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As I said in my last post, Allegory Gallery has put together a calendar of prompts for each day in January to help people be more creative and take time for themselves, something they saw many people post about as goals in 2019. I’m going to try to do a weekly recap of what I’m making. I don’t know that I’ll get much else made this month (although I do have the start of idea for the SJ Designs Jewelry Honey Do List challenge for this month.)

Day 1 – Make a pair of earrings

I am having a really fun time participating in the challenges. It’s eye-opening and inspiring. I’ve found that I actually do have more time to bead than I’ve been taking. I like to bead first thing in the morning, so I save it for weekends. But I’ve now make some really great things on workdays. I think I’m more relaxed doing more beading.

Day 2 – Create a new bracelet

I’m also realizing that when I have a simple idea, I should just go ahead and do it! I’ve had the idea to use this beautiful chain and clasp as a bracelet since I got it from Miss Fickle Media. I finally did it. Charm is by Maire Dodd.

Day 3 – Put together a necklace

I’m using the prompts to also finish projects that have been floating around in my head for a while. This is a more recent one, but I hadn’t done it yet. Mary Redman and Walter Gross gifted me with some beads, and these large speckled vintage plastic beads really struck me as wonderful. I had an idea right away. The prompt gave me the push to put it together.

Day 4 – Make a matching jewelry set

Think outside the box and be ok with good enough. I initially thought of a jewelry set as necklace, earrings and bracelet. I don’t do that, so I thought maybe I’d skip this day. Then I realized a set could mean something else. I hadn’t worked ahead so besides having little time after work, I also had no light for the picture. I went simple with my stretch stacking bracelets and took the best picture I could. Done is done, and I’ve got some cute, casual bracelets.

Day 5 – Use an art bead

I rarely start making without an idea. For this, I just sort of looked at art beads in easy reach to see if an idea came to me. When I saw this faux tin focal from Humblebeads, I got out my turquoise colored beads and these chrysocholla looked perfect. I kept trying to design something, and it just looked flat. I worked at it, adding and taking away, and finally came up with something that I think really works. I think sometimes I give up too soon or hang onto a design idea too long. The timeline of the challenge forced me to move along.

Day 6 – Fashion a design using Czech glass

I had been meaning to make this project, one of Heather Powers’ Bead Table Wednesday tutorials, since I got the faux tin toggle from her. I saw the toggle when I picked out the focal from the last project, and knew this project called for Czech glass. I’m so glad I got this done and am thrilled with how it turned out! I love the colors.

Andrew Thornton has addressed some people’s concerns about staying on track or being “behind”. He reminded us it’s supposed to be fun above all, you can participate as much or little as you like and post any project on any day. However, it you want to challenge yourself to finish all prompts, figure out some time management strategies. I am working ahead, but I’m pretty slow and can only finish one or two projects on my best day. But that’s ok. I’m having a lot of fun, and that’s the point!

Thanks to Andrew and William Jones of Allegory Gallery for this wonderful idea. If you would like to check out what folks are making based on these prompts, visit the Allegory Gallery Design Challenges Facebook page. Scroll through the feed or visit the album to see them all!