Thursday, May 09, 2013

"Diamonds in the Rough" ZnetShows Challenge

This is going to sound like an advertisement but, I am addicted to ZnetShows "wholesale beads". I really am. Not only am I a designer for them now, but I almost feel like part of the family!  LOL...well, maybe cousins.  Bill and his crew are so nice there and I love getting all of the great beads to work with from them. Last month, Bill proposed a new challenge, Diamonds in the Rough.  We had a huge list to pick from and sent in our request for the beads we liked.  I have to admit that I did not use all of the beads for this challenge, but what I did use, I had lots of fun playing. And what I didnt use is only because I ran out of time. I still have some beautiful beads to work with and I will over the summer put some awesome designs together. So, below is the long list of the designs I created.  Each piece has a list of beads where you can find the beads to take a better look and perhaps if you like them enough, you may want to pick up a few.

Enjoy...and dont forget to share my blog with your friends :-)

First, you need to see the mix of beads I picked out.  Arent they beautiful?  There are so many different designs I can make with all of these.  Time is something I just didnt have this time around but hey, its all good.  Below are all the one's I did get to make.  I hope you like what you see.


I honestly am not sure why I call these “Banana Split”, but I feel like that is the right name for them.  When I saw the beads on Bills website, I just knew I had to have them.  I don’t wear a lot of yellow but I do love the color.  The shape also caught my attention.  I really do like oval beads, there is just something about them that are catchy to the eye!  These are wrapped with tiny #3 round beads with a mixture of white, yellows and a hint of brown.  The ear wires are twisted and hammered which I just love the texture.
Copper wire
BDS384-08 - medium yellow jasper marquise spindle Beads faceted top side drilled 20x10mm 0 

 Orange Smoothie

OMGosh, if you have never held the Carnelian gemstones in your hands, it’s a must!  They are sooo smooth and …  just smooooooth…  I just love touching them, its so weird.  I guess I am a very tactile person and these beads are fun to put in your hands.  I decided to make these beauties dangle freely with lots of copper wire wrapped around them.  I really like to see a mixture of shapes in jewelry, it adds so much more interest and a little chaos.  My kind of mix…

BDS367-26 - silver leaf rondelle Beads faceted 8x5mm 0   
SCBDG142-22Cube Beads ..Carnelian Gemstone Cube
BDS1669-06 - heat-treated carnelian tusk Beads about 24x6-12x4mm 0
BDS1845-09 aquamarine rondelle Beads about 7x5mm 0 multicolor more greenish

For some reason, I could not come up with a name for this pair.  I dont always have names, but they tend to make the jewelry piece have a purpose.  These are very pretty in person.  The Aquamarine stone is actually a tad darker than what you see here.  They are a little difficult to photograph being that they allow light to show through, you can even see the wire through the beads.  I love this look.  I love goldstone gems too, they are so sparkly  and add that hint of elegance to the earring.  Again, these are really beautiful in person.

BDS367-26 - silver leaf rondelle Beads faceted 8x5mm 0  
BDS367-08Faceted Gemstone Rondelle Goldstone
aquamarine oval puffed Beads about 18x13mm 0 BDS1705-205
SCBDG142-24 - green aventurine cube Beads 4mm 0

My Diamonds

Diamonds in the Rough really fits this pair of earrings well.  The Aventurine  stones are amazing don’t you think?  And to add some glam, I used beautiful Asian crystal rondelle beads to add that sparkle.  This pair really was fun to create.  You will see that most of my designs are made with copper.  It is my favorite metal to work with.  Besides being inexpensive, its very easy to find and buy.  I don’t have to order any of the wire.  In fact, if you go to a hardware store, you can get the wire in just about any size you want, and its sooooo pretty.  

BDS381-03Faceted Diamond Shape Beads red aventurine
BDS381-02 - green aventurine diamond Beads faceted diagonal drilled 10x10mm 


Ok, I will admit, these are the best of all!  I absolutely love this pair of earrings. I just love the shape of  the Aventurine teardrop bead.  Its faceted, shiny, has lots of speckles in the bead itself and is just so pretty.  I didn’t go with copper on this set.  I think the silver is a perfect fit in this case.  Although I think I would like to  make a pair with copper to see how different it will look.  I really like the cascading beads going from small beads to the larger ones. I can say the only downside, if there is one, is they are slightly heavy.  I can wear them rather comfortably, but some of my customers have commented that they can not wear heavy earrings.  So, just be aware that this pair could possibly be a little heavy.

SCBDG142-22Cube Beads .. Gemstone Cube Beads natural carnelian
SCBDG142-24Cube Beads .. Gemstone Cube Beads green aventurine
BDG166-02 - green aventurine fancy teardrop Beads faceted tip-drilled 25x15mm 0

Goldstone Speckles

Yup, these beads sparkle.  I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to create with these. Then I suddenly realized I didn’t have any kind of hooped earrings in the mix.  I had some other ideas but this one stuck in my head the most.  I know they would make a great bracelet if I just had a little more time before this challenge was over I could have put something together.  I still might try .  I can see these beads with some beautiful Asian crystals in between…hmmm

BDS367-08Faceted Gemstone Rondelle Goldstone
BDS1757-05 - goldstone coin puffed Beads 14mm 0 

 Bits of Earth

See those huge amazing beads?  Brown, black, white and clear. Oh me oh my, I just absolutely think they are amazing.  I love rocks, stones, shells and all those fun pieces that are made from our own Mother Earth.  It just amazes me how she can create such beautiful pieces which we recreate into something we can cherish for many years.  This necklace is quite long, but is very lovely.  I used black annealed steal wire to put the pieces together.  Steel wire is a different look and feel than copper.  It can be a little messy but looks so nice once its all pieced together. There is a mix of chips, cubes, carnelian tusks , twisted onyx, and kyanite, it doesn’t get better than that!

S3-06Gemstone Chips Group A multicolor rutilated quartz
BDS1787-01 - kyanite rectangle Beads 16x12mm Grade A 0 
BDS1201-08 - black onyx trapezoid Beads twisted 40x20mm
BDS1669-06 - heat-treated carnelian tusk Beads about 24x6-12x4mm 0
SCBDG142-24A - green aventurine cube Beads 6mm 0 


Ok, silly name, but perfectly appropriate for these fun fire agate beads don’t you think?  When I chose these beads, the definitely did NOT remind me of diamonds, but in the rough..oh yea!  Agate is such an interesting  gemstone. These are actually dyed to make them look so cool.  These beads have large holes so I wanted to do some kind of macrame.  Then I found an interesting tutorial online, maybe even on Pinterest, about these Shamballa bracelets.  Very simple to make.  I think the next one I make will be with just the smaller beads.  I had lots of compliments on the  bracelet when I wore it at a local event.

BDS1593-09 - Fire agate rondelle Beads about 17x12mm 0 -dyed yellow with green color 
BDS1593-10 Fire agate rondelle Beads about 10x8mm 0 -dyed yellow and green color 

OH, and dont forget to check out all of the other Designers for the challenge, you will love every piece of jewelry Im sure!  THANKS FOR STOPPING BY...  For more pictures of these designs, please visit my FLICKR site


  1. how beautiful....there is just something about a pile of beads...just makes me want to let them run thru my fingers. lol

  2. Some great beads and designs. I really like 'Bits of Earth'. I too like stones, chips, etc. nice job. Wasn't it fun?

  3. These are all beautiful! I love your earrings - wonderful wirework! I think Your Banana Split earrings are my fave - love the name!

  4. I loved all your pieces but the Banana Split really caught me. The name... the style... maybe the sense of humor! Whatever, they're great! Lovely, lovely works, all.

  5. All of your designs are beautiful and your wire work is amazing!!

  6. Thank you all very much.... Have a great weekend and Mother's Day!

  7. Christina your creations are great. My favorite is the goldstone speckles.

  8. Fabulous work, Christina - I think that your complete collection is my favorite in the hop. The "banana split" pieces are super cool.

  9. I love all of your earrings! they are all just so fresh and stylish! Wonderful job with all of the beads!

  10. Love all of your pieces, I'm glad I don't have to pick a favorite.

  11. Thanks again to all of you. I really did have a great time. My banana split earrings were a lot of fun to make. I am determined to make a necklace to go with them. :-)
    I need to figure out how I can respond to each comment...sorry I cant do that right now...UGH

  12. Your wirework is incredible, Christina! Each time I look at one of the pictures I notice something else. My fav? I'd have to say My Diamonds...but I'd love to wear any of your designs!

  13. Oh so many luscious pairs of earrings! How do manage to concentrate so much beauty into such a small area? I'm fond of your banana split ones. You're right about the shade of that yellow, there's something about it! And that bracelet with the yellow fire agate. . .lovely!

  14. Your designs are lovely! I love your choice of earthy tones and wire wrapped creations....

  15. Mimi, I love those earrings too. I am so partial to earthy tone colors. And, THANKS so much...

    Also, Thanks Craft Hope... I think the yellow beads draw in such a positive energy, maybe that is why I like it so much. But I cant wear yellow unless its the warmer toned..

    Hannah, I think I almost create things better using the earthy is so weird. I feel like my brain comes to a screeching hault when I use pastels or brighter colors for some reason.

    Thanks again everybody... I appreciate all your comments. :-)

  16. I love all the wire work you did! Really really really love it! I couldn't decide which were my favorites because they're all so beautiful. "Rocks" have always been special to me, so loved that collection too. :)