Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Round Robin Bracelet Project Reveal

Find this magazine here.
In January, one of my internet friends, Pam, contacted me and our mutual friend Carla, with an idea.  She had read an article about a Round Robin Traveling Necklace Project in this magazine.  The article was written by Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio.  Pam was intrigued and wanted to try it.  The three of us chatted via email, and decided a bracelet project worked better with our jewelry habits (more commonly worn by the three of us).  With that decided, we sat a few ground rules:
  1.  Each of us would make a foundation bracelet, that fit us and fit our style of beading.
  2.  We would include pictures of what our bracelet looked like when we finished.
  3. We would make a journal of our choosing to go with our bracelet.
  4. When the bracelet was received by the next beader, they would document it before adding their additions to the bracelet, document what they added, and add to the journal with what and why they chose to add the items they selected.
  5. Once completed, it would be sent on to the third participant and the process would be repeated.
  6. When the third beader had finished, the bracelet would return to its owner.
When we started, my bracelet went first to Carla and then to Pam.  Pam's bracelet came to me first and then to Carla.  Carla's went to Pam and then to me.

This is the bracelet I sent out to Carla at the start of the project.

When Pam's Bracelet and Journal arrived, I was stunned.  Pam's ability with journaling, left me speechless (and a bit overwhelmed).  This was the cover, and the next picture shows my "pages" of her journal. 
Pam and I and Carla play Lexulous (a Scrabble type game on Facebook) and she included tiny Scrabble tile letters on my page!  They were also in my favorite colors!  Awesome, huh?!

This was Pam's bracelet when it arrived with her journal.

For Pam's bracelet, I added the silver metal daisies (purchased in Tucson), a C-Koop enameled ring, a globe charm (symbolizing the distance between the three of us), a bee charm (I am fond of bees), brightly colored mother of pearl slices (to add some pop of color), a brass snowflake, and a Lucite flower just like the ones on my bracelet.
I sent Pam's bracelet on to Carla, and received Carla's bracelet and her photo journal from Pam.  Carla's bracelet started with dangles of aquamarine, smooth, lovely drilled beach stones from Lake Michigan, and large holed crystals (which Carla sells in her Etsy bead shop), all of which was strung on silver chain (with the clasp included in the box, but not attached).
I added to Carla's bracelet:
One of Chris's Tidal foiled lampwork beads (looks like you are looking into a tide pool), a beaded dangle of aqua beads from my stash (some left from Carla's brick and mortar bead store in Hastings, NE), an anchor charm (I have seen Carla wear a similar one often), and a double sided peace charm (from Green Girl Studios).  There is a peace sign on one side and a dove of peace with an olive branch on the other.  The silver starfish visible in the pictures is PMC (precious metal clay) and hand made by Pam.  She also added a special lampwork bead, a piece of driftwood (collected in Maine where she lives)  drilled into to create a bead, and antique mother of pearl buttons from her grandmother's button box, which she bravely drilled the centers out of to turn them into beads.

Carla also included gifts for me in her bracelet package!
I received:
A lovely note explaining her gifts!
  Silly bands in Zoo Animal shapes!  I love going to the zoo, and now I can wear it too!

Gorgeous beads for my stash, crystals of course!
And freshly sharpened pencils with neon eraser caps over the tips to protect the sharpened ends!  Did she know that I love the scent of freshly sharpened pencils (and brand new crayons and scotch tape!)?  I have often joked that I became a teacher because I love fresh school supplies!  I was touched and thrilled by her thoughtful gift!
On Monday, my bracelet returned home.
photo edited for security
This is what I received~

WOW, right?!  I was stunned when I opened it.  Tears formed, I was touched and awed at the beauty that lay before me.
According to the journal from Carla

she added lovely, bright beaded crystal drops to my bracelet (she knows me so well).

This shows some of the little vintage details (marcasite, rhinestones, and buttons), as well as a tiny PMC hand made charm with a home on it, and a silver leaf and silver bird charm added by Pam.

When I received my final package, I was amazed at the tiny details included!  The decorative wrapping for the jewelry box (which has vintage Lucite flowers, ribbon, and a butterfly attached) was almost enough to keep me from opening the box.  ALMOST.
Besides my fabulous bracelet, Pam had include a handmade journal for me!  I had secret hopes that she would take pity on my pathetic journaling attempts and make them more glamorous with her talents!  I really love the sparkly, flowery tissue paper my journal was wrapped up in.

This shows what my journaling started out as:

The daisy picture was used with some inspirational quotes, and I used those quotes also on the revolving, stacked  flower shown in the photo below.

(Please note, my efforts for the bracelet AND the journal were completed at around 11pm the night before I left a day earlier than planned for Tucson!  We had to leave early due to a ridiculously fierce blizzard that bore down on Nebraska, and in order to make it to the airport in Omaha, we left a day earlier than our flight date.)
These pictures show the rest of the journal Pam created for me. There is even room to add the photo journal pages Carla made for me.

The last picture shows the note written in the round.  It also has a final picture of my bracelet attached.

This was a terrific, fun project!  I am so glad Pam read the article and include me in the project!  Carla, Pam, and I were all challenged to work outside our comfort zones.  We were challenged not only to create lovely, touching bracelets for each other, but to work as a group.  That is often more difficult than the design challenge, since art is a very solitary and personal adventure.  I am thankful I got to travel this adventure with Pam and Carla!  What's next?  Pam is having knee replacement surgery this week, but she assures us that she has ideas brewing for more projects once she is healed up!

To Visit Carla's Blog
To Visit Pam's Blog


Unknown said...

What a fun project! And I love how you took us through the whole thing with you with the photos.

Thanks for sharing:)

Unknown said...

Thanks Shari! It was great to visit with you last week!

The Folk Art Tree said...

Wow Steph! Amazing post! I didn't have time to cover all the bases but you hit them all in one fell swoop! You never cease to amaze me! I want some of your super powers! :) This was an experience that pulled creativity from the very depths of my creative soul, challenging me in ways I have never challenged myself. Thank you Steph and Carla, for your friendship, bravery :), and enthusiasm! It was a wonderful playdate!

Unknown said...

You are awesome Pam! I had to redo my post last night because I didn't like the flow of it, so between editing all of those pics and writing, then rewriting, I worked about 4 hours on it! You are so good for my ego! Wouldn't it be nice if we all had super powers AND elves to manage our lives?!

Unknown said...

Stepahnie, I thoroughly enjoyed your post about the Round Robin. I, too, read Cindy Wimmer's article in Belle Armoire Jewelry...in fact, I have it here in front of me and have read and re-read her article with thoughts of doing something like that. Probably contemplated awhile ago when I read A Charming Exchange. My journaling skills are very pathetic and it's wonderful that you have such a beautiful journal!!!

Gorgeous bracelets and oh so much fun!

Cindy said...

Stephanie, I am SO happy for your Round Robin group....your projects are complete and turned out so amazing! I have to say your group really stayed focused and seemed to complete the entire round and back again so quickly. You, Carla and Pam are incredibly talented. I can appreciate how long it took to take the pictures, edit them, and to write this post. But it is such a tribute to your Round Robin, and I'm sure you'll reread it time and again (as I do mine) to remember the creative spirit shared with your Round Robin sisters. Thanks for sharing your experience, Stephanie! Now I'm sure you'll inspire a new group to start a Round Robin. I'm off to visit the other's blogs too....

Esther said...

congrats for this beautiful bracelet!

Carla said...

Steph, what a beautiful, beautiful post! And what a wonderful experience!

Unknown said...

Thanks Everyone! We had a terrific time and what a fun project

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