Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stringing Magazine Contest

I've entered the current contest at Stringing Magazine. The theme is "Fairy Tales," and it's right up my alley.

Here's a photo of my entry

I got a little carried away--believe it or not, this is toned down from its original triple strand. There are some of my handmade polymer clay beads, many altered beads, lampwork, vintage buttons, and the focal is a jewelry box lid with coiled and strung-on embellishments. My favorite parts are floral crochet cut-outs that I used as bead caps over the huge cotton pearl beads. I wanted a 'lily pad' look--when I think of Fairy Tales, I always get murky green pond imagery.

This is a picture my husband took when we were in Kansas this summer. Right across the street from the spot I chose for our friends' reunion.

It's the best pond in the world, located in the heart of the fabulous and notorious Gage Park in my hometown of Topeka. It's right across from a huge rose garden, and along the other banks there are wonderful overgrown grasses and all manner of floral lushness. It seems a bit more groomed and sterilized now than it did in the 70s. Doran Lily Pond. I spent a lot of time in Gage Park when I was a kid. Everyone did. It's magic. I used to love to go with my grandparents--it s
eemed like a totally different place. We'd do all the things that grandparents might want to do at a park: ride the kiddie train with me a million times, have a real picnic, walk through the rose garden and actually read the little signs, notice minor changes in the colors or growth of the flowers.

I love this place.

Anyway, I live here in my head a lot, the magic Gage Park of the 1970s, and it's all mixed up with an abstract notion of "fairy tales.' There's a play park with a gigantic concrete Mother Goose shoe, a pirate ship, and a whale. It was like fairy tale central. Oh my god, I just found out there were swans.

I tried to capture some of the magic of this pond and my internal sense of fairy tale in the necklace.

I would love your vote. I don't think you have to be a member or anything, but I believe you are required to enter your email address to prove you're a real person voting. Click here to vote; mine is # 29. http://www.stringingmagazine.com/gallery/Fairy-Tales/

Soon I will have some exciting news to share about the last contest, "Winter Wonderland."

These contests are fun and challenging in that there are limits on the techniques you can use. Only very basic stringing techniques are allowed. It sounds like it would be much easier, but it's totally different from what I usually do. I've never used a "crimp tube" or beading wire in my life. It just doesn't seem necessary and although it's probably simple, it seems fussy. But I don't use commercial clasps and such, so it's just not in my bag of tricks. I usually rely on a lot of macrame knotwork for loops and cording, and often some complex wire work. All that's allowed in the challenges are simple knots and extremely basic wire techniques. So, the challenge I give myself is to stay true to my style without relying on my usual techniques. Nicely, there is no limit on the materials you can use. I exploited that a bit.

The voting is up until November 7th.


  1. :)In my eyes your entry is BY FAR the best, Richelle! Well done. I have just voted for you and keep my fingers crossed!

  2. Richelle, I was born in Topeka, Kansas and lived there until I was 7. Then we moved down to the family farm in Osage City--just 35 miles south of Topeka, and have lived her ever since. I almost shouted when I saw your husbands photo of the pond. I too loved visiting Gage Park, and still do. It's so nice to hear of another fellow Kansan!

    I love your entry to the Stringing Magazine contest, and even more so since the idea was born from your time at Gage Park.