Category Archives: Design Challenges

BeadDreams 2016 contest

Cleopatra: Looking for Short Term Relationship by Justina Coffey

Cleopatra: Looking for Short Term Relationship by Justina Coffey

I was browsing through this year’s BeadDreams winners and was – as per usual – amazed but not drawn by the pieces selected.

I love a good sense of humour and when I saw this amongst the entries for the Objects and Accessories section I fell in love. This is wonderful. And when you read the title you want to meet the designer. You KNOW you’ll have fun if you hung out together.

I’m truly sorry I didn’t spend the time to vote and try and get this little gem into the winner’s circle.

To see the rest of the designs go to the voting page.

Portland Bead Society traveling exhibition – Inspired by Kandinsky’s “Blue Segment”

Portland Bead Society 2016 Portland Bead Society Traveling Library Display

Portland Bead Society 2016 Portland Bead Society Traveling Library Display

The Portland Bead Society has an annual challenge. Once all the pieces are in, judged, and awarded, then they go on display. This year the show is going to 8 libraries. Have a look at the slideshow of pieces entered.

Here is a description of the theme and a list of where the show will be displayed.

Portland Bead Society Bead Retreat

WHAT’S THAT NOISE?????

It sounds like something whistling or even screaming? OK. I’m just going to lay here, in the dark, and think about it before I start creeping around the hotel room as though in a horror movie.

Phew. It’s the wind pushing through the hotel room door.

Tolovanna Inn, Cannon Beach, Oregon

Tolovanna Inn, Cannon Beach, Oregon

For the 3 days we stayed at the Tolovanna Inn at Cannon Beach it rained, and stormed. Exactly what’s supposed to happen in the winter on the Pacific NorthWest coast. Magnificent. And really, really weird at night time…….

Having sent in my registration, and completely forgotten to include a check, I was looking forward to the famous PBS bead retreat. Luckily our organiser took it in stride and just laughed when I emailed my ‘excuse me, I’m an idiot’ note. And I got to go.

Yes, of course I paid.

My husband came with me and spent each day fishing. He fell in every river, even washing downstream at one point. He had a blast and got very wet. Oh, and no fish were harmed.

And so did I – have a blast, not get very wet.

This is probably one of the best organised retreats I’ve ever been to. Everything laid on – catered breakfast and lunch. Thank you so much to the 2 Englishwoman, along with their colleagues, who ran around feeding us, .

They both came from Manchester in the UK and were born in the same hospital. Not on the same day….. Then they worked for the same catering firm in America. How serendipitous is that?

English breakfast WITH black pudding

English breakfast WITH black pudding, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms – close to what we had for our Sunday brunch

When I exclaimed the brunch on Sunday was brilliant – almost like an English breakfast, one of the woman laughed and remarked grilled mushrooms and a tomato would really complete the meal. She knew what she was talking about. The only other thing missing was a couple of slices of black pudding.

This time around we had several workshops to choose from. Virginia Blakelock of BeadCats was teaching a bracelet pattern she’d designed especially for the retreat – ‘March at the Beach’.

Sadly I didn’t get to take the class as by the time I ambled up to the registration desk the sign up sheet was long filled, with a waitlist. But I did get a kit, which is stunning (the kit, not that I got one!). And I was able to sign up for a couple of other classes which looked interesting.

Fafnir's Tail bracelet designed by Darlene Fordyce

Fafnir’s Tail bracelet designed by Darlene Fordyce

First was the Fafnir’s Tail bracelet from Darlene Fordyce. Darlene hadn’t found a clasp she liked so it was up to us to design something. Magically Bello Modo had an excellent selection of buttons and bingo, bango, there was my fastening. Lovely finished piece.

Zulu bracelet

Zulu bracelet

Karmen Scmidt taught us a Zulu bracelet. We brought our own beads for this. The button I had intended using for a clasp had a broken shank. Poo! So I used a back up which wasn’t quite as nice. The bracelet still came out very prettily.

Imagine that – two finished pieces. Pretty darn good for a weekend’s work.

And what’s with the clasps…..? Bad clasp day?

AND, we had a retreat challenge – the Margaret M Scovil Bead challenge. This was bitter sweet. Margaret, who sadly I never met, died shortly before the retreat so wasn’t able to see our work.

Blue Segment by Vassily Kandinsky

For 2016 the challenge was to make a wearable piece inspired by the painting Blue Segment by Kandinski.

Yikes!

Took me a long time to be inspired…….. Eventually I decided to go weird, after all, I do live in Portland, Oregon.

Q. What has segments? A. An orange.

So I made a necklace of orange slices, orange flowers and leaves. See if you can find the ‘blue segment’?

Orange You Blue necklace

Orange You Blue necklace

 

Here are our four winners: Maxi Starr, Teresa Shelton, Karie Heib, and Cherie Calwart. I wish I’d taken pictures of the pieces they made. Stunning. Every one of them was imaginative, thoughtful and beautifully made.

Bead Challenge Winners

Bead Challenge Winners

Teresa sat next to me during the day and was a wonderful companion. She helped me with the ‘March at the Beach’ bracelet, put in a bid for me at Bead Bingo (she won a book for me!!!!), and was just a delight.

Karie is a remote member – she is living in Chicago right now but her heart is with the Portland Bead Society. I get to see her at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, WI. Also a top notch beadweaver and designer.

Maxi Starr – well, I have no words. She does magnificent work, she has a standard poodle companion named Katie. Katie came to the bead retreat and visited all of us. Just another reason to love standard poodles and Maxi.

Guess what? I’m so seriously going to next year’s retreat. CHECK ALREADY WRITTEN.

Beaded Horn of Plenty and necklace

Horn of Plenty basket containing necklace. Beadweaving - seed beads, fire polish crystals, delicas, Swarovski rivolis, and wirework. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
The initial design of this 3-D piece began at a Masterclass with Nancy Cain at the Milwaukee Bead and Button Show.

I got stuck on filling it with the conventional fruits and veggies. However, common sense prevailed and I made a delicate necklace for the bounty spilling out of a basket.

Horn of Plenty basket - peyote beadweaving. Made with seed beads and Swarovski glass pearls. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.The basket is shaped peyote using seed beads, pearls and coloured wirework.

Horn of Plenty necklace - beadweaving. Made with seed beads, drops, fire polish crystals, and Swarovski rivolis. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.The necklace is made with bezelled Swarovski crystals and a daisy chain fastened with a silver and Swarovski clasp.

Toho Triangles necklace – Toho Challenge 2015

Toho Triangles necklace. Herringbone and cubic right angle weave bead stitching - seed beads, fire polish crystals, and triangles. Created for Toho Challenge 2015. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Managed to snag a Toho Challenge package while at the 2015 Bead and Button show in Milwaukee, WI. Lovely colours this year. Especially the teals. After faffing about with various hopeless designs I discovered simple is best.

A herringbone rope stitched with teal triangles and gold size 15 seed beads, strung with a cubic right angle weave triangular pendant in metallic dark amethyst seed beads, fire polish crystals, and joined with daggers. Very pretty and wearable. In fact I wear this 18 inch long Toho Triangles necklace quite often.

To see other designs have a look at the Toho Challenge 2015 page.

Row by Row experience™

Row by Row experience

Row by Row experience

How could I have missed this? I was talking to a quilt acquaintance and she mentioned this twist on a shop hop. Sounds like a good thing to get into during the summer months. Here’s the basic blurb:

Row by Row Experience™ began in 2011 with 20 quilt shops across New York State. In 2012 the event grew to include 62 participating shops. Pennsylvania came on board in 2013 for a total of 138 shops throughout the two states.

In 2014 over 1250 quilt shops participated in 34 states and Ontario.

All 50 states and several more Canadian provinces are planning fun for travelers throughout the summer. Although the quilt shops are organized by area, quilters have no borders.

Travel, shop, collect patterns and add rows to your quilt from any anywhere!”

“Visit any participating quilt shop during the summer and ask for the pattern for a row in the Row by Row H2O quilt. Each shop is offering one pattern at no charge to customers who visit the store between June 21 and September 8, 2015.”

“Complete a quilt using at least 8 different rows from 8 different 2015 participating shops. Be the first to bring it into a shop to win a stash of 25 fat quarters. (That’s 6-1/4 yards of fabric!) Win a bonus prize for using that store’s row in your quilt. A quilt will be considered “complete” when it is quilted, bound, and labeled.”

“Use any pattern to layout your rows. You decide. Stack your rows, arrange around a center medallion, make them horizontal, vertical, upside down, on the front, on the back, whatever! You are the designer. Be creative and have fun, but be sure to use at least 8 different 2015 rows.”

What a terrific idea. This year – 2015 – the theme is all about water.  Off you go!

 

Brown and Crystal bracelet

Brown and Crystal Bracelet. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

This is a piece I made during June Huber’s Masterclass at the 2014 Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee, WI.

Seed beads and fire polish crystals, finished with a slide clasp. Modified right angle weave – an extremely useful technique.

The bracelet is 7 inches long from end to end.

Braided Coral Bracelet

Braided coral bracelet. Beadwork - square stitch, fringing, and stringing. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Braided Coral Bracelet. A second piece made from the box of beads from the 2014 TOHO design challenge. This piece came together so quickly I could hardly believe it. Sometimes it happens this way – not often enough!

This is what it looks like opened up:

Flat view of Stone Tile Superduo Clasp Bracelet. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Very pretty and delicate. And I loved how the colours worked.

TOHO 2014 Challenge

Fuchsia Necklace by Rose Rushbrooke

Fuchsia Necklace by Rose Rushbrooke

TOHO offered a box of beads at the Bead & Button show and I signed up. This is one of the pieces I made – a fuschia flower necklace. You can see what other beaders created – 2014 TOHO challenge.

Below is a closeup of the fuchsia flower.

Fuchsia flower pendant

Fuchsia flower pendant

And this is the chain and clasp.

Chain and clasp for fuchia necklace

Chain and clasp for fuchia necklace