Friday 22 February 2013

Spike Contest!

I’m guessing that you will have seen the new spike beads from that are popping up all over the place and I am also guessing that it was not ‘love at first sight’ for everyone – after all they are, well, spikey.  In truth, I think that I was less than enthusiastic the first time I saw them, but having had chance to work with them, I’ve learnt just how versatile they are and I have made a range of pieces now – some that show off their beautiful ‘look at me' shape and other pieces that blend them into my usual style of work making it look as though no other bead would have worked in their place.  Being a member of the very active Facebook group ‘Bohemian Spike Beadwork’ has also opened my eyes, as members from all over the world come together to share an appreciation of Bohemian Czech spike beads.

Showing the work of group members: Connie Whittaker, Helena Tang-Lim, Patrick Duggan, Romana Tschunko, Karolina Emingrova, Mandi Ainsworth, Maggie Roschyk, Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten, Aurelio Castano, Sabine Lippert, Melissa Ingram, Hana Hanule Cerna, Susanne Madeo-Mehner.

Perry from York Beads tempts group members by adding pictures of all the new spike beads as they arrive and members are encouraged to share pictures of the pieces they have made using these beads (but Czech spike beads only please or else your pictures will incur the wrath of The Administrator and risk being swallowed by the infamous ‘fire swamp’).  The albums are full of fabulous creations ranging from beadweaving to stringing and crystal clay to embroidery and there are also some fascinating pictures showing how spike beads are made.  If you are looking for some ‘inspikeration’ and for ways to use these exciting new beads or you just want to see what is going on, why not head over to Facebook and join the Bohemian spike group.

These spike beads already come in four different sizes and an amazing array of colours and finishes but now the innovative people at York have added two new very different shaped beads to the spike family – the ‘Beadstud’ and the ‘Pyramid Spike’.  The Beadstud is 12mm in diameter and 8.5mm in height and it has two holes that are 6mm apart.  The Pyramid Spike is 7mm by 11mm and has a single hole.  As well as bringing you the news about these brand new beads, I can also tell you that I am hosting a blog contest and 6 lucky winners will each receive a prize of 48 of these new beads (12 Pyramid Spikes and 12 Beadstuds in Chalk Bronze Luminous and 12 Pyramid Spikes and 12 Beadstuds in Chalk Green Luminous).

I’ve already placed my order and I can’t wait to get my beady fingers on some of these beauties and start experimenting with them.  So if you would like to be in with a chance of receiving this fantastic prize – here is what you need to do: solve the cryptogram below and leave your answer (along with a way to contact you should you be one of the winners) as a comment on this blog entry.  The names of six lucky people will be drawn randomly from the correct answers on Monday the 4th of March and the winners will be notified - and yes, this contest is open to international entrants! If you cannot see the cryptogram clearly, please follow this link which will take you to a larger version.

Please note that I have changed my blog settings so that all comments are moderated and will not show until after the contest has closed.

So get puzzling and good luck everyone!


Thursday 7 February 2013

Bead Circle interview!

A couple of weeks ago, Mandi from Bead Circle asked me if I would like to do a recorded interview with her and having done something similar before I happily agreed.  These things can be nerve-racking but also very rewarding and so thanks to the wonders of modern technology (Skype!) with Mandi in Texas on a bright sunny morning and me in the UK on a dark and snowy evening, we spent a fun half hour chatting about beads and dragons and future plans.  I have listened to the recording once and my initial reaction was to run out of the room screaming because I couldn't believe how fast I spoke, why I was making such weird swallowing noises or how I managed to inadvertently squeeze the words 'you know' into every sentence!  But then I chuckled to myself and I thought, well that IS me, that is apparently what I do but who cares?  It was a great opportunity for me to talk about something I love ... BEADS!  So if you want to hear me raving about my love for little shiny glass things with holes through the middle ... click HERE

You can also be in with a chance of winning a free copy of my Rivoli Daisy pattern - all you have to do is leave a comment on the Bead Circle page answering the following question “If you could only bead in one colour, what colour would you choose?”.  One winner will be picked next week.

Don't forget to subscribe to Bead Circle too as Mandi hosts lots of regular contests, tutorials and podcasts and she also offers a free beaded pen eBook.  Thank you Mandi!

Bye for now!