This contest always seems to kick my beading up to a new level. I don't know why, but it does! Maybe it's the challenge of working with beads that were selected by someone else, or maybe it's something more subtle than that.
After completing my first Use the Muse contest, I developed my bead filigree technique. And after entering Use the Muse III, I'm off to the races with beaded lace; taking the idea of a hand flower bracelet to a new place.
It's amazing how this contest kicks up my creativity; it's the last thing I expected. I thought the first time it was probably a fluke, but now I'm two for two!