Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shadowbox Jewelry Challenge

I am so excited to be sharing what I made for the Shadowbox Challenge, hosted by Lorelei @ Lorelei’s Blog Inside the Studio!

Several of us were randomly chosen to receive a Shadowbox made by C Koop Beads, and all we had to do was be creative. Here’s a close-up of the shadowbox I was sent. It’s the prettiest blank canvas I have ever seen, with so many possibilities.


When I received my shadowbox, I of course procrastinated, and then came down with a cold! So for a week I just vegged out at home (with my girls, who were also sick). I did have the pendant on my mind though. I thought about lots of different designs but nothing really did it for me.

One day I looked up at the ceiling while laying down on the couch and studied our original-to-the-house entryway light fixture. I have always loved the combination of the clear glass with gold/copper hardware.


Then later I was daydreaming my eyes fell onto this mid-century ottoman I recently found at a thrift store. My favorite thing about it is the gold swirl pattern on top. I love it against the cream background and with the dark legs.


Later, I was curled up on the couch watching Mad Men. It was the episode where Don and Betty went to Rome for a night, and Betty made an appointment at the beauty salon (and we also learn that she can speak Italian). She met Don for dinner wearing the biggest and loveliest gold drop earrings (though you may have missed them if you couldn’t stop staring at her hair):

don-and-betty-draper-episode-8 Photo via here.

And my design came together.

ckoop1e ckoop1a


I embroidered a swirl pattern onto some fabric using gold metallic embroidery floss…


…which I trimmed down to size, and then applied Fabric Mod Podge to the back to adhere to the Shadowbox.


To make the necklace part, I finger-knitted (remember that?) some gold silk cording.

ckoop2 ckoop8 ckoop9 ckoop10

My shadowbox had a pair of connector holes drilled into opposite sides. Through one side, I wire-wrapped a big gold drop with a big crystal bead.

ckoop11e ckoop11h

And through the other side, I wire-wrapped an “S” charm (for myself),


So the “S” is centered in the middle of the embroidered swirl pattern.


Then on the other side, I wire-wrapped a jump ring…


…through which I threaded the finger knitting.


To add some subtle sparkle, I hung some small crystal beads throughout the finger knitting on some head pins. They aren’t too visible, but they sparkle when they catch the light.

ckoop15 ckoop16

I knotted the ends of the finger-knitting together as it is long enough to just throw over my head.

ckoop1c ckoop1h 

Our 7th Anniversary is this weekend! I’ve got my outfit ready…a thrifted vintage dress and a little jacket from Ann Taylor. Though my girls have been expecting me to wear this outfit every day: “Mama, where’s your sparkly necklace and sparkly jacket and twirly dress?”

Here is a list of all of the Shadowbox Challenge participants…get ready to be amazed at what they created!

1.Lucid Moon Studio

2. Ann Rishell

3. Malin de Koning

4. Gray Girl Studios

5. Maria Grimes

6. Beads of Busy Gals- Elizabeth

7. The Silly Pearl (you are here!)

8. Shay Stone- Shays creative journey

9. LissC

10. the Beading Yogini

11. Grubbi

12. Jenny Davies- Reazor

13. Beth of Elizabeth Williams

14. Artybecca

15. Stefanies Sammelsurium

16. KreativeKsapylet

17. Shirley- Beads & Bread

18. Hilary Frye- Frye Style

19. Heather Wynn Millican

20. Staci Louise

21. Suzette- Ellie's Bijoux

22. Marina - Fanciful Devices

23. Andrew Thornton

Thank you to Lorelei and C Koop Beads for this fun opportunity to create this necklace!

Linking: Apron Thrift Girl :: The Gunny Sack :: The Frugal Girls :: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie :: Sassy Sites :: Rook No. 17 :: The Trendy Treehouse :: Tatertots and Jello :: Lolly Jane Boutique :: Homemaker on a Dime ::Southern Hospitality :: The CSI Project

Disclosure: I received the Shadowbox from C Koop Beads for free to participate in this blog challenge. All opinions expressed are my own.



  1. I love what you made with the shadow box! I really like how you knitted the necklace with your fingers. I'll have to research that for a DIY. Your necklace is lovely!

  2. I am SO BLOWN AWAY! The story behind your inspirations was brilliant and I think you executed your vision perfectly! It's so dramatic and romantic! Your pictures are impeccable also- thank you for modeling it too! Great job Steph!! Thanks for playing along. Feel free to add your photos to the flickr group I created for the participants:

  3. Thanks for sharing you inspirations and how you make it. It is so light ~ and yet its a bold piece at the same time (its stands out in a room kinda piece)! It looks great on you....awesome work!

  4. i love this necklace and how you were inspired by all the everyday things around you..thanks also for showing the step by step photos

  5. I'm amazed at your work. I've never heard of finger-knitting before, and I'm smittlen with your embroidered artwork.

  6. Gorgeous!! I love how you chose to include delicate embroidery with your piece. So very creative and feminine and you have done such brilliant job sharing your inspirations!!!

  7. This is so lovely. Thanks for the tutorial! I love that metallic thread - I've got some in my stash and now have some inspiration to use it.

  8. Your presentation and thought process were great to read. And your final piece of jewelry were very creative and lovely.

  9. Wow! What a great (stunning, really) result - I love how you personalized it with your initial.

  10. Awesome! I love watching for inspiration in TV too! I used to finger knit as a child and forgot all about it. Great idea and your blog is fantastic too!

  11. That is so beautiful! I loved seeing where your inspiration came from adn how you made it.

  12. This is so sweat! Love it. Thanks for including the step by steps too.

  13. So nice to meet you! I am intrigued by your fibers - all of them. My sister is an embroidery artist - she got the fibers gene in our family. Such fine detail, and a great length. The crystals are a great addition, in my opinion. Lovely!

  14. Oh, this is lovely! And I love how you posted not only your inspiration for the project, but also the stepped out instructions!

  15. What an elegant presentation. Thank you so much for including the thought process, it was great to read. I am also intrigued with the finger knitting, have to go find a tutorial now. The idea of the little crystals was just perfect. I love making necklaces that can just go on without a clasp. Beautiful design!

  16. Lovely necklace! I like how sweet and delicate it looks with the embroidery.

    And nice to see finger-knitted jewellery for adults. I've tried it myself too, but other than that I don't see it very often. Too bad since it's such a fun technique.

  17. Finger knitting...never heard of it. Interesting...will have to check that out. Loved seeing your various inspirations (Mad Men is one of my faves!)

  18. Love it. Embroidery and finger Thank you for sharing the process and the great photos of it.

  19. How creative! And I loved seeing how the creative process all came together!

  20. I love all your inspiration photo's, and I have never heard of finger knitting either, but I'm interested now! Great job!

  21. Absolutely stunning! Gorgeous!

  22. Definitivamente MY FAVORITE!!!!

  23. I loved seeing all your bits of inspiration pulled together and then the final piece! Fantastic!

  24. Wow this is incredible. Thanks for showing us the inspiration process, too.

  25. What a neat piece! It's really fascinating to share in your inspirations process, as well as the creative steps. I'm really glad you chose to share all of that with us, and you ended up with a fabulous piece. Nice!

  26. I love that you finger-knitted the gold cord! I used to finger-knit entire spools of yarn when I was little, but I never know what to do with the end result. It would never have occurred to me to do this!

    I love the way you showed your inspiration, and your step-by-step methods. I'm gonna follow your blog now :)

  27. WOW! I love how you shared your creative process. Hope your anniversary was the best!

  28. I really do love this! :) And there's really quite some work behind it.
    I enjoyed reading about it :)

  29. very nice! I love seeing what everyone came up with.

  30. Yay! Another fiber and textiles lover! I totally connected with you right away! Thank you for the step outs and the inspiration for your project. I can tell you are very visionary. Great job!

  31. Romantic and love the use of the fiber with this piece. Pulls it together very nicely. Enjoy your celebration.

  32. I used to do that same finger-knitting with my sisters when we were little. man, that brought back memories. i love how you showed your inspirations and how it actually looked on you in the end. so cute!

  33. Lovely!

    Thank you for sharing your process, from inspiration to creation. Great blog post; even greater piece of jewelry.

  34. Very cool piece and I like the inspiration behind it.

  35. Wow what a beautiful piece of jewelry and I love your thought process and the step by step tute. The addition of the beads in the silk hand knit cording must be stunning in person. I looked at all the participants and was amazed at all the different interpretations using those enameled shadow boxes. You and all the gals are so so creative!

  36. Steph, that is amazing!!! You did such an awesome job. It's beautiful and I love the story behind your inspiration... imagine how being sick helped you create this masterpiece! GREAT job!!! Happy Anniversary. May you twirl your dress all night long and sparkle as you walk! ;)

  37. Oh Steph, it's beautiful! Just like you! I love it. You're so talented!

  38. Very cool! Stylish piece AND step-by-step instructions. That's deeply impressive. It goes to show the clarity of vision that went into the making of this piece. Happy anniversary!

  39. Something beautiful! I think this necklace is one of the best among others. It really stands out. I'm impressed! Regards:)

  40. What a great necklace! It is cool to see what your inspiration was. So many neat techniques too! Thanks for sharing and great job!!

  41. Stunning! It's so perfect for you. And happy anniversary! X

  42. that necklace is awesome!!! and you look beautiful!

  43. You look great! Your necklace looks great! Together you look absolutely fantastic! I am also blown away (like Lorelei). Your piece is definitely one of my favourites. I wanna do all of what you did now. Embroidery, finger knitting, use gold string. Me? Wanna use gold string!?! That's a crazy turn-around!

    Excellent inspiration. I saw the three first seasons of Mad Men for the first time during this last spring. The last season I took in two days. And that tabouret stool of yours is very cool indeed.

    So, I'm off checking tutorials for finger knitting on YouTube now. :-)

    Thank you so much for this Steph!

  44. Wow...your necklace is AMAZING! I hadn't considered using finger knitting in this way - I'll definitely keep this in mind for the next piece of jewelry I craft. Thanks for sharing and happy anniversary.

  45. Wow! This is beautiful! I love the finger knitting! Thanks for linking up to my new party! I feel kind of link the new kid at school hoping someone will play with me so thanks for playing!

  46. wow steph you are MEGA talented! that's darling & amazing. turned out beautifully. XOXO

  47. Wow, I love it! It's so pretty and I love the finger knitting! Happened by your blog from the CSI Project!


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