Bead a Little Color Into Your World

The other day I found myself flipping through a few books with tubes and tubes of beads around me. As I pulled myself from a bit of a daze, I realized I was setting myself up to make ALL the patterns I loved and seeing what beads I had on hand to work for EACH of the designs. I must’ve been drawn to the colors and got lost, not paying any mind to the chaos I was causing. And oddly, I was at peace with this.

herringbone_flowerGetting back to reality and working from a more realistic perspective, I went back to the drawing board, kept out a crazy assortment of beads, and picked up a stitch and technique I learned long ago. This herringbone bell flower is what I came up with. And like it or not, I think this was my mind’s way of soothing its need for color and a bit of nature.

Do you think we all get to this place? Or, maybe it’s just our nature to create forms that mimic nature?

A few perfect examples…
This fun and playful design, “Fan Flower,” by Penny Dixon, inspired by the Australian flower of the same flower earring project

Also by Penny is this undulating design called “Secret Garden,” made with a great combination of shaped beads, including one of my favorites, the 2-hole lentil.

beaded undulating waves
“Secret Garden Bracelet,” by Penny Dixon, Beadwork, February/March 2015

A few more nature inspired designs, courtesy of Melinda Barta.
beaded paisley bracelet
Here, her “Paisley Paillettes” are made using subtly colored beads, stitched up ala Herringbone. And, I realize these are paisley inspired but I’m also seeing leaves, maybe with dew drops or flower buds in the center?

paisley beaded necklaceThe orientation and assembly of this series of “paillettes” makes a nice focal for a necklace, which is then finished with gemstone beads.

beaded herringbone flower

This colorful herringbone-stitched flower can be made in multiples then linked together to form different jewelry designs, and could even be added to fabric as a sweet embellishment.

The instructions and patterns for all the herringbone designs here can be found in Melinda’s Mastering Herringbone Stitch: The Complete Guide e-book. And, for a limited time, there is a kit available for the “Paisley Paillettes” bracelet.

No matter the season, using nature as your guide works anytime, but especially when the weather is more grey than blue and the grass more army green than spring green.

Have a nature inspired design to share? We’d love to hear from you at

Happy Beading ~





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Tammy Honaman

About Tammy Honaman

Tammy has enjoyed being immersed in jewelry-making education and jewelry design for over 20 years. Tammy is a renowned writer, educator, and expert in media communication and content creation across print, digital, and video – spanning from her days with Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Magazine, to numerous classes and leadership at BeadFest, Bead & Button, and many more.

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