Art Beads, Design Inspirations, The Earring Whisperer

The Earring Whisperer: Insect Inspirations

A Busy Bee Hello From The Earring Whisperer

 At The ABS Hive!


While visiting Fox Lake, IL,  one day, I snapped this photo of a sign hanging over an entryway.  Oh, how I wanted to take it home and hang it over my own front door!


 This month is a collection of beautiful art beads from the garden.

Before a blanket of leaves covers the ground and all the creatures hibernate for the winter, I thought I’d reflect on some of the tiniest wonders that live amongst us and how bead artists interpret them.



Small, hand painted, wood hives, complete with tiny bees by Summer Wind Art .

Rummaging,  I ran across two sizes of glass amber colored briolettes.  One pair was on the smaller side and had a matte finish. But, the other pair, more generous in size and literally looked like  glistening, glossy, large drops of honey!   I thought the larger shape complimented the hive and I loved the full feeling of abundance .  Bee charms would have also worked well, but you’d have to be very careful about styles clashing and these hives are so sweet on their own.   Honey it’s natural pairing and works perfectly together.  My cute little bee plate is from Anthropologie 🙂




These are tiniest little hives you’ll ever see!  Joan Miller is a master of miniature porcelain beads .  She joked with me when I purchased them,  letting me know   “You’ve probably got the last of these, ever…they were from my insanely tiny stage.” LOL  I had to take a photo of them on my finger just to show you perspective!

Working with bitty little beads can be a challenge unto itself.  If you put something too overpowering (which is just about everything in this size) you’ll never notice the tiny focal!  What to do????  I decided to pair them with these filigree carved bone charms.  I loved they were flat so the hive’s shape stood out.  The shape mimicked a honeycomb and the carved holes gave it airiness and had a suggested flower pattern.

The earrings are so simply constructed  being attached with only a jump-ring and an ear-wire, but the thought process of bringing shapes and material together is where the real work is many, many times…I can’t stress this enough!



Asymmetrical ceramic butterfly charms by JosephineBeads paired with  stunning matte black lampwork urchins by Tom Gronwall of The Jewelweaver.  I also added vintage sugar beads that gave texture and a flower feel.



I made these etched wings at Heather Powers’ Fall Retreat a couple years ago and never got around to using them!  I like the modern look of these by attaching them to simple textured hoops which I wire-wrapped in a rustic pattern.  The beads are made of dark brown lava.  I tucked some Swarovski crystals in there just peeking out for a little color and sparkle.



These are a revisited pair I made a few years ago using carved jade and AB Swarovski crystals.  I think my Saturday night beading buddy, Martha, swiped these right off my work table!  Well, come to think of it, she took the  black and white butterflies above, also!   She cannot be trusted alone with anything  Hmm, butterfly intervention??  Of course, I’m that way with moths so who am I to talk?  lol




A special thank you and shout-out to Jill Stoffregen of Foxpaws! I needed spiders and she came through for me!!  Her design is a soft subtle image of a very busy little garden spider.  The earrings have the feel of  a spider’s home…where she or he, wrap their prey in silk.  I used  fabric cocoons by Sagahus and added some tiny seed beads and a little extra wire for webbing.




Well, this was a lot of fun for me and very hard to know when to stop….But I

Until next time, with more goodies to share!

Loralee xo

Loralee Kolton Jewerly – artful jewelry in beads



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9 Comment

  1. Sally Sutherland
    September 12, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Beautiful earrings Loralee! I love those etched wings 🙂

    1. Loralee Kolton
      September 12, 2017 at 9:41 am

      Yay, thanks! My little etched wings 🙂

  2. Barbara Lesniak
    September 12, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Omgoodness! How very beautiful! Not sure which I love more the bees, the hives or the spiders….or all!

  3. Sarajo Wentling
    September 12, 2017 at 8:59 am

    So much fun stuff, Loralee! You’ve been a very busy bee… or is that the very busy spider? 😉

  4. Erin Prais-Hintz
    September 12, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Your enthusiasm for creating is so infectious! I love the way you combine things. Textures and colors and patterns and art beads. And great lessons today in how to thoughtfully pair things that work! Enjoy the day! Erin

  5. Michelle McCarthy
    September 12, 2017 at 10:15 am

    All so fantastic! The first pair just take my breath away gorgeous ❤

  6. Katherine T.
    September 12, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I adore bees! I love to see them in my garden and I don’t use poison so they thrive at a time they are having a hard time. I wish I could have been there with you it looked like it was fun!

  7. Terri Del Signore
    September 13, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Loralee your earrings are always such a joy to look at!! The drops of honey go so wonderfuly!! And somehow you put spiders into earrings and I love them!!

  8. Ann Schroeder
    September 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    I love how you describe why you decide to pair specific materials. Thanks for a peek into your process of creating these beautiful earrings!

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