Pretty Palettes :: April Reveal
10 Fun Facts about Lavender:
1. Queen Marie Antoinette of France is said to have decorated the royal palaces with lavender for its scent.
2. Lavender has the following properties: antibacterial, antidepressant, analgesic, antiseptic, scar and wound healing, expectorant and calming nerves.
3. The lavender bud is covered in tiny hairs — that is what contains the essential oils.
4. It takes 2-3 weeks to dry a bunch of lavender.
5. The verb comes from the Anglo-Norman French word “lavendre” which means “to wash.”
6. The Ancient Egyptians used lavender in the embalming process.
7. The scent of lavender deters mice, flies, mosquitoes and other pests from the area. (I might have to see if this will work on my spider friends in my basement studio!)
8. Back in the Elizabethan times, when baths weren’t common practice, lavender was used to perfume clothes and freshen bed linen.
9. In French classrooms teachers used to crush up lavender to calm disruptive and nervous students.
10. Fresh or dried lavender is an excellent ingredient to cook and bake with — pork spice rubs, lavender custard, and lavender infused cupcakes just to name a few!
For my two pieces (above), I was inspired by the spikiness of the lavender plants. I was fascinated to learn that there are tiny little hairs on the tips of each stem that contain the fragrant natural oils. When I spotted the dainty little silver leaf spacers, I thought of those spikes. Each one has three holes, so in the bracelet I left a little space in between, creating a ladder effect. And in the necklace I decided to use them dangling in the front for a little motion and texture. I like the way they hang down from the cool cube shaped crystals.
My Pretty Palettes partner for April is Miss Kristen Stevens. She is a beadweaver extraordinaire and when I picked out this palette, I actually had her in mind, so I was delighted when she said yes to me!
This in process shot is not what she ended up with, but you will be fascinated to follow her on her journey! Check it out! (And I quite like the way this is looking even if it didn’t make the cut!)
And of course, it wouldn’t be a party without Erin Strother joining in! I love it when she crashes the party, especially when she does so in such a dramatic fashion! ;-)
Here is what she created for this month’s Pretty Palette challenge:
Lavender and Sage
I loved these chunky purple stones paired with the lighter amethyst nuggets, and originally, I thought I would alternate them together on the same strand, but as per usual, I changed my mind. The dark purple stones looked much more substantial without other beads breaking them up, so the amethyst got its very own strand, where I also introduced a soft, mossy green Czech glass bead and a zoomy iridescent iris teal round. I wanted to soften up all the chunky stone, so I went with ribbon to finish it all off.
You could certainly stop there if you wanted to, but WHY? I like to muck up a perfectly nice design by doing something weird to it. It’s just my thing. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all and I just go back to the pleasant, non-weird thing it was before I mucked it up. But sometimes I end up liking it.
In this case, I took some bronze beading chain and wove it randomly around and through the stone strands. You can move it around and change the placement to create a big blob of messy chain in the middle, or arrange it more evenly throughout the strands. Sort of like performance art.
The cool part of creating a piece like this, is that you can take it even farther if you wanted to—using even more chain, or several different kinds of chain. But if you try it and don’t like it, you can easily remove it without damaging either the chain or the necklace.
Were you inspired by the sea of lavender for this month’s challenge? We hope that you were! The InLinkz collection will be open for one week, so it is not too late to join in the sweet smelling party around here! Join us! (Oh, and I am looking forward to the months of June, July and August for Pretty Palette partners…and it could be YOU!)
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