Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Blog Hop Challenge

A really wonderful thing happened to me recently; I received an invitation to a blog hop challenge! The invitation came from a very talented jewellery designer & pmc artist I muchly admire and so of course I said yes, automatically, no question, without a second lovely, me, part of a blog hop, how exciting, how!...... and then along came my second thought..... What on earth is a blog hop challenge?! 

Being such a novice blogger it took me little while and a little bit of research but eventually I figured out that I hadn’t agreed to don my dancing shoes and jive the night away til my last rival drops. No, luckily it was something far less frantic and a little more up my alley. For those of you as new to the world of blogging as I am then let me explain how it works... the idea is that a group of individuals join forces by linking their blogs to tell a story, in simple terms the reader (that’s you) can start on any of the participating blogs and jump (hop) from one to the next by clicking on the links. In our case we are the Brit Pack Beaders and our story is our challenge! A challenge fuelled by a passion for beading and design and a need to push our creative boundaries. Each of us will tell you the story in our own way bringing a different perspective to a chosen theme. 

How it works –
Every other month one of the BPB’s will take it in turns to set a beading challenge, the chosen Bead Master will pick an inspirational theme, this can be in anything from a painting or sculpture to a play or even a song. Each of the five members will be responsible for providing one of the following  – Focal bead, accent beads, clasp, charms & embellishments or lastly chain or a stringing material, the ingredient needed to create a piece of jewellery. It sounds simple! But now we get to the really tricky bit, every member must receive a different set of ingredients so that no two recipes are the same. (Have I lost you?) In my next blog post I will be posting pictures of the ingredients I have received as will the other BPB’s, you will be able to hop over to the other blogs to see the components we each have to work with and hopefully all will become clear.

Our Challenge leader and her chosen theme –

The very talented Lesley Watts is the trendsetter for the first challenge. (She also happens to be the mastermind behind the Brit Pack Beaders). When Lesley is not trying to co-ordinate challenges for 4 unruly beaders she spends her time creating beautiful pmc components and stunningly elegant jewellery. I’m a huge fan of her work and have just purchased some oh so lovely bronze hearts and shells from her Etsy shop. Lesley has chosen a rather stunning photograph as her inspiration for this challenge and by kind permission of the artist here it is.... Tangled by Carolyn Saxby


And here we are...The Brit Pack Beaders – 

I’m very proud to have been invited into such a distinguished group of Beady artists each incredibly talented and all unique! If you would like to have a wee look at their challenge posts and their work here are the links to their blogs and the Bo Hulley Facebook page, we have still to persuade Bo that she has time to blog!

Teresa (Bo) Hulley Bo Hulley Beads facebook page
Rebecca Anderson  Songbeads blog
Claire Braunbarth (me) Smitten Beads blog

So! If you understood any or all of that and you are intrigued enough to come back, the next post with my mix of components will be in a week followed by the big reveal of our creations 2 weeks later.
I hope you will come back as I think this could be the beginnings of a very beautiful (blog hopping challenge of a) relationship!

Thank you 


  1. This is just plain blimmin fantastic! The Brit Pack Beaders. I loooooove it. Great name. Great concept by Lesley. You are the coolest bunch of people also. These bi-monthly hops will be something I will be so much looking forward to check out. I think the world will be turning their eyes to Britain next week, and not because of the Olympics ... no no. There are other fantastic and way more exciting things going on. :-) Superb logo also. And what a beautiful inspiration you have this month.

  2. Thanks for agreeing to be part of this Claire - let the fun begin!

  3. Really looking forward to following this!

  4. Hi Claire

    I was very honoured to be asked to provide the photo for the challenge and shall enjoy the reveal very much. It sounds so much fun

    Best wishes
    Carolyn Saxby

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Thank you for writing. It's a lovely photo and a great choice for a challenge like this. I have almost finished my pieces, I've managed to produce 4! lets hope for quality as well as quantity! I hear you make beautiful beads as well as take great photos. Do you have an etsy shop or website so that I can have a look?

      Thank you & very best wishes

  5. In case she doesn't see this Carolyn's details are on my BPB post Claire...