Friday, September 4, 2009

Beach Beads Exchange Swap

I love the challenge of doing a swap exchange, coming together with other talented bead makers and getting to share with each other. This summer Heather Powers at Humblebeads asked about doing a swap with a beach theme, and a group of us worked on some beads to swap.

There weren't really any directions or rules, just a suggestion of a beach theme for the beads. But the bounty was glorious, a pirate trove of treasures!

The beads coordinate beautifully, both the colors and the shapes.

They remind me of finding things along the shoreline that had washed up, maybe from a sunken galleon from long ago.

The lampwork bead is by a Saint Louis friend, Daphne Runge. She teaches at the Glasshopper Studio store where I get my glass supplies for fusing. She has an Etsy shop and also sells her beads at the Glasshopper. She's a super busy mom, and I was so happy when she was able to participate in the swap!

The lampwork beads remind me of clear caribbean waters, foamy waves and gritty sand underfoot...

The beautiful dainty conch shell design charm was made by Beth Hemmila at Hint. I've been in love with her fine silver charms forever, and this one looks like a tiny coin that washed up and was found while beachcombing on a summer's day. I'm so thrilled to have one of my very own!

Gaea Cannaday at Gaea made the beautiful ceramic beads. I was lucky, because I hosted the swap I got an extra bead. I love her earthy colors and the organic look of the ceramic beads. Just right for that beach look, don't you think?

See the lovely white sand dollar charm? It looks so much like the real thing, with its fragile looking white matte surface. I love sand dollars, they remind me of white sand, blue water and walking beside the waves. They were created by Erin Siegel at Every Heart Crafts. They fit in perfectly with the theme and look just right. Her work has a delicate porcelain look that I especially like.

Heather did a dazzling job, she created copper bezels that were etched and put her usual beautiful colors inside, making a double-sided bead that looks great either way it faces. Perfect for a bracelet where it jangles and twists! The designs remind me of golden toned spanish doubloon coins. Heather is so innovative and creative, it's always facinating to see what she comes up with that's new.

Finally, I made some cast pewter charms with a nautical theme. The anchor and the seashell look very old and worn. The metal harmonizes so well with the warm copper color of Heather's beads and the shiny fine silver of Beth's charm.

Altogether it's a privateer's haul to be proud of! Now the fun of making jewelry with the pieces begins. I can't wait to see what this talented group of folks will come up with using this special bag of booty, inspired by the beach, as summer begins to come to an end.

Ahh, summertime. Are you really almost gone? Seems like it just started. At least we have these beachy mementos.

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