“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.”
Winter storm Jonas has wreaked havoc on the east coast. Sorry about that if I woke up the snow gods with my nod to the tiny frosty miracles in my inspiration post! It does look quite beautiful out there, if not a little deadly and barren. I just have to keep reminding myself that each snow hill is made up of a bajillion microscopic snow flowers, each one unique, banding together to make something larger than themselves. That is a humbling thought!
For my piece, I wanted to evoke the frosty wonders by making some snowflakes out of wire and beads. Using 26 gauge gold plated wire (why not silver? Well…I like the contrast of the metals, but also that is what I had on hand!), I simply threaded a teardrop bead and twisted. It is as simple as that! The trick was more to get them to integrate into the design that I already had laid out with the sparkly sliders. (Hint: it is just pulled through the holes and twisted tight. Not pretty from behind, but effective!)
Did you know that there are 121 different types of snow crystals? Fern, twelve-branched, rimed and graupel, to name but a few. Diamond dust are the tiniest snow crystals which look like sparking dust in the sunlight. These crystals are so very tiny, smaller than the diameter of a human hair! Those sliders remind me of this. They really do evoke the prismatic effect of light on the surface of the crystals on a bright clear-blue sky day in the bitter chill of winter. Plus sliders have holes and it is easy to string them and add details like my crystal branches.
Did you know that there are column, capped column, needles and even triangular snow crystals? Tapering to the side are the different shapes and colors of crystals, just like those varieties. Subtle color shifts depending on how the light hits the facets, but that is what fascinates me about snow crystals, how they bounce the light around, for as tiny as they are. It is a breathtaking sight. That is one instance where it is okay that they gang up together!
For the earrings, I wanted to keep things simple. When I have a larger statement piece, I like to keep earrings minimal (and vice versa). I found these cool ear chain threads, so I made an ear-cicle from some of the leftover beads. I don’t “do” pink, but I can get behind this barely-there shade in these crystals.
I am calling this set Stellar Dendrites (dendrites meaning “tree-like”) for the name of the most common type of snow crystal.
My Pretty Palettes partner for January is Heather Powers of Humblebeads.
As a new feature to the monthly Pretty Palettes challenge, I wanted to get to know the partner a little bit more. So I posed three questions to Miss Heather.
EPH :: What unexpected place do your find inspiration for your designs?
HP :: I think the most unexpected place I go for jewelry inspiration is poetry, quotes and song lyrics. You may never see the inspiration directly, but the stories are interwoven in the designs. Of course, what isn’t surprising is that most of that imagery focuses on nature!
EPH :: If you were told you could only use ONE bead (any type, color, size, shape, material, etc) for the rest of your life, what would it be?
HP :: One bead for the rest of my life? Thank goodness I don’t really have to pick – but if I’m hard pressed I think I would choose electroplated hematite beads. Since they come in a wide range of shapes, metallic colors and in matte or shiny, they could keep me busy for quite a while. But you know I would cheat and use them with my beads because you couldn’t stop me from making beads!
EPH :: What is your favorite Halcraft bead (from those I sent or from all available)?
HP :: My current favorite Halcraft beads are the Gold Luster Hematite Stone in geometric square heishe or in the irregular cut nuggets. They go with pretty much everything.
Please go and check out what Heather made!
Erin Strother shares her thoughts on this season the rest of us call “Winter.”
Anybody who knows me knows I am not a big fan of winter, which is why I moved to San Diego 18 years ago and will be totally happy if I never see another snowflake again in my entire life. That being said, I do think snowflakes are beautiful, as long as you are viewing them in a photo and not scraping them off your driveway or windshield. And I’ll admit, it was kinda fun, sitting in my studio creating this icy necklace, while looking out my window at the blue sky and palm trees. Did I mention I’m wearing flip-flops? (OK, I’ll stop rubbing it in.)
I had some crystal quartz points in both clear AB finish and metallic silver, and I liked their organic, natural free-form shapes juxtaposed with the faceted crystal nugget. Soft pink fresh-water pearls add just a hint of color, and a silver snowflake charm is a fun accent. I added white leather cord for another “ice princess” element, along with a strand of silver chain and five dainty pearl dangles, capturing the essence of winter (even though it’s 70 degrees outside).
Now it’s your turn!
Show us what you made with this frosty inspiration!
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I love seeing how you used those sliders, I was totally stumped with them! I may have to give them another look. I love those beaded snowflakes, you always think outside the box. Isn’t Erin S. clever layering chain with leather cord for a necklace? I wouldn’t have thought of that either. The Halcraft team is so talented, you always do something unexpected! Thank you for the chance to be a Pretty Palette partner, it was an honor.
Erin P-H – Love the wire wrapped points! Thanks for a fun challenge!
Erin S – thanks for the laughs per usual, and fun necklace as well!
Gorgeous pieces! I love the glam beads especially the pink.
Beautiful and unique come to mind to describe these pieces. I think we need to coin a new word… Winter-lish-ous! Thank You for another terrific Challenge!