Wednesday, 31 July 2013

And The Winner Is.... {The July Giveaway}

Hello! Earlier in the month, I happily announced that my new etsy store - Obstinate Pursuit - was sponsoring the July Giveaway with a copy of my first tutorial 'The Star Flower Bracelet' and everything that you would need to make your own version of the bracelet.


I was overwhelmed by all of the support and would like to thank everyone for their lovely comments about the tutorial and the store! However, there can only be one winner.....

..... and that winner, as chosen by Random.Org, is Janice F! Congratulations Janice! I'll be in touch soon! 

The July Challenge - And the winner is...

Well July seemed to go really fast for a lot of us! It was wonderful seeing all the gorgeous entries coming in and getting a taste of your favourite countries and holiday destinations from around the world.

Photo courtesy of Nasa

And here are all the beautiful pieces that everyone made...

Everyone's names were entered into the list randomizer at and the lucky beader who's name is in the number 1 position is...

Congratulations Mary! You're the lucky winner of the £15 voucher to spend at Jencel!

We hope you've enjoy seeing all the wonderful entries and taking part in our challenge. Don't forget to drop by tomorrow when we'll have a brand new challenge for August!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The July Giveaway Has Arrived!

Wow. I have finally taken the plunge and opened my own little etsy store, Obstinate Pursuit. It's been a long, long time coming! In celebration, I'm sponsoring this month's giveaway - and giving you a little preview of a bracelet tutorial that will be available for sale in the shop this weekend.*

Leave a comment on this post before 12 Noon (GMT) on the 30th July and I'll choose one winner at random to receive a copy of the tutorial and all of the materials that you need to make a bracelet - including Miyuki Seed Beads and Swarovski Pearls. I'll announce the winner on the 31st July.

* And, just in case you're wondering. It's not available at the moment, because I still haven't chosen a name. So, if you'd like an extra chance to win the tutorial, please visit me at Obstinate Pursuit and leave me a name suggestion! If I choose your suggestion, I'll send you a copy of the tutorial too!

Clair x

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Beaded Colorways {Bead, Book & Bounce}

Each month, as part of our regular feature Bead, Book & Bounce, we choose one of the most popular beading and jewellery making books and challenge our readers to make something inspired by the techniques or projects covered within it's pages. Over the next two months, we'll be working from Beaded Colorways by Beverly Ash Gilbert. 

Beaded Colourways covers - the tools and techniques you will need to gain confidence when working with colour and enhance your beadwork; step-by-step instructions for projects that make put the theory into practice; and freeform beading techniques that can be used to create your own unique projects!

"I was really impressed...a book that covers colour theory in exhaustive detail." -  Shala Kerrigan, Book Review: Beaded Colorways.

Projects In Other Places - 

Beaded Colorways includes several 'Wanderlust Projects' - Wander With Color, Wander With Flair, The Wanderlust Bracelet and The Wanderlust Necklace, as well as instructions for creating Rippled Netting and the instructions for each of these projects are available as individual downloads from BeverlyAshGilbert.Com.

And, If You're Interested - 

Beverly's website, BeverlyAshGilbert.Com, is home to a beautiful gallery of stunning beadwork, paintings, digital art and photographs - as well as a dedicated Color Inspiration section - all designed to inspire your work with color. 

When's The Reveal - 

The reveal will be on the 6th September.

Special Guest Star Giveaway Winner!

Drum roll please .................!

The lucky winner of this fabulous giveaway is Totally Tilly! Congratulations! Please let Nancy know which soup/patterns you would like as your prize.

Thank you to everyone for entering!

Sarah x

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Creating Crystal Jewellery: The Reveal {Bead, Book & Bounce}

Each month, as part of our regular feature - Bead, Book & Bounce - we choose one of the most popular beading and jewellery making books and challenge our readers to dust off the books on their shelves and create projects from their neglected library. 

Over the last two months, we've been working from Laura McCabe's much loved book, Creating Crystal Jewellery, beading and bezelling with lots of Swarovski Sparkle.

The lovely Vicky Roberts tells me that Creating Crystal Jewellery is one of her favourite beading books. "It's an excellent resource, for advanced beaders as well as absolute beginners, because there's a range of projects to suit all levels. There's also an extremely handy reference section at the beginning of the book that tells you how many seed beads are needed to start a bezel for different sizes and shapes of Swarovski Rivolis, Stones & Shapes."

Using a combination of techniques covered in the patterns for the Crystal Burst Ring and Crystal Burst Bracelet, Vicky has made a beautiful pair of crystal cascade style earrings, which match the simple - but stunning - Spiral Stitch Bracelet that she has made up using the same materials. I'm hoping that she won't notice if I steal them the very next time that I'm at The Bead Shop Liverpool!

Bead, Book & Bounce 'Regular', Ericka Stafford, has also been busy bezelling - making this beautiful My Crown Jewels Pendant. Ericka says "Although probably not suitable for an absolute beginner, I feel that most beaders would be able to follow her instructions and make something to be proud of! This is one of my favourite books and I use it frequently. It's even more special as Laura signed it for me at the first of her workshops I attended! She is such a lovely person and a brilliant teacher too."

A dab hand now at using Laura's methods to bezel stones, Ericka had no difficulties with that part of the pattern. However, creating the tabs became a little bit of a trial and she turned to fellow OTTBS Facebook Group Member, Kim - whose own version of the pendant inspired Ericka's choice for this project!

"I found stitching the tabs straightforward, but when I came to add the top and bottom I realized that I had made a mistake, as I was unable to add three stitches and still have the tabs in the centres. I managed to remedy this by only adding two beads for the tabs instead of three! This worked ok, but obviously my corner gap was then two big for the 3mm beads. I found that using 4mm beads instead solved this problem and fitted the space nicely. Kim kindly explained where I had gone wrong, so next time I am sure I will be able to make it perfect!"

I'm thinking that it looks like perfection, as it is - and especially love Ericka's colour choice!

If you have made any pieces from Creating Crystal Jewellery, please share your own projects with us using the Mr Linky. 
  • Please link directly to your Creating Crystal Jewellery blog post, so that we can find it easily. 
  • Please leave a comment here when you link up your project. 
  • Please try to visit the blogs of other participants when you can. We all love a bit of love!
We'll be issuing a new Bead, Book & Bounce challenge tomorrow, so please do pop back to see what book we'll be working from over the next two months - it's a good one!

Monday, 1 July 2013

The July Challenge

Welcome to the July challenge! It's theme time again and the world is indeed your oyster as we'd like you to create something inspired by your Favourite Country!

This can be your own country, if that's your favourite, or maybe you've been on holiday and fallen in love with the country. It could even be somewhere that you've never visited but yearn to see! You can find inspiration for your piece from countless sources: the country's national flag, emblem, flower, animal, colours etc or whatever makes you think of that particular country.

When you submit your entry, please let us know which country you've chosen and what inspired your creation. We want you to have absolute free rein so this month there is no twist.

How do I enter?
There are two ways...
1. Email your photograph to Liz at
2. Or add them to our Flickr group pool.

Choose whichever way is easiest for you, you don't have to do both. In either case, please make it clear that it's for the July Challenge so we know that it's your entry. We're happy for you to post your photos on our Facebook group as well but please make sure that you've also submitted as above. Entries that have not been emailed or added to the Flickr pool will not be accepted.

What can I make?
Anything as long as it involves beads! Any technique is accepted, from beadweaving and stringing to wire work and bead embroidery. Lampworkers and polymer clay artists are also welcome to submit beads they've made. We're sorry but any entries that do not include beads in some form or another will not be accepted. Your entry must be made especially for the challenge, to make it fair on everyone who takes part please do not submit something that was made before July 1st 2013.

Does it have to be my own design?
No. We're happy for you to make something using a pattern from a book, magazine or tutorial but if you do please let us know the designer's name so that we can give them credit.

When is the deadline for entries?
The deadline is 6pm (GMT) on Wednesday 31st of July.
Can I enter more than once?
You can make as many pieces as you like using the chosen theme. All entries will be shown here on the blog but you will only be entered into the draw once.

I'm not in the UK, can I still join in?
Yes of course! We welcome submissions from around the world so don't worry if you're not in the UK. Our sponsors have agreed to post prizes overseas so you can still enter and be eligible for the prize!

Any other questions?
If you have any questions about the challenge please feel free to email Liz at

The Prize
This month our sponsor is Celia and she's offering a £15 voucher to spend in her online shop Jencel!

The winner will be drawn by Liz after 6pm on Wednesday 31st of July, using the random list generator at and announced later on the same evening.

Good luck everyone and happy beading!