A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Glory of Summer

I designed this necklace--believe it or not--around the little blue multi-striped beads around the bail. I had made a bracelet with them, and loved using them so much, I wanted to use them again in a necklace. Aren't they darling? (And of course they are from Happy Mango Beads, my go-to bead store--and they have more!! Just click the link above, or below the picture below.)
Indonesian Glass
So off I went to excavate all my blue, yellow and orange beads to find the elements for my necklace. I knew it was meant to be when I found this spectacular enamel butterfly in my stash, from Gardanne Beads.
The lady has a way with enamel, no?

I went with copper, because I love the warm/cool contrast, and chose a little of this and that to go with my beads and my butterfly--a cultured sea glass nugget from Stinky Dog Beads in cornflower blue, a spotted, etched lampwork spacer in a similar shade (it worked great as part of my bail!) from Julie Miller Glass, blue kyanite ovals from Lima Beads, recycled glass tulips in vivid yellow from Afrobeadia, seed beads from here and there, and tiny copper torpedo beads from Monsterslayer.

I wanted to really make a statement with that butterfly, so rather than simply using the holes for stringing, I created a couple of yoke type contraptions from heavy copper wire, and attached them to the butterfly with copper headpins. I attached my beaded necklace portion (strung on Softflex) through a lampwork spacer--they have nice big holes, and the beading wire goes right through there. I was thrilled that it worked! I wanted to echo the yokes a bit in the chain portion, so I made some bar chain links, just by hammering more heavy copper wire, and making holes with my trusty Beadsmith hole punch pliers. I added a simple second strand of delicate copper chain, with another kyanite oval.

(I don't mean to brag, but the blue in that butterfly is the color of the clear skies up here in Montana--shocking, nearly cobalt blue overhead when you're out hiking.)

I don't usually use these colors--bright blue or bright yellow--but it was fun!
Happy rest-of-the-Summer to you!


  1. I'm so proud to own some of your creativity!

  2. Love these gorgeous colors!!! The butterfly is spectacular!

  3. This is a truly stunning work of art! All of the different beads and techniques go together beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing where you got different components. I always love finding new suppliers and I had never heard of Happy Mango Beads before, or a few of the Etsy shops.

  4. Once again a gorgeous piece! Your components are always unique and lovely.I said this before but I love how your copper looks. I am still trying to get this look. Thanks for your tips they have helped. Do you use a sealant? I have tried Renaissance wax but I'm not sold on it yet.

    1. Thank you Evia! Yes, I do use a sealant, ClearGuard from Sculpt Nouveau, on both copper and brass. It is a lacquer, so you also need lacquer thinner from the hardware store for cleanup. I get the cans (not the spray) and apply it with fine-tip paintbrushes exactly where I want it. I only use Renaissance Wax myself on green/blue/colored patinas. I don't like it on liver of sulfur type patinas--it's sticky and doesn't seem very durable to me. Plus I like, in general, a high shine on my antiqued metals which to me means tumbling and then ClearGuard (I usually get the satin finish).