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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Color My World

I've always been drawn to playing with color, whether it has been with paint and paintbrush, color pencils, or now with beads and clay.  When I first started out making jewelry, most of my pieces had a monochromatic color palette, but I've since grown to love to mix it up a bit.  I find inspiration for color everywhere, and some of the references I turn to frequently include the following:
  • Jewelry How To Books - There are a ton of wonderful jewelry and beading books out there, and my library is stocked with quite a few of them.  While I don't duplicate the designs in these, I do get great ideas for various color combos.  One of my favorite color inspiration books, is Polymer Clay Color Inspirations by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio
  • Stacks and Stacks of Beading and Hobby Magazines - I love pouring through my back issues of magazines like Stringing, Bead Style, and Bead Trends.  When I'm in a rut, it always helps to sit back with a stack of these.
  • Non-Hobby Books and Publications - My husband and I are currently planning to build a house, so immediately upon deciding to build, I picked up a few books on paint combinations for the interior of houses.  I wasn't too surprised to find a lot of great color combinations that will work well in jewelry design.  Those free little painting idea books that they have by paint samples also have some good combos.
  • The Bead Themselves - While most of the strand of beads I buy are immediately cut apart and stored in plastic containers, I sometimes find myself playing with the strands - laying a few together at a time to see what kind of combination they will make. 
  • Making Something to Match - Another fun idea is making jewelry to match a specific item of clothing.  It can be something you own, or something you see in an advertisement. 
  • - I just found this site after becoming hooked on Pinterest.  The site is just loaded with awesome color palettes!
Here are a few of some of the colorful bead combos I've done:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Starfish Pendant Necklace

I recently purchase one of the humblebeads grab bags, and was so happy to find a cute little starfish pendant in it.  It was perfect for the "Inspired by the Sea" challenge.  I paired it with some beachy artisan lampwork glass beads from Etsy's GlassbyLeese, some gorgeous aquamarine nuggets that were a gift from my sister Lori, abalone shell, bronze colored mother of pearl, and some antique brass findings.  And, the icing on the cake - I was able to take decent pictures of the piece this morning.  Turns out the white balance setting on my camera had gotten set to the wrong setting.  I'm so glad I discovered that! 
This piece is available at my Etsy Shop

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Resistance was Futile

You'll notice something new on my blog...  a link to a Facebook fan page.  I have to say that opening a Facebook account gave me some heartburn.  My resistance to joining is a very long story, but suffice to say that wisdom won out over emotion, and I now have an account.  So if you get a chance, please stop by and like my fan page (!  Thanks so much!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Oh crap! Projects That Don't Turn Out

I was very excited by the Humblebeads "Inspired by the Sea" Challenge.  I had a great idea - a sea anomone necklace.  I even knew how I was going to go about it.  I researched anomones.  I made up custom color mixtures, I did skinner blends, even a cane to get the color gradiation that would be the center of my anomone.  And I spent a lot of time trying to make it just what I envisioned.  Unforunately, when it was all finished, I wasn't happy with it at all.  For starters it was way too large - about 3.5 inches across... and it just wasn't what I had in my mind.  Now it sits on my desk, taking up space.  I should probably just throw it... but I just can't bring myself to do that just yet, after spending so many hours on it.  I may come back to the idea and try some other ways of going about it...  but not right now.  I can't help but wonder what other people do with their projects that don't turn out - toss them away, or tuck them away in a box...

Inspired by The Sea Challenge

When I saw the Humblebeads Challenge was "Inspired by the Sea", I knew this was the perfect opportunity to use the wonderful artisan lampwork glass bead with a starfish on it that I had purchased from Glass by Leese.  I was so happy with it, that I decided I couldn't part with it. Unfortunately the photos really don't do it justice.  Apparently the morning light is a lot weaker in fall than it is in summer.  It goes to figure, just when I think I have the lighting thing figured out - things change.