30 Day Challenge: Day 5

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20121017_TracyMArt1_01-medium-2Today I started with a yummy old “stitch” patterned unique that is a little brighter than the rest of my collection, but that I just love.  It makes my eyes happy just looking at this particular shade of blue.  It’s not quite turquoise,

IMG_9403not quite the blue of a Tiffany’s box… I affectionately call it “Beautiful Blue”.

A wonderful piece of art by Tracy McMenemy that recently arrived at the gallery features a generous dose of this blue, and it reminded me that it is really “Map Blue”.  No matter what you call it, this bead is *fun*.

IMG_9404In truth, I have very little to actually match this bead, but by adding a whole range of teals and aquas that are all in the same family tree, I can create a design that makes it feel at home.  The metallic goldstone stitching pattern on the bead gives the impression of a vibrant green, which is echoed by the olive green of beads such as Labradorite and the

IMG_9405Christmas in Australia Limited Edition.  I didn’t want to have a dark, brooding mood, but rather a light hearted feel – so I added a group of ivory coloured beads to  soften the impact of the richer colours.  Two dotted beads with Ivory backgrounds and shades of blue dots help to marry the cream and the colours together.

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IMG_9402This “Silver Mountain” was the very first Trollbead I ever had.  I picked it for myself, from the first shipment of beads ever received at Tartooful, now so many years ago.  It has found a place on most of my favorite combinations ever since, and I am still just as enthralled by it as on the very first day.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp” (retired format), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Kimono Bead”, “Unique Amber”, “Plait” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Turquoise Dot” (retired), “Limited Edition Christmas in Australia”, “Sweater” (retired), “grey Armadillo” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Labradorite”, “Traces”, “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Ball of Yarn”, “Blue Green Feather” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Silver Mountain”,  “Art Deco” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Light Blue Dot” (retired), “Unique Glass”.

C.

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30 Day Challenge: Day 4

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IMG_9395Today is a bracelet that feels very comfortable to me… I am sure that I have made up bracelets nearly the same as this on many occasions, but it’s a colour combination that continues to draw me in, and I just couldn’t resist sharing it with you.  There’s something magical about the combination of apricot and periwinkle.  I find the cool and warm tones to be complementary, and make each other even more beautiful when combined.  It’s the same thing with aqua and lilac….

IMG_9392This bead is always the center of this colour combination for me.  It’s rare these days to find a unique glass Trollbead that is utterly, completely unique – but I think I just might have that elusive creature here.  I’ve scoured all of the online shops, blogs, forums and groups and have never been able to spot another bead quite like this one.

IMG_9396When playing together this combination I wanted to focus on a feeling of soft, glowing light… so I selected as many opalescent, translucent Azure Bubbles as possible, added smooth, luminous chalcedony and a healthy helping of coral toned uniques with lots of clarity and light play.   The bubbles in glass uniques always feel to me like pearls.

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IMG_9394Creating a strong framework of beads that are very translucent allows me to add a few select designs that are opaque, without it changing to overall feeling of lightness.  Here “Takma” settles in comfortably among the periwinkles and corals, giving every appearance of being super easy to play with… (Don’t believe it – this can be a tricky bead!)

IMG_9393 Finally, one of our favorite beads with chameleon tendencies:  Blue Desert.  This one has a broad area that feels distinctly golden and coral, with only a little edge of blue on either side.  The glitter makes it feel even more golden, and gives a nice contrast in texture between the other translucent and patterned glass.

IMG_9397This palette is so forgiving, with lots of scope within each colour family, so playing together a bracelet like this is a relaxed and easy process for me.  With such gentle colours, and so many subtle tone on tone transitions, perfect balance becomes less important.  It’s really just about finding beads that fit the dreamy mood.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Limited Edition Chess Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Blue Desert”, “Unique Glass”, “Cells”, “Blue Desert”, “Takma”, “Round Chalcedony” (retired), “Petanque” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Glass”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Glass”, “Etruscan” (retired), “Round Chalcedony”, “Chocolate Parrot” (retired), “Light Blue Shadow” (retired), “Limited Edition Family of Mushrooms” (World Tour Lithuania Series), “Unique Glass”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Glass”.

Do you have a colour palette that is your “comfort zone”?  Do share!  Don’t forget to post your creations on @tartooful Instagram #30daychallenge or on Tartooful’s Facebook Page!

C.

30 Day Challenge: Day 3

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day3-detailToday I decided to play with combining beads that I had traditionally thought of as coral, with beads that I had always considered to be golden yellow.  As always, the challenge is helping me to see the true colours and potential of my beloved collection – and it turns out that the “corals” and “golden yellow” are really in the same family!

day3-detail3I first discovered the amazing power of yellow as a complementary tone in my first year of the challenge.  By the end of those thirty days it seemed I had found a use for my few golden ambers on virtually every day, and it was clear that I should find and acquire a few more special yellows to expand that part of my collection.

day3-front-detailAs you can see… a few more did indeed find their way into my design kit, and over the coming days I’d like to explore some of their potential.  Perhaps a pure yellow design?  Hmmm.

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day3-detail2In this case, I added just a hint of very subtle blue, using our familiar friend, “Azure Bubbles” and a rather interesting pair of “Blue Deserts”… I can’t resist the combination of slate blue and golden yellow, but in this case the emphasis is not on the few scattered blues, but rather on the various tones and textures of the yellows.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp” – (retired format), “Aber Unique”, “Blue Desert”, “Bee on Hive” (retired), “Unique”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique”, “Van Gogh”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Golden Quartz”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Zanzibar”, “Unique Glass”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Glass”, “Bee on Hive” (retired),  “blue Desert”, “Unique Amber”.

30 Days – 30 Designs: Tartooful Design Challenge 2015

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It’s almost May – and dedicated Tartoofulers know that means that it’s almost time for the Tartooful 30 Days Design Challenge!  Will you take the challenge with us this year?

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What if you started fresh… free from preconceptions about how your bracelets should look.  What could you create with your beautiful beads?

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So here’s how it works:

1.  Photograph your current bracelets, so you can always put them back exactly the way they are if you want them back.

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2.  Take everything apart and arrange it on a play tray or similar tool, so you can clearly see your design kit.  In effect, you will create an artist’s palette for yourself, using your beads and jewelry components.

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3.  Play!  Create a new bracelet every day for 30 days.  The next morning, take it apart, place all the beads back on the play tray to create again with a fresh eye.  (Don’t forget to take a daily photo so you can always rebuild a certain arrangement again in the future.)

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May 1 – 30th will be the third year of the 30 Day Design Challenge…

…and every year I find I come to know my collection, and myself, just a little better through this simple creative process.  I can’t wait to get going, and see what evolves this year.

Finally, this isn’t just about me – I would LOVE to have as many of you as possible to take the challenge with me this year!  Let’s share the results of your wild design experiments on our Instagram feed (@tartooful #30daychallenge) or Facebook page so that we can all enjoy them and be inspired.  If you don’t “do” social media, simply email them to me at tartooful@gmail.com and I would be delighted to post the photos on your behalf.

Get ready, get set… go play!

C.