About Colour: Design Inspo

Find working with colour over whelming?
Don’t know where to start?
Use the same colour combinations and stuck?

Colour is the aspect of design I enjoy the most – it is your stamp or expression of your individuality. It is also true to say most of my students will express a love/hate relationship with colour. Choosing and matching colours seems remote and abstract which can be overwhelming without some in store guidance or training in colour.

Countless opportunities to use colour confront us every day: what we wear, how we choose to decorate our homes & how we use it in our hobbies including designing jewellery.

Choosing and matching bead colours can be overwhelming without some in store guidance. The main problem is the huge leap of imagination from seeing the range of colour before you and interpreting that or visualising it in your creation. Some people play it safe with something undoubtedly tasteful but possibly unadventurous.

Here are my top tips, I have shared with customers and students over many years when working with colour.


First rule is go with the colour you love wearing. Where only one hue (colour) is used the colour combination is called monochromatic. Use the entire spectrum of one colour, for example red: from pinks, deep maroons, berry reds & lipstick red. The result of unity, depth and vividness could not be achieved in any other way.


Use a multi-coloured bead as your colour palette, or a favourite dress, a patterned cushion. etc


Add black or white to your favourite colour.


Add metallics. For instant opulent, vintage or dramatic statement simply add gold, bronze, silver or gunmetal.


Buy pre mixed bags of beads which are in unique colour ways. We sell a variety of Czech glass pressed mixes and seed bead mixes.

SHOP: Seed bead mixes
SHOP: Czech glass mixes

Create A Mood Board to Inspire Your Colour Combination Choices

Gaining confidence, inspiration and enthusiasm you can make colour work for you.

Mood Boards are another great tool to help you use colour in more adventuruous ways.

They are a creative tool used by most designers from fashion to interiors.

Is a visual story that is used to inspire a design team, or to explain to a client a certain design concept.

Sources of inspiration are an important part in a designers creative process from define the key theme or mood of the collection to the finer elements of individual designs.

A mix of conscious and unconscious influences become part of a mood board.

How to create your own mood board:

  • Select your own collection to inspire, and to help you choose colours, patterns and combinations.
  • Collect magazine clippings, paint swatches and photographs to create it. Cut and paste.
  • Alternatively create an e board using the app and start pinning your inspiration. You can set the boards to a private setting so only you can see what your boards look like.

The pictures can be of anything…a sunset, a striped cushion or a painting.

See what inspires us: click here

SHOP BLACK: click here
SHOP PURPLE: click here
SHOP BLUE: click here
SHOP TURQUOISE: click here
SHOP GREEN: click here
SHOP RED: click here

Birthstone Colours & Their History

A birthstone represents the month of a person’s birth. The tradition is thought to date back to the 1st century, when historian Josephus declared a link between the twelve stones in the armoured breastplate of Aaron (the brother of Moses), the twelve months of the year, and the twelve signs of the zodiac. In 1912, the Jewelers of America created an official list, which was updated by the Jewelry Industry Council of America in 1952, and this is the one that guides us today.

However, it is the colour that has special significance, not the type of stone. The birthstones that we associate with specific months are not necessarily the same as in ancient times. For example, our ancestors would not have distinguished between a ruby and a garnet: both are red, and it is the colour red that has significance for those born in January under the sign of Capricorn.


“I have had lots of comments on the quality of your beautiful brass. Love it all!” Sue QLD

“Everytime I visit Etelage I always find something different to buy.” Mandy MELBOURNE

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