Well, I learnt a valuable lesson. On Thursday, my darling wonderboy knocked my entry to the Beads & Beyond competition off the mantlepiece. I can't say what the bead is, but yess, it was fully annealed, and no, certain types of bead should not be made to suffer the 'bounce test' on a marble fireplace board-front-thing. It was in - I don't want to lie, maybe not 1,000 pieces, but definitely on the wrong side of 200. Now what!!!
I tried to re-create said bead. And tried. And swore. And burnt myself. And finally did it - I think. Just like the first one, it's not perfect, but that seems only fair - if the magazine will accept it as a replacement. So what's the lesson? No, not to place special beads out of reach. But that there is a great difference between the odd stroke of luck and consistently producing high-quality work. I've never made myself try and reproduce an especially difficult bead, I just congratulate myself on the serendipity and move on. So, in a way, I'm grateful (in a very small way, you understand ;o)) - I never want to be a production-type worker, but I think I did learn skills in trying to do what I did again, and I feel that, now I have managed to make the most difficult bead I ever made again, I can say 'this is the type of bead I can make' - not 'this is the type of bead I can make on a good day, with the wind behind me, the stars in alignment and after a full fried breakfast only'. I think that means something. But I still haven't decided whether to try a similar bead today (not for the competition, just 'for fun') - or whether to leave well enough alone ;o)