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

On a recent b-day trip to play in paradise with a buddy, we spent four days in South Beach, Florida. WOW! What a trip for this Denver-based, Midwestern-sure-ya-youbetcha-home-grown type of gal. I'd heard this was where "the beautiful people" go to see and be seen; what, with a polo field set up right on the beach, Crystal Passions® dripping everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE, and $2,400 bottles of champagne on the beach menu, I was in another country! The art deco influences seeped into every nook and cranny which made it difficult for me to concentrate on anything else but jewelry designs. Walking through the fancy hotels inspired some jewelry-making combinations I'd like to share with you. Many of them based on my beloved Crystal Passions® which are alive and well in South Beach!

We took an art deco walking tour of the area which included all the fun filming sites for the TV show Miami Vice, Flipper, The Golden Girls, Meet the Fockers, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and the list goes on and on. We also passed by the sadly famous murder scene of Gianni Versace in 1997 outside his home on Ocean Ave.

The Carlyle South Beach, where Robin Williams and Nathan Lane's brilliant movie The Bird Cage was filmed, had the most beautiful bar surrounded with crystal strands dangling everywhere and I couldn't help but visualize a fabulous crystal necklace with the strands hanging down the front and the back of the neck, to adorn a low dipping open back gown. The neck portion would be a chainmaille choker with Crystal Passions® linked together and hanging down from the choker using components such as crystal AB chessboard beads, crystal twist beads, crystal helix beads and colorful niobium jumprings, pink and mint green of course!

We took a leisurely walk through the Zen-like palace that was the Setaj hotel. Simplicity and minimalist decor inspired by the beauty of nature with serene floating pools everywhere, sleek granite and subtle taupe colors (a calming breath of fresh air in the midst of the constant bombardment of South beach colors) with simple splashes of carefully placed oranges here and there. A great jewelry piece inspired by this experience could be a simple necklace, bracelet or keychain with a token reminder to chill out such as a Chinese symbol for peace or a Buddha charm with White Lotus™ freshwater pearls, sage potato, a touch of Tahitian and a dash of the new rose peach sparkle.

The Fontainebleau lobby was a spectacular sight with triple Crystal Passions® chandeliers following that classic design rule of creating in odd numbers, particularly 3s for maximum design interest just like these art deco inspired beauties:

Great design ideas are all around you and it's fun to tap into the local flavor while traveling. Snap quick pictures of color combinations you like, shapes and elements that you can interpret into your jewelry designs when you're back in the studio. Have fun!

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article "," 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.

"Enjoyed the article very much--good ideas for future projects - Thanks."
- Barbara

"It was great, especially that you are always so savvy re. how customer service has such an impact. I am now going to look at the site, again, to see if Kristal has designed new jewelry based on her experience. Thanks,"
- Vicki

"Loved it immensely!!! Thanks for the much needed great inspiration."
- Kimberly

"Great visions in my mind. I love Crystal Passions® and use it all the time. Kristal, a few more pics next time, like the beach."
- Linda

"Wonderful article--I could visualize the surroundings from Kristal’s viewpoint. SB is also on my bucket list, and glad to read a fellow Denverite made it there!!"
- Leslie

"I loved this article about jewelry trends in Southbeach, FL. The pictures of color combos were wonderful, too. Could there be articles featuring what's popular all over the US? I've often wondered what sort of things I might focus on if I traveled to a show in another part of the country. I'm from Indiana, and I know things are plenty different elsewhere. Keep up the great articles!"
- Cara

"I just love your articulars. I have been beading for several years and you give me some great new ideas for work from. I do several shows a years and my customers always love something new to buy. Very informative. Keep them coming. Thanks,"
- Elaine

"That was great fun. Thanks for taking me with you."
- InaRae

"Hi! I really liked the article and read it all the way through. I did use some of the links to see the different beads. I did not order any, but I enjoyed looking at them and it lead to me fantasizing different designs I could use the beads in. I have marked them for possible future orders. The only comment I have is I wish there were more pictures, as I am not likely to travel there. Please keep the articles coming."
- Trouble

"I just wanted to thank you all for another great perk. I use a lot of Crystal Passions®, and I truly appreciate the new price break you are providing. Makes my life easier, even though I know I will never order them from anyone else. Your pricing structure makes a big difference on my orders. You are amazing, and you have one grateful customer in Arlington Heights, IL."
- Christine

"As a person with Aspergers Syndrome, I am very creative with all kinds of design ideas in my brain. I love, love, LOVE Fire Mountain Gems for helping me to realize those designs and for giving me untold long hours of beading pleasure. From the bottom of my heart guys and gals, Thank you so very much!!!"
- Kim

"I just have to say I love your company! Got my latest order yesterday and have been working like crazy! Haven't had a bad experience to date and will continue being a customer. Thank you!"
- Angela