Today is the big reveal for the Blu Mudd Design Contest and boy, are you in for a treat! Mohiah Betterly, the creative genius behind Blu Mudd's beautiful ceramics, decided to run this challenge a little differently. She made up 30 kits with the same ceramic components - a square pendant with a bird on a branch, a flower toggle clasp, and 4 cylinder beads - and put them out for designers. The rules were fairly simple and pretty much just required that all of the pieces be used. Alrighty, then!! Game ON. I pulled out some beads and cord 'cause that's how I roll.
With 30 designers all working with the same pieces, the trick was going to be doing something different. I had an idea in my head of some sort of macrame pattern to mimic leafy vines, so I sat down to try to do that. Uh, huh. Easier said than done. You can read about some of my trials and tribulations here when you get a minute, but for now, I'll just show you the first design I did.
Hmmm... yep, I get leafy vine from that. I thought if I just tweaked the colors, I could make it work, so I knotted up a whole bunch of this:
And then I discovered that this design just wasn't substantial enough for the ceramic cylinder beads. I did make a lovely necklace with these pieces you can read about here. By now the month I had to design a piece had flown by and I was left sitting here with only 4 days left and no design. I still wanted to use the the concept of connecting leaves, but they needed to be bigger, so I took the same pattern and figured out how to make it look like this:
This pattern was a better size for the beads and finally, I was onto something. I wanted to make the macrame go up and around the neck and use the toggle clasp in the front in an asymmetric design, which meant I just needed to use the 4 cylinder beads somewhere. And I faltered. Really??! All that and I get stuck on the cylinder beads? Turns out that 4 is a hard number for me. I do 1 and I do 3, but I don't do 4. I tried using one in the necklace and using the other three in a bracelet. I actually made the bracelet using cord to tie it in a simple design and then using the same cord to finish off my necklace (sorry, I cut it apart without getting photos) and I hated it.
You know that easy knotted style that's so popular? You'd think with all the knotting I do that would be a piece of cake for me, right? Wrong. And you know what trips me up? The ends. I'm a perfectionist and I keep wanting to tidy everything up and those knotted ends just drive me insane! They look so perfect when someone else does it, but I cannot do it! So.... After cutting all that apart, I decided to go back to one piece and use the four beads come hell or high water. The clock was ticking. I drug out my wire intending to do some wrapped loops and attach the components and I ran into another snag. My necklace was already fairly long and making wrapped loops and connecting all the pieces was going to add even more length. Good lord. And then it hit me: stringing!
I did some simple stringing to connect the ceramic cylinders, Czech glass flowers and a few random brass beads to the macrame section and the focal and toggle. Done! With a whole day to spare :) The length and the soft colors made it a bugger to photograph, but I'm still really happy with it.
And there you have it - The Saga of the Ceramics, The Vexation of the Vines. Now comes the fun part! Head on over to the Blu Mudd facebook page where Moriah has set up an album with all of the designs. Check out what everyone made using those same components and vote for your favorite (the rules for voting are there are the top of her album). She will tally up the votes on June 7th and one lucky designer will win a credit to her store to get more of her lovely ceramics!! I got a sneak peek at the pieces yesterday - you won't be disappointed!!