Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Giveaways and contests

ACM contest

One of the Facebook groups I follow—Artisan Component Marketplace—recently held a contest for jewellery designers. The brief? To design a piece of jewellery using a component from one of the many artisans who are members of the group.

I happened to have a pair of polymer clay “sinkers” made by Kristi Bowman languishing in my stash, and this challenge was the perfect opportunity to use them. I chose a couple of Czech glass table cut flowers and wired them together, and wrapped the join between them with sari silk, inspired by the creative ways Kristi Bowman uses sari silk in her own designs. The dangles are hung from a pair of Rebecca Anderson‘s Deco Rose earwires in antiqued sterling silver to make a sweet pair of earrings.

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Much to my surprise, I won second place in the contest! Thank you to Artisan Component Marketplace, the judging panel and to Kristi Bowman for the delightful sinkers, and the inspiration! And I’m looking forward to receiving some new components from Kristi, courtesy of the $25 gift voucher I won!

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Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

The Wonky Bead Blog Hop

A little while ago, Kristi Bowman decided to hold a blog hop to see what jewellery designers might want to do with her new “wonky beads“—big fat chunky polymer clay beads in vibrant colours and textures. I jumped right in and ordered the Fuschia colourway. When the beads arrived I was thrilled with them, they are such vibrant silky colours!

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It took me a while to decide what to do with the beads, as they are much larger than I usually play with, and I was unsure what to pair them with. In the end, I pulled out some ivory large hole pearls in similar hues to the single ivory wonky bead, and found a bag of purple Greek ceramic beads with magenta and gold splotches (technical term, that one!), as well as some lavender waxed linen cord and antique brass chain.

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While I was in Kristi’s shop, I also picked up a pair of flower charms in the same shade of purple. I knotted them to a pearl and then continued to knot the linen up the front of the brass earring wire, twisting it around as I went.

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I’m really happy with how this set turned out, think I might keep them for myself!

Thanks again Kristi for the opportunity to play with your funky wonky beads! There are other participants in the blog hop, please go and have a look at their creations on Kristi’s blog, or hopefully by clicking on the links below!

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Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Up and coming

I’m taking part in a few artisan-bead blog hops in the near future, one in about a week using Kristi Bowman‘s Wonky Beads, and another in early October with a collections of beads from UK artists Lesley Watts (THEA Elements) and Caroline Dewison (BlueberriBeads). The idea is to feature their beads in some creations to be revealed during the blog hops.

Here are the wonky beads from Kristi — I selected the colourway and she chose a set for me. They are the most delicious colours and because they’re polymer clay, they are very light despite being quite large.

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And here are the beads and components I got from Lesley and Caroline’s bag of goodies. Lesley provided a bracelet focal and a pendant , both made from bronze clay. The bracelet focal has been coloured with a deep magenta-pink patina, while the flower has a purple enamel centre. Caroline has provided a selection of ceramic beads, topped off with a heart in a dark chocolate brown.

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The ideas are swirling around in my head! Come back next weekend to see what I make with Kristi’s beads in the Wonky Bead Blog Hop, and on October 2nd for the Autumn Design Challenge.

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop

Almost every crafter I know has a hoard of some kind. More than just the stash of components/fabric/yarn/paper, the hoard consists of special pieces that you don’t want to let go of, for one reason or another. Maybe it’s because you don’t have quite the right matching beads (or yarn or …). Or maybe, deep down inside, you don’t feel you can do an object of such beauty justice. Or it might simply be because inspiration hasn’t yet struck.

Anyway, Lori Anderson, of Bead Soup Blog Party fame, has challenged us all to dip into that hoard (myyyy preciousssssss) and make something. Sigh, really?? Oh OK! There are things I have been meaning to make anyway! When I have the right beads, and I’m good enough, and pigs can fly!

Way back when I first started beading (well, 3 or so years ago), I discovered that there were beautiful online bead shops. One of the shops I found was Nina Designs, which has lovely sterling silver components. This was just before silver prices started going through the roof, and I bought myself a few special pieces to make. As fate would have it though, those lovely components have been sitting in my bead hoard ever since … so I decided the time was right to use some of them, in particular a leafy link for a necklace, and some matching earring components. Also in my stash hoard are a number of teeny tiny gemstone rondelles, including some tiny amethyst beads ranging from the palest to the darkest hues of purple. Using some ideas found on the Nina Designs website as a jumping off point, and some larger prehnite faceted beads I bought a few months ago, I have created a sweet necklace and earrings set.

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Now, maybe that will inspire me to make a few things with that small stash of Thai Hill Tribe Silver I have tucked away.

One thing I find very hard to resist are art beads—lampwork, ceramic, polymer clay and metal, I love them all. As I went through my collection of lampwork beads the other day, a pretty pair called my name. These beads are from Indian Creek Art Glass, and I combined them with small circular links with an antiqued patina from Missficklemedia and some lovely purple sari silk in earrings inspired by Kristi Bowman’s Aladdin’s Lamp earrings. I’m rather pleased with them!

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Well, it hasn’t made much dent in my bead hoard, but it’s been fun to finally make something beautiful with some of my treasures. Thank you Lori for pushing me to use up some of my pretties!

There are nearly 170 bloggers doing this blog hop! Please visit a few!

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Nancy Dale, NEDBeads
3. Roxanne Mendoza, Roxi Designs
4.  Melissa Trudinger, beadrecipes
5.  Rana Lea, Rana Lea Designs
6.  Leah Tees, My Beady Little Eyes
7.  Rita Avila, Jewel School Friends
8.  Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
9.  Sharon Palac, Sharon’s Jewelry Garden
10.  Erin Guest, Renlish

11.  Joan Williams, lilruby jewelry
12. Diane Hawkey, Diane Hawkey
13.  Jo-Ann Woolverton, It’s a Beadiful Creation
14.  Sue Kennedy, SueBeads
15.  Lisa Cone, Inspired Adornments
16.  Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
17.  Nichole Byers, Nichole Byers
18.  Lori Jean Poppe, Adventures in Creativity
19.  Linda Landig, Linda’s Bead Blog and Meanderings
20.  Lori Schneider, Bead Addict

21.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
22. Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
23.  Niki Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
24.  Elsie Deliz-Fonseca, Eliz-Eliz and All That Craft
25.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
26.  Heather Powers, Humblebeads
27.  Sarah Goode, Pookledo
28.  Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
29.  JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
30.  Cheri Reed, Creative Designs by Cheri

31.  Robyn, Museiddity
32.  Catherine King, Catherine’s Musings
33.  Jacquie, Bead Gypsy
34.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
35. Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreations
36.  Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
37.  Hannah Rosner, Good River Valley
38.  Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
39.  Nelly May, Smelly Nelly
40.  Skylar Bre’z, Brising Beads

41.  Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
42.  Christie Murrow, Charis Designs
43.  Leanne Loftus, First Impression Design
44.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art
45.  Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
46.  Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
47.  Terry Carter,  Tapping Flamingo
48.  Sue, Mid-Life Great Expectations
49.  Nan Smith, Wired Nan
50.  Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck Arts

51.  Marie Covert, Creating Interest
52.  D’Arsie Manzella, This Here Now, Mamacita
53.  Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
54.  Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
55.  Johanna Nunez, The Lovely One Design
56.  Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
57.  Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
58.  Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
59.  Debbie Rasmussen, A Little of This, A Little of That
60.  Nat, Grubbi Ceramics

61.  Marjorie Savill Linthwaite, Bennu Bird Rising
62.  Cheryl McCloud, One Thing Leads to Another
63.  Heather Otto, The Crafthopper
64.  Candida Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
65.  Tracie Dean, Dean Designs
66.  JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
67.  Ginger Bishop, Lil Mummy Likes
68.  Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
69.  Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie’s Blog
70.  Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes

71.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
72.  Shalini Austin, Jewellery by Shalini
73.  Jayne Capps, Mama’s Got to Doodle
74.  Ile Ruzza, Ilenia’s Unique Beaded Jewelry
75.  Jackie Marchant, Fiddledeedee Jewelry
76.  Annita Wilson, AW Jewelry 
77.  Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
78.  Hannah Trost, PZ Designs
79.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
80.  Miri Agassi, Beadwork

81.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
82.  Dyanne Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
83.  Susan Bowie, Susan Nelson Bowie
84.  Megan Milliken, MaeMaeMills
85.  Menka Gupta, Menka’s Jewelry
86.  Ambra Gostoli, Chic and Frog
87.  Lori Lochner, Bloghner
88.  Gerda Jurimae, Gerda’s Crafts Blog
89.  Susan, Mistheword
90.  MaryLou Holvenstot, MaryLou’s time2cre8

91.  Mary Shannon Hicks, falling into the sky
92.  Karin King, The Sparklie Things Blog
93.  Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman
94.  Jenny Davies-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
95.  Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous
96.  Mallory Hoffman, Rosebud 101 – For the Love of Beads
97.  Danielle Kelley, Imbue the Muse
98.  Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
99.  Dolores Rami, CraftyD’s Creations
100.  Marcia Dunne, 13 Alternatives

101.  Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
102.  Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
103.  Wendy Holder, Jewelry by WendyLea
104.  Michelle Escano, The Cabby Crafter
105.  Louise Glazier, Lily and Jasmine Treasures
106.  Dana Hickey, Wind Dancer Studios
107.  Lennis Carter, windbent
108.  Anne Betenson, Crystal River Beads
109.  Audrey Belanger,  Dreams of an Absolution
110.  Lisa Stukel, Carefree Jewelry by Lisa

111.  Janine Lucas, Travel Stories
112.  Claire Lockwood, Something to Do With Your Hands
113.  Kathy Engstrom, Catherine’s Dreams
114.  Paula Hisel, Simply Beadiful
115.  Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
116.  Mischelle Fanucchi, Micheladas Musings
117.  Kim, Cianci Blue
118.  Linda Sadler, Ida Louise Jewelry
119.  Karen, Spokalulu
120.  Jennifer LaVite, Dry Gulch Bead and Jewelry

121.  Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
122.  Karen Martinez, Fairies Market
123.  Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
124.  Amy Bright, LABweorc
125.  Jasvanti Patel, Jewels by Jasvanti
126.  Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
127.  Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
128.  Natalie Moten, Running Out of Thread
129.  Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl’s Jewelry & Reflections
130.  Jenny Kyrlach, Wonder and Whimsy

131.  LiliKrist, Handmade by LilK
132.  Jessica Klaaren, The Truth Space
133.  Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
134.  Beth Emery, Stories by Indigo Heart
135.  Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
136.  Jeanne, Gems by Jeanne Marie
137.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
138.  Laren Dee Barton, Laren Dee Designs
139.  Steph, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
140.  Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn’s Creations

141.  B. R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem
142.  Patty Miller, Cabari Beads
143.  Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
144.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
145.  Lizzie Clarke, The Need to Bead
146.  Christina Miles, Wings ‘n’ Scales
147.  Patricia, The Color of Dreams
148.  Marde Lowe, Fancimar
149.  Ev Shelby, Raindrop Creations
150.  Sarah Small, By Salla

151.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
152.  Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
153.  Pam Traub, Klassy Joolz
154.  Lisa Harrison, Daisy Meadow Studio
155.  Anzia Parks, Anzi-Panzi’s Work Shoppe
156.  Ingrid, Lilisgems Handcrafted Jewelry Inspirations
157.  Andra Weber, Andra’s Joyful Journey
158.  Kelly Hosford Patterson, The Traveling Side Show
159.  Adlinah Kamsir, Dreamstruck Designs
160.  Marci, That Nothing Be Wasted

161.  Kris Lanae Binsfield,  Cherish Designs
162.  Stephanie Perry, Mustard Bead
163.  Birgit Klughardt, Gites Beads
164.  Inge von Roos, Inge’s Blog
165.  Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca’s Place
166.  Sandy Markley, Gypsy Spirit Designs
167.  Elena Adams, Lena’s Beady Blog