Time to start catching up on the Spoonflower contests that closed over the holiday season.
The one from two weeks ago was for a design involving bells, with a small repeat that could be seen on an eight-by-eight inch swatch. I decided to focus on round "jingle" bells, rather than big church-style bells. This was influenced by a recent episode of "Food Network Challenge" that my husband and I watched, where the contestants had to create cakes that were holiday-related in some way. (I forget the exact details now.) One of the teams had big cake bells on theirs, but they used the church bells when they clearly should have done the round jingly kind. The former is definitely what sprang to mind first off from the word "bell", so I decided to go with the latter.
When I described what I was doing to my husband, he remembered the same TV show too! "Jingle bells, right?"
I looked up "Christmas" palettes on ColourLovers to find one that suggested the holiday without being just green & red. I decided I liked this one:
Color by COLOURlovers
In the end, I used both kinds of bells. The main design is of jingle bells on straps, like they're sometimes shown festooned on sleighs. Then, I decided that the negative space between the straps would occasionally be in the shape of church bells. To add a little more depth beyond that, I put a semi-abstract knit-like pattern in the background as well.
It's not entirely successful. I think there is not enough contrast between the color of the bells and the background. Also the shapes of the straps are too forced and awkward. It's a neat idea, but I couldn't execute on it the way I wanted - I may revisit it at some point.
In the end, both kinds of bells were well represented in the contest entries. My design came in 99 out of 148, with 44 votes.