partial excerpt from Margie’s Muse, August 2010

bead by Kristy Nijenkamp

How to create a necklace color scheme from an existing bead (or fabric) is one of the questions I’ve been asked the most over the years.

Last week Rachel D. wrote:
“I have a question about working with beads that are multi-colored.  I have purchased lampwork glass beads that are made up of at least 3 colors. I would like to know if I should choose 1 color out of the multi-color bead and use as an accent bead or just use plain clear glass beads as accents? I hear different opinions.”

I told Rachel “Its difficult for me to give you my most informed answer without seeing the beads. My preference is color, not clear glass beads. So I would try to choose 1 color within the beads to use as a unifying color. That is not a rule, that is where I would start experimenting.”

To give my best answer to Rachel and you, dear reader, I devote this August 2010 Margie’s Muse column.

I’ve also created a fully illustrated, bullet-pointed, picture-says-all PDF guide titled 7 Strategies for Extracting Palettes.

Let’s discuss this question with one of the strategies outlined in 7 Strategies for Extracting Palettes.

Strategy #1 is the simplest approach, yet often the most difficult to pull-off successfully. I call it “All Colors Present.”

In this approach you employ all the colors of the existing source (the focal bead) in the necklace itself.

The reason this approach is often difficult to pull-off successfully is because it risks becoming too busy and chaotic. There’s already so much visual activity in that focal bead: you don’t want to make a necklace that competes with it for attention. Your job is to shape the colorful chaos into a pleasing degree of form and order. To do this…”

Read the entire article here…