When did you first start beading? Tell us about yourself.
I started when I was on bed rest with my baby (My baby is now 16). Bored out of my mind, I told my husband I needed a hobby I could do in bed. So he went to the craft store and came home with cross-stitch. Bless his heart, he tried. Beading was becoming really popular so I gave him some direction for the second trip. He brought me his pliers and some split rings from his fishing tackle and a shoebox of 1920s costume jewelry from the attic. The jewelry was my great-grandmother’s, Nellie Pratt, and I’d had that box since childhood. So right there in bed, I started taking the pieces apart and recreating new, updated jewelry. I looked forward to it every day and couldn’t wait to show him my creations. My jewelry company name pays homage to my fashionable great-grandmother who started me on my way… Nellie Pratt.
Tell us about your jewelry business. Do you have any advice for the beginning designer?
At first, Nellie Pratt Jewelry was just a creative outlet. I was enjoying designing and posting my designs on Instagram - Nellieprattjewelry. I didn’t think anyone was paying attention to my dorky posts. I’d design something at my dining room table, snap a photo, post and go on with my life. One day I checked in on my page. I had 300 new followers, messages, and requests from boutiques. I had to ask my teenage son to explain what was happening. I had tagged a bead vendor who reposted a necklace and everyone was going crazy over it. That kind gesture actually launched me and literally changed my life. (I sent her the necklace as a thank you.) My unsolicited advice? Shout out the designers who inspire you. Cheer on those who are trying. Tag the vendors you love. Stay positive and be authentic. I can promise you that people are visiting your little corner of the internet, you just may not know it. Keep plodding along and enjoy the journey and the process. It will come back to you. My favorite quote is from Conan O’Brien: “If you’re kind, and work really hard, amazing things can happen.” I am proof.
What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
Hands down gemstones and shell are my favorite materials. The more organic and earthy the better. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a girly-girl who loves her sparkly crystals and shiny metals. But, there is something about the ocean’s allure and the metaphysical properties of stones that speak to me. My favorite technique is straight out stringing. It is like freehand drawing. I think it’s important to let the beads speak and let design happen. Nothing is forced because it is a pattern. You can take risks and break the rules. My most successful designs are a result of getting out of my own head.
Spring flows into summer... the colors are still vivid and have a soft and muted feel. The sky is a clear azure blue with silver and pink in the sunsets. The tender, new growth emerging makes the greens seem a bit lighter. The iridescence of abalone is very similar to my surroundings.
What techniques would you like to learn?
I’d love to learn to knotting with silk and weaving with seed beads. I admire these designs because they are little works of art. Wire wrapping… It is elusive because I’m left-handed and the tutorial videos are backward to me!
What are some of your favorite beads or components on the Halcraft Collection website?
www.HalcraftCollection.com website? LOVE Halcraft’s Imperial jasper slices. The organic shapes and the unique veining… GAH! This is what makes every piece different and makes my designs special. Silver-plated beads show up regularly as focal pieces. Also any natural shell - people go crazy over the beachy feel.
Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
I live in Florida where everything from buildings to foliage is bright and vivid. I didn’t realize that resonated in my pieces until a boutique in Ohio called my style tropical paradise and asked me to make some pieces that were dreary Midwest! The color of the seawater here is what inspires me most. You will see the aqua, teal, and turquoise in most of my designs. But, I am most inspired by other designers. I have my favorites who I follow. They make me want to try new ideas, be better and work harder (in a good, positive way.) I think you should always have the spark inside of wanting to improve yourself.
What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
Loving the bead stacking bracelet trend. They look amazing piled on your wrist. I adore oversized round beads (gives them a chance to be the star.) Lastly, I love the big hoop earrings with focal dangles.
In summer Florida is busting at the seams. Everything from homes, public buildings to the foliage is bright and vivid and over saturated. The flower blooms are endless pops of coral, hot pink, orange and yellow. The beach sand is creamy colored and soft. The colors of the water in the Gulf are aqua, teal, and turquoise. These hues are what you will see in most of my designs.
If you had room for only two tools in your bead kit, what would they be?
All you need are good round nose pliers and a sharp pair of wire nippers. You can create anything from these tools. I become “McGyver” and can solve any beading dilemma with these two tools. Seriously, I’ve learned the hard way those are the only two you need!
Falling in love...
Most fall foliage stays bright and green year round. Fall can be a bit melancholy… Some palm tree fronds die off and drop to the ground. They shed their giant bark all over the ground. Since it’s hurricane season, the ocean can churn up and look angry. The sand looks three times darker when it’s wet. This is when I’m feeling grounded and cozy and tend to gravitate to earth tones.
Liz is a beach loving, wine drinking, makeup addict who loves statement jewelry.
She is left-handed - When she tried knitting it took her six months for finish a infinity scarf!
Enjoys freehand drawing and painting watercolors.
Give her a glue gun and she can create anything!
Considers herself a bead nerd and gem junkie. You can find her scouring bead shows for the perfect strand of beads.
She resides in a 1925 Spanish Mediterranean house in a historic neighborhood in Saint Petersburg, Florida with her husband Patrick and son Benjamin.
Are you interested in being in our Designer Spotlight?
Join our Beaded Jewelry Facebook group today and tag us in your projects on Instagram with @halcraftcollectionbeads, #Halcraftcollection #beadgallery #halcraftprettypalette #prettypalette!
We choose a new designer to spotlight each month
and would love to celebrate you!
Denise Yezbak Moore is a self-taught artisan. She is a senior jewelry designer for Halcraft Collection and loves to create jewelry with bohemian flair. Denise resides in Orange County, California and enjoys hearing from fellow beaders worldwide. Be sure to follow her on Instagram @deniseyezbakmoore