Who says bead need to match to make beautiful jewelry. Just see this post by Lish The Dish : http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=393093.0
My friends, lampwork glass bead are expensive. We know this. We hate this...but we lurrrrveeeeeeee them. There are several easy ways to stretch your crafting dollar when it comes to both purchasing and using lampwork beads.
I don't need to tell you all that there are amazing lampwork artists on sites like Artfire and Etsy, and right of the bat anytime you are buying the beads from the maker you making better dollar sense than buying in local craft store. What you may not know is that for every full, finished set of lampwork beads that the artist sells, there are beads in the same scheme or vein that never made the cut. These are called "Orphans" and can usually be bought in bulk for a deep discount comparatively. They may be ever so slightly irregular in terms of the orignal set...the color wasn't quite right, the pattern didn't fit, the frit was off...whatever. They are still gorgeous, artisan made lampwork beads, and they need love too.
I have found that if you message an artist and inquire about orphan beads, most are not only willing and happy to sell them, but will give you a great deal as well. Why wouldn't they??!! You're asking to purchase that which they would more than likely just disregard. This means savings for you, and if you SELL your creations this means more profit. It's win win. You're supporting an artist while making the most of your budget. YAY SAVINGS!
Additionally, many times when we buy completed lampwork sets and make our jewelry, we are left with one or two beads in excess. These, in a way, have now become orphan beads. No longer part of a parent set, but still perfectly wonderful ans ready to use. Letting these beads just sit there, unused, is like throwing money out the window..not mention letting beautiful beads go unstrung is a complete travesty onto itself. You paid for them...USE THEM.
Now is the time to get crazy!
My soution is to make what I like to call CRAZY Bracelets!! Mix up you beads, add some fun bead caps, spacer beads, gemstones, or other glass neads and make something REALLY fun. It doesn't have to match. You will be surprised with how just capping the beads alone makes even the most disjointed color scheme come together. And once you start adding in some accent beads, you'll wonder why you never tried it before. The point is to be eclectic. Be nuts. Be out there, while at the same time being smart about your spending dollar! Here are a few of mine.
This one was comprised of orphaned floral beads I had left over from previously used sets:
This next bracelet is made up of Orphans bought in bulk from an artist on etsy. I got 100 beads of all sorts of colors and patterns for $50 dollars. ( 50 cents a BEAD!!!!! That's CRAZY talk! ) This artist used red and yellow in quite a few of her sets, so although they were orphans from completely different parent sets, these beads worked together well because they were the same brand of glass. It was a more cohesive look, and I'm showing you all this for a reason. Just because they are orphans, doesn't mean they won't coordinate! (This is especially true especially when buying from the same maker, as they tend to use the same raw materials.)
Anyway, I know that this was a long post...but I thought I would share how I like to save a buck. Hope this helps someone else save a buck too.
Later Gators! And Happy Crafting!,