Remember in this blog post how I talked about the sparkles that are currently appearing in my life? And how I had decided to adjust my previously carefully mapped course and instead to raise my face, open my arms and dance in the sparkle shower while it lasted? Well, one of those 'sparkles' is my work with Preciosa Ornela and I have to say that not for one moment do I regret welcoming this particular shining opportunity into my life. My first 'assignment' was to show ways to use their Twin™ beads, next came the striped seed beads followed by the neon beads and my latest work for them uses the brand new exciting Thorn™ and Pellet™ beads.
As you know, up until recently I have been a hardcore seedbeader and so other bead shapes always make me scratch my head and wonder how to use them, but I had no problem at all with the Thorns and Pellets as they work so well alongside the seed beads. For my first design I used some silver Thorns and mixed them with some plain black seed beads to create the dramatic and spiky looking Thornstar ring and bracelet set.
The shape of the Thorn beads looked so much like petals that I thought I had to try making some flowers with them. So still mixing them with seed beads I made little flowery Thorn Daisy components and threaded three onto black satin ribbon to create a wrist corsage style bracelet. I loved the fluffy look of the centre of these flowers and they were so quick and easy to make that I also made a set of three Thorn Daisy rings.
There are lots of other experiments I would like to do with the Thorn beads but at that time they were very new and I only had a small supply and so I moved onto playing with Pellets. I soon discovered that despite their unusual shape (kind of squat with a waist) they have LOTS of design potential. I went on to mix them with other beads but for my first piece I wanted to show how they look on their own and so out came Pellet Bangles. I love the way these beads snuggle together!
After all that dramatic beadwork I was ready to try something a little more feminine. So I chose some pale Pellets and mixed them with matte gold seed beads and pearls and a length of cream organza ribbon to create the softly romantic looking Pretty Pellets.
By that time more Pellet beads were available in a greater variety of colours and I was really drawn to the opaque red. I always love the look of black and red together and the way that the seed beads curved and ruffled around the Pellets really reminded me of a flamenco dancer's dress - hence Flamenco Pellets for my next piece.
Having discovered what nice little circles these beads make, I was keen to try them in different colours and rather than making interlocking circles I added a lovely shiny black glass pearl in the centre of each component to make the Pellet Wheel bracelet. In this piece you can really see the way the Pellets nestle into each other's waist.
Moving on from the circles I thought it would be nice to try using the Pellets in a different way and so although they naturally want to nestle, I stood them up straight and edged them with seed beads to keep them in place. There are many different colours to choose from but I thought that these turquoise and silver beads worked really well with black beads and silver findings. Diamond Pellets are very simple to make and they work up into very lightweight and easy to wear bracelets and earrings in no time!
By that point my deadlines were approaching but I still had so many beads and ideas that I had to squeeze in one more design to show yet another way to use these new beads. I also thought that I had used rather a lot of black seed beads so far and so this time I chose opaque blue Pellets and mixed them with silver seed beads and glass pearls to make the Pellet Star bracelet.
And then everything had to be quickly packaged up and sent back to Preciosa for photography. Although I try very hard to take decent pictures, I could never hope to achieve the results that the Preciosa photographer does and I am sure you can see why I am very happy with our collaboration and why I am looking forward to my next 'assignment'. I have only used a small selection of Preciosa's photos for this blog post, but you can see the full set here. I hope you have enjoyed looking at my beady experiments and I also hope that perhaps these ideas have inspired you to purchase some of these exciting new bead shapes to see how you can incorporate them into your designs. Many of the designs shown above are destined to be shared as magazine projects in the next few months and I will of course give more details about when and where as soon as possible.
So that's it for this week and now I am off to catch another sparkle ...
See you next time!