It began with a button…

I’ve had this button for a while, planning to use it in a bracelet design. I originally thought of it as a black and silver button, but on closer inspection, was surprised to find subtle blues and oranges, a combination I’ve never worked with before. A search online showed that blue/orange is the most commonly seen complementary pair, its popularity attributed to the fact that blue is “cool” and orange is “full of energy.” There are even websites devoted entirely to the duo. After looking at hundreds of pairings, here are a few of my favorites.

A blue and orange room I could move into tomorrow, bag and baggage.

color combos - orange

A great tote, a frozen drink, and a vibrant scarf:

I decided that I much prefer brighter blues with orange, and the glow of coral-hued orange to the blood-, brick- or popsicle shades. That decision made, I used black for the base of my bracelet, accented with a subtle coral and a stronger blue that brought out the colors in the button.

I like to wear this bangle in multiples, so I let the coral have more of a presence in the second design, both in the base and the embellishments.

Now all that was needed were some coordinating earrings. I turned to Carol Huber Cypher's Mastering Beadwork, and chose the Bountiful Garden Earrings, a combination of brick stitch and a little flower fringe. The button does resemble a flower, after all. Once again, the coral beads took the lead. I punched them up with a brighter pink coral not seen in the bangles. (The bangle design is Tamara Scott's Circle of Gems, which gets its texture from embellished netting. I never tire of making these!)

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