Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Midnight Magic Challenge...

I was talking with a friend about how I've been bitten by the Halloween bug.  Some years it happens... other years, not so much.  This year, I've already been planning out projects and am excited to decorate the shop!  Then we started talking about the kits and a lightbulb went on in my brain!  Why not have a holiday themed challenge?  What better way to really get in the mood for Halloween than a creative challenge?

Usually, I've tried to steer clear of anything too literal, mostly aiming for unique color palettes and different points of inspiration.  But I really wanted to embrace the season and have fun with a Halloween-themed challenge!  Thusly... the Midnight Magic Challenge was born!  The kit plays with traditional colors like pumpkin oranges, carbon blacks, aged coppers and includes several seasonally inspired components.

To make it even more fun, I've decided to limit it to ONLY 13 (lucky) kits and have set the reveal date for Thursday, October 30th.

Technically, this a pre-sale, even though I have already mostly selected everything.  Before I post official pictures of the finished kit, I want to scout the upcoming bead show this weekend and see if there's anything special to add to the kit.  I also have to make the Mystery Component.

If you're interested in participating in this challenge, CLICK HERE.  There are only 13 kits, so grab it while you still can!

The kits will ship out in the beginning of September.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Things I've Made...

It's not very often that I get two days off in a row nowadays.  I usually find some kind of errand or task that must be taken care of with great urgency and that eats into my creative time.  Fortunately for me, I had Sunday and Monday off!  While I did have some things that I had to attend to, I mostly had time to make things... and make things I did!

I made some polymer clay sugar skull ornaments/pendants.  I made a set a few months ago and had many requests to make more!  I'm parting with these guys for $25 each.

I finally cast the cat heads that I sculpted a few months ago, sanded them down, drilled them out, and painted the feline-themed beads.  These beads are $18 each.

After I made the sugar skulls, I decided to make polymer clay "sugar bones" to match.  They are drilled in the middle, from top to bottom, making the bones lay horizontally.  These come with the sugar skulls complimentary.


I also had time to try my hand at GlassClay.  I was hesitant to try it out.  The firing schedule seemed pretty daunting and an earlier experiment did not yield good results.  I tried it again and made these rustic-themed beads.  I wasn't smitten with them, so I jazzed them up with a little bit of gold-colored heat-set paint.

I even managed to make some more polymer clay beads.  They're big!  The seven that I made are pretty lightweight and easy to incorporate into a project.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Festival Lights Mystery Component Reveal...

Today is the REVEAL of the Mystery Component for the Festival Lights Challenge.  Up until now, only the participants of the challenge were privy to this information!

The Mystery Component is a polymer clay pendant made by me.  I wanted it to have the look of an old carnival ride, slightly rusty with faded paint.  In the dark, the lights transform the rides into a wonderland of color and excitement!

To find out more about the Festival Lights Challenge, CLICK HERE.  And keep your eyes peeled for the Blog Hop Reveal where participants of the challenge will share their creations!  The Blog Hop is scheduled for Thursday, September 18th.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Moon Garden Challenge SOLD OUT...

Many thanks go out to everyone who purchased a pre-sale kit for the Moon Garden Challenge!  Thank you!  The kits are now sold out and will ship in the beginning of September.  I love the color palette of this challenge and am super stoked!  I can't wait to see what everyone creates!

Fall Jewelry Stringing Magazine...

Since we opened the store, I haven't been publishing as much as I used to.  Even when I have the best intentions and actually make pieces for submission, they usually get shuffled to the bottom of the pile and by the time I remember their existence, I've missed my deadlines.

However, I did manage to squeeze in a bracelet and a pair of earrings in the most recent issue of Jewelry Stringing.  I have a soft spot in my heart for Jewelry Stringing.  It was the first magazine that I submitted to and was published in... oh, ten years ago or so.  When I look back at those old issues, I see how much I've grown and how much my style has changed.  In fact, it seems like the whole jewelry world has grown along with me, because when I look at the magazines nowadays, there's a new level of sophistication and the technical skills included in the instructions have advanced so much.

Even though things have progressed, the old issues still sparkle with inspiration and I love going through the back-issues and revisiting ideas and remembering all the friends and memories that I've made along the way.

If you fancy the earrings that I made for the Fall 2014 Jewelry Stringing issue, I have the bronze skull charms available in the Allegory Gallery online shop.  CLICK HERE to visit the link.  I paired the skull charms with shibuichi earwires from Saki Silver, Swarovski crystal pearls in Iridescent Green, and tiny faceted iolite rondelles.  Check out the magazine to see the finished earrings and other great designs by a host of talented jewelry-makers!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Moon Garden Challenge (Pre-Sale)...

I've been super busy lately and have some big projects on the horizon.  I wanted to give myself a little breathing room and decided to push up the release of the next kit:  Moon Garden.  I've been gathering up the components of the Moon Garden kit for awhile now and already have it mostly done.  I just need to finish up the Mystery Component(s).

I was inspired by natural moonstone and labradorite.  I imagined an otherworldly garden where the alien flowers and lush flora were made up of these stones.  It's a blend of pale peaches, cool grays, milky whites, and aged silver with pops of inky black.  I smitten with this color combination.  It's subtle and elegant, and is a great palette for fall, transitioning into winter.

The tentative reveal date is scheduled for Thursday, November 13th!

If you're interested in getting a kit and participating in the next challenge, CLICK HERE.  Hurry though!  Kits usually sell out FAST!

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: This is a pre-sale and the kits will be mailed out in the beginning of September.

Royal Feather Challenge...

Many thanks go out to those who participated in the Royal Feather pre-sale!  Thank you!  The kits are all sold out!

If you're not familiar with the challenges, it's a fun and informal way to play, create, and challenge yourself with a pre-selected set of components.  Although all the kits have been sold out for a few weeks now, I wanted to share what is included in the Royal Feather Kit.   I'm super excited to see what everyone who got a kit will make!

To participate, challengers had to order a Design Kit.  This kit features a selection of premium Czech glass (both vintage and new), vintage lucite, vintage Japanese glass, vintage French seed beads, Chinese crystal, decoupaged bamboo beads, African glass, vintage Hamilton gold, and banana leaf covered bamboo beads, and Irish waxed linen.  The kit also includes a Luxury Bead Blend.

The Luxury Bead Blend consists of Japanese Miyuki seed beads, Toho seed beads, Matsuno seed beads, Czech glass, charlottes, semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, antique Venetian seed beads, French seed beads, vintage sequins, vintage Japanese glass, glass pearls, and freshwater pearls.

But wait... there's more!  The pictures show a lovely mix of materials, but what isn't shown is the Mystery Component!  Each kit will come with a special, handmade component that will remain a mystery until it arrives at their doors!  The Mystery Component might actually be more than just one bead or pendant!  It's a surprise!

The Mystery Component will be publicly revealed on Monday, September 15th!

Participants will have approximately two months to work on their projects.  In selecting the components for this challenge, I imagined a fan of peacock feathers in jewel tones.  I wanted to blend verdant greens, regal blues, and luscious purples with pops of aged bronze and burnished golds.

With the kit, using as much or as little of it as one likes, participants create a piece that showcases their creativity, individuality and artistic expression.  Ideally the creations will spotlight the gorgeous selection of beads included, but the sky is the limit with one can use and create!

We've asked that the Challengers keep their projects secret until the reveal date!  (Of course, if you want to post teasers, please do!  It'll add to the merriment and excitement!)

The reveal date is set for Thursday, October 16th.  Post a picture on your blog or send one to me to post on your behalf (if you don't have a blog of your own).  The Royal Feather Challenge will end with a blog hop, sharing all the amazing creations with your fellow challengers!

There were only 20 Design Kits available, with one set aside for myself!

The Design Kits will be shipped out Tuesday, August 19th via Priority Mail.

Thanks again for purchasing the kits via the pre-sale!  And keep your eyes peeled for the Reveal on October 16th!

The next kit that will go on sale is Moon Garden!  Moon Garden will be available for pre-sale tonight at 9PM EST.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

30 Words Thursday...

Beneath the branches, resting in the cool, dark shadows: cobwebs bejeweled with dewdrops and fallen flowers.  After the rain, before the sun, an ephemeral tableaux – only in this fleeting moment.

Dark Bloom Challenge Reveal...

Today is the Reveal for the Dark Bloom Challenge!  If you're not familiar with the challenges, I put together a Design Kit and offer them on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Challengers claim their kits and then I send them off around the world!  Each participant has about two months to create a piece and at the end of the challenge, we all share what we made!

It's a really fun way to challenge your creativity and it's always interesting to see what will spark someone's imagination and pique their creativity!  Sometimes there are common themes and then other times, things are wildly different!

This is a snapshot of the kit!  It included lots of goodies!  I added lots of Czech glass (both new and vintage), hex-cut Japanese seed beads, hematite, iron filigree, African glass, lampwork glass, waxed linen, vintage lucite, and a gunmetal toggle.  Plus, a Luxury Bead Blend!

Participants could use as much or as little of the kit as they liked!  They could also incorporate their own beads!

Here's a close-up of the bead blend! It's a random assortment of all kinds of pretty little beads in purples, charcoal, blacks, and grays with pops of fuchsia!  I used a blend of Czech glass, semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, different kinds of Japanese seed beads, and so much more!

The kits included something else too!  Each kit came with a Mystery Component!  This time around it was a polymer clay pendant by me!  I carved a mold of a stylized Ancient Roman flower pattern.

And without further ado... here is the REVEAL:

Crystal Lombardo Farrell made this necklace.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "I've had this pendant that Andrew made for a little while now.  I love it because it's both so beautiful and so bizarre.  I have tried a few different designs for it because it is clearly too special to just put on a chain, but none seemed to do it justice.  I added some beads from the kit along with some others I had, and tried to keep it asymmetrical but sill harmonious.  I intend to keep this one for myself and wear it, so I used smaller beads in the back so it wouldn't tangle in my hair."

Laurel Ross made this necklace.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "I saw a design on Pinterest with a similar concept and decided to take it to next level!  I used beads from the Dark Bloom kit and leftover beads from the Radiant Orchid kit to create beaded loops that I strung on a beaded base necklace.  It has a lot of fun movement!"

This necklace was made by Geri Colgrove.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "I call this piece Midnight Elegance.  I used most of the kit to create the wire-wrapped link chains, plus I made a fabricated metal and resin focal.  I dangled knotted waxed linen from the base of the focal."
This bracelet was made by Alison Herrington.  Here's what she said about it:  "This piece is made entirely of beads from the kit!  I used a knotted waxed linen technique from Lorelei Eurto to make this braided bracelet."

This bracelet was made by me.  I used a technique from "Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes: 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitchesbook.  It's a spiral stitch that's embellished with peyote stitch.  It has a nice studded look, almost as if it were speckled with dewdrops.  I also used the polymer clay focal as a dangle and used the corrugated iron bead to visually beef up the point of connection from the toggle loop and the base of the bracelet.

But wait... that's not all!  Please swing by the blogs of the other participants from around the world!  Check out what they made for the Dark Bloom Challenge!

Hannah
Karin Grosset Grange
Carolyn Lawson
Holly Baldwin
Jeanne Steck
Ann Schroeder
Kari Asbury
Andrew Thornton, Laurel Ross, Alison Herrington, Geri Colgrove, and Crystal Lombardo Farrell

The Festival Lights Challenge is up next!  The Reveal is scheduled for Thursday, September 18th.  Check back here to see all the lovely creations!

Also, tomorrow (Friday, August 15th) the Moon Garden Challenge kits will go on sale!  Swing by tomorrow and get ahold of your kit!  If you're interested in participating, the kits sell out super fast!!  So make sure to grab one while you still can!

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Wonder Cabinet Opens Tonight...


I'm looking forward to tonight!  Cynthia's show opens at the gallery and I'm very excited.  I love all the pieces.  They're simply magical.  This is Cynthia's second solo show at the shop and will feature twelve new pieces.  Each of them is enchanting!  The opening reception is from 5PM to 8PM.  I hope you'll get to drop by and see the pieces in person!  If you're not able to attend, you can still see the show online!  CLICK HERE to check out the pieces from the exhibit.  And if you become smitten with anything, you can purchase pieces online too!

Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 01, 2014

Andrew Thornton Jewelry Sale...

I've been meaning to add these pieces to the online store for awhile now.  I just now got around to uploading these pictures and writing descriptions for the pieces.  I took a creative writing approach to the write-ups, using snatches of stories and bits of poetry.  Take a look and if there is something that strikes your fancy, let me know.  CLICK HERE to visit the online store and see my creations!  (P.S.  I have marked them all down!  So they're super affordable!)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Inspired by Reading Blog Hop...

Today is the blog hop reveal for the Inspired by Reading Book Club!  If you're not familiar with the group, you read a book from our book list and then create something afterwards inspired by what you read.  It can be anything!  For July, we read "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot.  This is another non-fiction selection for our group and features an author probing the mystery of who Henrietta Lacks was and exploring the scientific and moral implications of the cells harvested from Mrs. Lacks.  It's a fascinating read and gives life to a character who was the foundation of much of the medical breakthroughs of the last half-century.

We had a fun meet-up at the shop!  It's always an enjoyable time!  We had originally planned to go with a Southern theme of friend chicken and biscuits, but time got away from us.  Luckily, Laurel made blueberry muffins with a lemon glaze that held us over as we sipped moscato and chatted about the book and life.  The meet-ups are so nice, because we just unwind and talk about what's on our minds.  We do talk about the book, but the time is mostly spent bonding with others.

And without further ado... here's the Reveal:

This necklace was made by Dawn.  It incorporates wooden beads with knotted hemp.  She said she was inspired by the descriptions of Home House and early tobacco farm house that Henrietta grew up in.

Dawn also brought these components.  One is a a leaf that she found that she said resembled cells under a microscope.  She wanted to decoupage it to a stone and incorporate it into a future piece.  (Unfortunately the cats at her home got ahold of it and chewed it up a little.)  The pebbles were adhered together and are supposed to represents cell dividing.

This necklace was made by Laurel.  She hung an electroplated druzy shard from a strand of strung seed beads with two corrugated gunmetal rounds, two fine pewter hand charms from my family at Green Girl Studios, and two base metal textured ovals.  She said she was inspired by the descriptions of Deborah's red nails in the book and all the mentions of hands.

This piece was also by Laurel.  She strung polymer clay cells that she made from Ancient Pebble-colored Wooly Wire to form this necklace.

Laurel explained the story to her daughter, Haileigh and showed her some pictures of cells.  Here's the piece that her daughter made.  It represents a cell and is on a paper plate with a concrete and paint.

This is the piece that Alison made.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "I used the frayed recycled sari silk ribbon to represent tobacco leaves, both fresh and dried.  I wanted it to have the look reminiscent of an award or medal.  I made a pendant and incorporated antique lace behind her picture and the picture of her daughter, Elsie.  I coated everything in dimensional ModgePodge to seal and protect the images and lace.  The found object key represents the key to scientific research and reminds me of Home House.  I also used the wood beads and acorns to symbolize the House Home.  The two lampwork glass beads that I used in the necklace look like her cells under a microscope." 

Here is the bracelet that I made.  I was inspired by the idea of a DNA helix.  I was particularly moved by the idea that cancer begins on the smallest and most tiny of levels.  Something happens in the stranded sequence that makes the cells reproduce wildly.  To represent that, I used a spiral stitch and used beads that reminded me of color of tobacco leaves.  The silly thing is that after I finished this bracelet, I found a nearly identical one that I made a few years ago as a class sample.  I quietly kicked myself for not being more clever and repurposing an old bracelet.

Check out what some of the others in the group made:


The next book is "Stiff" by Mary Roach.  CLICK HERE for the list of books for this year's selections.  If you are interested in participating and keeping up with us, CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook group.  CLICK HERE to check out our Pinterest page for supplemental inspiration.  The meet-up for August is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27th and the Reveal is schedule for Thursday, August 28th.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Alchemical Series...

Cynthia and I have been staying up late every night working on a brand new collaboration!  We have such a good time coming up with ideas and making stuff!  This time we came up with the Alchemical Series!  We've selected some lovely quartz points with iridescent coatings and married them with hammered bronze.  I love the organic quality and how magical they feel!

CLICK HERE to check them out!

As an added bonus, some of the money made off of the sales of the crystal point pendants will go towards printing expenses for Cynthia's new limited edition artist books.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

30 Words Thursday...

Nestled in the foothills, a ribbon of asphalt and concrete, embellished in yellow and white lines, spills out before us.  It connects our destinations and origins, laying down a course.

The Road to Asheville...

It's been awhile since I've driven any long stretches.  I used to drive all the time for trade shows and I didn't think anything of going from Florida to New York or driving across the country.  Now that I've been conditioned for the relatively short distance from home to work, it was much harder to get into rhythm of it.  Once I started getting more comfortable again, it became easier.

I snapped this picture at a convenience store in Virginia.  I was parked outside of their bright plastic sign, aglow with neon phosphorescence,  and moths were swarming all over it.  I love the markings, fuzzy body, and the pale pinks and blues.

It made me think of my own trip.  There are things that guide us, that draw us in.  In my case, it was the lure of family and friends and the beauties of the Gem Show.

Fortunately, even though there were walls of rain and heavy winds, I managed to make it here safely.  I'm looking forward to spending some time with my family and being back in Asheville.  It'll be good to see everyone!

Royal Feather Challenge SOLD OUT...

I wanted to thank everyone who purchased a pre-sale kit for the Royal Feather Challenge.  THANK YOU!  The kits are now sold out and will ship out after the first week in August.  I am really excited about this challenge and can't wait to see what everyone makes!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Royal Feather Challenge (Pre-Sale)...

A few days ago I announced the Festival Lights Challenge and made the kits available for purchase.  I didn't really think that I'd be announcing another challenge so soon!  But... as I looked at the calendar, I realized that I had a big trade show in between now and the Reveal of the Dark Bloom Challenge.  (I generally announce the next kit after the most recent reveal.)  So I got the idea to push up the sale date, so that I could have more funds to work with at the trade show.  This will give me a little more flexibility while finding treasures for the shop and for the future kits.

Believe it or not, I plan out my kits months in advance.  It takes time to gather up all the ingredients and create the components that make my kits special.  I had already started working on the Luxury Bead Blend for the newest challenge, so I had it ready to go and ready to be photographed.  (I'm still working on the rest of the kit.)

Since I had the concept of the next kit figured out already, I decided to do a pre-sale of the kit.  The next creative exercise:  the Royal Feather Challenge.  It's a blend of verdant greens, lush purples, and tranquil blues and teals, with glittering golds and burnt bronzes.  I love this color combination.  It looks so regal and stately.  I have fond memories of peacocks.  I remember visiting my grandparents who lived near a man with several as pets.  We would feed them and he'd give us feathers.  I also remember a particularly bold peacock at the botanical gardens in Hawaii.  It was a fantastic trip and I loved seeing the peacock so close.

If you're interested in getting a kit and participating in the next challenge, CLICK HERE.  Hurry though!  Kits usually sell out FAST!  Please take note that this is a pre-sale and the kits will be mailed out in the beginning of August.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Festival Lights Challenge SOLD OUT...

The Festival Lights Challenge Kits are sold out!  They went quickly and  were snapped up in record time.  A big thank you goes out to all the challengers who purchased kits and signed up to participate!  Your packages will ship soon.  Mark your calendars!  Your reveal date is September 18th!  I can't wait to see what everyone makes!

The reveal for the Dark Bloom Challenge is scheduled for August 7th!  So stop by and see what everyone makes!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Festival Lights Challenge...

This is the newest Reader's Challenge for my blog!  Let me introduce you to the Festival Lights Challenge.  If you're not familiar with the challenges, it's a fun and informal way to play, create, and challenge yourself with a pre-selected set of components.  Let's see what you can make!

To participate, you must purchase a Design Kit.  This kit features a selection of premium Czech glass (both vintage and new), Indian glass, Swarovski crystals, carved acrylic, and Irish waxed linen.  The kit also includes a Luxury Bead Blend.

The Luxury Bead Blend consists of Japanese Miyuki seed beads, Toho seed beads, Czech glass, charlottes, African glass, rose quartz, quartz, Chinese crystal, Swarovski crystals, antique Venetian seed beads, vintage sequins, German glass, vintage Japanese glass, glass pearls, freshwater pearls, Matsuno seed beads, bugles, and trade beads.

But wait... there's more!  The pictures show a gorgeous mix of materials, but what isn't shown is the Mystery Component!  Each kit will come with a special, handmade component that will remain a mystery until it arrives at your door!  The Mystery Component might actually be more than just one bead or pendant.  It's always a surprise.

The Mystery Component will be publicly revealed on Monday, August 18th!

We have been having so much fun with the kits and people have been asking for more, so we're going to do a trial run and start offering them on a monthly basis.  You'll still have about two months to work on your project, but we'll be opening up the opportunity to work with them.  In selecting the components for this challenge, I imagined a blur of fiery oranges, rosy reds, citrusy yellows, candy pinks, and cobalt blues.  The inspiration for this blend was from a swirl of colorful lights, as seen from a carnival ride.  

If you're seen the challenges before, then you know that there are a lot of different design choices that can create unique pieces, and a single kit can produce several pieces if one desires.

With your kit, using as much or as little of it as you like, create a piece that showcases your creativity, individuality, and artistic expression.  Ideally, your creation will spotlight the great selection of beads included, but the sky is the limit with what you can use and make!

Keep your project secret until the reveal date!  (Of course if you want to post teasers, please do!  It'll add to the excitement!)

The reveal date is set for Thursday, September 18th, 2014!  Post a picture on your blog or send one to me to post on your behalf (if you don't have a blog of your own).  The Festival Lights Challenge will end in a blog hop, sharing all the lovely creations with your fellow participants!

There are only 20 Design Kits available (with one set aside for myself)!  Once we receive your order, we will process your kit and send it out within seven business days.  Hurry!  Supplies are limited and are on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis!  (Sorry, no exceptions!)

I also wanted to mention that all the Design Kits will be shipped with Priority Flat Rate mail.  This can take anywhere from one business day to fourteen.  For international participants, it may take longer!  If you know that it takes a long time to reach your destination (from Southwestern Pennsylvania) please place your orders early!  I will do my best to get your kits out as early as possible, but unfortunately can't be held responsible if it arrives late due to the postal service.  All sales of the Design Kits are final and there are no returns or exchanges.  With that all being said... I hope you have lots of fun and I can't wait to see what you make!

CLICK HERE to get your Design Kit!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Earth Challenge Reveal...

Today is the Reveal for the Good Earth Challenge!  If you're not familiar with the challenges, I put together a Design Kit and offer them on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Challengers claim their kits and I then send them off around the world!  Each participant has about two months to create a piece and at the end of the challenge, everyone shares what they created!

It's a fun way to challenge your creativity and it's always fascinating to see what each person will make with the nearly identical kits.  Sometimes there are overlaps in the ideas and themes, and other times... things are vastly different from each other.

For the few kits this year, I've been inspired by the Pantone Fashion Report for Spring 2014 and this time, I focused on Freesia, Hemlock, and Sand, with pops of Cayenne and Celosia Orange.  In selecting the materials, I thought of the bountiful, good earth.  I saw in my mind fields of tall grasses, waving in the wind.  The kit was composed of a Luxury Bead Blend, lots of Czech glass (both old and new), African glass, brass, Japanese hex-cut seed beads, Hamilton gold, waxed linen, and more.  Participants could use as much or as little of the kit as they liked.

Here's a close-up of the Luxury Bead Blend.  It's a random assortment of golds, browns, greens, and pops of orange, cream and red.  This blend included all kinds of yummy treats, like Czech glass, semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, different kinds of Japanese seed beads, and so much more!  Usually there's enough beads leftover to make several projects and some challengers do!

That's not all the kit includes though!  There's a Mystery Component.  In this case, there were two Mystery Components.  No one knows what they are until they arrive at the challengers' doorsteps and even then, they can't share what they are until the Reveal date.  This is a strand of Faux Moroccan Amber.  I was inspired by the luminous beads and decided to make some out of polymer clay.  I then stained and colored the Faux Moroccan Amber beads and hand-polished each of them.

The second component was a polymer clay leaf charm.  I craved the mold, pressed them out, baked them and then colored them with a variety of inks, colored waxes and paints.

And without further ado... here's the REVEAL:

This necklace was made by Laurel.  Here's what she had to say:  "I liked the mishmashed look of the Good Earth blend so much that I decided to do the same thing with the larger beads!  I made a simple loop of these strands and added some heavy duty chain to complete the look.  The length can be adjusted but I'm keeping it longer to pair with a black top, leather jacket and boots to wear this fall!"

This necklace was also made by Laurel.  Here's what she had to say:  "I played with this piece for almost the entire duration of the challenge.  I knew I wanted to use this imitation turquoise as soon as it was posted on Facebook by Allegory Gallery.  I thought that a mix of bead blend braided around these chunky stones would be very unusual.  Then it was a matter of how to tie it all together. I visualized the antique brass flower at first, but then I tried a bigger bead from my stash.  When it didn't look right to me, I went back to my original plan and am glad that I trusted my instincts, as I'm quite pleased with the result."

This mixed media necklace was created by Kim Griggs.  I love how she incorporated found objects with the mix to create a really eclectic piece.  It looks as though each element tells a story and there's a powerful narrative flare to this texturally juicy necklace.

This necklace was made by Deb Floros.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "This "Good Earth Talisman Necklace" is almost completely made with elements from the kit.  I really enjoyed the polymer clay focal and beads!  I added the waxed linen and some pieces that made the necklace almost appear like a talisman.  I love the funky, earth feel of this piece."

 Here's an alternative view of the Good Earth Talisman Necklace made by Deb Floros.

This bracelet was made by Deb Floros.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "The bracelet is all about Earthy Glam!  I love the shine of the beads and the wonderful earthy tones.  This bracelet is made almost entirely with beads from the kit.  I strung them on gold memory wire and plan to wear this one often!"

These earrings were made by Deb Floros.  Here's what she had to say about them: "I really loved these clear-ish glass Chicklet beads!  I combined them with gold elements and used some of the waxed linen to attach more of the pretty glass beads.  I think these earrings will go wonderfully with the necklace."

Here's another view of the earrings.

This bracelet was made by Ann Mergl.  This bracelet is made of the Czech glass included in the kit and has a beautiful elegance with the repetitive pattern and earthy colors.

This necklace was made by Ann Mergl.  It's a multi-strand necklace with one longer length and a shorter one.  The beads were mostly from the kit with the addition of some blue beads, which pops the white and plays with some traditional Native American color palettes.

This necklace was made by Alison.  It incorporates the Faux Moroccan Amber beads and is paired with some vivid, contrasting blue beads that make the design really pop.  The cross pattern of the blue beads and how the "amber" beads are laid out, makes the piece looks like "XOXO" pattern.

This piece was made by Alison.  It can be worn as a necklace or as a wrap bracelet.  It features mostly pieces from the kit, knotted on the waxed linen.  It has wonderful texture and a beautifully beaded feeling to it.

This bracelet was made by me.  The base of the bracelet is composed of the Japanese hex-cut seed beads, woven together with peyote stitch.  The bottom edge of the bracelet has a beaded fringe with beads from the Luxury Bead Blend.

Here's another view of the bracelet.  It's held together with a copper tube clasp and has a delicate picot-inspired edge.  When I thought about this bracelet, I almost thought of it as a ruffled cuff that could be worn with other bracelets and be a part of a stacked ensemble.

But wait... that's not all!  Please swing by the blogs of the other participants from around the world!  Check out what they made for the Good Earth Challenge!


The Dark Bloom Challenge is up next!  The Reveal is scheduled for Thursday, August 7th.  Check back here to see all the lovely creations.

Also, tomorrow (Friday, July 18th) the Festival Lights Challenge kits will go on sale!  Swing by tomorrow and get ahold of your kit!  If you're interested in participating, the kits sell out super fast, so make sure to grab one while you still can!