Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bag of Beads Challenge

Every year at this time, the Toronto Bead Society offers its "Bag of Beads" challenge. For $10, every member that signs up receives the same assortment of beads - the challenge is to create something with whatever is included in the kit. The only rule is that you have to use at least one of every type of bead included. Apparently, there are always one or two unusual items that require a little more thought when considering how to incorporate them into your design. Last year, the "odd" item was tiny silk flowers with wire stems. TBS members have two months to finish their piece and at the March meeting, all are revealed.

The amazing part of the whole process is seeing what the various members create. Based on the 2008 entries, no two pieces are even close to being alike. I was still relatively new to beading at this time last year (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) and I was not excited by the colour palette of the kit (dark blue, dark green, coral and amber) nor impressed by the type of beads (mostly seed beads), so my finished result was totally uninspired, if I do say so myself. It was a good lesson for me though, to learn that you have to love the components you are working with in order to create a finished piece that you love and want to share with others. Although it seems the other members of the Society were not too bothered by these things as they created the most beautiful pieces in all manner of styles - necklaces, earrings, beaded purses, quilted pieces and even a decorative brassiere!

I'm feeling more positive about the whole experience this year and can't wait to see what we get to work with. Plus I'm hoping that I can use some of the techniques Kate taught us in Mexico to my advantage.

I'll let you know tomorrow what we find in the bag...

P.S. It's minus 30 Celsius here in Toronto today (that's minus 20 Fahrenheit - either way, it's too darned cold!). How I wish I was back in the pool at the Hacienda Mosaico with Stella!

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