Friday, April 6, 2018

It's Time for the Reveal...................

I want to start this off with a huge thanks to our wonderful organizer, Linda Anderson!  You can check out her blog at From the Bead Board.

I feel honored to have been a part of this year's exchange and really appreciate all the hard work that goes into organizing an event of this magnitude.  Thank you so much, Linda!

For those who have not read my blog in the past (shame...shame...shame), my partner for this year's Bead Peeps Swap N Hop is Palak Udeshi.

For a full introduction to my partner, please check out my previous post -  Meet My 2018 Bead Peeps Swap-n-Hop Partner.  What you won't find in my previous introduction is my pet name for my partner, which is "Crazy Partner".  She has named me the "Meticulous One", but I'll let her tell that story in her reveal (or she may not LOL).  Check out her blog at Palak Udeshi Blog.

Now, to explain the pet name I gave to Palak.  Palak is from India and I am from Florida in the United States.  I was worried at first about being an international swapper, but was excited at the same time.  Since I was in the midst of getting my house finished and ready to sell, ALL of my bead supplies were in storage so I drove an hour to the nearest bead store on the hunt for the perfect combination to send my partner.  I didn't want to take a chance of ordering anything online due to the time restrictions, and even though I could fill two stores with my supplies they are all in storage, so on the hunt I went.  Got everything together and in the mail it goes.

Palak receives my package and is so worried that she didn't send enough and that I would not be happy with what I received.  And that was before Customs came into the picture.  Then she was really upset that I would not get my package and was going to send another package.  I told her NO that whatever I received would be wonderful and that Linda would understand if I didn't get it in time to make any jewelry.  It was not her fault that we have a sucky postal system that held my package in Customs for 7 days!!!!

I receive my package not knowing what to expect.  After all, Palak kept worrying that it wasn't enough and concerned I was not going to like what she had sent.

Well, here is the "Crazy Partner" part.  I receive this box FULL of beads and silk.  Did I say silk????  Not just small swatches, but full panels!  I am absolutely in love with all that she sent me!  I love all the colors and textures!

Her package contained 3 different silks, 6 shades of seed beads, resin beads and pendant, sun focal, large faceted agate bead, leaf findings and toggle clasp, resin flowers, glass beads, flat disk beads, crystal beads, and a wooden pendant that she hand-painted.  Not enough???...........Crazy Partner!!!!

I have a huge red acrylic breakfast tray that I use for inspiration.  So everything goes on the tray and every time I would go by it I would move things around to see what they were begging to be.

I knew immediately when I saw the silks that I wanted to make an embroidered cuff with some of the fabric.  So I make a pattern and get out my mini-ironing board and with the help of my cat, Bailey, I get to work.

But there is so much gorgeous fabric that I couldn't make a decision so here are TWO of the THREE embroidered cuffs I designed!

In my first cuff I used the border pattern from one of the silk fabrics as the focal and bead embroidered some of the flowers from the fabric.  I finished the back with lambskin leather.

My next beaded cuff was made with the same two silk fabrics, but focusing on the striped one instead.  It is also finished using lambskin leather.

Next, I tackled the beautiful large faceted agate bead.  I used wire from my stash to wire weave a frame to wrap the cabachon and then I hand-beaded the necklace using some of the leaves and flowers and finished it off with the flower clasp.  I wanted to show off the lovely floral clasp so I designed an asymmetrical closure on the front of the necklace.

Next up is a hand-beaded necklace which detaches to become a smaller necklace and bracelet combo.  I added peyote beads, crystals and a dragonfly charm from my stash for the hand-beaded toggle bars.

When I saw the paper clay sun focal I just knew I had to make a doll.  With all the silk it seemed to be a perfect match, but when I started gathering my supplies I changed my mind - kind of.  I decided to make a pendant instead.  I designed a pattern, added a silver chain and blue leather backing from my stash for the final touches.  With a little alcohol ink to tone down the silver chain and some blue leather for the backing, my Keyhole Princess Pendant is complete.

I knew that I wanted to do something very special with the handmade portion of my goodies.  The wooden disk was hand-painted by Palak herself in the traditional painting technique of "Kerala Mural".

According to Kerala Tourism:
The traditional mural paintings of Kerala are a fine art of skill and creative excellence. Most of the noted mural works of Kerala were done between the 15th and 19th centuries. They bear a stamp of uniqueness in techniques used and aesthetics.
A mural is an artwork painted or applied directly onto walls, ceilings or any other permanent surface. In murals, architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into its creation. Among murals, the ones from Kerala stand out for their finesse.
With the largest collection of murals based on ancient Indian mythologies, Kerala is at par with the State of Rajasthan. Some of the Kerala murals date back to the 8th century. Today the trend has shifted from wall murals to those painted on canvas and paper.
The materials used in mural artwork like pigments, brushes, gum etc. are all taken made of natural materials like minerals and plants. The most frequently used pigments in Kerala murals are saffron-red, saffron-yellow, green, red, white, blue, black, yellow and golden-yellow.
Every mural is a testament to the depth of dedication the artists have to their art. The temples and palaces of Kerala are all a visual treat wherein the sagas of ancient Hindu Gods and Goddesses unfold. The murals of Kerala evolved through the significant influences of ancient Dravidian rituals like Kalamezhuthu and Patayani. The murals of Kerala are unparalleled in their subtlety, sharpness and ethereal beauty.
The oldest of the murals found in Kerala are those in the Thirunandikkara Cave temple now a part of Kanyakumari district in the neighboring State of Tamil Nadu. The largest mural panel in Kerala called the Gajendra Moksha is at the Krishnapuram Palace near Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district. Extensive murals depicting scenes from the Hindu epics, the Ramayana, and the Bhagavatha are preserved at the Mattancherry Palace in Ernakulam district. The murals of the Shiva Temple at Ettumanoor provide insights into the earliest forms of Dravidian mural art.
An ideal souvenir to be treasured for a lifetime, Kerala murals are a symbol of natural beauty and grace, elegance and simplicity and of pious devotion. It is this humility that helps this art form overcome the ravages of civilization and time.

So using rattail and S-Lon from my stash, I first knotted in the resin beads she sent to me and then finished with a Kumihimo braid, adding a chain to finish the necklace.  I asked Palak the name of this particular Goddess and she stated that she had been concerned about it being about a religious icon so it was not based on anyone in particular.  When I told her that I would not be offended and that I wanted to honor her country in my design she suggested:

If you want to give her name you could call her ‘Radha’ the beautiful consort of Lord Krishna . Indian mythology and religion is full of the eternal love of Radha Krishna.

So I am happy to introduce you to my 'Radha' and pray that it honors its namesake.  I know that I will treasure this piece forever!

So to recap all of the pieces above, these are all the pieces I designed (and completed) using the beautiful beads and silk fabrics from Palak.

The last 5 days have been a whirlwind of prospective buyers in my house leaving me with no time to finish two pieces I had hoped to include with this collection.  I have, however, taken a teaser photo of each of them and will be doing a continued post at a later date to reveal them, along with any others that may appear!

As you can tell from the photo below, I still have a good bit of supplies remaining from what Palak sent to me.  I know, CRAZY, right???!!!  As soon as I have a permanent home and my sewing machine is out of storage I plan to design an art doll with these supplies.  I will link this post when it is complete.

I want to thank Palak so much!!!  Her selection of beads and silks has given me back something that I have not had in a long long time.  My art!  I have been so busy the last 5 years trying to hold things together that I lost the most important part - ME.  Thanks to this wonderful variety of beads, silks, and colors I can safely say... I AM BACK!

I started on one piece of jewelry and immediately began the next project.  At times doing two simultaneously.  After years, I finally no longer have to take a sleeping pill at night to keep from waking up to the nightmare that was my life.

So, Palak, I thank you and will be grateful to you for the rest of my life.   I am so glad we were paired for this Swap and would be honored to be paired with you again in the future!!!

What a lovely surprise!!!!  It is Tuesday, March 27th and I get to talk to my partner via Facetime!!!!  It was so wonderful to actually hear your voice and to have a physical conversation!!!!  If you make it to the U.S. I would love to show you any technique that you are interested in learning.  It would be my honor!!!

Below is a photo of the beads I sent to Palak.  I also included a few little extras as a gift to my partner, but I won't spoil it and she can decide whether to share those in her blog post.  My handmade item to her is a cabachon that I hand-cut and polished.   I built my colorway on the ocean, but they are also colors of both the dragonfly and peacock.

Let's check her blog to see what she has created with these beads at Art in Beads and Thread BLOG!

Now that I have shared the Swap it is time for you to HOP.  The Swap N Hop is designed as an inspirational platform.  Meeting other jewelry artists (and, hopefully, making a new friend) and getting & giving inspiration.  To step out of your box and try something new.  If you would like to participate in a future Swap N Blog challenge, you can contact our WONDERFUL hostess Linda Anderson, by following the link on her name.

Below you will find the participants of the 2018 Bead Peeps Swap N Hop and a link to their blog.  I have grouped them with their partner to make it easier to see their full story.  Have fun HOPPING around and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make a comment below.  Constructive criticism is always welcome!

If you liked my blog post, you can use the link on the right sidebar to FOLLOW MY BLOG to get notification of anything new.    Please share with your friends and thank you for your visit!!!

MY PARTNER - Palak Udeshi - Art in Beads and Thread BLOG

Linda Anderson (HOSTESS) - From the Bead Board BLOG

Inge von Roos - Inge Traud BLOG

Kari Asbury - Kari Asbury Design Challenges BLOG

Nadine Edris - Moon Dance Maine INSTAGRAM

Kathy Lindemer - Bay Moon Design BLOG

Hope Smitherman - Crafty Hope BLOG

Marde Lowe - Fanci Mar Designs BLOG

Christina Hickman - Laughing Salmon INSTAGRAM

Terry Jeanette Carter - Tapping Flamingo BLOG

Lisa Johnson - Spud and Mrs Butters BLOG

Catherine La Vite - Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry BLOG

Joanne Bell - Joanne Tinks BLOG

Rosantia Petkova - Bairozan BLOG

Bonnie Robbins - B Robbins INSTAGRAM

Natalie Davidson - North Shore Days BLOG

Robin Reed - Willow Dragon BLOG

Karin King - The Sparklie Things BLOG

Jenny Kyrlack - Wonder and Whimsy BLOG

Erika Price - Erica Price Jewellery INSTAGRAM

Sarah Reid - Sarah Reid Designs INSTAGRAM

Divya N - Jewels of Sayuri BLOG

Lori Schneider - Bead Addicted BLOG

Robin Showstack - Hearts Desires Jewelry for You BLOG

Nicole Rennell - Nicole Rennell Designs INSTAGRAM

Fay Wolfenden - Torch Fairy BLOG

Shai Williams - Shaiha's Ramblings BLOG

Andrea Frank - Andrea Frank INSTAGRAM

Cheri Reed - Creative Designs by Cheri BLOG

Penny Houghton - The Forgotten Track BLOG

Paulina Russell - The Wild Bead INSTAGRAM

Heather Canepa - Heather Canepa INSTAGRAM

Tina Hemr - Marie Carol Designs

Naomi Knafla - Naomi Knafla INSTAGRAM

Michelle Marson - Elle Country INSTAGRAM

Rebecca White - Morgana Fey Creations BLOG

Laura Bosch - Laura Harrison Bosch INSTAGRAM

Kathleen Breeding - Kathleen Breeding INSTAGRAM

Becky Pancake - Becky Pancake Bead Designs BLOG


  1. Oh my goodness! What a glorious stash!
    I absolutely loved your post. Was such fun to read. And your makes are wonderful. Your bead embroidery is simply lovely. Thank you for sharing.

    PJ from ForgottenTrack

    1. Thank you so much! I agree, loved working on each piece!

  2. Wow. I love what you did with the most unusual items you got. I love the spiral ropes. I love everything.

  3. I don't know you but I think your my new BFF, first of all!! Your CRAZY partner is amazing. And holy stash..I absolutely love that you used all of the pieces she sent you in this challenge , it drives me bananas when I see people only used a few small pieces of their stash they were sent. You have totally knocked it out of the park and it's quite a breath of fresh air, I absolutely live what you created, the story behind it and your Radha is stunning!! Well done!!! And thank you!!!

    1. Thank you! I love that I now have another BFF LOL!!! I still have plenty to make even more pieces!!! :)

  4. AMAZING! STUNNING designs! I just don't even have enough words for it all! I love just love it all including the beautiful story of how it all came together and you found this beautiful part of yourself again.

    1. Thank you! You don't know how much that means to me! It has been a fight, but my art is back.

  5. WOW!!! Love all your designs!!!!! It is hard to choose which I like the best :) You sure were busy!!!!

  6. You knocked this challenge out of the park! Of course, you were sent some very yummy goodies, but it was you who made them sing. Each and every one of your creations looks thought out and intentional - perfect! I'm looking forward to the other two you have in the works, those teasers did just the trick!! Here's hoping the house sells and everything goes off without a hitch. I know how stressful those things can be.

    1. Thank you so much! And she sent me a ton of yummies to work with!

  7. Pallavi is a fabulous person and super talented. It's great that you got to talk to her through face time. BTW I feel that the Radha's face in the disc does look a bit like her. Your post (and your creations) are so interesting and full of ideas. Now I am whacking myself in the head for not thinking about using thread and fabric the way you have done. Great job Deborah, well done.

  8. AMAZING work. I especially love the embroidered cuffs. Thank you for sharing your inspiring pieces and the story.

    1. Thank you! I had a great time with the cuffs and plan to make more :)

  9. Hi Deborah, Three fantastic embroidered cuffs, wire woven pendant, seed bead work,kumihimo, knotting, and hand cutting cabochons. I am blown away by all that you do. AMAZING!!! The wire woven pendant necklace is my favorite. I really like the ruffly chain you created for it also. It is marvelous to hear that you found yourself again.

    1. Thank you so much! I have never attempted a simple spiral and I guess I still haven't LOL. But, I too like how it turned out. I have taken classes in everything jewelry and never have a reason to be bored. I just switch to another genre and I am good :)

  10. I don’t have words to express how FABULOUS I find your reveal. You have created such wonderful masterpieces with your magic fingers! The transformation of a simple fabric into a bead embroidered bracelet is superb. And I just adore the texture you have given in the second bracelet. Such a great idea to use stripes and texture. Your keyhole Princess pendant is so cute and adorable. And how can I miss out the lovely wire wrapped agate bead necklace in that lovely creeper chain. I am just awed by your wonderful creations and keep hopping on your page to admire them again and again.
    It’s great being partnered with you and I feel truly blessed to have a found a wonderful friend through this hop!

    1. Your comments have brought me to tears. To get validation that your art is liked and appreciated. I have you and your wonderful bead soup to thank for removing the last of the insecurities that have haunted me the last 5 years! You are God's Angel who has guided me back to my art and I am so glad that we have met through this Swap and look forward to a greater friendship :)

  11. These are really Really Amazing designs!! Beautiful and thoughtful as wel!!! Great Job!!! Be Blessed!

  12. Dear Deborah, what a fantastic plethora of unique pieces! You can be proud of yourself not only for doing justice to your partner but also for making outstanding designs! Your wire work on the cab is so neat but it's your beading that amazed me! And the idea of making a 3-in-one jewelry is so ingenious!

    1. Thank you so much! It is so nice that someone likes what you have made and the feedback takes away any doubts that are always lurking in the back of my mind.

  13. I LOVE the Sun piece. Actually I love all the pieces that you made! Fantastic works of art!

  14. Goodness Deb..... I am just delighted with that Keyhole Princess and Radha. You have done your partner justice in your designs and her silks look delightful. I know your previews and I cant wait to see that you do with them.

    1. Thank you so much! Still a bit insecure about my art, but having your approval means the world. Hoping to get at least one completed by the end of the week.

  15. WOWZA Deborah! You did an INCREDIBLE job! I'm SO IMPRESSED that you learned how to wire wrap AND do all the beading that you did! The piece with the wrapping is my favorite, I think... just WOW.

    1. Thanks, Linda! Although I have wire wrapped for years. The bead embroidered cuffs were a new challenge for me and I plan to have MANY more in the future. And the doll pendant is my first designed piece. Going to be sitting down to write a pattern when my other pieces are completed.


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