October 26, 2009

Fun with Focals Challenge


Have you seen the Best of Stringing? Humblebeads abound - I have a necklace and an earring project in this issue. Molly Schaller created a necklace using a few of my disk beads and Cristi Clothier has an amazing necklace using a limited edition set of orchid beads.

One of the most interesting features in the magazine is the Fun with Focals section. It includes 30 tips and innovations for creating interesting and clever focal elements.

I was so inspired by this feature I picked my favorite 5, came up with my own versions and have partnered with Interweave Press for a new contest and a challenge.

There are two parts to this contest, one is a random drawing and the other is a creative challenge with assignments!

The Best of Stringing Drawing:
Grand Prize - a year subscription to Stringing Magazine
Runner Up - a free copy of the Best of Stringing
How to enter:
Leave a comment here answering this question - For focal beads are you more likely to grab an art bead, a metal pendant or a large bead such as stone, wood, shell, etc.?

One entry per person.

The Fun with Focals Challenge:
Prize: $50 gift certificate from Humblebeads.com and a signed copy of the Best of Stringing.

How to enter:
1. Each day this week I'll post my version of the Fun with Focals project along with the assignment to follow along.
2. You'll have a week to create a piece of jewelry inspired by the assignment and put it online. It can be on your blog, facebook page, flickr or other online photo album or in your Etsy shop, etc..
3. Put the link to the creation in the comments of the matching post.

You may submit one link per assignment.
The winner of this prize will be randomly drawn from all the assignment links.

For both parts of the contest please leave your email if you don't have a blog account, so that I can notify the winners. Winners will be drawn at 3pm on Friday, November 6th.

Your first assignment will be posted soon!

45 comments:

Katie said...

Wow - Thanks for having such a super contest! I will definitely be looking out for my first "assignment." :o)

For focal beads, I love to use art beads....Especially if it's something super special that I got from someone. So many of them are unique enough that they just NEED to be the center of attention!

Rosanne said...

Great contest Heather and a wonderful prize for the winner.
I use art beads as a starting point for most of my projects. They are just fun to work with and they have a big influence on the other bead purchases that I make.

Elaine said...

These days I'm pretty much going to grab an art bead - often one of my own clay beads - as the focal inspiration for a design.

Cristi-2 If By Sea said...

Hi Heather! Thanks so much for the shout-out!

Glad you like my necklace. I hope I did the Humblebeads justice :-)

TesoriTrovati said...

You ROCK Heather! (And for the record, so does Interweave and Stringing!)
I used to grap anything that looked pretty...now I am more apt to grabbing an art bead (thanks to you and Art Bead Scene and my copious Bead & Button show purchases I have been hording and my recent Etsy purchases, etc, etc.)
This is just the sort of thing I need to kick start my creative juices.
Thanks so much for the great contest! Count me in!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Lorelei said...

Art Beads Rock the HiZZOuse! Always grab artbeads for focals in my pieces. They always deserve to be the focal of any piece of jewelry and it's even cooler that I have even met a few of the artists!
Already sketching up ideas for the assignments.

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...

Sounds like fun! I do love unusual gemstones as focals but usually lean toward using art beads as focals.

Jenny J. said...

I'm an artbead girl, too! I usually end up driving the project train with the colors and textures in the bead...love ending up with fun results!! Thanks to all you wonderful artists who keep me supplied! Jen

Marie Cramp said...

I am an Art bead kind f girl. I gravitate towards the ceramic ones right now, but have used many other kinds.

Thanks for a chance to win

Marie

SharonP said...

I always grab an art bead for the focal and use gems and/or metal beads for accents. Cool contest!

Summer said...

Fun contest:) I can't wait to see some of the entries!

I almost always go for an art bead. Typically, I prefer ceramics/clay with lots of color. I'm starting to love the words on beads, too:)

Silver Parrot said...

Oh art beads. Definitely art beads. Thanks for the challenges and opportunity to win. This will be fun!

sundownbeaddesigns said...

great contest!!...I'd love to have a subscription to Stringing...I almost always use an artbead for my focal but sometimes one of my metal creations, it just depends

chris said...

Oh how fun! I almost always use an artbead for my focal. It sets the mood for the design.

bellajoya said...

An art bead for the focal every time, I'm especially into porcelain right now, and I love clay. Actually, I like them all!

Alice said...

I would love to use only art beads for my focals, but since they can sometimes be more than my customers want to spend, I also use stone, brass and natural focals.

Sounds like a fun contest!

Stacy said...

I would use an art bead first. I love the unique look and the idea that it is not mass produced.

Anonymous said...

Great contest!
I used to use stone focals,now I almost always use an art bead.
I don't have an identity on the pc yet,so I have to print name here.
Gail W.
bo94149@bellsouth.net
Thanks,and can we order the mag somewhere on the internet?

Lucid Moon Studio said...

I wish I had more time to participate in the Fun with Focals Challenge, but I will try to find some time to enter! As for the question, I would have to say an art bead. Usually some sort of artist created pendant. Thanks for the giveaway and challenge, it's a great idea!

Lisa

quiltingjewel39 said...

Since I have found all the great artists on Etsy - I have been ordering art beads(no shows here until Nov.-can't wait). I still am drawn to unusual metal pieces also. Thanks for the great chance to win.

sandi m said...

Since I have a bizzillion art beads from many fab glass artists, I tend to use those first as a focal and work my designs around them.
Thanks for all your inspiration and kudos to IW for being a great sponsor. Yes, Stringing is great for sparking creativity.
sandi
sandra.miller15@yahoo.com

KarenV said...

These days I pick the large bead in any of the materials. Stringing, wire wrapping and beads. My life. Yea!

planettreasures said...

What a fun challenge!
I love using focal beads - art beads when i can get them or an interesting stone or pendant.

Sabine said...

Great contest!!

Due to Art Bead Scene, I know prefer art beads. I used to use focals that were stone. But after more exposure to what is out there and how to use it, I like the uniqueness of the art beads.

SueBeads said...

My own lampwork art beads are what I usually pick up! Thank you for the contests!

Artisan Clay said...

I am an Art Bead Lady every time!
Thanks for posting this contest!! This is going to be fun!

Simone said...

awesome prize! If i can get them i go for an art bead focal also, but as i am on a pretty tight budget, i often end up with a nice stone focal, or create my own using thread and beads to make a sort of beaded tassel type thing.

Elizabeth said...

ART BEAD, everytime as a focal bead. For me, it just makes the project more unique.

Liz

Kiwiken said...

I like it if the focal adds something unique, so I mainly use my own art beads. If it doesn't contain an art bead (either by me or another artist), then it's probably a gemstone.

Kiwiken said...

oh, and email: olooriel(at)gmx.de

Susan Z said...

I love YOUR focal beads!! I often use a focal bead or a focal salvaged item from "junk" jewelry or a found object from nature--especially shells, rocks and beach glass.

Patti said...

I used to always use gemstones, but now I'm using more art beads. They are a ton more fun! Great contest!
Patti

Kate said...

That's a tough one, I think it depends on the inspiration for the piece, I really love all of the choices, metals, organics and art beads but they could be all one in the same~! I am just starting to get more into feeling comfortable using metal so I guess if I had to pick one, and only one it would be an art bead.

Winchell Clayworks said...

I've been concentrating more on making beads than jewelry, but I usually reach for one of my ceramic pendants. It's been a long time since I used a stone focal.

Rebecca said...

Brilliant contest! I wonder if I'm too late??? I usually go for an art bead; I am in awe of all those awesome lampworkers out there; I wish I had their skills! Love metal beads too, especially Bali style beads or Hill tribe silver. Or silver clay art beads...they're all so great, how can I choose??!

Betty said...

Wow! Inspiring contest! For a focal, love to wire wrap gemstones, but also love artbeads. Hard to say which I love better.

Thanks!

stafford37@optonline.net

Betty said...

Great contest! Thanks so much for the inspiration! For a focal like to wire wrap a gemstone, but also use artbeads. Love them all!

Thanks!

stafford37@optonline.net

Dale said...

I also agree that it depends on the piece i am creating, but i oftne find i reach for etched metal pendant pieces. I do so love using them.

dinni said...

Thank you for such a great contest.

I prefer art beads fir my focal.

m.e. said...

Almost always an Art bead.
In reality ,I usually use my own polymer clay creations.This is mainly due to cost.
I give myself a very good price on beads!
But, I love collecting pieces from other artists.
Knowing who made the bead gives each design a special meaning. When I wear a bead from an artist I admire ,I feel a connection.
Maybe I'm hoping a bit of their inspiration seeps into me !!!
:D m.e.

Erin said...

Art Bead, Art Bead, Art Bead! Of course! Usually my own since I make pendants! Thanks for the contest and the giveaway, Heather! It's a great one!

mairedodd said...

art beads every time! great contest and giveaway - thank you so much...

mairedodd said...

please forgive me, i thought the comment went thru but i didn't see it and i would like to be in on this -
great contest and challenge... thanks so much...
art bead every time!!

Gail said...

Thanks ,Heather!I didn't know you could do that with the pictures.I don't know where you find the time.

Amanda said...

In past times, I've usually been more inclined to grab a large stone bead, because that was what I had on-hand. However, since I've been spending an abnormal amount of money on art beads lately, those are what most of my jewelry has focused on in the past few months.