“I found my thrill…. on Blueberry Hill….”
Do you all remember Fats Domino singing that? I remember that song from Happy Days, when Richie Cunningham would get that moony look in his eye over a girl he fancied and he would sing that. I must have had that song playing on my mind as I was seeking inspiration, because I think that the hill shape came to life!
Since I stuck with beads that were all the same rounds, like the fruit, I knew that I needed to come up with a plan to give them more presence and a greater sense of purpose. I decided to do that with the shape of the design.
I auditioned all different garland shapes…nested…stacked…festooned….and also patterned…or color-blocked. Ultimately, I decided that the festoon should be color-blocked.
It took a bit of trial and error to make the swoops relatively the same size with the wire that is simply cut and linked, especially since the beads were all slightly different sizes. I really didn’t have a sense of a plan as to where the colors would go. I just sort of barreled on in! But I quite like that at the top it is all blue, and that helped me decide to keep with the same blue tone for the sides of the necklace. I actually added in those small ceramic blue rounds (#10242608) to the original mix of beads. I like that this strong blue was in multiple sizes in my bead palette.
After I finished, I realized that I had two strands of beads that I never touched! So I went back to my garland shape, and devised a slightly simpler version of the festoon shape, this time in a nested pattern. I quite like the variation of colors and the almost pyramid shape that the festoons make.
So there you have it! Two variations on the blueberry theme.
My Pretty Palettes partner for August was Janice Everett. When I shared with her the blueberry idea she had an instant connection. It is a good story, and I know you will want to read more about it on her blog.
#1 – What unexpected place do you find inspiration?
Nature and Fabrics of course are two my biggest every-day inspirations…However, my most unexpected place comes from my own paintings and palette samples. There are many times when I’m experimenting with colors, using a wet-on-wet technique where the paints have a magic all of their own – and it is in those combinations, where I find the most unexpected inspirations for designing.
#2 – If you could only use one bead for life, what would it be?
That is a tough one – I love so many beads, but if I had to choose one – it would either be Jasper or Turquoise – mainly because both of these stones have so many variances in colors and patterns, that I do not feel you could ever get bored with them. Size wise – I would probably stay around 8mm round because it’s a popular size for Earring drops…but can also be used as a mix-in, support bead for larger jewelry pieces.
#3 – What is your favorite Halcraft Bead?
My inventory of beads is pretty big…aside from my own ART Tiles and Molten Metal pieces, I have a huge inventory of many different beads (Artisan made, Gemstones, Ceramic, Swarovski Crystal, etc.) – and also have a variety of Halcraft beads on hand for quick Earrings or to use as filler beads for larger Necklaces or Bracelets. Plus for those that sell Wholesale, having a variety of these style beads on hand, helps keep designs looking high quality, while giving alternate lower cost beads to control the overall Suggested Retail Price and Wholesale pricing structure. From this batch of beads – I would have to say that my favorite was the multi-colored green glass bead strand – so many beautiful and soothing variations, that really gave me a lot of design options for the Reveal.
We are celebrating because Barb Switzer is back with us! She has created a really intriguing bracelet for the challenge.
The color scheme for August was located right in the middle of my favorite color zone. Of course, I felt a bit like a cheater since the main strand of beads had pretty much all the colors I needed already mixed together. For a punch of blueberry tone, I threw in a few beads leftover from a pin I’d recently completed, and my palette was complete. I’d like to follow up my color inspiration by mentioning that engineering is a dynamic process, and that my drive to the nearest Michaels takes an hour each direction. If I’d had some 1/2″ wide cord, my finished bracelet would have taken much less time to complete and been… easier. I added a lot of small jump rings to make everything work perfectly, but a woman has to do what is needed to make a deadline AND a great bracelet. Thanks as always to Erin for picking great colors and setting my creativity alight.
And it wouldn’t be Pretty Palettes day without our resident Design on a Dime Diva, Erin Strother.
I’ve never been a fan of plain round beads. They have always struck me as super-blah. Like, the most average, uninspired, and boring of all shapes. The bead equivalent of a plain block of tofu, sitting in the snow, crying. Who wants sad, cold tofu? (Not me.)
Don’t get me wrong—round beads have their place. One smooth, polished, round bead can be an amazing addition to a contemporary, geometric design. And I use tiny round beads all the time as accents. But an entire string of plain, round beads? Meh. Give me a rondelle, a rough nugget, or a briolette. Now we’re talking.
So I couldn’t quite stand to do this challenge with a bunch of plain, round beads. I need texture and pattern, baby, so I mixed it up with some crackly ceramic and some matte finish bicones, then added some square silver spacers. Knotted, light blue suede lace adds softness and a bit more texture. And since I had exactly two ceramic beads leftover, it seemed like an obvious sign from the universe that some earrings needed to happen, so I threw those in for good measure.
Okay! So now it is your turn. Show us what you made inspired by the plump juicy goodness of blueberries! (And see you on September 7th for the next challenge!)
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Erin – thank you so much for thinking of me to play along with you during the August Pretty Palette Challenge! I so appreciate the opportunity and love that Halcraft is inspiring so many with their lovely beads and your Challenge concept! What I find most interesting, is how we worked the Challenge from two different angles and inspirations – you combining all the beads in a 3-D Blueberry Color version and the overall Blueberry theme concept with the palette – and me on the other hand – focusing on the individual colors with all the emotional connections that I spoke about in my pre-post reveal yesterday. As I told you – this all came together at exactly the right time to really bring such a wonderful feeling of peace and thankfulness.
Love both versions of your Garland necklaces – and can only imagine how much time it took to create the Festoon one! But I especially love the simplicity of your 2nd Necklace – with the beautiful colors, differences in size and finishes on the beads – and that Pyramid like shape!
Looking forward to participating in future Challenges here on the Halcraft Blog…need to go check out September now and work in a quick trip to Michael’s I’m thinking ;)
Many thanks Erin!
Erin P-H! Great Ideas for your necklaces! Love them!
Barb – Welcome back! Fun bracelet idea, I need to deconstruct it and figure it out!
Erin S – I am soo glad you didn’t JUST use rounds… I would have been disappointed in you!