Friday, March 7, 2014

Bead Color Ideas: Polka Dots

Many shapes and patterns are always appealing wherever they go. Some are comfortable and familiar, while others inspire energy and vim. Spirals, rainbows, and concentric circles are just a few examples of the motifs that draw us in time and again.

Polka dots are also a favorite pattern - they’re cheerful and carefree in any palette. Sometimes they can remind us of a favorite fabric, or of natural pleasures like lady bug wings. This month, I did a little color experiment with spotted glass eye rondelles from Happy Mango Beads. With a soft lavender gray as a base color, the overlapping yellow, green and red dots really stand out. These Java glass beads are both youthful and organic, with a little tribal flair.

Birds Nest Bead Color Idea

The first trio has all the elements of an early spring day - a bright blue sky and new eggs in a Birds Nest. I started with a little contrast by adding some turquoise blue Czech white hearts. The light-filled color works perfectly with the bright polka dots. Then I added a little more light in a neutral color with transparent dark topaz seed beads, adding to the earthy effect of the accents.

Ladybug Picnic Bead Color Idea

Moving down to the ground for a Ladybug Picnic, I started with some spring green seed beads in opaque cactus. This lively shade looks fantastic with the dark yellow spots, as well as complimenting the pale green ones. The palette is finished with a double dose of color in gorgeous red lined sapphire.

Cheep Cheep Bead Color Idea

The final trio brings to mind new baby chicks with a focus on sunny yellow. Opaque dark yellow 8/o seed beads provide a vibrant backdrop for the polka dots, while lustered orange adds a little warmth. Despite the intense colors, Cheep Cheep is comforting, while also bringing to mind lots of tasty Easter treats.

Do you have a favorite bead finish or pattern? What do you like most about it?

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  1. I like the final color combination best.

    I DO love ceramic beads, but don't know how to use them, especially in combination with seed beads. And of course you don't want a necklace full of ceramic beads, because they're heavy. Ideas???

    1. Just about any bead that doesn't really 'fit' into beadwork can be used in fringe. You can also make a focal, either with thread or on a headpin and hang it from a beaded rope. Semi-flat beads like these rondelles can be 'sewn' onto flat beadwork like peyote or herringbone. If you use stringing wire and crimps, you can string larger focals between length of beaded tube for a nice necklace.

      My personal favorite is the fringe option!

  2. I like the last one, because the oranges and yellows make the whole thing more cheerful and warm. Perfect for any season (I like color in winter) to bring a punch of light into the room.

  3. I love this post! I spend so much time choosing the right beads to either complement or contrast that this process takes more time than actually making the jewellery. I feel that bead colours and choices are vitally important in the satisfaction of the final product, so I'm glad you've taken the time to write about it here. Great post!


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