I (Michelle McCarthy) have been participating in blog hops, design challenges and bead swaps for a few years now. At first I wanted to do it for the fun of it, but so much more has come out of it for me and my business, Firefly Design Studio. I have never hosted one, so I am going to put that on my to do list for 2016.
I have met so many wonderful artists and jewelry designers through on line challenges. Most of them require you to have a blog, and revealing my challenge designs is mainly what I use my blog for at this point. When you “hop” from one blog to the next, the diversity is amazing and each one inspiring. If you have always thought about joining in, I urge you to go for it! After you participate in your first one, you will look forward to the next. I have 2 Halloween themed challenges and a Breast Cancer Awareness themed blog hop coming up in October. I mainly learn about challenge opportunities through Facebook.
The challenge I participate regularly in is the Allegory Gallery Design Challenges, hosted by Andrew Thornton. He puts together a wonderful assortment of gemstones, Czech glass, seed beads, waxed linen, silk ribbon, crystals and more. Every month he includes a mystery component that he hand crafts, usually from polymer clay. This month the kit is called the Warrior Stone Challenge.