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Painted Flower Necklace

Painted Flower Necklace

Molly Schaller
molly 3 years ago

Hello, all! This is Barb Switzer! This is for all of you who struggled a bit through the Pretty Palettes projects this time. I did as well, but in the end I came up with a design that I love and makes me feel like I’m onto something.

One of the most prevalent aspects of my love/hate relationship with design is that it is a disorderly process. There is no linear way to get from an idea to a finished piece, no matter how much you assume it will go that way when you first start.

My finished for this month is my third attempt. Although I started out with what I thought were some great ideas, they didn’t provide the canvas that I needed for the design.
When I looked at the artwork that inspired the palette, I was drawn in as much by the shapes and images as I was by the colors. I was left with a haunting sense that my piece needed to look a little bit like a flower. And a painting. And it needed to include all of the colors, and not just little splashes, but enough of the colors for  each one to have it’s own place. Hmmmmm.

The dynamic and color artwork of Erin Fitzhugh Gregory captivates me with the brilliant colors!

The dynamic and color artwork of Erin Fitzhugh Gregory captivates me with the brilliant colors!

My original idea was a bracelet, not a necklace. But I didn’t have the base that I needed, and what I tried had a very fragmented expression of color. I set it aside. Actually, I put it in “the special box” that I use for UFOs (unfinished projects). That is all I will say for now on the subject of the UFO box.


Barb Switzer’s Painted Flower Necklace is masterpiece!

My second attempt resulted in a very cute little component. But I couldn’t figure out how to use it in any way except as a simple pendants, and it just wasn’t… enough. But the idea provided a stepping stone, and another trip to the Michael’s provided me with the right “paints” for my canvas.

My end creation is a wearable painting made with beads and wire. The technique is fundamentally bead embroidery, but using wire bound to a metal base. Although I have done this technique a lot, it rarely has resulted in a wearable finished design. I am ecstatic!

Barb Switzer's Painted Flower pendant detail

Barb Switzer’s Painted Flower pendant detail


The wearable

The wearable canvas!

In the end, I went well beyond my own expectations. I created something that uses a technique in a way I have always desired. The color palette is exciting, and WAY outside of my normal very small box of pea green, grey and brown. My finished design is fun to wear, has a dash of sparkle, and makes me feel like a great design success. However crooked the road from beginning to end might have been, this was a design journey I think I should take again. I can’t wait to see next month’s colors!

Molly Schaller

About Molly Schaller

Molly Schaller loves beading, knitting, gardening, bookbinding, and being with her family of creative kids and her handy husband. She's always on the lookout for new ways to express her creativity and help others learn ways to tap into their creativity as well!


  1. Shai Williams October 30, 2014

    What a great design! Now matter how you came to it, this necklace is definitely a winner.

  2. Erin Prais-Hintz
    Erin Prais-Hintz October 31, 2014

    Oh Miss Barb! I am so delighted that you could play along with the Pretty Palettes this month. I love your story of how this wasn’t quite what you expected, that it pushed your color limits and it made you come up with an even better look. Marvelous! I would wear this in a heartbeat! And the technique of wiring beads to those green donuts….genius! I never would have thought of that! This, right here is why I love doing these challenges. Thank you for playing in the Pretty Palettes October challenge. Check back on November 5th for the next inspiration! Enjoy the day! Erin

  3. Louise G November 2, 2014

    This is a beautiful piece, using the colors in the palette. I love the look, and it makes me want to try the technique. Very inspiring, Barb!

  4. Kathleen Lange Klik November 2, 2014

    What a beautiful design! I really love the beaded links that you created.