Color Pop Culture: The Bolder, The Better

Autumn is one of our favorite seasons. Not only is it the season for mulled cider, pumpkin pie, and colorful leaves, but it’s also the season for dressing in layers, which means more opportunities to play with colors, textures, and accessories!

It can be really easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to your daily wardrobe; we admit that we at Blue Door Beads have a tendency to gravitate toward variations on denim blue (we love our jeans!), gray, and black. But this season, we are forcing ourselves to branch out into the wonderful world of color!

Even if we’re not quite brave enough to wear the boldly-colored outfits pictured below, we found the color combinations to be really inspiring, as well as the perfect jumping-off-points for creating vibrant jewelry! We found some awesome jewelry pieces that we felt either complemented the outfits, or just took the color combo and ran with it. Enjoy!

We love Taylor Swift's beautifully bold color combo choice, but we feel like she could use some statement jewelry to complete her outfit. Photo courtesy of sewweekly.com

Navy & Mustard Yellow: We love Taylor Swift’s beautifully bold color combo choice, but we feel like she could use some funky statement jewelry to complete her outfit. Photo courtesy of sewweekly.com

If you are like Taylor and would like to keep your accessories understated, this cool geometric earrings add just the right amount of funkiness to a plain outfit. Photo courtesy of catherinenicole.com

We thought these earrings would be add just the right amount of funkiness to Taylor’s plain outfit. Photo courtesy of catherinenicole.com

It's hard to go wrong with sparkly flowers! Photo courtesy of ModCloth.

It’s hard to go wrong with sparkly flowers! Photo courtesy of ModCloth.

Sally McGraw has quite the knack for creating fun color combos! Photo courtesy of her Pinterest board My Style - Bold Color Pairings.

Red & Purple: Sally McGraw has quite the knack for creating fun color combos! Photo courtesy of her Pinterest board My Style – Bold Color Pairings.

Sometimes a fun, chunky bracelet is all you need to complement an already-bold outfit. Photo courtesy of accessoryheaven.com.au

Sometimes a fun, chunky bracelet is all you need to complement an already-bold outfit, like the one pictured above. Photo courtesy of accessoryheaven.com.au

Even in a more toned-down shade, teal can still make quite a statement, especially combined with a very subtle gray. Photo courtesy of Banana Republic.

Teal & Gray: Even in a more toned-down shade, teal can still make quite a statement, especially combined with a very subtle gray. Photo courtesy of Banana Republic.

You could always take the safe route and pair a simple sterling necklace with the previous teal-and-gray outfit, but why not go crazy with color? This lemon yellow necklace would be a stunning contrast! Photo courtesy of Laetitia Jewelry on Etsy.

You could always take the safe route and pair a simple sterling necklace with the previous teal-and-gray outfit, but why not go crazy with color? This lemon yellow necklace would be a stunning contrast! Photo courtesy of Laetitia Jewelry on Etsy.

Vibrant colors look great on all skin tones, and this particular dress would look fab dressed up or down, with either a demure cardigan or a denim jacket. Dress from Urban Outfitters (no longer in stock)

Vibrant colors look great on all skin tones, and this particular dress would look fab dressed up or down, with either a demure cardigan or a denim jacket. Dress from Urban Outfitters (no longer in stock)

The splash of orange in this turquoise necklace is a perfect match to the cute dress pictured above. You can't get much bolder than orange and turquoise! Photo courtesy of WildflowersAndGrace on Etsy.

The splash of orange in this turquoise necklace is a perfect match to the cute dress pictured above. You can’t get much bolder than orange and turquoise! Photo courtesy of WildflowersAndGrace on Etsy.

A blank canvas, like this plain heather gray dress, is the perfect candidate for some amazingly bold accessories! Photo courtesy of loungelover.com

A blank canvas, like this plain heather gray dress, is the perfect candidate for some amazingly bold accessories! Photo courtesy of loungelover.com

Nothing dresses up a neutral (gray or khaki, for example) like neon green! Photo courtesy of treasurebox.co.uk

Nothing dresses up a neutral (gray or khaki, for example) like neon green! Photo courtesy of treasurebox.co.uk

This super-mod necklace will definitely add some pizazz to any solid-color clothing! Photo courtesy of PalestPink on Etsy.com

This super-mod necklace will definitely add some pizazz to any solid-color clothing! Photo courtesy of PalestPink on Etsy.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

Neon Jewelry: The Brighter, The Better!

Yes, Lydia owned this t-shirt. No judging!

Yes, Lydia owned this t-shirt. No judging!

We know we’re dating ourselves, but back in the late 80s/early 90s, we had big, fat crushes on the boys from New Kids On The Block. Lucky for us, they are currently on tour with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees (boy band nostalgia overload!), and one of us got the chance to see them in concert this weekend in all of their studly glory (Lydia’s a lucky gal, what can we say.) Although the music was a delightful pre-teen throwback, what Lydia noticed most about the crowd was all of the wonderfully vibrant neon-colored clothing and accessories. Although neon clothing can be a bit bold for some…

This may be taking neon a bit far. But then again, it's Katy Perry.

This may be taking neon a bit far. But then again, it’s Katy Perry.

…we feel that neon jewelry is something with which anyone can get on board, even if it’s just once in a great while. Whether you wear your neon pieces with a simple white t-shirt and cute jeans, or you decide to really jazz up a little black dress with a fabulous neon necklace, we can’t think of a better way to embrace our motto, “bead boldly!” Here are a few design ideas to get you glowing:

Show that you have the right stuff with some bright stuff! Photo courtesy of rerephoto.com.

Show that you have the right stuff with some bright stuff! Photo courtesy of rerephoto.com.

Can't decide which color to wear today? Why choose? Wear 'em all! Photo courtesy of polyvore.com

Can’t decide which color to wear today? Why choose? Just wear ’em all! Photo courtesy of polyvore.com

Neon wire woven over silver hoops. Super cool! Photo courtesy of WatchMeWorld on Etsy.

Neon wire woven over silver hoops. Super cool! Photo courtesy of WatchMeWorld on Etsy.

Make basic black a little snazzier with big, chunky neon beads! Photo courtesy of AlinaandT on Etsy.

Make basic black a little snazzier with big, chunky neon beads. Photo courtesy of AlinaandT on Etsy.

Sometimes simple pops of color are all your need! Photo courtesy of bloomize.com.

Sometimes simple pops of color are all your need. Photo courtesy of bloomize.com.

Love the polymer clay ombre design! Photo courtesy of JustBetter on Etsy.

Love the polymer clay ombre design! Photo courtesy of JustBetter on Etsy.

Lightweight & funky paper necklace. Photo courtesy of PaperMelon on Etsy.

Lightweight & funky paper necklace. Photo courtesy of PaperMelon on Etsy.

DIY neon drinking straw necklace (say what?!) Click on the photo for the how-to! Photo courtesy of cremedelacraft.com

DIY neon drinking straw necklace (say what?!) Click on the photo for the how-to! Photo courtesy of cremedelacraft.com

DIY neon rhinestone necklace. Click on the photo for the how-to! Photo courtesy of diamondsandrust.blogspot.com

DIY neon rhinestone necklace. Click on the photo for the how-to! Photo courtesy of diamondsandrust.blogspot.com

If anyone can rock neon, it’s Cyndi Lauper. Photo courtesy of fashionbloginc.com.

Photos at top courtesy of radvintage.com (NKOTB shirt) and prom.about.com (Katy Perry).

Fly Away Home

One of our favorite things about summertime is the cluster of birds that chirp and flutter in the bushes in our store parking lot, greeting us every morning when we come to work. We have a wonderful variety of birds here in Oakland, California, including finches, mourning doves, bluejays, hummingbirds, and (our personal favorite) chickadees!

Too cute!

Their happy chattering and boundless energy make them a pleasure to watch, to the point where we almost wish our back parking lot was the front of our store, so that we could watch them all day! But we don’t mind waiting for our lunch breaks to step outside to watch them build their nests, call to one another, and swoop around in the sky.

We wanted to pay homage to our feathered friends, as well as the other winged creatures that flutter around our neighborhood, by showing you all of the fun bird, dragonfly, and butterfly beads & pendants we have in the shop. We also have classes and workshops coming up where you can create your own piece of flying-creature-inspired jewelry!

Vintaj never ceases to disappoint us! It seems there are always coming out with darling new bird & butterfly pendants and components. Choose from warm, brown nickel-free brass elements (that can be polished up to be really shiny!), or the slightly darker iron-based charms, also nickel-free.

We created the necklace pictured below using one of Vintaj’s “Songbird” altered blanks and embossed it using the Sizzix DecoEmboss Die in Cherry Blossom Garden. Swing by the shop to have us show you how to use the special edition Vintaj Sizzix BigKick embossing & etching machine. Caution: this technique is highly addicitive! As for the bird’s nest: we will soon be featuring a workshop where folks can drop in to the shop to learn how to create this darling little nest. Mix & match beads for multi-colored eggs that are great for pendants, as well as earrings!

Also flying around the shop: this unique variety of winged pendants and charms! We love the organic look of the carved bone and jade pendants, the shimmer of the mother-of-pearl butterflies (the tan one and orange one), and the cutie-pie dragonfly connector & sterling bird charm!

Create your own adorable butterfly pendant like the one pictured below in our Faux Cloisonné class happening this Sunday, August 26th! Learn to make polymer clay look like classic cloisonné…super cool! Call the shop at 510.652.2583 for more details.

And for those who would like to wear a fabulous piece of jewelry right out the door, we also have necklaces featuring a feathered friend or two. The necklace below features a polymer clay focal bead created by local artist and instructor, Debbie Anderson. Debbie will be teaching the Faux Cloisonné class — learn all about polymer clay from a pro!

In closing, we would like to wish you happy beading and share with you this quote from Victor Hugo: “Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.”