A Bead For All Seasons Part 2
"We borrow from the forest the boards which shelter and the sticks which warm us. How important is their evergreen to the winter, that portion of the summer which does not fade…" -- Henry David Thoreau
Last month, we examined how easily leaf designs find a home in summer and fall. As we look ahead to winter's chill and spring's renewal, we can also find a place for leaf designs.
It may seem odd to think of leaves in winter bead designs, since most leaves have given up the ghost by the end of autumn. But the winter season is a time when the deep hue of evergreens draws a lot of attention in a gray or snowy landscape. And some of the most beautiful leaves are green throughout the winter - such as waxy magnolia, prickly holly and leathery mistletoe leaves.
The most often thought of colors for winter and the holiday season are red and green, with good reason. Even though other shades have found their place in holiday clothing and décor, red and green remain steadfast. Add touches of gold, silver or white to this trustworthy combination in your designs, and you have a classic holiday look.
Deep green leaf beads with pearly white rounds remind us of mistletoe, while white and crystal clear millefiori beads bear a striking resemblance to a white snowflake captured inside a bead. Combine such a millefiori bead with red druks, dark green leaf beads and gold for a beautiful Christmasy look.
There is a little bit of everything in the inspiration for the other popular holiday shades, ranging from the purple and gold of the Russian Palaces of St. Petersburg to the pastel colors of the vintage Shiny Brite ornaments once found in the local five-and-dime.
"No wonder that the earth expresses itself outwardly in leaves…" Henry David Thoreau
As winter's sometimes drab landscape feels the effects of spring, an unbelievable array of brightly-colored flowers appear, along with innumerable shades of green -- maybe even shades you never knew existed before.
For a more unusual design, combine 6mm luster green rounds, luster green dagger beads and curved green leaf beads into a project. Another dramatic design might include leaf beads that match the colors of the flower beads you choose.
Winter is known for frost, but sometimes springtime is interrupted with a surprise frost. You can also find frost in your spring bead designs, as a frosted white aurora borealis flower is flanked by soft green aurora borealis frosted leaves
And remember, when you are searching for leaf beads, try looking in the "pressed glass" section of a catalog or store; or try the reduced-price section, since these beads tend to go on sale after the seasons of spring and fall.
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