It's been months and months since I've had both the need and the urge to pack another Bead Box. Really, that's because I haven't been far from home in months and my inspiration has been dipping lately too. But, packing for my long-postponed (pre-pandemic) trip to visit my cousin in Ohio seemed to remedy both causes. Let me explain that my Bead Box is a simply 17-compartment plastic organizer that I pack with the components for 17 designs to be made when I travel or my inspiration wanes. As I was preparing for my trip, I realized that it was the perfect opportunity to stock my box. This is the FIFTEENTH iteration of this box.
Bead Box 15 - Stocked
Packing this box had some ups and downs. To begin, I started by gathering the pieces needed for several designs that had been sketched while I was still in the bed with my broken ankle. From there, I began cleaning off some bits from my desk that were simple enough to pair up. And, I dove into my Jesse James Secret Stash Box. Then...the real inspiration hit. I'll get to all that in a bit. Let's start with compartment one.
This design actually came about in my second wave of designs (things that were on my desk) but was added to the first compartment because it's the largest, and the pendant would best fit in there. Adding a chain to the soldered mushroom jar pendant took a little thought, but I realized that I wanted to keep the palette for this necklace fairly simple and organic-feeling. I pulled out some greens, wood beads, and a few pops of orange. (I have to admit that more will be added to this little spread as I forgot to account for the large size of the holes in the wooden beads.)
Here's where the sketched designs actually began. In reality, the idea for this one was really only for how to pull the pendant together. I hadn't given the chain much thought other than to scribble the words "boob-length" next to it. Geez! In any case, I picked out a few beads that I think go with the colors of the tin and the soldered stone. These beads will help make up the chain.
This was yet another sketched design, but it was basically just the idea to pair the "zeal" charm with the soldered ring. Beyond that, I picked out the beads and chain as I was assembling the rest of the box.
This was the last of the sketched ideas. The little tin triangles didn't have the holes punched in them yet, so I hoped I could get five of them in that tiny space. Whew, I was lucky. The little beads match the colors of the dots on the tin. These should be pretty cute.
Here's where I started cleaning off my bead mat. I made quite a few of these bead-wrapped beads as I was healing. I decided that I liked the sparkly lime with the matte of that light blue cultured sea glass.
My friend, Jenny, has a new tutorial out for making her signature tassel necklaces. And, she asked me to read through it for her. Of course, I couldn't resist making one of the tassels myself. It was sitting on my desk too. Next up is to complete the chain of it to turn it into a necklace.
From there, I dove into some of the beads from the Secret Stash I received from Jesse James Beads as part of being a Design Ambassador. Those little puffball charms are too adorable. And, once again, I'm taken with pairing them with something on the opposite end of the spectrum: shiny, sparkly, hard. They should work out nicely.
Let me go ahead and admit to you that I ended up with so many ideas for this box that this one shares a cubby with the previous design. Again, these are some of my Jesse James Beads from the Secret Stash. In the video, I mention that this connector would make a great bracelet focal. And, that's just what I indeed to use it for here too. The rest of the beads will help make up the chain.
This design and the next also share a compartment. These little tin rectangles have been floating around on my desk for AGES. Until I set them next to those bright blue crackle beads, they didn't seem to work with anything else. The crackle beads and bead caps are also from Jesse James.
I was smitten with those resin and wood charms as soon as I pulled them from the mix in my Secret Stash. It just took a little moving of things around from the box to decide what they would go best with (and, these may be perfect for the Honey Do List from SJ Designs Jewelry this month too. Yay!!)
I found the soldered pendant in a bowl on my desk. I had completely forgotten about it. I realized that some of the gray and neutral beads from Jesse James would be perfect for it. I can't wait to see this one pulled together.
After that, I felt like I was out of ideas. I packed those first ones in a mad rush, just using old ideas and what I had already out in front of me. I thought that the last several compartments of my bead box might travel with me empty. But, then I started packing my suitcase. I realized that I was lacking some jewelry pieces to go with each of my outfits. And, that fueled these last several pieces. I simply envisioned what jewelry I wanted to wear with each outfit, and the inspiration flowed faster than I expected! I may have to use this technique again.
I have a long blue dress that I just love, and this necklace was designed with it in mind. The soldered shard was already in my stash, I just pulled together a mix of other blue beads and buttons that will help to make a long chain to go with the pendant.
A basic gray tunic and leggings were the inspiration for this necklace. While something bright might have worked too, the leggings have some florals on them that might be too busy with a bright necklace. So, I took the soldered chandelier crystal and paired it with black faceted glass beads and gray glass pearls. These elements should make a subtle but beautiful piece.
These black teardrop briolettes and chandelier crystal components are to become earrings that could go with the previous necklace design. Or, they may be lovely on their own.
This may be my favorite design in the box. I have a black and white striped shirt that I love, but with the basic blue jeans I packed, the outfit was in need of a little spark. I can't even remember what order this idea came together - it was such a flurry of excitement for me. I know I found that "dreams" key in my pendant drawer and realized that it needed some weight. That's when I remembered that large faceted bead that was in my JJB Secret Stash Box. The colors of it reminded me of the other crystals that were already in my own stash. And, I found the matte aqua beads and faux moonstones as well that should complement the pendant and help make a beautiful chain.
I'm having trouble even remembering what outfit this was supposed to go with, but I know I wanted dark blue. So, I found the tin, cut the shapes, punched the holes, and sanded the edges. I picked out dark blue seed and faceted beads to finish the design.
One of the tops that I planned to wear (and didn't) is minty green with white flowers. I was going to pair it with black jeans. I didn't want any jewelry that might overload it too much, so I found this clear component (some old jewelry piece, I assume) and paired it with white and off-white beads that will make up the chain.
I thought that if the previous necklace ended up being too busy for the shirt I had packed, I might as well have some simple earrings. So, I pulled out the pale green beads, gunmetal elements, and seed beads. This 19th design finished off the box.
I'm still so excited about some of these designs that I've started on them even though I've returned home and won't be traveling again for another month or so. I really enjoyed the inspiration of designing for actual outfits and will definitely be using that tactic again. I did pack some of my other jewelry for this trip. And, that was a blessing since I didn't get any of these made. I may share a post next week on what jewelry I packed and wore. We'll see. If you're interested in seeing more of my bead boxes stocked and their reveals, here's the full list of all fourteen.
I'd love to know if you have any favorites in this mix and if you've ever used your own wardrobe as inspiration to create something new. Let me know in the comments below!
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