Complimenting Colors

We’ve all heard the phrase opposites attract.  Electrons and positrons.  Yin and Yang.  Sweet and sour.

Colors have opposites on the color wheel too.  Complimentary colors like yellow and purple, red and green.

This is my experiment with complimenting colors.  We all know the standard, red & green for Christmas.  But I wanted to see if they cold play nicely sans season.

I think they do.

This necklace has a magnesite focal disk with some unbalanced embellishment (and aren’t we all a little off-kilter these days?), topped by red crystals.

The greens are antique chinese pressed glass.  I used milky white crystals and accents to bring everything together.  Finished with a fish clasp because, why not!


First Fire

One evening a week or so back I looked out the window to the north and saw flames coming down a hillside.

The first fire of the season!

We were not in danger, the fire being several miles away, but in the evening light, it was spectacular, eerie and primal all at the same time.

Those flames were the inspiration for this necklace. The oranges and yellows as well as the movement of the tassels makes the whole piece feel alive.  Fire is alive too, but this is much less dangerous.

Each tassel has a peyote bezel of mixed yellow beads, then they’re strung with various other colors – cracked glass beads, matte topaz seeds, orange druks, even some glass pearls.

Just right for summer.

Ursa Major Redux

Sometimes, it takes a while before components come together.  I blogged about Ursa Major quite some time ago, but wasn’t at all sure what it would become.

A brooch didn’t seem right.  It was too long for a necklace (or so I thought).  Than was until I said those very words, “It’s too long for a necklace” to someone, who replied “Not for me!”

Which got me to thinking…  I use my body type as the basis for sizing jewelry, and not everyone is my size (aka bird bones).  Some people are larger.  Some smaller.  Was this tunnel sizing doing a disservice to the beads?

Those three words, “Not for me!”, was all it took.

Ursa Major was finished!



Not a real word, though it sums up this necklace rather nicely, don’t you think?

Something completely different, as Monty Python would say.  Do I date myself using that phrase?  Who cares!

Funky tassels with their tips dyed orange, blue and pink.  Each tassel is bound with a peyote band of silver beads.

The necklace is strung with glass druks and silver beads in various sizes.  It’s very light.  Suitable for summer.


Even though they’ve been out for a couple years, I remain enamored of the spike beads.  There’s just something about them that speaks to me.  I have no idea what.  That’s why the opportunity to acquire a bag of mixed color spikes was too much to pass up.  Of course, that lead to the question of what to make with them?  There weren’t enough of any particular color to create a whole piece.

This group of warm colors reminded me of the recent news from Hawaii.  Hot lava.  Molten earth forming otherworldly shapes.  All the reds, oranges and yellows of an eruption.

Mixed into the equation are some silvery pink bugles, peach AB crystals and seed beads, because after all, what’s a necklace without seed beads?  Rather than have the spikes continue full circle, the back of the piece completes with matte silver chain.


This necklace all started with digging through a bead bin I have labeled “Focals & Fancies”, though I’m not sure if there really is anything terribly fancy about what’s in the bin.  I had completely forgotten there were coin beads in there!

I don’t recall what I had in mind when I bought it, but now I had some ideas floating around.  What else, besides just stringing them could be done?  Was there a way to add some interest?

After playing around a bit, I got the stitching to cooperate, and placed a series of matte brown and orange crystal beads along one side.  I thought about doing both sides, but decided the asymmetry was more pleasing.

The rest was finding beads to string along with the center, and a nice crystal drop as a dangle.

Nightshade and Opium

Just as there’s been precious little sewing until Sewing Camp, there has also been precious little beading going on.  It’s only been in the past month or so I’ve been able to return to the beading table.

While I haven’t started any new projects, I have been able to finish some that have been “in the works” for quite a while.

I don’t usually tend to make things using identifiable or semi-precious stones, but these caught my eye.  They are snowflake jasper I found at a lapidary shop.

I fiddled around, trying to figure out what to do with them; the irregular shapes were what attracted me, but didn’t make deciding on a finished project easy at all.  I auditioned various accent colors, looking for something that would pop.  The focals were interesting, but lacked zing.

The brooch was the first piece I finished.  I liked the various magentas and pinks. Then I bezeled the other three cabs, but had no idea what to do with them.  So they sat.  Lost and forlorn, waiting for inspiration to strike.  I wish I could take as long a holiday as inspiration took!

That said, inspiration finally returned, and I put the remaining three cabs together into a necklace.  As a group, they remind me of something you might find in Victorian times.  Dark, but not the total black of mourning.  Maybe a little wicked.  Maybe something Mr. Hyde would have given to his mistress.  Maybe something she would have taken for herself.