My suitcase full of beads included several strands of diamond-cut rounds and rondelles. Even though my vacation is winding down, I’m feeling my creativity crank up.

I used a combo of faceted gemstone, metal and glass. (I usually don’t mix nicer stones with glass or non-precious metal, it’s a rut I’ve been in for years.) I tried to let random patterns come together organically instead of laying out a formal or even rough template in advance.



It ended up being really rewarding and fuel for further inspiration. Incorporating the playful spirit and bright colors also helped me find a use for some Ethiopian Opal chips that have been in my stash for years.



Playing with informal patterns also helped me discover a color combination and pattern to incorporate into a more deliberate design, too.

Takeaway? Step out of your comfort zone!

Erin, Dakota Stones

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