7th Do Over Challenge

Join the 7th Do Over Challenge by Jeannie K DukicOf all the challenges that I enter, my favorite is the Do-Over Challenge hosted by Jeannie K. Dukic of JKD Studio. What makes this challenge different from others is that Jeannie sends each participant one of her old, unloved, and unsold pieces of jewelry. It’s our job to take it apart and have a “Do Over”. We need to use at least 50% of the piece if possible. I previously participated in both the 5th and the 6th Do Over Challenges. I love this particular challenge because you are given such a limited set of materials to work with and it’s fun to try to think of a new way to use the same beads. To take it in a different direction completely. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes not so much!

Before: Jeannie’s Necklace

Necklace made by Jeannie K. Dukic, the "before" of the Do Over ChallengeJeannie sent this necklace made from three diamond-shaped pieces of slate connected with three strands of black and peacock colored seed and bugle beads. I really liked the necklace as it was, to be honest. I am feeling more drawn to large, dramatic jewelry as I get older. (Or maybe I care less about what others think. That could be it, too.) But I could totally see myself wearing this with a wide necked black t-shirt. Jeannie included a pair of small, simple earrings (not pictured) that were made from the bugle beads.

Necklace by Jeannie K. Dukic, this is the before necklace for the Do Over Challenge.

Design Considerations and First Try

I took the necklace apart and decided that I wanted to go for something a bit more rustic to go with those slate beads. I didn’t use the seed beads because I knew they’d just look too much like the original necklace if I did. The slate is too heavy to use in earrings, so a focal and earrings was out of the question. But how could I combine three very graphic and dramatic square-shaped beads in a way that was very unlike the original necklace? I opted for using a 3-way connector made with my Rustic Bead and Component technique. One slate bead on either side and then creating a dangle going down, first with the third slate bead and then with more accent beads. Well…it seemed a good idea at the time. But once I put it on? Ew. No. Just no. See what I mean?

It seemed like a good idea at the time. First try, and utter design fail, for the Do Over Challenge.

The colors worked. The overall tone and feeling worked. The dangle, or drop, is a bit long (from the connector) but I’m okay with that. The big fail was those tricky diamond shapes. Three over one. Looks like eyes and a mouth, the rustic flower connector being the nose. Sort of. Let’s just say that it looks a million percent better here than on my neck. Epic fail.

Second Time’s a Charm

I took the slate beads with me to dinner and set them on the table. As my husband and I moved them around and thought about ways to make them work, I started to get an idea. What if I put the three squares together? I thought about embedding them in polymer clay, but as luck would have it, my oven’s element went up in flames last week and I was without any way to bake polymer clay. (It’s an awful feeling.) Then Gary pushed the beads into a new configuration and I saw it. The Answer!!

Well at least part of the answer. I knew how to make the three slate beads work. But how to make a good necklace design?  It needed a bead to tie it all together. But remember…my oven was broken. Polymer clay artists are used to being able to make beads to fit any occasion or color. But I couldn’t do that. I dug through every box of beads that I have. Finally my eyes fell on an old bead from the “junk box” with leaf cane slices on it. It must be 10 years old. But it matched.

Soon I had the design figured out. But it needed a couple of accent beads. Sigh. Nothing in my stash matched. Wouldn’t it be great if I had more of those leaf beads? Then I remembered. I don’t have more beads, but I still have the cane. Heh. A ten year old cane. I worked with it enough to get it moving, then made a couple of slices. It worked! So off I went to buy a new oven element so I could bake them. (Nothing’s ever simple, is it?)

And here we are. The finished necklace. I like it much better than the first try. What do you think?

Another view of the necklace that I made for the 7th Do Over Challenge.Here's my completed necklace for the 7th Do Over Challenge.

Do Over Challenge Blog Hop

There are 19 participants in the 7th Do Over Challenge, each one listed below. Take a few minutes to go visit each of them and see how they transformed their own Do Over piece. I like to look at the “before” pictures and imagine what I’d do with it before looking at the final result. I’ve learned a lot about design by watching how others do their Do Overs. Leave a comment and let them know how much you like their piece!

Join the 8th Do Over Challenge
Mark your calendars to join the 8th Do Over Challenge, coming this fall.

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31 thoughts on “7th Do Over Challenge”

    1. The pics of the first version were going to be “on the cutting room floor”, but then I figured that it helps to see a bad design as much as a better one. I always learn by seeing when things go badly. (Maybe that’s why I always screw everything up the first time around. Always.)

  1. Love the second design. The green really makes the slate pop. And I do on occasion ask my hubbie for critique just to see it from a different angle. Great job.

    1. Oh he’s past that. I stick beads in his face all the time and ask him to tell me what’s wrong with them or how they should be arranged. He’s got a very good eye for these things. And likewise he calls me in to edit, proof, and critique much of his work, too. It’s really good because both of us get to learn new things from the other all the time. Sometimes we spend hours at the computer designing logos or arranging font for him, too.

  2. Wendy Jorredestjorre

    Love the final design! I also thoroughly enjoyed reading about your process, great team you two.

    1. You know Kathy, the hippie beads you just made would look good with these slate beads. But with a silver instead of gold accent. And yes, Gary is a keeper. I was lucky to find him and I’m never letting him go!

    1. Thanks Molly. I also liked the fabric wrapped chain. This was my first time using it and I think I’ll do it again soon. It gives a very good textural contrast.

  3. I didn’t see the “face” but I like the second design better nonetheless. You really came up with a great way to use those wonderful slate beads. I also love that you used fiber. It all looks great.

    1. Yes, that was the problem with this one. The bold shapes were already designed well, and there weren’t a lot of ways to go with them without making it look just like the original. But that’s why it’s called a challenge, eh?

  4. I like both of your pieces. I didn’t “see” the eyes and mouth until you mentioned it btw. The texture on the chain is a great, I need to figure out how to do that. Beautiful work.

    1. I just wrapped sari silk around a wire and then secured it by wrapping it with another, thinner, wire. I like the effect and might use it more in the future.

  5. Ginger it’s such a pleasure to have you participate. I’m your biggest fan. OMG, no oven? That is an awful feeling. Been there. I like first necklace and then I read, “Looks like eyes and a mouth,” and could not get that out of my head.

    Yay Gary. I do like the configuration of the slate beads in the second one. It’s so much more visually interesting and the fibers add some great texture, and of course your beads are stunning. The colors are perfect with the dark slate. Thank you Ginger for participating. It’s always a pleasure. Looking forward to the next one.

    1. Jeannie, I’m officially blushing. Thank you. Thing is, your design solution for the three slate beads was the best arrangement for them, so it was hard coming up with another configuration. This actually looks quite good on, though.

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