Friday, February 5, 2010

Pinks and Pearls

It's February, which means it's time for lots and lots of heart-focused jewelry. To be honest, I'm not much of a fan of Valentine's Day, but I am a huge fan of freshwater pearls and working in pink. So when declared January as their month of Valentine's Day for their blogger program, I headed straight for the pearl section to begin fawning over their pink pearl choices. I chose three different strands for these pink projects.

A word about pearl purchasing - I usually buy my pearls at bead shows for a few reasons. First, the bead shows offer some fabulous pearl deals. Second, I get to examine the pearls in person for the best size, shape, luster, and color quality that I can find. There is just so much variability in pearl quality out there that it's really hard to know what you're getting when you order them online.

That being said, I was very impressed with the pink pearls I received from Artbeads. The shapes are very consistent from pearl to pearl, which is a big must for my beadweaving designs. This is evident in the first necklace I made for this post:

This pendant is in my Disco Ball beaded bead design, which is also available as a tutorial in my Etsy shop. The pearls in the pendant are pink rice pearls, and have the best luster of the three strands I sampled from Artbeads. I had to increase the number of seed beads in the overlay to make the Disco Ball from these pearls, since the pearls are closer to 5 mm in length than the 4 mm called for in the tutorial.

I strung this pendant on a necklace with alternating rice pearls and fuchsia potato pearls. The dye job on these fuchsia pearls is very consistent:

I also managed to have enough of both pearls left over to make a matching bracelet:

For the next necklace, I used more of the fuchsia potato pearls and some pink large nugget pearls from Artbeads, combined with some larger magenta rice pearls from my own stash (although these pearls are a close substitute). I wove five Light Clusters beaded beads from 11° Japanese seed beads and the larger rice pearls, and strung them with the other pearls to create this necklace:

I love how the Light Clusters beaded beads look like fresh berries!

In all, I'm quite happy with how these pieces turned out and with the quality of Artbeads' freshwater pearls.

Full disclosure: The pink rice pearls, pink nugget pearls, and magenta potato pearls used in these projects were received as a gift from No payment was made for the review of these products.


  1. Raspberries and cream! All pieces look delicious and what beautiful pearls! You're right about shopping pearls. Sometimes the quality of online ordered pearls is not what expected. Seeing the pearls in personal is much better.

  2. Those are beautiful. I really like the beaded ball that you use as a focal and the colors are so luscious!
    I agree with you about the shopping, but then any excuse to go to a bead store is ok by me!

  3. Thanks Kokopelli and Bonnie! As soon as I saw those rice pearls I knew I was making a Disco Ball with them. I just didn't know that the pearls would look so great!


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