So Many Colors, So Little Time!

We were delighted to see so many of our finished jewelry pieces find good homes this holiday season, but after the rush of Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s was over, we realized we were VERY low on necklaces & earrings! We needed to start replenishing our finished jewelry selection ASAP, so we turned to design-seeds.com once again for color palette inspiration, as well as Pinterest for its limitless number of jewelry design ideas. When you put them both together, the possibilities for jewelry creations are endless! The bottom four palettes from design-seeds.com were ones that we thought were not only really pretty, but had clever photos as their inspirations! We didn’t get the chance to make jewelry based on those color selections, but take a look at the fun pieces we DID create:

This sweetly vibrant color palette...

This sweetly vibrant color palette…

...was a great jumping-off point for this necklace, to which we added a punch of lime green and used 2014's "Radiant Orchid" rather than the deeper purple. Photo by Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.

…was a great jumping-off point for this necklace, to which we added a punch of lime green and used 2014’s “Radiant Orchid” rather than the deeper purple. (Photo by BDB)

This glitzy and glamorous photo...

This glitzy and glamorous photo…

...inspired the colors for this earthy, wire-wrapped necklace. Photo by Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.

…inspired the color combination in this earthy, wire-wrapped necklace, with a slight change in the shade of blue. (Photo by BDB)

This beachy color palette...

This oceanic color palette…

...resulted in this funky combination of strung beads and leather wrapped with waxed linen.

…resulted in this funky combination of strung beads and leather wrapped with waxed linen. (Photo by BDB)

This color inspiration....

This color inspiration….

...plus this design from ssdjewelry on Etsy...

…plus this design from ssdjewelry on Etsy…

....resulted in these fun leather & chain earrings!

….resulted in these fun leather & chain earrings! (Photo by BDB)

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A Splash of Color for 2014: Radiant Orchid

It’s that time of year again when the folks at Pantone really start promoting their Color of the Year in earnest. Those in the printing and high fashion industry have known about the Spring 2014 Pantone Fashion Color Report for a while, but most of us are getting to see these colors for the first time. Check ’em out!

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Although the color Radiant Orchid (the official 2014 Color of the Year) looks a bit more lavender in the photo above, all other depictions of it show a cross between a deep raspberry and a slightly bluish purple:

pantone_radiant_orchidIt’s a gorgeous shade, and we’ve been seeing it a lot lately! Here are just a few lovely examples of how some talented jewelry artists used the vibrant hue in their jewelry designs, as well as some inspiring palettes by design-seeds.com that use the color. Enjoy!

Sugilite pendant by Jayelle Jewelry on Etsy.

Sugilite pendant by Jayelle Jewelry on Etsy.

wire & pearl necklace by elinacreations on Etsy.

wire & pearl necklace by elinacreations on Etsy.

Garduated, multi-strand necklace by Piperlime.

Garduated, multi-strand necklace by Piperlime.

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Creative Use of Color

Considering Blue Door Beads is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are fortunate enough to expect 60+ degree weather all this week, peaking at 70 degrees on Friday. We know there are folks in other parts of the country right now who aren’t as fortunate, so we wanted to bring a little color into their lives with a post featuring some creative uses of color in jewelry!

PoppyHuesWe’ve sung this website’s praises before, and we’ll do it again: if you are looking for inspiring color palettes for your next jewelry design, look no further than design-seeds.com. They post new palettes every day (at left), and you can spend hours (trust us — we have!) browsing through their extensive catalog of color combinations.

We also found some beautiful jewelry pieces that use either bright & vibrant, or just flat-out unusual color combinations, and we wanted to share. Enjoy!

Upcycled earrings made from old paint chips by PaintSwatchJewelry on Etsy.

Upcycled earrings made from old paint chips by PaintSwatchJewelry on Etsy.

New Morning bracelet from Vintaj's Idea Gallery on vintaj.com.

New Morning bracelet by Rose Noble. Photo courtesy of vintaj.com.

Necklace made of handmade crocheted beads and polymer clay beads bu Ribizia on Etsy.

Necklace made of handmade crocheted beads and polymer clay beads bu Ribizia on Etsy.

India Archway necklace from Vintaj's Idea Gallery on vintaj.com.

India Archway necklace by Mackie Mullane. Photo courtesy of vintaj.com.

Silver & resin earrings by LGAjewelry on Etsy.

Silver & resin earrings by LGAjewelry on Etsy.

Asian Lantern bracelet from Vintaj's Idea Gallery on vintaj.com.

Asian Lantern bracelet by Mackie Mullane. Photo courtesy of vintaj.com.

Mixed media necklace by SoutacheByMagpie on Etsy.

Mixed media necklace by SoutacheByMagpie on Etsy.

Caribbean Getaway necklace from Fusionbeads.com

Caribbean Getaway necklace from Fusionbeads.com

The Seasons, They Are A-Changing

In case you didn’t know, Blue Door Beads shares a building and storefront with a great book store called Spectator Books. (Can you think of a more perfect combination?! It’s a match made in heaven!) Needless to say, it’s easy to spend many a lunch break perusing the shelves at Spectator, and it was during one of our more recent perusals through the DIY/craft/sewing/fashion section we were reminded of this gem:

We know what you’re probably thinking: color analysis is a bit, well…dated. True, this puppy was published back in 1987, and the hairstyles alone will make you feel as though you’ve entered a time warp (Dorothy Hamill hairdo, anyone?). However, the core message of this tome was enough to give us pause. Since summer is gradually coming to a close, we thought it would be interesting to explore color “seasons” as it relates to jewelry.

If you are not familiar with the concept of color analysis, here is a simple explanation: using a color guide, an individual can determine what “season” best fits their skintone and hair color. Once he or she has determined whether they are a Fall, Spring, Summer or Winter, they can then build their wardrobe and beauty regimen around their seasonal assignment so as to “look great and feel fabulous” (as Color Me Beautiful proudly declares on its cover). While we wouldn’t go so far as to say you need a wardrobe overhaul, it probably couldn’t hurt to spice up your jewelry a bit, right?

The Chic Fashionista is a fun website that outlines a wide range of features (hair color, eye color, skintone, etc.) to consider when determining your “season.” It may take a while for you to read through all of the different possibilities and profiles, but once you have, it’s fairly easy to narrow your “season” down.

We took a bit to determine our “seasons,” as well as those of some popular celebrities (who may end up working here on the weekends, you never know!), and created the following jewelry designs based on the colors within our “seasonal” profiles.

Sara: Warm Clear Spring

Sara’s golden hair and light hazel eyes, combined with the warm undertones to her skin, are brought out best by a Spring palette. The royal blue of the shirt she is wearing in this photo, as well as the bright turquoise, red-orange and lime green beads she used in her necklace, are all beautifully vibrant hues that complement her coloring.

Lydia: Cool Deep Winter

Lydia’s dark brown hair, dark hazel eyes, and pale ivory skin puts her in the Winter season. Vibrant, cheerful colors (lemon yellow, cherry red, kelly green) brighten up her skin tone, but deep jewel tones (amethyst purple, forest green, and medium-to-dark blue, as in the necklace pictured below) are the colors that make the most elegant contrast with her fair complexion.

Briana: Cool Medium Summer

Briana has cool coloring both in her eyes (gray blue) and in her hair (medium ash brown), which puts her in the Summer season. Variations of blue and purple, such as periwinkle, bring out the blue in Briana’s eyes, and shades of green, such as the tumbled sea glass in Briana’s necklace, or the aqua-colored chrysoprase in the earrings pictured, are a nice contrast to both her skin tone and hair color.

Michelle Obama (First Lady of the United States): Warm Deep Autumn

Michelle has a beautiful chocolate skin tone, which contrasts nicely with her jet black hair and her deep, dark eyes, placing her in the Autumn season. Earth tones look great on Michelle, but so do bright colors, such as lime green, sky blue, or the bright yellow of her blouse. During her down time, we like to think she might enjoy wearing the earthtone-colored “Summer Roadtrip” necklace from Vintaj, a perfect homage to her travels worldwide as the FLOTUS!

Sofia Vergara (Columbian actress, stars in “Modern Family”): Warm Deep Autumn

Although Sofia’s coloring is different from Gabby’s, she, too, is a Warm Deep Autumn thanks to her dark brown hair and the golden undertones to her skin. Sofia knows what colors look best on her, and has worn many gorgeous gowns in a variety of colors, including pale peach, dark green, and royal blue, all of which give her amazing golden skin a healthy glow. We believe the “Storybook” necklace from Vintaj would look great on her, thanks to the deep purples, fun splashes of yellow, and its overall bold design, which suits her personality!

Zhang Ziyi (Chinese actress, stars in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”): Cool Deep Winter

If you do a Google search for images of Zhang Ziyi, you will find many pictures of her in black. A true jet black looks amazing on Zhang, since it not only matches her rich black hair, but also plays up her porcelain skin, a lovely combination that is typical of a Cool Deep Winter. However, we also enjoyed the pictures we found of her in fuschia, cherry red, and bright blue. Perhaps she’d enjoy wearing the brightly-hued “Woodland Faerie” necklace from Vintaj, which would give her a chance to play with a cheerful & vibrant color palette.

We hope you have enjoyed our journey through the “seasons,” and we also hope this blog inspires you to explore new color options with your jewelry! Colors are great mood-boosters, and whether the change is big or small, it’s amazing what a splash of a different color can do for your outfit, your attitude, and your outlook on life. Bead boldly!