Pondering the shortest day of the year

winter

Today is the shortest day of the year, the astronomical start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. I am (sadly) in the North today, looking out my window at the Milwaukee snow and being grateful that today's temperatures are in the 20s (it was -10 on Monday!)

In the hustle and bustle of getting everything finished so I can head home to Chicago for the holidays, I find myself taking a moment this afternoon, pondering the goals and challenges of the year ahead. My New Year's Resolution, of course, will be to make Facet an even better source for jewelry making information and projects, and to interact more with you, our readers. As such, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at things to come as the days begin to lengthen, be it ever-so-slowly! 

Here on Facet, we host a regular monthly Design Challenge. We invite our readers and makers to create or share a work of jewelry that fits our monthly themes: on the first Tuesday of each month, we introduce the new topic, and you may submit two images for each contest. If your piece is chosen as a winner, it will be featured in both Bead&Button magazine and also on the Facet website. I'm going to share the themes for January and February with you now, so that as the sun sets (at 4:21 CST!) you can think ahead to a brighter day!

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The January theme is, of course, SOLSTICE!

(January 4-25, 2017)

The Winter Solstice has just passed, the shortest day and longest night of the year. It’s a turning point, the moment when the Earth begins its journey towards Spring. In many traditions, this astronomical phenomenon signifies rebirth, a fresh beginning, and is celebrated with gatherings, rituals, and bonfires. Cyclical patterns, elliptical orbits, sunsets and sunrises, ancient mythologies: what Midwinter tradition will you celebrate in your jewelry design for the first month of the New Year?  

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And for February, we celebrate SHADOWS.

(February 2-22, 2017)

Spring is getting closer, the sun is in a new place in the sky and shadows fall on the melting snow. The groundhog peeks his head out to investigate, but the woods still lay bare and silent, waiting for renewal. A shadow, a two-dimensional silhouette: blocking the light yet casting a lovely outline. The mood is eerie and quiet as the dark and the light battle for their rightful places. What will emerge from your jewelry-making in February? 

There is stil time to submit to the December contest, KALEIDOSCOPE; the contest closes on December 28. 

Traditional kaleidoscopes are made of almost anything: brass, wood, glass, even cardboard. How creative can you be with your materials? A whirling array of colorful beads, a rainbow of patina on your metal, a symmetrical pattern repeating and then changing. What can you create? 

Join in the fun RIGHT HERE!

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