EDIT: At first a sorry for the late blog entry. I actually set a date in advance because this weekend the 25th wave gothik festival takes place in Leipzig (to think that we are part of this for nearly two decades... hu.. I am old! ^^). But... it seems I made the mistake of setting the time at exactly 0.00 and blogspot understood that this meant from the 15th to the 16th.
There is something special in taking place in exchanges with (often known but more often unknown) people around the world. It is challenging oneself, at least it is challenging me, and I think this is important as well as really, really enjoyable! Linda Anderson started the bead peeps swap and hop and is actually organizing everything. Moreover, after doing this once, taking on all the workload (which is quite a lot with so many participants all over the world), she did it again! Thank you so much Linda! :)
In short: The general idea is to exchange beads and material, send it out to the other person and create with them! Since you don't know what you get, this can be really challenging. I think we all settle mostly for known material, favorite beads, colours and shapes. To get something unknown and to have a set date until one has to create something, gets me out of my comfort zone.
It also happened this year. My partner is Inge and she actually create lampwork beads herself. What I got was a beautiful collection mostly of her own handmade beads. I have the deepest respect for art beads and the work involved creating them. She added also more beads, from wooden ones to crystal glass, semi-precious stone and ceramic. It filled a whole box!
You can see the beads a little bit more detailed below. See the ammonite (actually one of the beads I still didn't use although it is my absolute favorite!) below? It sparkles with silver below. Also some of the other beads had sparkling accents but hard to catch on camera.
I also did something I really hope Inge won't be too angry about (or hopefully not angry at all!): I actually took some of her beads and etched them. I like the shades of blue and green and wanted to get more into the impression of "sea-glass". I think it enhances the pattern on her beads even more.
I wrote about the challenge a blog hop like this can be and actually, as beautiful as Inge's beads are, it was a real challenge for me! The reason was actually the size of the beads. I am not used to work with such big beads. I know a lot of other people who do, but not me. I do create big earrings and big necklaces, but the parts they are made of are mostly not big.
Strangely enough the really big wooden beads helped me to start. I loved them at first sight and it was really fast to find some beads in my stash to go with them: Petrified wood, african recycled glass beads (yellowish! You know how difficult it is for me to use yellow ;)), more wood beads, matte czech glass beads and old bone beads (upcycled from an old necklace). The necklace is simply made with knotted linen cord (not waxed and a little bit rough to my hands, but not rough to wear). This is also my favorite from all I made :)
Some weeks ago I got some faux leather cord from a friend. I have never used it before but liked the combination of blue/turquoise and brown. As different this bracelet below and the necklace above are, their colour scheme actually fits quite well. I also used the claps Inge send me!
The etched beads also came together to become a bracelet. I am not sure if I'll leave the metal (silver plated copper) so shiny or if I want to oxidize it to get a more organic look. Still undecided...
These earrings are all made from beads Inge send me including some of her own lampwork beads! They dangle lovely (and you know, dangling is one of the most important properties of earrings for me).
I played a little bit with wire and used some more of Inge's lampwork beads to create earrings. I am also not sure if I should not oxidize all of them! ;)
(Please ignore my finger tip! Just saw it now and it is already to dark outside to take more pictures...)
Something I learned this time: A different shape and style to create necklaces. I used two of the focal lampwork beads combined with a second big round bead. The necklaces are really long and they look quite cool on person! A little bit 20ies style last century... Sadly I won't wear them because my upper side is a little bit big and long necklaces look funny with this kind of "natural spacer". ^^
But how beautiful would the look on the right person! *sighs* They move and seem to dance, still, they are heavy enough to not be flimsy... and look at the gorgeous beads! The flowers on the beads below are different all around!
I just have to show you another image (and I tried really hard to restrict myself so the blog post won't go one forever ;) ).
Here a last impression of the beads I started with and what I created with them!
Thank you so much Linda and Inge!
Have a look at Inge's creations here and to get to all participants, just jump over to Linda's blog here (as well as what she made). :)