Honorable Mention Pearls

In 2008 I got an email from Beading Daily calling for entrants to a new contest called Bead Star. The rules were that a piece needed to be predominantly one type of material. I have a hard time using mostly one material, so I saw this as a challenge. I chose pearls because I had some double drilled fresh water pearls that I really wanted to use for something, so I knew that I had to use them. Once I selected the fresh water pearls, I selected complementary colors, and picked out appropriate sterling silver findings. From there I created a pattern I liked and made the piece. My husband took a beautiful picture and I submitted Serene Blue. A few weeks later, I learned that I had made it to the top 20 and would be featured on the Bead Star website for Beading Daily member to vote for the winners. I was so excited that I ran downstairs screaming and did a happy dance with my husband. He had no idea what was going on, and it took me a few minutes to calm down enough to tell him.

Once the voting went live, I was beside myself with excitement. I could not believe that my piece had been chosen!

A few weeks after voting closed, I was notified that my piece had won an honorable mention and would be featured in the Bead Star Magazine. The screaming and happy dance routine was repeated, as was my husband’s confusion. In the end I learned that there had been over 1,000 pieces had been submitted and only 180 chosen for voting (20 in each of 9 categories). Once voting was completed, almost 10,000 people had voted, and somehow I had gotten an honorable mention and was published in the Bead Star magazine.

To this day I still can’t completely believe it!





After starting my business, I decided that I needed to start entering more competitions. My first attempt was to enter the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2011 Seed Beads competition.

I started my design by thinking about the beads in my collection that really stood out to me. The first two that I thought of were some really pretty flat red flowers and then some beautiful black double drilled daggers. I just knew that I had to create something with those two beads. I began by thinking about how to combine them together. In the past I had considered doing something with the red flowers to prop them up and make them stand out, but I just couldn’t figure anything out. I decided to start playing with them and just beading things together, but no matter what I did, I could not figure out a way to make those two beads work together.

I then decided that would need to use them separately, but make them into something complementary. So I went back to my bead collection, and started looking around for something that would work. That was when I realized that I could make two different types of beaded flowers. I decided to use the red flowers to be the central piece of one flower, and use the daggers as the petals of another flower. Then I found some black teardrops that could be used for petals for the red flower, and some flower shaped beads caps as the center for my dagger flower. I also decided to take advantage of the double drilled daggers, and create a second set of petals for the flower by adding seed beads and drop beads between each dagger. This not only created another dimension to the flower, but also added more variety. From that point, I quickly created two types of flowers that complemented each other, but incorporated each of the beads I had originally chosen.

Once I had a few of each flower type, I had to decide how I wanted to use them. I realized that I could not easily stitch them together, and that I would need to create a base for them to attach to. I chose to use peyote stitch to create the base because it would be strong enough to support the red flower components (they are deceptively heavy), but still flexible enough to be easily worn. I also decided to create a V-shape because I find that shape to be very feminine, not only would it complement the wearer, but also accentuate the flower motif.

After finishing the base, I started to place the flowers in a pattern. I soon realized that the piece looked very staged, and not at all like a wild garden. So I then started placing flower at random, but I still had to have some order to the placement. The red flower components are very heavy, so I had to make sure that the piece would be well balanced so it would not slip to one side or the other.

After I had sewn all of the flower components, the piece did not look finished, so I decided to create a third flower component. This time I used the black drops and seed beads from the dagger flowers. These small flowers were perfect for filling in some of the small gaps between the larger flowers, because they made the piece feel more like a real garden.

Once I had all of the flowers on, I still thought the piece looked unfinished, so I decided to add some fringe to the bottom edge of the base. This gave the impression of roots coming off of the base.

I chose to complete the piece with a stunning Sterling Silver leaf clasp. Not only does the clasp look gorgeous with the piece, it also rounds it out, because every flower needs a leaf.



Simply Seeds Feature: “St. Petersburg Spiral”

We were just published in the June/July 2013 issue of Beadwork Magazin!!