Sunday, August 31, 2014

Halcraft's August 2014 Pretty Palettes Reveal with Barb Switzer

I'm so excited to finally have this blog post up! Have you ever had a project that wouldn't come together for you? I do occasionally, and this was one of them. I'm late to the party, and in being late, I also have made Barb Switzer's entry late as well. You'll be excited to see Barb's project later in this post!

If you've never played along, here's how the Pretty Palette Blog hop goes: Halcraft Dream Team member, Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati shares a palette as well as inspiration beads from the Bead Gallery line available at Michaels Stores on the first Wednesday of each month. Anyone who wants to play along can visit her local Michaels--or just find something that she already has in her stash--and make something that follows along with the inspiration image.

Here's the beautiful palette that Erin found along with Bead Gallery beads that coordinate for the August Pretty Palettes challenge. Click here for more information and to see what others have made.
I grabbed some of my favorite beads, faceted pink agate, larger swirled pink agate in smooth rounds with light swirls of white, and Phoenix stone round and ovals. There were a few other strands I chose, but incorporating them seemed to complicate and muddle the design. 

First this was a bracelet, then this was a necklace, then, well, I felt like giving up because the deadline was looming close and I wasn't happy with what I'd made. 

But then I found this strand of beads:
I loved them! The palette has a distinctly Bollywood flavor to me, and these beads resonated with the colors. Using these beads made all the difference for me. Suddenly, I had a focal point and a shape that dictated the rest of the piece.

I quickly used this bead as a focal point in what I thought was going to be a bracelet, but as I incorporated some gold chain, I realized that this was one of my last chances to make a summery project. It just had to be a bottomless sandal! Is there a name for one of these? It's nearly the end of summer, so I named them Last Fling Summer Anklets. It's more than an anklet but less than a sandal, and they're surprisingly comfortable. And my hubby thinks they're sexy! *blush*

The following project is by Barb Switzer, Wire Maven, who wanted to participate in the blog hop, but doesn't maintain a blog. I'm so excited to include her project here!

********************Designing Diversely*******************
By Barb Switzer

This month's Pretty Palette color selection is very diverse. To compose the colors together, I felt I needed to start with a focal element. Because wire is my most favored medium, and I am obsessed with teardrop shapes, I had an idea of where to go next.

Barb Switzer's Wire Wrapped Centerpiece
I designed the focal element to anchor the colors as well as the shapes and styles of beads. This allowed me to build a mixed bead chain without having it overshadow the focal. Design challenges are your best ally, encouraging creative solutions and innovative elements.

If the colors are strong, the shapes can also be bold, and the size can even be pumped up a bit. This design reminded me of some of the things I learned in design school. Don't ever be afraid of strong colors, big beads or dominant shapes. Instead, let these elements set the mood. Step away from your safe place; I guarantee it will surprise and delight you to get outside of the fence.
Barb created her own components using different gauges of wires.


  1. Wahoo! I love both of these pieces. Well worth the wait! Sandals from beads? Wow. Never would have occurred to me. Looks like you need some swishy skirts and some Bollywood music and you could be a whirling dervish in these (am I mixing my cultural references?). And I love Miss Barb's wirework. I aspire to make shapes like that. She is marvelous! And I agree wholeheartedly that you cannot be afraid of color or size or shape. Go for it! Thank you both for participating in the Pretty Palettes challenge! Enjoy the day! Erin

    1. Thank you, Erin! I was struggling so much with this design, and I FINALLY found the right thing for it. Don't you love it when a design comes together?
      Isn't Barb's work wonderful. Now we just have to convince her to start a blog. Her humor and voice when writing are one of my favorites. I'd be the first to subscribe!

  2. So pretty! I never would have thought to make footwear! Just goes to show inspiration will show up on her own schedule. : ) I love Barb's necklace, too, especially the teardrop-shaped pendant. I need to try that myself!

    1. Thanks, Michelle! I've never made anything like this. It would actually be really easy to turn into one of those bracelets that is connected to a ring. Instead of the chain going around a toe, it could go around one's middle finger! Hooray for inspiration and doing something a little different!