by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer and Instructor, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

One of my favorite summertime traditions is homemade ice cream! My dad used to haul out the old hand crank ice-cream maker and we'd jump up and down for joy in anticipation of those delectable flavors he'd come up with (this was before you could buy the Ben and Jerry's recipe book). I would savor each tasty spoonful while pondering a jewelry project to match the ice-cream flavor and color! Now, mind you, this was in the days of my youth when my jewelry-making skills bordered on dyed macaroni necklaces and gum-wrapper-chain-link belts! Since then my skills have expanded into a full-blown obsession with all beady wonders, and the materials are much more costly than macaroni, but I still like using food and various themes to steer my jewelry creations such as adorable cupcake beads or luscious strawberry and cherry charms to really drive home what inspired me. Why don't you give it a try?

The most commonly named inspiration for jewelry design tends to be "nature," but what about red licorice? You know, the twisted cherry red vines that once you ate one you can't stop? Next time you're about to take a bite of one, study it first. I think the twisted tube and color is a great design-starter for a wire-wrapped bracelet. How about another summertime favorite like watermelon? Isn't the color combination unexpected and striking? Match up watermelon colors with the new Crystal Passions® rose peach and crystal luminous green; throw in a splash of fern green and mocca and you've got a fun watermelon inspired color palette ready to rock your summer wardrobe!

Here's my summertime list for inspiration:
  • Amusement parks: cotton candy, ferris wheels, merry-go-round, balloons
  • Picnics: Gingham table cloths, bendy straws, ants, wicker picnic basket, lemonade, ice cubes
  • Winged creatures: robins, lightning bugs, butterflies, dragonflies
  • Surf-n-Sand: sun hats, umbrellas, ocean waves, dolphins, flip-flops, polka dot bikinis
  • Flowers: sunflowers, peonies, daisies, bougainvillea
  • Fireworks: sparklers, glitter, shine and bling
Add your own ideas to the list then take the color combo you have come up with and use it in your favorite design. Or consider one of these two quick-and-easy-to-make options: memory wire toe rings for your tweens--one for each outfit and friend and stretch ankle bracelets made from Powercord®--always in style for summertime attire--with an added themed charm or two for the perfect personalized gift for your BFF.

One of the best things about summertime jewelry is it doesn't matter your age, color palette or style, everybody looks forward to blasts of color this time of year, so embrace your inner Carmen Miranda and go make something FABULOUS, darling!

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Customer Comments

We appreciate your comments We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article "Summertime," as featured in an email newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"I like, thank you."
- Vangerlin

"Love Kristal Wick!!!"
- Mary Jane