The Picture Perfect Beading Challenge is Ready!

May 1, 2012

Sometimes, choosing the colors for your beading projects can be the hardest part of the whole project. A friend once suggested that I look to my photographs to create color palettes, so I pulled the colors for a beaded necklace design from a picture that I took on Christmas Day in 2008.  That necklace, my Ode On a Grecian Urn, eventually wound up on the cover of a Beadwork magazine special issue. After that, I was hooked on creating color palettes for my beaded jewelry designs from my favorite photographs.

I recently discovered an awesome online tool for creating color palettes from pictures and thought it might be fun to have a color challenge here on Beading Daily. I asked for submissions of your photographs to create color palettes, and, well, the awesome readers of Beading Daily came through! There were some truly beautiful photographs submitted, and it was tough to choose just three of them for the first Picture Perfect Beading Challenge.

The first photograph was submitted by Linda Roberts. Linda said that she has had flowers on her mind lately, and this was a photograph she took in her garden a few years ago. I loved the orange, yellow, brown and pink hues that came out in this color palette. This color palette has a lot of potential for a beading project!
Our second photograph, another flower submitted by Antje Hornig of Germany, resulted in an amazing variation of pinks, greens, and purples! Antje said that no one knows the name of this flower, so if anyone recognizes it, please leave a comment and let us know what it is. Beautiful!
The last photograph was a real surprise for me. Stephanie Dixon snapped this shot while at the Tucson gem and mineral shows back in February, and seeing it brought me right back to Arizona. I did not expect the wide range of blues, greys, and browns to come through in the color palette that was generated!

So, here's how it'll work: raid your seed beads, go through your crystal beads, and take stock of your glass beads. Pull together beads based on one of these color palettes and make something! It can be a piece of beaded jewelry, a beaded accessory like a handbag or a pair of shoes, or a bead craft like a lampshade or basket. You have until Thursday, May 31, 2012 to create your piece and take a photograph of it. Starting on May 15th, there will be a new Reader Photo Gallery set up just for pictures of our Picture Perfect Beading Challenge pieces so we can share them with each other. (You can make as many pieces as you want from as many of the color palettes as you want. Don't feel limited if you want to use more than one palette!)

I'll be looking for more photograph submissions starting at the end of May so that we can do a new set of color palettes every month. Sound like fun? Dive into your seed beads and make something beautiful with one of these color palettes! I can't wait to see what beautiful beaded creations we can come up with!

Do you have a special source of inspiration when it comes to choosing color palettes for your seed bead and beading projects? Leave a comment and share it with us!

Bead Happy,


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on May 2, 2012 3:20 PM

The unknown flower in the second photo might be a variety of passion flower (passiflora).

Amoret wrote
on May 2, 2012 4:31 PM

It's a passiflora alata. Lovely colour combinations.

Sue Bead wrote
on May 2, 2012 8:24 PM

I love the pictures. I had one I wanted to send in, but am not technically savvy and could not figure out why it would not load. Bead on friends.

veganchik wrote
on May 5, 2012 8:58 AM

I'm pretty sure that purple flower is a passion flower.  

on May 5, 2012 9:23 AM

Passion flower. :)

on May 5, 2012 10:09 AM

One of my favorite sources of colors is cloth. More so, tie dyes. The colors some of the artists use on the shirts, skirts and dresses is amazing!

When my first grandson was invetro I bought my son and wife some white onesies and a couple boxes of dye. They had so much fun and their 'project' turned out wonderful!

Instead of thumbing your nose at the 'hippy's' check out their colors. jk  ;0

hine57 wrote
on May 5, 2012 10:30 AM

I think that is a passion fruit flower

NancyS@82 wrote
on May 5, 2012 12:07 PM

What is the name of that tool?

GenieKR wrote
on May 5, 2012 1:11 PM

I would like to know what that tool was as well.  Thanks!

Marion@51 wrote
on May 6, 2012 7:45 AM

There are a number of free colour palette editor/generator tool available online - I've just downloaded free app for my iPad. I've taken some lovely flower photographs, so am looking forward to creating colour palette and hopefully even a finished creation!!!!

Shanon G. wrote
on May 6, 2012 12:20 PM

your unknown flower is called a passion flower, it is a vine that produces edible fruit. the flower is somewhat of a religious flower as the different parts all suggest several things such as the crown of thorns Jesus wore. it also comes in other colors.