Sometimes bad news can also be good news, if you look at it the right way. It’s always a bit amusing to ponder whether or not making it into the finals for the Ugly Necklace Contest would truly be a good thing. Perhaps it’s great to be incapable of making something truly hideous.
This year’s finalists were recently chosen, though they won’t be unveiled until later this fall. I had really hoped that my concoction would make it into the voting round this year, so I'm a little disappointed. It was definitely a thrill to learn that I made it into the first draft - a little farther than last time. I’ll need to go back to the drawing board and think of ways to layer on even more ugly for the next contest.
For the 2014 Ugly Necklace Contest, artists were asked to include two strands in their piece, along with at least 75% beads overall. This worked out really well for the design that I had started planning long before the new rules were announced. Keeping with my favorite practice of pouring a lot of my unfinished projects and leftover scraps into my Ugly Necklace entry, I decided to use a pair of beaded doll dresses that I had experimented with. I had a brief phase where I really wanted to make non-wearable beadwork, and I thought tiny clothes would be a fun place to start. The beadwork turned out great, but the dress designs definitely did not.
Since the dresses were so ugly to start with, I thought they’d make a great contribution to my entry. I also wanted to find a way to include as many of my leftover bead baggies as I could. After so many years of beading, I had a huge collection of them. What better way to use them up?
I thought Ugly Stepsisters would make a great name for my necklace, so I reinforced and decorated the bead bags with magazine cut-outs of eyes, lips, and shoes to give it a Cinderella theme. Bringing that particular section together was a lot of work, especially stitching through it, but it was totally worth it. To complete the strands, I incorporated some herringbone rope, leftover bead mixes, recycled sari silk, cotton cord, and some of my least favorite beads.
Voting for the world’s ugliest necklace begins in early November, through December 15th, 2014. Check out Land of Odds to see previous winners, or learn more about entering a piece in the next International Ugly Necklace Contest. I promise you'll have a blast!
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