December Monthly Challenge

I’m mixing things up this month for our Monthly Challenge.
First, you’ll notice we have two inspiration paintings.  I just couldn’t pick one from this painter and thought it would be fun to offer two inspirations.  You can pick your favorite or create more than one entry if you are inspired by both pieces.
The second change to this month is that we are going to end the challenge on December 31st with a blog tour of everyone who blogs about their challenge entry!  To participate, blog about your challenge piece and leave a link in the comments below.  Your link must be posted here by December 30th to be included in the blog tour.  There will be a bonus prize for those who enter in the blog tour!
Everything else will be the same, see below for the complete guidelines.  Now let’s go on to the inspiration…

 The Storm, John Anster Fitzgerald

The Captive Robin, John Anster Fitzgerald, c.1864

John Anster Fitzgerald – (1819? – 1906) “Victorian fairy painter John Anster Fitzgerald is one of the most delicate and imaginative of the Victorian Fairy painters. More than any of the other artists working in this genre, he was able to suggest the existence of a coherent alternative world which was ethereal and bizarre.” – from the Faerie Keeper website.
“As an artist, Fitzgerald appears to have been largely self-taught. His work was first shown at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in 1845; he also exhibited at the British Institution, the Society of British Artists, and the Watercolour Society. In the late 1850s he created a series of Christmas fairies for The Illustrated London News.”  – Wikipedia
Click on the images for a closer look at the paintings, they are filled with visual delights.  Pull out your fairy inspired beads, florals, birds, etc.  Choose from two color palettes, the icy hues with holly red accents or the sparkling gem tones of a fairy hideaway.  Have fun and great creative!

The Prizes:

Winners will be randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries on January 1st.
Our sponsors this month are: Gaea, and Fired Up Ladies please visit us tomorrow to see the prizes!
Featured Designer of the Week:
From all the entries during
How to enter the Monthly Challenge:
1. Create something using an art bead that fits within our monthly theme. We post the art to be used as your inspiration to create. This challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc. The art bead can be created by you or someone else. The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork.
***Beads strung on a chain, by themselves and beads simply wire or cord will not be accepted.***
2. Upload your photo to our flickr group. Detailed instructions can be found here and click here for a tutorial for sending your picture to the group.

Please add the tag or title DEC ABS to your photos. Include a short description, who created the art beads and a link to your blog, if you have one.

Deadline is December 31st. Photos are approved by our moderators, if a photo hasn’t followed the guidelines it will not be approved. You may upload 2 photos a day.
What is an Art Bead?
An art bead is a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist. You can read more about art beads here.
***A bead that is handmade is not necessarily an art bead. Hill Tribe Silver, Kazuri ceramic beads or lampwork beads made in factories are examples of handmade beads that are not considered art beads.
Beaded beads, stamped metal pendants or wire-wrapped components are not considered art beads for our challenge.***
p.s. If you have a blog, post your entry and a link to the ABS challenge to spread the beady goodness.

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22 Comment

  1. Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I JUST made some paper clay robins!!! I'm so excited to finally be able to enter one of these contests!

  2. Reply
    Kristi Bowman
    December 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Oh wow, these are amazing and so beautiful!!! Hhhhmmm, what will I do?

  3. Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I can see why you couldn't choose between the two–they're both beautiful! I hope to be able to enter this challenge, but then I say that every month and something always gets in the way.

  4. Reply
    December 3, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Can't wait to see all the pieces made! 🙂

  5. Reply
    December 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    That is completely awesome! I love the idea of having two different challenge pieces from the same artist. I think that is quite brilliant actually since an artist can show completely different facets of their creative nature. And a blog hop! Well I will have to find a way to get in on that one! Thanks for sharing!
    Enjoy the day!

  6. Reply
    December 4, 2010 at 9:20 am


    This is my entry for the Art Bead contest. 🙂 I submitted the photos to flickr and I'd love to participate in the blog hop! WOOT!

    Thanks for such a lovely opportunity!


  7. Reply
    My Life Under the Bus
    December 4, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    These are just stunning!

  8. Reply
    December 6, 2010 at 12:34 am


    I made another necklace (& earrings!) for the other painting.

    I still want to participate in the blog hop! 🙂


  9. Reply
    Singing Cat Studio
    December 7, 2010 at 12:49 am

    I just found this blog and absolutely love it. I'm definitely going to enter the challenge. What fun!

  10. Reply
    Kristi Bowman
    December 18, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I blogged about it earlier this month, does that count? http://dreamsomedesigns.blogspot.com/2010/12/art-bead-scene-december-challenge.html

  11. Reply
    Jill Palumbo
    December 22, 2010 at 2:10 am

    I am enjoying this challenge! Thanks for all the interesting articles and for your tremendous inspiration. Here are links to my blog articles about my first two entries. http://palumbojewelry.blogspot.com/2010/12/dec-abs-silver-lining.html and http://palumbojewelry.blogspot.com/2010/12/dec-abs-captive-robin-in-colors-of.html

  12. Reply
    December 24, 2010 at 5:46 am

    OMG…totally forgot to link in and leave a comment. Here it is, hope it's not too late. I blogged about the challenge weeks ago on
    This is my first time doing the challenge…what fun.

  13. Reply
    Molly Alexander
    December 27, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    I finally got my blog post up:


    Thanks so much – I can't wait to see all the fabulous pieces!

  14. Reply
    Birgitta Lejonklou
    December 29, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Thank You for all those inspiring challenges!!
    here is the link to my blog-post about this DEC one

    looking forward to what´s coming up next year 🙂

  15. Reply
    Leslie Gidden
    December 29, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Blogged about it here! http://madmaggiedesigns.blogspot.com/2010/12/art-bead-scene-december-challenge.html

    LOVE these two challenge pieces!


  16. Reply
    Karen Williams
    December 30, 2010 at 1:31 am

    I love these paintings – thanks for the inspiration! This is my first challenge entry, and I blogged about it here: http://baublicious.blogspot.com/2010/12/accepting-challenge.html

    I've enjoyed seeing what everyone else has created so far.

  17. Reply
    December 30, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Such pretty art! I'm just squeaking in:


    Off to stare at eye candy now!

  18. Reply
    December 30, 2010 at 11:56 pm
  19. Reply
    Klassy Joolz
    December 31, 2010 at 1:49 am

    For the Blog Hop:


    Thanks for all the challenges!!!


  20. Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 6:56 am
  21. Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I know I'm a bit late, but wanted to share anyway! This was so much fun – thank you!

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