Category Archives: blog hop

Challenge of Color Winner(s)!

Yep, that’s right. I was totally blown away by all of the hard work the Challenge of Color participants did, and by all the sweet comments you left me here, that I used and pulled two names.

Congrats to Dawn Doucette of Designs by Dawn Marie and Kim of Kimmy Kats! I’ll be in touch directly to about your prizes.

And if you haven’t yet, I’d invite you to browse through this year’s Challenge of Color blog hoppers – there were so many fabulous designs! You can find the full list right here, with direct links where available.

Thanks again to all of the participants for playing along!



Challenge of Color Reveal!

It’s reveal day for the Challenge of Color blog hop!

If you missed the announcement, the Challenge of Color is the brain child of Miss Erin of Treasures Found. She does several themed blog hops throughout the year, and for this Challenge of Color hop, Erin invited me to co-host with her. Like I told her in that initial email, she had me at “color.”

This time around, Erin chose fabulous satellite photos from the United States Geological Service as the inspiration for the blog hop. I pulled 40 favorites and made color palettes from them, and Erin then matched two palettes to every participant based off their color choice. The challenge here was to use one (or both) of the palettes as a jumping off point for a jewelry piece.

I could have just made the palettes, but I wanted to play along. It’s been so long since I made any jewelry, and I couldn’t resist this color challenge, so I asked Erin if I could participate, too. Here are the two palettes I was working with:

In my head, I saw this as a good creative challenge for myself, and it was. But I feel an extra sense of accomplishment here because it felt like any challenge I could have had, I did.

For example, none of my original ideas panned out. Not a single one. This was probably due to me deciding to work with materials I never worked with before – polymer clay, a resin-like material, and fiber. Giving myself only a few weeks to master all of these was probably not a smart move on my part. I chose those because I wanted a particular texture, and while I tried not to underestimate the timing and work small with pendants, late Wednesday night I had to concede defeat and move on to Plan G, just so I could have something to share today!

Even though I was struggling a bit, I was still learning a lot. For example, this was the first pendant I attempted, and I knew pretty much right away it was going to turn into a hot mess (trust me when I say that it looks better here than in person).

My idea for this pendant was to do a little mosaic, with a kind of ombre effect going at a diagonal. So, I very carefully arranged all of the beads into the frame, affixing it with my resin-like material as I went. I think it would have been okay, except I decided I wanted a kind of dome effect for this pendant, with the stones captured inside… and then things went awry. It’s too bad, too, since those blue iolites and yellow honey jade were a perfect match to my palette.

Instead, I switched gears and created a pretty pair of earrings. What I love best about these is that it still captures the colors of my first palette well – that’s what first caught my eye. And I still ended up challenging myself by working with some little felt beads and embroidery floss, two things I’d never tried in jewelry before, so I feel a sense of relief that it came together. I paired the cream felt beads and golden yellow embroidery floss with little bead caps I domed, then added in sparkly blue goldstone (they look darker here for some reason), creamy pearls, and oxidized silver to finish it.

For my second palette, I originally wanted to capture a piece of it in my pendant. I wanted to use some polymer clay and carve out a little mini relief of it inside the frame, then paint it to match. I did manage to work with the clay well enough to get it carved, but after layers and layers of painting, I had to concede it was not anywhere near to what I was hoping. And no, there aren’t any photos of that particular oops.

But taking what I learned from both pendant attempts, I was bound and determined to get this one done. I moved much more carefully this time, and carried over the stripe-y effect I wanted from my first attempt. I’m relatively pleased with the look and the texture, though I wish I had had time to find more colors that closer matched the original palette. I used labradorite for the gray, garnets for the brown (since it looked a touch red to me, and in person, they aren’t quite so red), amethyst for the purple, and tiny peridots for the green.

Overall, I’m fairly happy with how these pieces turned out! There are places to improve, but it was exciting to try something different. And I have to say to all of the artists out there who make working with polymer clay and resin look easy, you have my undying respect. There is some serious skill involved in these two mediums, and though I struggled with them, I had a lot of fun experimenting, too.



And thank you for stopping by! From start to finish, I really enjoyed co-hosting this blog hop with the lovely Miss Erin! I hoped you enjoyed your stop here, and to celebrate, I’m giving away a set of December’s Palette Club prints OR a digital copy of my 2013 Color Wheel Calendar to one lucky person! Winner’s choice on their prize.

Entering is as simple as leaving a comment. Make sure you fill out your email address so I have a way to contact you directly. If you share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, be sure to leave another comment with a link. Giveaway is open until 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, December 2nd, 2012. And international, non-US folks are welcome to enter!


Full Participant List

And don’t forget, there are a bunch of other jewelry designers sharing their work today, too. Here’s the full list:

Erin Prais-Hintz
Rebecca Anderson
Kris Auderer
Chrizette Bayman
Lori Bowring Michaud
Courtney Breul
Lynsey Brooks
Stephanie Buss
Iveth Caruso
Shannon Chomanczuk
Lisa Cone
Cece Cormier
Lori Dorrington
Dawn Doucette
Jeannie Dukic
Kim Dworak
Beth Emery
Janice Everett
Pam Farren
Donetta Farrington
Gloria Ferrer
Cherrie Fick
Therese Frank
Patty Gasparino
Tanya Goodwin
Ambra Gostoli
Jess Green
Denielle Hagerman
Mary Harding
Karla Hartzog
Kim Hora
Brandi Hussey <— You are here!
Emanda Johnson
Jennifer Justman
Sue Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Lee Koopman
Linda Landig
Kirsi Luostarinen
Cynthia Machata
Alicia Marinache
Beth McCord
Mary K McGraw
Karen Mitchell
Cheri Mitchell-Reed
Aimee Moisa
Karla Morgan
Penny Neville
Becky Pancake
Kashmira Patel
Alice Peterson
Kayla Potega
Debbie Price
Bobbie Rafferty
Caron Reid
Nicole Rennell
Cynthia Riggs
Andrea Ross
Sally Russick
Annie Scherz
Pam Sears
Renetha Stanziano
Sandra Stein
Kristen Stevens
Tracy Stillman
Sherri Stokey
Lola Survillo
Kay Thomerson
Jo Tinley
Emma Todd
Cory Tompkins
Pam Traub
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle Tucker
Shelley Graham Turner
Monique Urquhart
Rachel Van-Walsk
Patti Vanderbloemen
Lesley Watt
Lynn White
Joan Williams



Have a wonderful day!

P.S. I’m slowly working my way through all of the blog participants. If I haven’t stopped by, don’t worry, I will!


The Challenge of Color Blog Hop

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Color Palette Blog Hop, hasn’t it? I meant to schedule one for October, and just couldn’t make it work. But rest easy, color friends, because the lovely Erin invited me to help her host the Challenge of Color Blog Hop!

I took part in the first Challenge of Color Blog Hop two years ago (it doesn’t feel like two years, let me tell you), and had a blast. So, when Erin approached me a few weeks ago about co-hosting this year’s Challenge of Color, I jumped at the chance. If you’ve never taken part in one of Erin’s challenges (she has a few a year), it’s a little different than my CPBWs. Instead of creating the palette, you’ll be working from a palette and creating a piece of jewelry.

Erin picked the theme and I put together all of the color palettes for the blog hop. I’m excited not only because there’s going to be lots, and I mean lots, of color goodness around. But also because this will be the first time in a long time I’ve picked up my jewelry pliers, and I’m looking forward to it.

If you’d like to partake or need more info, pop over to Erin’s blog.


Apologies if I got any information wrong – I scheduled this post ahead of time because I’m out of town at the moment. I’ll be back next week, and you can expect a CPBW sometime after the new year!



And the Bead Soup goes to…

Congrats, Shannon C! picked your number – you’ve won my Bead Soup Giveaway!

For everyone else who stopped by and left such sweet comments, thank you! I appreciate the kind words so much. And don’t forget, you’ve got another chance to win. Lori will be picking a grand prize winner from the comments on all of the book tour blogs this past week – if you left a comment somewhere along the way, you’re already entered. That winner will be announced on her blog tomorrow, so be sure to stop by there to see if you’ve won. I’ve got a set of October’s Palette Club prints in the grand prize, so there’s another chance to win something from yours truly.

Good luck!


Bead Soup’s here!

Today’s my stop on the Bead Soup Blog Tour! If you’re new here, welcome. If you’ve been here before, awesome to have you back.

If you’ve been following along on the blog tour, or have heard me mention it a time or two before, by now you know that the fabulous Lori Anderson asked 25 different jewelry designer friends to contribute to her first ever published book, right? And you know that I’m super proud to be one of the contributors? Excellent!

What you may not know is that Bead Soup is based off of Lori’s massive blog hop by the same name. During the blog hops, jewelry fanatics across the world get paired up and exchange a focal, a clasp, and coordinating beads that their partner must use to create a new piece. It’s an exciting blog hop, since there are so many different results. It’s fun to see what people work up.

It’s also an awesome way to challenge yourself when it comes to designing jewelry. In a design or color rut? Swap beads with a friend. Seeing what someone else chooses for me to work with never fails to get my muse talking.

I got a chance to preview Bead Soup before it hit stores, and it most definitely captures the spirit of the blog hop. Lori channeled the energy and creative exchange right into book form, and expanded the theme of soup with cute touches like “ingredients” and “from the pantry” notes.

As for my contribution, I was paired with Lori herself, and the beads she sent immediately got the ideas flowing. In addition to being yummy (I love gems!), they were a color combination I didn’t usually work with, which was exciting to explore. I also wanted to challenge myself a little more, so I opted to do a bracelet, something that I never really focused on when I had my jewelry shop (I was all about the earrings and necklaces). And with one look, I knew exactly how it’d all come together. Don’t you love when that happens?

We’ve been asked to keep the final projects a surprise, but I can show you a quick sneak peek:

I wanted lush, I wanted it to be wearable, and of course it had to have my clusters in there somewhere. I also wanted it to be a versatile design, one that you could use with any kind of bead, but I was worried that people wouldn’t get that. I shouldn’t have worried, because as an extra surprise (at least for me!), Lori made an alternate bracelet with my tutorial, and trust me when I say it turned out beautiful. It’s right next to mine in the book (page 17, if you’re curious), which I think really shows off how you can use the same steps with different beads to get two completely different, but gorgeous, results.

Knowing that I’m not the only one who likes to work with color, I sent Lori a variety of beads for her to play with but I had no idea what she ended up making. No one knew what their partner had made, so it was exciting to flip through my copy of Bead Soup to see not just my project, but Lori’s and everyone else’s projects, too. Waiting over a year for the reveal was hard, but worth it, I think. It’s fun to see it on bookshelves!

As for the experience of contributing to a published book, Lori made it oh so easy. Knowing a little of what it takes to put together a book like this, I’m so proud of all of the work Lori did.

bead soup cover

And I’m so happy to have been a part of Bead Soup! Especially since I now know who the other contributors are – fantastic ladies who you see all over jewelry circles. I’m not going to lie, I had an idea of who might be involved and I didn’t want to embarrass myself, and in print form no less. But everything came together beautifully, and it’s pretty cool to pick up one book and see so many different styles in one place. I think Bead Soup is perfect for beginners, intermediates, and those with eclectic and varying tastes.

What do you think?



To celebrate, I’m giving away a Bead Soup of my own! I have extras of some of the exact beads I used in my project, so I’m sharing those along with extra beads to replicate my Bead Soup project. This little set of beady goodness includes:

A pair of praisolite nuggets*, a pair of dark pink freshwater pearl sticks*, a pair of faceted crystal quartz semi-rounds, a pair of smoky quartz faceted ovals, a mini strand of faceted prehnite rounds, a half strand of pale green aventurine smooth rounds, and a full strand of creamy white freshwater pearls. (The * indicates the same beads I used in my project.)

To enter, simply leave a comment about your favorite project in Bead Soup or which project you’re most looking forward to trying (if you don’t have the book yet, you can preview it over on Amazon). If you tweet about this giveaway, pin a photo from this post on Pinterest, or Facebook share it, leave another comment with the status/pin/share link for another chance to win.

The giveaway is open to any and all, including international friends, and will close on Sunday, October 7th, at 10pm EST. I’ll choose a winner and post it on October 8th, and every comment here automatically gets entered into Lori’s grand prize giveaway (which will be announced on the 8th, too).


Full Blog Tour

Don’t forget, there are bunches of other giveaways going on this week as well, so here’s the full Blog Tour details in case you missed one:

Monday, October 1st

Lori Anderson, Pretty Things Blog
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Barbara Bechtel, Second Surf

Tuesday, October 2nd

Lori Anderson, Pretty Things Blog
Kerry Bogert, Kab’s Concepts
Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio
Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions

Wednesday, October 3rd

Lori Anderson, Pretty Things Blog
Diane Cook, Rosa & Josie’s
Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin de Koning

Thursday, October 4th

Lori Anderson, Pretty Things Blog
Cassie Donlen, Cassie Donlen
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie’s Blog
Nan Emmett, Spirit Rattles
Lyn Foley, Lyn Foley Blog

Friday, October 5th

Lori Anderson, Pretty Things Blog
Brandi Hussey, Brandi Girl Blog <— you are here!
Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio
Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire Artwear
Libby Leuchtman, LibbyLeu and Glass Too

Saturday, October 6th

Lori Anderson, Pretty Things Blog
Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman
Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium

Sunday, October 7th

Lori Anderson, Pretty Things Blog
Sharon Palac, Sharon’s Jewelry Garden
Heather Powers, Humble Beads
Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found

Monday, October 8th

Lori Anderson, Pretty Things Blog – Grand prize giveaway!



Good luck and thanks for stopping by!