marjoriemillerby Marjorie Miller

Hello, if you don't already know by now, as millions surely already do, my name is Marjorie. People know me as a bead jewelry designer with an obsessive penchant for gemstones, pearls, more gemstones, more pearls, even more gemstones and even more pearls, and, of course, all the other stuff, like chain, wire, sterling silver, and you know what else, I don't have to tell you. And if you have heard that I spend more time on the internet than God, well, you might be right. I am always on the lookout for the next great thing in jewelry. It could be yours. (Actually, it should be mine, but you know me....) I hang out at Land of Odds (, and you can reach me there anytime. Point my nose in the right direction -- jewelry on-line that people will want to talk about. And, darling, you better believe this is my real nose. The jewelry ain't fake either. Let me take your hand, and guide your eye to see the treasures I have found ....



Jewelry and Bead Competitions, what an exciting idea, and there are so many that everyone should get involved.

Here are just a few with all their categories to tempt you into dreaming of winning it all.

Bead Dreams from Bead & Button

All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition

Saul Bell Award

Bead Arts Award from Step by Step Beads

Bead Star from Interweave Press

Now that you are in dreamland filling your head with beautiful thoughts of how to design the perfect piece of jewelry that will launch your career and spin you out into the galaxy of the rich and famous jewelry designer, it is time to wake up at least for a minute.

I have found that some of the jewelry design competitions tend to favor certain components, styles and designs. Check out the finalists from past jewelry competitions.

It is human nature to be attracted to what one likes, knows, and thinks is pretty or eye-catching. Would it not be wonderful if the judges could truly put aside their personal taste and where their paycheck comes from, or who is sponsoring the competition or whether it will make a good pattern to give to potential buyers while critiquing the contest entrants? This also brings to my mind what politics could be at the core of these contests?

I know that most of the designing contests are way above board and a wonderful exercise in stirring up the creative juices to push ourselves beyond our self-imposed limitations and learn new techniques, skills and work with wonderful materials.

The two competitions closest to my heart are:

The Ugly Necklace Contest


All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition

both sponsored by Land of Odds.

I love the concept of making jewelry that displeases the eye. It is so very foreign to our sensitive artist’s eye! Try it sometime it is not as easy or simple as it seems. I have seen the many failed attempts at striving for butt ugly. I have also seen winners of serious jewelry competitions with famous and renown jewelry artist judges crown a winner that could have easily, hands down won The Ugly Necklace Contest. This makes me feel that if someone can win a serious competition with jewelry that is so hideous, then how can an artist get around the obvious political devices that are put into place that encourage banality, distaste, ugliness and being in the right clique?

The voting is in full swing for the Ugly Necklace Contest so go vote you have until July 15th.

The Fourth Bi-Annual 2009 ALL DOLLED UP: BEADED ART DOLL COMPETITION is offering a first prize of a $1000.00 shopping spree on the Land of Odds web-site (, and a Runner-Up prize of a $400.00 shopping spree on the web-site. All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition 2009 is a chance for you to create a Beaded Art Doll by manipulating beads and forms into an imaginative tactile and visual 3-dimensional representation of this year’s theme: Earthen Mother . The deadline for this competition is August 31, 2009. You better get beading, as this competition has brought in some stunning and beautiful dolls in the past. Bead Groups have entered dolls in the past, so if you feel overwhelmed beading a doll all on your own, get your beading buddies to each take a few turns. Make a party out of it!


So there you have it; my take on jewelry and beading competitions. Take what you like and leave the rest. Here are a few more awards and competitions to peruse:

American Craft NICHE Awards

American Jewelry Design Council

Womens' Jewelry Association


International Opal Jewelry Design Awards

Jewelry TV


Fire Mountain Gems' Beading Contest

Your Design Rocks from Rings & Things





Land of Odds - Beads, Jewelry Findings, Jewelry Making Supplies
Land of Odds provides bead and jewelry making artists with virtually all their beads, supplies,
books and jewelry findings needs, with over 30,000 products.
Home of The Ugly Necklace Contest-A Jewelry Design Competition With A Twist,
and of All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition.