Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Light as a Breeze Necklace

Cherry Blossoms Blooming in Okinawa by Okinawa Soba
Cherry Blossoms Blooming in Okinawa
Photo Credit: Okinawa Soba.

As beautiful as Spring can be, it is also a curious time of year when it comes to weather. In most climates, Spring is full of ups and downs. The sun is a little brighter than the previous winter months, but the wind can be cold, and the rain can by heavy. In Spring, something always seems to be blowing by on the breeze.

The April Etsy BeadWeavers Challenge theme was chosen by Laura of Lauralia as a tribute to this breezy time of year. EBW Team members were asked to create a piece that is as "bright, delicate and gentle as the first warm breezes of spring". This theme was sure to inspire an amazing variety of beaded works. Everyone’s interpretation could be a unique take on what’s happening right outside the window.

The Inspiration:

When I sat down to work out a design for the “Light as a Breeze” challenge, I closed my eyes and tried to envision what that phrase meant to me. No matter how many times I looked for inspiration, I kept coming back to an image of cherry blossom petals blowing lazily over a grassy field. I could see the silhouette of a cherry tree as well, dark against a pure blue sky. I couldn’t let go of the image of cherry blossoms, so I finally gave in and decided to design around them.

Spring Breeze Bead Palette

I can’t say exactly why, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the fruit blossom theme of my design. I wanted to add an extra element of lightness, without doing something too minimalist. Eventually I decided to bring out an old technique - the woven peyote ring pendant that I had made in tribute to Julia Gerlach’s shell donut necklace. I love the look of the finished technique, but the process is long and agonizing, so I had never gone back to it before. After what seems like days of making little peyote rings comes the task of trying to string and weave and braid, while switching back and forth between one and two needles. It’s exhausting! Still, I knew that the technique was just right for this project, so I went to work.

The Beads:

I first selected some pretty pink Ceylon 11/0 seed beads, with lustered yellow beads for centers. I decided to add some apple blossoms as well, with opaque yellow and Ceylon pearl 8/0 seed beads. For grass, I grabbed my favorite copper-lined green seed beads. For the sky, I selected aqua blue beads in 3 sizes, then finished the palette off with some pretty Czech pinch bicones.

Sky Blossoms Necklace by The Sage's Cupboard

The Beadwork:

This necklace was much easier to create than the original, and not only because I was already familiar with the pattern of weaving the rings into the chain. The daisy stitches along the necklace keep all of the previously strung beads in place, making it much easier to work the two threads at once. I also had a good supply of English beading needles on hand this time around, which have made all kinds of beadwork more enjoyable.

As often happens, it wasn’t until the piece was coming together that I saw how well the colors worked together. In the packages, the beads don’t speak quite as loudly as they do when they’ve taken shape. I love the way the coppery green and aqua blue look against one another. They have a jewel-like quality that is somehow soothing, just like a warm Spring breeze.

Voting for the "Light as a Breeze" challenge opens April 9th. You can view all of the EBW member entries, and vote for your favorite until April 15th. Visit the Etsy BeadWeavers Team blog to see all of the breezy designs!

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading


  1. A beautiful thing Mortira! Good luck in the challenge.

  2. It does look just as you describe. Very nice.

  3. Thank you! I always look forward to seeing the finished challenge mosaic, and this month's should be full of interesting and beautiful pieces!

  4. Beautiful piece and yes, so like spring!

    Who couldn't close their eyes and see cherry blossoms right now? It's embarrassing to admit how many photos I have of them!

  5. Very pretty - good luck with the challenge!

  6. Just Lovely Mortira! You are amazing with beads.....and the color combination is so wonderful for Spring!

  7. Absolutely gorgeous. Love the colors, love the design, love the flowers.

  8. I love the colors in this piece. It really is like you captured the first flowers of spring, and the warm breeze blowing through them. Happy beading!

  9. Thank you all so much! I think I really got lucky with the color combination. I wanted flowers, and sky, with something to tie them together, and pow!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Inspiration Topics

accessories amulet Ancient Worlds Modern Beads animals April's Army art ArtFire astrology astronomy autumn awards awareness bangle beach Bead Inspired Bead Shops bead soup bead spotlight bead stash Bead Trays beaded beads beading theory beads belt bezel birthstones black blog spotlight blue boho bone book spotlight bracelet Bracelet A Week branch fringe brick stitch brown bugles buttons cabochon ceramic chain maille challenge charity chevron chain christmas collar Collections color Color Ideas color triads conservation craft shows crafts crochet crystals cuff Culled Beads current events Current Faves daggers Daily Sets daisy chain Delicas Destash drops Dutch spiral earrings Egypt Egyptian Gods embellishing embroidery environment etsy exotic fair trade fantasy fashion Favorite Beads Favorite Techniques feminine fibers film findings fire polish fixtures Flashback Test flickr inspiration flowers food found object free form fringe Geek Jewels geekery gemstones geography giveaway glass gold gray Greece green herringbone hex cuts history holiday home decor insects inspiration tip inspired beader Inspired by... Inspiring Links ivory Jewelry Stash knitting ladder stitch lampwork lariat leaf fringe leather lights literature loomwork macrame magatamas Master Class Medallions metal free metalwork Mini Collar a Week mixed media mixture Mood Board MOP multi-color multi-strand music natural beads nature necklace Necklace a Day Nepal chain netting New Beads ocean ombre orange paint paper patterns pearls pendant peyote photography Picasso finish pink Pinspiration PMC polymer clay poster sketch purple quick inspiration rainbow RAW red resin ring Ring a Day rivoli Rome Russian spiral scarf science seed beads shell silver soutache spiral rope spring square stitch St. Petersburg steampunk stringing stripes summer tagua TBT The Elements thread Tilas Time Capsule tools trade beads triangle weave tribal tropical turquoise tutorial two-hole beads Ugly vintage Wear it Twice weather white winter WIP wire wishlist wood World Beaders yellow
Blog Home * About * Beading Tutorials * Advertise

Learn About Sponsoring Inspirational Beading with Project Wonderful
Affiliated With ShareASale.com and Amazon.com