Strega Jewellry's Blog

jewelry, beads, stone lore, music, kids and nature

Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress

One of my favorite books is The Language of Clothes, by Alison Lurie.   It’s an interesting take on what we wear and how our clothes influence the perception others have of us.    According to Ms. Lurie, choosing our clothes is our way of describing ourselves.  People with limited income will have a more limited vocabulary while a fashionista will have thousands of words and statements.  Very casual dress is like using slang words.  Accessories are the adjectives and adverbs you use to describe yourself.

One of the rites of passage for young people is to choose their own clothes, to begin to define themselves on their own terms.  When we wear certain colors, we are actually sending a message to others.   We tell people who we are or what mood we are in when we get dressed.

clothes I’ve been reading a book by the folks at Pantone, those color trendsetters, a book about color palettes and how they influence perception, not just in what we wear, but in advertising.   I find it all very interesting.  So, once a month, I’m going to take a color or a color palette and we’re going to talk about the influence of this color, what messages you send out when you wear it.  AND, I’m going to show you accessories, give you the adjectives and adverbs to show you how to speak clearly.   I’ve also come up with a new line of jewelry that is going to fit right in with these little discussions and I think we will all have some fun.

For the first month, I chose black.   It’s a most basic color and it has a lot of messages.  But first, I know you’re expecting  the mood music.



While black is the traditional color of mourning and can be a sobering color when worn by a priest or a nun those are no longer the first impressions we give when we dress in black.


Black implies sophistication, an acquaintance with the darker side of life.  Depending on the richness of the fabric, it can also send a message of elegance.   Black is dramatic, elegant and  sophisticated.  Wearing a touch of white at the wrist or neck implies an innocence underneath, a purity that remains even though one has tasted the forbidden.   When you wear that “little black dress”, you are saying, in essence that you are classy, stylish and a bit worldly.

Of course, there are other blacks.   Bohemian black comes from outfits worn by dancers:   the black tights, turtlenecks with black slacks or skirts.   This type of outfit is also dramatic but indicates an intellectual side, a sensitive serious outlook of an artist, musician, student, intellectual,  poet or dancer.  After WWII, this look came to be popular in France and spread around the world.


And last, but not least, is dangerous black which came into fashion in the 1940’s and taken from the style of Italian fascists.  It’s motorcycle black:  leather jackets, boots, jeans and t-shirts.   Your grunge and punk styles come from this style also.   Your message can be sent as just a bit dangerous to downright threatening, depending on your style.

Biker Chic

Biker Chic


Let me show you some accessories I’ve chosen from my guild sisters hand made items on Artfire.   You will see all of these items and more at the end of this blog in a collection I made.   If you see something you like, to add to your own “look”, click on the collection then the item and you will be taken right to their shop.

First: a dress, the little black dress:   says you are stylish, classy, and sophisticated.


Wear it with this beautiful bracelet from Ann Beading.


Or this wristlet/purse from Creative Shoppe.





Jewelry Supplies
With all the meanings of colors and color palettes in mind, I’ve come up with a new idea for jewelry.  I’m excited to tell you about it, but it will have to wait until later in the week.   We’ll talk about color and I’ll have a new style to show you, one I think is daring and fun.

July 14, 2014 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colors Talk

I’ve been reading Pantone’s Guide to Communicating with Color by Leatrice Eiseman.   I was already familiar with color “vibrations” from reading The Language of Clothes and had done a blog about Wearing your “Colors” and a podcast about what clothes to wear for magical energy on my Salem Avenue show.

Pantone’s Guide shows you, in glowing color photos, how to use the emotions that colors evoke by choosing carefully what palettes you use in advertising.  Reading it prompted me to examne my own avatar and banner at my Artfire shop to see if I was “saying” what I wanted to convey.

I thought I would take a look at some guild sister’s blogs to see if what Pantone advised was fairly accurate.   This turned out to be a fairly long blog for me, so grab a cuppa whatever you like and let’s take a look.

I’ll start with Ginger, whose avatar for her shop, Personal Oasis, uses the “Naturals” palette, creamy beiges, tans, leafy greens.    Her banner matches her avatar.

Personal Oasis

The message of the “naturals” palette imples authenticity, serenity, harmony with surroundings.  Words that might come to your mind when looking at the palette are quality, timeless and classic.

And that is exactly what you will find in her shop.  Ginger uses pearls and natural stones.  Take a look at this necklace and see if you agree.

Let’s go next to Blue Tina’s Artfire shop.   The name and the avatar both reflect the images that the color blue evokes:   reliability, dependability, trust, confidence.   Blue is also a restful color.

Blue Tina

Tina uses both brilliant blue (which is different from dark blue or electirc blue or pale blue in emotional response) and contrasts it with white.   The mental images evoked by these colors are:  vibrant, dramatic, energetic, and dynamic.   From this association, you would expect her work to be simple but dramatic, solid and good quality.   Here is one example.   Visit her shop and see if you agree.

Egyptian Fan Necklace

Onward to Entwined Vines.   Tina and Tama have an avatar that is almost totally green, vegetion, growing things, as befits their name.   But their store banner is purple.   Hmmmmm.

Entwined Vines

What does the avatar tell us about their shop?   Green, a soothing color, elicits a close to nature response which is doubly emphasized by the plant life in the photo.  From the emotions evoked by the color green and the word associations, you would expect their work to be refreshing, natural but unique, yet traditionally rooted.   Their purple banner evokes a different response.   The color of purple used in their banner says sentimental, spiritual, genteel and nostalgic.   The two responses do go together and blend so that you would expect work that reflects their love of nature, traditional but refreshing with an emphasis on thier spiritual inclinations.   Take a look at this example, visit their store and see if you think the work reflects what you expect to find.

Goddess necklace

Dixie Dazzle Designs’ avatar features a favorite piece in light teal.   Teal is a combination of both blue and green and will evoke emotions from both colors but to a lesser degree.

Dixie Dazzle

These colors are from Pantone’s “Cool” palette and lead you to expect the new, clean and refreshing designs with a solid, dependable base.   Check out this necklace and take a stroll through her shop and let me know what you think.

Jasper and Turquoise Necklace

Last, but by no means least, we come to the shop of Midnight Whispers.   Her name by itself implies mystery, drama and secrets that only a select few will share.   Her avatar uses colors from the palette that Pantone calls “Elegant”:   a deep, almost black purple, gunmetal gray and hints of deep navy.

Midnight Whispers

The responses this palette evokes are elegance and opulance.  You would expect very distinctive and classy jewelry.   Here is a necklace that I think truly lives up to these expectations.

Bohemian Necklace

Well, I TOLD you this was going to be a long blog.  I do hope it has given you some things to thnk about.   I have lots more to share so I’ll be doing Part Two of Colors Talk in November.   In Part Three, I’ll take a look at my own avatar and banner and ask you some opinions.   From what I’ve learned so far, I am not satisfied with what I am using.   I’d like some honest feedback before I make any changes.  I value your opinions.    Maybe you’ll be looking at your own avatars and banners too.   I also hope you have had a bit of fun with this.   Maybe you will check out this book for yourself.  Let me know.

October 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

My Pantone Trendy Beads

Pantone came out with a new fall color chart.  How in the world can people keep up with the trendy scene?

Pantone fall colors

How in the world do people keep up with these “trendy” fashion waves?   Lucky for me that some of these colors are already my favorites.   When winter things went on sale in the spring, I bought three new sweaters with matching vests and hats to go with them.   The only thing I lacked was jewelry.


What I call “plum” is the new phlox.  What I call “dark turquoise” is the new deep teal.   What I call “chocolate brown is the new espresso and what I call “creamy tan” is the new nougat.   Wow, was I ever ahead of my time!
Anyhow, I had a flyer from JoAnn Fabrics for some 40 and 50 percent off coupons so I took a trip to see if I could find any pretty beads.  I also had three $10 tips for a grand total of thirty dollars to spend that wasn’t even my own money!   You can’t beat that!   I sure did luck out that day.
The JoAnn store near me has just been transformed into a superstore, so they have a large selection of anything and everything.   I found these wonderful little packages of acrylic beads in fabulous colors!  As a rule, I use acrylics once in a blue moon.   I never go out and buy them.   BUT…….these new acrylics are amazing!   They look like stones.   They look like glass.   They look glizty!   Let me show you two of the necklaces I made with these acrylics and some colored chain.   I decided on the longer length that comes to the belly as that seems to be the “trendy” thing to wear these days.

fabulous phlox colors!

Let me do a couple of close-ups so you can see how cool these beads can be!
I put together a “brown” necklace with deep chocolate, ooops, excuse me, espresso, beads, amber colors and copper chain.

espresso, amber and copper, very trendy

I also bought teal and black and white with gray acrylic beads.   I have worn all of them and have orders for one teal, one brown, 4 phlox and two black and white necklaces!   Hooray for Pantone’s trends!

October 6, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment