Friday, October 10, 2014

We Learn by Doing

Yes, Captain Kirk said to Spock, “We learn by doing” and it really is true.  Beaders know this from countless experiences learning new stitches and doing projects.  Sure, you can read instructions and understand what is going on, but to Truly “get it”, and see all the nuances, there is nothing like actually doing it.

So what if you are challenged by color?  This is an issue many beaders would like to improve on and enhance their skills.  Maybe you are stuck always seeming to use one particular color or set of colors.  Maybe you use many colors, but just aren’t comfortable doing it.  First let me say that I’m not a big fan of experimenting  when you are creating big projects.  There are so many things you need to pay attention to with a big project.  And, it typically takes a chunk of time. By definition, an experiment might fail, so do your learning and experimenting with something that doesn't take a big chunk of time.  In order to experiment with color, we need a large surface area to play with, one or two patterns to do so there isn’t a lot of time or concentration spent with the execution.  We need a fast project.  And we want the end result to be something easily used or saved. 

So, how do you apply the “learn by doing” easily to learn color?

Answer: Give yourself a class using a beaded snowflake for your project!  Your class is not really about doing the snowflake, but about doing a bunch of snowflakes and how you design the colors used to create them.  It’s very cost effective, quickly executed and you have large area for flexibility in testing color palettes.  Give ‘em away as a décor on Christmas presents, or hang from your studio ceiling.  You can also slip them into a plastic sleeve in a 3-ring binder if you want to keep them. 

The supplies you’ll need are seed beads, thread and a needle.  If you have a snowflake pattern, use it.  If you need to get one, I have an inexpensive book on Amazon “Little Book of Beaded Snowflakes” you can get (and it is available in Kindle too).  It will also be very helpful to have a book that teaches color.  My recommendation is “Beaders Guide to Color” and/or “Beaders Color Palette” both by Margie Deeb.  If you have a favorite color book, use it. If you don’t have one or want one, you can still give yourself a class, however you may not learn as fast or understand what you learn as deeply. 

The key is to do it.  Select colors of beads, get those tubes.  Decide the proportions of each color. 

For instance, this snowflake uses turquoise and peach with the turquoise the dominant color and the peach a secondary.   

This ornament uses red for the dominant color and the gold is an accent.

This ornament uses one color (purple) but shades of it from light to dark.

 Or maybe you want to experiment with a 5-color rainbow.

The key is, you can use the patterns over and over yet each snowflake will be very different as you experiment with using different colors and changing the proportions of the colors.  Use one, two, three or more colors.  Change the dominance.  Select colors you want to get comfortable using.  Play with adding other colors to it, changing the proportions and see how it works, and how you like the result.  You can concentrate on the COLOR while you quickly (15 to 20 minutes) create the snowflake.


Treat yourself to a class (it’s almost Halloween right? Time for a treat!).  And winter is coming so think Snow!

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