Andrew Thornton Challenge Blog Hop – Carole Carlson of Beadsophisticate

Today is the reveal for Andrew Thornton’s Marsala Valentine challenge.  Andrew picks the theme and puts together a fantabulous kit.  There are only 20 each time, and he keeps one for himself, so you have to be on the ball to snag one.  This month the theme was Pantone’s color of the year, marsala.

Here’s what we got in the kit:

kit contents

I didn’t use any of the luxury bead blend this month, but I’m still showing the close up, so you can see what the options were.

bead mixNote the large marsala and white bead near the lower

left of the first picture. That screamed focal bead to me, so I wanted to use it.  It has a large hole, so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to use the waxed linen thread, which I’ve always wanted to try.  But wait! There wasn’t any included in this kit!

Dang it!  Month after month, there it is, and now that I have an idea for it, no linen thread.  After sulking for a few minutes, inspiration struck.  I ran to my past challenge boxes, and sure enough, I found some in a color I could use.

Next, I settled down to knot some beads.  Let me tell you when the last time I knotted pearls was.  About 20 years ago, that’s when.  I was hoping muscle memory would kick in, but alas, no such luck. Internet to the rescue! I picked the first video I found.  The lady went way too fast for a beginner, but between my wayward memory and the video, I managed  to make the handful of knots I needed.  I also got to use the ribbon included in the kit, another first for me.

knotted necklace with ribbon

knotted necklace with ribbon

The mystery component was not one, but two of Andrew’s ceramic pendants.  I whipped up a pair of earrings with them.  Here’s a closer shot of the earrings.marsala valentine piece close

I’m working on improving my photography.  If you don’t mind, please tell me which of the two jewelry shots you prefer.  Thanks!

Please visit the other challenge participants at their blogs here:

Carole Carlson (that’s me)
On Andrew Thornton’s Blog:

22 Responses to Andrew Thornton Challenge Blog Hop – Carole Carlson of Beadsophisticate

  1. Cat says:

    Sweet! You did a fine job with this and the color is beautiful.
    My favorite is the second shot, by the way.


  2. alison says:

    Great Job on the knotting! Your combination of the waxed linen and sari silk is perfect! Your earrings are beautiful! I am most excited about seeing everyone’s earrings from the Mystery Component! I like the artistic feel of the second picture, but they are both very good shots. I must also work on my photographing skills!

    Liked by 1 person

    • beadsophisticate says:

      Thank you, I was happy to work with the fibers for the first time. Thanks for voting on the pictures. I think you are right, the second shot is more of an artistic one.


  3. I love knotting with waxed linen and you did a great job! I think you can see all of the necklace better in the first picture.


  4. Liz says:

    I like the second one too. Is that crystal above Andrew’s pendants, on the earrings? (Hi, Mom.)


    • beadsophisticate says:

      It’s from the kit, I think it is Czech glass. It’s a cube drilled on the diagonal. I really liked it and wanted to showcase it in the earrings. (Hi, honey.)


  5. windbent says:

    I still never know what to do with waxed linen and I hate knotting pearls (I had to repair pearls when I worked for a jeweler). Never again! Simple, elegant, but still organic and earthly looking.


  6. Kari Asbury says:

    Great designs! Love the necklace and your use of new materials. On the photos I think both are great shots…one out a bit showing whole design and one angled, up close for more details. You might consider using a photo editor to brighten up the white background a bit. I use (free version) to brighten and contrast for my white background photos. Otherwise great job …photos are always a learning process for all of us I think.


    • beadsophisticate says:

      Thanks for the advice, Kari. I actually did brighten it a bit using Photoshop, but I didn’t want to go too far. Next time I will be more brave.


  7. laurel says:

    Looks great!!! I like both of your photos. Your use of the jade focal is spot on.


  8. craftyd says:

    Great necklace with that big bead with the other beads and sari silk. I too like those diagonal beads you used on your earrings. I like having both pictures to look it. I could use better skills with taking jewelry pictures too


  9. beadlove says:

    Very lovely pieces! I loved that focal bead too, and combining it with some linen and the sari silk looks great! Your earrings are beautiful as well. I like the first photo best just because I like to get the full view. The second is more arty, but I usually click on photos in blogs to get a closer look anyway.


  10. I love your pieces! Great minds think allike on the mystery components, it would seem. I tend towards the first photo for a full view, yet the second has that artsy appeal. Very nice work.


  11. I chuckled reading your blog post! Between the sulking over the lack of waxed linen in the kit and the wayward muscle memory, I appreciate your sense of humor. The pieces you created are lovely! They are very “boho chic”. And I think both pictures are nice. The first one is clearer and everything can be seen easily. The second is more arty and has a little more mystery, which I appreciate. I think the two pictures work well together. In any event, thanks again for participating! I always enjoy seeing what you make!


  12. beadsophisticate says:

    Thanks, Andrew. I really enjoy the challenges, the kits are always full of inspiring beads to work with.


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