Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Vocal Focal...

...isn't that the most fabulous swap name? And this was one of the most fun swaps I've been in, as well. Just a small one...there were 12 of us. My partner is Renetha Stanziano at Lamplight Crafts and Renetha actually sent me TWO beautiful focals!

The first one is a beautifully etched-finish long tablet glass focal, drilled vertically. The colors are right in my wheel house and so of course it was this one that I started thinking about to begin with. How to show it off, without overwhelming it?

I thought about hanging it simply from a nice rope of some kind...but that seemed too ordinary, somehow, for this gorgeous bead...

I thought about trying to wire wrap it a bit and do a chain with some complementary beads...but my wire wrapping skills are so far primitive at best..and I didn't want to "cover up" the bead with wire in any way.
And then, as beady things will tend to go, I had an inspiration in the shower one day.. (don't visualize that will be bad for your mental health!)

When I look at the bead, I think immediately of water and waves; it may be tough to see in the picture, but the bead is sparked with a bit of silver in those's just gorgeous. The word that came to my rivulets....rivulets, running down to the ocean...and there's where my design came to being.

I plan on doing a plump skein of individually strung seed bead strands, that will move and shimmer, in the colors drawn from the bead. I am including a chain which I have used a bit and absolutely adore as one of the strands as well; it is a very tiny what I call dot-and-dash ball chain and will add a bit of texture and some additional sparkle, and mimic the silver in the bead itself.

The skein will be caught at centre front with a bail made of swarovski Crystal AB bicones or rounds in RAW about an inch or so wide; I'm hoping it will look like wave splash :-). The bead will dangle from that.
Here are the seed beads I've pulled, to give the general idea:

And a bit more closeup to show the detail of the bead and that dot-and-dash chain I love:

And then....the second beautiful focal Renetha sent me! I'm a little star-struck LOL...Renetha's friend the inimitable Carole Ohl designed this focal, which Renetha then stitched. 

It is absolutely gorgeous! I don't have plans "set in stone" yet for this one, but am leaning toward a really simple textured seed-beaded bracelet, probably silver, with this as the focal clasp. It is well-designed as it has a "slip-on" feature at the back which makes it really easy to attach, almost like a slider bead.

Thanks again to Renetha and Bonnie Coursolle at Jasper's Gems who organized this swap! Here is the list of the other particpants. Please take a few moments to visit them as well!

Cindy Wimmer
Ginger Bishop
Bonnie Coursolle
Andra Weber
Shirley Moore
Kashmira Patel
Maybeline Tay
Dee Torcherer Elgie
Bonnie Coursolle
Rhonda Baird

ETA: I see some of these links are not working, and I'm not sure why...working on it!
ETAA: Fixed!


  1. I absolutely love the lampwork! And seeing it with all those seed beads -- I can imagine you'll make something wonderful with it.

  2. Oh, jumping up and down excited over those colors! So excited to see what you make with it, the beads you chose are wonderful!!

  3. I LOVE the lampwork focal! Beautiful! I have tried seed beading and still do though with decreasing frequency due to the detailed work it requires. My poor eyes can't keep up. I can't wait to see what u are going to create with the focal bead and all those lovely seed beads.

  4. Your two focals are both really amazing. I already LOVE what you are going to do with the etched lampwork focal.... wow, you happened to have the perfect stash of beads to go with them & I cannot wait to see the results (may have to snatch it from you too - I just love those colors!). And that second focal with the stitchwork is really beautiful - I happen to love beadwork and I know it will turn into a wonderful design. :-)

  5. Wow, Your focals are beautiful. I love the color palate the you are going to use with the lampwork bead. I can see the ocean ripples on a full moon night with the glittering stars reflecting on the water. Your necklace is going to be so peaceful to wear! I can't wait to see what you do with your second focal. I like the bracelet idea. I am gong to have to explore Renetha's and Carole's blogs.

  6. loving the water and waves focal!

  7. Hi Lori,
    You received two beautiful focal beads. I am looking forward to seeing the necklace you envisioned for the lamp worked bead. I can see your design in my head and to me it is going to be gorgeous!

  8. Wow, I can't wait to see what you come up with for the lampwork focal. I fixed the link to my Vocal Focals...hopefully. Glad you like the focals.


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