Color Inspiration, Beads, Leather and Fiber

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I had a chance to get away for a few hours this past Friday and visit the Gem & Jewelry show that was in town this weekend.  The show comes once a quarter really close to my home.  I had an agenda.  Color, color, color & a very specific turquoise bead.

Have you noticed the Spring & Summer colors for this year are well – bright – even neon colors are back.  1980’s neon – but less of it -thankfully!  I was not looking for neon colors, but I definitely wanted to come home with more colorful beads than I usually do.  I also needed 8 mm blue/green faceted turquoise beads for some custom orders I’m working on.  I was successful in collecting colorful beads and finding the exact turquoise beads I needed.

It was a great day!  I got to go to the bead show where I was able to meet up with Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio where we stood at the turquoise table and chatted about life and jewelry making – which is always so much fun!  I found what I needed and then when I got home from the bead show there were two packages waiting for me! One was full of colorful leather cord and the other was the full color line of C-lon beading thread.  Quite a haul for one day!   All the colors were really pretty when I put them on a big tray to carry down to my studio.

Some of the leather cord and gemstone beads.  Drusy cabochons- I love them!  I’m going to have earrings and a ring created for me.  Some silk chain.

C-lon beading thread in a array of colors.

 Some curious new beauties I discovered at the bead show – woven in Mexico.  I thought it would be fun to play around with them.  They could be a focal,  part of a fun bracelet, an entire necklace?  Napkin rings??  Screams summer to me.  What would you do with them?


Colorful wood beads. 

Very different beads than I usually come home with!  I’ve written before about not being great at designing with color and my tonal / monochromatic preferences when it comes to making jewelry.  When I create something, I want to be able to wear it with lots of outfits and I don’t want to get tired of it easily. I mistakenly think everyone must be as practical as I am in their color choices.  I usually gravitate toward neutral earthy tones, metals and black/gray combinations.  I try to add an occasional pop of color for a little life – but  working with color does not come naturally to me.

To gather inspiration, I visit a few favorite blog resources with beautiful collections of color palettes.   If you want some fresh color inspiration for your work (no matter what you are making) these are good places to start.

Design Seeds – Color palettes from beautiful photography of everything you can imagine

Brandi Girl Blog – Color palettes and templates if you want to design your own color palettes.  She also hosts a color palette blog hop from time to time.

Color Collective – Color palettes of fashion photos.


I printed out a bunch of palettes for reference and now I have some work cut out for me.  Better get busy!




p.s.  Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions about my heel pain!  I was surprised how many of my readers were facing or had faced the same thing.  I have been using the advice you gave me and I am feeling much better.  The podiatrist gave me the same protocols you did!  I went ahead with a low dose cortisone shot (I don’t mind needles) and combined with icing, stretching, massage and good shoes I was able to walk/jog yesterday.  I have not been able to do that for almost 6 weeks!  I had no pain walking around the bead show for hours – it was wonderful.


  1. Hi Miss Tracy! I love the colors you found, and all the leather and thread as well! I just bought a few feet of some copper leather that I am in love with and some waxed linen cord to try, but my colors were much more muted! I was at the same point that you are at a few years ago with color. I started by adding just a pop to some of my muted palettes until I went a little wild and did some sort of pina colada color scheme. That busted me wide open. I think you have the right direction going here! Have fun with it and I think you will be surprised at how easy it will be to add it in. Can’t wait to see what you do!
    Enjoy the day!

  2. Wow! I too have so much trouble with color. I always seem to use the same muted, understated colors; so I love this post. I have been inspired by all the color that is out this season also! I have such a hard time putting colors together that now, I’m trying to pay attention to catalogs (Express, Fossil) that have been coming in the mail. I’ll check out some of the blogs you mentioned. Thanks!

  3. Another great color website is Tracy. Thanks for a fun look at your new goodies.

  4. What are your plans for the C-Lon cord?!?! I don’t think I’ve seen you work with that before! And where can you find such gorgeous metallic leather? It is soooo inspiring!! Thanks…

  5. Thanks so much for the shout out, Tracy! Much appreciated!

    As for color, it’s kind of funny because for years, all I’d wear were neutrals. With a wardrobe of black on black on gray on black, I relied on my jewelry to add a pop of color. Now, I’m branching out into color for my clothes, so I’m looking for more neutral jewelry.

    Hope you’ve had some color inspiration!

  6. What a colorful haul of C-lon!! I just discovered this great beading cord and use it for a different texture when beads holes allow!! and the great colors of wood bead too!! I love color, color, color …

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Tracy – I’m loving all the C-Lon cord colors, the leather and those gorgeous beads!! YUMMY! I too have always played it ‘safe’ w/color when it comes to designing. I’m so drawn to such a wide array of colors, but designing with them or wearing them is a totally different story for me! Thankfully I found Brandi’s blog and it’s helped quite a bit with stepping out and trying new colors. Thanks for the other blog suggestions as well. I can’t wait to see all the gorgeous designs you create w/the various goodies you’ve brought home!! Have fun!
    P.S. – Glad your heel is finally on the mend and I hope it continues getting better for you!!

  8. So glad your foot is healing! Yeah! You have a gorgeous color palette going on! I MUST learn to work with leather and cording, as the colors seem to be endless! Nice stash! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Tracy, it was so nice to see you again! I think we could have forgotten about the bead show and kept on chatting! You brought home some beautiful beads! I love the photos you took of your new stash. And I’m just like you about color – neutrals, earth tones and muted silvers and grays. The funny thing is, I actually consider you a color person with your jewelry designs! Thanks for the referrals to the sites on color. Brandi is already a long-time favorite. 🙂

  10. Love your blog!!!! I found it via pinterest. I’ve already watched your tutorials and I loved the easy explanation. So I bought the materials and made 2 bracelets from your video tutorials. See the results on my blog.

    Greetings from Palma de Mallorca :))

    • Thanks for sharing Julia. Love your bracelets! Great Colors!


  11. Oh, Wow …. sounds like a great event! I love all of the bright colors in your pictures. I always stick with naturals too …so I am going to check out the websites you suggested for color ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Tracy, last weekend I bought my supplies for the beaded wrap bracelets. The irish linen is so much easier to use than the leather. I’m on my third one now and after that I want to try the Silk Sari bracelet.

    I did look online to see where I could purchase the silk and the sight you suggested (with the back story), I checked at Michaels but they didn’t know what I was talking about. Do you or any of your readers have any suggestions.

    It’s so nice to have a place to come where I can get results.


  13. Hi I just found your blog, and I just wanted to say how incredibly inspiration you are. I’ve been wanting to make my own jewelry for a while and I watched your tutorial on the chan luu beaded wrap bracelet. I think I’m going to try my luck and see how it goes as I have these beautiful yellow topaz glass beads I want to use. I hope it turns out! I am definitely going to be a regular on your blog though 🙂

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