Allegory Gallery Blog

Honor Mystery Challenge

The first time that I met Jen Palmer, I had just moved to Pennsylvania and she messaged me on Twitter.  We became fast friends.  What could have turned out dreadfully wrong ended up becoming something quite wonderful.  I've admired her work for a long time, whether it's her photography, encaustics, or paintings.  She has a sensitivity, that illuminates whatever her subject matter and whatever medium she uses.  We recently had an opening for a show called, "Looking Local" during the Ligonier Art Walk.  The show was a cross-section of work created by residents of Ligonier and the surrounding areas.  I knew that I wanted to feature Jen in the line up.  She created three small-scale paintings with an atmospheric, otherworldly quality.  They felt like you were looking deeper into something spiritual.  I picked, "Honoring the Space Between the No Longer and the Not Yet" to focus on.  Thus, the Honor Mystery Challenge was born!  (If you are interested in the piece, you can contact us by email at info@allegorygallery.com and we can give you a price and details.) This kit is loosely inspired by the art piece.  The kit combines a mix of of smoky grays, faded purples, and dusky reds with pops of vibrant orange and earthy browns.  The color palette is perfect for autumn!

So... here's the deal:  Participants of the challenge will purchase a kit.  No one knows what's in it except for us.  We'll send them out and folks will get a SURPRISE when they open the box!  Don't worry, it'll be a good one!  Mystery Challengers will have a few weeks to make something with the kit.  They can use as much or as little of the kit as they like and supplement the kit with beads from their own stash if they so desire.

And then... on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 we'll share all the creations in our Facebook group.  CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook group just for our design challenges.

Now, here's the fine print:  There are only 25 Design Kits available!  Once we receive your order, we will process your kit and send it out within ten business days.  Usually it's faster than that, but we like to make sure that there is plenty of time to make the kits perfect.  HURRY!  Supplies are limited and are on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis!  (Sorry, no exceptions!)

I also wanted to mention that all the Design Kits will be shipped with Priority mail.  This can take anywhere from one business day to ten.  For international orders, it may take longer!  If you know it takes a long time to reach your destination (from Southwestern Pennsylvania) please place your orders early! I will do my best to get your kit out as early as possible, but unfortunately I can't be held responsible if it arrives late due to the postal service.

All sales of the Design Kits are final and there are no returns or exchanges.

CLICK HERE to go directly to our online store to get your very own Honor Mystery Challenge kit!
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Yearning Mystery Challenge

The first time that I saw Christi Friesen's work, I looked through a window into a room off an atrium in a mansion in Tucson, Arizona.  The exuberance and curiosity in her work was evident.  Looking at her work, I could see someone who explored themes in nature and did so with whimsy.  We recently had an opening of Christi's work and I picked, "Yearning" to focus on.  This piece belongs to the "Germination Series" and all the pieces feature a bursting forth of energy and contain a sense of growth.  Thus, the Yearning Mystery Challenge was born!  (You can take a look at the piece and even buy it if you're so inclined by CLICKING HERE.) This kit is loosely inspired by the art piece by the same name.  The kit combines a mix of bleached pine wood beige, brilliant gold, poppy reds, dusty pinks, and springy greens.  

So... here's the deal:  Participants of the challenge will purchase a kit.  No one knows what's in it except for us.  We'll send them out and folks will get a SURPRISE when they open the box!  Don't worry, it'll be a good one!  Mystery Challengers will have a few weeks to make something with the kit.  They can use as much or as little of the kit as they like and supplement the kit with beads from their own stash if they so desire.

And then... on Thursday, October 26th, 2017 we'll share all the creations in our Facebook group.  CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook group just for our design challenges.

Now, here's the fine print:  There are only 20 Design Kits available!  Once we receive your order, we will process your kit and send it out within ten business days.  Usually it's faster than that, but we like to make sure that there is plenty of time to make the kits perfect.  HURRY!  Supplies are limited and are on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis!  (Sorry, no exceptions!)

I also wanted to mention that all the Design Kits will be shipped with Priority mail.  This can take anywhere from one business day to ten.  For international orders, it may take longer!  If you know it takes a long time to reach your destination (from Southwestern Pennsylvania) please place your orders early! I will do my best to get your kit out as early as possible, but unfortunately I can't be held responsible if it arrives late due to the postal service.

All sales of the Design Kits are final and there are no returns or exchanges.

And if you need more Luxury Bead Blend, we decided to offer additional mixes to those who were interested.  You can do so by CLICKING HERE.

CLICK HERE to go directly to our online store to get your very own Yearning Mystery Challenge kit!
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Inspired by Reading Book Club 2017/2018 Reading List



September 2017 — “A Marriage of Opposites” by Alice Hoffman
October 2017 — “Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
November 2017 — “The Bean Trees” by Barbara Kingsolver
December 2017
January 2018 — “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” by Johnathan Safran Foer
February 2018 — “The Watchmaker of Filigree Street” by Natasha Pulley
March 2018 — “The Valley of Amazement” by Amy Tan
April 2018 — “The High Mountains of Portugal” by Yann Martel
May 2018 — “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel
June 2018 — “Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World” by Aja Raden
July 2018 — “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell 
August 2018 — “Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch
September 2018 — “We Are Water” by Wally Lamb

This is the reading list for 2016/2017 for the Inspired by Reading Book Club.  For previous book lists CLICK HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.  To participate is easy!  All you have to do is read the book selected for that month and create something (artwork, jewelry, components... basically anything you want) inspired by what you've read.  At the end of each month, there will be an opportunity to share your work in the Facebook group through a blog hop.  (Dates for the reveals and meet-ups will be posted in the Facebook group).  CLICK HERE to join the Facebook group.
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Kaleidoscope Mystery Competition

We've been having so much fun with the competition challenges recently!  The Forest Journey and the Water & Fire Mystery Competitions were all huge successes and we saw so many amazing things!  It's sort of surprising, because when we started doing the challenges, we never really wanted to do competitions.  Our goal was to inspire people to create and challenge themselves creatively.  But it seems as though the community that we've formed finds the competitions thrilling and invigorating.  The community that has emerged around the kits is one that we hold dear and is one that is both kind and encouraging.  To celebrate our community and to recognize and reward exceptional design, we decided to initiate another mystery competition: Kaleidoscope Mystery Competition.
Before I go further, I want to stress that while there is certainly a competition aspect of this particular challenge, the option to participate in that portion is completely voluntary!  We do not want people to be dissuaded from engaging in the challenge because they feel they're not qualified (for whatever reason) to be in the competition.  This is open to all skill levels and we encourage participation from beginners to long-time makers!  The biggest thing is that we want people to have FUN!

When I was a child, I remember laying on my back, looking through a kaleidoscope and thinking that it was pure magic.  I loved how the colors and patterns were constantly shifting and forming new combinations.  I loved the ever-shifting rainbow and spent hours playing with it.  When we were coming up with concepts, I knew that I wanted to play off this memory.  We pulled together a confetti of colors, shapes, and materials.  The assortment is very "bead soup" reminiscent, with clear beads as a foundation.  When I'm working, this is one of the ways that I draw inspiration... from spilling everything out and sort of seeing the patterns and relationships develop between components.  It creates unexpected results that I would never have dreamed up without seeing them first.
So... here's the deal:  Participants of the challenge must purchase at least one kit.  No one knows what's in the kits except for us.  We'll send them out and folks will get a SURPRISE when they open the box!  Don't worry, it'll be a good one!  Mystery Challengers will have several weeks to make something with one or both of the kits.  They can use as much or as little of the kits as they like and can supplement the kits with beads from their own stash if they so desire.  And then... on Thursday, September 14th, 2017 we'll share all the creations in our Facebook group.  Feel free to post however many pieces you were inspired to create from the kits!  CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook group just for our design challenges.

The Reveal date is Thursday, September 14th, 2017!

From September 14th to September 21st, we will be conducting voting.  Participants may submit one design for consideration. The judges will narrow down the top selections and award a prize to one deserving designer.  The prize is composed of vintage plastic, dyed agate, amazonite, pressed glass bicones, dyed pearls, mixed stone fancy grade faceted briolettes, Czech glass druks, waxed Irish linen, amethyst large chips, dyed shell, a porcelain pendant by Andrew Thornton, a Diane Hawkey porcelain word bead, a selection of ceramic components by Marsha Neal Studio, and Czech glass flowers.  The prize is worth over $175 retail!

Judges' deliberation concludes and the winner will be announced Saturday, September 23rd, 2017!

Now, here's the fine print:  There are only 30 Design Kits available!  (Unfortunately we can't make more if we sell out, because some of the components are vintage and are hard to find.)  Once we receive your order, we will process your kit and send it out within TEN business days.  Usually it's faster than that, but we like to make sure that there is plenty of time to make the kits perfect.  HURRY!  Supplies are limited and are on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis!  (Sorry, no exceptions!)

I also wanted to mention that all the Design Kits will be shipped with Priority mail.  This can take anywhere from one business day to ten.  For international orders, it may take longer!  If you know it takes a long time to reach your destination (from Southwestern Pennsylvania) please place your orders early! I will do my best to get your kit out as early as possible, but unfortunately I can't be held responsible if it arrives late due to the postal service.

All sales of the Design Kits are final and there are no returns or exchanges.

CLICK HERE to go directly to our online store to get your very own kit!
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Grow Mystery Challenges

One of the things that we wanted to do with our upcoming challenges is to integrate it a little more with the artwork that we exhibit in the shop.  We bring in such amazing talent and we want to share that with others and use that to inspire others to create.  For our first Design Kit inspired by art, we are featuring the work of Mystele Kirkeeng.  Currently her show, "Wonder Works" is on display on the Project Wall.  CLICK HERE to see the show online, if you couldn't make it in to see the pieces in person.  Mystele works with mixed media in a modern folk art style.  What's striking about Mystele's show is that it is so vibrant.  It radiates color and has a layered richness.  It gives her portraits a strength and unique attitude.  The piece that we picked to focus on for this kit is called, "Grow".    CLICK HERE to check it out online.  (It is also still available for purchase, if you're interested.)  The painting is a rainbow of hues.  Coincidentally, the colors match the 2017 Pantone colors almost perfectly.  There's a lovely mix of lively yellows and glowing greens, with touches of brilliant pinks, teals, oranges, and purples.  Thus, the Grow Mystery Challenge was born!  This kit is loosely inspired by the painting and we've tried to incorporate components that play off her beautiful artwork.  


So... here's the deal:  Participants of the challenge will purchase a kit.  No one knows what's in it except for us.  We'll send them out and folks will get a SURPRISE when they open the box!  Don't worry, it'll be a good one!  Mystery Challengers will have a few weeks to make something with the kit.  They can use as much or as little of the kit as they like and supplement the kit with beads from their own stash if they so desire.

And then... on Thursday, August 24th, 2017 we'll share all the creations in our Facebook group.  CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook group just for our design challenges.

Now, here's the fine print:  There are only 20 Design Kits available!  Once we receive your order, we will process your kit and send it out within ten business days.  Usually it's faster than that, but we like to make sure that there is plenty of time to make the kits perfect.  HURRY!  Supplies are limited and are on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis!  (Sorry, no exceptions!)

I also wanted to mention that all the Design Kits will be shipped with Priority mail.  This can take anywhere from one business day to ten.  For international orders, it may take longer!  If you know it takes a long time to reach your destination (from Southwestern Pennsylvania) please place your orders early! I will do my best to get your kit out as early as possible, but unfortunately I can't be held responsible if it arrives late due to the postal service.

All sales of the Design Kits are final and there are no returns or exchanges.

CLICK HERE to go directly to our online store to get your very own Grow Mystery Challenge kit!
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Evening Serenade Mystery Challenge

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Ligonier Art Walk

Please join Allegory Gallery and the other participating venues in the Ligonier Art Walk scheduled for Saturday, May 27th.  We will be showing the work of modern folk artist, Mystele Kirkeeng.  Help us to celebrate her amazing artwork!
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Midsummer Mystery Challenge

Midsummer is a celebration of the Summer Solstice.  The Summer Solstice marks the longest day of the year and has the shortest night.  According to folklore, it's at this time that the veil between worlds becomes thin and fantastical creatures roam.  The boundaries between the world of humans and the Faerie folk blur and the respective kingdoms overlap.  One of the (human) customs was to light bonfires at dusk to ward away any unwanted visitations.  Thus, the Midsummer Mystery Challenge was born!  This kit is loosely inspired by this enchanting annual event, pulling colors from mix of smoke at twilight and the realms of the Fae.  The kit combines a mix of silvery grays, dusty roses, fresh lavenders, deep purples, with pops of bright pinks and fuchsia.  
So... here's the deal:  Participants of the challenge will purchase a kit.  No one knows what's in it except for us.  We'll send them out and folks will get a SURPRISE when they open the box!  Don't worry, it'll be a good one!  Mystery Challengers will have a few weeks to make something with the kit.  They can use as much or as little of the kit as they like and supplement the kit with beads from their own stash if they so desire.  And then... on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 we'll share all the creations in our Facebook group.  CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook group just for our design challenges.

Now, here's the fine print:  There are only 20 Design Kits available!  Once we receive your order, we will process your kit and send it out within ten business days.  Usually it's faster than that, but we like to make sure that there is plenty of time to make the kits perfect.  HURRY!  Supplies are limited and are on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis!  (Sorry, no exceptions!)

I also wanted to mention that all the Design Kits will be shipped with Priority mail.  This can take anywhere from one business day to ten.  For international orders, it may take longer!  If you know it takes a long time to reach your destination (from Southwestern Pennsylvania) please place your orders early! I will do my best to get your kit out as early as possible, but unfortunately I can't be held responsible if it arrives late due to the postal service.

All sales of the Design Kits are final and there are no returns or exchanges.

CLICK HERE to go directly to our online store to get your very own Wishing Well kit!
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Upcoming Ligonier Art Walk

We're really excited for the upcoming Ligonier Art Walk!  We will be featuring the work of Mystele Kirkeeng.  We hope you'll join us!  Please mark your calendars for May 27th!
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Water & Fire Mystery Competition

A few months ago, we launched our second competition, Forest Journey!  It was a huge success and a lot of people seemed really excited to participate.  The reveal for Forest Journey is coming up in April and we can't wait to see what people make.  When we started doing the challenges, we never wanted to do competitions.  Our goal was to inspire people to create and challenge themselves creatively.  But it seems as though the community that we've formed finds the competitions thrilling and invigorating.  The community that has emerged around the kits is one that we hold dear and is one that is both kind and encouraging.  When there's so much in this world that asks us to be divided, the kits are a reminder that we are stronger and better together.  To celebrate our community and to recognize and reward exceptional design, we decided to initiate another mystery competition: Water & Fire Mystery Competition.
Before I go further, I want to stress that while there is certainly a competition aspect of this particular challenge, the option to participate in that portion is completely voluntary!  We do not want people to be dissuaded from engaging in the challenge because they feel they're not qualified (for whatever reason) to be in the competition.  This is open to all skill levels and we encourage participation from beginners to long-time makers!  The biggest thing is that we want people to have FUN!

When we created the concept of this challenge, we thought about forces of creation and we instantly thought of the elements.  The more we pondered the powers of creation, we also thought of the role destruction plays.  Water and fire both have many beneficial attributes as life-givers and influencers of change, but they can also be harmful and detrimental to life.  Water and fire also cancel each other out.  As with all things, there's a balance.  And we wanted to make that balance the central focus of this challenge.

So... here's the deal:  Participants of the challenge must purchase at least one kit.  No one knows what's in the kits except for us.  But... there's a twist!  There are two separate kits.  And people who claim one kit may either get the fire kit or the water kit.  We will randomly select which one each participant will get.  (The only way to insure that you'll get a fire or water kit is to purchase two kits and we will include one of each.)  We'll send them out and folks will get a SURPRISE when they open the box!  Don't worry, it'll be a good one!  (I will say that the colors in the fire kit have fiery oranges, sizzling reds, and pops of luminous yellows.  The water kit has shades of watery blues with touches of green.)  Mystery Challengers will have several weeks to make something with one or both of the kits.  They can use as much or as little of the kits as they like and can supplement the kits with beads from their own stash if they so desire.  And then... on Thursday, May 25th, 2017 we'll share all the creations in our Facebook group.  Feel free to post however many pieces you were inspired to create from the kits!  CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook group just for our design challenges.

The Reveal date is Thursday, May 25th, 2017!

From May 25th to June 1st, all of the members of the Facebook group can vote for one of their favorite designs (but not their own).  Participants may submit one design (per element) for consideration. The judges will narrow down the top selections and award a prize to one deserving designer.  The prize is composed of a copy of "Exposed Bead & Wire Jewelry" Margot Potter, Fernando DaSilva and Katie Hacker AND "Designing Jewelry with Semiprecious Beads" by Kim Glover!  The winner will also receive a prize package including vintage plastic, vintage seed beads, a luxury bead blend, Czech glass, a hand-dyed silk ribbon, wood beads, waxed Irish linen, a ceramic piece by Earthenwood Studio, a ceramic piece by Gaea Cannaday, and a few strands of stone beads.  The prize is worth over $150 retail!  (And like all good mysteries, there might be some surprise prizes for other participants who don't snag the grand prize!)


Judges' deliberation concludes and the winner will be announced Saturday, June 3rd, 2017!

Now, here's the fine print:  There are only 40 Design Kits available!  There are 20 water kits and 20 fire kits.  Participants will not be able to pick what kit they get unless they get both kits and then they will get one of each.  (Unfortunately we can't make more if we sell out, because some of the components are vintage and are hard to find.)  Once we receive your order, we will process your kit and send it out within TEN business days.  Usually it's faster than that, but we like to make sure that there is plenty of time to make the kits perfect.  HURRY!  Supplies are limited and are on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis!  (Sorry, no exceptions!)

I also wanted to mention that all the Design Kits will be shipped with Priority mail.  This can take anywhere from one business day to ten.  For international orders, it may take longer!  If you know it takes a long time to reach your destination (from Southwestern Pennsylvania) please place your orders early! I will do my best to get your kit out as early as possible, but unfortunately I can't be held responsible if it arrives late due to the postal service.

All sales of the Design Kits are final and there are no returns or exchanges.

CLICK HERE to go directly to our online store to get your very own kit!
Comments