Saturday, October 27, 2012

Beadwork Magazine's beaded bead contest

For my entry in the second Time to Stitch Challenge, click here.

You may have noticed here, there, back and again that I have a bit of an obsession with beaded beads.

For the past several months, in celebration of its 15th anniversary, Beadwork Magazine published patterns for a series of beaded beads.

Many of us have been making those beads and waiting for the time we could use those beads to create something for Beadwork's Beaded Bead Contest.

When I started with the first beaded beads, I knew it would be a challenge to make them all play nicely together.  I figured I would just wait for an idea to come to me.

And an idea did come to me, in the form of the kiddo.  When I showed her my first few beads, she asked if they were supposed to be stars or planets.  *lightbulb*  (Have I mentioned that my daughter is awesome?)

The kiddo and I spent the afternoon researching planets.  We took notes on color and size.

The first pattern published was "Seeing Stars," designed by Melinda Barta.  I used this pattern for Mercury and Pluto.

The second design was the "Cube Cluster Beaded Bead," designed by Gwen Fisher.  This wonderful bead became Jupiter.  My Jupiter even has the red spot.

I used Florence Turnour's "Stargazer Beaded Bead" for Earth and Uranus.

These two beaded beads are just a sampling of what Gwen and Florence have in their store, Bead Infinitum.   Gwen and Florence are mathematicians and their beaded cubes, rings, prisms and spheres are well thought out, fun to bead and amazing when completed.

The "Treasure Trove Beaded Bead," designed by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel, was perfect for Venus and Neptune.

Cynthia has other wonderful designs in her etsy shop.  Cynthia's patterns are a joy to bead and the end result is always stunning.

The last design was the "Dewdrop  Beaded Bead," designed by Cindy Holsclaw.  I was excited to use this pattern for Saturn and Mars.

If you like the "Dewdrop Beaded Bead," you should visit Cindy's store, Bead Origami.  Cindy designs amazing beaded beads and pendants.

Once I finished my beads, I realized I had given no thought on *how* to make these beads work together.  The different colors and various shapes made it difficult for me to create cohesive design.

Then I remembered a set of beads made by Donna Millard.  The colors worked amazingly well with my beaded beads.

You can find more of Donna's work in her etsy store.  I have yet to see a bead from Donna that isn't absolutely breath taking.  I highly recommend taking a peek at her store.

I put Jupiter in the middle and laid the rest of the beads out in order.  (Who else remembers "my very eager mother just served us nine pickles?")

I even found the perfect clasp.  Do you see how great it looks next to Donna's beads?

I could not be happier with the result.

I love how Donna's beads pull everything together and make my beaded beads work together in a way I didn't think they could.

You can find my entry here.  If you have time, though, take a look through the gallery.  There are some fantastic designs and you can vote for all of your favorites.  The winning piece will be published in an upcoming issue of Beadwork!


  1. Now this is a TRULY handmade necklace - through and through! This is absolutley beautiful! Donna's beads DO play off all the colors of the beaded beads! Love how you explained your design process, too! This really a treasure! Beautiful job! Off to follow your links now!

  2. I love your design, it is really stunning! I will definately vote for your piece. I too have a great love for beaded beads and wanted to complete this challenge, but for some reason I had issues with Gwen's cube bead. Thanks for all the links.

  3. Tanya, the necklace you and the kiddo designed is so awesome!! I love the beaded beads and how you were able to get them all to play together. Beautiful beautiful creation. I will make sure to vote!

  4. Wow Tanya, I love how you were able to pull together the Solar System with the beaded beads. Donna's glass beads were the perfect touch to your beaded beads and you even got the sun in there too. Best of luck in the competition. I am off to vote.

  5. That is spectacular! I love the inspiration and how you used it to tie together such disparate components. I'd say it's out of this world, but I might hear the groans across the miles ;-)

  6. I love, love, your design, especially the colors and how they draw the eye around the entire piece. You must be SO happy with it!

  7. Just discovered your fabulous blog through the blog hop, very beautiful designs!

  8. Wow! I never understood the purpose of beaded beads, but now I get it! Love the way you use color and just the right amount of sparkle!