"Use the Muse" Contest Winners!

Well the anticipation of seeing the results of this wonderful contest was palpable . . . I kept checking the website to see if the results were posted. BOY was I thrilled to see all the beautiful pieces created from the same basic kit and I just HAVE to say that the judging was awesome and I'm sure not the easiest job! ALL of the winners produced beautiful and unusual pieces and I have to say I was very impressed. DO check them out!! I cannot help feeling that my own humble offering fell short in comparison BUT I have to say I DO actually FEEL like a winner, because I met the challenge and gave it my best effort! I love my finished necklace and keep thinking the photos did NOT at all do it justice. It is simple and elegant and highly wearable, and a piece I won't be parting with in the foreseeable future! My congrats to ALL the winners and of course congrats to every single entrant, as using the muse -- the antiqued brass filigree -- was indeed a challenge for many. I have spent ages just looking at all the beautiful photos of all SIXTY ONE entries and am amazed at the talent that's out there! I have much to learn and am looking forward to continuing my beady journey. Click on the title to see all the entries!

I certainly felt I was out of my depth when I first opened the package from Scarlett. First of all I felt that the kit itself was tiny! I wondered what I'd do with the beads I'd received. And of course the Muse piece left me stymied initially . . . I spent time with it in my hands trying to figure how best to use it. I considered folding it over a stone . . . cutting it and perhaps stitching it on a cuff . . . but in the end I decided to use it in all it's glory and make it the central point of a necklace. I'm still very happy with that decision. I was actually very pleased with the quality of the lovely Swarovski crystals and of those little pearls, provided in the kit. They all had such an elegant 'feel' to them and they shouted "Victoriana" to me. I loved the barrel Swarovski beads in particular, and felt they truly gave the whole piece a lift. I did not end up using the locket, but spent time shopping for an elegant clasp to finish the necklace. I used Fireline throughout and there are at least four strands used for the necklace . . . these were doubled back through the beads and each strand knotted with half-hitch knots back down through the beads. It is quite a robust piece, despite the use of the Fireline, as opposed to a beading wire.

I am hoping I'll be able to participate in the next competition Scarlett hopes to launch. This challenge taught me a lot and showed me that I have much to learn. I'm looking forward to doing just that!

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