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.

birthday month specials

It’s June!! And even though my birthday isn’t until the 13th, we’re going to celebrate all month long! Check out the fabulous birthday specials good for the entire month of June.

Birthday Special #1

A one year membership to Color.Creativity.Design is only $59 (regularly $79). Click on the image below for details.

Birthday Special #1

Birthday Special #2

Since, I’ll be celebrating my 29th birthday (again) this year. You can save 29% off all beads, jewelry, color recipe ebooks and tutorials using coupon code: BIRTHDAY2013 (coupon/discount code is case sensitive and is entered on the checkout page).

Birthday Special #2

This coupon code can be used in all my shops:
craftsbychrisStudioB on Etsy for beads and jewelry

Polymer clay color recipe ebooks and tutorials can be found on my Website or in my Etsy shop.

creative challenges

Do you have the winter blues? Are you burnt out after the holiday rush? Is your creative muse in hiding? During 2013, I want to share some thoughts on creativity and creative exercise that will help you keep your creative mojo going strong.

Today’s Topic: Challenges
Challenges, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. Some are for a specific creative medium and others are theme based. They can be monthly, weekly or even daily. Challenges can be fabulous creativity boosters. They push you to think outside the box. Joining a challenge helps hold you accountable. Sometimes the biggest obstacle our creativity faces is just getting started.

Take Action
Find and join a challenge.

in the studio – where does the time go

Where does the the time go? It’s May already. So much going on. I had company Thursday through Sunday last week. Twenty years ago today my hubby and I were married. Our oldest son graduates in less than three weeks. We also have three nieces graduating this year (hubby comes from a big family). Oh, Mother’s day and the son’s 18th birthday are in there too.


So, what’s going on in the studio? A custom bead order. Color mixes for the Premo Fall 2012 polymer clay color recipe ebook, which I hope to get done sometime this month. I probably won’t get to the Kato and FIMO versions until June. I’m also working on my homework for Teaching Art Online class.

My Etsy shop was looking rather chaotic with color recipe ebooks, tutorials, beads and jewelry, so I split out the beads and jewelry into a new shop – Crafts by Chris Studio B. I’m still working on moving things over and adding newer things, but it’s getting there.

Crafts by Chris Studio B

a long and winding path

Yes, two posts in one day! What can I say? Some days the thoughts come fast and furious. Often the path we take to get where we’re going is a long and winding one. While working on cleaning up my studio, I recently came across a notebook full of project ideas and notes on e-learning from 2002. I had an idea for an online classroom, where one could learn all kinds of crafty things….

Well, that was 10 years ago and quite frankly the internet was new to me and I had no idea how in the hell to go about it. In the meantime I’m selling beads and jewelry, so the idea just kinds of slips away. Production work has never been my thing and in recent years I’ve starting moving toward doing mainly tutorials and polymer clay color recipe ebooks. Tutorials are great, but sometimes it’s easier to show the process in action (video) or maybe someone has a question. See where this is heading? You are correct, back to online learning in a virtual classroom setting.

So, when Susan Lomuto, of Daily Art Muse fame announced her Teaching Art Online class I signed up.

Teaching Art Online

If you have ever wanted to create your own tutorials, or make your tutorials look more professional, or want to go beyond simple tutorials to create an e-course, there are still some seats available. Teaching Art Online class starts Monday, March 23. What are you waiting for? Go sign up now and tell her I sent you. 😉

guilty pleasure

I’m not a big fan of reality tv shows, but have to admit that Project Accessory has become my guilty pleasure. You can watch the episodes online here. (Yes, I’m being an enabler.) Each week designers, with varied backgrounds (hats, handbags, jewelry, shoes, etc.) have a different design challenge. The challenges involve creating multiple accessories in a limited amount of time around a theme. The designers are definitely pushed outside their comfort zones…jewelry designers creating a pair of shoes or a handbag.

How often do you step outside your comfort zone? If you have a clearly defined style and your work is easily recognized as yours that’s a good thing. However, if you don’t shake things up once in a while your designs may become stale. One of the things I’ve noticed while watching Project Accessory is that when the designers are pushed far out of their comfort zones, they lose their own sense of style.

So, how do you step outside of your design box while still retaining your own style? Baby steps. Change up your color palette. I’m not suggesting you work in neon colors if you generally work with a more muted color palette. Each season’s color forecast contains varied colors from brights to more muted shades. Try incorporating just a few seasonal colors into your designs. What else? Try a new technique or even working with a different medium. While the new technique or medium may not find it’s way into your designs, perhaps a shape or pattern will spark an exciting new idea.

What have you done this past year to step outside your comfort zone?