July Challenge Theme Entry #1

July Challenge Entry Beth Sullivan

Artist: Beth Sullivan, D.O.

URL: Beth is currently working on rebuilding her stock of jewelry and home decor items after her first ever craft fair so that she can open an Etsy shop. When she does, I’ll post the link.

About the Artist/Entry: Beth shared these beautiful Steampunk polymer clay magnets and pins for the July Challenge Theme. She describes herself as a hobbyist/polymer enthusiast, as she works full-time as a Family Physician in Georgia. She has been working with polymer clay for a little over a year.

You can see all the monthly challenge themes and entries here.

Summer Creativity Challenge – Week One

Summer Creativity Challenge


Getting Started

If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do that here.

  1. If you haven’t already printed out your chart and made a list of ideas or projects to you would like to work on during the #SummerCreativityChallenge, do that first.
  2. Next, take a look at your list of ideas and projects that you want to work on. If you sell your artwork, it’s easy to get caught up in making what you think will sell or what customers have asked for. So, if this is you, I hope that you will use this challenge time to work on ideas that you want to work on, experiment, try a new technique, explore a different medium, etc. Give yourself permission to work on whatever creative activity that want to do.
  3. Spend 15 minutes each day on a creative activity (this can be anything…coloring, doodling, playing with clay, painting, etc.). Keep track by marking off one of the squares on your chart for each 15 minutes you spend on a creative activity. If you spend 30 minutes one day, mark off two squares. If you fill in your chart before the 30 days is up, print another chart and keep going.
  4. Share your results each Wednesday by using #SummerCreativityChallenge. Accountability is a great motivator. Invite a friend to join you and hold each other accountable.

Forming a new habit:

Here are a few of tips that will make forming a new habit easier.

*Try to do your 15 minutes at the same time of day. You’re training your mind that when it’s a certain time of day, it knows that you’re going to be working on something creative. I know this may not always be practical, so the most important thing is like the Nike ads say, “Just Do It!”

*Block out your 15 minutes on your calendar each day….make an appointment with yourself. This tells your mind that this is something important to you.

*Plan your 15 minutes directly after something else that you already do each day….that is already a habit. There are many things that you do every day, that you don’t even really think about (because they have become a habit). Maybe you sit down with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning each and every morning without fail, You eat meals each day. Your brush your teeth every day. If you have a dog, you walk your dog every day.Pay attention to the things that you do each day and see if your 15 minutes of creative time will fit in after one of those activities. It’s easier to form a habit if it is paired with something that is already a habit.

*Keep your #SummerCreativityChallenge chart somewhere where you will see it throughout the day as a visual reminder to do your 15 minutes of creative time.

It takes 21 days to successfully build a new habit. By completing the 30 day challenge you are well on your way to making creativity a habit.

Color Palette Generators

Continuing the series on color palettes, this week’s post is about color palette generators.

Previous posts in this series:
Tips For Working With Color Palettes
Color Palette Sources – Part One
Color Palette Sources – Part Two

Color Palette Generators

There are different types of color palette generators out there depending on what you’re looking for.

Random Color Palette Generator

color palette from coolors.co
This is perfect if you don’t know what you’re looking for or maybe just want to challenge yourself. The image above came from Coolors.co. Basically, you hit the space bar to continue generating random color palettes. You can also lock in one or more colors and continue getting random palettes based on those colors. It also let’s you download the palette.

You Pick the Starting Color

Adobe Color CC

This type of palette generator, like the one illustrated from Adobe Color CC, let’s you pick the starting color from a color wheel and the type of color scheme you want and creates a color palette. You do need to create an Abobe ID to be able to save the palettes however.

Color Palette from Image

DeGraeve.com Color Palette Generator

This type let’s you input the URL of an image or upload an image, depending on the site. The above came from DeGraeve.com Color Palette Generator. I didn’t find a save option on this particular site, but I like that it shows both a muted and vibrant palette based on the photo.

While I only showed one example of each of the different types, there are tons of online color palette generators or apps that you can download to your smartphone or tablet that are just a google search away.

Please feel free to share your favorite color palette generator links in the comments.

Color Palette Sources – Part Two

color palette sources part 2

Yes, I have more color palette sources for those of you looking for inspiration. You can find Color Palette Sources – Part One here.

Color Palette Sources – Part Two

  1. ColorWorld (lots of great color and fashion trend inspiration)
  2. colourQ (this blog posts a weekly color palette challenge for scrapbooking, but a color palette is a color palette)
  3. happygirldesign (a website/graphic design website with lots of beautiful color palettes)
  4. The Perfect Palette (this site is for color palettes for weddings and parties, and the thing I like about it is that you can select a color and see images using different color palettes for that color – note: these are images and don’t show the colors broken out into a palette for you, but next week we will talk about creating color palettes from images)
  5. Blue Rose Design PDX (another web/graphics design website that has a lovely selection of color palettes)
  6. The chickabug Blog (this party planning blog has a great selection of color palettes)
  7. Planet Sam (A textile designer’s blog that has some fabulous nature inspired color palettes)
  8. Stylyze (has a beautiful selection of color palettes)
  9. designworklife (this blog has lots of easy to browse color palettes)

Tons of new color inspiration for you to explore. Next week, we’ll talk about turning photos into color palettes.

Color Palette Sources – Part One

color palette sources part 1

Last week’s Tips For Working With Color Palettes post, mentioned that color palettes are the go-to source for many artists when looking for inspiration. So, I thought I would share with you some online sources for color palettes. And since it’s easy to get lost “down the rabbit hole”, I thought it might be wise to break the list down….

Color Palette Sources – Part One

  1. design-seeds.com (this one is probably already at the top of everyone’s list)
  2. In Color Balance (has a very large selection of color palettes)
  3. BANDAGEDEAR (this is an artists’ site that has quite a few color palettes, but you have to click though to each post to see them)
  4. Color-Capture (another great site with lots of color palettes)
  5. Color Palettes (has a beautiful selection of color palettes that’s easy to browse through)
  6. discover COLOR (this site is set up very nicely for browsing or or you can search by color)
  7. akula kreative (a graphics and web design blog that has a nice collection of color palettes)
  8. color COLLECTIVE (lots of lovely color palettes)

This should keep you busy for a while. I’ll be back next week with more sources in part two.

Tips For Working With Color Palettes

tips for working with color p alettes

Color Palettes as Inspiration

When looking for inspiration, color palettes are the go-to source for many. We collect color palettes like they were trading cards and devote Pinterest boards to them. We are drawn to palettes that reflect our personal color preferences, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. This post on getting older illustrates this perfectly. It was brought up in the comments that my glasses matched the colors used in the focal bead I was working on.

We love color palettes because they take the guesswork out of choosing colors.

Tips for working with color palettes

Here are some things to keep in mind when working with color palettes:

  • You do not have to use all of the colors in a given palette.
  • In many cases, it is best to choose one color to be dominant and use the other colors as accent colors.
  • You can always add neutral colors, such as white, black and/or gray to any color palette.
  • Certain types of color palettes/color schemes work better for different techniques. For example, when caning you generally need a greater amount of contrast between the colors in your design, otherwise the colors will blur together when the cane is reduced. Therefore, you want a color palette that uses contrasting colors (opposites on the color wheel) or a contrast in value (the lightness or darkness of a color).

As a side note:

Peacocks seem to be an up and coming trend…have been seeing them everywhere recently.

Evolution of a Design

evolution of a design

The Evolution of a Design

Or a look into the crazy inter-workings of a creative mind. I thought I would combine #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) with some thoughts on the evolution of a design. Often a design pops into your head fully formed and you take it from there. Other times, an idea evolves and changes over time as it did with the polymer clay beads in the above photo.


Let’s journey back to February 2011. You can read the original inspiration post, but short version is that it began with carved wood designs, which somehow made me think of carved jade, which led to the green beads in the upper left-hand corner of the photo. As you can see, I wasn’t totally happy with it, so I antiqued the one on the left.

Set Aside

The beads were then set aside and basically forgotten about until….

…almost a year and a half later, June 2012. I went on a shopping spree and purchased Christi Friesen’s line of Swellegant metal paints and colorants. Of course, I wanted to play with them immediately and didn’t want to take the time to make something. So, I started digging through my cured beads and and came across the green beads. The bead in the upper right-hand corner of the photo, shows the bead with silver metal paint.

The Final Design

While I liked the silver look, it still wasn’t quite right. So, I added a darkening patina, which was better as it added more definition to the flowers. Then, I decided to highlight the flowers with some color (bottom photo). I’m not sure whether that decision was because I thought it needed some color, or because it was my first experiment with Swellegant and I hadn’t tried the dyes yet. 😉