01 November 2011

Are you up to The Challenge?

"Colour is a basic human need…like fire and water, a raw material, indispensable to life." ~ Fernand Léger

I don't know about you, but I need color in my life.

There was a time not too long ago that I designed only in hushed tones. Dark and earthy. Shades of gray and brown with a little deep plum or russet orange thrown in for good measure.

Then I decided to challenge myself in 2010 to fill my work room, my bead table, my life with color. And it felt as if the world were on fire for me.

I broke out of my color ruts. I embraced Crayola tones and soft pastels. I experimented with mixing light and dark, matte and metallic. I embarked on a journey to discover all the colors of the rainbow. I confronted my color demons, namely yellow and orange. And now I don't look back. Oh, sure, there are times when my more grunge-y side comes out to play, but more often than not you will find me mixing colors fluidly.

Last year at this time I introduced my first Challenge blog hop. At 41 participants I felt that it was a great success! I had every intention of continuing the challenge blog hops into 2011 but lost my focus (which is fitting since FOCUS is my word for 2011!). I am regrouping and asserting my desire to do a Challenge blog hop once per quarter, with a different focus each time. Who's with me?

The one that started it all was the Challenge of Color. So I have decided that that will be the one to start with as an annual homage to color. 

Color Inspiration

Since last year, I have discovered all manner of color inspirations. At the top of my list is my friend Brandi's blog. Brandi Hussey is a jewelry designer with a keen eye for mixing colors, snapping downright gorgeous pictures and inspiring us all with her palettes. I am the proud owner of one of her custom necklaces. This year she created an off-shoot of her company called Freshly Hued, bringing you digital goodies to make your blog colorful. I point out Miss Brandi because I hope you will hop over and check out her blog and her use of color, but you also might be inspired to make some color palettes of your own (especially if you decide to jump on the Challenge of Color blog hop!). She offers some free templates on her blog here, but for less than the cost of a pumpkin spiced latte or two you can get a set of palettes for your very own here.

For a truly mind-boggling experience in color, check out Colourlovers.com. This place is filled with palettes of all sorts, patterns made from color palettes and even an engaging game that can be played with the names of the colors. They claim to have 1,824,796 user created color palettes to inspire your creative projects. I have mixed a few palettes myself and could easily spend my day there, especially doing the leap-frog game with the color names, if I only had some extra hours to kill. But if you are looking for what is hot and trending in colors, this is a great place to go. 

I don't know how I stumbled on Design Seeds, but I am oh-so-glad I did! Jessica Colaluca is a brand designer who lives in Madison, WI. She has a company called SEED that has worked in creating and launching products. One of her primary passions is color. She posts color palettes that she creates on her blog regularly. And when I saw these color palettes I knew exactly what we would do for this year's challenge.

Challenge of Color Blog Hop

Last year, I scoured the local paint stores for paint palettes and mailed a different one to each participant in the color family of their choice. I don't have the time (and frankly, I think they may be on the lookout for me at the Lowe's paint center ;-) to do that again, so I approached Miss Jessica to find out if we could use her palettes as our design inspiration. She gladly allowed me to promote her Design Seeds blog and to use the palettes that she creates on the stipulation that they not be modified in any way (that means no Photoshopping your stunning necklace into a digital collage with her palette) and that we link back to the exact blog post for that palette. Easy enough.

Jessica has arranged her color palettes in themes, seasons and colors. The colors that she groups them in are below.

These colors are just representational of the colors that are listed in any given palette. Each palette and picture is different, and the colors will be either more vibrant or more hushed than the ones above. The variations in hue and saturation are beautiful and her combinations are so awesome. I know you will enjoy her palettes as much as I do. And if you love them, you may even want to buy one of her beautiful books. I plan to put these on my wish list for Christmas.

Are you getting inspired yet? Ready to take the challenge?

Here is how it will work:

1::Choose a color family to work with (i.e., blue, green, brown, etc.). It can be something that you feel safe with... or pick a palette that is challenging for you. (It is called a CHALLENGE after all. ;-)

2::Go to the page above that says 'take the challenge' and sign up. To keep things smaller and easier to manage for me and for those who are following along, participation is limited to the first 100 who sign up between November 1st-November 4th.

3::I will email a unique color palette from Design Seeds chosen just for you by November 7th.

3::You will create an accessory using your color palette in any percentage of color that you like from the chip. You must use at least one color from your palette. Extra feel good points if you can use all the colors provided!

4::Blog Hop on Wednesday, November 30th about your color palette, your inspiration, your creative process. There are rules that Miss Jessica has established for sharing your palettes. I will be sure to let you know what those are and you must agree to abide by them to play along, namely, no modifications of the palettes. Linking to the palette post is required.

One random winner chosen from all comments on the main blog hop post here on Wednesday, November 30th. What will you win? Why beads, of course! I have an assortment of colorful beads {including art beads} and fibers that are just dyeing {get it?} to go home with a random winner. {I will post the goodies next week.} If you are a bead artist and want in on the prize giving, shoot me an email and I will see if that can be arranged! I will also gift a second random winner with one of Jessica Colaluca's Design Seeds eBooks of the winner's choice suitable for an iPod or an iPad or iPhone.

Sound like fun?

What are you waiting for? Head up to the 'take the challenge' page up top and sign up!

A button to add to your blog with a link to this page:

Hope to have you join in the fun!

Your turn...
What is the one color that you turn to when you know that you need to design something special?
What is the one color that really stumps you?


Jo said...

This sounds like a great challenge - just what I need on a grey day like today. I know the beautiful autumn colours are out there somewhere but the damp and clouds are hiding them!
A colour I turn to quite often is turquoise, but I also love anything with smoky quartz. That glossy brown goes with anything from carnelian red to beautiful amethyst. I find oranges and yellows a big challenge - unless I can use smoky quartz with them!
I'm off to sign up now!

Alice said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! I tend to stay away from pink, red, yellow and purple--so really I should choose one of them. But I'm going to poop out on those because I simply don't have beads in those colors, and my little bead budget is shot. Please don't judge me! :)

lunedreams said...

This was so fun before I want to do it again! (I like the amount of control I have over choosing the colors, but with an element of surprise...) I like the dark purple square, the very first one in the upper left. (The purple frost palette on her site is delish!) Thanks Erin!

ladynoble said...

Love Design Seeds. Found her on Twitter some time back and have been following her ever since. I think I have pinned a few of her palettes too, they are just so perfect!

I'm gonna look into the challenge lady!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

While green is one of my favorite colors, I have yet to create something with it. Green and yellow are probably the most challenging for me. My go to color is silver as a base and then inspiration decides the complimentary colors. Your challenge sounds like a lot of fun, so I signed up! I selected teal because I tend to be drawn to hues in that color palette. I have acquired a collection of beads in that hue, however I have yet to create designs with them! I think your Color Challenge is a good opportunity for me to create something with them!

Cynthia said...

I just signed up, and I chose red. I gravitate towards greens and earthtones, so red is opposite! I do not make a lot with red, so I am really hoping it's not too much of a challenge for me. I really enjoyed the paint chip challenge last year, and am looking forward to this one!
Design Seeds looks great - I saw some beautiful palettes with red in them, as well as others.

Maneki said...

Sounds like a fun challenge. Hope I wasn't too late signing up. Must be crazy, but I chose yellow. Not exactly a colour most people like, nor one I often use and when I do it's mostly gold or transparent light tones like jonquil, topaz luster or golden glow.

I must say that since I began beading I've become more and more comfortable with colours I didn't use much before. While I wouldn't pick up royal blue beads if I had a chose, I've begun to like blue more than I did before. Can see the potential in it. That used to be a really tough colour for me. And just recently I designed with gold and bright pink! I still prefer my earthtones and dark dramatic reds and purples, but now I can even use pastels (at least if I can mix them with, say, brown or picasso finishes). Lesson learned: it's all about nuances and colour combos; I can no longer say I dislike a colour because there are always exceptions.

Right now I'm not playing with a colour, but rather a combo. The base being brown and beige and then I test different variations by adding a third colour. Heather, blue lavender, petrol/teal or light green are my favourites so far. (One fab combo I've seen was brown, beige, turquoise and light green). That's a fun game.

Cece said...

I love color, so I can't resist this challenge. Thanks for hosting. Looking forward to seeing what everyone creates.

KayzKreationz said...

I sent in my choice to sign up. I think it went through alright. I usually tend to turn to reds/oranges. So for the challenge, if I get picked, I chose purple. Get me out of my box a little. :)

Pips said...

This will be my first ever Blog Hop - kind of excited and scared all at the same time!!! I have chosen Teal - my favourite colour to design with - just entering is enough of a challenge without going for a colour way out of my comfort zone lol!! Thank you so much for hosting this - I am really looking forward to participating!

Pearl and Pebble said...

How fun is this!?!?!? I signed up and chose orange not because I don't like orange, but because I usually pick green or blue right off when given a choice.

EmandaJ said...

I LOVE color! So does my mom. We split last years paint color chip and had so much fun working with the same palette. This time I chose teal -- such a cool (and hip) color. Can't wait to see the palette I get.

Thanks for putting this all together.

4His Glory Creations by CJ said...

Hi, I just sent in my request to join your blog challenge. But I realized that I gave the wrong information on my blog information. my info is cjbauschka.blogspot.com not 4hisglory... Thanks, CJ

Shai Williams said...

I have to admit that I don't use a lot of color. Just little touches here and there so hopefully this will force me to widen my horizons.

Starstruckbooks said...

Hooray, I get to play too! Thanks for this Erin! I am so looking forward to this challenge of colour!
I LOVE colour but I do have strong favourites (purples and blues) and I tend to avoid yellows and greens. (Which I find really weird as I love sunshine and natural landscapes full of greens.)
I guess picking Green for this challenge is just what I need to remind me of how to link my 'everyday' inspirations with my creative creations.
Good luck to us all!

Anonymous said...

This challenge sounds like fun and I hope I am one of the 100 lucky partecipants.
In any case I pick up teal, I think it's an interesting colour.


Shirley said...

Oh, I hope I get in! I love color challenges. While purple may seem like a safe color because I like it, it is a finicky color to work with, to show off the loveliness correctly. having said that, if I was given a different color, it wouldn't bother me either! :) Thanks for such a great challenge!

Unknown said...

How the heck did I totally miss this!! I love your challenges!!!


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