Sunday, January 12, 2014

Fire Mountain Gems seed bead contest

Fire Mountain Gems has been one of my favorite places to buy beads since I discovered them in the early 1990's. I remember driving by the warehouse on trip out west and wishing they weren't mail order only. 
Last year, for the first time, I entered their seed bead contest. The piece I submitted was a sunflower necklace that featured a black nephrite cabochon as it's center. I had wrapped the cab with some iridescent purple 3-cut beads, but didn't have any ideas for it beyond that. My husband kept insisting that I had said I wanted to use it for the middle of a sunflower, but I had no recollection of that. Eventually, after so many suggestions, my brain began working toward that end. I started by making separate petals, then used twin beads to represent seeds while also connecting the petals to the center. The peyote stitch rope is made using Preciosa copper lined lime beads. Using the Miyuki triangle beads added texture to the leaves and support for the flower. I added the periwinkle flowers to include purple. Most of the pieces I made last spring employed the My Lovely Beads Pantone triad of African Violet, Tender Shoots and Lemon Zest, a limited but challenging decision. 
I was told once by a friend from Venezuela that planting sunflowers outside your front door will bring prosperity. For the last few years I have, and it may not of helped overmuch, but it hasn't hurt either. 
My sunflower necklace was chosen as a finalist in the contest this year, and with that as motivation, I have already begun next years entry. The winning pieces are all awesome, and can be viewed on the Fire Mountain Gems Seed Bead contest 2013 page.

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