Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The April Challenge - And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who joined in with our April challenge. We hope you all enjoyed dreaming of warmer days while you worked on your entries! Before we announce the winner, here's a recap of the Surf and Sand challenge photo we posted for your inspiration.

Red Arrows Display

And here are all the wonderful entries that we received!

Everyone's names were entered into the list randomizer at Random.org and the lucky beader who's name is at the top of the list is...


As she has won a few challenges and giveaways, Michelle has very kindly asked us to redraw the winner to give someone else a chance. What a lovely thing to do! So everyone's name were entered into the draw once again and the winner is...

Congratulations Rachael, you've won the £15 voucher to spend at Jencel!

We hope you've all enjoyed taking part in the challenge and seeing all the beautiful entries. Don't forget to check back tomorrow when we'll have a brand new challenge for May!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Classical Elegance {Bead, Book & Bounce}

I'm a little excited to let you all know that the latest book in our Bead, Book & Bounce feature will be Maggie Meister's Classical Elegance. Swoon! Classical Elegance includes a balanced selection of earrings, bracelets and necklaces, all isnpired by classical art, architecture and jewellery.

"Every single piece... is wonderful"
The Beading Gem - Book Review: Classical Elegance

Patterns In Other Places -

If Classical Elegance hasn't yet made it onto your bookshelf, then you'll be pleased to know that there are several projects, available as free downloads. The Laksmi Pendant and The Artemisia Earrings both feature in the printed version of Classical Elegance, whilst The Fiore Earrings and The Liternum Brooch were both shortlisted for inclusion, but didn't quite make it!

And, If You're Interested -

You can also read an Interview With Maggie Meister, with advice for budding beadweavers and an insight into Maggie's design principles. Maggie's beautiful website, Amphora Designs, is home to Maggie's Blog, Workshop Schedule and Il Marcato (The Market.)

When's The Reveal - 

The reveal for projects made from Classical Elegance will be the 6th June.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Beaded Fantasies: The Reveal {Bead, Book & Bounce}

For the last two months our members have been busy creating pieces inspired by the beautiful projects in Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies.And, when I announced the book over in the OTTBS Facebook Group, there was a massive flurry of activity as members of the group that already had the book added photographs to the Beaded Fantasies Album. It was so inspiring! 

Since then our members have 'oohed and ahhed' and, eventually, beaded - and now it's time to reveal the results of our efforts, as we show off our projects  inspired by techniques and tutorials from Beaded Fantasies. Let's have a look at some of the projects that our members have made over the last two months shall we?

Carol has been busy beading these beautiful Sweet Eighteen Earrings. Don't you just love the splash of spring colours? Carol says "I found the instructions clear and easy to understand. The earrings were quick to make up and, provided I kept a tight tension, especially on the back, the beads went into their positions as on the picture. As I was pulling the beads tight at the back, I kept my fingers over the front ones, so that they continued to lay flat. Most enjoyable and I am looking forward to making more projects from this book!"

Gail has made this rather spectacular version of the Les Fleur Necklace. "Having made a La Fleur Bracelet as a Christmas present I decided I wanted one for myself, but then decided I wear necklaces more than bracelets these days so changed my mind and bought some larger rivolis and pearls. I really like the idea of how the rivolis link, but had to frog the links several times when I realised I’d got it slightly misaligned." 

Since buying the book, Gail has also tried the RAW Ribs Bracelet, Spikey Tops Bracelet, Granada Brooch and Volcanoes Necklace and has really enjoyed making each of the projects though she admits that making so many identical components for the Volcanoes Necklace "drove me a little nuts!" "I love bezelling and it’s great to find such different methods which show off the rivolis. My only criticism of the book is the lack of clasps which are more in keeping with the beauty of the designs. But it’s only a small niggle."

And lastly, these fine projects from Jane, who has been busy making up a La Fleur Bracelet, a Spikey Tops Bracelet - and who loves the RAW Ribs Bracelet so much that she's made two! 

Phew! What amazing pieces - and all inspired by just one book! Please do share your own projects with us using the Mr Linky.
  • Please link directly to your Beaded Fantasies blog post, so that we can find it easily. 
  • Please leave a comment here when you link up your project. 
  • Please try to visit the blogs of other participants when you can. We all love a bit of love! 

And don't forget that we're still working on projects from Kelly Wiese's Beaded Allure with a new reveal on the 6th May.

Monday, 1 April 2013

The April Challenge

Welcome to the April challenge! This month we're introducing a new theme challenge which we hope to bring you now and again in between the colour challenges. As the weather has been so bitterly cold here in the UK we thought it would be nice to think of the warmer days ahead and so our challenge theme for April is Surf and Sand!

Unlike our colour challenges, this theme is very open to interpretation and you don't necessarily have to use blues and browns, although you can if you want to! Your piece should be inspired by the beach and/or the sea so base your piece on anything that reminds you of trips to the beach, the ocean, the sand or the seaside.

As the twist we'd like you to include Shells somewhere in your entry. This could be actual seashells, shell beads, cabochons and pendants, shell shaped beads, or you might choose to make your entry shell shaped. The twist is entirely optional but if you choose to use it you will receive two entries into the draw!

How do I enter?
There are two ways...
1. Email your photograph to Liz at ottbs@live.com
2. Or add them to our Flickr group pool.

Choose whichever way is easiest for you, you don't have to do both. In either case, please make it clear that it's for the April Challenge so we know that it's your entry. We're happy for you to post your photos on our Facebook group as well but please make sure that you've also submitted as above. Entries that have not been emailed or added to the Flickr pool will not be accepted.

What can I make?
Anything as long as it involves beads! Any technique is accepted, from beadweaving and stringing to wire work and bead embroidery. Lampworkers and polymer clay artists are also welcome to submit beads they've made. We're sorry but any entries that do not include beads in some form or another will not be accepted. Your entry must be made especially for the challenge, to make it fair on everyone who takes part please do not submit something that was made before April 1st 2013.

Does it have to be my own design?
No. We're happy for you to make something using a pattern from a book, magazine or tutorial but if you do please let us know the designer's name so that we can give them credit.

When is the deadline for entries?
The deadline is 6pm (GMT) on Tuesday 30th of April.
Can I enter more than once?
You can make as many pieces as you like using the chosen theme. All entries will be shown here on the blog but you will only be entered into the draw once (or twice if you've used the twist).

I'm not in the UK, can I still join in?
Yes of course! We welcome submissions from around the world so don't worry if you're not in the UK. Our sponsors have agreed to post prizes overseas so you can still enter and be eligible for the prize!

Any other questions?
If you have any questions about the challenge please feel free to email Liz at ottbs@live.com

The Prize
This month our sponsor is Celia and she's offering a £15 voucher to spend in her online shop Jencel!

The winner will be drawn by Liz after 6pm on Tuesday 30th of April, using the random list generator at www.random.org and announced later on the same evening.

Good luck everyone and happy beading!