2012 PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR!!

*article copied from Pantone.com

Dance into the New Year with this Vivacious and Appealing Reddish Orange

The 2011 color of the year, PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle, encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline  rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

Over the past several years, orange has grown in popularity and acceptance among designers and consumers alike. A provocative attention-getter, Tangerine Tango is especially appealing in men’s and women’s fashion. Fashion designers featured in the PANTONE Fashion Color Report Spring 2012, including Tommy Hilfiger, Nanette Lepore, Cynthia Steffe by Shaun Kearney, Elie Tahari and Adrienne Vittadini, are incorporating this attractive orange into their spring collections. A fun, lively take on a traditional autumnal hue, Tangerine Tango will surely carry through to fall fashion as well.

A winner in cosmetics because of its versatility, Tangerine Tango is a bit exotic, but in a very friendly, non-threatening way. Add a sultry flair to lips, cheeks and nails with Tangerine Tango. An unexpected eye shadow color, Tangerine Tango is a complementary opposite that flatters blue or green eyes. When paired with brown eyes, it brings out an amber cast.

Energize interior spaces with Tangerine Tango patterned home accessories. Pillows, bedspreads and tabletop accessories in this high-impact hue add spice to any room. Or incorporate Tangerine Tango appliances and personal electronics for an unexpected pop of color. Looking for an inexpensive way to perk up your home? Paint a wall in Tangerine Tango for a dynamic burst of energy in the kitchen, entryway or hallway.

2012 PANTONE SPRING COLORS AT A GLANCE

LET’S TALK ABOUT JEWELRY SERIES – STRINGING, AND A LITTLE ABOUT DESIGNING

For those of you who make jewelry you know what this means, but for those of you who don’t stringing is a term jewelry maker’s use to describe putting together a piece of jewelry.  There are different types of stringing media – which I’ve already covered here.  I use Accuflex wire because it’s very flexible and also very strong – I’ve never had a necklace or a bracelet strung with Accuflex break on me that I know of yet.

Pink Romance - If you'd like to own this gorgeous bracelet, just click on the picture and you'll go to my shop to purchase it.

Basically, stringing involves placing beads in a harmonious color combination onto the stringing media, adding crimp beads at each end and adding a clasping mechanism for keeping the bracelet or necklace around your wrist or neck.  Well, at least that’s the technical aspect of it.  In reality there is so much more!  The much more meaning the overall designing of the piece. 

I use a bead board when I’m creating a piece of jewelry.  First I lay out all my components on the board, then I play the shuffle game – I move different beads in and out, change their placements, add spacer beads and bead caps, and generally just have fun playing around until I happen onto a really beautiful combination.  Then I adjust again for size – sometimes I have to add or take components away to “fit” the size I want to make.  I find bead boards to be an immensely useful tool.  Not only do they keep the beads in place as you design, but they also have inch and half inch markings so you have a rough idea of size before you start the actual stringing.

When designing the bracelet above,  I started with the three focal beads.  They were what determined my choice of supporting beads.  The focals have the prominent color of burgundy and the supporting color of pink, and also a midge of white and beige.  Taking all that into consideration, I chose the colors of pink and white to support the focals and create a romantic feel to the bracelet.  I chose pink rhodochrosite round beads because they are associated with attracting love.  You can read more about this gemstone and why I chose it for symbolic reasons here and here.  I also chose plain, pure white round lampwork beads to add some break in tonal color between the burgundy and pink and lighten up the color scheme a little, and also make it more vibrant. 

My next consideration was choosing bead caps and spacer beads.  Personally, I love the Bali and Tibetan styles of  silver beads, bead caps, clasps and findings – and you will find them in the majority of my handmade lampwork jewelry creations.  I think they add a lot of character, texture and sparkle, and their intricate designs work very well with lampwork beads. 

To further enhance the romantic theme of this piece, I chose to use a Bali silver heart themed lobster claw clasp.  I find lobster claws to be extremely versatile when designing adjustable length jewelry because they provide a secure closure at different lengths and will be able to fit many different sized wrists.  Finally, to finish the piece off I added a “weighted dangle” (as I call it :D) to the clasp end of the bracelet.  This serves two purposes.  Most importantly, it acts to balance the bracelet on your wrist so the clasp stays underneath it and the focals stay on top.  Secondly, it adds yet another dimension of beauty and form, and it gives the piece a more finished and fancier, artisan OOAK (one of a kind) look.

So, that’s all for today.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found it both educational and interesting.  Next up in the series – Bead Mania!!

LET’S TALK JEWELRY – A SERIES IS BORN!!

So, to add some spice to the blog I’ve decided to start a series called, Let’s Talk Jewelry.  What I plan to do is share my knowledge and technique for jewelry making.  Each installment post will cover a different topic – and today we’ll start with the basics  of “findings”, beads, clasps and stringing media.

Findings can be bead caps, crimps and crimp covers, earring hooks, end pins, eye pins, jump rings, bails, drops, links – basically everything that doesn’t fit into the categories of beads, clasps and stringing media.  Findings may seem to be inconsequential, but they play a very important role in jewelry creation – I like to think of them as the nuts and bolts, or what holds the piece together.   Findings are the most critical part of the strength and durability of the piece.

I think of beads as the “guts” of the piece – the part that is most visible and most critical to the success of the piece visually.  The combination of beads you choose to create a piece of jewelry can either make the piece sing sweetly or make it off key and out of tune.   Color combinations are probably the most critical to success, but different textures and sparkle also play a very important part.  When I design a piece of jewelry, I start with the focal beads.  I think of focals as the stars of the piece, and the beads I add around them as the supporting cast.  (And of course, I am the director *wink*). 

The beads I use are generally handmade artisan lampwork beads.  They are hand shaped and formed in an open flame using long “canes”, or cylinders, of different colored glass.  I am in awe of lampwork bead artists, and I have developed a love affair with their creations.   Lampworks can be as simple as a single color, or they can have chaotic patterns of color and depth.  I can literally spend hours studying a single bead, marveling at it’s colors and wondering how the heck these talented artisans make such wonderful things!  Each bead is a OOAK (one of a kind) piece, and though they come in matched sets each bead in the set is a tiny bit different from it’s family.  I could go on and on about beads, but that will be for another part of this series.

Clasps are what opens and closes a bracelet or necklace – I think if them as the “gates”.  There are many types of clasp – hook and eye, lobster claw, toggle, magnetic, slide lock, “S” hook, snap, spring ring – there are a lot!  I choose my clasps for function and for decoration – if you look at my handmade jewelry almost all of my pieces have clasps that are somehow decorative and they are another way to add dimension and beauty to your jewelry. Clasps are added to a bracelet or necklace by making loops at the end of your stringing media with crimps.  You can hard wire them into the loop or connect them with jump rings.  I go the route of using jump rings – this way if the piece happens to snag on something and break there’s less chance of the strung part breaking.  It will break at the jump ring, and all you’ll have to do to repair it is replace the jump ring – it will save you having to have the entire piece re-strung and avoid the possibiity of losing any beads.

  Speaking of stringing media, there are many different types – semi precious metal (sterling, gold, argentium, aluminum, copper, brass, etc), steel wire (Accuflex, Tiger Tail, etc), fiber based  (waxed thread, hemp, leather, string, ribbon,etc), wire mesh and memory wire to name a few.  Selection depends on several factors – the weight of the finished piece, whether you want the piece to drape loosely or hold a certain shape rigidly, the type of beads you are using.  There’s a great blog post that goes into greater detail about semi precious wire types and how to select them here if you’d like to learn more.  I use Accuflex for my handmade lampwork creations, and semi precious wire when making hand forged pieces.  For a little history and more about stringing, here’s a good article on Squidoo here.

Putting all this together, this is what you can get.  When it comes to designing jewelry, the sky’s the limit on creativity – whatever you can imagine you can create!  A piece of jewelry can speak in subliminal ways – it can make a bold fashion statement or be a demure but noticeable eyecatcher.  It speaks to other people about who we are – your choices will tell  if you are shy or outgoing, fun or somber, organized or unpredictable, romantic or etheral.   Jewelry invites conversation and sometimes, if the piece is exceptional, awe and envy.  Jewelry can be a very powerful addition to your person – it can make or break an outfit – and it’s no wonder that even when times are tough we still buy jewelry.  It makes us feel better – it’s a way we can pamper ourselves when we need a little spice in our lives, or set the mood of who we are that day.  It’s a status symbol.  It’s to be loved, worn and admired, always.

So, that’s enough for today I think!  I hope you enjoyed reading this post.  Next up – Stringing!!!

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