Tuesday 6 August 2013

Neon News (and sparkles do not last forever) ...

Hello Everyone!

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!



  1. So MANY fabulous pieces!!! I am very much looking forward to the tutorials, since I am one of the 'NotNeon' people, but I can see these beauties in so many different colors!! Your work is ALWAYS inspiring, Kerrie!!! You add so much to the beady community. :) :) :)

  2. I do love the neon but most of all I love how you create such beauty!

  3. wow how beautiful! Congratulaions on a good job well done xxx

  4. They look very nice and cute . Love in special the Tropicana Cuff . I was not expected to look so stylish a neon color jewelery, usually you think to kids stuff when is about the neon colors but this are looking absolutely great

  5. Beautiful work Kerrie! I'm amazed (yet not surprised) at how you can go from the monochromatic color scheme of the Midnight Garden to such bold neon colors in such a relatively short amount of time. Truly a testament to your talent!

  6. Kerrie - what a great job you have! And you deserve to, you've done some wonderful work. As mentioned, I agree that you did a good job pulling in those of us who might be more on a 'non-neon' side. I am a bit younger; you could say a child of the 80's but I was a little too young and ended up growing early 90's "grunge" rather than neon lol I wonder how that would translate..... The closest thing I can think of would be goth - all those popular spikes! -- but I wonder.. what kind of beaded jewelry would come off as grunge... what great ponderings! When I set out to congratulate you I had no idea the turn my head would take in the middle of writing! This serves to illustrate the importance of sharing creativity.... always leading somewhere else :) Thank you so much for being so generous showing us all of your work, as well as the incredibly helpful task of providing access to your thoughts as you progressed through your work!

    PS Peyote or square stitch patterns in plaid? That would just look Scottish. Army jacket green..that would just look military.. combine them?? No... What else is grunge...hmmm timberland boots and concert t-shirts. Skechers, converse sneakers, and other 'retro' sneaks? I think I'd best keep doing what I'm doing, and leave this other in the back of my mind. Would you ever guess your work would lead to such flights of fancy?? Though I am a little concerned that I may have set myself an impossible task. I will go off and ponder some more. I don't think I WORE jewelry...just gold chain necklaces and Timex Ironman watches.. hey those have neon orange highlights! Small but noticeable. Yes I am a crazy person. Thanks again. -Allie

  7. Hi Kerrie,

    I just came across your blog and glad i did. I found pleasure to read.

    I work with GemPundit.com and am usually very stingy about giving out complements ;) Good

    Job! Congratulations to you on your wonderful blog.
    I will come back often to

  8. Beautiful ideas Kerrie, and the neons are beautiful, especially with the black! Anxious to play with some myself! A very fruitful two months!

    1. Kerrie, I wrote this on my own blog, but I want to be sure you see it. I can strill remember the moment you introduced yourself to me through EBW and how immensely supportive and kind you were. I try not to look at the list of BotB judges, because I do not want my relationship with anyone to change because of such things, but let me just say that I think you are the perfect person for the job. The fact that you put time and thought into your choices is so very like you. What makes teachers and ambassadors of beadwork valuable is the purpose, faith, and hope they can instill in others, and you have that going on big time! You inspire with your words and kindness, as well as your beautiful and joyfully whimsical work. I love your forest creatures and love the personal style you bring to everything you make. What a lovely path you walk! Thank you for visiting my blog as well!

  9. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such wonderful comments everyone!

    Kerrie ♥


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