Bead Mixes – Designer Challenge

Please scroll through this wonderful post.  It highlights twelve designers and the unique bead mixes created by John Bead that they were challenged to work with.


Nancy Donaldson Fur Necklace:  Dreamy Snowflake

Nancy Donaldson explored two fabulous techniques when she received her mixed bead box which resulted in two very different projects.  (And no, she did not have more than one box!)

Her fur necklace was a first time experiment to incorporate fur with soutache.  I think we can all agree her project is a dreamy success.  Also, the matching earrings are simply lovely.


Nancy Donaldson Wire Necklace:  Northern Lights

Nancy teaches her wire working techniques, so it is no surprise to see such a stunning statement necklace featuring wire with the beads.  The wire wrapping placed the beads in spots along the curved edges that creates a stained glass effect.


The earrings are showstoppers.


Nancy’s collection was the most difficult to photograph given how many white beads there are to feature.  I think she did an amazing job!


Nancy had the Dazzling Sidewalk Mixed Beads collection.



Missy Faul – Complete Jewelry Set

Christmas came early this year! The Santorini Coast pallet was filled with shades of blues and greens with just a touch of copper. As soon as I saw the unique shapes I knew I needed to create something that would highlight their individual beauty. Immediately I could envision a wire frame bead cuff. The only question was silver or brown wire. In the end I chose brown! I have always loved the contrast between blues and browns!



It was easy to fill up the 1” wire frame cuff giving each beauty its own place of honor! All that I added from my personal stash were Tierracast daisy spacers, and Swarovski crystals. There were plenty of beads left over to make a “bead soup” wire crochet necklace and matching earrings!



Missy Faul – Missy Faul Jewelry Designs

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The Santorini Coast Mixed Bead collection.


Jeweley Set – Erin Prais-Hintz

Erin wrote:  “I had the Sunset in Venice bead mix with a bright dose of oranges, reds and yellows. For such a small box there were a lot of beads crammed into every little partition! I still have at least half the box left even after making two pairs of earrings, three necklaces and a multi-strand necklace! I especially loved the different finishes, shapes and textures that were included in this curated mix. My favorite by far were the matte frosted beads with the silvered lining. They just seem to glow from within!”


“I warmed up by creating two different pairs of earrings. The oval orange beads reminded me of amber. I thought they looked really elegant dangled in a line with a Vintaj brass swirl at the base. The other pair is a more everyday look that features polymer clay disk beads from my one of my favorite bead artists Heather Powers of Humblebeads. I like how the swirls in the larger lentil beads pick up the swirls in the Humblebeads.”2

“Since there were so many different beads, I wanted to showcase the variety in the bracelet stackers. Simple patterning of the beads in two bracelets, but the third has a bit more flair. Those pennant shaped beads were quite intriguing. I used a double strand and wove the tiny frosted seed beads over the top for an added texture.”

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“My favorite piece has to be the IONU Owl necklace. Recently I started making these IONU Owl pendants as a way to raise awareness and funds. For the sale of each IONU Owl on my website ( I am donating 80% of the price (=$20 US dollars) to the Southern Poverty Law Center. They exist to fight hate, teach tolerance and seek justice, particularly for the most vulnerable members of our society. I thought that the fiery oranges, reds and yellows would be the perfect complement to this whimsical little owl. These owls bring me great joy to make them (no two are alike!) and it makes my heart glad that people will wear them as a symbol of goodness and watching out for each other. Because that is what we need more of right now.”

Thank you for the opportunity to design for John Bead Corporation! Enjoy the day!

Sunset in Venice

Erin had the Sunset in Venice Mixed Bead box.

Carmi Cimicata for John Bead

Necklace and Earrings – Carmi Cimicata

I am featuring my own project today!  The Gold Gravel box was my favorite and I used my insider access as the challenge coordinator to select it for myself!  This is the second time I have created a set of jewelry with it.

The first design I made has been submitted to Perles Et Cetera magazine and I am hoping to wear both at the same time.  Hence, my desire to work with the collection a second time. This longer strung project showcases the numerous beautiful beads in this Czech glass bead box.


It also features a resin filled bezel with encased dried flowers I created for my blog  I could have also made a half dozen or more earrings…there are still so many beads left in my box!


Gold Gravel Mixed Beads


Sarah Millsop – Wired Necklace

Sarah was one of the first designers I wanted to include.  She lives in Britain and is a well known on-air personality in the jewelry industry.  Her beads actually arrived quicker by mail then some of my designers in the USA!  Like almost everyone in the challenge, she created something I did not expect at all!  In her words “It was just lovely to have a project to do for myself.”  I can see her wearing this necklace over the holidays and she mentioned it looked wonderful with a plain round neck t-shirt.  Like Sarah’s Facebook page to learn more about her some of her instructional DVDs.



Sarah received the Ma Vie En Rose Mixed Bead box.



Complete Jewelry Set by Laurie Poirier

Laurie’s submission proved that our mixed bead boxes can create a gorgeous set of jewelry and you’ll still have leftovers!  Her necklace, bracelet and earrings are detailed and you might think she received several boxes to work with.  She did not – this one box exploded into finished jewelry!


“I just loved the shapes and colours of this set. It inspired me to create something that would challenge my creativity.”


Laurie received the Dark Starnight Mixed Bead box.


Paint The Town Red Necklace by Suze Weinberg

Suze sent a fabulous note with her project:

I’m calling it “Paint the Town Red!”   As soon as I opened the container and saw red and gold tone beads I was in heaven!  I loved how all the various shades and textures of red blended so well together.  

I individually wired each bead and then jump ringed them to one another which took a long time but, in the end, was so rewarding because I’m gonna wear it everywhere !!!! It looks equally as striking on black, red and copper colored shirts.  The clasp was something I picked up on a trip to Amsterdam many years ago and saved for just such a great project as this was.


Suze received the Bologna City Bead Mix.


Complete Jewelry Set by Karen Arts

Karen was the first person to submit her finished designs to our challenge.  We were amazed at how much she was able to create with her mixed bead box.  Karen said “it is a bronze frame with festive golden, copper and bronze beads, just in time for Christmas!”


Once the necklace was completed…she just kept making more….


The Topaz Pizzazz mix clearly inspired her!

Topaz Pizzazz


“Floral Fantasy” by Melanie Ferguson

“When I received the package of “Soft Glow” beads, I was inspired by their pastel hues. The colours reminded me of Spring flowers, and so I planned a design that would resemble flowers on a vine. As a bonus, the selection included flower and leaf shaped beads. I used a beadweaving technique to create the design, and finished it with a simple flower-shaped toggle clasp.  Thank you for inviting me to participate in this challenge!”



Bracelet Set by Lisa Kettell

“I loved this challenge and working with pieces from John Beads. I was given the Capeverdi Sunset box. This set was a mix of amber, orange, yellow and sandy tones.  As a November baby these are my birth month colors. They are warm and glowing which is perfect for me. The result are these pieces.”

Capeverdi Mix 4

Happy Wishes (bracelet and earring set) by Lisa as well.

2016 John Bead Necklace3

Brazilian Fiesta – By Jamie North

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in your 12 Days of Christmas project! It pushed me out of my comfort zone in both colors and shapes – it was fun to play with some yellow and butterflies too. The colors in the collection I receive remind me of the Brazilian flag and since they were selected by Fernando DaSilva, who is from Brazil, it seemed appropriate.”

2016 John Bead Bracelet2

Jamie also made this bracelet with the leftovers in her bead mix box.


Jamie’s projects feature – Citrus Sparkles Bead Mix


Wired Floral Necklace by Lena Gillespie

Lena Gillespie necklace featuring:  Day of Joy Mixed Bead Box

About The Bead Mix Box Challenge
Each designer received one mixed bead box and almost all of them have reported that they still have so many left over after completing their projects.
We have designers participating from Canada, The USA and the UK.
Our Facebook page will have giveaways featuring these mixes so Like our page for details.



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