Winners of the “Bad Dreams” Bead & Button Show Swarovski Design Contest


(Image compliments of Craft Optics)

Passionate beaders from around the country flock to the annual Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee, where they discover numerous fun activities, take classes to learn new techniques, and be awestruck by stunning jewelry designs. Best of all, friends, colleagues and beading buddies can make the most of each other’s company while enjoying some of their favorite things in life…..Beads!

More than 9,000 beading fans attending 577 classes at this years’ Bead & Button Show scooped up their favorite goodies from 234 exhibitors. The annual jewelry artistry competition is one of the most anticipated events of the show. This years’ contest theme was entitled “Bad Dreams”. Designers from around the world were faced with steep competition, highlighting an exceptional level of beadwork. This made for an intense discussion among the jury members, whose job was tougher than ever this year.

Luckily, a decision was made and we can all breath easy. Drum role please…..Here are the Big Winners!

Bad Dreams

2017 Bead & Button Show Design Contest Winners

1st Place Winner

First Place went to Svetlana Kossman of Pennsylvania for her opulent bib necklace entitled;

The Last Day of Pompeii

Winners of the Bead and Button Show 2017 Swarovski Contest

Svetlana happily accepted a whopping $450.00 worth of Swarovski Crystals as her prize!

“The Last Day of Pompeii” was praised for its intricate and sophisticated use of beads. All agreed that the fiery intensity of molten lava flowing from an erupting volcano was spectacularly represented, creating a showstopper.

Her use of the new Crystal Royal Red Lacquer effect in the various Fancy Stone Styles, was stunning. That captivating coating paired beautifully with the Crystal Iridescent Red Pearl. This unique Swarovski Crystal necklace was balanced out with highlights of Crystal Silver Night, Topaz, and Fire Opal beads, for one remarkable statement piece!

2nd Place Winner

Second Place went to Kaori Nakakohji of Japan for her brilliant display of distinctive floral and figure eight patterns entitled;


Winners of the Bead and Button Show 2017 Swarovski Contest Second Place

This radiant necklace design, features a color pallet of gold and blue hues, offset by lighter and darker tones. Her gorgeous necklace took the second prize of Swarovski Crystals worth $200.00.

The variety of Sapphire and Crystal Metallic Sunshine Fancy Stones pair beautifully together and the 4731 Kite Fancy Stones in Crystal Golden Shadow adds dimension and movement to floral the configurations. Crystal Iridescent Light Blue Pearls and Crystal Iridescent Dark Blue Pearls were superbly sprinkled throughout the necklace, creating an balanced look by bringing in a blend of matte and shimmer facade.

3rd Place Winner

Third place went to Nadezda Gerber from Germany for her graceful swan necklace entitled;

Under the Tuscan Sun

Winners of the Bead and Button Show 2017 Swarovski Contest Third Place

This whimsical necklace design emphasizes two graceful swans coming together accentuated by delicate features within a mixed media form. Assorted soft grey Swarovski Crystal beads mingle with Air Blue Opal highlights, as lovely heart pendants dance about.


Swarovski’s Create Your Style Make & Take workshops, were also a big success. Participants learned new skills by creating unique projects and their donations raised a total of $3,086 for the Waukesha Women’s Shelter. Whoot-Whoot!! Amazing work beaders!!

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Harmony and Kashi
Keep Smiling & Keep Shining!
Swarovski_5741-Crystal_AB_Heart Bead



As a Designer, Ask Yourself This One Meaningful Question…


(Photo compliments of Beautiful English Garden)

Today I fell in love with this simple, yet genuinely profound idea that can affect many aspects of our lives. Now, I don’t mean to be dramatic about it, but I think it’s important to take a moment and to honestly think about this worthwhile question.

The question is…why does beauty matter?

Beautiful butterflies

There are all kinds of answers to this question. A few that I have been reflecting on, is that beauty inspires us. Beauty helps us to pause and reflect on the joyous qualities of life. Beauty brings us happiness. Beauty is an expression of love.

I suppose a follow up question would be, where do you create or appreciate beauty in your everyday life?

Why Beauty Matters

This picture and short article from is what inspired these thoughts on beauty.

Beauty should be the starting point for everything

Beauty can be found in everything….and I mean everything. It can be found in the smallest, most unassuming elements of life. It can be found in your morning cup of delicious coffee. It can be found in a single rose petal. It can be found in the words we say…or don’t say.

When I really started to amplify this idea and apply it to my life, I began thinking about the smallest details that I see and do every single day. Details that are beautiful and the details that could be made more beautiful.

DIY Beautiful Jewelry Organizers

The obvious beauty is how we dress, the jewelry we wear, the home we create. Maybe less obvious, is how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, our inner and outer vocabulary, and the tone of our voice. It’s always good to remember that everything we say and do has it’s effect in this world.

As we incorporate more beauty in our lives and become more aware of the beauty all around us, we in-turn become more beautiful.


(compliments of

We as designers need to truly remember that, it’s not just the end product of what we make that is beautiful. The process of making that product is also beautiful. The inspiration behind our creations, is beautiful.

Every time someone compliments your jewelry, that becomes a beautiful moment. We are creating and spreading beauty every step of the way, and that in-of-itself, is absolutely beautiful!

Swarovski Crystal Heart Beads 5741-Blush_Rose

Please share your thoughts/pictures on how or why beauty matters to you!