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Pretty Palettes :: January Inspiration

Have you heard? The Pantone Color of the Year is Marsala.


Do you like it?

I have to be honest. This color completely underwhelmed me.

Maybe because it is a shade that I live in all year long, and I was longing for something to shake things up…or maybe because the swatch that they posted is just a bit too timid, too greyed out for my tastes. Last year’s Radiant Orchid was such an over-the-top saturated hue, that I guess I was expecting something similar.

But as I look at this color further, there is a reason that I live in it. I have a wall in my living room and a small powder room in this shade. I only drink wine of this hue. Almost every lipstick I own is this color. Nearly every car I have ever owned has been a variation of this. My brand new glasses are rimmed in a deep dark version of this shade. I even bought a pair of suede booties in this color last November. I wear them all the time. I guess do love it.

The color swatch itself is not that exciting, but the variations on this color are. The deep crimson color acts as a neutral shade that plays well with a host of others, from blues to greys, blacks and whites, oranges and plums, greens and browns.


I don’t normally concern myself with the Color of the Year (and truthfully, I was hoping for a brilliant sapphire blue), but I think that this is one that will have me reverting back to my old color tendencies where everything I make revolves around a certain darkened shade.

Our Pretty Palettes Inspiration for January :: Marsala

Our Pretty Palettes Inspiration for January :: Marsala

When I am stumped for good color palettes, the wedding planning sites are a great place to get pumped up. I came across this image of a stunning wedding bouquet filled with orchids and succulents in a seemingly monochromatic scheme. But it was the dusty plum and the heather grey that really got me. And then I found the perfect beads (all found at Michaels).

Grab some wine-hued beads and get creative!

Grab some wine-hued beads and get creative!

59353 – Amethyst glass faceted rondelles 3x6mm
81229 – Resin drusy purple rounds 11mm
93288 – Ruby Garnet rounds 8mm
79446 – Copper plated wire beads 7mm
81247 – glass pearl purple mix 6mm

I was about to give up on finding beads in the perfect shade of Marsala (that deep red wine color, not the sad flat shade from the Pantone website) when I spotted the garnets. Garnets are the birthstone for January. Did you know that garnets come in every single color but blue? They are named for their color: rhodolite are a pinkish red;  hessonite is the name for an orange, cinnamon, or pinkish variety; spessartite range from yellow and orange to reddish brown and dark black; tsavorite is the name given to dark green that is a fine substitute for emeralds, because it is less included, rarely treated, and more durable; grossularite, uvarovite and demantoid are also green varieties; pyrope garnets are purplish red (likely the one that is most familiar), orange-red, crimson, or dark red.

Add to that the resin drusy purple rounds, with just a hint of Marsala sparkle. Those were the ones that got me most excited, with the cracks that provide an almost scandalous peek. Their texture gave way to the coiled wire beads in copper, but a silver shade would be nice here as well. The graduated glass pearls have a perfect blend of colors, and the light amethyst faceted beads are a perfect complement in shape, finish and texture, giving the light a place to dance. I am excited to delve into this palette and see what I can come up with!

My Pretty Palettes partner for January is Sarah Ostriyznick. Sarah has been a regular participant in the Pretty Palettes since August and goes by the name of Sarah O Creations. She says that she loves the act of creating from the palettes as it inspires her, but she admits that the selling part leaves her flat. Me, too! I find that the inspiration is the best part as well. I am happy to have her join me this month!

I always on the hunt for partners for February, March and April. Could it be you I am seeking? Obviously, I find a lot of my partners from those that post on the hop, so come along and play! (Note: Must have a blog to participate as a partner. If you don’t have one, it is easy to get one! Try Blogger.) If you are interested in joining in the fun, select some beads to match the palette above, create something, blog about it and join me here on January 28th for the reveal of Marsala, the Color of the Year!


Erin Prais-Hintz

About Erin Prais-Hintz

Erin is a color addict who designs one of a kind wearable works of art for her company Tesori Trovati Jewelry. No bead goes unloved in her studio. She loves to mix patterns and textures, colors and metals, simple beads with stunning art beads for looks that have wit, whimsy and tell your story. Follow her creative journey on her blog: http://treasures-found.blogspot.com or find her hand made treasures at www.tesoritrovati.com.



  1. Janet Bocciardi January 7, 2015

    My favorite lipstick is this color, too! :-) I’ve got two chairs in my living room this color and love it. It’s an easy color to live with and coordinate as you’ve shown. I look forward to the reveal and wish I could participate this month.

  2. Stephanie Buss January 7, 2015

    Erin, I have to agree. I was so underwhelmed by this color! I have never liked it, even when I was at the University of Minnesota where the colors are Maroon and Gold! But that bouquet above is absolutely luscious. And so are the beads you picked out. Come to think of it, we just painted our front door that color. Maybe I’m coming around….

  3. Molly Schaller
    Molly Schaller January 7, 2015

    Erin, the mix and match palettes with Marsala have me sold on this color. I was also hoping for a grand blue or even a green, but mixing marsala with the grey greens and dusty pinks is brilliant. This fall, this color will rock so many weddings! I can’t wait to play along again this month!

  4. Erin Strother
    Erin Strother January 7, 2015

    I actually LOATHED “radiant orchid” and am pretty sure it was chosen by either Barbie or a Disney princess. It matched NOTHING. Bravo to Pantone for choosing an autumnal neutral color that is so much easier to work with and pairs with almost everything. Your bead choices a lovely! Looking forward to this month’s challenge!

  5. Elsie Deliz-Fonseca January 7, 2015

    I will be shopping for beads this week I am in .

  6. Sharon Piatek January 8, 2015

    Hi Erin!!!
    I have so enjoyed the pretty palettes inspiration series these last few months and am longing to participate. The problem I have is that upon arriving at Michaels to purchase the selections in the color palettes, I have been unable to find the beads you show in the above blogs, or find good substitutes. This has been the case for me 3 months in a row including my shopping trip to Michaels today. I asked for assistance and while the customer service rep did try to locate the products, we found that most of them were not available in the store. I also tried to locate beads for a Michaels “free” project idea and again, was unable to find the beads listed because of unavailability. Would I be able to find these products at another craft store? I appreciate your input and look forward to hearing from you. Thanks so much!

  7. Elsie Deliz-Fonseca January 11, 2015

    I am joining the January ”Pretty Palette January Inspiration.

  8. Cindy Martin-Shaw January 15, 2015

    Hi, Erin. Some of my beads are from Michaels, but a lot of these colors I already had in my stash (some are from Michaels long ago). Is the purpose of these challenges to design using the same beads as each other, or are we free to just use any beads in the color palette? The closest Michaels is a two hour drive from where I live. (Maybe this is a good thing for my budget. :)

    1. Molly Schaller
      Molly Schaller January 16, 2015

      Feel free to use what you have! Erin’s bead choices are for inspiration, and you’re welcome to use all of them, only these, some of these, none of these, these plus what you have in your stash, these plus ART BEADS (yum!), whatever you like. We want to inspire with the color palette. I’m so happy that you’re playing along!