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Language of Clothes: Getting the Blues

Holidays are often a depressing time.  At the very least, they are stressful.  That’s good reason to “get the blues” this time of year.  The color blue actually lowers blood pressure and respiration.  It has a calming effect.  It’s the color of the sky and the ocean which are always constant.  Landscapes may change, buildings may crumble but the sky never falls and the ocean keeps on rolling.   Blue sends a message of constancy, trust, and dependability.  (this may be why we see a lot of blue used in uniforms)

eye candy

eye candy

(not a fashion statement here, just some eye candy)

The more black you add to blue, the more serious and sober you seem.   Navy blue:   we see it and our brain tells us; dependable, traditional, classic, conservative, professional, confident, quiet but authoritative.   It’s a great color for job interviews, presentations, and speeches.  Wear it when you ask for that raise, reminding your boss he can count on you.

yes sir

yes sir

Okay, I’m done fooling around now.  Let’s move along to sky blue.   It’s calming and cool.  The vibrations you send out will be those of a person who is tranquil, happy, stable, faithful and true.


Its also a great color for accessories.  It will add serenity to the dangerous element of black, make white more approachable and turn the passion of purple toward a more spiritual vibe.


Light blue is definitely calm and restful.  That’s one of the reasons it’s used in hospitals for scrubs and walls.  It calms the patients and inspires trust.  When you want people to relax around you, trust you and calm them  down, wear light blue.   Initial impressions:  calming, cool, peaceful, clean.   On a hot day, wear a light blue dress and people will be drawn to your cool, watery serenity.


Icy blue lanyard necklace

Bright blue sends a different message.  It says happy, energetic, vibrant and it stirs these emotions in others.  It’s a great color to pair with neutral tones to jazz up their traditional stable messages.  Try bright blue with olive and antique gold and you will get the vibrations of stability and tradition plus happy and trustworthy energy.


Turquoise and amber earrings

Wear bright blue with purple and hot pink and you have happy festive vibes.


Fiesta bracelet

Teal has a whole different meaning of its own.  Wear it and say “I’m unique”!   It has a richness, an expensive upscale quality that says Not only am I unique, I’m darn classy!



Old world style necklace and earring set

So, that’s my story for December.  Go out and get the blues!   And……..if you see something from my shop that you really like, you can get a 25% off code if you “like”  my Strega Jewellry Facebook page.  You’ll save some money.

Here is a collection of blue accessories from my guild sisters on Artfire.



Handmade Soap

December 10, 2014 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry, New Age | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I See Colors!

I love colors.   I used to make a lot of monochromatic jewelry, only using one color of beads.   Now I love color palettes and interesting combinations.  Color palettes and color knowledge is something everyone can use, whether it’s for making jewelry, decorating your home, planning your flower garden  or picking your wardrobe.   If you love color yourself, you should check out Brandigirl Blog.   I’ve never known anyone who knew so much about color and color palettes.  She is amazing.  I love her blog.

She issued a color challenge a while back and July 10th is the date that everyone is going to blog about what they made following her color palettes.   She gave us six to choose from.   I chose the first.    I  had bought this adorable little birdhouse charm from Jennifer Heynen, of Jennifer Jangles Blog.   I had been wanting it a long time.   If you go to Micheal’s Craft Store, you will find her colorful ceramic beads.   They are wonderful!

Anyhow,  after I bought it, my scatterbrain gave me no clue what to use with it to make a necklace.   One look at color palette #1 and I marched right to my bead stash and pulled out these awesome ceramic beads (again, a purchase I had to idea what I was going to make with it).  Anyhow, I made this necklace with the birdhouse charm and my multicolor beads.   I tinted my chains with “Lettuce” color alcohol ink that’s sort of a limey green.   I added some little pewter bug charms to dance from my lettuce tinted chain.   I call it “Summer Dance at the Birdhouse Inn”.   Yep, I think the heat got to me.

Here it is, first photo shows the necklace sitting on the color palette so you can see, I sure did use her palette.

Palette #1 and necklace

Palette #1 and necklace


Here is a little more detail.


Birdhouse Necklace

Birdhouse Necklace


And a closeup of the birdhouse charm.   If you want to see Jennifer’s other colorful charms and beads, visit her Etsy shop.   This charm does not come with the bird attached.   I added her later.   I did not want to her to get lost with the dangling charms.


Jennifer Jangles Birdhouse charm

Jennifer Jangles Birdhouse charm


So, while I was moshing around, looking for beads, I found some old funky clay beads I bought a long time ago and look!   They went together perfectly for Palette #5, so I quick made this memory wire bracelet, and you know what?   It matches my favorite summer dress!  Is that not lucky?





Bracelet for Palette #5

Bracelet for Palette #5


I hope she gives us another challenge soon.   This was fun.











July 10, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cuff Love

I’ve fallen in love with cuff bracelets!   I love wearing them and I love making them!

I got a good deal on some steel cuffs but they were all silvertone  which was way to tame for me.   I only made two in the silver tone and they sold really quick.   I spray coated the others with a cream color matte and then used a sponge and some Folk Art paint so they have a really cool pattern.  I used about 3 colors per bracelet then accented that coat with Gilder’s Paste and finally covered all of that with a clear matte finish.

Next:   decide what to add to them to make each one unique.

Buttons were a really easy choice.  They look simple enough, but make a striking emphasis to the paint.

lime and teal cuff

pink and purple cuff

This cuff with a resin flower looked a bit plain till I added the ribbon for a really feminine touch.

cuff with a flower

I love this cameo bracelet.  I glued on filagree in silver tones which gives it a steampunish look and added the ribbon for a girly girl attitude.

cameo cuff

I love this one.  I call it the Frog Prince!   I used a bezel and put a photo of lily pads inside then filled it with resin and this little frog charm.  He’s so darn cute!

Frog Prince Cuff

This one has copper filagree and dichroic glass.

The Red Queen bracelet is perfect for anyone who loves Alice in Wonderland.  The deep purples and red in the bracelet really accent the colors in her picture.   I used gold tone brass filagree to frame the bezel and softened the look with burguney and purple ribbons.   Girly!

Red Queen Cuff

This last one is for me to wear to the Reggae festival.   It’s my Irie/peace/rasta cuff with the Reggae peace symbol.  It will go perfect with my outfit which is a brown skirt and brown blouse with purple and orange designs.   I used soft suede to wrap round the cuff after I punched holes all around.  I’ve still got to add beads and charms to the suede ends.



It’s been fun.     If you like making cuffs too, maybe you’ll get some inspiration from mine and make some of your own.   If you want to buy any of these, you can find them in my Artfire store. 


June 10, 2012 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry, steampunk | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Colors Talk Part III

If you have been following Colors Talk, you know I have been intrigued by the emotional impact of colors.  I’ve looked at many other Artfire shops to see what messges they sent through their choice of banner and avatar.   I’ve used Pantone’s Guide to Communicating with Color as my standard.   Now, I’m going to pick apart my own avatar and banner and try to make some constructive changes.

I originally chose blue for my avatar.  Blue inspires trust  and I wanted viewers to trust and depend on me.   However, I went way too far.   My muted blues are on the gray side.  The woman, portrayed in these muted shades, seems to say she is a lone wolf a solitary (not necessarily a bad thing) but not what I intened.

my first avatar

Colors from Pantone’s “Muted Palette”  are similar to the Naturals Palette but they are low-key, maybe too low-key to invite interest.   My woman may appear aloof or too mystical for the average person, too serene and self centered.

I have to decide what I want my avatar to say about me?   Of course, I want to appear unique (who doesn’t?).   I am a deeply spiritual lady with an earth based religion, stronly connected to the natural world.  Pantone’s “Spiritual Palette” uses purples, the Natural Palette uses browns.  Pantone’s “Unique Palette” gave me some options.

First, I tweaked my lady.

first tweak

Now, she is brighter, more woodsy, with a hint of sunshine.   I think she is more inviting.

Next, I added a burgundy background.

2nd tweak

See how that burgundy blends in with the browns and seems to add a more spiritual quality?   I like it, but not enough.

Next, I beveled the photo so there is a bit of black for drama and there she is!   I really like her much better than the blue lady.   She is warm, inviting, a bit sensual, a bit spiritual.

finished avatar

What do YOU think?   What does she say to you?

Now, we’re going to pick apart my banner.

I used a shot of a finished piece.   I used it because:

1.   It was a good shot

2.  I like the blues (trust and dependability again) and because there was part of a pentagram and a tarot card in the shot which told the knowing viewer than I am Wiccan.


So, what’s wrong with it?

1.  It seems to imply that all my jewelry is Wiccan and that’s not true.

2.  The pentagram is a very misunderstood symbol.  To Wiccans, it is a symbol of balance, man’s harmony with nature.  To the uninformed it is a satanic symbol and puts people off.

3.  The jewelry piece is not very colorful and it is very plain.   While blue chalcedony has meaning for me, it is not a stone that is commonly appreciated.   And, again, we have the muted gray blue color.

Three Strikes!   Banner is OUT!

Now what?   What am I about?   What do I want to tell you about myself with color?

I am about experience.   I love to experience life, try new things, new media, new ways of doing old things.   I love tradition and lore, stone lore, history, my religion, my family.   I am an old hippie who loves beads and weird things and believes that “stuff” does not have to be gold, silver or precious stone to be beautiful.   I am inspired by the natural world and by otherworlds, worlds of fairies and dragons, wizards  and far away stars.   Wow!   I can’t get all THAT in a banner!!

Let’s see what I CAN say.

First:   I’m going to start with a photo of a piece of my work.  I chose the Dark Zone pendant because I love its beauty, it’s a good shot and lots of others seem to like it because it’s been featured in lots of collections.

Dark Zone Pendant

Now, I am going to tweak it a bit, make it look a little more dramatic by beveling the edges and adding some black.


Dark Zone Tweak

I think that silver lettering will match up just perfectly with the photo and any background I choose.   I’ll tweak that lettering just a little bit to add some edges and refine it.

I’m undecided between a burgundy background and a rich brown.   Burgundy is rich and spiritual, brown is earthy.   I’ll try them both.   You will have to visit my Artfire studio to see what I came up with.   Please leave any comments………..tell me what the colors make you feel.   I want to know if I have succeeded in making some positive change.


November 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Colors Talk Part II

If you read my blog post, Colors Talk, you know I have become fascinated with colors and the emotional messages they convey.   In Part I, we visited some Artfire Shops of my guild sisters to see how their avatars and banners expressed, through color, a bit of their personality and artistic style.  I want to take a look at some more shops this time and talk a little bit about palettes.

Though each color has it’s own emotional impact, a color palette, which is a combination of colors, makes an emotional statement.  Let’s take a look at some more shops and see what their avatars and banners tell us about them.

Stopping at Pink Rhododendron’s shop, we see an avatar and banner in pinks (surprise!).  Pinks are youthful, romantic, spirited, fun and trendy.

Pink Rhododendron's Avatar

Her palette uses colors from what Pantone calles the “Romantic” palette, not the muted pastels but blushing and vibrant colors that say:  charming, soft, inviting, nurturing.

Check out this romantic pink pearl bracelet from her shop.

pink pearl bracelet

Epicetera’s avatar shows up totally black to me, but my eyes are not what they used to be.

Black makes a powerful statement with the bold white lettering.  Unrelieved black by itself can be intimidating, signaling too much power or even danger.  To others, it will signal elegance or mystery.  To some, magic.  To others it is a sober color.   If I were going to change it at all, I would outline it with a charcoal gray (sophisticated quality) or more of that burnished gold.  With the white and gold contrast, the avatar prepares you for the dramatic effects of her banner which has mysterious eyes, gold flourishes and accents and makes a very clear statement.   Please check it out at her shop to see this.

This color palette is called the “Classic” palette:  traditional black, gray, taupe and muted bronzey gold, the colors of rock, stone, caverns and weathered buildings.   It says timeless, elegant, powerful.   Here is a necklace from her shop.

chunky jasper statement necklace

Onward to the next studio on the block, Pretty Gonzo.   Mary’s name, avatar and banner all reflect her feelings for her much loved cat, Gonzo.  Gonzo’s coloring and the echoing colors in the banner and avatar say a lot more than love for a feline friend.

Pretty Gonzo'a avatar

These colors are from Pantone’s “Earthy” palette which includes mixes of forest green, barn red, nut browns and harvest russets.   This palette says:  abundance, rich goodness, down to earth, prosperity, natural.  This palette is appealing to almost everyone.   Here is a bracelet from Pretty Gonzo studio.   Please visit and check out her other work.

serpentine turquoise

Elaine, from Zoomgraphik Design is another animal lover.  She has a very original stylized dog as her avatar.  Even if you are not a dog-lover, you will be taken by this fellow’s eyes and expression.  His colors are classic with lots of white and say “innocent” and pure.   His eyes say “let’s play”.


Now, step into Elaine’s studio.   The first thing you see is a bright explosion of colors!  These are from Pantone’s “Playful” palette, extroverted bright colors that stimulate the child within us.  They express movement, activity and unrestrained joy.

Elaine’s work reflects this attitude.  She is always experimenting with new ways to express herself and to use traditional stoens and metals in new and exciting ways.

Seaside Pearls

And last, but not least, on our walk around Artfire JCUIN guild block, we come to Linda Landig’s studio.   Linda’s avatar is a “fooler”.   She has a plain picture of herself.  She looks like an ordinary lady, a bit pensive, quite serene.

Linda Landig

This avatar in no way prepares you for the lively lady who is the owner of this studio.   Her banner features 3 brightly colored pieces of her work against a neutral background.  Linda’s colors are from one of four “Unique” Pantone palettes.   The four palettes range from the sublty unusual to eccentric to completely outrageous.   These palettes all say “you are an indiviaual.  You are expressive.”    And this is Linda, a far cry from that serene lady you see in the avatar.  Linda “does the dance” using colors and materials that are non-traditional.  She participates in blog hops, bead swaps and experiments outside her own comfort zone.

If I were going to change one thing about Linda’s studio, I would change her avatar, either to a colorful silhouette of a lady joyously dancing or I would use one of her bright pieces like this ceramic flower bracelet from her shop.

Ceramic Cuff Bracelet

Is anyone throwing rotton fruit at me yet?   I hope that none of my guild sisters think I am criticizing.  I realized that I had a lot to learn about colors and marketing message and that the best way to learn was to study what messages others were sending.

Please post and let me know:   Is this the message you were hoping to convey?   Did you know what you were saying when you chose your colors?   Do any of you who were NOT featured want to talk about your own avatar and banner?

Next blog I am going to put my own banner and avatar under scrutiny.  I’ve even been looking at the fonts and headers in my shop.   I’ll be changing them when I change the look.  I want to make positive changes and I’d like your help.   Is anyone else NOT satisfied with their banner and avatar and would like them posted for critique or do I go alone……boldly……..?   I want to hear from you.   We all have the same goals:  to bring on the business!

November 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments