Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Beading Dilemma: Choosing Bead Colors

As a beader, I have found that the hardest part of designing a project is choosing the colors of the beads for my design. For some strange reason choosing the color of the beads for a project that I am designing does not come naturally to me. Fortunately, I have discovered a few resources that are actually free, and who doesn’t like free, to help me when I am trying to decide what colors of beads to use.

The first free resource is to look at nature. By taking a walk through my neighborhood or my local park, I find much color inspiration in the colors and beauty of trees flowers, leaves, grasses and plants. Especially, in the Autumn when the foliage is changing colors and at the beginning of Spring when colors begins to emerge from Winter’s sleep. The extra benefit is that I also get some much needed exercise.

Color Schemer is another free resource that I utilize. Color Schemer is an on-line color palette. To use I just click on one of the little color boxes at the bottom of the screen. The color palette then shows a variety of color choices that go together so I can make my selection. I can also lighten or darken my color scheme by clicking on the “lighten scheme” or “darken scheme” boxes located at the lower left side of my computer screen. And, if I am not satisfied with my color choice, I can start over until I find a color selection that I want to use. The website address for Color Schemer Online is,

My sisters, Laura, Patty, and Jamie are all quilters. Through them I have discovered that looking at the finished quilts that they have made, as well as images of quilts made by other quilt makers, to be another excellent source of color inspiration. Quilters carefully choose the colors of their fabrics so that each different color pattern creates a harmonious and beautiful color balance. Not only do I get the advantage of color inspiration from looking at quilts, I also am able to get the added advantage of design inspiration when creating a beaded graph pattern. When typing the words “quilt images” into a search engine, I am rewarded with listings of tons of quilting sites.

Another free color resource that I have found is at my favorite hardware store in the paint department. I am referring to those little color cards that help to decide what colors to paint your walls (or whatever project you are working on). Each card has a predetermined color chart, and the cards are free. I have found that they are great for taking with me into the bead store or craft store to use to help me match, as closely as possible, my beads to the color scheme on the card.

So even though I am most definitely a color challenged individual, when it comes to designing a new project, I have discovered several free resources to aid me in my beading color quest. If you too are color challenged, I would love to hear about what free resources that you have discovered to assist you in your personal color quest.

I invite you to visit my picturetrail website "Bead Between The Lines." You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guestbook

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