Spicy Marsala!

Yes the cousin of red and brown is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015. You can read Pantone Company’s announcement HERE

Marsala is an  interesting choice. It conjures up a tasty dinner on a cold winter night. It’s that color where you need something sophisticated to wear, yet not gold, bronze, silver, or the standard black. It works well with those colors also: a marsala tunic blouse with a gold or silver belt with a gray skirt-perfect for happy hour.

For beading, marsala is one of those colors we don’t often run to. I find myself working with tried and true color families, the blue, red, off-white, lighter browns, and the greens.  While organizing my stash, I came across some cubed delica beads in a bronze, very close to marsala. Hmm…another project for my 2015 list.


In other color news, if you need the perfect gift for the jewelry design artist in your life, RUN to your nearest bookstore (or order online from you know where, or just go to MargieDeeb.com) and get Margie Deeb’s latest: The Beader’s Guide to Jewelry Design (Lark Books).  Margie Deeb is an expert on color theory, and teaches classes around the United States.  She is also an art director, graphic designer and a musician. This book should be one on the must have list for the beader’s library.  I own her other book, The Beader’s Color Palette, and reference it regularly. (I also had the pleasure of taking a class a few years back. If you get the opportunity, take it.)

With the Design Guide, Ms. Deeb posted questions on social media and to her newsletter subscribers. Some of the responses appear in the book. Therefore, it has the feel of a cooperative effort. It also allowed folks to pose the questions/quanderies everyone has, but no one wanted to ask.

The book is set as a pathway. It begins with “Unity” and proceeds through topics such as “Balance”, “Shape”, “Color”  and concludes with “The Creative Journey”. Along the way there are challenges to help the designer understand the chapter and experiment.  I admit I have not finished the book (just getting to “Balance”) but it’s one where I know if I have to set it aside for a bit, or review, it’s okay. I’ll probably discover something new anyway. 🙂

2015 here we come! New color, new reference guide, new year!


I am donating 10% of all December sales from Pond’s Edge Designs to Feeding America.org.

Yes, Tanya Mercado and I will be on the air next Friday 12/19/14. Then off until after the holidays.

Be safe, happy, healthy and creative this season. See you next month!




“Does orange go with brown?”

“Can you really put black with anything?”

“What does a ‘pop’ of color really mean?”

“Why can’t I wear stripes & plaid?”

Ok, Margie Deeb‘s latest book, “The Beader’s Color Palette” can’t answer the last question. But it certainly covers the first three.  This could be considered a companion to her earlier work, “The Beader’s Guide to Color” published a few years ago.  (Both available at her website, along with kits and other goodies.)   Color Palette has more color combinations (palettes) than Beader’s Guide.  This time Deeb divides them into five groups:

  • The Elements
  • Artists’ Historical Palettes
  • Cultures of Our World
  • Gorgeous Planet
  • Living Color

She presents the palettes with a brief description of the individual color and suggestions on proportion. The descriptions are lush, reflecting the group.  I enjoyed the brief historical information at the start of each group. It helps the reader understand why certain colors were used certain ways.

Also included is a guide to create your own palettes, from breaking down an image to see colors to deciding on proportions of colors. Delica bead reference numbers are provided for ordering from bead stores.

An example of Deeb’s lush descriptions (Fire as a palette):

These energetic palettes are hot and dry. Their textures are smooth or tessellated, and their movement is active–a fast and rhythmic staccato. The burst like a supernova or blaze like a bonfire.

The photography, as in any good bead art book, is as lush as her written word.  Many examples for each group are included, as well as projects and inspirations spaced throughout the book.  The closing sections provide instruction on some bead stitches and looming and more inspiring projects by other artists.

The Beader’s Color Palette is a definite must have for serious beaders. Margie Deeb is a true color expert, and it shows in this book. I refer to it constantly for guidance, even after taking her class at BeadFest.