February 15, 2013

A Palette Swap Challenge

image from Design Seeds
I belong to a fun group, Bead Swap - USA, (don't let then name fool you, though - there are members from other countries there, too).  I joined at first just to trade a few beads.  I tend to go "overboard" now and again (massive understatement there) and overbuy.  Or think I'm going to start making something in a certain style, so I buy the beads for it (in ever conceivable color) only to discover I don't really like that style?  Bead Swap USA is a group of bead nuts who all sort of have the same problem.  Don't get me wrong, it's a good problem to have.  I'd rather have too many beads than not enough beads...

But anyway, I've met some amazingly talented folks there, and Lindsay Starr is one of them.  I've long admired Lindsay's style and flair.  She does a lot of bead weaving - free style pieces that I couldn't do in a million years.  When she suggested we do a swap, I jumped at the chance.  We decided to make it a challenge by choosing a color palette that we would both use and after much debating, we chose the picture of boats shown above with blues and a gray with a pop of mustard and one other color.  It's sort of a yellowish black color which led to an interesting conversation between the two of us:
Me: what is it exactly? dark mustard? baby poo brown?
Lindsay: I was thinking that khaki olive drab...it's what happens when you add black paint to yellow - it turns greeny brown
Me: you call it khaki olive drab, I call it baby poo... One of us obviously has some real training..
Lindsay: puce?
Me: gah - that even sounds bad. waaaaaayyyy too close to a vomit word
Lindsay: Nope! No training! Plus somebody told me puce was some sort of pink color...Oh I know, we can call it bile...that's a great color name!
 And so we called it "bile".  Let me tell you, shopping for bile colored beads is a challenge all its own.  I rounded up some beads and cord:

autumn floats color palette blue gray grey mustard yellow beads and cord

Since macrame is my comfort zone, I decided to do a beaded macrame bracelet.   I ended up making one and then because I wanted it to be JUST right for Lindsay, I did just a bit of tweaking and made another.  This was my first attempt.

Close up of micro macrame work by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Then I decided to change the cord color just a little bit and add a variation with alternating mustard and gray beads in one row.  Oh, and notice my bile colored beads (lower right hand corner)?

Finished micromacrame bracelet in blue, mustard and gray grey

I mailed off my piece and then was on pins and needles until Lindsay got it.  Then I staked out my mailbox, waiting.  And boy was it worth the wait:

Bead weaving necklace by Lindsay Starr of Phantasm Creations
Holy cow.  My jaw is still a bit slack.  I am astounded at the detail in her piece.  It flows and catches your eye with well placed color and and plays on size and shape and movement.  She's used her signature free form style and about every other bead weaving stitch known to man.  Even the back of the cab is beautifully beaded.

Bead weaving necklace by Lindsay Starr of Phantasm Creations

This swap was great fun and I couldn't be happier with my new necklace.  Want to do a swap of your own?  Ms. Nicole over at Bead Swap - USA  is always coming up with some new and fun swap.  Right now we're signing up for a handmade charm swap.  There are fifteen of us and we will each make at least one charm for each person and include a little note with each that tells something about ourselves and why we chose to make that charm.  We should end up with an amazing charm bracelet full of meaningful and beautiful pieces.  How cool is that!?

Want to see more of Lindsay's work?  You can find her over on Facebook at Phantasm Creations.

Or maybe you just want to look at some lovely color combinations?  You might want to hop over to Design Seeds and take a gander at some of her color palettes.  LOADS of inspiration there, let me tell you.  Or if you're just plumb happy hanging out here, you can see some other fun palettes I used here and here (this one's a lizard!).


  1. Both your work and Lindsay's work are beautiful. Seed beads and those who work with them really amaze me!

  2. You two crack me up with the 'bile' conversation! It truly is a beautiful color combination, and you both created stunning pieces. What a fun swap! I've lurked around Bead Swap a couple of times, but was quite intimidated by all the activity going on. Maybe I'll go back and check it out, because you sure make it look fun!

    1. You totally should join, Shirley. You can do as much or as little as you like - you get to decide which swaps to sign up for and which to pass on. There are traveling boxes, person to person bead and/or component swaps and finished item swaps, so there is something for everyone.

  3. What a beautiful swap! You two did an amazing job!


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