Tuesday, February 6, 2018

February Bead weaving Challenge

The theme for the February Bead Weaving Challenge for the International Bead Weavers group was Black Elegance. This year the challenges are focusing on a particular type of jewelry. This month the entry had to be a necklace. I like the challenges because they allow me to explore ideas I wouldn’t normally think of. When working with the addition of a second level of design parameters I made the happy discovery that for me the restrictions led to an outpouring of design ideas. 

My first step was to sort through my stash to find my black beads. I found I have many of the new two, three and four hole beads in black. Since the color is consistent across the brands, I was able to combine them without regard for anything but the way the shapes fit together. The surprise was how much easier I found working with multi holed beads was when I used only black. It led to an epiphany of sorts- by taking the element of color away from the design process I was forced to create interesting patterns through the placement of the shaped beads. The interaction of the shapes allowed me a new understanding of the possibilities the beads hold. 
My original idea was to make beaded beads strung with fire polish and seed bead
 spacers, with a tassel. The beads had different ideas. Most of the components I made were either tiles or medallions, which brought to mind the vintage jewelry I have seen made with jet beads. A quick Google search showed me all sorts of elegant necklaces. I decided to make my design more modern, with a Victorian feel.

I used bugle beads for the chain and connectors, one of the few times I have managed to make something other than fringe with them. I also like the effect they have with mini duo spacers. The iris duo is a new two holed bead from Potomac Beads. It has a flat back, which I like because you can use one on both sides of the medallion. 

I am really exited by all the new designs I have made this past week with multi holed beads. The next step is to write up the tutorials, for me it is always a bigger challenge than the design. For now, I am thankful to the INBW team challenges for inspiring my creativity. To vote for you favorite design in this months challenge, visit the INBW Team blog between February 9 and 15. To visit my Etsy shop click here.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

2018 Beading contests, challenges and calls

Beading contests, challenges and calls

Bead it Forward

Make and donate beaded squares to fund cancer research
Squares due by March 1
Bead it Forward 2018

Facet monthly design challenge

Themes and dates listed on Facet blog
Facet Jewelry

TOHO design challenge 2018 
Use the same beads that are in the kit to create a unique design. Beads are listed on the
Team TOHO Facebook page

Bead Dreams

Annual contest sponsored by Facet and Bead & Button magazine
Last day to enter April 6
Bead Dreams
Metal Jewelry Awards

Fashion Colorworks
Entries accepted April 1 to June 10
New this year-four colorways to choose from!
No entry fee
My Lovely Beads

Fire Mountain Gems beading contests

Metal- closes February 11
Creative Clays- closes April 15
Seed beads- closes June 17
No entry fee
Contest Schedule

Fairy Beads

Sponsored by Fashion Handicraft magazine, Kiev Ukraine

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Class at Bead & Button 2018

This year I will be teaching my first class at the Bead & Button show in Milwaukee, Wi. It will be held on June 5th, 2018, from 9am to 4 pm. The class is called Winter Rose Bracelet. It features three-dimensional flowers, leaves and berries on a square stitch base, with a clasp made in Germany by Claspgarten.
The class number is B180409. Registration for classes begins January 9, 2018.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Daisy Days

Daisy Days

The September design challenge for the Facet webpage was Harvest Moon.
My lariat necklace Daisy Days was chosen as a winner. 
The October challenge is A Bump in the Night.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Toho Challenge 2017

This year I made a beaded box for my Toho challenge piece. My daughter had been asking me to make an octopus for her, and when she saw the color selection it was obvious to her that an octopus was what I should make.

Battle of the Beadsmith 2017

This is the fourth year I have participated in the Battle of the Beadsmith. My entry this year is based on the pond at my friend Laura's house. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Summer 2017 magazines

My beadwork was included in two publications this summer. 
Bead & Button August 2017 issue had a project featuring small beaded flowers.

A free form bracelet design was included in the gallery section of the Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


My entry into the Anna Bronze 2017 competition, the theme was Magic. 
My necklace, Twilight, was inspired by the time of the day when the light turns pink and the leaves are edged in amber.

To view all 122 entries please visit the Anna Bronze 2017 competition gallery. The winners will be on display at the Bead & Button show in Milwaukee Wisconsin June 9-11. 
The magazine also sponsors a design contest through their Facet website. The theme for June is "Upcycling" and in that spirit I entered the necklace into that competition as well. If you would like to participate, enter here.

Friday, April 21, 2017

2017 Beading Contests

This post is a little late; I missed the Bead Dreams competition this year.
Fortunately, there are other contests to enter, and all the ones listed here have no entry fee.

Concours Perles Puca 2017 
Design must use at least 40% Puca beads. Deadline for entries October 21, 10:00 am Paris time.

Facet Monthly Design Contest
A different theme every month. Challenge is sponsored by Bead and Button magazine. 

Royal Stone Calendar 2018
Different themes each month, each focusing on a different country.

Preciosa Ornela
A different theme every month. Challenge is sponsored by the leading manufacturer of Czech seed beads. 

Entries must use any exclusive Potomac Beads product to be eligible.
Entries accepted March 30 to April 30

Theme: Magic
Entries must use at least one Anna Bronze component
Entries accepted until May 15

Fashion Colorworks 2017
Entries must use colors from one of the three triads based on Pantone's 2017 colors.
Entries accepted April 1 to June 10

Seed bead contest
Entries must use at least 50% of products listed in their seed bead selection.
Entries accepted May 1 to July 9

Harmony of Nature and Technology
Entries must use one item from nature and one item considered technical
Entries accepted June 1 to September 1

Have fun, enjoy your beading and good luck!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Classes I will be teaching at Beadfest Philadelphia in August.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

2016 Toho Challenge

 Toho Beads challenge 2016
 Each participant was given the same beads and asked to create something.
The colors reminded me of a forest floor.

The other entries can be seen on the Team Toho page.