Following on from my big stripe reveal a couple of weeks ago, I have more news as Preciosa have now sent out their August newsletter showing all the pieces I made with their neon beads during May and June of this year. Preciosa very kindly linked to my Midnight Garden work and that prompted one or two people to ask about the garden and what happened to it and whether I have abandoned it, so I'd like to reassure my readers that everything is as it should be. In true fairytale style, the garden has been temporarily frozen while the gardener (that's me!) juggles lots of sparkly things that have been sent her way. Sparkles do not last forever and should be accepted with playful delight when they appear. When the sparkles begin to dim, I will contentedly return to my Midnight Garden. BUT in the meantime ... ta da!
When I first opened the package of neon beads it truly was like lifting the lid on a box of sunshine and I was a little apprehensive about where to start. Neon beads are very 'now' and I have seen several people say that neons are not for them and to be honest, I may have said the same thing a few months ago (after all I am a middle aged woman not a teenager!) but it is my job to show alternative ways of using beads and hopefully to inspire and so here is my neon collection. First of all I made a little trio of bracelets using the pink, orange and yellow neon seed beads:
Next I began experimenting with the Farfalle and as I haven't worked with these before I decided to keep it simple and created a set of roll on/roll off bangles. I chose the green Farfalle as a base and added the yellow, orange and pink seed beads as I thought it gave them the look of fruit or flowers amongst the foliage:
By then I was really getting into the swing of the neon beads and so I decided to make a much bolder bracelet to really try and capture the neon summer moment. For this one I mixed the neon Twin ™ beads with seed beads and pearls to create a floral explosion which I named Tropicana Cuff. The piece was used in the Preciosa advert in issue 57 of Making Jewellery magazine:
After having mixed Farfalle with seed beads and Twins ™ with seed beads I thought it would be good to try and mix all three bead shapes in a single piece. I chose the green and orange beads as I think these colours go together so well, but when I started working with the long orange Twins ™ and the round green seed beads and the piece gradually expanded, all I could think was that they reminded me of a plateful of peas and carrots and so that name stuck and here is Peas and Carrots bracelet:
Pink and orange was another colour combination that really appealed to me and so for the next piece I decided to concentrate on using the pink and orange seed beads but toned them down a bit with the use of black seed beads, pearls and ribbon which resulted in Jardin De Cancan:
And by then I was running out of time but I still had lots of lovely beads crying out to be sewn together and so as I enjoyed the look of mixing black beads and neon beads, I whipped up a set of three flower pins. This is where I think neons could be worn at any time of year by any age. Imagine how a single Neon Nights pin, with their stained glass effect, would liven up a simple black jacket in deepest darkest winter!
So there you have it - the results of my neon experiments and where two months of my life went! The beads I was given to work with are actually the opaque neon beads and so despite looking very bright when they are in their original bags, they have a lovely soft matte feel to them and the yellow neon beads seemed to be amost a primrose yellow. I found these beads to be a joy to work with and I hope that my experiments will perhaps inspire you to look at neon beads in a new light. Some of these pieces will appear as projects in future issues of various beading magazines so be sure to use the 'Follow by Email' box at the top of my blog if you want to be kept informed of all the latest beady news.
See you next time!