Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2014 Beading Contests

I have made a list of bead contests and projects, ordered by deadline. The first section lists ways to help others with your bead work. The second list is contests, some of which are based in the U.K. I have outlined each contest and added a link to the website. Some deadlines are TBA. 

Charitable Beading-

The Water Challenge
  Goal- to collect paper beads made by students which will be used to create funding for
     clean, safe drinking water in Tanzania
  Deadline- spring 2014
  Website- Studentsrebuild.org

Bead it Forward- Bead and Button magazine
  Goal- beaded patchwork quilts will be auctioned off at bead show to raise money to fight breast
  Deadline- March 30, 2014  Ocean, aquatic and beach themes
  Website- Bead Quilt Project

Circle of Hope- Fire Mountain Gems
  Goal- handmade beads are sold through their website to raise money for mammograms
  Deadline- ongoing
  Website- Circle of Hope

Contests, Competitions and Challenges-   

Bead Me Magazine challenge- Ashdown Broadcasting 
 Overview- chance to have work published in online magazine
  Deadline- St. Patricks Green- January 31,2014, more TBA
  Entry fee- no fee
  Categories- varied bi-monthly challenge 
  Submission requirements- photo
  Judging Criteria- how well piece suits chosen theme
  Judges- Bead Me editors/staff
  Award- project is published in online magazine
  Website- Beadme.tv

Glimpses of India- STITCH/Madeira Competition 2014
 Overview- To capture the look and feel of India in needlepoint 
  Deadline- February 21, 2014
  Entry fee- £15
  Categories- mainly free style machine embroidery and mainly hand
  Submission requirements- finished size no smaller than 8" x 8", no larger
     than 27" x 27", finished piece and photographs to be mailed to U.K. for
  Judging criteria- embroidered work may include beads, wire
  Award- £1500 worth of prizes, work exhibited at show in Birmingham U.K.
  Website- ichfevents.co.uk

Bead Dreams- Bead and Button Magazine
 Overview- contest includes many kinds of beads and jewelry categories, open
     to professional and amateur beaders around world, original work only
  Deadline- March 25, 2014 
  Entry fee- $50 per submission, 2 entries allowed
  Categories- on entry forms available December 1st
  Submission requirements- work made between March 2013 and February
  Judging Criteria-
  Judges- editors of Bead and Button, Bead Style, and Art Jewelry magazines
  Website- Bead Dreams

This I Have Wrought- Words in Needlepoint- Piecework Magazine
 Overview- A quotation is to be used in a piece of needlepoint.
  Deadline- April 1, 2014
  Entry fee- photos free, finalists $10 
  Categories- Lacemaking/Tatting, Knitting, Crochet, Beading, Needlework
  Submission requirements- finished piece no larger than 8" x 8"°,  send
     photographs, finalists send actual work 
  Judging Criteria- originality and mastery of chosen technique
  Award- $250 to the first place winner in each category, will be featured in
     magazine and possibly exhibited in museum 
  Website- Piecework contest

Bead Star- Beadwork Magazine/Interweave Press
 Overview- Categories in different types of jewelry 
  Deadline- midnight May 23, 2014
  Entry fee- $20
  Categories- TBA
  Submission requirements- work is to have been made in the past year,
     finalists mail work for judging and display
  Judging Criteria- originality, technique, creativity 
  Award- TBA
  Website- Bead Star 

Seed Bead Contest- Fire Mountain Gems 
 Overview- contest open to all entries made with seed beads
  Deadline- April 30, 2014
  Entry fee- no fee, work must use at least 50% materials available from Fire
  Categories- Necklace, Bracelet, Home Decor and Doll, Wedding and Holiday,
      Fashion Accessory 
  Submission requirements- photograph, finalists send actual piece for judging
     and photographs
  Judging Criteria- technique, use of products, wearability, aesthetics, style
  Judges- Fire Mountain Gems
  Award- top prize $1000 Fire Mountain Gems gift certificate, piece will be
     used in magazine ads and catalogs internationally
  Website- seed bead contest

Fashion Colorworks 2014- My Lovely Beads
 Overview- open to all beaders around world, contestants must select from one of three color
     triads to create their entry
  Deadline- April 1- June 15, 2014
  Entry fee- no fee
  Categories- seed bead jewelry, finished jewelry, seed bead objects. 
  Submission requirements- up to nine entries, one from each category and triad, made after May
     2013, original work not already entered in other contests or in print, photographs to be
  Judging criteria- use of colors, composition and originality, use of technique, use of materials,
     overall impression
  Judges- Eva Maria Keiser, Marsha Wiest-Hines, Patrick Duggan, Anneta Valious, Patrizia Tager
  Award- each category has monetary awards from sponsors up to $250
  Website- Fashion Colorworks 2014

British Bead Awards- Bead Magazine
 Overview- Looks to highlight the direction of bead working
  Deadline- September 5, 2014
  Entry fee- £10, 
  Categories- Finished Jewellery, Beyond Beads
  Submission requirements- photographs, finalists mail entry for judging and
     display at show
  Judging criteria-
  Award- crystal trophy and goody bag from sponsor worth £250
  Website- British Bead Awards

Ugly Necklace Contest- Land of Odds
 Overview- To make the ugliest necklace possible using 75% beads
  Deadline- August 31, 2014
  Entry fee- no fee
  Categories- special points given for necklaces made with beads under one
     and a half inch
  Submission requirements- three photos, must also write a poem
  Judging criteria- hideousness, violations of good design principles, use of
     colors and materials, quality of poem
  Judges- Panel from The Center of Beadwork and Jewelry Arts
  Award- $992.93 Land of Odds shopping spree
  Website- Land of Odds

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Preciosa Ornela Christmas Contest

The makers of Preciosa Ornela seed beads would like us to use their beads to create Christmas decorations. The design is to be made using twin or seed beads in white, crystal, gold and topaz. The contest is to promote the new Atlas beads, and a special prize will be awarded for an entry that uses them exclusively.  The entries are to be posted to the Preciosa Facebook page by December 1st. The three pictures with the most likes will be selected as winners and the designers will receive a selection of beads from Preciosa.
In the past I have covered glass balls with netting and made ornaments from fire polish beads, but I haven't made anything to hang on the tree from seed beads alone. Stars are the obvious choice and they are easy to make, but probably a lot of people are doing that. The golds are a more subtle winter palette, and with the AB opaque white they should look pretty. Now what to make? I have been working on beaded beads, so maybe I will try them in these colors.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

British Bead Awards

One of the contests I entered this year was The British Bead Awards sponsored by Bead Magazine from Ashdown publishing. I came across calls for entry in a google search, and having finished with the rush of springtime contest deadlines, I created this summer flower piece. The original title was "A Study in Centaurea (would not be complete without ants)". That was a bit wordy, and I had added the echinacea, so I called it "Inspired by Nature" which was pretty generic but fitting. 

 The awards were presented at the The Big Bead Show at Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey in the UK on October 19th. Although my piece was not chosen as a winner, I feel honored to have qualified as one of the finalists. The entries were displayed at the show and, as usual, I am impressed by the quality of the work as well as appreciative of the time it took to create these pieces. The Big Bead Show gallery on Facebook has a photographs of the winning entries. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Haute Couture Reveal

My entry for the Haute Couture contest was actually done a day earlier than I had expected which turned out well as it took all day Thursday to take the photos. I seriously took over 800 pictures. The light changes the colors, especially the background, and the pictures from different times of the day reflect that. Also, I think the memory card makes a difference too, kind of like using Fuji film compared to Kodak. I was having problems with the colors but it wasn't until the camera kept freezing that I remembered I had switched the Sandisc extreme 3 card for a pro master card the other day. When I switched back the color was more saturated and also more representative of the actual bead colors. I had been experimenting with the magic wand tool in Photoshop but I didn't like the posterization effect so I left the backgrounds alone. Like I said, I am glad I saved a whole day for photos because I certainly needed it.
The finished necklace was pretty much what I had envisioned, only less embellished. I had wanted to add the stars behind the crystals on the braided chain but that looked wrong. In the end the necklace was more understated than I thought it would be, but I like the outcome. It is extremely wearable and somehow the colors work well together.   
The entries are posted on the Haute Couture Beading Contest Facebook page.

My daughter, Autumn, was kind enough to be my model.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Beaded beads

When making beaded beads, I usually bead around a wooden bead, but today I decided to try making beads without a wooden core. I used three sizes seed beads and tubular peyote to make these.

I strung them with some Swarovski briolette beads to see how they would look as a necklace. I think my sister would like this, so even though these beaded beads are primitive, I think I will make some more.

 I was trying out some ideas for beads to submit to the Fire Mountain Gems Circle of Hope project. The beads they collect are then sold on their website, and the proceeds donated so women can receive mammograms (which is why the beads are pink.) I would like to make some more elaborate beads to send to them so I probably will use the wooden beads as a base, but these are fun to make.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Work in Progress

This is the selection of Swarovski beads that Shipwreck awarded me for my sugar skull entry.

I picked out some of those beads and added some from my collection to use as accents on my Haute Couture necklace.

I have made two bases, one for the large center flower and a second that is to be embellished with crystals. I haven't figured out how to work the fringe/tassels in yet but I have hopes that I will be able to use them somehow. The pink is a pretty significant color in the fashion design I picked as inspiration so I will need to make sure it is represented. Instead of sequins I thought to use stars behind the crystals. 

This contest has been a bit of a stretch for me; I am not really a high fashion kind of a person. I have been trying to keep the design refined, but then I think of the show Absolutely Fabulous and I realize that I have no clue. The project is coming along slowly, in sections. I decided to make a multi layer necklace to help integrate the different components and colors. I have had some design issues; the large flower I made for the center is very heavy so making sure it is supported and hangs right is tricky.
I try to view these competitions as an assignment for a class because they tend to make me to try things I wouldn't normally think of, and that's always good because even if I don't like the finished piece I have learned something.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

From a postcard part 2

The Etsy beadweavers challenge for November was to make something using a postcard as your inspiration. My postcard was one of a tie dye tapestry by James Preston. 
I chose to interpret the dark color as black since that's how it looked on the card even though my example of Jim's tie dye is more of a dark purple. The superduo beads are something I haven't worked with much so it was interesting finding ways to use them. The bracelet is about 7.5 inches long. The beads are pretty heavy so I used a TierraCast antique silver clasp.

My postcard inspired piece of jewelry.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Solar eclipse and bald eagles

When I realized that the November 3rd eclipse would be visible as a partial eclipse from the east coast I knew I would be making a trip to my favorite beach in Chincoteague Virginia. This time of year is when the eagles migrate to the area and a stop at Conowingo Dam was in order. Since I read about the idea of November as bead everyday month I brought some beads with me. I didn't do any beading even though I looked at them a few times. I did see a lot of eagles and an eclipse and learn more about how to use my camera.

With less than two weeks to the deadline of the Haute Couture contest I am as much on schedule as I ever am. I usually work right up to the day before the deadline and take photos the next day. I probably take way too many pictures of everything and I use the RAW and JPEG settings. I have been known to take 400 pictures of a sunset. For beadwork the best thing I have discovered is using the exposure bracketing setting. The lighter of  the three shots has a much whiter background than it would if you had only taken the picture once, even if you make the settings the same. It does give you three of each picture and I easily take a few hundred photos of beadwork I am submitting for a contest. There are so many settings on my camera I am constantly finding new ways to use it. To photograph birds in flight I use sports which sacrifices picture quality for focus but I like stopped action. The sunrise eclipse was the first time I really stopped the aperture down (to f32) and used a 100 ISO. Usually a sunrise is about the clouds and colors not the sun itself so the pictures had to be dark. I needed to turn the auto focus off. There was a lot of wind at the beach and I got sand all over my lens but I was very pleased with the results. As far as beading, the star effect around the sun has some vague thoughts of a wrapped cabochon necklace beginning to shape in my mind.

Friday, November 1, 2013

From a postcard

The monthly Etsy Bead-weavers challenge is one of the beading blogs that I have been following. I find it is an interesting kind of market research; to see which designs are the most favored by the general public and which the bead weaving team chooses is useful, my favorites are usually ones that get the least votes, but I am not very mainstream. I like to work on the projects and try to complete them by the deadline even though I don't have an Etsy shop for my beadwork. The October challenge was proposed by Marsha of Haute Ice Beadwork. The title is "Picture Postcard Palette" and it asks you to create a piece of beadwork based on a postcard, not to reproduce the picture, intstead she invites you to use the colors and their distribution amounts on the card to create your beadwork. An interesting proposal, except I don't have many postcards, especially not of places. The only one I could find that wasn't a show announcement or bead store advertisement was of a tie-dye tapestry by James Preston. He has been creating tie-dye for many years and is the former owner of Positively Haight Street in San Francisco. The postcard is mainly blue and white in pretty much equal amounts with purple accents on a black base. I found the perfect aqua blue in a Czech bead. For the black and purple I decided to try out some of the superduo beads I have been buying recently. I also used some size 11 and 15 white. 

Even though I wasn't trying to copy the pattern the finished tiles had obvious influence from the pattern of the tie dye. I decided to make the components square because I have been seeing a lot of round designs with the super duos. I like to use the two holes independently; I work with each hole as if it were a single bead instead of working the thread from one hole to the other on each bead. i am not sure what the finished piece will be, maybe a bracelet.