Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lemon and Berry Necklace

Yellow and Purple Provence Scene

Nearly everyone who collects beads for later use is guilty of bead hoarding. We purchase something wonderful, interesting, or precious, and just can’t bring ourselves to use it because we know we’ll never have that particular color or piece of art again. Sometimes these special beads will linger in our stash for years, waiting until inspiration strikes - the kind of idea that is so strong it can’t be ignored.

The Inspiration:

Before my local bead store closed down, I used to enjoy browsing their clearance section for discontinued seed beads. There was always a big basket of 10 gram baggies, filled with different colors and finishes that would never grace the store’s shelves again. These last chance beads were always my first stop when looking for something new and interesting.

One of the most precious finds from the clearance basket was a pair of baggies containing 11/0 crystal seed beads with a bright fuchsia-purple lining. Because they were so pretty, and because there were so few of them, I’ve been holding onto them for years. I finally felt that it was time to use them when I pictured the sweet purple against some sour yellow-lined crystal beads.

Purple and Yellow Bead Palette

The Beads:

I needed a really great focal bead for this project, so I was thrilled to have the chance to try a yellow CZ twisted oval drop. I love the honey-like color of the yellow Cubic Zirconia, which would add an extra dimension to the necklace that I had in mind for my precious purple beads. Together, the set reminds me of a bee’s favorite flower, fully in bloom on a bright summer day. Once I had sketched out the design that I wanted to use, I discovered that there was plenty of room for one more color, so I also added some gorgeous wisteria-lined crystal 11/0 Tohos.

Lemonberry Bib Necklace

The Beadwork:

After using right angle weave to create a bib necklace with circular 16 bead units, I was anxious to use the technique again. Using some graph paper, I carefully sketched out a pattern of loops that would create a background for the CZ oval drop. I didn’t want just a simple RAW triangle, so after some experimenting, I came up with a lacy V-shaped pattern that would allow me to stitch continuously without much back-tracking.

What I love about the looped right angle weave is that if the shared beads are a separate color, each unit is independent of the others. This allowed me to use a different color for each circle, creating a sort of flower bed with the two purples. The pale yellow beads peek out between each one like tiny motes of pollen, with a pretty drop of nectar at the bottom. The twisted oval bead was a great focal for this particular necklace, because the shape doesn’t have a definite front or back. No matter which direction you string it from, it still looks gorgeous. I was able to incorporate the drop directly into the beadwork without any extra stitches or findings.

I would like to thank for providing the CZ beads used in this design. Inspirational Beading has not received paid compensation for including products or reviews in this blog post. I have shared my honest opinions about the products used in this design.

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading


  1. I love the way you interpreted the gorgeous inspirational picture into such a stunning necklace!

  2. Thank you! I actually discovered the photograph when I was looking for a way to illustrate the natural theme I had been inspired by. I really love the bright splash of yellow grass in the photo!


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