August 25, 2014

How to Choose Colors for Your Beading Project by Limiting your Choices

Will blog for beads: A note about today's sponsor

Yes, it's true.  I will write a blog post in exchange for beads - or most jewelry supplies for that matter.  If you have a tool, supply, beads, finding, tutorial, pattern, etc. and would like someone to try it (gratis) and write about it, I'm here for you.* (half kidding, half serious - obviously depends on the product)

The beads used in today's project were chosen by me, but provided free by Auntie's beads in exchange for me making something cool with them and writing about it on my blog.  They had no influence on what supplies I chose, what I made with them or what I'm writing - and I don't get a commission for anything you might buy from them (but maybe you can tell them you saw it here and they'll give me more beads to play with).

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming

Decisions, decisions...

One of the more difficult decisions I face with each project is what color beads to use.  That decision has become even harder now that I have moved into the realm of seed beads where there are gazillions of colors combined with tons of different finishes or coloring techniques (ok - so I exaggerate just a little).

Since there are so many options, I try not to over think it - but I always do.

One solution that I've found always works is to limit my choices for a project from a small assortment of colors and/or styles of beads.  I might start with one bead I love - either because of the color, shape or both - and then choose 4 or 5 others that I think work with it.  Then I use only that small selection of beads for whatever I make for the next several days.

I was working through my color selection process when Auntie's Beads contacted me about doing a blog post using some beads they would provide.  Browsing their website in this frame of mind, it's their Miyuki seed bead mixes that caught my eye.

If you've browsed my blog at all, you'll know I also love assortments and surprises.  So, these seed bead mixes work for me on so many levels.

Since Auntie's has several different types of mixes - I tried to select several different types.

The mix I am working with today is a multi-bead mix which means there are a variety of sizes and shapes in the color coordinated bag.

This is the sorted bag of the Metallic Rain mix which consists of opaque dark seed beads with a metallic finish.  Since I not an afficionado of seed beads, I can only give you a rough idea of what is in there - but there are bugle beads, large cylinder beads, 8/0, 11/0, cube beads, hex beads, E beads and drops.  All cool stuff and all first quality since I found very few broken or irregular sized beads.

First, I made these components that I think resemble evil eyes.  This is brick stitch done through the center of a bead instead of around a bead - and it is a technique frequently used by Miguel Ases with a spacer style component in the center.  I will add a crystal to the center of the bead which I think will complete the eye.

I still had beads left, so I decided to use the cube beads, which are larger than the ones that I used for these bling earrings, to make a showy focal.

Although you probably can't see any difference, this component uses brick stitch around a top drilled bead.  It was a little more challenging, but it came out amazing!  All of the beads except the focal are from the Miyuki assortment.

I'm not sure how I'll use these beaded components yet - but the good news is that I have more beads left that I can use to connect them.  Maybe I'll add a bail to the component?  Or some fringe?

Until next time...  feel free to give me your suggestions on how to combine these components in the comments.  And if you'd like to know when I make new posts or what I'm working on, please check out my list of social media options

Or, if you've got beads or jewelry making tools you'd like me to give a try, I'm here for you. You can never have too many beads!


  1. I am so not a lover of seed beads though I have started using the larger ones for spacers. I have nothing for respect for people that can wrestle those little beads into a semblance of order.

    1. I have always felt the same way, but once I started wrestling with them, it became a little addictive - especially when they sit just like they're told. It's another story when they don't behave! On the other hand, I only know one or two bead weaving techniques (brick stitch and peyote) and haven't tried to go beyond that - so my respect for the people that can go beyond that is still enormous.

    2. Destiny HuntApril 19, 2015

      Hi Lisa,
      I'm always interested in your forays into Miquel-Ases-style designs. :-) Love these and I have a question on the larger focal - you said it was top-drilled; do you mean drilled vertically top-to-bottom? Thanks.

    3. No, it was drilled across the top like a briolette. I believe it is a bead from one of these strands.

  2. Destiny HuntApril 20, 2015

    Thank you Lisa.....So, you anchored the cubes at the top of the briolette through the hole, then continued to brick-stitch around? How did you do the outer side threads to continue the brick stitch? Sorry for all the questions - I'm fascinated.......
    -- Destiny

    1. Hi Destiny - I just made a tutorial to show you. I'll try to get it published in the next few days. The short answer is that you circle the top and bottom of the briolette with the thread just like you would with a round bead. It's more difficult, but the brio I am using has thick flat sides and once you secure the first row of beads and it's the right size, it stays on the edge like it is supposed to.

  3. i am hooked on seedbeads and Miquel Ases Style thanks for the tips

  4. dear lisa, i'm desperately looking for a tutorial with bead stitching around a bead... i cannot understand how the first row will remain around the big stone in het middle? can you pls help me ?