|Look at all the goodies in this beading challenge kit from The Hole Bead Shop! I was lucky to snag one!
I can still remember my first beading challenge. I was still
a relatively new beader, and I had only recently mastered peyote stitch. The
owners of the bead shop where I was taking classes offered a challenge: buy a
kit of beads and make something with it. The only rule was that you had to make
something using most of the beads. (They didn't even specify what "most" was!)
It's been a long time since that challenge, and I still find
it invigorating to participate in beading challenges. Scarlett Lanson's Use the
Muse challenges were always a fun way for me to get some beading time in, and
there's something about a looming deadline that will keep me up beading into
the wee hours of the morning when I know I should be sleeping.
I participated in the Beading For a Cure challenge this year
for the first time, and I had such a great time designing and stitching my
Last week, I was lucky enough to snag one of only ten bead
kits for The Hole Bead Shop's first-ever beading challenge! I was determined to
get my hands on one of those kits when I saw the amazing lampwork glass sugar
skull beads, but I had no idea that there were only ten kits available. (In
this case, getting the kit itself might have been more of a challenge than
completing my piece on time will be.)
Andrew Thornton is another bead artist who has had some fun
bead challenges lately. In late summer, he started offering monthly beading
challenge kits in his online store, and again, the real challenge here is to
actually snag one of those kits before they are sold out! I got the first one,
but haven't been lucky enough to get one since then.
Michelle Mach also has challenges from time to time. Like
Andrew's challenges, you buy a small kit, make a piece of beaded jewelry with
it, and then post it on your blog on a certain day. Then everyone does a "blog
hop" and gets to see all the pretties!
Another type of beading challenge that I participate in is
through the Etsy Beadweaver's Team. As a member of that team, everyone is
required to participate in the challenge once per calendar year. The challenge
is really simple: a theme is chosen for a particular month by the winner of the
previous month's challenge. Everyone has to make a piece of beaded jewelry
using primarily off-loom beadweaving techniques and have it posted in their
Etsy shop before the deadline. And since I haven't participated once yet this
year, guess what I'll be doing in December?
What is it about beading challenges that I love so much?
Maybe it's the idea that someone is handing me a packet of beads and saying,
"Okay, let's see what you can do with THESE." Maybe it's the idea that I love
seeing what happens when you give ten beaders the exact same beads and see ten
wildly different finished pieces. There is definitely something freeing for me
about those limitations - these beads are what I have to work with, so I don't
have to go through my usual angst about choosing colors or beads. (Although
that usually happens anyway when I need to add additional beads to the
Have you ever participated in a beading challenge? What was
it like? Feel free to leave a comment here on the blog and share it with us!