AJE December Component of the Month Design Challenge Reveal

Sadly it seems the only time I've blogged on my own blog has been for design challenge reveals. That changes this year! However, the first blog post of the new year will is a reveal post. Diana Ptaszynski was the hostess for the monthly Art Jewelry Elements design challenge in December, and she sent these amazing snowflake pendants to the participants. I received a blue one. 

I immediately knew I wanted to do a beaded kumihimo braid. I started at least 6 differerent braids, using different colors and combinations of seed beads. Here's the thing. The colors of the seeds look different when strung up on cord and braided one at a time into a rope, vs how they look all globbed up in a tube. And I was very frustrated. I even tried ordering seeds based on a color palette. But when I received the seeds, they looked to "cartoony" to me, even though the colors matched almost perfectly to the palette I used. Sigh. 

So on January 1, after my last failed kumihimo attempt (no, I didn't take pics of any of the attempts....I was too focused and frustrated), and being sick to death of stringing beads on cord to braid, just to remove them again, I completely changed tactics and decided to do chainmaille. Diana has actually taken up chainmaille this year and I thought it would be a tribute to her newfound obsession interest.

I debated with myself for quite a while between European 4 in 1 and Japanese (12 in 2) weave. And what color. Finally I settled on European 4 in 1 using brass rings.

As I happily wove together jumprings, I came to a very upsetting conclusion at about inch 11. I didn't have enough rings to complete the necklace I had in my head. ARGH!!!!!!

Luckily I recalled I had the same size in sterling silver. But how to incorporate? I decided to gradually go from solid brass on one end to silver on the other end.

It involved some "unweaving," but I'm excited about the result. And towards the end I kept thinking of the song "Silver and Gold" as sung on Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (silver and brass just doesn't have the same effect...)


I wish I had taken photos along the way, but again, I was focused on getting this thing done on time. 

I used a shank button style bronze clasp by Lesley Watt, and once I test fitted all the components and the length, I removed the button and the snowflake, used Jax Pewter Black to patina (because it was WAY TOO SHINY for Diana's rustic snowflake pendant) then tumbled it for a few hours.

I used steel wool to bring back a bit more of the shine because it was still too dark and dull. 

Now go take a look at what the other designers created:

Guest Designers

Dana Hickey


AJE Blog Team

Lindsay M Starr

Linda Landig

Lesley Watt

Caroline Dewison

Susan Kennedy

Jen Cameron (you are here)

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Melissa Meman

Kristen Stevens



Wow. You have outdone yourself. Thats intense. I love, love the gradual shift from silver to "gold". Lesleys button visually links the metal to the pattern of the focal. So cool.

lesley watt

This is stunning Jen! The graduated effect is perfect and I love the whole 'weathered' feel it has. the button adds just the right amount of accent and interest too. Great job.

Melissa M

Wow, I absolutely love this and would love to do some chain maille! This totally rocks and I think the 2 metals together really works!

Diana P.

Wowza's! Yeah, I love this! I love the color shift and the weave and everything. I really need to stop with the Byzantine for awhile and switch back to other weaves...but it's so darn addicting! Seriously, now I know I have to make a necklace in 4 in 1. Make sure you bring this to BF so I can see it in person!


Wow, that's absolutely stunning Jen, perfect for the component!

Mona Arnott

What determination! So many false starts and frustration and you pull off this amazing necklace. I love the way you overcame the final frustration of not having enough jump rings, and the creative solution you came up with even more.

Beautiful results


I love the blending of the rings!

I;m also glad to know I wasn't the only one with songs playing in her head when done!!


Such a beautiful design, love how you used the different coloured rings and the clasp is just the perfect finishing touch!

SusanDolphin Delaney

Jen, thanks for sharing that frustration that all of us true artists go through on the way to the perfect design. It can feel so lonely, so much like I am the only one that goes through that. Your end result is utterly amazing.


Love it! I would not have thought of chainmaille as a solution for this component - but it really elevated it to a classy design.

Carol Briody

Wow wow! I'm totally in love with your necklace! What a great idea to 'gradually' weave the two colors of rings together when 'in a pinch'!?! Totally ingenious..we see weaves of brightly colored jump rings used together so often, but I can't recall ever seeing silver and brass stiplpled-together such as you have done! The weave is beautiful, the button is a great compliment, and I'm kinda glad the Kumihimo was a no-go this time around (sorry!). Your final necklace is a perfect compliment to Diana's focal, and can be worn all-year-long, too! Love love!

Linda Landig

Wow, your dogged persistence really paid off! You've made a stunning necklace that will be a joy to wear all winter.


Stunning necklace, the different metals with the snowflake and the amazing chainmaille, I absolutely love your necklace!


Another "wow" design! I love the chainmaille work, which nicely sets off the snowflake focal. Well done!


That is so amazing!

Susan Kennedy

I love it! Love how you were able to fix your conundrum by using two metals, and what Jenny said about the clasp (I don't have those fancy jewelry words). I love it! I was going to ask about the black jax - if it made things too dark, which I guess it does from reading your post.

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