Monday, April 4, 2011

Fashion Forward: A new Palette at Last!

Welcome April, and warmer weather!  Fashion forward sticks to its name and continues on through the seasons, heading into Fall 2011.  And where better to turn to first than Pantone, the paterfamilias of color trends?  Here's their color palette for the autumn season: (all images copyrighted to Pantone and Mountain Glass)

Note Honeysuckle is still clinging to its title of Color of the Year.  I'm a huge fan of pairing it with the Bamboo and Emberglow (what a name!), it's a nice transition from summer to fall.  It takes the brighter, flashier corals and yellows of summer and tones them down for the fall.  The Phlox color is a gorgeous purple, and pair that with gold accents.  Cedar and Deep teal will look great paired with the neutral hues, and Quarry with Orchid Blush is an icy slide into Winter.  The only color I think is missing is a warm red, and many of the fashion designers agree. 
Pantone has a fabulous set-up with links to interviews with fashion designers and their trend/color selection for the fall, and Rebecca Taylor believes Bordellos and Burnt Siennas will be go-to colors this season as well.  The complementary color of red is green, and since the bordellos are not true reds, go with a not-true blue like the Dark Teal. 
If you're a glass artist, here are some colors that correspond to the trends:
"Bordello" from Messy Color.  It's a striking red, and can be a super fussy color, but the red is so rich and deep and darker than plain red.  It's one of my favorite colors, and I normally don't work with warm colors very much.  But this, paired with gold accents, will be gorgeous.  It makes you want to fill your glass with red wine, nestle into a fuzzy blanket, and sit by the fire. 

"The Great Bluedini" by Messy Color (I love that company!".  I can't think of a better color for the Dark Teal tone.  It's thick and can pucker if you hold it too long in the flame, but I love the slight transparency to it.  Put it over one of the more neutral colors, like the silver gray, for a spectacular effect. 

"Rubino" by Moretti.  It's a popular transparent color of gold and ruby tones, and looks wonderful in Fall and Winter pieces. 

It's basically the big shift from bright, light, and fun colors of Spring and Summer to deeper, richer, warmer colors of Fall and Winter.  I don't know if it's the same for those who live in places without seasons, but the colors reflect the shift from longer days to longer nights, from blooming trees to stark branches.  I'm excited for the change, I was getting tired of the pastels.  On to something with a bit more bite, and a totally new color palette. 

Next week will cover the fashion trends, and how to design jewelry with them in mind. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Island Girl Rocks!

I fell instantly in love with this next artist as soon as I saw her awesome stamped clay designs.  IslandGirlPottery uses her own stamps that she's made to create beautiful patterns in clay and then, with multiple firings and processes I don't understand, generates astounding colors.  Her love of life is reflected in the simple, natural designs that are full of vivid personality.  I'll admit, part of the draw for me is the cuneiform look to her pieces.  They look like the cylinder seals the ancient Sumerians used, and that texture that goes along with that sort of design is so tactile you can feel it through the pictures.  (all images copyrighted to the artist)

The colors are gorgeous; I see this on a glass table in a house with all windows right on the ocean.  Her stamps are whimsical and fun, the animal stamps wonderfully framed.  You can never have enough dishes this size, by the way.  You always find a use for them.

The purple color of this caught my eye instantly.  These are "trinket" dishes, and I like how you get two of them in a set.  Again, can't have too many of these either!

If you see that unusually shiny and reflective surface on part of it, that's actually recycled glass.  What an awesome touch, and I personally haven't thought of combining clay and glass.  It creates a fantastic effect, gives the eye something unexpected. 

She also makes these utensil holders, and they can double as holders for anything you might need; knitting needles, pens and pencils, glass rods...the list is endless.  That gorgeous green color will brighten up any room.  her curly-que stamps are so neat, and look great on all her pieces. 

IslandGirlPottery has tons of other items; click here to start browsing!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Twisted River Clay

The first foray into clay!  I can't believe I've gotten this far without doing a post on this fantastic, and popular, art form.  TwistedRiverClay jumped out at me right away.  Their simple, curvaceous designs, geometric patterns, colors, and sweet touches result in beautiful finished products each time.  They have a wide variety of items available besides the usual bowls and cups, and even their bowls and cups have unique designs.
(All images copyrighted to the artist)
Always a winner with the folks, and this puts a very personal touch on it that only a handmade gift can convey.  I really like the style of font, and the bulge in the middle of the cups feel very nice when you hold it with both hands.  Very homey, warm and comforting.  The colors are lovely, that speckled bottom looks great with the brown, and the middle color smooths the transition between the two. 

How cool is this?  I have never seen anything like it before.  It's a planter - how fun would this be to look at?  I like how they made the texture of the wood, and the little birds are so adorable. 

A vase with a little bird on the top.  They have such cute touches that make all their items appeal to your heart.  The colors in this piece are wonderful; they are excellent at transitioning from one color to the next and only putting analogous or complementary colors next to each other.  For me color is so important because, if you're going to be looking at this item all day, it has to be more than pleasing to the eye.  Clashing colors, or strange mixes, will get old fast; but all of these items have timeless color combinations.

I ADORE this idea.  The tree texture really makes it look carved.  The nostalgic, romantic quality of this simple idea is perfect.  Men, if you're reading this, I can tell you any woman would swoon if you brought this home for a birthday, anniversary, or, even better, no reason at all.

This is just a slice of what TwistedRiverClay creates.  Click here to check out their Etsy shop and view the rest of the fabulous items!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fashion Forward Summer 2011: Hottest Jewelry Trend

Fabric Jewelry  = Hot

The hottest Summer 2011 accessory trend according to Elle? Fabric jewelry.  Woven, threaded, braided, plaited, tied, knotted...anything that's soft, supple and colorful.  I'm on board with this, and have already been experimenting braiding leather cord and attaching a single focal bead.  It looks super chic and very biker-esque. 

Not to mention the fact that using fabric opens the door to a male clientele that might not have been so fond of silver chain and lots of pearls.  The looks can be made into rugged, basic colors that men like.  Add a small focal bead with gunmetal and silver, maybe throw in a geometric design, and you have an androgynous piece that will appeal to both genders.

Back to Elle- here's a few of the looks that they have on their fabulous website (all images copyrighted to Elle).
The perfect example for the summer:  bright, fun, spunky, vivacious and, above all, simple.  If you're making your own, just braid a few colors of thread/ribbon/yarn together, make a wide-hole bead (or buy one), and you've got your super-easy necklace.  The suppleness of fabric always looks good on the beach and with light, breezy fabrics that are popular during the summer.  It reflects the mood of the season, when we all feel a little more relaxed and care-free. 

This one mixes and matches different fabrics, and it's an awesomely trippy look.  I think of surfers and the beach, but that's just me.  Again, thread on a large hole bead and you're good to go.  Or, you can try attaching a bead between each color change.  Another popular look is the off-center necklace; put the focal bead high up on the left or right sides.  Just remember, if you're changing colors to often, to keep one thread of similarity running through the necklace.  Here, they kept a white/off-white color throughout the whole piece to tie it together.  Otherwise it might come off as too kooky and eccentric.  Not to mention it wouldn't really go with anything :)
You can get really creative with knitting.  I'd love to see lots of small beads woven into the stitches and hanging off the ends.  Or you could go with one large focal right in the center.  And i have to mention the purple and gold - third Fashion in a row that mentions it!  Also note that they kept the gold down to just one thread rather than putting it all over the place.  I'm a big believer in using more than one shade of a color in the same piece, and in this that works very well when using the gold as an accent.  Keeping gold and silver to accents is always a chic touch. 

This snake-like necklace is fabulous!  I love the idea of wrapping it around multiple times, and that is much easier to accomplish with fabric than it is with string, wire or chain.  Check out the perfect spot for a focal bead, right at the end.  It'll look lovely dangling down from the choker-like necklace. 

Check out the Elle website for tons, and I mean TONS of fashion advice, trends, and updates.  This one little accessory trend is just the tip of the Elle Iceberg!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Etspiration Thursday: QuercusCreations

Our new Etspiration Thursday artist fills his canvas with images of beauty in all forms.  Using expert photomanipulation skills, digital finesse, and the art of photoprinting, QuerusCreations melds textures and prints together to form a new definition of beauty.  His keen eye for creating nostalgic, romantic textures mixes with a love of color to create a portfolio of half-remembered dreams.  His images are blurry at times, starkly colored in others, but all evoke a sense of memories past, when they seem sweeter than they did in the present.  (all images copyright to the artist)

"The Thaw" - I absolutely fell in love with this image.  I am very interested in natural processes of the earth and how this is beauty in its most basic form, and here the artist has explored exactly that theme.  Taking something so mundane as the frost melting from the leaves, he has created an image both beautiful and haunting.  He layered different images of ice melting, and the result is stunning.  I am very impressed with how he creates incredible mental depth to his pictures by having the layered textures be similar to the theme of his pictures; here, the textures are layered prints of ice melting because it pertains to the theme of the picture.  The depth that these layers create are wonderfully rich and heavy.  You can feel the leaves beneath you fingers, the dampness, the cold.  But he has manipulated the colors so that there are spots of warmth within the chilliness, and you truly get the sense of melting.  He has also avoided overdoing the textures.  You can still make out individual leaves, but they're just blurred enough to make it seem abstract.  It's a fine line between the suggestion of a theme and a hodge-podge of nothingness.

"Swans".  I adore this photo because of its timeless quality, the romantic atmosphere, and a slightly nostalgic feel to it.  He's put in just the right colors; nothing disturbs the senses or seems out of place, and they highlight the paleness of the swan.  The eye is drawn right to the mother, and from there naturally follows down to the ducklings.  He's almost hidden them from view, which I like; a sense of discovery in a piece is always appreciated.  Again, he's layered prints of water on top, which have to do with the theme of the picture.  The artist has such talent at creating a gritty, grained texture. 

"The Archway" - this time he used digital manipulation rather than layering of prints to create the effects, part of his "photopaintings:".  The darkening of the trees in the front is brilliant, as it allows the background to come into its own, highlights the fabulous interweaving of tree limbs, and creates a greater sense of depth.  One of the hardest things, I find, is creating a three-dimensional effect in a two-dimensional world.  When you can add just a little touch that helps converge the two, it has a powerful impact on the image.  The grainy texture he used over the whole piece is also great because it makes me think of sunlight slicing through the trees, like you see when the forest canopy is very dense.  You get that same streaky effect.  He's also been able to capture a very fine-art quality in the picture, making it look more like a painting, especially with the tree in the center of the background.  For some reason I imagine that in a Renaissance painting of a Lord and Lady out for a picnic :) 

A man of many talents, QuercusCreations also uses photoprinting techniques like using wax and paper that doesn't absorb all the ink.  He also offers greeting cards!  Click here to start browsing his Etsy shop!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fashion Forward Summer 2011: All Choked Up

I don't know if it's because I just made a choker this week or it's going to be an actual fashion trend, but I I see the potential for some serious neck action this summer.  Judging from In Fashion with Barbara Glass, a very informative blog by a woman who is a fashion expert, it looks like high scoop necks and low-cut V necklines for the summer.  She also has great pictures of the various trends on her site, listing the Top Ten in her opinion, and has a daily blog where she runs all fashion all the time, including some interviews (all images copyrighted to InFashion blog and their respective creators). 

This is the picture, the one on the far left, that gave me the choker idea.  Make it a thick one, with some fun dangly pieces, and it becomes part of the outfit.  I like how that picture has a fabric strip at the top - mixing textures and materials always make for a more interesting look, and has an edgy, hip aspect to it.  In the summer that frayed, relaxed, tossed-together took is very popular, especially while on vacation. 
If you have a short neck and think a choker will make it disappear altogether, then I would have a thinner strip with lots of sections hanging off of it that almost make it as long as a regular necklace.  This will naturally lengthen your neck. 
Note that a choker will look good with all of these short necklines.  I find it very hard to make items that go well with this sort of look, and I'm going to try out more chokers this year.  Some poeple think it's a "young" thing or a "punk" style, but I think it can go well with anything if done right. 
I adore purple (as my last Fashion entry said!), and this color palette, whether done on purpose or not, is one of my favorites.  Two shades of purple, throw in the blue as an analagous color, and a dash of black to bring it all back to center.  What it looks like is that ribbons around the waist are also going to be popular, and you can work that into your jewelry by including an actual ribbon element.  Try making a necklace with big chain and then threading thin ribbon through the links. 
The ribbon look will also go well with a piece that mimics the placement of the bow: have a necklace that is fairly uniform and flat except for a section off center that is the focal point.  Have a large bead there, a burst of color, something that sets it apart and draws the eye, like the big bow on the ribbon belt. 
And again, chokers will look good with this - check out the second from the left, and just imagine that scarf as a necklace!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Etspiration Thursday - Bruno Photography

Etspiration Thu--no, it's almost Friday!  Sorry about the delay, I've been busy getting ready for the trunk show at the end of the month. 

Continuing with the March theme of photomanipulation, we've got a fine art photographer who also produces beautiful photomanipulation using layering and textures.  Bbrunophotography has archival quality prints of nature, household objects, and animals.  Beyond that, she has gorgeous, innovative abstract designs that are created from original photos manipulated to the max.  Incredibly mesmerizing with perfect color combinations (and names for colors - I had forgotten Eggplant was a color until I looked through her prints!).  Her textured pictures have a gritty, real feel to them, and the flowers looks real enough to feel the softness of the petals.  She's got an eye for detail, angle, and color. (all images copyrighted to the artist)

"As the Crow Flies" - featured on her home page, as it very well should be.  The mood in this piece is fantastic, and she creates it with the darker ground, lighter top, and the bird being the blackest part of the piece.  He really stands out, even in the darker areas.  The texture of the map on the background, also an ingenious play on the title of the picture, gives it a rough, solemn ambiance.  I imagine this crow looking out over a vast field, thinking of the long voyage ahead with a bit of trepidation and steeling of nerves.  That can apply to most of us at some point in our lives; another reason this picture captures the attention.  One sympathizes with the crow. 
"After the Rain" - Not only is this a gorgeous shot of the flower, but the simplicity of the texture is what caught my attention.  She only textured the delicate raindrops.  Instead of going for a complete reworking of the whole piece, a layering and layering of texture over texture, she just lightly brushed on spattering of texture in the right places and voila - you have a beautiful piece of artwork.  Many of her pieces boast this eye for the perfect touch.  She can manipulate the art in such a way that it looks untouched, yet more enticing than in life.  I also have to note that she has the grid system down pat.  I only know a little bit about this, but the key is not to put your focal point in the dead center of the picture.  You divide the canvas into nine sections with four lines, two going in each direction, and then place your focal to the side, out of the center boxes.  Bbruno is great at placement.  It's easier on the eye, less abrasive, and lets you gently observe the piece instead of having it come rushing at you. 
And - last thing, I promise - the colors are wonderful.  The ivory with the dark background is simple, elegant, and eye catching.  She often uses two colors that complement each other. 
Speaking of complementary colors..."Mustard and Teal Abstract".  Remember I was telling you about the abstracts?  This one started out with a picture of a sunflower and she morphed it skillfully into this mesmerizing piece.  Mustard and Teal are unusual choices to put together, but they work extremely well.  She has enough variation in the shades of the colors to stop the work from becoming overly bright.  This sort of design also has the potential to cause a headache, but she hasn't overdone the layers, alternates the colors softly enough that they meld into one another, and has made the center the focal point.  Everything seems to radiate outwards, allowing the eye to follow a path instead of see-sawing back and forth from point to point.  It also reminds me of a Mandala (I think that's how you spell it), and would look lovely in a yoga or exercise room. 
"Urban Cornflower" - I love this idea!  She's put a flower with a grunge metal background.  A combination I wouldn't have thought of, but she kept the colors light and Spring-ish to counteract the metal background.  The result is much softer than a grunge picture would normally be, and I like it.  I love the rivets going up and down the sides; they sort of encase the flower, and give the eye a path to follow naturally up and over to the flower.  The faded feel to the colors adds to the overall ambiance, and that light blush of pink in the upper right hand corner is perfectly placed.  If you look closely, you can also see a bubbly texture over the flower - I like how it makes the whole scene appear under water.

Bbrunophotography has a deep love of nature that manifests itself in her artwork in a myriad of ways.  She's let her imagination mingle with her passion for photography and the world around us.  As if that weren't enough, she also writes children's books and greeting cards!  Click here to check out the website for those items. 
Click on over here to see the rest of her artwork, and I can assure you there's plenty to keep you occupied for hours! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fashion Forward Summer 2011: Interfiliere

Summer 2011 Part Deux

Yet another new resource from Trendsetter, this company hosts a trade fair for lingerie and beachwear fabrics.  Interfiliere, based out of Paris (if you couldn't tell from the name!), hosts a fair that basically decides the trends for the coming seasons in their fabric lines.  They do a great summation of the Summer 2011 trends with a series of pictures.  Putting a picture to a trend is always a good idea, as it adds depth and gives you a mood, an atmosphere to think about when designing jewelry (All images copyrighted to Interfiliere through Trendsetter)
I LOVE this idea, with the cool, neutral earth tones combined with crisp black and grey.  Add a hint of refreshing blue and you've got a combo that will heat up the summer.  The feel, the texture of the piece is sandy, earthy, mossy, anything organic and wind-swept.  Exotic.  Unusual.  Long, flowing multi-strand necklaces punctuated with round baubles, cords of hemp laced around earth-toned gemstones, antiqued copper filling the empty could get lost in this oasis. 
A punkish, trendy, yet devastatingly haute-couture look.  Ever elegant with a dash of revolution.  Utterly divine.  Pink and black is always a winner with the younger crowd. Be sure to throw in some texture to make it that much more enticing; anything that asks to be touched will be that much closer to selling.  Geometric shapes, patterns, anything that keeps the eye moving along, mesmerizes it, will work here.  Use only two or three colors, make them bold, add in a splash of an unexpected color. 
Off the beaten track.  Marching to your own drummer.  Crazy color combinations filled with so much that the eye doesn't know where to look first.  A veritable explosion of color.  Heavy on the primary colors, light on the neutrals, this is a palette for the brave.  But during the summer, don't we all want to come out of our winter shells and embrace the light?  This is the perfect palette for brightening things up, taking the vivid colors from Spring and morphing them into the fevered tones of summer. 

This is Interfiliere's vanguard image on Trendsetter, and I had to put it up here because it has one of my favorite color combinations: purple and gold. Very rarely do you see this bold combination, but it hits some regal spot in my blood.  Two very powerful colors, both to the eye and the symbolical imagination, this palette would work well in the summer and rarely any other time.  It's such a one-two punch of power that it requires a sunny atmosphere :)  But if you can fit it in this summer, I definitely recommend it! 

You can check out Interfiliere's website here; they have a link to switch it all into English.  They already have Summer 2012 and beyond up, so you'll have to go to Trendsetter's website to find the one Summer 2011 picture that I did not put up in this post. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mona Rocks the Metals

I took one look at this artist and fell head over heels in love with her artwork.  Monaslampwork creates stunning glass beads with bursts of color.  But what makes her pieces stand out among the myriad of other glass artists is her design style: copper, metals, earthy tones, organic shapes.  You won't find a bead surrounded by layered hammered copper bead caps very often, and she does those unbelievably well.  All she needs is a simple copper chain to finish it off.  (all images copyrighted to the artist)

Stunning!  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this.  I don't know what it is about those layered copper bead caps, but it definitely hits my artistic sweet spot.  Combining it with the blue is wonderful, and provides a spark of color where a more muted tone would have washed out the piece.  The bead itself is simple, which lets the surrounded design be more complicated without marring the overall effect.  Putting it on a copper chain lets it speak for itself.
I love this color combination, and the metallic sheen that the beads carry.  I'm a fan of dots (who isn't these days?), and I like how each bead is different while all utilizing the dot.  Making a bracelet or a necklace out of these would be a snap, and you'd have a conversation piece.  Having the raised dots also adds nice texture. 
I adore how she wrapped the rope through the bead hole.  It's a different spin on an old shape, and it lets the dots on the side be seen.  Note the background too - she's very good at positioning the piece over a stone without letting the stone detract from the piece. 
I love these!  They look like she just uncovered them in the sands of some long forgotten land.  The one on the left is my favorite, it reminds me of an eye :)  Again, her natural color combinations are fantastic and, even better, will match almost anything.  That's another thing I like about her color choices - very few are restricted to one or two matching colors, even those with one predominate color.  She uses a muted tone, or a mixture of color.  This is very desirable, if the beads can go with multiple outfits.  

Head on over here to check out her store right now! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chelsea Rainbow

This Etsian is a savvy, fashion-minded, hip jewelry artist who uses the latest fashion trends to create unique, original pieces.  ChelseaRainbow uses varied lampwork beads, metals, and large gemstones to generate a body of work that can work with many different styles while maintaining a recognizable thread.  Each piece is a statement.  She also makes adorable household items, like bottle stoppers and crochet row markers.  (all images copyrighted to the artist)

I adore this necklace because of the unusual mix of red and silver (I always pair it with gold, but I love this!), and the different textures and shapes.  The cool, curling metal next to the sleek, long red coral is fabulous.  It's this unusual mixture of items and colors that will keep you coming back for more. 

I had never thought of this before!  But aren't these the cutest item you've ever seen?  She has them in many different colors.  And they're super simple to move around with the lobster claws. 

Again, a very unusual combination that works.  I haven't seen these colors together very often, but I like how the turquoise blue sets off the rose and black in the Agate focal piece nicely.  Again, the difference in textures and shapes gives a feel to the piece. 

She does wonderful things with wire; those curls are so beautiful.  Without using more than 2 elements, she has created a wonderful, unique piece of jewelry. 

And I had to throw this in there, since I absolutely love hand-made wine stoppers!  They look so cute sitting on top of the bottles all in a row :)

Head on over here to check out ChelseaRainbow's Etsy store!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rustic Raven

Our new Etspiration artist creates incredible artwork of layered photographs with their color impeccably preserved on paper.  RusticRaven uses very few figures and colors in her work, relying more on single colors and position to create the mood.  And that is what struck me most about her work: Atmosphere.  Sometimes I felt warmth, sometimes movement, at other times tranquility.  Deftly manipulating shadows and contrast, she can tweak an image to bring out its essence.  (All images copyrighted to the artist)

I absolutely fell in love with this image, "One with the Wind Spirit Horse".  The texture that she has created can be felt without touching, and it merges wonderfully with the horse's mane and the mountains in the background.  It gives the picture a rugged, tough quality, making one feel like they are horseback riding in Santa Fe.  I love the whispery feel to the horse, as though a brisk wind could sweep him away at any moment.  He feels like, as her title says, a spirit rather than a solid animal.  The whole image, covered with the same texture, carries this same quality.  A touch of the wild within.  It lends a magical, fairy-tale quality to the piece, and what inner child wouldn't respond to that?

Speaking of fairy tales...this dreamscape "Morning in Fairy Land" is imbued with soft, tranquil colors and edges.  Nothing is sharp or abrasive; you could sink into that pool and stare up at the sun peeking through the trees for all eternity.  The sunny haze in the background fills you with cat-like sleepiness, and a sense of security.  The colors all blend together beautifully, and I love the contrast between the green and yellow trees with the darker trunks and rocks. 
Simple, peaceful, lovely: "Orchids".  This would look good in any room with any color scheme.  I adore the slight vintage, renaissance quality to it.  The orchids have a harder, starker color to them that sets them off from the background.  The white color allows the background to be busy and filled with texture and color without making the piece overwhelming.  The background helps to bring out the pureness, the serenity, of the orchid. 
I also love the colors and textures she chose for the background.  All of her pieces have a rugged quality to them, like they were etched on the wall of a cave.  I adore this, and it helps to generate the mood of her pieces.  Nostalgia comes to mind with this one, of times past but remembered fondly. 

"Yellow Warbler Little Bird with Berries in the Tree Branches".  The colors in this are stunning.  She has pulled out the brightness in the blue without making it neon, and her ability to play with the contrast in a piece is wonderful.  The yellow of the bird and the red of the berries are set off from the blue so as to draw the eye to them, but are subdued enough in color to avoid garishness.  None of her pieces have clashing colors or jarring ensembles.  Everything always melds together and leads the eye to the appropriate place without dragging it there. 

I enjoy art that shows the spirit of the person creating it, the stories that have molded them into the being that they are today.  I can feel that with RusticRaven.  Her sense of the wild, untamed part of each of us, the part that sees in colors that are as "alive" as in her pieces.  Because that is how I see the pictures she creates: she takes something and makes a picture of what it looks like beneath the surface, if our eyes could see beyond the mundane and into the spirit of the being.  Whether it be a horse, a bird, or a flower, she shows them as alive as they really are. 

Her technical skills need no mention: just look at the pictures.  She has an innate ability to know when enough is enough and not to add too much to a picture.  She can match colors together beautifully, and her textures are out of this world.  She delves into the mystical, the wild, the ordinary, evoking moods and creating atmospheres.  Head on over to her Etsy shop here and view the rest of her beautiful images! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fashion Forward: Summer Begs for Coral

Whew, spring is finished and we move on to warm, relaxing Summer!  As always, Honeysuckle lurks in the background waving her "Color of the Year" medal about, but there's plenty more to look forward to in Summer 2011. 

The keyword, according to every resource I've found but especially Trendsetter, believes Coral will be the go-to color for the season.  I feel like this happens every year; what color conveys a sense of abandonment and freedom than that which references the beach?  The second you hear the name "Coral", you instantly think of sun, sand, and bright turquoise water.  (All images copyrighted to their respective artists and websites)

Here's Pantone's list of all the different colors of coral...there's plenty from which to choose.  I personally like 1788 because it's not quite red and not quite orange, but is still bright and playful.  Coral lends itself well to most shapes, but I would try and reflect the actual rugged, jagged shape and texture of coral when creating a piece with this color.  Mix up the sizes of beads, add a pocked surface if you're making your own beads. 
If you're using glass, here are a few colors that you could use:

"Coral La Mesa", and it already has the varied color worked right in there for you!  You wouldn't need to worry about adding anything - keep it simple, and make beads solely out of this.  Then jazz it up with your findings and spacers. 

"Coral Sunburst" - an apt name. A beautiful, pre-made mix of coral and yellows.  Add a lighter component, like white or ivory, to the piece, and it's complete.

Or, if you want to go with the basic solid color, here's "Coral Special".  It's currently out of stock over at Mountain Glass and not even listed at Frantz, but if you order now it should come in time for you to use by the summer. 

If you're looking for coral beads, look no further than FiremountainGems.  They have every kind you could possibly want, from the very expensive real-deal to permanently dyed "fakes" that do the job just as well.  They have one that is made from bamboo coral, and has the pocked surface - they would be perfect. 

If you want some inspiration, check out the actual shape of some kinds of coral:
It can be translated into a necklace like this:

If that's a little too "bold", then you could always go with a softer, mellow version of the color:

There are plenty of shades of Coral to create a multi-dimensional jewelry piece.  You could string a whole bunch of little beads in all the different shades together, either wrap them around themselves or as a charm bracelet.  If doing the charm bracelet, add different amounts of beads on to the headpins to create the long, organic look that reflects the actual shape of coral. 

And remember: the complementary color of Coral is Teal, so use it sparingly to spruce up the Coral necklace and really make it pop.  If using glass, throw in a bit of this:
Teal Transparent light.  They have dark as well, so it depends on the shade of coral that you're using.  In either case it works well - the Teal reflects the color of the ocean, and the coral lives all goes together :)

**Tune in next Monday for more tidbits on the upcoming Summer season, plus a new web resource!**