This week I went back and had a look at the first projects that I did after finishing big challenges that I’ve done here on Inspirational Beading. Ever since my very first custom jewelry order, I’ve experienced a feeling of creative elation whenever I get to just bead, just because.
Although I had done some continuous beading themes before, the first ever deadline beading challenge I did was to make and post one new ring every day. It seemed like it would be easy to fit it all in, but there were times when I had to sacrifice design for time. There were a lot of lessons learned during this challenge.
The first piece I made following Ring a Day was a destash necklace featuring a custom soup of all my pink and purple beads, with a hint of pale blue. It was a little weird, but I still really like this one, probably because of the way the blue beads pop out of the chain.
With the first challenge feeling like a success, I decided to do another more difficult one later that same year. Necklace a Day was a lot of fun, but there’s no way I’d be crazy enough to try it again.
After completing the last necklace, I didn’t post another project on the blog until the New Year, when I started yet another beading challenge. This one was more manageable, but a much bigger commitment. Bracelet a Week began with a simple herringbone cuff in neon green and coppery 6/o seed beads. It was pretty exciting at the time.
Fast forward 12 months to the end of the bracelet challenge, and I was working on trying out a new bead shape in the form of long magatamas. I may have been feeling a little burnt out, because I ended up going with the simplest possible design. It still turned out great, as simple things often do.
Bracelet a Week was immediately followed by an open Destash Challenge, in which I forced myself to use up beads that I still had lying around because I didn’t want to use them. It was actually a really rewarding challenge and helped me clear out a lot of baggage. A few of the designs – like the first collar – are still my favorites.
The end of the Destash challenge blended a little with the 2013 Egyptian Gods series, which technically was never completed as I ran out of time once my side project got rolling. It didn’t occur to me until I started looking back that I’ve always had some kind of beading commitment on the go. This year I’m just going to do what my beads tell me for a while; but there’s no guarantee that I won’t have a craving to do another daily challenge in 2015!
How do you like to challenge yourself in beadwork? What motivates you to try new things?
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