I am crazy for contests these days - I've been entering the monthly Art Bead Scene Blog contests, I sent something into Bead Star, and bought the kit for "Art with a Heart." (Will blog more on that one soon!) Why?  Too much time in a type-A rewarding profession?  Feeding a competitive streak that I mostly keep hidden?  The need to live under constant deadlines?  Maybe a little bit of all three, but mostly it's a way to push myself to get things "out there" and get feedback on whether making jewelry is something that is merely a hobby or something a bit more.  I am hoping it's the latter, because I enjoy it so much!

Because I am a fan on Facebook with Happy Mango Beads, I have seen the entries for their Songs of Summer Beading Contest and they are amazing.  You can find all of the rules here, but you need to act fast - the deadline for submissions is August 6th.  The cool thing is that there is no requirement to be a current customer of Happy Mango Beads nor do you have to use their beads in your design, so all you need to do is raid your stash, take some pictures, and e-mail them to Happy Mango.  They will post them on Facebook for all to see.

There are 10 categories, and the one I have chosen to enter is "Under the Boardwalk" for projects using wood and recycled glass.  My Awesome Bead Buddy Jen V. had given me a recycled glass focal bead that I tried, tried, tried to use in a previous project, but it just wasn't meant to be.  I have since been to a wire wrapping class and picked up some copper Parawire at April's Bead Fest Wire, so had an easier time figuring out how to make a bail for my fish.  I then put it together with some copper and green glass beads, as well as some of the wood beads I picked up last month in NYC.  I pulled out one of my most used references, Totally Twisted by Kerry Bogert, to figure out a clasp in the same color of wire to help bring it all together.

Of course the biggest challenge of all was taking a picture of the dang thing!  Any neutral background washed out the fish, and any patterned background was too crazy busy to show off the rest of the necklace.  I finally realized that if I moved just so and took the picture from a certain angle than the light reflecting off of the fish gave it more definition in the picture.  Follow all that?  If not, take a look below...
You really should check out Happy Mango Beads - their selection is terrific!


  1. Beautiful piece! Try photographing it on a photo gray card.

  2. Hi photo-girl-bead-nerd!! haaaaaaaaaa I'm so glad you're having fun! All I ever want to do when I'm home is take a nap. I have got to get back in the beady groove.


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