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Winners of the October Challenge

Check out the stunning work of our talented readership!
Diamonds hero

For the October 2018 Facet Design Challenge, we asked our readers to take their inspiration from raindrops falling on their heads, stones that are a girl’s best friend, or from the shapes that they represent. Teardrops are a very common shape for both beads and cabochons, and for classically-styled earrings. A diamond may glitter, but it is also the common geometric shape suitable for use in thousands of designs! Whether the jewelry actually used precious gems or delicate jewels, or merely incorporated the geometric shapes into patterns and designs, diamonds and teardrops was the call to jewelry-making action for this month’s Challenge.

We're so pleased to share the top four designs submitted by our readers.

Readers Choice Joy in Sorrow

The piece of jewelry voted as the favorite by our readers is JOY IN SORROW, designed by Michelle Smedley of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. 

She tells us of the significance of her piece:

I cabbed this from Rainbow Flourite, and the pendant is also designed and wire-wrapped by me. This pendant was made to recognize a mother who lost both her daughter and her grandmother to illness. The side embellishment is an infinity symbol.

We don't often get submissions from people who cut their own stones! We can see why the name of Michelle's business is Beautiful Earth Jewelry Designs. Congratulations, Michelle, on your READER'S CHOICE AWARD!


Lediaev Purple Rhapsody

Frances Lediaev of Fresno, California, is the next winner of the October Challenge. The name of her winning piece is PURPLE RHAPSODY. 

Made from a chrysanthemum teardrop bead, repurposed vintage earrings and brooch, green and gold wire, a copper frog, green flowers, and Czech rondelles, wouldn't this necklace look stunning on a bridesmaid?

Learn more about Frances (Fenya for short) on her website,



Chase Loveliest Teardrop

Rhonda Chase of Pleasanton, California found the inspiration for her winning design THE LOVELIEST TEARDROP while traveling. 

She tells us:

I visited an amazing Art Nouveau building in Italy with beautiful green teardrops worked into designs covering the walls and ceilings. Sometime later, I found this huge druzy teardrop and knew exactly what I had to create. I wanted to design a piece with the same balance and stunning beauty as I saw in that artwork in Rome. I wanted it to be intricate and feminine, and have lots of detail, and an Art Nouveau flavor. This pendant incorporates several metals, accent gemstones and crystals, and is 5.75" long. 

See more of Rhonda's designs at her website, 

Calhoun Malachine Teardrop

Our final winning piece, MALACHITE TEARDROP, comes to us from Susan Calhoun of Prescott, Arizona.  

Her malachite teardrop-shaped cabochon is set in a peyote bezel surrounded by bead embroidery, with seed beads and Swarovski pearls and bicones. The detail at the bottom inclues Swarovski teardrop and bicone fringe, and the lariat-style bead crochet rope is finished with hammered bead caps, a front toggle and Swarovski beads.

Susan has an Etsy store under the name SLCBeads where you can check out more of her designs!



Congratulations to all of our winners, and a hearty thanks to everyone who participated!

Want to join in the fun? The good news is this: the current Design Challenge runs for two months, since we kow how busy everyone is during the holiday season!

All that glitters is not necessarily gold! For November and December 2018, we are SPARKLING in SILVER!

For this Challenge, we are asking our readers to look for a silver lining, reflect on their memories of our sister publication, and join us in our yearlong celebration of Bead&Button. It is the 25th anniversary of the magazine, and the celebratory fun has begun!

What will you choose as inspiration for your piece of jewelry? Will it be silver, argentium, zinc, nickel silver, or tin? Shades of stormy grey or misty clouds? One of the seven sacred metals of antiquity, silver has been cherished for thousands of years. Other than gold, few metals can measure up to this reflective stunner. In contrast to golden beams of sunlight, this noble metal is more akin to the whitish-gray gleam of the moon casting a shimmery reflection across a body of water; a symbol of wealth and prosperity that when polished, never truly tarnishes. 

Please don't feel limited to only beadwork. Jewelry made from actual silver, silver wire, silver-colored clay or resin, or any other artistic interpretation is welcome as well!

Submit your photo today!


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