Thursday, 10 November 2011

Winter beads: opal apollo Toho Hybrids

I love seed beads. In all their different shapes, sizes and finishes. One of my favourite types are the Toho Supernova Hybrids, seeds from Japanese quality brand Toho that have been custom coated in the Czech Republic by an American importer. There by combining the even sizes and big holes of the Japanese beads with the fantastic Czech finishes.

I don't have that many colours of the hybrids, though, as these beads aren't cheap. And some finishes are more -- much more -- expensive than others (that also includes e.g. Toho's own marbled gilded finishes). The last colour I bought for my little Hybrids stash must have been the opal apollo gold. Frosted or not (I've got both), it feels like a good winter colour. Not colours I normally use so they will also work as a kind of personal colour challenge. [But it'll have to wait as I'm working on this colour challenge at the moment. I picked  bright, sunny yellow in a moment of bravery -- challenge in deed...]

Apollo gold -- aka capri gold -- has been a favourite bead finish of mine for years. On clear crystal it looks like copper (see the beads in the front in the top photo), but on other colours and when frosted (used on matte beads) it can look more golden. As with many finishes it also alters the perceived colour of the glass. Like in these magatamas, which are acutally a milky white, but coated they seem blueish.

I'm thinking they might be good for a christmas project. Christmas as in a project to delve into during the holidays, not a christmas themed project. Hope there'll be some snow by then because that'll really set the mood, working with these colours. [Shouldn't have said that: now there's a christmas song stuck on repeat in my head...]

Still haven't chosen any colours to go with it. I will probably either stick with neutrals, focusing on the hybrids and just adding more golden matte metallics, browns etc, or add a little colour such as a nice not too cutesy dusty/antique pink. We'll have to see. Since it's the colour that I fell for, I don't want to use it as merely accent or drown it in an elaborate colour scheme. Just a simple, clean winter design. Inspired by nature, of cause.

Well, we'll just see what happens in December. Right now I'm still focusing on autumn colours. And freezing a bit so I'm in no mood to work with cold colours even if I didn't have another project in need of my attention.


PS! Don't forget it's the last day of the giveaway today as I'll pick the winner tomorrow. I will accept entries up until the drawing, though, so you'll probably have until noon CET tomorrow to comment for your chance to win.


  1. Oooh, I love these hybrids, too! I have a couple of tubes of Light Beige Apollo hybrids in 8's and 11's that I've been saving for a lariat design. Like you, I just want to highlight their amazing color and then bring in maybe one more hue in the fringe. You've got me thinking I need to finally make a start on it!

  2. Those are seriously beautiful beads. Just because these are some go to colors in my stash, see what bronze metallic looks like next to them. I also use colonial blue a lot, cause it can look blue or grey, depending. Have fun with the project, and don't forget to show it off!! :)

  3. I've only seen light beige apollo on screen, but it looks very nice. I beat it'll make a very nice lariat on its own.

    Bronze metallics and colonial sounds nice. Thanks for the suggestion, Shirley! There should even be some matte metallics somewhere in my vast stash, but I bet there's not enough left as I'm pretty fond of those finishes.

    Think I have to get some more blue shades. That part of my bead stash is pretty overlooked. It's definitely not my favourite colour, but I've slowly learnt to use and like it. Still, most of the time I'm drawn to other colours before I remember it would be useful to buy something blue instead... Next time I go shopping I'll make sure to force myself to look at blue beads before doing anything else!


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