New: Enter the Semiprecious Beads Contest

Feb 20, 2009

Enter the New Semiprecious Beads Challenge

When you're starting out, it's easiest to string one or two types of beads together.  Combining three or more can be tricky.  You'll need to juggle multiple colors and possibly different shapes and sizes.  Because of the design skill involved, I thought it would make a great Beading Daily reader challenge!

The challenge:  Design a bracelet or necklace using three or more different types of gemstones and your design could be featured on Beading Daily and considered for publication in Step by Step Beads.  Deadline to enter is March 31, 2009.  Read the Official Rules.

If you need ideas on how to use gemstones, check out the new book, Designing Jewelry with Semiprecious Beads by Kim Gover.  It's packed with information on all types of gemstones, including typical colors, popular forms (chips, rounds, etc.), cost, symbolism/healing properties, and suggestions for beads that pair well together.  (If you missed Wednesday's post, you might want to also take a minute to read Jean Campbell's Fun Ways to Combine Semiprecious Stones.)

More Contests & Challenges

If semiprecious beads aren't your thing, there are plenty of other design contests to keep you busy!  The Bead Arts Awards is an annual international competition that offers prizes in three categories:  beads, bead jewelry, and beaded object.  Deadline is May 1, 2009.  That's also the deadline for the second annual Bead Star competition which awards prizes for simple projects in a number of categories from crystals to seed beads.  I've also recently added a mixed media charm swap by Cloth Paper Scissors, the latest Stringing challenge, and a new Colorworks contest from Step by Step Beads to the contest page.   View all contests.

 
New Project
Celtic Twist Earrings
by Karen Tellefsen

Use 20-gauge round wire (brass, copper, dead soft silver, or craft wire) to create this design that looks like Celtic knotwork patterns in antique illuminated manuscripts, such as the Book of Kells.  This pattern looks especially striking if three different colored wires are used together.  Instructions assume the you know how to make wrapped loops and spirals.  This intermediate-level project from Step by Step Wire Jewelry will be free until March 30, 2009.  [Note:  Free period has ended.  This pattern is now for sale in the store.]


Michelle Mach shares free projects every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website. 



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Comments

on Feb 20, 2009 8:26 PM
I look forward to the free projects each week and as of late have been disappointed when the arrive on Friday. I do not wish to do wirework or stringing. I am only interested in working with seed beads. I'm sure others feel as I do. Why can't there be a separate project each week for the various interests? Another suggestion: In checking out the previous free projects, it would be helpful if they could be sorted according to medium used so that we would only view the specific medium of our individual interests. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
on Feb 21, 2009 1:01 AM
Hi Michelle I for one am very grateful y'all have chosen to make projects available at no charge! To the people who complain that the project was previously published, Did you get the magazine for free? I think not unless you sat in the book or craft store and copied the directions. Designers web sites sell their projects. To the people who complain about having to sift thru the site looking for the one medium they want to use, spend some time browsing! I have found inspiration to adapt in many projects I don't know techniques of and gee! MAYBE you could TRY something different. Life's a banquet and most people are dieting....
on Feb 21, 2009 1:06 AM
Browsing in new free projects I noticed under comments in "net full of gems" and in "perfect finish" a chinese 'entreprenuer' has posted an ad with contact information offering to sell ??? supplies for the project or maybe ??? the project as a kit. Rather hard to follow the syntax, but seems to be contrary to the spirit of the free project offerings.
on Feb 21, 2009 6:06 AM
Thanks for all the comments! We are working on some improvements to the website--hopefully we can improve the way things are organized. For now, the website is searchable, so you could try searching "peyote stitch" for example. Or, you can use the "tag cloud" which is the box on the right side of the page that has all the descriptive words of the project. Click on a word like "peyote stitch" to limit your search to that. I do have scheduled at least one bead stitching project each month--I have a loomwork project coming up in early March.
on Mar 4, 2009 1:33 PM
Hey Michelle! Thanks for this really informative post. I entered my first ever beading challenge and have already submitted it. Even if I don't win, I was so excited about it I couldn't make the piece fast enough. Thanks for all you do. Tammy
Nemeton wrote
on Mar 9, 2009 6:19 AM
Yay! Finally a competition I'm eligible to enter... so I've had a go! It was indeed a challenge for me as a dyed in the wool beadweaver to be restricted to stringing and wirework, neither of which is in my comfort zone, but still come up with a complex and textural piece. Thanks for getting me out of my box!