Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Mermaid bubbles: Art Bead Scene July Challenge

This month’s art inspiration from Art Bead Scene is a gorgeous illustration by Edmund Dulac, from a series for a book of Hans Christian Anderson fairytales published in 1911. This particular one is from “The Little Mermaid”. Don’t you love the muted watery palette?

The Little Mermaid, 1911 by Edmund Dulac  Pencil, pen, black ink and watercolour with scratching out on paper 12¼ x 9 7/8 in. (30.8 x 25.2 cm.) Colour palette by Brandi Hussey
The Little Mermaid, 1911 by Edmund Dulac
Pencil, pen, black ink and watercolour with scratching out on paper
12¼ x 9 7/8 in. (30.8 x 25.2 cm.)
Colour palette by Brandi Hussey

At first I thought I would make a pendant featuring the illustration itself, set under resin, after finding it in a digital collection of Dulac illustrations sized for domino pendants on Etsy. I still might do that one of these days, but when I printed out the image the colours were on the dark side, perhaps because it was so reduced in size.

So instead I went with plan B, combining a Green Girl Studios mermaid button with some lovely lampwork beads from Australian lampworker Darcy York, who sells her beads as Silver Gypsy on Etsy. The beads have have a pinky-purply core under clear glass, and blue spots on them that remind me of bubbles. The colours pick out the muted pink and purple hues in the picture. I strung them in a bracelet with a mixture of seed beads reflecting the colours in the illustration, using waxed linen in magenta and plum.

Mermaid bubbles bracelet

I’ll be linking this blog post to Art Bead Scene ‘s recap post at the end of the week.


Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Pool Party Summer—the 4th Annual Challenge of Colour


Erin Prais-Hintz always runs the coolest challenges, guaranteed to stretch us all as jewellery designers. And this year’s Challenge of Color, the fourth she has held, is no exception. Last year, Erin and her colour guru friend Brandi Hussey provided participants with colour palettes drawn from satellite images of Earth, but this year, we were sent to the fabulous website COLOURlovers to find, or create, our own.

COLOURlovers is a website that lets you create and name colours, palettes and even patterns made using the cool colour palettes you create. With thousands of users, inspiration is a click away.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Challenge without a challenge, right? Erin’s extra twist involved using the names of the colours to create a poem of sorts, using the names of each colour in a game called wordlinks.

From the wordlink instructions…

“with wordlink palettes you start with a two-word (or more) colour name. the next colour name has to start with the last word of the colour before it. each colour continues this way to the end. try to make the last word of the last colour the first word of the first colour. this is really hard, though.”

Sounds like fun, but it’s harder than you’d think! I created two palettes using the Wordlinks game. My first one is called Shimmer Song:

As the sky shimmers
Shimmer of magic
Magic of starlight
Starlight song
Song of the sky

As this was a muted colour palette, I thought I would make another in brighter colours. This one is called Pool Party Summer: (2)

Summer at the pool
Pool party
Party people
People laughing
Summer of laughs.

I even used the second palette to make a pattern, Summer in the Pool, in keeping with its theme:

Pool Party Summer was the palette I eventually went with, using some wonderfully aquatic lampwork beads made by Vivian Houser at Dragyn’s Fyre Designs (these were some of the first artisan-made lampwork beads I ever bought), knotted onto deep plum waxed linen, along with a large amazonite nugget, dyed fire agate and Czech glass, a pewter mermaid connector from Green Girl Studios and antiqued silver-plated chain and clasp, to make a necklace. It’s a rare foray for me into an asymmetrical design. The matching earrings feature the lampwork beads and a few seed beads knotted onto lavender waxed linen.


Thanks again for another stimulating challenge Miss Erin, it’s always fun! And make sure you visit the other participants in the blog hop (as InLinkz doesn’t work very well on WordPress-hosted websites, you’ll need to visit Erin’s blog to see the full list of participants).