Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bead Color Ideas: Blue Marble

For this week’s bead color ideas, I wanted to explore some possibilities for a curious quartet of beads from my drops and daggers stash. Some time ago I picked up four blue marble petal drops because they were on sale, and I thought they might make for interesting accents. Inevitably, they’ve been sitting in my stash ever since. Four beads can sometimes be just the right amount for a project, but with drops more are usually required, so I haven’t had any inspirations for these particular beads. Now that I’m on a mission to make lots of mini collars with whatever drops I can get my hands on, I may have finally found a way to use them. I just need to discover the perfect palette.

Delft Blue Bead Color Idea


A two-tone finish like the marbled glass of these petals can sometimes be hard to match. While one set of colors might work really well for half of the finish, the other half might clash. I tried out several different possibilities before finally settling on these three, and the first success was a little Delft blue inspiration with opaque bone white and opaque turquoise. I think the palette would look equally good with opaque white instead, or both the white and bone beads as well as the turquoise in the right proportions. I can see this palette in something spiraled, or perhaps in a patterned broad collar.

Dew Drops Bead Color Idea


Next I tried going a little earthier and combined opaque olive green with transparent dark topaz. The somewhat mossy-looking, plant-inspired palette makes the blue petals look like Dew Drops in the shade. I particularly like how the transparent topaz adds just a little bit of light to the palette, while also looking very mysterious like something from the deep woods. This palette would be great in something with lots of fringe and embellishments, such as a statement cuff or a cascade necklace.

Berry Salad Bead Color Idea


Finally, I really wanted to go with some strong contrasts. I picked up the transparent ruby seed beads right away, but took some time to find a third color for this trio. At last I went with gel sol pink for a Berry Salad palette that looks lively and delicious. This palette would be perfect for a mini collar, but I can also see it in a mulitstrand piece.

Do you like to use two-tone beads in your designs?

Mortira

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Work in Progress: Pink Magatamas

I’m just getting ready to start this week’s mini collar, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this one turns out. After finishing last week’s collar, I had to get going on this one right away to keep up with the challenge schedule, so I basically just flipped open my tray of assorted drop beads and grabbed the first thing I laid eyes on (that wasn’t too similar to beads I’ve already used so far). I ended up with a few grams of pink-lined crystal short magatamas.

Pink Striped Mini Collar in Progress


The pale pink of these beads makes them really hard to work a palette around. Most other colors make them look really washed out. Luckily, I have an easy solution that will make the beads stand out, and allow this mini collar to mingle with my other designs. I’m going with black and white stripes! It make take a few tweaks to get a pattern that works, and I’m still not sure if I’m going to use the black 8/os. Hopefully I’ll be able to omit them and put a pretty big dent in the package of magatamas.

Pink Magatamas


Meanwhile, I haven’t touched the coconut dagger project or the final stage of the new ugly necklace. I’ve got a little bit of catching up to do, and hopefully I’ll be able to find the time to run more than one project at a time.

What are you making right now?

Mortira

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Assorted Updates

It’s funny how easy it is to derail carefully laid plains. My new blog and beading agenda has been working perfectly for some time now, and everything has been chugging along. Last week I lucked out with six shifts at my day job, which would have been easy to work around thanks to the agenda, but I also got hit with a cold that sapped any leftover energy I might have had, so we’re a bit behind.

Mini Collar in Progress


Last week’s mini collar isn’t quite finished, but the overall design has come through and I really like how it’s turning out. It took a few tries to get the pattern just right. I wanted the blue white-hearts to domination but the holes are too small to use in areas with multiple thread passes, so I had to sub in some additional seed beads. I didn’t like the pattern at all at first, but after walking away for a day and coming back to it, the look grew on me. I’ll see how quickly I can whip this up and get started on this week’s collar.

Our tutorial giveaway winner was drawn – congratulations to Autumn Grace, and thank you so much to everyone who entered! I have several more PDF tutorials planned for the coming months, as soon as I find time to squeeze them in with everything else!

Chunky Herringbone Necklace Tutorial


And one final update: our next Peyote Stitch Master Class lesson will be covering tubular and spiral peyote. Bezels will come in once we’ve studied the basics of tubular peyote, and we’ll also take a more in-depth look at Cellini spiral.

Happy beading!

Mortira

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Work in Progress: So Tropical

This week I’ve got two necklace projects on the go, plus a necklace tutorial on the back burner that’s coming along slowly but surely. This week’s mini collar features long magatamas and large dagger beads. I’m trying out a new layout for drops, and if it works it might become a new favorite.

Tropical Necklaces in Progress


The fringe necklace with coconut daggers is still underway. It’s been awhile since I’ve done any scalloped St. Petersburg chain – if forgot how long it takes to add all those individual loops of fringe. I have a feeling that this necklace won’t be finished for quite some time, but it’s nice to have a back-up project to work on between other pieces. I did have the beginnings of a new ugly necklace for that, but it’s been all but forgotten thanks to all of the new inspirations I’ve found in the past few months.

Tropical Blue Bead Palette


I'm really enjoying the palette for this week's mini collar, although I did end up having to add in a second seed bead color to make the netting work. It's still very early in the challenge, but I'm already having trouble decided how to proceed. Should I comb through my drops stash and just start building palettes around the wants I want to use up, or pick accents and random and see what happens? There are just so many choices it's hard to know where to begin, which is really why I wanted to do this challenge in the first place!

What are you making right now?

Mortira

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Bead Color Ideas: Tropical Delights

What with my latest blue coconut dagger project and the cool spring weather we’ve been having in my area, I’ve really been in the mood for warm colors and anything that will make it feel like summer. Tropical themes are always great for adding a little spice, and offer plenty of options for inspiration. There are colorful flowers and fruits, and gorgeous blue waters to draw on – everything looks better and brighter when it’s illuminated with bright sunlight. This week I wanted to capture that warmth with seed bead palettes.

Tropical Island Lei Bead Color Idea


To start I went with florals, using three sweet, saturated colors. To make Island Lei I combined a most cheerful shade of purple - wisteria lined crystal – and aqua white-hearts for that touch of intense light and ocean blue. Gel sol pink topped everything off with just the right amount of sugariness.

Tropical Passion Fruits Bead Color Idea


Naturally, I had to start at least one palette with intense yellow, so I grabbed some opaque canary 8/o’s. I wanted some equally bold hues to go with it, so next came opaque vermillion red. I haven’t really had a chance to use this color yet, but it’s a perfect match for the yellow. Passion Fruits is finished with lustered orange sherbet, though I would have preferred a more peachy or pumpkin-y orange.

Tropical Coconut Lime Bead Color Idea


Finally, I had to go with a palette to represent my favorite tropical flavors. Coconut Lime includes some transparent lime green long magatamas, and opaque white 8/o’s. The lovely brown of transparent dark topaz seed beads looks gorgeous with the green and definitely brings out the coconut in the white beads. Delicious!

What’s your favorite tropical inspiration?

Mortira

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