AJE component of the month

I'm so excited to be participating in the AJE July component of the month hop as a guest designer.
The hostess this month is Francesca Watson www.francescawatson.com. She sent us each one of her handmade glass cabochons. I received the loveliest blue iridescent (dichroic) cab.

Here is a photo of that cabochon. You can see the beautiful blues in the background with the hint of pinks , sea foam, gold and silver, in the dichroic mix of this bead. The colour shifts as one rotates the cab and it has flashes of iridescence .

The second photo shows the depth of metallic colour within this cab.
I knew that I had some other special glass beads in my stash, so I went hunting. I had a slew of Unicorn beads with similar character so I decided now was the time to stop hoarding saving them. I chose  3 yo-yo beads in clear glass with gold flashes of fire on the surface. Now yo-yo beads are interesting designs, they have no holes. The trick was HOW to combine them  and connect them to this focal.

Francesca gave us the option of having a un-drilled or drilled cab . I chose drilled, so my method of choice was to create a bail to secure this bead to my finished piece. Any old bail would not do.
Not only because this cab is special but it's also much thicker than most bails are designed for.
My solution was to create a wire bail with 18 gauge sterling wire. I decided to create a spiral at the front, feed the wire through to the back, make the bail and then tuck the tail behind the spiral.
I then had to figure out how to attach the yo-yo's (that's why they hadn't been used yet. ) I decided to use the same 18 ga wire and do a simple wrap around to secure them . You can see the path of the wire esp in the right hand bead. If the wire gets pulled it only gets tighter around the cores of the yo-yos. The three beads are connected with one piece of wire ending in a loop at each end.
the main focal with spiral bail and the three yo-yo beads above. 
I then added links made with cube beads  with the same gold fleck on the surface and Chinese crystals in a similar blue to the cab.

 I didn't want the necklace to become too busy with lots of wire wrapped links so I limited the number to be just enough to fit below the collarbone.
I didn't have any sterling chain that worked with this design so I used a mix of seed beads, e-beads,  bugle beads, and fringe beads in similar colours and character to create the remainder of the necklace.

 Rather than have the clasp at the back of the neck I decided to add it to the front where the links and the seed beads connected. I made a spiral embellished hook and eye clasp to add another scrolled element to the piece.; it looked ok but it was unbalanced visually so I made a matching spiral for the other side with 18 ga sterling wire. and connected it to the wire guard where the stringing wire joined onto the wire links. It adds a balancing element to the other side and hides the bare wire guard.

Of course one can't have a gorgeous necklace without marching earrings , well one can but one doesn't want a special piece with no companions. So I used up two more of the yo-yo's and glass cube and crystals to make a simple pair of earrings.

I am quite please with how this turned out and I think it would make a lovely bridal necklace with the crystals and the "something blue".
Here is the complete necklace including the seed-bead "chain"

I am so honoured that I was invited to play along this month . To see what the other guest designers and the AJE team made with their cabochons just click on the links below.

                                            Deb Fortin-  you are here.

Toltec Jewels - www.JewelSchoolFriends.com

Carol Briody - cbriody.blogspot.com

The AJE Team

Caroline Dewison - blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk

Susan Kennedy - www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Melissa Meman - melissameman.blogspot.com

Jenny Davies-Reazor - www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog

and not least, our hostess and provider of the cabs for us all to play with  -

Francesca Watson- www.francescawatson.com

Thanks for stopping by .  Hope you can come by again. 


  1. Wow, Deb! What a great job! I love how you paired up the glass, and your wire work is lovely! And what a super idea to suggest this as a bridal piece - that never would have occurred to me. So glad you could play along this month!!

  2. OMG! That's a gorgeous design! I love everything about it. I've never seen or heard of yoyo beads before. I love how you can see the wire path. Great job.

    Thanks so much for reading AJE and for participating in the design challenge!

  3. Very pretty necklace! I love the clear beads with the blue!

  4. Great job with the glass focal. I really like how you used the yo yo beads.

  5. Wow...how stunning and feminine! I love it. I have never heard of yo-yo beads, but they look fun! Excellent job!


  6. Stunning design! I love how all the glass pieces work together - and your silver wirework is lovely.

  7. I think the trio of spirals are lovely, and like that the wire plays off the metallics in the glass. Your palette really lets the intensity of the glass shine!

  8. Beautiful design! I love the yoyo beads, I've never seen them before either. And I agree, this would be perfect for a wedding, it's really dainty and pretty!

  9. Hi Deb! Your design is awesome! I've never heard of Yo-Yo beads before! I'm really loving the frosty cool combo of Francesca's cabochon paired-up with these and your very cooool silver wire loops! I love it!

  10. This is absolutely beautiful! The combination of the cool and the blue and the silver wraps is brilliant. Fantastic piece of jewelry!

  11. What a pretty necklace. Your silver wirework is stunning with the metallic sheen in the glass. I've always shied away from yo-yo beads because I never knew what in the heck to do with them. You really nailed it. I like the way the wirework shows through them/

  12. This is a lovely necklace. I like how it allowed you to use some beads you had cherished for a long time. Your connections are very clever! I do like how you used just enough swirls. Nice work with a very pretty focal.

  13. Seriously stunning!!! Pulling the silver from the pendant and your wirework are genius!

  14. Very nice job, Deb! Your beads match the focal perfectly! Thanks for playing along with us!

  15. Perfect job. Seems like Opal + Lapis/Tanzanite mix cabochon

    1. Isn't it amazing what bead artists can do these days with dichroic glass.


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