Bringing the blog back from a short spell of silence to give you a report of one of the best events of any bead lover's calendar...the Big Bead Show!
This October was my third visit to Sandown racecourse for the show and it was an extra special visit, since my necklace, Flora Argenta, had been selected as a finalist in the show's British Bead Awards, in their 'Crystals' category. I'd been invited to the awards ceremony and so just after the show opened, myself and my 'entourage' (aka my boyfriend and parents) headed in to the display.
I wasn't fortunate enough to win anything with my piece - but I was just pleased to have made it to the final and have my work on display to all who came to the bead show. The standard of entries was amazing; my favourite pieces included Rebecca Anderson's gorgeous turquoise and red floral necklace and a fantastically detail seed bead depiction of 'The Owl and the Pussycat' - complete with £5 note in their boat! I didn't have my proper camera with me and my phone camera wasn't loving the light so I only have this really poor quality photo of my necklace actually on display.
See, I really did make it to the finals! Not bad going considering this was the first time I'd entered the competition and that I had to bead some of the final components on the train on my daily commute to work because otherwise I wouldn't have had time to finish the necklace (note: beading on the train gets you strange looks, particularly from commuter businessmen-type men in suits!) Here's a couple of photos that I have of the necklace to give you a better idea of what the finished piece really looks like.
I have no idea how many crystals are in the whole piece...perhaps I should have a proper count up? There are 9 sparkling Swarovski light vitrail rivoli stones, with the addition of bicones in violet and silver and some wonderful Czech fire-polished crystals rounds too.
The necklace also uses Miyuki long magatamas as the 'petals' of my rivoli flowers. These beads are quite hard to work with as they seem to be quite variable in size and thickness, but I also like this about them as they make for more naturally 'imperfect' ruffled petals.
I love the clasp on this piece...it might even be my favourite part of the whole design.
Once the awards ceremony was finished, we headed for the trade stands. It was quite busy by this point so I found it a bit hard to have a proper look at some of the stalls, but I did make a few purchases; some more 4mm glass pearls in several different colours from Anita's Beads, some 'champagne' gold plated findings from Bead Time (which I already love as they compliment the rose gold galvanised seed beads I've been using recently) and I treated to myself to a beaded bauble kit from Spellbound Beads which I'm itching to start.
It was a long day, but well worth the trip; it's so nice to get to see and touch beads before you buy them, since, like a lot of others, I tend to buy most of my beading supplies online.
In other news, I am currently in the process of re-jigging my website and transferring it to a new web provider. Whilst I'm waiting for the technology to sort itself out, there's a chance the website might not be visible. Please do bear with, this should only be a temporary thing whilst the domain is switched to my new provider, and there will be a brand new look to the Hollybird Beads website (complete with it's own online shop) very soon.
Ta ta for now