Dragonfly Pin and Other Beading Challenges

 The Challenge
The idea behind the Beadwork challenge is simple: give different designers the same materials and see what they create. The August/September 2007 kit was from Lady Bug Beads and contained seed beads, Czech pressed-glass beads, crystal bicones, pearls, copper beads, and chain.

The Beadwork Projects
Beadwork editors Melinda Barta, Jamie Hogsett, and Dustin Wedekind all created stunning pieces, suitable for an elegant dinner party:

  • Melinda used circular one- and two-drop peyote stitch to create a fringy centerpiece for her necklace.
  • Jamie dangled green nautilus beads from short lengths of chain in her simple, yet striking necklace.
  • Dustin created a beautiful brooch with right-angle weave—and then created a second brooch with nearly all of his remaining beads!

The Beading Daily Projects

Sandi's "Under Construction" Project
To make the challenge project even more challenging, contributing editor Sandi Wiseheart and I agreed to split one kit of beads and create a project that was not a necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings. (More than 300 readers voted on how Sandi should complete her project—stay tuned to see how it came out!)

For my project, I decided to take the funky route with a pin that would be more at home on a denim jacket than a beautiful gown. As soon I saw the beads, I knew that I wanted to create a nature-themed piece. At first, I thought I would make a flower, but in playing around with the beads, I began to imagine a dragonfly pin. I found two scrapbooking tags, one vellum and one metal, that served as the base for the piece. (I love scrapbooking materials, even though I'm not a scrapbooker.)

For the dragonfly's body, I sewed a line of beads to brown moleskin fabric covered with blue tubular wire mesh ribbon I found at Bead Expo. This was the first time I'd ever worked with wire mesh and I really liked it! It was easy to stretch apart and much softer than I expected. To complete the piece, I added wiredworked antennae, dagger wings (sewn to the fabric) and a border of seed beads and chain.

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.
P.S. I'm a decent photographer, but for some reason, I could not take a good photo of this project. Too dark, blurry, weird camera angles. . .Then late on a Friday afternoon, I found our photographer Ann in her basement studio shooting a project for another magazine. She generously agreed to squeeze me in and came back in about fifteen minutes with this beautiful photo. I had a little teary, makeover show moment in my office. Maybe this little pin could go to a grown-up dinner party. Thanks, Ann!

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