Hello color lovers! Welcome to the May Reveal for the Pretty Palettes!
This month I selected an inspiration that was a nod to the mod patterns and colors of the 50s and 60s. I can imagine that my grandmother would have curtains made up with this fabric hanging in her home.
I really like the neutral palette for this inspiration. The black and cream with the taupe feels classic, and the pop of russet red makes it exciting. Here is a reminder of the beads that I selected for this month:
And here is what I created, a set I call Surt Sa Raven after the Swedish name for this fabric that translates to ‘sour says the fox.’
I love the top-drilled petal shape of these glass beads. I used them extensively in my DVD shot last fall for Interweave called ‘Shimmering Garden’ (in case you are looking for another way to use them!). So I remembered them and knew that they would be the perfect leaf shape for this inspiration. With a top-drilled bead like this, the trick is to use odd number groupings. Three is my power number. This allows the beads to naturally flow and makes the arrangement for pleasing to the eye.
There were a lot of different browns and taupe beads that I could have selected, but I settled on the shimmering tiger eye and the matte glass bicones. I could have just put a dot of color in that donut, the round lentils would fit perfectly, but I wanted to get that extra irregular shape in the mix. I used two strands on this necklace to string the bulk of the beads, separating them when I got to the donut to sort of weave over and under.
For the bracelet, I wanted to use up the remainder of my beads which left me with short to make up the same groupings of three. So I decided to make up three different groupings to keep it interesting and use the tigereye in the round shape. Referential but not matchy-matchy, which I really can’t do anyway.
The orange-red tone was a bit harder. The orange beads were too orange and some of the red beads were too red. I needed something in between. Enter the dyed bamboo coral sticks (which totally feel like a 50s vibe to me) and the Czech glass beads. I decided to ignore the clear ones and settled on the opaque coin beads instead.
When all was said and done, I had two leaf beads left. That can mean only one thing…earrings! Again, I don’t make matchy-matchy, and I wanted to bring in an additional element. I had picked up every single strand of these tiny square tube beads in hematite with a matte gold luster finish. (Sorry, Plover Michaels folks…when I like a bead, I buy it out!) I decided to challenge myself to use the leftover piece of beading wire (I had cut off too much) to make the earring. I started with about 7″ and strung the beads so that they formed a continuous loop. All it took was a crimp tube to create this mod earring design. I also found that if I pulled on it tighter, the beads bowed out into a cage-like effect, which was cool, too. But I wanted them to sit flat so I manipulated them to do that, making sure that the inner ring had less beads, before crimping them tight.
I know that my grandmother would have worn this set for sure. I can just about picture her now….
My Pretty Palettes partner for May is my good friend Miss Heather Powers. Her talent and eye for color have always amazed me. I knew that this inspiration would be perfect for her with the fox in particular. I knew she would enjoy the color and the kitsch! She tells me that she made one special fox bead just for this challenge (oooh! Bead alert!)
I know you will want to check out what she made. I can’t wait to see it! And if you happen to be going to the Bead & Button show next week, be sure to stop by booth 1208 to visit with both Heather and me at the country’s largest bead expo! Would love to meet you! (I will also be teaching a make-and-take at the Now That’s A Jig booth on Saturday 6/6 – check it out!)
And it wouldn’t be Pretty Palettes without a double dose of Erins to bookend the post… Here is what my creative sister Erin Strother made….
I loved the colors for this month’s challenge, and noticing that the inspiration piece was actually fabric, I wanted to do something with an organic vibe that incorporated natural fiber. I chose hemp cord rather than beads to match the khaki color in the palette, and then went for some funky black bamboo coral sticks, mother of pearl shell rondelles and spicy fire agate rounds to represent the other colors. I also added some black glass rondelles, and then I cheated a tiny bit and threw in some sagey, moss green Czech glass faceted rounds, because hey, I’m a rebel.
I found this cool, oversized toggle clasp hiding among the ordinary, boring toggle clasps, and it was obvious that it really wanted to be a focal element when it grew up, so I made a bunch of dangles to hang from it. I wrapped some hemp cord around the top of the bamboo sticks to add some interest and texture, and also tied on a long tail at the end of one of the dangles. I cut a bunch of hemp strands and smooshed the ends into cones to finish the piece.
As an alternative, you could do some kind of macramé thing with the hemp rather than just a clump of loose cords, and that would look totally cool. As a child who grew up in the 70s, you’d think I’d know how to do macramé, but sadly, that is not the case. Admittedly, I wasn’t very cool as a kid, and I never did the girl scout thing, so the closest I ever got to macramé was making one of those zig-zaggy chains out of gum wrappers. (You know what I’m talking about.) But now I’m digressing.
Anyway, I’m happy with how the piece turned out, even though my lack of macramé skills is quite obvious.
Your turn! Show us how this Scandinavian designed fabric inspired you!
And if you are just getting caught by the beading bug after seeing what everyone made, you still have time…
the InLinkz code will be live for a week.
SO grab some mod beads of your choice and whip up a fresh design! Join us!
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I am in LOVE with this color pallet! it is just so up my alley!! and a Scandinavian design to boot – win, win! Your designs are stunning and elegant Erin! I always love to see what you’re up to as your creations are always so inspired. And I saw Heather’s designs over on her blog, which is what landed me over here …. her’s are equally fun using some of her signature focals (which I love because what’s not to love about fox and wood beads?) Oh and then there is Erin Strother’s piece with all that hemp! I’ve recently rediscovered my love of help (I must have been one of the nerdy kids that did do macrame as a kid of the 70s). My best friend, and next-door-neighbor from Finland taught me. So there you have it! What a fun post!
I love what everyone has come up with! Two of the beads you chose are some of my absolute favorites from the line: the matte gold bicones & the red Czech glass. When I looked through a lot of the designs, people were also drawn to add some of the twine covered beads, and Erin S. added hemp. There’s something about the combination that wants fiber and the lighter neutral tones.
Heather’s artist beads are wonderful and inspiring and…I WANT THEM! Especially that fox. They’re so cute!
Beautiful work, everyone!
Awesome designs! So mod…excellent interpretation of the fabric. So many fabulous designs this month! Way to go…. picking a great inspirational piece!
Wow, what a great selection of beads this month! Thanks for inspiring us, Erin. Such a wonderfully diverse set of great designs!
Thanks ladies for another awesome challenge! Everyone’s pieces are fabulous!