Monday, December 16, 2013

C-Koop "Book" Challenge

I have always loved participating in challenges.  For one, it gets me to think outside of my comfort zone and it seems to give me that spark of creativity that I feel I lose sometimes because I'm making the 'same old thing'.  I got the opportunity to participate in a new challenge when Lorelei Eurto recently hosted a C-Koop 'book' challenge on her blog.  I have taken several bookbinding and mixed media classes at European Papers, a local shop for me, and have been wanting to combine my love for beading with bookbinding/mixed media.  Participating in this challenge was the perfect way to dip my toes in the water so to speak.  Fortunately for me, I was one of the 11 participants chosen out of 67 plus who commented!

The requirements for the challenge were:
  1. To purchase at least three items (and identify them) from our local bead shops.
  2. To write a story to go with our 'book'.
  3. To use the completed book in a piece of jewelry.
Item number 1 is a non-issue for me as I purchase almost all of my bead supplies from Gahanna Bead Studio, except for some specific findings, vintage beads, and stones that I purchase from my favorite online bead shops.


For my book, I decided to write a story about my dog, Reggie, who passed away in December 2010.  Even though there were times when living with him could be a challenge, he truly was my heart dog, and I still miss him to this day.

I loved, loved, loved the book component I received in the mail.  The colors couldn't have been more perfect for me!  I used a picture of Reggie that I took when I first brought him home and collaged the front of the book cover with it and his name.  The wings and stars symbolized his place in heaven.  Adding the bone shaped 'bail' was the perfect way to attach the finished book to my pendant and tie in with my Reggie theme.

After I was happy with my Reggie 'book', then it was time to move on to the pendant components.  The 'word bar' is one of the items purchased from Gahanna Bead Studio and I thought the message and attached heart charm were a great tie in to my theme. 

I knew I wanted to use some vintage bone shaped beads that had started my beading career.  I found them in a quilt shop and bought them because they were related to dogs and realized I needed to learn how to use them in a piece of jewelry.  For Reggie's pendant, I decided to make them into a beaded chain so added the topaz Swarovski bicones on each side of the bone shaped bead and then made several to become the beaded chain on one side of the pendant.

I also went through my stash and felt fortunate to find a mouse charm that I had purchased many, many years ago (I really need to get my beading supplies organized!).  The mouse symbolizes Reggie's love for the earthdog activities so I used resin to attach it to a Tierra Cast connector frame.

Everything was coming together, but the brass stars looked a little plain to me, so I added some Swarovski bling by using crystals that tied into the colors in my book cover.  Just like Border Terriers are little brown dogs (and not fancy), I didn't want to overpower my Reggie book as the focal piece to my necklace.

I just love my finished book and pendant.  When I'm not wearing it, it's 'stored' on a bust next to my computer so I can see it every day.


  1. What a wonderful necklace! Such a nice tribute to your pup.

  2. Such a wonderful necklace, and such a sweet memory!