Orange and (Bloody) Blue


I live in a university town.

The University of Illinois, that bastion of learning, that great institution that gave us Homecoming, the superconductor, the “5 Second Rule” and the internet, is right down the street. And pretty much everything in this town revolves around it. We fly orange and blue flags from our front porches, we spend football Saturdays tailgating and we spend Sundays talking about the game.

And we bleed orange and blue.

Women around here are always looking for cute “Illini” jewelry. Between University events and games and sports parties, there is lots of orange and blue wearing, which, of course, necessitates orange and blue jewelry! And while I make lots of custom jewelry, I have never made Illini jewelry. It’s the colors: orange and blue?! (Outside of Fighting Illini country) who wears that?! * I just couldn’t imagine tasteful jewelry in shades of orange and blue.

But I am finally up for this challenge. I need to creatively approach this design dilemma! And I have a craft fair coming up, so: time to give the people what they want.



So I dove in. Orange and blue beads flying. No really: I worked on some earrings and some bracelets and I’m quite happy with the results. I decided that I needed great elements, like Bali silver and fresh briolette drops, to make the pieces beautiful. And I pulled in dynamic textures, like freshwater pearl and hollow glass beads, to make the pieces sing with interest. And I think they just may do the U of I proud.

* Please don’t remind me about color theory here. Yes, I know that orange and blue are complementary colors and work well together. And I get that. Hibiscus orange and Hawaiian Blue? Heavenly! Cinnamon and aqua? Perfect! But unforgiving, bright orange and collegiate blue? Woof. Terrible. Shouldn’t be done.