Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I'm Jellin'...Are You Jellin'?

I often consider myself the "idea girl".  I have always had the gift of being able to spout off a storm of ideas until something sticks.  I actually pride myself on it - I think it comes from the same place in me that allows me to have a never-ending excitement about the next project. I am NEVER out of ideas for what to do next.  It is this ability that has my creative friends calling me when in crisis.  I may not give them the idea they run with but its a great springboard for other ideas and can be a lending hand to their "lightbulb" moment.  This is what happened when my lovely PIB, Lindsay Starr called to gather ideas for her Component of the Month Challenge for AE!  Whatever idea lead her to these beautiful cabs, I do not know...but she was kind enough to send one made especially for me as a thank you.

I have been a bit obsessed with jellyfish for quite a long time.  Early in my beadwork I made netted bead jellyfish with clear AB 15s and they have been an obsession since.  They are elegant, dangerous, and come in such astounding variations in shape, color and size that I can't help but be fascinated by them.

It had been a long time since I made those silly little beaded jellies - then, one afternoon while I was attending a Gem & Mineral show in North Carolina I came across a pricey dendritic agate that I could NOT stop thinking about.  It was PERFECT for a jellyfish and it was beautiful.  Since that necklace I have made several others - my jelly obsession complete.

My Jellyfish masterpiece & my favorite!

Jellyfish made from bowlerite
for a beady friend.
This is the story of my psychedelic/ aboriginal leather jellyfish.  (whoa....)

This beautiful cab created by Lindsay is made of domed leather that has been painted and sealed.  The edges are thick and while the inside is hollow it is stiff enough to hold up and did not need to be filled in-between it and the backing.  I wasn't sure how all this was going to play out but I decided to use beads that matched the swaths of color to bezel the cab.

After completing the bezel I needed to add a round of beads at the outter rim of the cab.  I opted for opaque white 8s in order to add back more of the white that had been covered up by the bezel.  I ended up with this:

So...I actually hate what I did with it.  *laugh*  This happens from time to time.  All I could do was hope that it was just in that "ugly duckling" phase and that once the tentacles are added that I would fall back in love with it.  Sometimes you have to bead beyond your dislike and you end up discovering it all came together in the end.

My next challenge was that neither my stash nor my local bead store had the beads I wanted to use for the tentacles.  This became a bit frustrating because, as it turns out, they don't MAKE what I was hoping for.  I usually use peanuts to make curly lengths of tentacley goodness but nothing I could find was the right color.  I had to get creative (who woulda thought?!).  I finally decided to try opaque white drops and mix them with seed bead colors to get the effect I was looking for.

While I didn't quite finish this necklace, all I need to add is the strap and I will have another jelly to add to my little smack of jellyfish.  (A group of jellyfish is called a smack. *giggle*)  Don't forget to check out the other artisan's take on their leather cab!

Kelly --- You are here!

AE Writers:

Update (2/7/17)
I figured I would post the finished product.  I spend quite a lot of time stringing and restringing beads and trying different combos before I finally landed on the strap I thought best suited for my newest Jelly.  Interestingly enough, while working thru this I ended up realizing that the green beads I was trying to use in the strap originally were just NOT working.  I happened to be going to Asheville, NC the next day so I stopped in at the local bead store and found these awesome matte saucer beads.  I also found....*duh duh dum!* the beads I didn't think existed!  Those darn opaque white peanuts had just been elusive.  It was too late to use them in this project but I grabbed a tube for my stash.  All that to say...here she is!


  1. Hahahaha - well, I like your jellyfish! Actually, I like all your jellies! And boy do I understand the Ugly Duckling Phase (UDP) :)

  2. The jelly fish is such a great idea - it's fun to see all the different designs! I wouldn't even know that you haven't found the right beads - it looks beautiful!

  3. First, I'm sorry you had what you did, but those tentacles you made are really fantastic! And I love your necklaces above! Keep trying! Thanks for joining in!

  4. Just love the idea of a jellyfish! All your jellyfish designs are great.

  5. How cool! This is really a great idea :) I also love "jellies" (although not too close to me while swimming / snorkeling ;) ).

  6. Love your idea, and I think it's turned out beautifully!

  7. We were just at Ripleys a few months back, and the jellyfish fascinated me too! My son had to drag me away from just standing and staring...Love the idea and the execution!

  8. Awesome! I love the color combination - that in itself is a departure for you. Remind me we need to talk about other ways to make textured fringe... Thank you for playing along with us!

  9. Great idea! The colors in the cab are beautiful, and I love how you highlighted them. It's very jelly!

  10. Smack of jellyfish. LOL. I like what you have done - I love the texture of drops in the tentacles. Its very bold and high contrast.

  11. Are you talking smack? Smack of jelly fish that is!!! I love the curly tenticles and your overall creativity.

  12. What a wonderful set of jellyfish! I really love how you pulled the colours into the beaded bezel, and the tenticals are fantastic they really bring the piece to life!

  13. Very cute jellyfish! You did a great job.

  14. Very nice. Love the jellyfish effect!