Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hottest Color Trends For Fall 2012

“By playing to consumers’ practical side with versatile neutrals, and boosting their confidence with bold, spirited hues, this skillfully balanced palette has something for everyone.”  ~ Leatrice Eiserman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. 

Twice a year the Pantone Color Institute delivers a palette of delicious colors that correspond to the current trends in the fashion industry.  Many designers will use this palette as inspiration or a reference point when designing their collection for the season.  This way they know that each customer will be able to match the designer’s newest pieces with the wardrobe they already own.  The Pantone colors for Fall 2012 are French Roast, Honey Gold, Pink Flambe, Tangerine Tango, Ultramarine Green, Bright Chartreuse, Olympian Blue, Titanium, Rhapsody, and Rose Smoke.  They have named Tango Tangerine the hottest color trend of the fall season.  It is a bright, fun color and a great transition from summer into the cooler weather season. 

Amongst the list of colors it is divided by Neutrals and Bolds.  French Roast, Honey Gold, Titanium, Rhapsody, and Rose Smoke are among the neutrals with Pink Flambe, Tangerine Tango, Ultramarine Green, Bright Chartreuse, and Olympian Blue as the bolder, brighter accent colors.  In your clothing use the neutrals as the backdrop for your outfit.  Pair a chocolate brown pencil skirt with a peach blouse or shell.  Add an emerald green blazer or cardigan as your pop of color or accent.  You can splurge a little on that “one” great piece for the season and compliment that with neutral bottoms and tops.  Add a chunky tangerine necklace or big chandelier earrings to highlight the peach and contrast with the emerald.  For a more casual look following the same trend wear a pair of eggplant skinny jeans with a long rose tunic and the same emerald blazer jacket.  Throw on brass bangles or hoop earrings to compliment the warmth of the rose and make the green stand out.  Buy a couple bold accessories for the season such as a belt, jacket, shoes or a bag to wear with the browns and neutrals already in your wardrobe.  Use nail polish to add a pop of color to your outfit; especially a color that you wouldn’t necessarily wear in clothing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What is your favorite bead weaving stitch?

A collection of simple Right Angle Weave bracelets.
I love bead weaving, and in my travels through the various stitches, I always seem to come back to Right Angle Weave (RAW). Whenever I teach a RAW project, if I make a point to state that it is RAW, inevitably I will hear from someone, "Oh no, I can't do RAW!”, or “I hate RAW!" Panic sets in, and I see fear in their eyes!

Beaded beads created with 3-dimensional Right Angle Weave.

Now I just start teaching the project step by step, and leave out the fact that they are learning RAW. Don't you know, they are able to learn and complete the project?!?!


I find RAW lends itself so well to creating a fabric that is lacy and fluid when done with seed beads. When using fire polished crystals, it becomes strong and can act as a platform for many different methods of surface embellishment and layering. RAW can act as a "bridge" between components when figuring out how they will connect.

A stunning bracelet created with a seed bead Right Angle Weave base.

Each time I think I have exhausted the uses for RAW, I discover a new and exciting application for this very "dreaded" stitch! I encourage you to dive into Right Angle Weave and see where it takes you, too!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Soutache Ribbon Stitching...Allow Your Imagination to Run Wild!!

Soutache is the latest rage to hit
Artful Beads! What is "soutache"?
Soutache (pronounced soo-tash)
is a narrow braid woven into a
herringbone pattern around two s
trands of piping inside the braid. 
It is sometimes referred to as
"Russian Braid". Soutache ribbon
is currently made out of polyester
and rayon, and it is available in
many colors, including metallic.

Soutache has been used since the
17th century as a trim for uniforms,
curtains and clothing.

There are two types of soutache braid: domestic and imported. Domestic (made in the USA) is narrower and has a tighter weave. Imported soutache is a bit wider and tends to fray when cut. It helps to use fray check or clear nail polish on the cut ends.

The art of soutache embroidery is a very free-form experience of constructing waves
of braid around beads and/or cabachons. The beads are actually sewn directly between layers of braid. The final piece can be left to show light through and be airy in appearance. Alternatively, stitching a backing in place, such as ultrasuede, helps to conceal any ends in the back, and give the piece a more finished look.

Some artists tend to work a
symmetrical design, while others
prefer an asymmetrical look. If
preferred, you can sketch the
design on paper first, and follow
by stitching the design with your
braid and beads. I prefer to work
“by the seat of my pants”, as they
say, and let the design take shape
as I stitch and fold and incorporate
beads. It’s exciting to watch something evolve into an elaborate design!

I hope you enjoy exploring this new avenue in the world of beading as much as I do!