Thursday, October 4, 2012

Three Elemental Pendants

If there’s one thing that I can say about the destash challenge, it’s that I’m learning an awful lot about myself and my beading habits. The most recent lessons came from trying too hard to force beads together, instead of just letting things evolve naturally.

It all started when I decided to make a bunch of elemental Y necklaces, to use up assorted destash beads. Things were going really well at first. I combined some matte yellow Czech clams with the last two of my emerald glass rings, and a handful of green hexes and cubes.

Water Bead Palette

After adding a variety of blue beads, the palette was complete - lots of beautifully aquatic transparent glass, filled with light and ready to head to the beach. I was really happy with how this necklace turned out, after avoiding the clam beads for months, and I was so excited that I forgot what made this piece so perfect.

Elemental Water Pendant

Rather than choose beads carefully, I mashed a whole lot of destash elements together for the Flora pendant. I started with lime cubes, and added a dash of bright orange 8/o seed beads that I never seem to have any use for. Once the pendant was complete, I tried to use the same palette for the beaded chain.

Instead of trusting my instincts, which were telling me to make the chain and beaded bead contrast like in the Earth pendant, I tried to make greens and oranges and wood beads all work together. I sort of liked how it all looked, but something was telling me that it could be a lot better. I took a little poll on Facebook to confirm these doubts, and started over.

Frogged Flora Chain

I didn't try to find a way to make all of the beads work together - instead I decided to change the palette quite a bit. I grabbed half a packet of raspberry lined seed beads, and made little daisies with rootbeer centers. I kept the topaz fire polish I had chosen, and the wood beads, but didn’t concentrate on using everything up. The new necklace was much better.

Elemental Flora Pendant

Finally, I moved on to Air, again excited about finally finding a use for some tricky destash beads. Starting with some green and blue Swarovski Elements butterflies, I added a handful of blue fire polish, some Ceylon seed beads, and the last of the white porphyr pinch beads. Since I already had some pastel colors, and I needed seed beads for the base of the beadwork, I also added half a packet of smoky amethyst.

Air Bead Palette

It wasn’t until I was ready to think about a clasp that I realized how little the Air necklace resembled the previous pendants. I was really ready to move on to other things, so I threw on a Swarovski button (another destash bead down!) and called it a day. This necklace I’ll be keeping for myself. Perhaps it will serve as a reminder of what happens when you rush inspiration and cut corners with bead choices.

Elemental Air Pendant

At this point in the challenge, I’m looking ahead to the end. I have a few tagua pendants to complete, and then it will be time to take stock again. There are two more projects I want to finish, which will make a big impact on what’s left in the destash tray, but they probably won’t empty it completely. After this week’s lessons, I’m thinking that a few items will stay through the New Year, so that they can wait for the right project to come along.

Copyright 2012 Inspirational Beading
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