31 July 2012

Art Jewelry Elements: July Component of the Month

Woot!  I finished it! :)  And I had so much fun with it!

Okay, so earlier this month, on the Art Jewelry Elements blog, I saw the fabulous July Design component, Jennifer Cameron's Nightmare Insomnia beads.  This bead is so many levels of fabulousness, I just cannot tell you.  :)  I could not wait to play with this one, so I hopped right on the opportunity to get one and participate in the hop!

Okay, so this is the bead Jennifer sent me:

You can't see it terribly well here, but in addition to the gorgeous swirly colors in here,  there's an awesome zebra stripe. 

I pondered this bead for a few weeks, until I finally decided that I wanted to play with seed beads.  I finally settled on a cellini spiral (my first ever!) using instructions from the fabulous Inspirational Beading blog. Here's some pics of the cellini in progress:

seed beads all over! 
So, I had originally thought to do a cellini spiral bangle, with the nightmare bead in the center focal.  But really, I gotta tell you, I wasn't real sure how to do that, as I've never woven a bangle before (I'm pondering that next) and I wasn't sure if the entire thing might not be too chunky.  After all, the cellini certainly has some oomph to it, and the bead is a lovely size, as well. 

Eventually, I settled on a necklace, and decided to weave a basic spiral rope for either side of the cellini.   I attached those ropes to the cellini section with a very haphazard and organic series of beaded "strings." Not sure if it was "proper," but it worked:

You can sort see the stringies here... 
Then, I had to figure out a way to attach the bead to the necklace.  I really want it to be over-the-top (well, more than it was already...) and I thought it'd be fun to give it a bit of fringe.  So, I wove a seed-bead-bail-system-thingy through the bead to secure an actual woven bail to one end and some danglies to the other.  Then, I decided a woven bail would too much, so I just used 3 strands of seed beads to go around the cellini.  So, here's the finished "thingie":

And here's the Whole Shebang! 

I love collages, don't you? 
You can find the rest of the Nightmare bead designs here: 

Beti Horvath: Stringing Fool
Gretchen Nation: Art Food Lodging
Karen Totten: Starry Road Studio
Kathleen Douglas: Washoe Kat's
Keirsten Giles: The Cerebral Dilettante
Kristen Stevens: My Bead Journey
Lori Anderson: Pretty Things
Rana Wilson: Rana Lea Designs
Shannon Chomanczuk: For My Sweet Daughter


  1. Oh my, I have no idea how you made that spiral. I just know that I will never attempt anything even close. Great job! The beads are amazing and it was a true challenge to do them justice, but wasn't it fun!

  2. Your beadwork is amazing and really goes well with the focal. I love the beaded bail you used to attach the focal to the necklace. Great work!

  3. You totally did something utterly unique with this bead! I love that spiral yoke-type bail--ingenious! Jen's bead works nicely with the seed beads--her beads make me think of sea creatures, and your seed beads make me think of bubbles. There is so much subtle color in Jen's beads to draw from, it's fun to have all those options.

  4. Wow! What a beautifully detailed design! I love all the colors you used ... no nightmare would dare come near anyone wearing this lovely! =)

  5. I just learned about the cellini spiral and LOVE it -- and this is a great place to put it! You did a wonderful job of picking up the colors of the beads!

  6. It's wonderful how you combined all these varying elements to come up with a completely unique and lovely piece of jewelry! Love your detailed bead work on this!

  7. Hi Rana,
    I love your piece it is beautiful! Cellini is one of my favorite stitches. I love the colors you chose to use in your piece they really bring out the colors in the glass bead. Fantastic job!

  8. This is beautiful. I do kumihimo but I am not the most patient. Excellent use of color. Wonderfully thought out!

  9. Holy cow woman! You did all that in less than a month? And you haven't been committed to an asylum yet? I am utterly amazed at what you created with all those seeds and that cillini weave/stitch or whatever is so totally over the top. I love it! Very clever design. Thanks so much for playing along. I hope you had fun!

  10. I have always wanting to try the Cellini Spiral stitch! Your design and necklace is beautiful!

  11. WOW you really really went all the way with the celini! I love it! And yes I think this is the mate to my bead!

  12. wow, that must have taken forever. It is lovely, like some sort of sea creature!

  13. Huge kudos for learning cellini and creating such a beautiful piece. I was giggling over your technical terms, cause I do that too! All your elements came together wonderfully!


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