Friday, November 30, 2012

Miss Erin's Colour Challenge & blog hop

Last month I really wanted to participate into Erin's challenge on her Michael's necklace tutorial... but life has its way(s) of interfering and I had to send her a note excusing myself. She mentioned her upcoming challenge: the 2012 Colour Challenge. I registered for it immediately!

I love colour, but I tend to be quite mono-chromatic in my designs (comfort in the known, probably :)) So when I received my 2 choices I had a moment of 'now what?' Not one to quit easily - and definitely not because something is hard - I kept looking at my 2 pictures.

Wondering what they are?

Chilean Volcanoes

Okavango Delta
These are *not* colours I would choose to design something with - but something I needed to design, so I quit whining and I started searching through my boxes. Days passed... then weeks... nothing! I was laughing at Erin's note on Facebook tonight, she mentioned her muse being MIA. I know what happened! both our muses went on a cruise or something!

Like Erin, I decided to take the whole matter in my hands - delegating to the muse was definitely not working. In fairness, I have tried something with copper, only to figure out copper will not work well into any of the above pallets! Back to the drawing board: in a desperate moment I simply upside-downed a box and... I found it! From that moment everything went in a jiffy, I made a piece for each palette - in almost no time at all!

What I found? A shell... not any shell, of course, but a Paua Abalone in the exact same colours as the Okavango Delta! Once I had the focal I was able to pair it with some neat freshwater pearls in off-white, aqua, and a deep pink-brownish (not sure how to qualify that colour).

This is my take on the Okavango Delta:

Okavango Delta: Abaolne, freshwater pearls, sterling silver, OOAK necklace :: All Pretty Things
Okavango Delta: Abaolne, freshwater pearls, sterling silver, OOAK necklace

I love the feel of it - it wears beautifully too (I wore it yesterday and I had people telling me how beautiful it is :)) I was thinking maybe to make a 'beaded' necklace for it, from the freshwater pearls, as I am not sure I like the cluster that much (I like it, just not on top of my Abalone :))

Once I had the Okavango Delta being taken care of - I was on a roll and kept going through the same box... until I came up with a pack of mixed ceramic beads. I received them in a box from my sister in law, all sorts of little mix and un-matched beads. Back then - I just sort everything in containers... it was such a container I picked up now - and I used all of them, except for 3 very green beads that would not match the Chilean Volcanoes palette.

This is my take on the Chilean Volcanoes:

Chilean Volcanoes: ceramic beads, sterling silver, wire wrapped necklace :: All Pretty Things
Chilean Volcanoes: ceramic beads, sterling silver, wire wrapped necklace

I don't know about you - but I just love this one! The colours are simply perfectly matching the image: with the off-white and grey and earth-brown, and just a splash of blue here and there!

Chilean Volcanoes: ceramic beads, sterling silver, wire wrapped necklace :: All Pretty Things

What did I learn from this challenge? Two things:
  1. If your muse took vacation - get to work, you'll figure it out eventually
  2. Do not be afraid of colour - embrace it!
And one more, in fact (I knew it, but it's worth to mention it): use nature as your palette, the designs will have a... well... more natural look to them!

Now I would like to thank Erin for including me in her wonderful challenge: it was an eye opening for me (in a very good sense) and I enjoyed it very, very much! Oh, and I made sure to follow Miss Erin's rule #1: I truly had fun!

Please make sure you visit the participants:

Our beautiful host: 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
Emanda Johnson
Jennifer Justman
Sue Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Lee Koopman
Linda Landig
Kirsi Luostarinen
Cynthia Machata
Alicia Marinache <= You are here
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


  1. Gorgeous "bail" on that shell bead! The tiny pearls bring out all the beautiful colors of that focal! Just lovely! I was given the Chilean Volocanoes, too - your piece is amazing - and 180 degrees different than my finished piece! That just shows you how different eyes interpret design and colors, dosen't it?! Just gorgeous!

  2. Ooh yummy, both pieces! Wow you did a wonderful job with this challenge Alicia. I love the SHELL, of course but the Chilean Volcano piece is speaking to me...both are saying, NEXT time you are scratching your head for an idea - TURN A BOX upside down!

    Loved your post!

  3. As always - beautiful work Alicia!! I am very partial to the paua shell ... I brought back a lot of paua from New Zealand when I was there. Might just be time to dig that out of my stash and get to work on those!

  4. Alicia, oh all wonderful! The shell is so beautiful and I can see the blue sky and volcano. So glad your muse is back!

  5. Subtly beautiful and poetic interpretations, Alicia... and to think the inspirations are really quite prosaic: rocks and water. Thank goodness for our wonderful hostesses sharing these amazing colour-enhanced images!

  6. Beautiful pieces! Love them both! Funny how when it doesn't seem to be there, the muse is secretly spying on us from afar.

  7. Your abalone shell is an eye catching piece, really beautiful.

  8. Isn't it great when that little bit of inspiration all but smacks you? I love that it just fell out of the box and into your hands. My advice (for what it's worth) don't second guess yourself on the abalone necklace. If you got all those compliments, I'd go with the flow ;)

  9. Yayy! Finally found someone who did the same palettes as me! I did only the Okavango one though. Love yours, the clusters are really cute.

  10. Love that shell and what you did with it! Both pieces are so pretty but I am drawn to that one.

  11. The Shell focal is lovely - and your links are divine - super color palettes to work with and you did a fantastic job! JLynn

  12. Both of those are gorgeous. I really, truly love that shell, though. And I have a weakness for pearls. :) I do love the mixed ceramic beads in the second necklace as well. The palette is so soothing.

  13. Way to work through your creative block to some great pieces. Andrea

  14. Good job on your designs. I like the second one lots.Maybe because I have an embroidered necklace in those colors that everyone compliments me on. (Even my Mom who wears a single small pendant on a chain likes that piece.)

  15. I knew when I did the Okavango Delta palette that it would be a tricky one - at least for me, as those aren't colors I would normally use together, either! But I'm completely floored by the necklace you created. That abalone is perfect, and I actually love the cluster (but I'm a huge fan of clusters in the first place!).

    Thanks so much for playing along!

  16. The Chilean Volcano necklace is wonderful. I would wear it every day and with every outfit.

    You are right, Nature provides as with great colour combinations that we should embrace without questioning!


  17. I love both the pieces you created. Good for you for tackling both palettes. My muse had a bit of trouble getting into gear also. They all must have had needed a break and took a hiatus together.

  18. I love the first piece, it has a feeling of romance (to me anyway).

  19. Splendid !
    Bijuteriile sunt din ce in ce mai frumoase, mai interesante, iar ideea de a te inspira din asemenea modele este extraordinară !
    Înainte de citi textul , îl "fotografiez" repede, ca să-mi fac o idee şi mă întrebam ale cui sunt lucrările din foto, mă gândeam la un pictor abstract (cine e, să mai caut ceva pe net despre el, etc) apoi am urmat calea normală: am citit explicaţia pozei,--ceea ce m-a lămurit parţial-- apoi am citit textul, ceea ce m-a lămurit, m-a făcut să visez şi apoi să apreciez şi mai mult bijuteria , care , încă o dată , e splendidă !

  20. What a way to work around your muse :) Love the idea of dumping out the box and seeing what turns up. Love that shell you used for the first piece and the second piece is just devine! Awesome work!

  21. beautiful work, the abalone necklace is a poem!!


  22. Fantastic interpretations of your color schemes -- bravo!

  23. Ah, so beautiful! I love your palette and love even more what you did with it!

  24. Hello Miss Alicia! I am {fashionably} late to my own party. But I wanted to be sure to have time to really let all the beauty of this earth - and all the beauty you created - sink in. That shell is absolutely gorgeous. I think another lesson to be learned is to turn things upside down! I think dumping out that box really gave you something to lure your Muse back! And those little lampwork beads are the perfect match to the other palette. That pop of blue is what draws my eye every time. I am glad that you took a leap of faith with me and jumped into this hop! I am delighted at the lessons you learned, too! Enjoy the day. Erin

  25. I know muses get a lot of credit and a lot of flack don't they. But there is a lot to be said for just sticking your butt in the chair and working until... until you get frustrated and toss the whole box, ok sure, it worked didn't I love your post and you really did end up with too beautiful pieces despite your muse being a little adrift

  26. What great pieces. I really like the way you captured the Delta palette. Glad your muse is back.

  27. I'm glad you stayed with it because the results were beautiful!! I love that abalone focal with the gorgeous dangles. And the second necklace is fabulous. I think it could be worn with any outfit, for any event.

    Nice job, and nice to see you finished with or without your muse.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate and love to read your comments!