look, and what better company than some jumbo pearl beads from my stash! 🙂

Torus necklace

Torus necklace

I’d also recently bought some bead caps online, and they turned out larger than I expected. (This is a problem with Indian online retail — there aren’t enough details provided to trust that a purchase would work out well, and sometimes, the return processes turn out to be painful.) I decided to keep them just in case I bought large beads that would fit. For my jumbo pearl beads, these were the only bead caps suitable, albeit slightly oversized. So, well, I used them.

I cut wire lengths for the pearl beads, threaded each wire through a pearl between two bead caps, and made eye loops on both ends. I didn’t fully close the eye loops yet.

I then cut longish lengths of the wire (around 15cm). I wrapped two wires per torus, each one around roughly-opposite points on the torus. The wrapping itself is a simple one, with one end of the wire turned into an outward-facing eye loop, and the other end turned into a spiral that lies on the torus itself. I connected the pearl bead eye loops to the eye loops on the tori, and shut all eye loops.

To finish the necklace, I attached the ends of a silver-colored chain to the end pearl beads. This just might be a statement piece for me. 😛

Beaded partial necklace

My first attempt at bead crocheting resulted in a beautiful bracelet and some very painful fingers. 😦 I’d wanted to try my hand at Kumihimo instead, but I haven’t managed to buy a disc yet. While I’m thinking if I should make a DIY Kumihimo disc, I decided to give bead crocheting one more shot — this time, with cotton crochet thread instead of generic nylon wire.Partial beaded necklaceI tested out the pattern with a few color combinations before finalizing this one. The white seed beads are non-uniform and slightly larger than the others, which made me almost not use them, but it gives the piece a bit of a rustic and handmade look, so I decided to keep them after all. I like this look now. 🙂

The pattern is a 9-bead repeat of blue(3)-white(2)-brown(3)-white(1). It is broken in the middle by a 9-row single-color band of metallic silver seed beads. That makes it around 40 rows of the base pattern on each half, resulting in a partial necklace slightly longer than 16cm (about 6.5″).

To finish the piece — At each end, I used gold wire to make an eye loop that went through the visible crochet stitches and strung a bead cap through the remaining wire. I made another eye loop outside the bead cap to hold the cap in place. I then attached a large jump ring through the outer eye loop, through which I strung black rope to make the partial piece ‘complete’.