10 July 2013

Brandi's Color Challenge

"All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites." ~Marc Chagall
You all know that I cannot resist a good challenge. And if it has to do with color, well, then count me in!

Thank you to my friend, Miss Brandi Hussey, for selecting the unique palettes for us to be challenged by in honor of her brand new book, Understanding Color: Color Theory Made Easy. Read my review of this outstanding new reference. I know you will want one.

Brandi created six different color palettes each with six colors each for us to be inspired by and we could make whatever we wanted in the medium of our choice. I had grandiose plans to do all six palettes and even selected beads in my stash to go with each. But I only was able to complete four of them by staying up to the wee hours after baseball all night. On the other hand, now I have a few new kickstarts for when my Muse goes MIA again. Win-win!

I am going to try something new for me... a Buy It Now button for each. I have never really done that, so if you are interested in any of these, I will wrap them up and mail them out to you as a lovely little present. And if not, well, they will find homes someplace else.

So, let's get started, shall we?


This first palette is very soft and cool feeling, like those first fresh ferns that unfurl in the spring under the dappled sunshine in a deep woods. This is a green that I can live with and it plays so well with the neutral greeny-beige colors. I had the perfect bead from Golem Studio.

I am a hoarder of Golem beads (oh, who am I kidding... I hoard all beads!). I have had the pleasure of meeting Vlad and his wife Kremona and they are just the most lovely of people. I have a whole set of them and was going to do a necklace, but then I spied these sweet lucite leaves nearby left over from a project I did last month for the Lovely Knots challenge. Now I had my bright green in the middle and the soft beige tones. Thinking lucite I remembered these carved melon lucite beads and threw in one in a slightly more blue tone just for contrast. This bracelet features an antiqued silver magnetic flower clasp that echoes the shape on the Golem bead and measures 7 1/2". I call this 'Unfurling' since those leaves and the color remind me of those sweet ferns opening their fingers to the warmth of the sun.

'Unfurling' bracelet
$50.00 + 3.00 shipping


Now THIS palette, #2, is my kind of palette. I was fond of living in these saturated jewel tones in the 80s and 90s. I am not a big pink fan, but that bright fuschia color is my shade, and I can tolerate the other pinks as they are more of the back up singers to this high note. This palette just looks rich to me, with the royal purpley-blue and the soothing teal.

I went back to the book Bohemian Inspired Jewelry and found one of my favorite projects there by Erin Siegel called Sakura. I did a book review for that back in June 2012 if you want to see what I created from this fabulous book's inspiration. I don't have a lot of waxed Irish linen, but I did have this spool of variegated hemp cord that worked perfectly with all the colors of the palette. I found this pretty leaf in the deep magenta color from Humblebeads and a rustic turquoise ceramic bead from Diane Hawkey. I thought the pink would be hard, but as luck would have it, I had tiny faceted rose quartz and some larger faceted crystal rondelles. To get that deep blue-purple color, I dug out some blue goldstone faceted rounds. I love that stone with the little flecks that pick up the light and bounce it back. Whenever I work with fiber like this, I always underestimate what I will need. I went with the amounts in the Sakura instructions but I should have added like 15 more inches. It is a true 16" length, perfect for you girls with those nice thin necks ;-). On me it is a little too snug, as I prefer an 18-20" length. It closes with a vintage pressed glass button.

I am calling this 'Sweet Simplicity' for the way this makes me feel a little bit bohemian and free. Wouldn't this look great with a flowy white sundress and strappy sandals on the beach?

'Sweet Simplicity' necklace
$50.00 + 3.00 shipping


I chose this palette because yellow scares me. No, really. I almost never use yellow so I wasn't even sure that I could find something that would match. But as luck would have it, I had the perfect bead that I bought some time ago from Honey Bijou. Unfortunately, Honey Bijou is no longer making beads for sale :-( which is too bad, because I really liked the way she worked with colors in her polymer clay beads and also these great 'doodle beads' she sold that she made using left over clay.

I bought a mix of caliente-colored Czech glass flowers from Fusion Beads and was able to pick out several of the shades to match. The yellow was harder to find, but I remembered I had a huge mixed bag of carved gemstone leaves from Fire Mountain Gems from awhile ago and there were some sort of gem that had that soft yellow color, not sure what it is. Adding to this is a fun fluted polymer clay and metal round in that deep fuschia from Jeannie Dukic, a polymer clay floral caned bead from Too Aquarius, and my own attempts at enamel in this soft lavender color bead.

Oh, and I used my new 1-Step Looper on these dangles. It works, but I did manage to crush a few of the glass beads I had to discard, and I still had to open them all up and secure them to the chain, so I am not sure about this tool yet. But if you have to make a lot of dangles it does make quick work. I just wish that the loop could be adjustable so that you could make it larger. Have you used one? What do you think about it?

I really love this one (and ultimately may decide to keep it for myself ;-) as it has such a sassy mix of hot colors and a sweet jangly sound. I am calling this "Hothouse Flowers" for the way this looks like a modern tropical corsage for your wrist. Measures 7 1/2" with brass findings and a floral toggle clasp.

'Hothouse Flowers' bracelet
$65.00 + 3.00 shipping

This is the palette that grabbed my attention first. Of course, I liked all the greens and turquoise, but that salsa red really threw me. It is such a pure and saturated shade next to all the other more soft and muted ones that I knew that this would be a challenge. I had something completely different in mind for this, with a hoarded Jade Scott heart pendant and tiny red rondelles, but my Muse was having none of it. So I will have to come back to that idea later.

Then I spotted this discarded steel wire frame that I had made for another project and next to that was a polymer clay bird from Humblebeads. I have an entire bin of the Jangles beads from Michaels (I keep buying more every time I go in there). The tones were perfect and added that touch of whimsy that I love so much. I wired the birdie onto the bottom of the frame, making a nest. But it needed something else so I plucked out a wee Humblebeads toadstool and another Jangles dangle.

This is a long necklace, 32" + 3" dangle. I have been making many, many in this style as they are so easy to just slip on over a t-shirt or a sundress and they layer well with other necklaces. But the real the beauty of this design is that if you want it shorter, you can just take the silky gunmetal chain (this is my favorite chain from Rings & Things - I practically have the item code memorized I buy it so often!), double it over and pass the chain over the bird frame to wear it short with the beaded links off to one side. I love designs that can be worn more than one way!

I am calling this 'Swinging Around' as it looks like this birdie is kicking up her heels on an avian swingset.

'Swinging Around' necklace
$65.00 + 3.00 shipping

Thank you, to Miss Brandi for throwing down such a great challenge that got me to raid my stash and come up with new ideas and new designs. Please hop on over to BrandiGirlBlog to see who else played along and what art they created using these six palettes.

UPDATE!Due to some computer glitches, Miss Brandi has extended the deadline for entering to MIDNIGHT TONIGHT! So... if you are at all interested... get creative and enter something! Prizes await!
ENTER your creative masterpiece on the form HERE!


Alice said...

You've been busy!!! I like every one of your pieces with all the wonderful beads. My favorites are 3 and 4 because of all the bright colors.

I've never heard of the one step looper.....interesting.

sharon said...

As I try to pick my jaw up off the floor.....you amaze me, your energy level alone, and you are so diverse in your artistic direction! Each one is so beautiful, but I am drawn to #1, I do love greens so much, but the last i is killer too! You rock Erin!
Thanks so much for kind words also!

Janet Bocciardi said...

Erin - You did a fabulous job!!! Not only with the color, but I also love the designs.

Dawn Doucette said...

What an amazing mix - and HUGE variety - in the palettes you chose Erin! You always create such special pieces... I love the dangle leaves in the first piece. I could lick the second piece from the palette down to the cording... ;) And I love how you incorporated so many special art beads! Amazing!

Beautiful color play my friend!

Shel said...

What beautiful pieces, Erin - simply lovely! I think I like "Sweet Simplicity" the best - the colors are right up my alley! I would have been stumped using yellow too - you're more brave than I would have been w/yellow and you made it look easy (and pretty!).

Maneki said...

Beautiful jewellery! As always, I should perhaps add?

The first one is just so summery, very July/August when the foliage is at its peak and the flower are taking a pause. Or greens, like fern, in the shade of trees.

The second one was one of the palettes I was first attracted to. In your hands, the result is playful and bright without being too "childish". As you say, perfect beach necklace.

No 3, now. Yellow can be scary for some reason, many beaders seem to shy away from it and bright oranges. That's why I picked yellow in one of your challenges (while I love autumn colours, sunny yellow is a colour I rarely pick up). That helped me become a somewhat better friend with it and I hope this challenge was as useful for you. Very nice result of this scary challenge, anyway.

The fourth piece is probably my favourite, despite the fact I normally shy away from bright colour combos like this. But mixing dark metal with the combo really adds some depth and weight to the cheery colours, which I like. And it's a favourite because of the lovely bird focal -- it's just so pretty!

(I wanted to participate too, but stuff kept getting in the way: potato harvest, full day away doing necessary and some not so necessary shopping -- and to top it off some sort of jaw/teeth ache that makes me feel so sorry for myself and is making me testy. Gah, there's always something to get in the way of all the planning you do. If it isn't your own brain creating obstacles like procrastination and drained creativity, it's something from the outside. So compared to me you managed quite a lot with this challenge, even if you didn't reach your initial goal!)

Tracy Statler said...

Hey Erin!

You nailed all the color palettes - to the wall! They are all fantastic. I just love the one with steel wire frame and the Jangles beads which I have snagged plenty of myself at Michaels. Of course I am partial to the bracelets and the bohemian design so I just can't choose a favorite!

I've had my eye on the looper but did not purchase because of not being able to change loop size. Still may consider though.

Beautiful Miss Erin! So glad I stopped by today.


LisaS said...

Very pretty!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Miss Erin, you've done it again! Love what you've made here! Especially that last one, and the second last one and, well, all of them really ;-)
I wish we had a Michaels here in Australia, because I'd be buying all of those Jangles beads too. Love her cheerful colours!
Incidentally I just bought myself one of those 1-step loopers, hoping it will speed things up a bit. We'll see how it goes.

Patti Van said...

Each of these creations are just beautiful! After you mentioned your fear of yellow, I had to think...do I have any yellow in my huge stash of beads?? No! Not one single yellow bead! I would have put money on the fact that I have every color of the rainbow. Thank goodness I only make bets with myselF!

Seriously, that bracelet with the art bead of beautiful tones of yellow could be my favorite! Paired with the red, it is a perfect color match in my minds eye!

Charis Designs said...

Your creations continue to delight and inspire! The Hothouse Flowers bracelet is gorgeous. I also love how you used the Jangles beads (I also have a stash) to do something very different and fun! Christie

BackstoryBeads said...

What a fun post! #3 was my least favorite palette, but you made a believer of me with your Hothouse Flowers design. Those colors come alive in your hands!

Sarajo Wentling said...

Wow! I'm totally impressed by how many of these you did! I originally thought I'd try for two, but I've been gone more than I've been home and I barely finished the one.

I think your "Sweet Simplicity" is my favorite, but they are all fabulous!

Jennifer Jangles said...

They are all great designs Erin, but I have to say the green bracelet is my favorite.

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

I am late to visit, Erin, but no less impressed with your wonderful read on Brandi's beautiful colour palettes. I would have loved to join in, but already participating in Sally's B&W... felt two reveals on the same date to be too much for this old gal ;)

While I love each design for it's individual creativity, I must single out Palette #3 and your "Hothouse Flowers". My eye fell immediately to the large yellow bead (which I mistook for the work of Rebecca Watkins), then moved through the perfectly balanced selection of components. The atmosphere reads like a casual walk among the sultry tropical blooms!

Re: the 1-step... this tool seems to be a WIP. We had a "spirited" discussion over its merits over at AJE:


A Polymer Penchant said...

Oh Erin we are so sisters in colour! I too love that second palette, just feels like home - and yellow, oh man, baby steps there. I'm so happy to see so many of your lovely hoarded beads shown off in these pieces. I love the sweetness of the first (how perfect a texture those two peanuts as spacers - genious!). I love everything about the second even if it wouldn't fit my neck. The third makes me wish for a deep tan for just a day to really show it off and that last is just such playfulness - perfect for those punchy shades. Awesome work!

Cindy said...

Erin, what a post!! Full of beautiful jewelry, colors, and art beads! You really amazing me, burning that midnight oil and still able to design such one-of-a-kind pieces. They are all so beautiful. I especially love the colors, beads and bohemian style of the Sweet Simplicity necklace. You had me with the mention of a flowing white dress on the beach! I gotta have it! :-) Tried the Paypal but didn't work out - please let me know if it's still available...you can send it right on over to Beach Walk Lane (literally my summer address). :)

Sally Russick said...

Oh Erin, what a beautiful array of color! I'm in awe at your innovative style and how well you made use of each color palette! Lovely work!! I bought Miss Brandi's book and hope I get some time to pour over the pages this week end.

Stacie said...

What a fun post this was and all the eye candy you gifted us all with! I don't think I have a single yellow bead in my stash...how weird!!! Lovely work...as always!


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