Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Artfire Bead Swap reveal

I am chagrined that I am nearly a month late posting these pics, but (sigh) life got in the way. Earlier this spring, I participated in the Artfire Beadweavers Guild bead swap and received some lovely beads from Barbara of Beads of Spirit.

The reveal date was May 15, but I was only a few inches into my beaded rope by then, because I had been so entrenched in my big class final project (which consumed all my waking hours outside of work for about three or four weeks). I made a frantic push to get it done before going on vacation, but I still had a few inches to go, plus the finishing. I finally completed it Sunday night and took some pics this (Monday) evening.

Here again are the beads that Barbara sent me:

As you can see, there is an assortment of amber gold, silver and black beads, in addition to the glass focal and silver clasp. The rules of the swap were that you had to use the focal and the clasp, but were free to add beads from your own stash.

From my collection, I used some silver-lined gold twisted bugle beads from Fire Mountain Gems, which have this cool duotone effect (they look silver in some light and gold in another), as well as some champagne-colored No. 11s from Accents Beads to the mix and then created the rope using a variation of Russian spiral.

To showcase the glass focal, which Barbara said was from Unicorn Beads, I created a bail from three gold oval hoops that I wired together at the bottom only. This caused the top to splay out in a pleasing manner. I then joined the bale and focal with a beaded circle made of some lovely faceted rondelles she included. It's hard to describe the color, almost pumpkin really, but they match the burnt umber of the focal perfectly. (They're in the photo right next to the focal, atop some black beads, but really hard to see. )

The bail was made to be large enough to slip off the necklace, so that the rope can be worn by itself or with another focal. It's about 22 inches total.

Here's a closeup of the clasp, which I was especially taken with:

Some notes on the finishing: Because this type of Russian spiral (made with the bugles) doesn't have a lot of support, I lined the rope with 2mm black cording. I had some cones on hand that had top openings wide enough to slip the cord through some jump rings and then back through the holes. The ends of each cord were then sewn together and tucked down inside the beaded rope.

I'm pleased with the end result. And I am relieved that I am finally done, because this was a karmic debt hanging over my head. This is the first time I've ever blown a bead swap reveal date. I've decided not to participate in any more swap reveals until I finish school next spring. It's just unnecessary, crazy pressure to put on myself.


  1. Great job! Lovely clasp...it compliments completely with the gold-tone bead weaving :)

  2. Wonderful necklace.
    Greetings Manouscha

  3. I know the pressure of trying to hit the deadline, but it was totally worth the wait to see your beautiful necklace! And I think several folks haven't created pieces yet. I love seeing your russian spiral, since I have the bugles to start it, but it's been on the back burner for a while. Great solution for the bail, I'll have to remember that! If you'd like to do a non-pressure challenge, check out Beading Babes. We choose a few patterns and have a couple of months to make. If you don't get to, no big deal. You can find more info on the facebook group page. Of course, if you're already in the group, then I've just made a chump of myself. :)

  4. This is gorgeous, Geneva. I love it. The spiral is great and the focal works so perfectly with it. I understand what you mean about too much pressure. Glad you're taking care of YOU!

  5. Geneva this is awesome!!! Looking forward to getting back into the swaps and challenges, I finally feel ready!


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