Two are Better Than One

That’s true for cookies, chips, chain-nose pliers, and most definitely for Tamara Scott’s new cuff, Othello. If you’re familiar with Tamara’s popular Circle of Gems bracelets, Othello is a chunkier, more textured version of that bangle.

A few hours spent right-angle-weaving and netting the base, then zipping a couple of embellished peyote strips over that core, and in an afternoon, you have a colorful bangle…or two…or three.

Stack up a jumble of textures and colors to create your own unique look. Bet you can’t stop with just one!

Click here to see more of Atlanta-based artist, Tamara Scott’s designs.


Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal

Today is the day all 362 participants in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party (BSBP) reveal the pieces they’ve created with the bead soup they received. Here is another look at the collection of beads I received from my partner, Heather DeSimone of Beadin’ Path.

The 1960’s brass focal sent me on a tour of vintage clothing shops and collectible markets to get a sense of the era. At a shop in Nashville, I met a couple of stylish sisters who were selling their collection of vintage Hermes silk scarves – iconic pieces that would have adorned the necks of the likes of Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn or Jackie O. Too dear a price for me, but one in their collection, still wrapped in its original tissue paper, inspired my color palette (black, gold, cream and silver) and my design element – graceful leaves. 

Black and gold are always sophisticated, and I find that cream, often thought to be a cool color, can warm up a palette, the way these Swarovski pearls (in light rose cream) help to showcase the intricate design and detail of the lily focal.

After investigating several dozen leaf designs I settled on a Russian-inspired variation from Sheila Summers. Her free tutorial is precise, well-written and very easy to customize.

I wanted my choker to be as easy an accessory as a scarf – just wrap it around your neck and instantly brighten your day – without having to think about it again. To that end, I needed to ensure that the peyote tubes, supported by a 3mm buna cord, would stay put – no shifting or twisting or spinning of leaves. So I zipped the tubes on the cord, and found that if I switched to a size 10 beading needle, I could stitch right through the cord, anchoring each tube in place. The necklace is finished with Heather’s fabulous carved jet beads and silver clasp, making the closure as elegant as the focal!

Warmest thanks to Lori Anderson for hosting this extraordinary online party! You’ll want to check out what Heather and the other 360 party guests dreamed up by clicking here.


Sun Glinting on Sea

I found this faceted focal bead a couple of months ago on a trip to the Georgia coast with my son. Chase was on a job search, and I took the opportunity to hang out in an area bead store while he interviewed. When The Sea surfaced as this month’s Inspired by Nature challenge, this lampwork beauty was an obvious choice. The pattern and colors of the pendant are straight from nature, and the center features what might be a treasure of the sea, scooped from the shore and enclosed in glass forever.

 I decided to focus on the yellow-greens and deepest blues for my neckstrap. Hollow netted tubes encase more than a hundred Jet AB2X crystals, creating an ever-changing glitter pattern as it’s worn – moving points of light, reminiscent of the sun’s reflection on the changing surface of the sea.

You can see more sea-inspired accessories at the Inspired by Nature Flickr group.