I've made a bit of progress on the pearls-and-steel front:
The pearls look creamy white there, but in reality they are a bright white. The spacers are nickel plated brass. Oddly enough, I like this one a lot -- I think it's because the lustre of these freshwaters is fairly soft so it stands on its own against the steel, and even though the colors of the nickel and the steel don't quite match it works out well for me.
My mom also likes this one a lot. I sense a Mother's Day gift coming on...
My next adventure will arrive when my Pearl Paradise order does Plans are for a knotted strand of white freshwaters and another bracelet of black freshwaters, like the above, paired with gold(fill).