Sunday, October 30, 2011

Not To Brag Or Anything, But…

The Bead Society of Orange County hosted a bead challenge this fall. They gave us a packet of purple seed beads and lavender flower beads, with the instructions that we had to use at least 75% of those beads, plus any other beads we wanted, in whatever colors we chose. There were six categories, including bead weaving and novice~I chose Wire Work. And, woo hoo, I won!

I had a lot of fun with the challenge. The flower beads are really made more for bead weaving and flat projects, I think, so they truly were a challenge. I didn't want to just string them (although after seeing some of the projects, people got truly creative with their stringing!), so I used a funny technique I saw earlier this year. I put a fire polished glass bead on the end of a head pin, followed by one of the flower beads and a metal spacer for some stability. Then I "curled" the head pin and bent it up so the flower would face outward, not just dangle down.

I'd been think about how to use the seed beads and I didn't have a lot of choices since I was using a lot of chain. Again, head pins to the rescue! I threaded a bunch of the seed beads onto a long head pin, made loops at both ends and then bent the head pin into zig zags. Connected them with more curled wire. Pretty different and I think that got me some extra points! And my BFF has already asked me for a zig zag necklace!


I worked on the necklace a little bit every night for a few weeks, making components with crystals and headpins and eventually connecting it all with jump rings. I knew I’d need components to attach the three strands and when I saw the round silver connectors that looked like flowers, I knew I’d found the perfect ones.

For the focal piece, I took a length of chain and kept adding flowers and seed beads and crystals until it was full and lush.

Here I am with three other category winners, including Cindy Carpenter (left), who won the big prize~a jar filled with beads, tools and other crafty necessities. I’m jealous!

But I was very happy with my $50 gift card to Brea Bead Works. And all but $1.55 is already spent! On tools for my next class and seed beads to make some more zig zag things. And a wire jewelry magazine. And some other cools beads… Well, I had a 20% off coupon and, really, you didn’t expect me to just let it burn a hole in my pocket, did you?!

Do What You Love!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Wayy purty my friend! You deserved to win!