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.

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.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Belle Armoire Jewelry

The Autumn 2016 issue Belle Armoire Jewelry features one of my necklaces on the cover.
Inside the issue is a technique based article with photographs. There are also full page shots of some of my other necklaces, including my BOTB 14 piece.

Since the cover necklace is made with some hard to find vintage beads, I decided to make a kit to accompany the article. The selection of beads includes six shades of vintage French pink beads in size 11 and two shades of pink in size 10. In addition the kit includes Japanese seed beads in sizes 8, 11 and 15 as well as some size 11 triangle and delica beads. Two shades of Swarovski crystal pearls in two sizes round out the selection of beads. The toggle clasp, thread and needles are also included. There is a limited amount of these kits available, and the beads are increasingly difficult to find. If interested, the kit is available in my Etsy shop Rose Blu Beads.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Passion for Flowers

My entry for Bead Dreams this year was inspired by my garden.

 Over the years it has become condensed into one bed in the front of the house.

Every spring we move the passionflowers back outside and let them grow mixed with the perennials and wildflowers. 

The morning glories cover the old trellis that used to hold a rose bush. 

The garden has flowers from spring to fall, snowdrops to Montauk daisies and is constant sight of beauty and butterflies.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Black Raspberry

I finally got around to making a necklace with the drop bead raspberries. The opaque purple Czech seed beads are reminiscent of black raspberry ice cream, so I used them to make petals for the Paua shell beads. Originally I was going to use three flowers on the necklace, but instead I decided to make a matching bracelet and ring. I was pleased to discover the set had won a bronze metal in the 2015 Fire Mountain Gems Seed Bead contest.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

First Day of Spring

The March flash challenge for Operation Tackle that Bead Stash was the first day of spring, using a beautiful collage of paintings by Laurence Amelie as inspiration. As usual, I found myself unable to resist making flowers, especially since I used my favorite pink vintage French seed beads.
I finished the bracelet on the third day of the challenge, but then between an extension and an impromptu road trip I found myself still making pink and yellow flowers. 
That trip made this necklace easy to name, Vernal Equinox in Cherry Hill.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

2016 Seed Bead Contests

Beading contests 2016

End dates for submissions

February 26, 2016 Bead Dreams Bead and Button magazine

April 30,  2016 Fire Mountain Gems seed bead contest

June 10, 2016  Fashion Colorworks

September 1, 2016 International Bead Awards, Perlen Poesie- From Cubism to Art Deco

Tips for entering beading contests

These are things I like to keep in mind when working on a competition piece.

How to find contests- magazines, fb groups, google search

Identify which is right for you- price-some are free and some pricey

 difficulty level- how comfortable you are with pushing yourself or entering just for the experience, or just for fun
competition- how many entries does the contest usually get
 time period- how long  are open dates, how close to end date you have, how much time can you work and how long has the competition been working
materials- seed beads or Swarovski or any kind of bead
Technique-weaving or stringing or embroidery
Judging- is it open for public vote as well?

Check put previous years entries and winners, design with stand out characteristics

Read the rules- make a hard copy, add notes

Make a checklist with key dates and requirements

Know the dates, double check end date for submissions periodically

If the contest with a midnight deadline is based in another country make sure to account for the time difference if waiting until the last day!

Know who the judges are, what their style is, what their colors and favorite beads are

Follow the rules -enter pictures the right size, the right way

Understand the theme

Originality, be different, do something to set yours apart from other entries- design new components or flowers, use different beads or unique focals

Who sponsors the contest- why? If to promote a certain bead, use that bead, blog about them, use product sponsors sell as accents- gemstones, cabs, clasps

Go for all the extra points- small size beads, vintage styles, whatever the theme be thorough,

Enter more than one category with different projects, or enter same category multiple times if allowed

Take clear pictures, and a lot of them. Choose the best layout and reshoot again, and again in different light also.

Don't show your project before contest finalists announced, unless it is allowed or encouraged

Allow enough time to finish, but work until last minute if need be.

Take photos day after finishing to be more objective, distanced, steady.

Take notes, photos write down thoughts during process of creating piece.

Things to keep in mind

Don't be discouraged, bead and design for the challenge of the theme or completion date and learn from each piece- try to do something new to you, a technique you haven't tried or a color you don't use. That way you are pushing yourself to try new things, also your work is growing and evolving from the process.

Good Luck!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Beadwork Reader Challenge

In every issue of Beadwork magazine there is a Reader Challenge. The idea is of the feature is that one editor and three readers all receive the same supplies, and have a month or so to create a piece of jewelry from them. The finished piece is then published along with the other designs. The package I received was from Artbeads, one of my favorite places to shop online. The materials included Swarovski pearls and bicones and some lovely size 8 seed beads in a mix with the enchanting name Seabreeze. There was also a 24 gauge wire mix in the same Seabreeze palette, a heavier gauge sea foam color wire, some titanium silver colored wire and Zamba wire. The last item in the package was four 12 mm round fancy silver rings.

At first I was excited to take part. Then I tried to make something. Wow. The people who are able to design on command have my respect. It isn't easy. I gathered all the beads I had in matching colors, and still nothing. I fell back on flowers, because they are always pretty. Before I knew it, I had enough for a necklace, so I went for it. The wire isn't my favorite thing, but I used it hang my flowers from strands of beads strung on Zamba wire. The end result was a three strand piece in which I used most of the beads supplied (my goal) and even bought more to finish it. 

Red and Grey

The October challenge for OTTBS was red and grey, with a twist to use squares.
The colors red, especially paired with grey is tough for me, but I kept seeing the  beads and trying to work with them. The result was a lot of false starts and lack of ideas but after many days I managed to work my tiles into a beaded pendant. I attached it to the chain I had made, and realized I used almost every shape but squares in the necklace! Oh well.
With the rest of the pieces I made, the leaves and flowers, I decided to try bead embroidery. I have only tried once before, and that was on the bead backing they sell. I used to do regular embroidery when I was young, and I like using the hoop to keep the fabric tight. I used a thick piece of denim, and sewed my pieces down. I still haven't been able to force myself to glue anything down, it seems like such a permanent thing and I don't want to commit good gemstones to a piece I am learning on. I used a marble bead to get the feel for how to work around a cabochon.