Sunday, April 16, 2017

April 2017 Challenge Results

Congratulations to the nine members who created unique pieces for the April Challenge "Mesozoic World" and to Lea Paličková who won both the team and public vote!
Here are the results:
Team Vote 47 votes cast
1st place - Heart of Stone set – LeelaBeads with 25 votes (53%)
2nd place - Prehistoric World Creatures – BeadCatcher with 6 votes (13%)
3rd place – a 3 way tie with 3 votes each (6%)
              Magic Beauty – beadifuljewelry
              Night Butterfly Barrette – BeadsForBeauty
              Ammonite & Moth Choker Necklace – enchantedbeads
4th place – a 3 way tie with 2 votes each (4%)
              Fossil Pendant – Rudasbeading
              Dino Daisy – BlingJewelryDesigns
              Crystal Statement Necklace – SpringColors
5th place – Slice of History – STARARTjewelry with 1 vote (2%)

Public Vote 49 votes cast
1st place - Heart of Stone set – LeelaBeads with 21 votes (43%)
2nd place - Ammonite & Moth Choker Necklace – enchantedbeads with 7 votes (14%)
3rd place – a 3 way tie with 5 votes each (10%)
              Dino Daisy – BlingJewelryDesigns
              Prehistoric World Creatures – BeadCatcher
              Night Butterfly Barrette – BeadsForBeauty
4th place – a 3 way tie with 2 votes each (4%)
              Fossil Pendant – Rudasbeading
              Magic Beauty – beadifuljewelry
              Crystal Statement Necklace – SpringColors
5th place – Slice of History – STARARTjewelry with 0 votes

Friday, April 7, 2017

April 2017 Entries for "Mesozoic" Challenge

Here are the entries for this month's "Mesozoic" challenge!  VOTING WILL BE OPEN FROM APRIL 9TH UNTIL APRIL 15.  Please choose your favorite entry from the images or links below, then select your choice in the blog poll that will appear on the right sidebar during the days that voting is open.

Click on the image mosaic or links below to learn more about each entry and see larger, detailed images of each piece. 

Image Map  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Here are the results for the March challenge “Greenery”.  16 members created unique and beautiful pieces inspired by Pantone’s color of the year and the promise of springtime.

AlbenaArtDesigns won both the public and team votes with her Power of Springtime Necklace.

Public vote: 276 votes
1st place – The Power of Springtime by AlbenaArtDesigns with 85 votes (31%)
2nd place – Forest Greenery by Svetush with 69 votes (25%)
3rd place – Drops of Spring Time Dew by tattooedraven with 27 votes (10%)
4th place – Sun in My Heart by DereDereJewellery with 19 votes (7%)
5th place – Peacock Statement Brooch by enchantedbeads with 12 votes (4.3%)
6th place – a three way tie with 11 votes each (4%)
                   Green Jasper Necklace by suegoode
                   First Flowers of Spring by BeadCatcher
                   Bract by BlissWorksStudio
7th place - Springtime Necklace by WizardIslandDesigns with 8 votes (3%)
8th place – a two way tie with 5 votes each (2%)
                   Green Apple statement necklace by GrainesDeSable
                   Viridescence by BestofBetsDesigns
9th place – a two way tie with 4 votes each (1.5%)
                   Touch of Spring by ArtfulAr
                   Greenery Handbag by AngelqueCreations
10th place- a two way tie with 2 votes each (0.8%)
                    Crystal Statement Necklace by SpringColors
                    Green Cuff Bracelet by STARARTjewelry
11th place- embroidered ruffle bracelet by Hannah Rachel with 1 vote (0.4%)

Team Vote: 65 votes
1st place – The Power of Springtime by AlbenaArtDesigns with 19 votes (65%)
2nd place – a two way tie with 9 votes each (14%)
                   Forest Greenery by Svetush
                   Drops of Springtime Dew by tattooedraven
3rd place - a two way tie with 6 votes each (9%)
                  Green Jasper Necklace by suegoode
                  Green Apple Statement Necklace by GrainesDeSable
4th place - Embroidered Ruffle Cuff Bracelet by HannahRachel with 4 votes (6%)
5th place – a three way tie with 3 votes each (4.6%)
     Peacock Statement Brooch by enchantedbeads
     Springtime Necklace by WizardIslandDesigns
     First Flowers of Spring by Beadcatcher
6th place – Green Cuff Bracelet by STARARTjewelry with 2 votes (3%)

7th place – Crystal Statement Necklace by SpringColors with 1 vote (1.5%)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

Interview with the January Challenge "Rising Star" Winner

Lea Paličková is the 2017 Rising Star!

Congratulations on winning the Rising Star challenge. Your necklace is spectacular! 

First if you could provide a little background such as where you are from or live now and what your work or career is. Your Etsy shop profile mentions you study geography, are there any favorite places or influences that sparked your interest in that subject?

I come from Czech Republic, the home of well-known Czech glass beads. I’m just a regular girl that grew up in the country. I came to the „big city“ after getting accepted to the University, where I chose to study nature and geography. I wouldn’t say that anything specific led me this way, I’ve been just interested in all the things around me. I’ve always been interested mainly in the abiotic part of nature, and I’m still fascinated by weather… And now, when my university studies are over, this subject of knowledge makes my living. And what do I do when I come home from work? Beading, of course…

In your shop you offer many wonderful pieces of beadwork. How long have you been beading and how much time weekly do you devote to your craft?

I started with beading when I was a young girl, when I was stringing my mom’s and grandma’s beads. As I said before, my country is one of the biggest beads producer. Almost in every house you can find in the attic a huge chest full of old beads… So, it was easy to start playing with beads. I started beadweaving after years, approx. in 2009. This technique charmed me so much that even now I am able to spend most of my time beading. It’s hard to say how much time a week I spend beading, it depends on many conditions. I would say I spend with beading about 10-15 hours a week.

Do you have friends or relatives who also work with seed beads, or are there any beading societies or groups you belong to?

No one from my family is beading. If someone beads something, the initial impulse comes from me. Quite often my sister-in-law asks me to bring some beads along, because she wants to do something for herself. She uses my tutorials to create some floral jewelry.
On the other hand, beading is quite popular in Czech Republic and I’ve met a lot of interesting and inspirational people thanks to beading. Beading societies, like you can know from US, aren’t common here. Here it’s more a question of arranging meeting bead friends for a dinner or a glass of beer and then beading together all night long.

 Your work shows a wonderful interpretation of nature, is that the main source of your inspiration?

Yes, mainly I’m trying to find my muse in nature. This is the reason why I enjoy working with nature materials the most. I’m not good at using shiny Swarovski crystals, but psst don’t tell anybody. When I walk outside, I’m trying to perceive all colors and shapes of nature surrounding us. My most favorite season of year is definitely autumn. You can find everything in it: beautiful color transitions and often unsuspected color combinations, mysterious morning fogs and first hoarfrost as well. Anywhere around us is a lot of inspiration, you just have to keep your eyes open.

What artists or bead workers do you admire or feel have influenced your work?

I’m trying, as I always did, not to get influenced by other authors. Because of it, I use Pinterest as little as possible. I would like my work to reflect just my ideas and moods
However, there is a lot of beaders that I adore greatly. One of many is for example Kinga Nichols with her color and material combinations, Apollinariya Koprivnik with her sparkling treasures, queen of sea urchins Joanne Zammit and I can’t forget to mention my best-bead-friend Denisa Kangas

What are some of your favorite materials to work with?

I love to work with any natural material. Gemstone cabochons, druzies, any kind of fossils, pearls and shells, wooden beads, ceramics and so on… I rather work with irregularly shaped material. Glitter and perfectly polished surfaces gets me a little insecure, because I’m not always sure how to work with them to get the perfect result. I really love combination of matt and gloss and Czech glass beads.

Your patterns in your shop are lovely. I especially like the way you use the two holed beads in your designs. What are some of the joys you have experienced or challenges you have faced selling on Etsy?

The greatest joy is when you receive positive feedback of your work. Like when customer send me a picture of finished piece of jewelry made with my tutorial.

Where do you see your work with bead weaving evolving in the future?

My big dream is to have my own studio – room just for me and my craft passions. I hope it will be soon, because we are planning reconstruction with my boyfriend and I hope he will be kind enough to let one room for me in our future home
Anyway in this „dream studio“ I would like to have a craft oven for making ceramic, glass or even copper enamel. I would love to create my own components for my beaded jewelry.

Interview by Patti Parker

Monday, February 27, 2017

April 2017 "Mesozoic" Challenge!

Lea Paličková from LeelaBeads has chosen our April Challenge topic!

  "Mesozoic world"

Dive into the depths of prehistoric era and create jewelry with a touch of it! Your entry should contain a fossil - ammonite, fossil coral, orthoceras, dinosaur bone etc...

Make sure to have your entry listed in your Etsy shop by April 5, 2017 23:59 EST. Please refer to the Challenge Rules for details on what is allowed in Challenge entries and don't forget to include EBWC in the title and tags of your entry. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Winners February Challenge "The Colors of Love"

Here are the results for the February Challenge “The Colors of Love”.  Thank you to the 11 members who created some truly gorgeous pieces!

 Team Vote 52 votes
1st Place: Bracelet with Roses – SpringColors with 11 votes (21.25%)
2nd Place: Bead Embroidery Brooch – BenitaStyleBG with 9 votes (17.31%)
3rd Place: tie The Colors of Love-Amethyst bead embroidered bracelet – JudesArt and Color of Love Heart Brooch – MaryTDesigns each with 7 votes (13.46%)

Public Blog Vote 137 votes
1st Place: Valentine’s DayNecklace – Svetush with 56 votes (41%)
2nd Place: Bead EmbroideryBrooch – BenitaStyleBG with 34 votes (25%)
3rd Place: Color of LoveHeart Brooch – MaryTDesigns with 13 votes (9%)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

January 2017 Challenge Entries for "Colors of Love"

Here are the entries for this month's "Colors of Love" challenge!  VOTING WILL BE OPEN FROM FEBRUARY 9TH UNTIL FEBRUARY 15.  Please choose your favorite entry from the images or links below, then select your choice in the blog poll that will appear on the right sidebar during the days that voting is open.

Click on the image mosaic or links below to learn more about each entry and see larger, detailed images of each piece. 

Image Map  

Monday, February 6, 2017

March 2017 "Greenery" Challenge

Evi Csizmadia Lajosne has proposed the theme of "Greenery" as it is the Pantone color of the year!
Check it out here:

"The spring buds burst, green plants slip out of the earth..."

The main color of your entry should be the color of the year (or very close!) and should be inspired by hopes for an early spring.

Make sure to have your entry listed in your Etsy shop by March 5, 2017 23:59 EST. Please refer to the Challenge Rules for details on what is allowed in Challenge entries and don't forget to include EBWC in the title and tags of your entry.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Shop Feature! Sarah Cryer, The Indecisive Beader

Sarah Cryer, owner of Etsy shop “Sarah Cryer Beadwork” is a London-
based beadwork artist whose part-time passion for beadweaving has yielded big-time results.
A busy wife and mother of two, who also works secularly, Sarah uses her spare time to design
and create impressive geometric-shaped wearable art pieces. It is evident that her spare time,
is time well spent because she has won more than one Etsy Beadweavers challenge.
Sarah’s skill in 3D sculptural beading along with her love and excitement for beadweaving,
pushes her to produce high-quality, innovative designs. 

Whether you purchase a finished piece or a tutorial from her Etsy shop you know exactly what you are getting
because her item descriptions are thorough, her designs are precise and beautifully
photographed, and her tutorials are fully illustrated, detailed and clear.
Sarah was kind enough to do a Q&A, learn more about her work below.

Q. How long have you been beadweaving and how did you get started?

Sarah Cryer: I’ve been beadweaving for around 8 years - prior to that I was stringing and
playing with polymer clay, but then I discovered beadweaving and was hooked.

Q. What do you love about beadweaving?

Sarah Cryer: I love the variety of textures and forms I can make, the fact that I can work on a
tray on my lap (important in a busy house) and I find the act of beadweaving very therapeutic.
Most of all though I do really, really love the beads themselves - the shapes, the finishes, the
sparkle and just in the infinite, tiny variety!

Q. What moved you to become an Etsy seller and then a member of the
Etsy Beadweavers Team?

Sarah Cryer: When I first started selling it was on Folksy - a UK based handmade
marketplace. I still sell there, and do well with my finished pieces, but when I moved into
tutorials Etsy was the obvious choice with its digital download service and international reach. I
already knew about the EBWT as an author friend (Sophia Bennett) discovered you when she
was writing a young adults book about fashion and beading, and shared you on Facebook, and
I’d been watching member’s designs for a while.

Q. Which Etsy Beadweavers Team challenges have you won?

Sarah Cryer: I was joint winner of the first challenge I entered, only days after joining the team,
with my ‘Inspired by Chihuly’ Nasturtium Ring.

That was a big boost, and it’s still one of my favourite pieces - it almost beaded itself (although attempts to recreate in 11s instead of tiny 15s have since failed). Not long afterwards I won the ‘Abstract’ challenge with a large winged peyote bangle inspired by Monet’s Water Lilies  - that was more of a surprise as the piece itself was a bit of a battle and wouldn’t work the way I wanted it to - I had to challenge myself to let go and just see where it went. I’ve not had time to enter more than a few challenges since then as I’ve either been focusing on other projects or couldn’t
get pieces to work.

However earlier this year I won the Stitch and Craft Beads Butterfly Challenge Professional category with my ‘Semele’s Cuff’which was a huge honour and pleasure, and I’m pushing myself to enter their challenge again next year, and also a couple of other competitions - they
pull me out of my comfort zone, force me to work to the highest standards, and often result in
pieces suitable for tutorials which is great.

Q. You are a very busy working mom with a husband, how do you find time for

Sarah Cryer: My house is very dusty - that probably accounts for some of the time! Seriously
though, when you have young children you don’t go out much, so the evenings we previously
spent going to the ballet or the opera, or enjoying drinks or meals out are but a distant memory.
I work three days a week, with two at home with the youngest boy, and also sing so usually
have at least one evening away at rehearsals. Once the boys are in bed though I can bead on
the sofa, or work on patterns and kits, and although I don’t spend as much time as I would like
on it, and can’t really teach or do fairs, it seems like a good balance for now. My 3-day a week
job is as an IT Business Analyst for a leading UK department store, so I get lots of transferrable
digital and more importantly shop-keeping and process efficiency skills from there which help.

I’ve learned a lot over the last few years about how to streamline the business side to free up
more time, and next month my youngest will be in pre-school three hours a day, so I’m planning
to spend one three-hour chunk on pretending to be domesticated, and the other on beading or
dressmaking (my other, rarely managed love).

Q. Why do you call yourself the indecisive beader?

Sarah Cryer: When I was starting to blog I didn’t have the confidence to use my own name as
the title, so I wanted to come up with an interesting pseudonym. I’m hopeless at getting on with
a project - I can easily spend days just choosing the beads, starting, stopping, unpicking, pulling
more beads, and my husband jokes that I spend more time choosing beads than beading -
hence the name. At the moment I’m even worse than usual - I’m going through a period of
experimentation with new techniques and have a horrible desire for perfection (born of pre-
Christmas tiredness) which means that the three pieces I’m trying to do are all spending more
time having new sets of beads pulled or being completely re-worked, than they are on being

Q. How would you describe the type of jewelry you make?

Sarah Cryer: Bold but hopefully wearable, using a mix of off-loom techniques and beads.
Colour is incredibly important to me - I discovered the work of Kaffe Fassett in my teens and
have been working with bold, bonkers colours ever since - back then in patchwork, knitting and
needlepoint, and now in beads (which are even more fun as you have finish and shape as well
as colour to play with). I tend to tone that down a bit for my materials packs and finished pieces
that are for sale because not everyone shares my taste, but the pieces I make for myself do
tend to push the colour palette almost to the unwearable! I use Miyuki seeds and delicas, and
lots of Czech beads, although I’m largely resisting the shaped bead revolution for now, and I do
love crystals, although I tend to use them sparingly. My go to stitches are peyote and RAW,
plus that weird mix of netting & embellishment that so many use to build 3D structures - the
peyote is shaped, and comes from an early and continuing affinity with my friend Jean Power’s
amazing work, and the RAW and 3D work from Sabine Lippert and Marcia DeCoster - that
combination probably explains why my style is still a bit eclectic rather than focused, but I’m still
learning and enjoying the journey!

Q. What is your design process when creating/writing a tutorial?

Sarah Cryer: Only one of my current pieces was designed specifically as a tutorial, and that
was really an experiment to see if I could work in a focused way with that purpose in mind - I
managed it, but that one hasn’t sold well, and I think that is probably fair as it’s not as innovative
as my others, and I didn’t really enjoy the process. The successful tutorials such as the
Baroque Tape Measure Surround and Space Needle Case  were born
of pieces made as experiments in form, or technique, and often for competitions, where at some
point in the process or even years later I thought ‘yes, I could write this up, I think it might sell’.

As I don’t have lots of time I’m pretty strict now with what I do publish - the piece must be
individual rather than derivative, have been honed to provide the simplest technical beading
experience possible, and I need to be able to explain clearly in words and diagrams what I’ve
done. So that means at the moment that in my queue of ‘to write ups’ I’ve got several paused
because I can’t find a way to describe the 3D structure, another which is just too simple, and
another where the thread paths and order of steps needs some serious re-working before I’ll
consider publishing. So for now I’m concentrating on beading new work and hoping some of it
will end up being suitable - if it’s not, then I’ll still have some lovely beadwork at the end!

Q. What tips or advice can you share that has helped you run a successful Etsy

Sarah Cryer: Evolution not revolution - focus on the essentials at first and allow the peripherals
to evolve.
I would say the essentials are good product, very good photos to show how good your products
are, a simple look and feel, and engagement with your market. For me, a macro lense for our
SLR and a helpful patient husband sorted out the photography, to engage with customers I use
my blog and the associated Facebook page, and for good
product I have to rely on hard work and inspiration, and try to resist the temptation to list
everything I finish. Everything else - the business cards, packaging, paid marketing, etc is
pointless without those three essentials as no one will buy anything - you can evolve those as
you go along, gently trying out different options as you have sales to try them on, only then will
you understand how well you and your processes work. And I’ve probably also evolved to focus
my limited time on the things that sell - I’d love that to be finished work, but it’s not, it’s tutorials
and kits.

Q. What other ways do you market your finished pieces and tutorials?

Sarah Cryer: I mainly use my blog and Facebook page . They cover my whole beading life - so everything I’m
making, including reviews of other beaders patterns & books, failures, UFOs, sewing, and life in
general rather than just being about the commercial side, which I hope makes them more
engaging for customers and friends. I also seem to get good conversions from the Etsy shop
updates feature, and good traffic through from Pinterest (SarahBeady) where I am a devoted
pinner of gorgeous pieces from other beaders (I try and remember to sneak in the odd pin of my
stuff and it seems to work). I’m also very lucky to have made friends, both in the flesh and
digitally, with some wonderful beaders both in London and across the world, and their support
on social media in particular has been hugely instrumental in getting some of my key pieces to a
wider audience, as well as being a lovely experience. Realistically though, that following is
largely composed of beaders, so whilst it works well for tutorials and kits, I’ve still not found a
really successful method for marketing finished work - I’d be interested in ideas and tips there!

Q. Have you made use of the EBW Instagram page?

Sarah Cryer: I’m very new to Instagram as The Indecisive Beader (a matter of weeks) so I’m
still feeling my way around a bit, but you’ll see me there soon!
Sarah Cryer may be “The Indecisive Beader”, but she is also proof that “it’s not how much time
you have to bead that matters, it's how you use the time you have to bead that makes the

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January 2017 "Rising Star" Challenge Results

Congratulations to Lea Paličková who won both the team  vote with her stunning Galactica Neckalce!

 Team Vote
1st Place: 29.9% Galactica- LeelaBeads
2nd Place: 20.8% The Coral Reefs of Roatan - RebeccasWell
3rd Place: 14.6% Beaded Blue Wrist Cuff - STARARTjewelry
 Public Vote
1st Place: Strauss Evening Embroidery Necklace - SheWalksinCrystal 34%
2nd Place: Age of Materia - HumdrumAuguries 28%
3rd Place: Galactica - LeelaBeads 9%

Friday, January 6, 2017

January 2017 Challenge Entries for "Rising Star"

Here are the entries for this month's "Rising Star" challenge!  VOTING WILL BE OPEN FROM JANUARY 9TH UNTIL JANUARY 15.  Please choose your favorite entry from the images or links below, then select your choice in the blog poll that will appear on the right sidebar during the days that voting is open.

Click on the image mosaic or links below to learn more about each entry and see larger, detailed images of each piece. 

Image Map