When I ordered mine, Lisa had a few different colours displaying - and for a few minutes I toyed with the idea to ask her to not send me one of them... then I said - oh, that's OK, we'll see what fate brings. A few days later, in the mail - the package from Lisa. I opened it before I reached the door - and what do you think? fate is a funny lady. In was this gorgeous package:
Why is fate funny? Because that's the only colour I do not work with - black. I starred at the package for a long moment, then ever-optimistically I told myself "self, *this* will be the challenge: make black work". I spilled the content on the table and I admitted it was still gorgeous :)
There were this beautiful lampwork animals, flowers, and a heart:
there were shiny black (I presume onyx) rectangular beads:
there were absolutely delicious grey-shaded cracked agate round beads:
and many other shinny pretty things:
Black or in some shades of grey... Now what?
By now you'll probably ask yourself: what's your problem? Well... in our culture black is a mourning colour. I grew up associating black to deep sadness and complete loss. My mom wouldn't allow black in our house - except for skirts, pants, and shoes / bags. Tops and accessories - no way!
As an adult - in certain conditions - I started to wear black tops: only the occasional summer cotton tanks, or that LBD (which I wore once, in fairness). But accessories?! absolutely not! My first black bead was the onyx I used in the black and red set - and I could wear the set just because they were so shinny and the red beautifully complemented the onyx. Thinking of the Red & Black set I realized that Lisa didn't say we *must* use only her beads... so I can mix the black. Oh, now we are talking.
Once the mental block was dispersed with - I truly got into a frenzy.
First, I got some of the beads from Dee: the sparkly blue eclectic glass mix, and after a very short moment of thought this is what I came up with
I love wire crochet, but this necklace was beyond my imagination: it is playful, happy and dances beautifully on your neck (I wore it the second I finished it!). I decide to add the tassel, but it is as beautiful without (I just liked the added focal point).
The lampwork was a bit more difficult: black cats and owls are kind of 'unlucky' thingies... and no matter how much I tried, I just could not put them together in some wearable design. I do accept suggestions :)
The flowers and the heart - ended up in this Victorian set.
The original idea was to use the black chain (oval links) as a base for the cats and heart, wrapped on wire like charms. I forgot to add the weight of the glass beads in the equation, so the charm-like idea did not work. I already had the 3 chains (bought them specifically for this project) - after some playing around I settled on the Victorian necklace. With the silver chains and the little red dots on the lampwork is not that dark anymore, I wore it once (I do wear all my designs to figure out if they work or not :)) and it had a very nice fluidity. I got many compliments on it that day.
I still had a few items on the table - no good idea for the black chips (onyx?), or for the silver charms... and a big pile of faceted black crystals (one side in gorgeous blue-green shades), black and silver metallic beads, and simple black beads. Another wire crochet didn't seem to work well... and then it downed on me:
What's wrong with a simple and very elegant memory wire bracelet?! Nothing, if you ask me (but I am biased).
For the cracked agate I had a good plan - and it worked beautifully from the first try:
Here we are - at the end of a long story. My challenge was trully... challenging - but I am very happy with how I turned it out. Even if some of the pieces I can't get myself to wear (old habits die very hard - pun intended), I like them very much. And I know there are many people out there having no troubles with the colour.
Please visit the other participants too - for more surprises!
Alicia Marinache <-- You are here