Amazing Autumn Colors

“Autumn in a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

We couldn’t agree more! Although we here at Blue Door Beads love many things about the fall season, including mulled cider, cool & crisp evenings (perfect for snuggly sweaters), and little kids in Halloween costumes, one of our favorite aspects of autumn is the explosion of color. Whether it’s an abundance apples in an orchard, or the amazing variety of vibrant leaves crunching beneath our feet, fall hues are everywhere, and we just can’t get enough!

We perused some of our favorite websites for color inspiration, and we chose a few of our favorite jewelry projects and color palettes to share. Enjoy!

Plum Blossom earrings by Rose Noble. Photo courtesy of vintaj.com

Plum Blossom earrings by Rose Noble. Photo courtesy of vintaj.com

Lovely leaves in every color of the rainbow! Photo courtesy of The Eternal Magpie on Tumblr.

Lovely leaves in every color of the rainbow! Photo courtesy of The Eternal Magpie on Tumblr.

Walk in the Woods earrings by Betsy Kaage. Photo courtesy of vintaj.com

Walk in the Woods earrings by Betsy Kaage. Photo courtesy of vintaj.com

Mineral Autumn color palette by design-seeds.com

Mineral Autumn color palette by design-seeds.com

Mayan Copper earrings by Jeanne Holland. Photo courtesy of vintaj.com

Mayan Copper earrings by Jeanne Holland. Photo courtesy of vintaj.com

Autumn Leaves color palette from fusionbeads.com

Autumn Leaves color palette from fusionbeads.com

One of our fave fall activities: apple picking! Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

One of our fave fall activities: apple picking! Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

Layered Leaves necklace by Rose Noble. Photo courtesy of vintaj.com.

Layered Leaves necklace by Rose Noble. Photo courtesy of vintaj.com.

Desert Flower necklace by Mackie Mullane, Photo courtesy of vintaj.com

Desert Flower necklace by Mackie Mullane, Photo courtesy of vintaj.com

Cinnamon Spice color palette from fusionbeads.com.

Cinnamon Spice color palette from fusionbeads.com.

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The Perfect Fit: How To Wear the Most Flattering Jewelry

In case you didn’t know, the beginning of September marked the start of Fashion Week. Considering the monumental event moves from country to country over the span of several weeks, we feel it would be more accurate to call it Fashion Month. But nobody asked us, so there you go.

Fashion Week is most (in)famous for showcasing the latest in haute couture, which we like to think is just a fancy way of saying “overpriced Halloween costumes.”

What? YOU don't wear this to work every day? Photo courtesy of nydailynews.com

What? YOU don’t wear this to work every day?
Photo courtesy of nydailynews.com

All kidding aside, Fashion Week is a huge deal for a lot of people, and even though 99% of the garments featured during Fashion Week are A) too outlandish for us, B) way out of our price range, or C) both A & B, it is fun to see the upcoming seasons’ color combinations, inspiring textures, and funky accessories. We may not be into mesh dresses and 6-inch heels, but we like to think we know a thing or two about accessories, namely jewelry.

Funky, chunky jewelry styles have dominated 2013, but a few modifications can make these designs more wearable for a wider range of people. Photo courtesy of sadeesays.com

Funky, chunky jewelry styles have dominated 2013, but a few modifications — such as fewer strands in the multi-strand necklace, or using a smaller core for the wrapped bangle — can make these designs more wearable for a wider range of jewelry enthusiasts. Photo courtesy of sadeesays.com

The type of jewelry trends we’ve been seeing recently, although very cool, may be a bit intimidating for some people. A lot of Blue Door Beads’ customers have been coming into the shop with photos of jewelry styles they really like, hoping to make something similar, while also expressing some concern that they may not be able to “pull off” certain looks. To that we say: if you have a better understanding of what styles of jewelry best suit your face shape and body type, you can modify almost any design to create the perfect piece of custom jewelry. The pieces you choose and/or design should always draw attention to your best features, and even possibly camouflage less desirable areas. Keep in mind: fashion rules were made to be broken. When it doubt, go with your gut, and if a certain piece of jewelry makes you feel fabulous, wear it!

CHOOSING BRACELETS AND RINGS

Those with longer or larger fingers could wear all 10 of these rings, but someone with smaller fingers could still look stunning in 3 or 4. Photo courtesy of themagentablog.com

Those with longer or larger fingers can wear all 10 of these rings, but someone with smaller fingers could still look stunning in 3 or 4. Photo courtesy of themagentablog.com

Are you animated with your hands when talking? If so, be sure to accentuate them with beautiful baubles! Take as much care in choosing the jewelry pieces you wear on your hands and wrists as you do with the items that you wear near your face.

If you are of average build or are tall and/or full-figured, you can get away with wide cuff bracelets and larger rings, or stacking both rings and bracelets in fun combinations. If you are petite, smaller and more delicate pieces are less likely to overwhelm your smaller frame.

When selecting rings specifically, make sure that the setting doesn’t cover your knuckle; not only can this make fingers appear short, but awkward rings can also interfere with  movement and comfort. Shorter fingers benefit from oval settings, while longer fingers look best with wide bands or simple, round settings.

CHOOSING EARRINGS

The always-adorable Kate Hudson downplays her round face with long, elegant dangly earrings. We would probably go for a lighter-weight pair, since we're not big fans of the stretched-lobes-look, but hey -- real diamonds and pearls are heavy! Photo courtesy of blog.charmandchain.com

The always-adorable Kate Hudson downplays her round face with long, elegant dangly earrings. Photo courtesy of blog.charmandchain.com

You face shape should be a key factor when you are designing or shopping for earrings. Face shapes are generally categorized as oval, rectangle, round, heart, or square. A good guideline is to select styles that are contrasts to your face shape. For example, large hoop earrings have a tendency to emphasize a round face; a better choice would be long styles, or even slightly squarish designs. Heart-shaped faces are complimented with triangular shapes, preferably those with a wide base that balance out a narrow chin. Individuals with an oval face shape really luck out, as they can wear pretty much any style.

This twisted multi-strand necklace is lovely on a medium-sized frame, but could also look equally gorgeous on a larger or smaller frame. A very versatile piece! Photo courtesy of 31bits.com

This twisted multi-strand necklace is lovely on a medium-sized frame, but could also look equally gorgeous on a larger or smaller frame. A very versatile piece! Photo courtesy of 31bits.com

CHOOSING A NECKLACE

Your choice of necklace can either significantly minimize or emphasize your features. If you want to create the illusion of being taller, wear Y-shaped, V-shaped, and longer necklaces. A necklace that falls past the bustline (but above the waistline) will have an elongating effect, while a choker style or shorter U-shaped necklace resting on the breast bone will give the illusion of a shorter stature.

Be sure to also consider the scale of your necklace: those with fuller figures can compliment their proportions with larger, chunkier pieces that would overwhelm an individual with a smaller frame.

CHOOSING WHAT YOU LOVE

While these guidelines may influence the type of jewelry you select, the number of jewelry choices out there is immeasurable. As we said before, what is most important is that you enjoy wearing your jewelry. Jewelry should always make you feel fearless and fabulous! If you have trouble finding jewelry that compliments your shape & size, we here at Blue Door Beads would love to work with you to create something (or several things!) you will love to wear for years to come. Hope to see you soon!

Jewelry styling tips courtesy of streetdirectory.com

Share The Love!

We always enjoy finding new and intriguing resources for our jewelry inspiration, including books, magazines, and (of course) other blogs! We had a blast surfing through dozens of colorful, clever, and creative posts by crafty people from all over the globe, and we weren’t even browsing for that long! Although it can be a lot of fun to just get lost among posts of sparkly things, we wanted to help you narrow your search for your next inspiring jewelry project by providing you with some links to a few blogs we thought were really cool. It never hurts to share the love! 🙂 Enjoy!

The gals at Vintaj are always posting helpful videos and diagrams about how to work with the full line of Vintaj components and patinas, as well as hosting design contests. We have spent many a lunch break drooling over their Idea Gallery!

The gals at Vintaj are always posting helpful videos and diagrams about how to work with their full line of components and patinas, and we have spent many a lunch break drooling over their Idea Gallery! Photo courtesy of vintaj.com.

From videos & forums, to an extensive project gallery, to how-to articles and tool recommendations, this site has it all!

From videos & forums, to an extensive project gallery, to how-to articles and tool recommendations, this site has it all! Photo courtesy of beadingdaily.com

The DIY Dreamer features a wide variety of fun projects, including this make-your-own statement necklace.

The DIY Dreamer features a wide variety of fun projects, including make-your-own statement jewelry. Photo courtesy of thediydreamer.com.

Pink Chai Style has fun DIY jewelry projects, as well as clothing & nail art ideas. A nice, colorful layout!

Pink Chai Style has fun DIY jewelry projects, as well as clothing & nail art ideas. Bonus points for any easy, colorful layout! Photo courtesy of pinkchaistyle.com.

Although M&J Trimming focuses on how to embellish clothing, they also have great ways to use beads on all sorts of garments & accessories.

Although M&J Trimming focuses on how to embellish clothing, they also have great ways to use beads on all sorts of garments & accessories. Photo courtesy of blog.mjtrim.com.

Femside.com has great tips about how to choose the best jewelry to match your skin tone & style, how to clean jewelry, and other fashion advice.

Femside.com has great tips about how to choose the best jewelry to match your skin tone & style, how to clean jewelry, and other fashion advice. Photo courtesy of femside.com.

Contain the Chaos: Tips for Organizing Your Beads

When a customer makes his or her maiden voyage to Blue Door Beads, one of their first comments is, “Everything is laid out so nicely! I love how you have everything organized.” We say thank you and beam with pride, and then think to ourselves, “If they only knew how long it took to get things to where they are now!”

We know it, you know it: staying organized can be a pain in the butt, especially when it comes to organizing thousands & thousands of itty bitty things. Although our store displays may be neat and tidy, with a place for every bead and every bead in its place, allow us to show you what our staff project drawer looks like:
IMG_3614

Yup. Complete chaos. In our defense, we do have six different people contributing to this drawer, and many times we don’t have the time to tuck our projects away neatly (it’s a sign that we’re busy helping our fabulous customers, so actually, it’s a good thing!). However, it has gotten a little out of control. This week, we are planning to reorganize our project drawer, but before we do, we wanted to put some serious thought into how we might go about doing that. Here are a few ways we organize our beads and projects at home, plus a few tips we received from customers:

Organize by Color

Photo courtesy of Torie Jayne on Flickr.

Photo courtesy of Torie Jayne on Flickr.

Among Blue Door Beads staff, this was the most common way to organize our bead stashes. Chances are, when you are ready to create a piece of jewelry, you have a particular outfit you are hoping to match, or a dear friend who will be the recipient of your creation, who also happens to have a favorite color. These factors are usually at least the starting points of the design process, and even though most pieces of jewelry are created using many different colors, it’s much easier to choose from a rainbow of bead options when you have the full color spectrum of ROYGBIV right at your fingertips. (That’s a little bit of 7th grade science nerdiness for ya.)

Organize by Type of Bead

A lovely variety of wooden beads. Photo courtesy of karenkimmel.com.

A lovely variety of wooden beads. Photo courtesy of karenkimmel.com.

It is fairly common for longtime beaders to have a favorite type of bead, such as seed beads, Swarovski crystals, gemstones, or Czech glass. Some are easier to organize than others (seed beads typically come in standard-size tubes, for example), and grouping these certain beads together makes a lot of sense if you work with them exclusively. Someone who does primarily loomwork with delica seed beads is not going to want to have to pick out individual tubes from her red, orange, and yellow color sections — she would much rather have all of her seed beads together for easy access. Of course, one can organize by type of bead, then subcategorize by color — that is how we organize our displays here at the shop. Keep in mind, we have several hundred square footage at our disposal, but if you happen to be lucky enough to have your very own craft room (or are clever enough to maximize a tiny space in a creative way, like the folks who created the storage systems pictured at the end of this post), you can enjoy organizing your beads by type, then subcategorizing in as many ways as possible!

Organize by Size

Embossed Vintaj pendants, ready to be used in fabulous jewelry! Photo courtesy of vintaj.com

Large embossed Vintaj pendants, ready to be used in fabulous jewelry! Photo courtesy of vintaj.com

We’re not sure if this is the most accurate way to describe this method of organizing; perhaps we should change it to “Organize by Specialness.” A few of our customers have told us that they separate their focal pieces from their other beads, and these are typically larger beads & pendants. These “special” beads are often the jumping-off points for their designs, and of all the pieces they would like to have handy, these are the most important ones to have front and center.

Organize by Project
If you are working on a project, but you have come to a point where you need to stop (you have run out of spacer beads, dinner is ready and the dining room table needs to be cleared, etc.), it’s annoying to have to pack up your project completely. You were enjoying playing with some fun color combinations, but now you have to put your beads away — what if you forget which colors you enjoyed together? We have a simple solution for you: take a few of each type of bead you’re using in your project, put each style in its own mini Ziplock bag to keep them separate, put all of the bags in a larger Ziplock bag, then label the larger bag with the date you started your project. Then, pack up the majority of your beads until you’re ready to start the full-blown project again. Obviously, you can also include notes in your Ziplock about what next steps need to be taken, which may be helpful if you need to take your project with you to Blue Door Beads! Need headpins? Bring the entire bag with you so you can test your beads to ensure you buy headpins that are the correct gauge. The reason we recommend adding the start date is to remind yourself how long this unfinished project has been kicking around. Does the date say Dec. 2012? Maybe it’s time to either sit down and finally finish your project, or take the beads out and start a NEW project.

Hopefully the previous organizing options have inspired you to take out your bead stash, spend some time sorting your beads, and get reacquainted with some of your favorites! In closing, we would like to link you to some fun websites with more organizing tips (Jewelry Making Journal and Fave Crafts Blog), as well as leave you with some photos of clever, cool, and adorable bead storage options that give us serious storage envy. Enjoy!

An unused spice rack becomes the perfect place to store beads and buttons. Clever AND classy-looking! Photo courtesy of mamiejanes.blogspot.com

An unused spice rack becomes the perfect place to store beads and buttons. Clever AND classy-looking! Photo courtesy of mamiejanes.blogspot.com

Another magnetic bead organizer. This crafter decided to take an even more artistic approach and covered her base with fabric. Photo courtesy of mygirlishwhims.com

This crafter decided to take a very artistic approach to her bead storage: she covered an IKEA magnet board with fabric before sticking on her magnetic containers full of beads! Photo courtesy of mygirlishwhims.com

This clever crafter repurposed an old wine rack & turned it into a bead rack. Love it! Photo courtesy of calfinder.com

This clever crafter repurposed an old wine rack & turned it into a bead rack. Love it! Photo courtesy of calfinder.com

Although this wall-mounted storage is currently being used for paints, it would be easy enough to slide some boxes of beads in there instead! Photo courtesy of bubblewrappd.blogspot.com

Although this wall-mounted storage is currently being used for paints, it would be easy enough to slide some boxes of beads in there instead! Photo courtesy of bubblewrappd.blogspot.com

The mother of all bead storage! Holy cow! Photo courtesy of madamravendesigns.blogspot.com (recently deactivated)

The mother of all bead storage! Holy cow!
Photo courtesy of madamravendesigns.blogspot.com (recently deactivated)