Monday, February 15, 2016

Variations on a Theme

I love the idea of having a basic design that you can make again and again.  I have several favorites in my repertoire like my dragonfly bracelets and several different earring designs.  I make them in different colors and with slightly different beads but they are essentially the same design... not the one of a kind creations that I love to make but still fun and with (I hope) my stamp on them.  Coming up with a new design and working out the kinks is what takes a lot of my jewelry making time so it's nice not always having to reinvent the wheel every time I sit down to make.

What I REALLY love is a design that is repeatable yet still results in one of a kind jewelry pieces.  One of those favorites is a bracelet design by Lorelei Eurto from a past issue of Bead Style magazine.  Just switch out the art beads and what you pair with them and you've got a completely different look!

Admittedly, bracelets are not usually my favorite thing to make (probably because I don't wear them often), but these bracelets are addictive!  I used this design for my Art Bead Scene entry this month (you can see that one HERE if you missed it) and I just started itching to make more.  Who am I to argue with my muse?  I hunkered down and got busy making more of these fun bracelets over the weekend!  I had bought a bunch of beads by Golem Design Studio just for this purpose a while back so a bracelet making binge was long overdue!

On Friday I whipped up one last item with Valentine's Day in mind.  I'm not really a pastel or pink girl, but I love how this one turned out.  The main focal is a chocolate clay lentil with white polka dots by Golem Design Studio that I got in a destash lot from Andrew Thornton (I used some of the vintage seed beads from the same lot too).  I paired it with a lampwork bead by BeadyGirl Beads and some large hole faceted rose quartz plus lots of yummy Czech glass and seed beads all on maroon Irish waxed linen.

I went a lot brighter for this next bracelet featuring a Golem focal with a happy daisy design on turquoise blue.   I like the addition of the white glass, yellow seed beads, and pops of silver to keep it from being too monochromatic.  I'm thrilled that I finally found a good use for the bright yellow waxed linen that's been in my stash way too long! 

From there I went back to my color comfort zone with two additional bracelets using shades of aqua, teal, and turquoise paired with copper and bronze metallic accents.  I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite between these next two.

One features another gorgeous lentil bead by Golem Design Studio (I'm dying for the colors in this one!) paired with Greek copper and crusty lampwork beads.  I used several different colors and shapes of Czech glass along with some crystal to round things out.  I think the turquoise is just yummy with the copper and deep brown ceramic.   

Last, but certainly not least, I actually made one without a Golem bead!  I'll bet you were starting to think that wasn't possible.  This one felt like it designed itself... I love it when the beads just come together that way.  While digging for beads for a different bracelet, I found the cool teal and copper polymer clay bead in a destash goody bag (from Andrew again!) and thought the Greek copper would work well with it and some juicy lampwork.  There's a good mix of textures in the body of the bracelet with the shiny bronze, matte seed beads, recycled glass, and Picasso finish teardrops. 

I'm still playing with a few more projects that I hope to complete before moving onto the next thing on my to-do list.  I always forget what a mess I make when I'm into a big session like this... here's a peak at my work area.  I have to have ALL the beads and ALL the linen out to ensure I make the best match for each bracelet.  Ok, this is no where near all of my beads, but it's a good chunk of the smaller ones!  Plus, what you can't see is that there are boxes on the floor by my chair.   

What about you?  Do you have favorite designs that you like to revisit?  I'd love to hear about it! 


  1. I love these bracelets! It's a favorite design for me too from the same tutorial. Another thing that I use often is a dangle bracelet where I wire wrap a ton of beads and dangle them all from a chain bracelet. It gets to be meditative, and I've been making them thicker and thicker!

  2. I love your bracelet designs. The colors all look great together!