Friday, May 7, 2010

Space Odyssey Necklace

Keck Telescopes Gaze into Young Star's Life Zone by David A. Hardy
Keck Telescopes Gaze into Young Star's Life Zone
Photo Credit:
NASA Goddard Photo and Video and David A. Hardy.

Nature is one of the most common sources for beadwork inspiration. It’s an obvious muse, because it is often so beautiful, and one only needs to look out the window to see it. A great challenge is finding inspiration in the unknown - in objects or ideas that can’t be seen up close. Whether we draw from the imagination, or faraway places, creating fantasy beadwork is always a wonderful journey.

The Inspiration:

I often like to take a successful design, and change up the colors to fit into a completely new theme. After making several variations of rope lariats for my Etsy customers, I started to think of different ways to use the design. The twisted herringbone base has endless possibilities, though I always seem to lean towards using bead mixtures with random patterns of color. With this concept in mind, I had a vision of a starry rope, with a dark blue base and shimmering white flecks.

Outer Space Bead Palette

The Beads:

To create the look of stars, I made a mixture of 11/0 seed beads in blue iris and opaque white rainbow AB. With a ratio of 3 blue to 1 white, the mixture looked just like a pure night sky, seen without the glare of city lights. I wanted to add an extra outer space element, so I also added 10 mm CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski pearls in antique brass, night blue and gold - the colors of dusty planets, distant moons and burning suns.

The Beadwork:

After creating the twisted herringbone rope, I had a long debate over how to include the metallic pearls. I had considered using branch fringe, with many of the branches finishing with a white ‘star’. In the end, I went with simple, single loops. Each strand holds one shimmering planetary pearl, like an orbital diagram of a far distant solar system.

Space Odyssey Lariat by The Sage's Cupboard
Space Odyssey Beadwork Lariat

This is another one of those projects that seems to go on and on forever. Luckily, all of the hard work pays off in the end. The pearls not only complete the outer space theme, but add a sophisticated touch as well. Working with the 10mm beads has given me a new appreciation for faux pearls. Their perfection has an attraction that even the prettiest natural pearls can’t match.

I would like to thank Beads Direct UK for providing the seed beads and CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements used in this piece. Inspirational Beading has not received paid compensation for including Beads Direct products or reviews in this blog post. I have shared my honest opinions about the products used in this design.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and The Sage's Cupboard


  1. I love this necklace so much!!! Beautiful!

  2. This is awesome! I totally get the space theme!

  3. Thank you! I'm really happy with the way the fringe turned out. It's so simple, but has a lot of impact.


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