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Our Solar System

One of the best bits of winning an Etsy Beadweavers Challenge is that you get to choose a future challenge topic.  The first time I won (with my Nasturtium Ring) I chose ‘Architecture’, which prompted some lovely entries.  My second win, with my Wings Bangle for the ‘Abstract Painting’ challenge was last October and my space mad family chose ‘Our Solar System’ as a theme.  Because we don’t run a challenge in December, and because January is always ‘Rising Star’ (for new members and those who haven’t won a challenge), the team have had plenty of thinking and beading time, and there have been a huge number of really fabulous entries.  I’ve not entered because I did a Planets necklace a while back and was a bit stumped for a new idea – looking at the entries I wouldn’t have stood a chance anyway!

So, the brief I gave them was:

The Solar System

In our house at the moment we are completely obsessed with our Solar System. My husband has a new telescope which we’ve been using to look at the moon and planets, so he’s constantly coming up with new activities (last week we all watched the International Space Station whizz over us). Recently we saw a wonderful harvest moon, followed the same night by the lunar eclipse (so much better than last year’s cloud covered solar eclipse), and last week I opened my newspaper to see some extraordinary new images of Jupiter’s storms from the Hubble Space Telescope, so when it came to choosing a theme it seemed like the whole universe was shouting at me!

Anyway, our Solar System seems like wonderful inspiration for beaders – how about beaded beads making a necklace of  planets, a scatter of rough natural crystals captured in freeform beadwork forming the Asteroid belt, or some bead embroidery inspired by the twisting stripes of Jupiter’s storms? And if you get stuck you can always watch our favourite song for inspiration, or if you are feeling more sensible have a look at the Hubble website’s gallery (don’t get distracted by the far off nebulae though, please stick to our own Solar System).

I gave them a link to Thomas (5) & Oscar’s (2) favourite song:

And to the Hubble Gallery.

And this is what they produced – extraordinary!

Etsy Beadweavers Feb 16 Solar System entries

Here are links to the Etsy listings:

Thomas (5) is completely in love with Kris’ Rocket (no.2) – who wouldn’t be, and dear husband loves the other Chris’ spiral galaxy (no.9).  Apparently the fact that our solar system is shown in red is astronomically significant and that (as well as its’ loveliness) pleases his pedantic heart.  Oscar (2) is far too young to choose a favourite (he just says ‘beads’), and I can’t really say because it would be a bit inappropriate (although I think those of you who know me could probably narrow it down to three based on past beady fawning).  I’ll tell you all when the voting is over…………….

Anyway please, please do have a proper look through and then swing by the team blog before February 16th and cast your vote for your favourite – it only takes a second, and there is something for everyone.   Follow us on Facebook or via the blog to keep up to date with all of our shops and to be inspired by the challenges (next month’s is ‘Masquerade’), and if you really love one of these fantastic pieces, why not buy it and have it forever?

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