Continuing with a long-standing tradition I began
many three years ago, I’m summing up my blog posts for the year. I wasn’t as prolific with my posts this year (I even skipped a month!) but I still feel I was creative and continued to grow my skills.
Most of my posts for 2016 were related to design challenges and the blog hops that went with them. I also delivered tangents about a new toy (FitBit) and some changes Etsy introduced to shop appearances. And I introduced a new line of jewelry.
I was pleased to participate in the six themed challenges hosted by the Art Elements (formerly Art Jewelry Elements) design team, which they opened to anyone. I began the year with their Buried Treasures challenge, using artisan components from my carefully curated stash. Then were the seasonal themes, starting with the Winter Sun or Solstice, followed by Summertime, and finally, Trees for the fall.
“But wait,” you say, “that’s only four themes.” You’re correct. I was just making sure you were paying attention. There were two other themes, which were not season-related. One was all about eyes, and the other was a celebration of headpins. While I made jewelry (earrings, necklaces, and bracelets) for most of the challenges, I also created some art jewelry components. All of which have yet to be made into jewelry.
The other design challenges that kept me inspired in 2016 were the “We’re All Ears” themes from Erin Prais-Hintz on the Earrings Everyday blog. I didn’t manage to come up with designs every month (my muse was stumped a few times), but I did participate in seven of the challenges.
With three exceptions (that’s three pair of earrings, not three challenges), I created my own earring components from polymer clay. I used faux ceramic finishes for the ferns, made my own strawberry headpins, mimicked a stain-glass effect for arabesque art, imitated ancient metal for the Buddha statute, tried a nifty silk-screening tutorial for the Pantone colors of the year, and represented the flames and embers of campfires with various veneers. I used some sterling silver from my stash for the hot air balloons because I couldn’t make my polymer clay idea work.
While I didn’t write blog posts about them as they were works in progress for much of the later half of 2016, I did spend quite a few weekends creating the components for my ‘Of a Feather’ jewelry collection, which debuted in November with sets in a variety of finishes and colors.
As usual, I don’t have a specific plan for what I will create in the new year. I am working on something for the first Art Elements challenge of 2017. The theme is dragons (squee!) and the reveal date is January 7th. And I do want to try some new techniques (from the books and tutorials I’ve been collecting), including more sculpting. Other than that, I’ll go where the inspiration takes me.
Thank you all for following along with my creative journey this year, and especially for your lovely comments on my posts. I wish you a very happy 2017 and hope to see you back here as I continue the journey.