Sunday, May 17, 2015

Three Months In One Of Some Color Fun

From top left to bottom right:  March, April, May

 March Color of the Month:  Aqua:
Fusion Beads chose "Aqua" to be the Pantone Spring 2015 color for March and this is one of my favorite Swarovski crystal colors to work with.  In fact, I have more shades of aqua colored beads in my stash than any other color, including violets and purples.
I used 4mm aqua rondelles, aqua opal daggers, and sterling silver rounds for the simple and elegant bracelet.

April Color of the Month:  Custard:
On it's own Lt. Topaz, the Swarovski equivalent of Pantone's "Custard," is a lovely, golden yellow color, but it looks absolutely horrible on me and that made it a hard color to work with.  Instead of struggling to make something that I wouldn't like or want to wear, I decided to use 6mm crystal Lt. Topaz butterflies as an accent and pair them with "Woodbine" (from Patone's Top 10 Men's Colors for Spring 2015) in the form of olivine and tan swirled 8mm fire polished rondelles.    

May Color of the Month:  Lucite Green:
What a fun color to work with!  The enamel flower charms remind me of a small mint green Formica and aluminum table my Grandmother had in her kitchen, and the chrysolite opal crystals of the shimmering sheer curtains she had throughout her house.     

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

30 Day Bead Challenge-Part 3

Days 6 & 9:  A Hollywood inspired piece and a lovely long necklace:
Mary Pickford is one of my favorite silent screen stars.  She co-founded a major motion picture studio, made a staggering number of films (approximately 230), and she loved fine jewelry.  One of her favorite pieces was a stunning 40" long pearl and diamond sautoir that she reportedly wore as an "every day" piece of jewelry.  It was also part of the jewelry she wore when she married Douglas Fairbanks.  You can see a photo of her wearing it on her honeymoon with him here.

Pearls and diamonds are the epitome of luxury, style, and sophistication, but they just don't have much appeal for me so I used her necklace as the springboard that lead to this: 
 This is more my style.  Amethyst Swarovski crystals, Preciosa crystal rondelles, sliders, Czech glass daggers, and seed beads.

Close up shot.

Days 10 & 11:  Skipping these.

Day 12:  Bicones!
I decided to make a broken 3 strand vintage Japanese pearl necklace into the closest version of a classic pearl and diamond necklace as I'm ever going to get.

 Ruby Swarovski crystals, powder rose Swarovski pearls with vintage Japanese pearls and clasp.

Day 13:  Make a jewelry design with a color of metal you have used before:  I'm skipping this one since there isn't a metal color that I haven't already used.
Day 14:  Find a bead that has been in your stash forever and use it in a fabulous new design:  That's exactly what I have been doing all along!   

I'll be skipping over the third week of the challenge so that I can work on Day 20's theme of celebrating Mother Nature and it's going to involve this little box here.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

30 Day Bead Challenge 2015-Part 2

Day 4.  Favorite Swarovski crystal or effect:
All Swarovski crystals all my favorites!  Bead mixes are lovely to look at, and I defintely squirrel them away in my stash, but I prefer order and patterns over random bead placement so they are hard for me to work with.  But, that being said, I decided for at least one day to embrace randomness.

Wisteria crystal mix from Beyond Beadery.

Purple Haze crystal mix from Fusion Beads.  Unfortunately, this mix has been discontinued.
Day 5:  Skipping this one.

Day 6:  A Hollywood inspired piece.  Working on it!  

Day 7:  Go wild for wire!  I've been playing around with Viking Knit;  whether or not I have something worth showing remains to be seen.

Day 8:  Give your beading space a make-over:  Are they kidding?  I'm right in the middle of some challenges!  My beading space is, and will be a disaster, for quite a while.


When Pantone Gives You Marsala

I was a regular contributor to Margie Deeb's Color Reports and I've really missed them, so I decided that this year I'll be beading along with Fusion Beads as they feature one of Pantone's Spring/Summer 2015 colors each month. 

January Color of the Month:  Marsala:
What can I say about this dull, brownish, slightly orange, muddy burgundy color that hasn't already been said?  This has to be the least popular Pantone Color of the Year, let alone one that is suppose to be a color for spring and summer. 

At first I decided to completely ignore this uninspiring color and wait until February, but I'm proud to say that I gave it some more thought and decided to improve upon my designing skills by using a color that has very little appeal for me just to see if I could do it.  I'm happy to say that I created an incredibly beautiful and elegant bracelet that I love wearing! 

Burgundy Swarovski crystals, garnet & vermeil beads, lampwork rondelles.

February Color of the Month:  Strawberry Ice:
This fresh, warm, delicious peachy-pink color is much easier to work with!
Indian Pink Swarovski crystals and vintage pressed glass.
Coming soon-March Color of the Month-Aquamarine!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

30 Day Bead Challenge-The First 3 Days

March is National Craft Month and that means Fusion Beads is hosting their annual 30 Day Bead Challenge.  It's never too late to start!  For a copy of the PDF calender click here.

Family, work, and a nasty back injury has kept me away from beading, and just about every other creative activity I enjoy, for far too long.  I'm super excited to be getting back into my Creative Life and I'm looking forward to the challenge of creating something new almost everyday.

1.  Eye catching earrings:
Made with leftover beads, chain, and findings from other projects.  Now my husband knows why I hang onto so many little bits and pieces.  I really do use them "someday."

2.  Favorite seed bead mix:
An all muted, neutral palette is an unusual choice for me, but this Delica mix is an interesting combination of amber and gray, with just a touch of olive.  The chain was an impulse buy from a local craft store.  It's sparkly and it was on sale!  How could I resist? 

3.  Gemstones:
I think this combination of Peruvian blue opals, carved crystal quartz, Cathedral cut fire polish, vermeil, and vintage Swarovski crystals is causal enough for working at a dance studio!