Thursday, February 27, 2014

Radiant Orchid Challenge Reveal...

Today is the Reveal for the Radiant Orchid Challenge!  If you're not familiar with the challenges, I put together Design Kits and offer them on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Challengers claim their kits and I then send them off around the world.  Each participant has a little less than two months to create a piece and at the end of the challenge, everyone shares what they created!

It's a fun way to challenge your creativity and it is always fascinating to see what each person will make with the nearly identical kits.  Sometimes there are overlaps in ideas and other times, things are vastly different from each other.

Since this was the first challenge of the year, I thought it might be nice to kick off things off with the Pantone Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid.
Here's a snapshot of the kit that everyone received.  The kit was composed of a Luxury Bead Blend, polymer clay, vintage lucite, Czech glass, Swarovski crystal, lampwork glass, and stone beads.  Participants can use as much or as little of the kits as they like.

Here's a close-up of the Luxury Bead Blend.  It is a random assortment in purple, fuchsia, and pops of pink.  This kit included all kinds of goodies, like African glass, crystal, semi-precious stones, lots of Czech glass, and Japanese seed beads to name a few.  Usually there are enough beads leftover to make several projects and some challengers do!

The kits also includes a Mystery component!  This time, I put two in each kit.  They are torch-fired enameled, filigree beads made by me.  I also included some porcelain pendants as bonus pieces.

And without further ado... here's the REVEAL:  

This bracelet was made by Julie Katz.  Here's what she had to say about it:

I wanted to create a piece using the tree pendant as my focal point.  The Radiant Orchid Color is gorgeous and one of my favorites.  The tree and the color have me looking forward to spring – really can't wait for spring to come this year!!!  I love the look of crystal and silver so I built the bracelet using these elements around the pendant.

This necklace was created by Alison Herrington.  Here's what she had to say about it:

Creating this multi-strand necklace helped me out of a funk by reminding me of my creative side.

This bracelet was created by Irene Lenihan.  Here's what she had to say:

Here is something I made with some of the beads that were sent and some of my own.  It is a Russian Spiral Bracelet.

This necklace was made by Joanne Goldberg.  Here is what she had to say about it:

The name of this is, "Spring's Coming".  When I looked at the beads I decided to use the large beads going from large to small and using tiny beads next to each bead.  I decided to wire wrap each bead and use chain in between.  I am very pleased how the piece worked out and am anxious to see others. I also did something that would not take much time as I am leaving for a trip.  Also you will notice I alternated the colors.  My favorite.  

This necklace was made by Linda Starosciak.  Here's what she had to say about it:

I was so excited to receive my challenge bead mix and I loved each and every piece added.  The colors are wonderful and so spring-like in this dreary never ending winter.  (I'm in Central Jersey.)  I love to create and to wear multi-strand necklaces, and this lovely mix provided so many options.  Laying it all out was a joy.

So here is my submission for the Radiant Orchid Challenge.  I've used the components (almost all of them!), plus added lilac and mauve glass pearls, lilac Swarovski crystals, small glass daggers, and some lavender dyed jade beads.  The 25" necklace has 4 completely different strands that can be worn many ways due to the S-hook closure and jump rings at each end of each strand.  Strand 1 has the largest beads and the porcelain focal.  Strand 2 has medium beads and the pierced enameled beads.  Strand 3 has seed beads, dagger beads and gemstone chips.  Strand 4 has seed beads, and bells.

This necklace was made by Laurel Ross.  Here's what she had to say about it:

The night that the kits went on sale, I had two members of my housed sick with the flu and this challenge could NOT have come at a better time!  Although I'm usually not a huge fan of purple (gasp – says my 5 year old 24/7 princess-clad daughter), I knew that Andrew would come up with something incredible, as he usually does.  It took me awhile to get my hands on the kit, particularly because our weather in Pennsylvania is terrible in winter and I was stuck at home.  But when I did, I took it into my bedroom, laid it out in front of me on the bed and sorted out all the goodies like a kid on Halloween.  The amount of ideas I had when I looked at all the pretties laying there was crazy!  So I gathered what I wanted to use and put the stuff I wasn't crazy about aside.  The kit had so much stuff that the projects can continue for months!  In fact, I even shared some with a bead store buddy.

So, if anyone knows me, you'd know that I can't stand seed beads.  But something happened to me when I saw all the those gorgeous colors in the little container.  I ended up stringing a strand of randomly selected colors and was smitten.  One strand led to a total of 14 thanks to a trip into the gallery to get a few tubes more.

Was it monotonous?  Sure thing!  Did it seem to take forever?  Yep!  But every time I ran those strands through my hands, and saw how beautiful they looked I was so glad that I finally got a chance to make peace with the seed beads and stop my mental block.  My daughter thought they were incredible too!

The next question was hot to tie them all together into something pretty.  Well, back in the day, I was making shoe clips and had purchased a pair of really cool metal flowers.  I took one in to show Andrew and we thought they might be copper-plated.  I tried various methods to get the patina off – lemon juice and salt, Brasso, cooking it in my wood burner, soaking it industrial cleaner, but to no avail.

Back to the gallery I went, where Andrew produced some perfectly matched inks.  I painted them up, lost a few of the flower layers to simplify and make it look (unbelievably) sort of like a real orchid, and voila!

So many thanks go out to Andrew for pushing me out of my comfort zone and into something new on this one!  I'm really proud of it.

This bracelet was made by Laurel Ross.  Here's what I had to say about it:

My second piece is a miss mash of the big stuff that came in the kit.  It's a multi-strand bracelet that might turn itself into something else since it is so heavy.  Who knows?  I wanted to incorporate some stuff from my stash as well as some of the cool stuff I picked up on the Destash page.  All in all, it's big, bright, chunky and funky.  After an awful winter, I kind of need something to make me smile and get ready for spring.

This bracelet was made be me, Andrew Thornton.  Here's what I had to say about it:

I loved the assortment of the mix and I wanted to keep that random, ever-shifting look.  I strung the beads from the kit and Swarovski crystals on headpins and wire-wrapped them, turning them into dangles.  I embellished the chain with the dangles and tiny beads.  It has great movement and makes music when it is worn.

This bracelet was made by me, Andrew Thornton.  Here's what I had to say about it:

I had leftover seed beads and I decided to use those in a project as well!  I ran with the random theme and did some free-form peyote.  Originally, I had the idea of making petals.  It turned into this ruffly fin that I sewed to a piece of silk cord.  I wired on the clasp and glued the end-caps on.

Here's another view of the bracelet I made.  I wanted the transition to be smooth between the crest and the silk, so I got my needle and thread out and started to sew sequins with seed beads on.  Once I finished, I wanted to add another element and incorporated the wire-wrapped dangles for a little extra movement.

But wait.... that's not all!  Please swing by the blogs of the other participants and see what they made for the Radiant Orchid Challenge:

The Deep Waters Challenge is up next!  The kits will go on sale tonight at 7PM EST.  Check back here for the link.  If you're interested in participating, the kits sell out super fast, so make sure to get one while you still can.


TesoriTrovati said...

All beautiful! A wonderful palette and a very generous assortment of beads. I love seeing what different people do with the same inspiration! Enjoy the day. Erin

Rebecca said...

Wow! What a lot of hugely varied work, all from the same kit. And your bracelet is just lovely Andrew - what a gorgeous wave shape/visual texture! Thank you so much for organising this kit and the blog hop. Your energy a spirit shines through it all!

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

They're all wonderful. The purples are gorgeous!

I especailly like the wavy edge you didi on the bracelet, Andrew. And I'm really intrigued by the construction of Linda's 4-strand necklace.

I don't see a link for her. Is it possible to share detail on how you made this beautiful versatile necklace?