My dear friend, Miss Erin Prais-Hintz, from Tesori Trovati recently asked me to participate in the Halcraft USA "Pretty Palettes" blog post. Each month, Erin selects a photo for inspiration, selects beads based on the color palette in the photo and chooses a fellow blogger to work with the same photo and beads to create some finished pieces and blog about the results. This month, I was lucky enough to be selected to participate and I'm thrilled to share the results.
Here is the inspiration photo that Erin selected and a link to her introductory post about this month's palette:
I had several initial impressions when looking at the photo. I love the bright, juicy colors and the weathered condition of the wood immediately gives rise to thoughts of sunny, windswept beach cottages.
I think she did a fabulous job by selecting pale green jade disks, darker green agate rounds (the center one has rhinstones embedded in it!), sparkling aqua faceted beads, juicy orange jade, millefiori disk beads (which in Erin's photo look silver, but the ones I received have a lavender cast to them), and yes! small coral rounds and silver disk spacers do bring that Southwest flavor to the mix.
However, as I find to often be the case, what comes in through my eyes and gets swished around in my brain, often looks very different by the time it comes out my hands. Or, you could say the beads have a mind of their own LOL! My Southwest idea totally went out the window!
The first piece I made has more of a Gypsy vibe to it - I think due to the use of copper instead of silver. I added antiqued copper cones, clasp and butterfly charm. From the palette beads, I used the millefiori disks, a strand of the coral rounds, and most of the strand of faceted aqua beads. From my own stash, I put in a strand of copper size 6 seed beads and a strand of faceted Czech fire polish ovals in a "confetti" color that ranges from aqua to green to a pale lavender.
I love to use up leftover beads to make matching earrings so I used the last two millefiori disks, coral rounds and copper butterfly disks to whip up a pair of earrings to go with the bracelet.
This left me with the green and orange stone disks and rounds. While I really loved the bright colors together in the inspiration photo, I couldn't escape the thought that they might be a bit much all in one piece when it comes to wearability. I always try to take that into consideration when I'm designing a piece - can it actually be worn?
After taking a closer look at the inspiration photo, I noticed some of the darker wood peeking through the bright paint and thought Ah Ha! This color scheme needs something neutral to "ground" it and I wanted something dark so that the bright silver spacers would pop a bit more.
I found these wonderful dark wood carved tubes at Michael's and thought they would work perfectly. I don't often do multi-strand necklaces, but seeing all the beads laid out together when they came out of the package inspired me to keep that going and I knew I wanted to feature that green/rhinestone bead in the center. Silver cones, chain and clasp from my stash helped finish everything off.
Here's a closeup of the beaded strands. I really like how the silver and wood work together and the cool, almost mint tones of the lighter jade beads help to balance out the brighter, more intense colors.
I had a few odds and ends left on my beading board so I whipped up one more necklace to finish things off:
I had just a few of the faceted aqua beads left and I had pulled this butterfly pendant out of my stash because it picked up the orange and green color scheme, but I did not end up using it in the main necklace. I added some copper wire, chain and a small toggle clasp and this very simple, sweet necklace is the result.
Here is a closeup of the pendant. The butterfly started out as paper applied to a wood cut out, but when I started playing around with resin a few years ago, I wanted to see if I could preserve the finish on this piece by coating it (and, okay, so I was also kinda putting resin on everything in sight) and I was really pleased with the results.
I hope you've enjoyed my creations and I'd like to thank Erin for selecting me to participate in this fun project. Be sure to check out Erin's reveal on the Halcraft blog to see what she and some of the other designers came up with.