Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Lucy’s Pearls

Last week we took a look at fashionable pearls in the time of Elizabeth I. Fast forward 400 years, and we have another surge of pearls, as seen on stars such as Lucille Ball.

The actress wore her share of costume jewelry, and was a big fan of designs from the Miriam Haskell collection, which helped popularize the faux pearl and crystal rhinestone. Though there is some speculation about the amount of designing done by Haskell herself, it’s certain that she did seek out and promote many skilled artists from the 1920’s to the 1960’s, leaving behind an amazing legacy of jewelry.

Lucile Ball Wearing a Strand of Pearls Lucy Does a TV Commercial

When you go for faux pearls, do you prefer glass or shell?

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Work in Progress: Lapis and Picasso

This week I’m working on a project that is very exciting, mostly because of the beads that are going into it. The techniques are simple, but the colors are fantastic - I can’t wait to see the finished piece!

Lapis Lazuli Beadwork in Progress

I’m combining matching Rullas and SuperUnos in a gorgeous coral red Picasso, with my own custom mixture made for the look of lapis lazuli. I mixed together some matte black AB – which has a dark blue look and hints of green, red, and purple – with a small dash of transparent light topaz AB for the flecks of gold. It turned out so nice that I want to make more and use it again in other projects as well.

What are you making this week?

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Jewelry Colors Part Two

In our last color experiment, we explored using purple as a fall color, inspired by Pantone’s color of the year, Radiant Orchid. Thanks to some great pieces in Cognac and Misted Yellow, I’d say it was pretty successful. This time I’ve upped the challenge with the even pinker hue of Sangria.

Sangria by Nicole Miller Pantone Fall 2014 Colors

Although at first glance the color lineup for this fall doesn’t scream autumn, there are several colors that look right at home in the season, when taken individually. For this week’s palette, I chose Aurora Red – a somewhat lighter shade with just a hint of orange. The final player in the trio is frosty neutral Aluminum. What I like about this palette is the suggestion of winter on the horizon, which makes the addition of warm Sangria seem very appropriate for fall.

Frosted Apple

The biggest challenge for this collage was finding the right balance of colors. Too much purple would make things too busy, while too much red would be overly dramatic. Luckily, I was able to find lots of pieces that almost perfectly matched my color choices, including a gorgeous fringe necklace with red ostrich feathers and an element of gray in the leather and chain base.
I couldn’t resist adding some red rain boots to go with the jackets and overcoats. All it needs is a mug of apple cider and there’s no mistaking the autumn vibe.

To create some of these jewelry styles, try these project and tutorials in your favorite colors:

Fall Feather and Fringe Jewelry Tutorials

1. This String Feather Necklace Tutorial by Hey Wanderer makes great use of embroidery floss.
Add a few Swarovski crystals and it’s perfect!

2. The Alison Show’s Chevron Fringe Necklace Tutorial
allows for lots of gorgeous color combinations.

3. If you love to wrap, this bangle tutorial from Paperphine is worth a try.
The project uses paper twine, but could also work with your favorite fibers.

4. Would you believe that this gorgeous Embroidered Bangle Project by Alison Strang
started out as a roll of packing tape?

Druzy Bead Earring Tutorial by Beadaholique

If you can’t find the perfect pair of druzy stones for earrings, you can make your own using beads,
with this Druzy Beads Earring tutorial by Beadaholique


These are my favorite Polyvore collages using this week’s picks:



Ruffled Trench Coat

How would you use purples and pinks in your fall palettes?

Copyright 2014 Inspirational Beading and Friends
Pantone and Nicole Miller
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Inspired Beader: Red Tulip Design

Bead Embroidery by Red Tulip Design

Some artists do such amazing things with their materials, it almost seems as if those things were invented just for them. Such is the feeling of awe one gets when seeing the designs by Hungary’s Angie M├ęzes, of Red Tulip Design. Her combinations of beads, cabochons and ribbon are exquisite, with beautiful colors and organic flowing shapes.

Inspirational Beading: When did you first get started with jewelry design?

Angie: I've always been a creative person, creating new things is very important for me. Before I started with beading I had decorated my home, boxes, mirrors, candlesticks etc. with different techniques. Five years ago I felt in love with beaded beads. I found information on the internet about how-to-do-it and I was very proud of my first (not so perfect) ones. I made a lot of jewels with beaded beads and peyote techniques, they were very popular and I received many custom orders. Then two years ago I felt in love with bead embroidery and it became my main and the most beloved technique.

Inspirational Beading: Do you remember your first piece? Where is it today?

Angie: My first jewels were beaded earrings. Some of them were sold, some of them were Christmas gift for my friends.

Inspirational Beading: What kinds of beads and materials do you like to use the most?

Angie: I'm a big fan of gemstone cabochons and beads (and I collect gemstone elephants). I often use gold Japanese seed beads, carved bone cabochons, Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, metal buttons. My new passion is the shibori silk ribbon.

Shibori Ribbon Cuff by Red Tulip Design

Inspirational Beading: Where do you look for your favorite inspiration?

Angie: Nature is the most important inspiration and as I have two little sons, we paint funny things and we play a lot with polymer clays or with my bigger beads and gemstones. While playing I see the shapes and colors and they start to form new jewels in my mind. They're just like a movie in my brain. The hardest part is to wait patiently till I can sit down to my desk and start to materialize them. Although I'd gave up being a teacher for History and German, I still love different cultures, fine arts and my favorites are the ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, the art of Gustav Klimt.

Embroidered Cuff by Red Tulip Design

Inspirational Beading: What’s the most interesting or unique thing about your design process?

Angie: I don't make plans about my jewels, I let my instincts to guide my needle. My mind is full of beading themes, I often dream about beads and jewels. I'm fascinated by colors and textures, they are the most interesting aspects for me. The life with two little children is never simple and never boring but I think I'm a person with inner harmony and I hope you can see this harmony in my jewels which are parts of me.

Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite color to work with?

Angie: Gold, fuchsia, turquoise, purple and orange are my favorite colors, but I love the color palette of the forest in autumn.

Inspirational Beading: What are some of your other favorite materials?

Angie: I love to find new ways for myself, I'm looking for new challenges. Creating soutache jewels is a great adventure for me and I have a lot of plans with polymer clay for the future.

Bead Embroidered Bracelet by Red Tulip Design

Inspirational Beading: What is the most exciting design in your shop right now? What makes it special?

Angie: My bracelets made with shibori silk ribbons became the most popular items. I also offer shibori bracelet beading patterns and DIY kits in my shop. They are unique because of their color palettes and the exciting design. „Perfection in wearable art” is one of the customers' feedbacks for my shibori bracelets.

Bead Embroidery by Red Tulip Design

Inspirational Beading: Who do you hope to inspire with your work?

Angie: I started to offer the DIY kits to share the feeling of creating those bracelets with the ones who fall in love with my beadwork. I would like to make people happy with my jewels: I hope my jewels become little treasures in the life of my customers. Positive feedbacks and comments from beading pals and artists are super.

You can see more of Angie’s gorgeous work in her Etsy shop, or purchase her hand-picked materials at Red Tulip Beads. For even more embroidered treats, follow Red Tulip Design on Facebook and Pinterest.

Copyright 2014 Inspirational Beading and Red Tulip Design
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Elizabeth’s Pearls

Nobody does lavish jewelry quite like royalty, and Queen Elizabeth in particular took personal adornment and fashion to a whole new level. Her many portraits provide an amazing look at jewelry trends of the time, which included an awful lot of pearls.

Queen Elizabeth I Armada Portrait Portrait of Princess Elizabeth Wearing the A Pendant

The love of pearls likely comes from the recently thriving freshwater pearl industry of the area. Scottish pearls were abundant and a valuable commodity at the time. Even in her youth, Princess Elizabeth is seen in portraits wearing her mother’s pearls – Anne Boleyn’s famous initial pendants.

What’s your favorite type of pearl bead?

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