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The April and May Design Challenges

Announcing the winners of TWO Facet Design Challenges!

Putting together the world's largest bead show is no easy matter, and to be honest we got a bit distracted and forgot a few things! We are so pleased to BELATEDLY announce the winners of not just the APRIL 2019 Facet Design Challenge, Floral & Fancy, but also the MAY 2019 Challenge, Create with Crystals.  

For Floral & Fancy, which took place from April 1-30, 2019, it was all about April showers bringing May flowers. We asked out readers to get floral and fancy-free with their jewelry-making.  

Daffodil, daisy, dahlia, or carnation? Sunflower, orchid, or peony? We could almost smell the roses in your garden, the blooming buds in your windowsill pot, and the bouquet of fresh spring lilies! A single flower could have been the focal star of an original piece or we hoped that perhaps someone would create an entire wrist corsage. 

And for Create with Crystals, which ran from May 1-31, 2019, we were looking for a bit of bling! After all, a bit of sparkle can improve almost anything! 

We asked our readers about their favorite way to use a bit of bling in jewelry making. Bicone and round crystals may be the most popular shapes, but we also were hoping to see some cubes, teardrops, briolettes, ovals, and rondelles. Drilled pendants in fun shapes like hearts, butterflies, leaves, or flowers were fair game, as was use of a needle and thread to sew crystal buttons, sequins, or flat-backs. Whether the crystals were glued on, sewn on, bezel-set, wire-wrapped or embedded in clay, we wanted to see a  piece of jewelry that truly glittered.


Crystals winners
Floral Fancy Winners
We are so pleased to announce the winners of both of these contents!
Gower Yellow Roses

Our first Floral & Fancy winner is Robin Gower of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, in the US.  Her finely-detailed neckpiece, YELLOW ROSES, is made entirely of seeds beads: rounds and delicas over lengths of memory wire and copper wire. 

Robin tells us:

Inspired by the floral work of Russian designers, I developed a new method of working these realistic forms using brick stitch instead of the less structural peyote stitch, so that the blooms hold their form without massive reinforcement.  Each flower has multiple, separately made free form petals in graduated sizes and colors of seeds. A time-intensive work of love.

Robin's business, Our Beading Past, features meticulously handcrafted jewelry and personal embellishments inspired by the stories, styles and materials of a more opulent past.  Each piece is unique and made completely by hand, one bead at a time. Visit her site for a special gift or a healthy dose of inspiration!

Rocknich Royal Bouquet

The next artist to win the April Challenge is Nancy Rocknich of Estes Park, Colorado (also in the US). She has designed a floral masterpiece fit for a queen with her ROYAL BOUQUET. 

This stunner is made from 15/0 seed beads, 11/0 seed beads, pearls, and Delicas. Nancy also incorporated floral wire and tape, and a few artificial leaves, setting off the beadwork to perfection.  

Nancy's online shop, Wildwood Beadworks, features all sorts of goodies that are all handmade. Take a look at her jewelry that features soutache, gemstones, and of course, beadwork!


Sakowski Labradorite

Our next Floral & Fancy winner comes to us from Kalinowka, Poland. Ewa Sakowski has created this glorious silver ring that she calls LABRADORITE IN FLOWERS!

Eva described her own work:

Romantic ring made of silver. The crown of the ring is decorated with an inconspicuously gray labradorite, which in the daylight revealed a beautiful color. I surrounded the stone with small flowers. The crown size 28x20 mm. Silver oxidized and locally polished. 

Eva's jewelry can be found for sale at or on Etsy under the name Artesko Jewelry!

Surges Buds n Birds

You voted and selected BUDS 'N' BIRDS at your READER'S CHOICE AWARD for Floral & Fancy! Congratulations to Carol Surges from Brookfield, Wisconsin, only a few minutes away from the Bead&Button offices!

 For the stunner, a bird pendant was wired to a vintage floral spray and used as a slightly asymmetrical centerpiece for a strung necklace.

CONGRATULATIONS to all our flower lovers out there! Now, on to the crystals!

Hartig Fossil in Paradise

Our first CREATE WITH CRYSTALS winning piece was submitted by Lindy Hartig of La Mesa, California. FOSSIL IN PARADISE is inspired by a fossilized shark tooth. 

Lindy tells us:

I used seed beads to create a decorative hanging bail, and then adorned the tooth with layers of Swarovski chessboard and rivoli crystals, abalone stones, and a variety of pearls and tiny crystals. 

The pendant body is made using bead embroidery. The neck chain is made using bead weaving and it carries its own bling from the silver-lined seeds selected. 

Lindy sells her finished jewelry in her Etsy store, Stop by and shop for a special piece!

Savastano Nefertari Ice

 Natalia Savastano of Baronissi, Salerno, Italy found her inspiration for her winning CREATE WITH CRYSTALS piece, NEFERTARI ICE, in a dream! She tells us:  

One day I woke up and I had dreamt about a bright and brilliant necklace, handmade with a lot of crystals and that could be worn by an innovative bride. So, Nefertari Ice was born! I made this piece from 200 Swarovski bicones, 136 Swarovski Pearls, 11/0 PermaFinish seed beads, and crystal AB dagger beads. The clasp is in .925 silver.

Learn more about Natalia and her work at her website,!

Arcaini Light Blue

Our next CREATE WITH CRYSTALS winner, LIGHT BLUE, comes to us from Lecca, Italy.

Silvia Arcaini created this piece from soutache, Swarovski crystal chain, light blue crystals, and rondelles. It hangs on an organza ribbon and features a nickel-free clasp. 

See more of Silvia's stunning work with soutache on her Facebook page! 

RC Madame de Pompadour

And our final READER'S CHOICE AWARD for the May 2019 Facet Design Challenge belongs to Ruxandra Puscas of Romania! There is a fascinating story behind her MADAME DE POMPADOUR EARRINGS.

Ruxandra tells us:

Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour (1721-1764) was the official chief mistress of Louis XV. She was a major patroness of architecture, decorative arts, and of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, including Voltaire. She had a great political mind and her influence was feared by many, because she seemed to have the power of overturning social and gender hierarchies, both as a non-aristocrat and as a woman.

These earrings try to bring together the grandeur of the French court and the delicacy of a beautiful woman, combining shimmery Swarovski crystals and pearls with the perfection of tiny Miyuki seed beads, in attempt to revive from the depths of history the image of a great woman. 

Ruxanda shares photos of many of her stunning pieces on her Facebook page, check it out!

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our winners!

Want to join in the fun? There are a few days left to vote in the June Design Challenge, LET'S GO 3-D!, and the July Challenge will go live on July 1! 

A sneak Peek at the July Challenge: 


And maybe even a dragonfly or two! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the crickets are singing, and the butterflies are flitting here and there. Hummingbirds are zooming around in search of nectar, and ladybugs are taking a nap in the warm summer sun. Are you using all of this this for inspiration in your jewelry making this July? We want to see your favorite avian or insect-inspired designs, and the more brightly-colored, the better! Hammer, stitch, sculpt or string a charming critter and submit it to Facet today!

And maybe even a dragonfly or two! Birds are chirping, crickets singing, and butterflies are flitting here and there. Hummingbirds are in search of nectar, and ladybugs are napping in the warm summer sun. Use this for inspiration in your jewelry making this July! We want to see your favorite avian or insect-inspired designs. Hammer, stitch, sculpt or string a charming critter and submit it to the Challenge starting July 1!

Lets Go 3D long

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