There is a contest that I've been wanting to enter, but I have been sadly lacking in inspiration. The contest is the Haute Couture Beading Contest, and, since it is all about providing inspiration, I'm quite horrified to admit that I just wasn't finding my way into it.
Until last night.
Yesterday, I received a packet of ugly beads as part of a fun challenge I'm participating in, called, of course, an Ugly Bead Swap. The idea is to send off a packet of ugly beads to another participant; by the time the postman has made his rounds, we will all be the proud owners of a pile of, well, ugly beads. You can see the beads that I received to the right of this paragraph.
Oddly enough, I like almost all of them. Okay, that's not entirely true; the orange beads in the middle of the far left column are ghastly. So ghastly, indeed, that I had to begin with them. There are two different types of beads in that bag; four very badly foiled Chinese lampwork flattened bicones and a string of neon orange and yellow oval glass coins.
They just cried out to become beaded beads. To be honest, one of us was crying; it may well have been me. Those lampwork beads are a sin against molten glass, and the coins are bright enough to stop traffic. After quite a few bad starts (and even worse finishes) I came up with a design that I liked. I thought that would be the end of it; I could toss it on a headpin, string it on a chain, call it a pendant, and fulfill my duties to the challenge. We don't have to use all of the beads; just some of them. I'd used the worst of them; surely that was above and beyond the call of duty?
And so, after settling my mind on that, I let my mouse wander off to other, more interesting, pursuits. Once again, I found myself looking closely at the inspiring photographs on the Haute Couture Beading Contest. And it was there that I was ambushed: my beaded bead of ugly beads called out to one of the photos and gave me an idea, all at once.
Do I dare use it?