Thursday, December 20, 2018

Dragonflies Never Retreat

My necklace for the 2018 Battle of the BeadSmith featured beaded flowers based on plants growing in my garden. I usually start with a general idea, but I am never sure what I will end up with when I start a project for a contest. This year I decided to make some flowers I had never tried to make with beads before. The bee balm was challenging; I built the spiky blossoms using delica beads using a peyote stitch idea that had been simmering in my brain for a few years. It worked so well, I made an extended variation to create trumpet vine flowers. Those flowers ended up using a mix of peyote, ladder and brick stitch, with herringbone end caps.
This is a photo from 10 am day the project was due. None of the components are connected; the base is not even sewn together. One of the reasons my photos submitted to the battle did not do the necklace justice was because I took them at ten pm after beading all day. Usually I take 500 photos so I get four great shots; this time I took twenty and had just enough time to send them in. One rule to remember- make sure you leave enough time to take good photos! 

Here are some photos of the finished necklace. Eventually I will take some better ones.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Fashion Colorworks 2018

 My entry into the 2018 Fashion Colorworks contest.

I chose the triad with my favorite colors.

I used charms from Kabela Design.

And also Swarovski crystals and pearls, some are vintage.

The necklace can also be worn as a bracelet and a choker.

The name of the piece is Harmony.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Four Leaf Clover

When I was younger I found many four leaf clovers. It was easy for me to see the different leaf pattern the four leaf clovers made from the three leaf ones while walking across the yard. It always amazed people when I just reached down to pick one, with hardly a pause in stride. These days my eyesight doesn’t allow for that, but I still look. I have not found any lately, but I did make one out of beads. Here is a link to a PDF of this tutorial.
Happy St. Patricks Day

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Shamrock Earrings

The shamrock earrings I designed are a free project on the Bead & Button / Facet website.
They are quick and easy to make.

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

Preciosa monthly design challenges
Preciosa Ornela

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

IBA Perlen Poesie

Fairy Beads

Sponsored by Fashion Handicraft magazine, Kiev Ukraine