Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Rio and Rings: An Olympic Challenge Revealed

A couple of weeks ago I put out a challenge to friends in the beading community to come up with designs inspired by the Olympic Games, which were celebrated in Rio in August. As I said then, I love the Olympic Games, it’s one of the few sporting events I avidly watch (along with the similar but smaller Commonwealth Games and the Winter Olympics). The Aussie team is huge (especially given we are a nation of only 25 million or so people) and usually brings home a few medals, mostly in various watersports like swimming, sailing, canoeing/kayaking, and rowing, and even a few athletics medals as well as random sports like shooting and equestrian events. But while the medals are nice, I just love seeing the camaraderie between athletes of all nationalities and the joy as they compete and win. The sheer athleticism of the gymnasts astounds me, the achievements of superstars like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt is mindblowing, and I love seeing sports that I’m not familiar with (pingpong anybody? Or perhaps the Modern Pentathlon?). Even the team sports are fun to watch!

In my original post, I mentioned various things that could be used as inspirational jumping off points. I had lots of ideas, such as a metal piece echoing the graceful lines of a gymnast in mid-flight, but sadly I had neither the time nor the metalwork skills to pull that one off! So I went in a different direction.

As a self-confessed colour lover, I was very drawn to the colours used by the Rio Olympics in their logos and branding—vibrant hues of bright blue, orange, yellow and green, in organic, swirling graphics.


I decided to feature those colours in a lariat style necklace. The lampwork beads come from Beatlebaby Glassworks, and they’ve been sitting in a drawer for a couple of years awaiting the right project. The necklace itself is very simple, with the beads strung along a length of 3mm wide chocolate brown deer hide leather, and it can be worn in several ways—wrapped around the neck or even around the wrist as a bracelet.

Lariat necklace

When I was digging out the beads I used above, I found another set of beads—little rings in translucent frosted glass—from the same bead artist, and these made me think of the Olympic Rings, a symbol that above all others says Olympic Games, although they are completely the wrong colours! I used slightly wider deer hide leather in black to string them in another lariat-style necklace. It’s very comfortable to wear!

File 4-09-2016, 12 22 39 PM

Oh yes, and later this week the Paralympics start—have you ever watched them? The athletes are simply amazing, and many of them have overcome the most incredible of challenges to reach the Olympics. It’s worth seeing if it is showing on TV in your area.

A couple of my jewellery-making friends have joined me in this little challenge, so if you have time, go and see what they made!

Lennis at

Michelle at

Linda at



Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

An Olympic Challenge


I have to admit I’m a bit of an Olympics tragic. It’s one of the few sporting events that I will actually watch, I love the stories, the athletes and the lack of politics – so refreshing this year when there is so much politics happening all over the world!

Anyway, while I was watching the opening ceremony for the Rio Olympics last weekend, I thought it might be fun to host a quick challenge to make something inspired by the 2016 Olympic Games.

Perhaps the Olympic rings inspire you. Or the flags and colours of each country.


Maybe it’s the grace of the athletes, be they gymnasts, swimmers, cyclists, runners or any number of others. Or the medals they win, in gold, silver or bronze.

Is it the ancient history that catches your fancy, perhaps? Olive wreaths were awarded to the athletes in Ancient Greece’s Olympic Games.


Or it could be the vibrance of Rio itself, the blue waters, white beaches, busy city and super colourful people!

Ipanema beach

So here’s the challenge. Sign up by leaving your name and blog address as a comment on this post (or use my email address—find it on the About page —if you have problems leaving a comment). Make a piece of jewellery inspired by the Olympic Games. Post it on your blog on Sunday 28th August, a week after the Games are over. Now go on. Get out there and start training for the Olympic Challenge!