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.
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.
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.
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.