Studio Musings

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Freeform Valentine Rings

Valentines charms by Nunn Design along with some bellflower pressed glass beads
Heart charms by Nunn Designs & pressed glass bellflowers
I'm typically not a huge fan of Valentine's Day - it tends to be way too pink and a little too sweet for me.  But this year, I decided to jump into the festivities with a couple of new freeform peyote rings.

It started with a trip to Fusion Beads to drop off class proposals for their summer session.  Since it was right before my Rings workshop, I decided to pick up a couple of new focals for new rings, and since it was almost Valentines Day, I decided, why not? 

Especially when I found these fun heart charms by Nunn Design.  The rustic, weathered look of the antiqued copper immediately made me start thinking of alternate "Valentine" color palettes.

Bead palette in purples & coppers - did not use all of the beads, and added some alternate beads in process.
My color palette focused on purples & copper instead of pinks & golds
Prickly Heart freeform peyote ring by Karen Wiliams
"Prickly Heart" ring
My Prickly Heart ring includes a jagged line of twin beads which reminded me of stitches mending broken hearts. It's my experience that even in the best relationships, there's bound to be some heartbreak - the key is to mend it as best you can.  Here 'the' scar has become something beautiful.  I also added a line of five of the new dragonscale beads, which reminded me of arrowheads from Cupid's quiver.  And I finished it off with Nunn Design's rustic heart charm

side view of Prickly Heart freeform peyote ring by Karen Wiliams
You can really see the 'arrow heads' in this view

Staring circle of beads with a stop bead
Staring circle of beads
I was having so much fun, I decided to make a second ring with the puffed heart charm.  With both rings, I started with a simple circle of beads, then built up my base using freeform peyote. 

The goal here was to create an interesting base that I could then embellish with the charms.  Both the charms and pressed glass flowers are thread magnets - so I prefer to add them at the very last moment.   With both rings, by the time I finish building the base, I ended up debating with myself whether or not I really wanted/needed to add the additional embellishments. 

Here's a photo I snapped of my second ring before I started embellishing, so you can see what I mean:

the color palette and 4mm fire-polished provide subtle texture
Be Mine Ring before I added embellishments

I really debated whether I wanted to stop here.  Except I was in a "more is more" mood, and I still had the puffed heart charm burning a hole in my bead mat, so I kept stitching. 

Be Mine freeform peyote ring by Karen Williams with three bellflower pressed glass beads and a puffed heart charm
Flowers and a Valentine
I added the puffy heart charm on a short tether, then decided to add a little bouquet to finish things off.  What says 'Be Mine' more than flowers and a Valentine? 

I've worn both rings several times in the past week, and everywhere I go people comment.  They are intrigued by the fact that you can make rings out of beads (of course we can!).  It seems to be a toss up as to which people like more.  The charms make the rings especially fun to wear.  Because they are both sewn on short tethers, they can flip and turn, and add a dynamic element.  Such fun!

Last week I sent out a 'sneak peek' to my friends on my mailing list, something I've not done before.  My thought was to send it out early enough to give people time to make their own V-Day rings, if they wanted, because I seldom think of lead time.   One of my bad habits. 

So there's my first ever Valentine's beading.  Really! In all the years I've beaded, I don't think I've ever made anything for Valentine's Day before. 

Do you bead for Valentine's Day?  What do you make?  

Happy Valentine's Day!  Hope you have a wonderful time this weekend, whatever you decide to do. 

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