Monday, February 23, 2015

Amethyst Aether Special Challenge...

The latest Special Challenge is here!  This one is a Steampunk-themed Design Kit and is called, Amethyst Aether!  If you're not familiar with the challenges, it's a fun and informal way to creatively challenge yourself.

To participate, you must purchase a Design Kit.  This kit features a selection of premium Czech glass (both vintage and new), pyrite, dyed jade, African trade bead, copper lobster claw, leather, vintage French seed beads, waxed Irish linen, vintage Hamilton gold, Ethiopian brass, recycled sari silk ribbon, base metal castings, hex-cut Japanese seed beads, and a Luxury Bead Blend.
The Luxury Bead Blend consists of Japanese Miyuki seed beads, Toho seed beads, Japanese Matsuno seed beads, vintage Czech seed beads, antique French seed beads, vintage Venetian seed beads, freshwater pearls, vintage trade beads, Czech glass (both vintage and new), Javanese glass, jade, stone, vintage sequins, German glass, tiger eye, howlite, amethyst, base metal castings, rose quartz, electroplated quartz, bugles, Swarovski crystals, vintage Japanese glass, vintage lucite, jasper, agate, glass pearls and MORE!

But that's not it!  Each kit will also include a special, handmade Mystery Component!  Each kit will come with one and it'll remain a secret until it arrives at your door!

The Mystery Component will publicly be revealed on Monday, March 23rd!

With the Frenzied Motion Challenge just announced, the last thing on my mind was creating another challenge so soon.  I was digging through boxes and found a copy of Beadwork magazine from 2008 featuring an article by Melanie Brooks.  I had been interviewed for the article and it reminded me of wanting to do a Steampunk challenge.  I thought of it again in 2009 when Jean (Campbell) Cox's book, Steampunk Style, came out.  I was also in that book.  Most recently, I thought of it when we hosted a Steampunk Party at Allegory Gallery.  It just never seemed to work out timing-wise.  As I continued to unearth treasures with a steampunk vibe, I finally said... "What the heck?!?!  Why not?  Why not have a Special Challenge?"

I had started with a palette of antique brass, burnished golds, and worn leather.  I included a little bit of copper and beads in warm tones of toasted almond and sandstone.  As I looked at it longer, it just seemed too stereotypically Steampunk.  So I conjured up an image in my head of this other world, that took a different path.  I imagined an aether-filled zeppelin, floating across a cloudy sky at twilight.  The pale purples, in shades of amethyst, lilac, and lavender contrasted against the antique bronze.  And there it was... the missing element.  In the article by Melanie Brooks, I was quoted saying, "The soul of Steampunk is a combination of nostalgia and rebellion."  The contrasting colors capture that spirit.

If you've seen the challenges before, then you know that there are lots 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 assortment of beads included, but the sky is the limit with what you can make!  Feel free to use beads from your own stash to augment the offered selection.  Whether  you use a little or a lot of your kit, make sure to keep your project a secret until the reveal date!

The reveal date is set for Wednesday, April 22nd 2015!

(I selected the date to celebrate the anniversary of the first transatlantic crossing of a steam-ship, the SS Sirius on April 22nd, 1838.)

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 Amethyst Aether Challenge will end up in a blog hop, sharing all the lovely things made from your kit 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 sent it out within five 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 Mail.  This can take anywhere from one business day to fourteen.  (Especially with snow delays.)  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 we 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 being said... we hope you have a ton of fun and I can't wait to see what you make!

CLICK HERE to get your Design Kit!

Disclaimer:  This challenge is not associated, affiliated, and/or sponsored by Pantone.  

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