Did you have a sweet Valentine’s Day? I got a lovely little box of chocolates along with a mixed bouquet of flowers. Okay. Actually, I bought those flowers for myself, but the card and truffles that I received from my sweetheart were pretty nice.
We actually had to attend a fundraising event that weekend. This was a rare chance to dress up and have a nice meal with lots of friends all coming together for a good cause. And of course, I had to have a little romantic jewelry to wear. This month’s lacy inspiration provided the perfect romantic palette.
Honoring the memory of those lace-makers on Lace Island, I knew that I needed to have real lace in my jewelry pieces. So to the bead palette I added a spool of ribbon. Originally, I wanted to have something that would be sort of scalloped but couldn’t find what I saw in my mind. Then I spotted this of 5/8″ white lace ribbon. The holes in the ribbon make it really easy to use in beaded designs unlike a regular solid ribbon. I used the beading wire almost like a needle and the holes for stitching. This is an easy way to add texture to your work with fiber.
From there it was simply a matter of deciding on a pattern. I wanted to be able to alternate the ribbon between the beads, acting as a sort of frame. There is something so pleasing to mix hard beads with soft fabric and it creates a lot of volume with little weight. And I quite like the ripple effect that brings your eye from the bobbin shaped rose quartz pendant.
Adding in the larger ceramic rounds at the back mimics the ripple effect with the ribbon part and leads your eye. The spool that I bought only had about a yard on it. That worked out perfectly to use about 22″ (divided) in the necklace with a bit leftover.
With the leftover lace, I was determined to get that scallop shape that was in my head. I simply ran the wire along the outer edge, instead of straight down the middle with the necklace. As I did this I cinched the lace tight. This caused the lace to bunch up, interspersed with a few of the leftover beads (I used almost all the beads in the palette! I always think that is a success!). I like that it looks a bit like a wrist corsage, which brings back a lot of nostalgia for those spring proms from my youth.
I call this set Hopeful Romantic. Because I am. Hopeful. Romantic. And this lace is growing on me!
Let’s see what my Pretty Palettes partner, Michelle Ann McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio did with the inspiration.
Will you just look at that perfect pendant? I just knew that Miss Michelle would be up to the task to create something special! She is a ceramic bead artist and I just love her use of glaze in this piece to highlight the lacy texture. But that is not all that she did… you will have to go and check her out to see more!
And to learn a bit more about her, I asked Miss Michelle to answer just a few questions….
What unexpected place do you find inspiration for your jewelry designs?
An unexpected place I find inspiration for jewelry designs is my clay studio. For me, it all starts with clay, texture and color. My jewelry takes shape from there.
If you were told you could only use one bead for the rest of your life, what bead would that be?
My one bead that I could use exclusively forever is faceted amonizite. The varying shades of blue, green and brown is so beautiful to me!
What is your favorite Halcraft bead? My favorite Halcraft bead sent to me is the Rose Quartz stone drop. I designed my focal pendant around that!
I have to chuckle that I always seem to throw my friend Erin Strother for a loop with my inspirations. Yet she still manages to make each one true to her own style with amazingly clever touches.
So I totally stole this lace focal thingie idea.
Like, shamelessly, blatantly ripped it off, because frankly, I had nothin’.
I spent 15 minutes standing stupidly in the ribbon aisle at Michaels, staring at several different lace-type ribbons and wondering how the heck to incorporate them into a necklace. There were zero brainwaves happening. Like, vast endless echoey canyons of nothingness between my ears.
I wandered around the store for a while like I was lobotomized, and then I happened to notice this little fold-over lace focal thingie in the jewelry aisle and it was like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” in my head. So I bought a spool of lace ribbon and some fold over cord ends and pulled out some sort of lacy-ish patterned heart beads and some rose quartz chips from my stash and there you go!
This is a super simple idea, and is also a great way to incorporate any type of fabric you have a sentimental attachment to—be it lace from a vintage wedding dress or a scrap of your grandmother’s quilt or a piece of mudcloth from Africa. Just adjust the bead selection accordingly to match.
See what I mean? Erin Strother can even make hearts and lace feel punk and boho chic! Love it!
Now, let’s see what you did! I always enjoy seeing what unique spins you can put on my inspirations. I like to make you think, but more than that, I really want to see you stretch and try something new (that goes for me, too!). So if you were inspired by these lacy notions, please share what you made!
And if you are interested in being a Pretty Palettes partner for an upcoming month (March and May are currently wide open!) please let me know if you might be interested. Would love to share the fun with you!
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Erin P-H: I love that effect of using ribbon woven around beads, I used it for another challenge that reaveals tomorrow! The lace just adds to the beauty of the piece you did. I love how you kept the wavy ripple effects going by alternating big and little beads! Thanks for putting together such a fun challenge!
Erin S : we must meet someday! I’ve been needing a project for my mud-cloth! Thanks for the idea, cause I’m gonna just ‘steal’ it from you??
I am super impressed with the clever twist everyone put on their creations! The pieces are all lovely and unique. Thank you for putting together such a fun palette–I really enjoyed playing along! :)