Creative Journey Challenge: Artisan Component to Art Jewelry

Creative Journey Challenge: Artisan Component to Art Jewelry


The theme for Creative Bead Chat this year is

“creative journey”

We each have a story about our journey as artists and designers. Our artisan components and art jewelry designs have stories of their own. Where did they begin? How did they get from an idea to a finished piece? What made us choose a particular component? Why did we use it in a design the way we did? Do you have a favorite artisan component designer? Show us something you’ve made with their components and tell us what inspired you and your final design.

This challenge is simple.

Submit a digital image of a finished jewelry design you made using artisan components. Your entries & website links will be included in a special “Creative Journey” gallery that will also feature your chosen Component Designer.  The top 3 “most chosen” component designers used in this challenge will receive a free “Directory Page” here on the website as well as a featured “Meet the Maker” interview!

This is great visibility for you both and will be seen by thousands!

Vote To Win!

Creative Journey Component Challenge Gallery

**Vote for your favorite artisan designs in the Creative Journey Challenge and be entered to win a gift of artisan jewelry tools (a $50 value).  To vote and enter, go to the Gallery of entries (you are here) and leave a comment on each post with your favorite designs. You may only comment once per post, but as many posts as you like (each comment will be an entry)
A winner will be chosen via from all comments submitted by Monday, August 24th. (7AM EST)

NOTE: Those of you with designs in the gallery have an extra chance to win a tool gift set as well. The design with the most comments (one per commenter) by 7am -Monday, August 24th (EST) will win a gift pack of jewelry making tools.
So, be sure to share the link to your entry(s) on your social media and encourage your friends to comment.**

Click here to Vote and see all the entries !

Dates & Deadlines:

Submissions are due by : Friday, AUGUST 14th, 2015 12:00AM

Winners will be revealed: Monday, AUGUST 17th, 2015 AM 

  • Submissions are due by : Friday, AUGUST 14th, 2015 12:00AM
  • Winners will be revealed: Monday, AUGUST 17th, 2015 AM 
  • Winners will be chosen on best design style using their artisan component.
  • Winners: 3 chosen winners by the CBC Admin and 3 Random winners by in each category.
    • Chosen WINNERS will receive a free CBC Directory Page, Meet the Maker Interview & Gift Pack of Artisan Components! 
    • Random WINNERS will receive a free CBC Directory Page
    • Top 3 Component Designers (based on # of entries using them) will receive a free CBC Directory Page and Meet the Maker interview.
  • SPONSOR Opportunity: If you are interested in donating 3 components, in exchange for post ads seen by 1000’s ..please email Melinda @  Subject: Creative Journey Ad
  • All medias welcome!
  • Any Questions? Please scroll to the bottom and leave a message – we’ll get back to you!

Thanks to our Sponsors for donating prizes for our event! 
Please click the link on their image to learn more!


Artisan Focal

You must use an Artisan Component as a focal

Artisan Beads

Use artisan Bead anywhere in your design – excludes focal and clasp.

Artisan Clasp

Must use Artisan Clasp in your design


~Only finished jewelry designs handmade by you, may be entered. You may use any supply item & media style.

~Complete a separate form for each Category you want to enter.

~Must include an artisan component handmade by ANOTHER Artisan (not yourself).  May use artisan-altered or upcycled items.

~You may submit ONCE in each category. Each entry must be a different design.

One photo per category. Photos on white or light backgrounds with minimal props are preferable. Be sure they are well-lit and in-focus, as well as large enough to show details, especially the artisan component. Good pictures will ensure your design gets the recognition it deserves!

blue feather sunCreative Journey Submission Form:

CLOSED for entries – Deadline was August 14th…Comment to win – go to the Creative Journey Gallery!


Here are more details just in case you have questions:


  • How many designs can I enter?   You can enter one design per category.
  • Can I enter the same design in more than one category? Each entry must be a separate design.  Your design may include multiple artisan components, by more than one artist. However, you should choose the featured component for your entry.  You can describe the other components, and credit the artist(s), in your description.
  • Why should I add my name to the descriptive title of my design? It will show up in the submission gallery in large font above your the photo of your design and help get you recognition. 🙂
  • Can I add hyperlinks to my social media, the component artists, etc. in my design description?  If you feel comfortable with the Text Editor – you can add hyperlinks in your description.
  • What information should I include in the description of my design? Tell us about the featured artisan component and how it inspired the final design. You can also tell us about the other elements in your design, why you chose them to accent or complement the featured component, or anything else you want to share about your design process or inspiration.


  • We would love for you to share our event!  Please feel free to use any of the media on this page for your blog post, or use the Social icons on the left to share on your personal online social sites!

A big thank you to our Challenge Sponsors!
Each of our sponsors have graciously offered to donate prizes for our winners. Their donations are creating awesome prize packs for some lucky winners!


Behind the Scenes of Bead Fest

Behind the Scenes of Bead Fest


It is that time of year when the bead community gathers just outside of Philadelphia to shop, to sell, to take classes and of course meet up with other like-minded bead people. The Artisans among us spend months creating components, preparing booths and laying out game plans for the biggest single weekend of the year.

But what happens once we’re all there?

Well, beyond the obvious SHOPPING, there is a whole lot of laughter and camaraderie. At least from what we saw with the Creative Bead Chat crowd. On Friday night friends head out to a nice dinner over at Legal Seafoods restaurant in the King of Prussia Mall. This year we had just shy of 30 people, many of the faces around the room are familiar ones showing up regularly on the CBC Facebook page sharing their talents.

Friday Night Dinner Beadfest

You’ll notice Heather Powers, Anne Gardanne & Karen Totten, Diane Hawkey, Linda Younkman, Diana Ptaszynski, Lorelei Eurto and Amanda Leonhart around the room early in the evening before it got a little loud. When you get that many bead ladies (and a few guys) in a room who haven’t seen each other for quite awhile the volume just tends to turn up. 

Diana always gets things riled up and this year was no different!

The next big event is late in the day on Saturday when Diana hosts her annual Artisan Bead Swap. There is always lots of eye candy getting passed around the table as everyone mixes up their beads and picks someone else’s gift.

Annual Bead Swap

Hey Kristen! You were supposed to be smiling for the camera.  Absolutel no texting while photo taking, if Diana saw, you would have been in BIG trouble!  haha!

Around 4 in the afternoon most of us start to feel what we call the “Bead Haze.” It’s that look you get after wandering through football fields of booths full of beads, and fiber, and metals and well pretty much anything you can imagine. But by the time Diana’s swap kicks into swing, you see these ladies catch their second wind and the laughter sets in; as you can see by the multiple takes needed to get everyone organized for a group picture.

Diana Swap - Take 2

Back at the hotel where we have a block of rooms for the Creative Bead Chat group, Melinda Orr throws a causal get together with wine, snacks and another round of gift swapping.  This one tends to go well into the wee hours of the night, but we’ll leave the details to tell by those who joined us.

Sat Night Dinner


A fun time had by all!  Do you have some great photos from Bead Fest or have you blogged about it?  Please add your image below or comment with your blog post and we’ll get them added!

  • Upload your show pictures
  • Please give your image a brief title
  • Please share the details of your image ie: brief description of item, people, place or what's happening
  • Add a few descriptive tags so people can find your image on an internet search. Google, Explorer etc
  • If adding a blog post, please add the actual post URL of the article, not your blog.
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Beading with Friends is the Greatest – An Idea Born!

Beading with Friends is the Greatest – An Idea Born!

Hanging out with Melinda and Cynthia online while I work on my bead embroidery piece

Hanging out with Melinda and Cynthia online while I work on my bead embroidery piece

Beading with friends is the greatest even if it is only online! When you don’t have beady friends that live close by for you to get together and collaborate or just sit and bead and chat you have to sometimes take to the net to find your beady friends. I have made many new friends online through facebook and our beading group Creative Bead Chat and sometimes we get together in an online chat session and talk about beading projects, brainstorm ideas together and encourage each other to try new things.

This happened just recently with a bead embroidery project that I started. Several months ago Melinda Orr gifted me with some Crystal Clay – she wanted me to have a chance to play around with the clay and see what I could do with it. Well it sat in my bead stash drawer for quite awhile – I really was intimidated by using this clay and just didn’t give it a try. I also was being held back by the lack of the proper bezel to use with the clay. During one of our online chat sessions, Melinda mentioned a beading artist that does some fantastic things with crystal clay and bead embroidery, Heidi Kummli.  Unfortunately this artist teaches classes out in Colorado and even though I would thoroughly enjoy a trip to Colorado and one of her classes, it is cost prohibitive for me at the moment. After scouring through her classes, researching online and on Pinterest, I ordered some bezel settings and pulled out my crystal clay, some seed beads and gave it a try.

Crystal Clay pendant2 edited

Crystal clay bezel with seed bead embroidery

The focal piece is basically a mosiac of beads set in crystal clay and then the focal is bead embroidered onto a background. I had taken a bead embroidery class many years ago from Sherry Serafini who is an outstanding bead embroidery artist so the basic bead embroidery wasn’t new to me. Once my focal was dry I glued it onto my background and started beading. I found that the process wasn’t as hard as I had imagined it to be and even though there are flaws in my first piece I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Well, after show and tell with my online friends and further chatting, another idea took hold and away I went again, this time with an embossed patinated focal. So I gathered my beads, my backing and my laptop – you need your laptop so that you can chat while you are beading. Bead some, chat some, show and tell. Cynthia Machata the third person in our online bead and chat session is much more experienced at bead weaving than Melinda or I so she is our go to person for questions (she probably is getting tired of all the questions, but she is such a good sport). Thanks Cynthia for your patience. Well even though our beading sessions are online, I get a lot of inspiration and have a lot fun from these online bead and chat sessions. And maybe occasionally you might get fortunate enough to have a live bead and chat session with some of these beady friends like I am going to have at Bead Fest next week.

The three of us have had so much fun beading together that we are working on ideas on how to coordinate a larger group online. Want to join in on the fun? Watch for more details on our online Bead Circle coming soon to Creative Bead Chat. Try it, you might just have some fun and learn something new at the same time.


Patina cabochon with bead embroidery ready for a brass cuff

CBC Hosts a Meet & Greet during Bead Fest Philadelphia – You’re invited!

CBC Hosts a Meet & Greet during Bead Fest Philadelphia – You’re invited!


Join us for our 3rd Annual CBC Meet & Greet at the Marriott Courtyard in King of Prussia PA. Saturday August 23rd we will be hosting a gathering of component & Jewelry designers. Other events and directions listed below.

CBC Beadfest 2014Directions for the Marriott Courtyard /King of Prussia-Valley Forge: 1100 Drummers Lane Wayne Pennsylvania 19087  More details HERE

Details for BEAD FEST Show Details for Bead Fest click the image below:

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? Please leave a reply below.

Marsha Neal has created an Etsy Local Marketplace of vendors coming to the show.  Many of which are Creative Bead Chat members! Bead Fest Philadelphia August 2014   Aug 22

OTHER GOINGS ON Diana Ptaszynski (Suburban Girl Studio) organizes a bead swap every year meeting up in the cafeteria at the Bead Fest show on Saturday afternoon. The swap is closed, but stop by around 4:15 and visit with your beady friends. Read all about it on her blog Suburban Girl Studio

Last year’s swappers!

Diana graciously offers a coupon for a show discount! Be sure to print and bring along!

Don’t forget you coupon!


Heather Marston coordinates a wonderful NYC Bead shopping trip after the show ends ~ She’ll get you to some of the best bead stores in the city!

Visit her blog for all the stores they’ll be visiting and details for hotel & dates, etc.  CSW Designs You don’t want to miss this trip!



Clasps & Closures Rules & Prizes

Clasps & Closures Rules & Prizes


Home boxHow to enter boxJudges boxView Entries box

Clasps and closures challenge header



All members of Creative Bead Chat are welcome to join in..not a member?
Please join us! 

Official Rules: 

This challenge is for 3 different prize categories:

Most Unusual  

  • items not originally meant for a clasp
  • should be a  clasp component only, no jewelry design
  • clasp must be made by you

Best Design Fit  

  • share your jewelry design with the perfect clasp
  • submission must include a clasp attached to jewelry design and both be clearly visible
  • clasp can be handmade or manufactured and doesn’t need to be made by you
  • jewelry design must be made by you

Most Creative Use

  • Using a clasp in a different creative way
  • submission must include a creative way of connecting to a jewelry design using a clasp
  • clasp can be handmade or manufactured and doesn’t need to be made by you
  • jewelry design must be made by you


1st Place Winners in each category will win a feature page in BEAD Chat Magazine, included in website article and  a choice of:

  • $50 gift package including, tools, supplies, findings and components
  • 6 month Large Ad on our website sidebar (right) 250×250

2nd & 3rd Place Winners will receive a mini feature in BEAD Chat Magazine & CBC website article.

1 Random Winner – we will draw a random entry from all categories and one lucky person will get an honorable mention in BEAD Chat Magazine & CBC website article.

1 Lucky Winner -will win an autographed copy of Michelle Mach’s new book “Unexpected Findings” just out!  Random winner chosen from all entries of the challenge.


  • You must be a Creative Bead Chat member to enter. (Go to CBC Facebook to join, if not already a member)
  • You may enter once in any or all categories – one entry per category…so you may enter one category or all if you choose.
  • International and USA/Canada members may submit.
  • Each design must adhere to the category rules
  • All beading styles  & technique welcome.
  • All images must clearly show the piece – preferably light or white backgrounds and clear image.
  • Submit your entries on the below form.
  • Designs must be submitted by OCTOBER 15th, 8AM EST
  • Top 5 designs in each category will be featured in our November 1 issue of BEAD Chat Magazine
  • This event will be judged by our CBC panel of guest judges and revealed in November 1 issue of BEAD Chat Magazine.
    Melinda Orr, Natalie McKenna, Linda Younkman, Cynthia Machata, Brenda Sue Lansdowne, Heidi Kingman, Kristin Oppold & Staci Louise Smith 
  • Winners will be notified via email on November 1st, 2014
  • By submitting you are giving Creative Bead Chat admin the right to use your picture in the website and BEAD Chat Magazine your name will always be attached to your work.


Staci Louise AD

Kristin Oppold AdBsue adGrubbi Natalie adCynthia Machata AdBandana Girl adLinda Y adHeidi Kingman ad

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