Thursday, May 19, 2011

Crystal Mixes, variation on RAW

May is not only the month with Mother's Day but it is also has my mother-in-law's birthday. So I wanted to make something special and unique just for her.  I've been contemplating the Swarovski mixes that I carry.  There are the same great colors as the Bead Soups by BeadSmith.  But when I've worked with crystals before, I usually stick to one color crystal per piece.  There are at least five colors in these mixes - and some that I would never think to use together.  So I decided to pick the mix that suited my mother-in-law best and go from there.  She really likes purples, lilacs, periwinkle and similar colors, so I went with the Lilacs mix.   Here are the colors in this mix.....

I decided to pick just two of the colors in the mix - otherwise I felt the piece would be too busy.  So I picked these colors....

I knew that I wanted to play around with RAW and these crystals, but I wanted to spice the design up a bit with other beads.  So I picked complimentary Rocailles.

I chose inside color lined 8/0 Rocailles to match each color of crystal and I also chose a 15/0 transparent silver lined Rocaille that I felt would work well to pull all the colors together.

I chose to soften the angles of the crystals a bit by using the 8/0 and 15/0 Rocailles as spacer beads.  I alternated the colors based on the colors of the crystals in the pattern.

I did not like silver or regular gold for the clasp - so I went on a hunt and found this rose gold toggle clasp.  The color works nicely with the scheme.  After I had the clasp and jump rings in the rose gold color, I realized that I did not have an rose gold 'French' Wire!!  That is my preferred method to attach the clasp.  So after sleeping on it, I realized I could use the 15/0 Rocaille beads, just like the 'French' Wire to coat the beading thread and protect it, while nicely highlighting the clasp.

I also had a slight set back when I realized that the jump rings were closed and I needed open ones to attach the clasp.  

But never fear - I used my side cutter pliers to make "open" jump rings and they worked great!

Here is the finished bracelet.  

My mother-in-law loves it!  :)

On a side note, if you are planning on trying to sell your work online, a photo is worth a thousand words - literally!  When I started the photo session for this blog, I really liked the way the bracelet popped when it was shown against a black velvet back drop - but the camera did not!  So it is really important to not only have the correct lighting (full spectrum) but you really need to experiment with the back drops and back grounds too.  The only difference in the photo below and the others in this blog is the color of the back ground.  Same lighting, same camera, and same settings on the camera.  Who'd think the color of the back drop would make such a difference?

Happy Beading!



  1. Beautiful Besty I love the colors you chose, I'm sure your MIL will love it!

  2. Nice bracelet. I appreciate your comment about picture-taking. I'm a blogger and new to selling my beaded jewelry online ( It's amazing the difference little changes can make to the picture!!