Friday, March 25, 2016

Interview with Masquerade Challenge Both Team and Public Vote Winner: Sabina Vladimirova of Sabina Jewel

                                                See all the beautiful original submissions!

                                                    Make sure to also visit these links!
                         Sabina Vladimirova’s Etsy shop:
                               Sabina 's Facebook Page:
                                         Sabina’s Website:

Hello Ms. Vladimirova,

My name is Patti, interviewing you on behalf of the Etsy Beadweaver Team. Congrats on winning the March EBWC team and public votes!

Your work is beautiful, you create wonderful designs with cabochons and beads. Tell us a little more about yourself; how long have you been beading and how did you come to it?

My name is Sabina Vladimirova, 38 years old, born in Bulgaria. By profession I am a designer, but not the kind what you would expect – I’m a civil engineer and I design the structures of buildings.
I was introduced this kind of bead jewelry along with the artistic passion of my mother, before I was 5-6 years old. Inspired by Russian craftsmen she began to make such jewelry, of which I was very impressed. I first tried to make beaded jewels in 2012.

I see you incorporate some traditional influences into your work, do other members of your family or community do needle crafts as well?

The country where I was born is known for its long and rich history. Around 5000 BC, a sophisticated civilization already existed and produced some of the first pottery and jewelry in the world. In 681 is the beginning of the First Bulgarian Kingdom, which brought together Thracian remnants and Slavs under Bulgarian rule.
My kind of beaded jewelry is not typical for Bulgarian traditions. The jewelry you refer to are popularized based on their shape, not on their beaded techniques. Details can be found in the descriptions in my Etsy Shop for the items – “Lunnitsa” and “Pafti” .
For this tradition in my family I’ve already mentioned in this interview - I began to do this inspired by my mother’s creations.

Your hometown, Kazanlak, sounds beautiful. It has been called "the largest rose garden in the world." Is this something that influences your work?

I was born in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, but now live in a beautiful rose valley, in the town of Kazanlak. In this lovely valley between two mountains there is a lot of natural beauty to be inspired from. My true passion, however, is the Sea, where I intend to go soon to live and work (on site). Then you can see the marine influence in my jewels :)

There is a long history of a cultured civilization in your section of the world. Are there many opportunities to learn beading or to teach?

I admire the Russian masters in beaded embroidery. I learned different beaded techniques from so called “Master classes” on the internet, most of it in Russian websites and blogs. I belong to one Bulgarian facebook group where we share and discuss our work. We have monthly challenges also.

Your work has stood out in each of the challenges. I see you have entered a few since joining the bead weaving team. Is there an aspect to competition that draws you?

Yes, I admit that I enjoy challenges and competitions. Now I am now preparing also for the Battle Of The Beadsmith (B.O.T.B) ‘16 for my first year. I find competitions make for stimulating and interesting motivations to work on a specific theme.

I love the use of gemstones in your work. Is bead embroidery the technique you enjoy the most? Do you have a favorite kind of bead you like to work with?

I love gemstones and in almost all cases use them in my beaded works. I have few favorite stones – turquoise, labradorite ,amethyst, lapis lazuli. And Yes, bead embroidery is my favorite technique. Of course, I like to work mostly with Japanese beads, especially Miyuki Delica and Toho beads. I work also with Czech beads ( Preciosa ornela). Chinese beads I use very rarely - only in cases that I seek intended effect of their irregulal shape.

Is there a beading technique you hope to master or any other future plans you have with your beadwork?

There are still too many new techniques and tricks I want to learn and try, before I attempt to teach others.

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourself. Good luck for continued success with your work.

A real pleasure for me was to answer these questions, Thanks a lot!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

March 2016 "Masquerade" Challenge Results!

Congratulations to the winner of the March 2016 Challenge!

Public and Team Vote Winner: Sabina Vladimirova from SabinaJewel


1st place:
Amethyst Black&White Shibori Necklace - SabinaJewel - 21 votes (26%)
2nd place:
Unmasked - SharonEdelmanforEPEC - 19 votes (23%)
3rd place:
Masquerade Goblin Mask Necklace - OfYourLove - 16 votes (20%)


1st place:
Amethyst Black&White Shibori Necklace - SabinaJewel - 41 votes (33%)
2nd place:
Unmasked - SharonEdelmanforEPEC - 29 votes (24%)
3rd place:
Masquerade Goblin Mask Necklace - OfYourLove - 22 votes (18%)


Well done to the winners and all who participated and thanks to everyone who voted!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Entries for March's "Masquerade" Challenge

Here are the entries for this month's "Masquerade" challenge!  VOTING WILL BE OPEN FROM MARCH 9TH UNTIL MARCH 15.  Please choose your favorite entry from the images or links below, then select your choice in the blog poll that will appear on the right sidebar during the days that voting is open.

Click on the image mosaic or links below to learn more about each entry and see larger, detailed images of each piece. 

Image Map

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Etsy BeadWeavers April 2016 Challenge "Pompeii"

Many thanks to the February team vote winner Cira Troilo for a great Challenge for April!  Cira would like to see a touch of Antique Italian culture in a Challenge all about Pompeii,  the ancient Roman city that was destroyed and buried under volcanic ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

The style and colours should be representative of the era,  jewelry in the ancient style of Pompeii with the use of metallic elements would be great.  The style was very rich but minimal and often featured cameos, carved stones with faces, pearls and gold.Colours of the time included royal blue, turquoise, green, red or bordeaux.

More info on

Please be sure to have your entry listed in your Etsy shop by April 5, 2016 23:59 EST and remember to include EBWC in the title and tags of your entry.  Kindly refer to the Challenge Rules for details on what is allowed in Challenge entries to ensure that your entry is compliant.
Some Pompeii Frescoes to inspire you!
          Published with CC0 Public Domain Free for commercial use-No attribution required See Angelika's (travelspot)'s images at Image

                                                                 By WolfgangRieger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

                                                               See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

                                     By unknown ancient Rome artist, photo of Stephen Haynes [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Your Favorite Things and their Stories

 Being a handmade seller can be at times a bit difficult. Not everyone appreciates the meaning behind artisanal work and choose low-priced mass produced items. In the case of jewelry, an incredible amount of necklaces, rings and bracelets are created every day making the competition fierce. It takes a great deal of energy at times to keep on making and keep on selling. It can be overwhelming to make our ideas and value in particular stand out.

 During tougher times, it is important to remember that buyers are not interested in settling for handmade items the way they would purchase a plastic broom from a department store, they want to fall in love with your artwork, to instead discover a mystical and fascinating witch’s broom, scented with their favorite herbs. The ingenuity behind a hand maker is the heart and soul they put into their creations and this is something factory-made objects can never compare to. To remember that, I offer an anecdote.

 When I was young, the running joke in our kitchen was my mother’s inability to keep dishes intact for very long. Wine glasses were especially at risk, but as she explained, these were mass produced glasses, and accidentally smashing them to a million pieces wasn’t a big deal.

On the very top shelf of the glassware cupboard, however, were small crystal glasses my parents hardly ever touched. Fine crystal brandy snifters that had belonged to my now deceased grandmother. The sentimental value attached made them irreplaceable, but something else made them undeniably special.

The material was incredibly thin and delicate, their shape completely unique, and etched onto them was a remarkable flower and vine design I could have spent hours admiring. Upon looking closer at this florid embellishment, I noticed that between the set of four glasses, the design was not identical. The vine seemed to flow freely, growing buds where it pleased and blooming spontaneously. Each glass was perfectly unique, only the hand of the artist understood this vine pattern, an expression of himself that could never be reproduced. On this delicate crystal, the artist had lovingly engraved a mysterious and charming story.

On special occasions, I was offered a drink from one of these magnificent heirlooms, and each sip could not have been sweeter. They sit to this day carefully returned to their high shelf, safer away from the daily family kitchen accidents, but fully enjoyed.

Got a story to tell? Send me an email, show me your favorite things and the stories behind them!

*Image published  with CC0 Public Domain Free for commercial use-No attribution required 
See kevgeniya's images at