It seems like it has been quite a long time since I first issued the Pretty Palettes challenge for October!
This month was jam packed for me, and true to my nature, I waited until the very last minute to put my pieces together. I have to tell you that when I buy the beads at the beginning of the month, I typically have at least somewhat of an idea in my head as to what I want to do with them, usually right there in the store. This month, in addition to the beads below, I purchased a gunmetal chain, toggle clasps, jump rings, fold over bead ends, flexible beading needles and a skein of gunmetal metallic embroidery floss. But, as is also true to my nature, I neglected to sketch out that idea so that I would have it to reference when I actually sat down to work! So, of course, as it was 8:38pm when I started on this, I got everything out of the bag that I had tucked it away in and sat there. Stumped. What in the world did I think I was going to do with all of that? I quickly made the decision that I would set aside some of those extraneous bits and save them for some future project. Does that ever happen to you? (Please tell me I am not alone in this!)
For this month, it was all about the color for me. The artwork of Erin Fitzhugh Gregory is so dynamic, I feel that those flowers are just shimmering with life! Her color palette is decidedly more tropical than late fall, but I actually see all these colors every day with the changing leaves, the brilliant blue sky, the fading grass. This just feels like a crisp autumn day to me, and I hope that it inspired you, too!
Since I didn’t have a clue as to what I was planning to do originally, I started and stopped about a half dozen times, which resulted in having a whole bunch of unfinished bits, and a rather late hour. I got up to get a cup of coffee and to stretch and when I came back those bits seemed to have rearranged themselves on my work table! Aha! I saw a sort of pattern happening and that is what I went with for the finished pieces. I call this set Fruit Loops because the colors just make me happy like I felt when I was a kid and we got to sample those mini boxes of cereal when a guest would come to stay (I always hoarded the Fruit Loops!).
I really wanted to stay true to the challenge of putting all those colors into the same design. I know that this is not always easy to do, and I would never expect that as a condition from my design partners for the month. But to me it is more about breaking past those barriers and finding a way to make it work. I started by taking a small link that I made with the salmon pink beads, some beading wire and a crimp, and added another link with the lime green nuggets. From there it was easy to see the pattern emerging.
I intended this originally to be a short necklace, around 18″. But since my brain is a bit addled at this late time, I ended up cutting double the amount of chain and adding the clasp. Of course, this is when I realized that it could easily slip over my head and the clasp was not necessary. Still I liked it both ways, long and short, and couldn’t decide which way was best. What’s a girl to do? Make it convertible, of course!
Since I had merely looped the double length of chain through the end beaded loops, it was easy to just add another clasp that was tucked inside and behind the beaded link. This allows the necklace to be cinched up so that both sides clasp near the beaded links. Clever!
I made a bracelet with the same assortment of beads, and repeating at least one of the beaded links. This was a bit of a challenge, as the center turquoise colored stones are actually two hole (but I loved the unexpected shape!). So I made it one continuous loop, hiding the crimp in one of the end loops. Added the chain in the same way as the necklace, just looped through the beaded link.
Earrings are always easy, right? Well, this is about the fifth version that I made! I knew I wanted one of every color bead as well as some of that cool diamond link chain. But just stringing the beads on the end of some chain seemed like a pretty predictable way to go. What I love about most pre-made chains is that they are usually un-soldered links. This means that you can open them anywhere and make the lengths you want without sacrificing any link to cutting. Plus you can use the links like jump rings. I decided to take apart about 10 links and make them into sort of a fringe chain at the top. I think this adds more interest than if I just dangled the beads from the bottom of some chain.
My Pretty Palettes partner for October is Kathleen Lange Klik of Modern Nature Studio. I have always admired Miss Kathleen’s very simple and elegant designs. She puts a fresh spin on what she creates and she has the most marvelous packaging. Here is a sneak peek of what she created. It is blowing my socks off and I can’t wait to see more! Please, go and see more about her process and her designs and show her some love!
Kathleen Lange Klik
Modern Nature Studio
Blog: Modern Nature Studio
Etsy: Modern Nature Studio
If you are interested in joining in the fun and have created your own take on the Pretty Palette for October, please feel free to add your link to the hop below.
The new Pretty Palette challenge for November will be revealed on November 5th. And I am still not sure who my Pretty Palette Partner will be… it could be YOU!
Wow Erin, these pieces are really amazing. What a gorgeous collection! You really brought all of the hues together in a beautiful way. I love that the necklace can be worn long or short and especially love the “fruit loop” links that you created! I think the bracelet is my favorite piece of all. I love how you arranged the beads together with the two hole magnesite. It has a fun, modern feel to it. You really do work magic on a deadline-well done!
Amazing Job Erin! I love the beaded loop idea, a must try for me. The bracelet is just lovely, good use of the two hole slider beads. The idea of taking apart the chain to make dangles for the earrings is AWESOME!! Thanks for the inspirations!
Amazing work Erin, I love the idea of the beaded loops, its on my must try list! The bracelet is lovely and great use of the two hole slider beads. My fav are the earrings with the deconstructed chain to use as dangles, AWESOME IDEA! Thanks for the inspirations!
You made a beautiful ensemble, Erin! l love the convertible necklace idea!
I’m loving these challenges. The ideas that everyone comes up with are great! I’m so excited for Nov 5th that I can hardly stand it. Love your tips and tricks. Your work is something to aspire to!
Erin, I really wanted to do this pretty palette. That picture is so alive with color, it made me feel happy. Unfortunately, you got me started reading this Halcraft blog (it’s all your fault, as usual) and I fell in love with the Arachnid necklace. from Macabre Monday and bought those beads first. I needed to make 2 of those but, I still had money for the pretty palette beads THEN …. so many Halloween things were on sale……..
Micheal’s got more than its share of my bead budget, I have way cool Halloween things but no pretty palette beads.
Of course, your designs are beautiful and fun. You certainly rocked out those bright colors.
You are so funny, Miss Lee! I love that you were inspired to READ ALL OF THE BLOG…now you know you have to follow along. I think that the Arachnid necklace was way cool too, but I have more than my fair share of 8-legged ‘friends’ (I use that term very loosely) with me all the time in the studio that I didn’t want them to think I worshiped them or anything by wearing one on my neck! ;-) And you know what? You can always come back to the monthly challenges and revisit them when you are stuck for inspiration. That is actually a great idea! Thank you for your interest in the Pretty Palettes October challenge. Check back on November 5th for the next inspiration! Enjoy the day! Erin
Dang girl. I wish that I worked that well under pressure. I love this set especially the bracelet. And those earrings would have me tossing my hair just to hear them tinkle.