So…yes. I did make it out to the bead store, today. Technically, all I was after was this:
…though I ended up getting one extra vial of beads, anyway. The big surprise was getting the storage solution for all my bead vials, which in turn had me going through my stuff and recovering vial after vial…
…freakin’ stash. I should probably get a second storage piece for my 11/0s, too. (Like the different gauges of wire [smaller gauge = fatter wire], seed beads also come in different sizes — 6/0 is the largest normally seen, though we can go down to 2/0 and 3/0, which are pony-bead size. The higher the “ought” [2/0 is pronounced “two-ought”], the smaller the bead. The smallest bead I work with is 15/0 — though I have mentioned this before; Czech sizes and Japanese sizes are different, so a Czech 11/0 [a pretty standard size] is smaller than a Japanese 11/0 — and in beadweaving, this matters. A lot).
Anyhow, I also started work on a necklace. I found the pendant (nearly completed) today while digging through all of my stuff (last night I made a note to myself that if I don’t have anything to do, I need to check my project drawers that have projects accumulated from over the years), and it happened to very well match the color profile of a bracelet I made a while back.
I found the latter out while attempting to organize all of my vials; I had a number of vials grouped into project areas (I’ve wanted to make something in this camo-green combination for myself), and the pendant was separate from the beads. I wouldn’t have even noticed it as anything special, but the intense green pendant harmonized really well with some orangish-amber toned drop beads, and seeing both of them together just set something off in my brain (I’ve been reading about colors in painting, and color triads, and this sort of thing).
Basically, the main colors in the pendant are green and bronze, or alternately: green and antiqued brass…which has a color profile close to bronze. I know they aren’t the same thing, but they’re close enough for people to sell brass wire named “Jeweler’s Bronze.” It’s brass. (Seriously. Bronze probably wouldn’t hold up well enough to be made into wire…it’s kind of brittle, which is why it’s mostly used in casting, and not in wire or sheet form.) There is even a hint given in the stone itself — it has pyrite inclusions, which echoes the metallic yellow.
Anyhow, though. 🙂 I have had a ton of fun today, getting back into the beading. (Colors, du’.) I was even able to find multiple strands of two-hole beads to put into this necklace, and collected all the greens and khakis and ochres and tortoiseshell-color beads I could find. I didn’t keep all of them for this, though (selectivity helps), and I realized when planning this out that I can actually string this. I don’t have a strong need to use beadweaving techniques, here. I was planning on it, yes — but I have so many pretty larger Czech glass beads (most around 6mm in at least one dimension), that I may not have to. It’s much easier to make a necklace out of strands than it is to weave it.
I am, however, considering making portions of this into woven straps. Tubular or flat, hasn’t been decided yet; nor has how they’ll connect to the strung portion.
So I have a work-in-progress photo here, as much for me as for you —
I’m thinking it’s probably OK that I share it, because for one thing I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, yet. I should do some actual reading on copyright where it applies to arts and crafts…
But here…ah, man. I’ve collected this stuff for so long that I’m…thinking back on where I got these brass elements from. I’m certain that the brass elements we’re seeing here came from a show put on by my Bead Society, and I’m certain it is not Vintaj brand. (I could look it up — I still have the packaging — but everything’s packed away, now.) They sold these stamped brass elements in multiples, two of which I ended up using in some bee earrings I finally finished earlier this year (my own “pattern”).
And yes, I am reconsidering gauging up my piercings, now (I’m currently at 16 gauge)…there’s just SO much nice stuff I can make and buy, not just the literal captive-ball earrings (I found some nice stuff at the vintage clothing store I went to today — 3 tops for $48!). Maybe I can get two more piercings and wear the steel captive-ball rings in the rear ones?
I also got that stone donut at the same convention, I believe…though I’m really not certain what type of stone it is. I want to say Aventurine, because of the pyrite, but I can’t be sure. (Doesn’t Aventurine have mica, though — not pyrite?)
Anyhow, I got this home some time (read: years) ago, and anchored the flower onto the donut using standard C-Lon. I will be able to try this again — but like the funny wire-wrapped bail on one of the necklaces I’ve made (which was my favorite necklace for a while — it utilized shell, silver, and leather), I probably wouldn’t be able to say exactly how I did it last time, at least until pushed to do it again. (The other one was a modified Lark’s Head knot.)
There are 3 mm drop beads in a metallic green here, hiding the places the cord passes through the flower on the front. Because this donut has a crosswise piercing as well (which unfortunately makes a hairline crack down one side of the donut…did I exacerbate that while anchoring the flower?…a reason not to sell the piece), I was able to use a copper eye pin and thread it through — beneath the flower — to hang what will eventually probably end up as a beaded tassel. (In later versions of this, perhaps I could use macrame on a non-drilled donut to anchor a tassel.) I could have used copper-plate for the eye pin, but then I found the pure copper eye pins and decided to go authentic — pure copper won’t rub off when the thing tarnishes and has to be polished. Plus, copper isn’t that expensive; I see no need to go cheaper and use copper-plate.
The bell-shaped flower thing is an end cap that was too small for my prior purposes — it’s probably either pure copper, or copper-plated pewter; I’m no longer sure (the clasp I’m planning on using is copper-plated pewter). I can tie a tassel onto the eye pin it’s threaded onto (right now for convenience’s sake, the eye pin is upside-down), then flip it around and have a simple loop closure to hook it to the soldered ring that will hold the sides of the necklace and also anchor the pendant at the bottom. I’m considering making a wrapped loop to anchor my tassel onto, inside the bell — this will prevent the tassel from ever working loose (or alternately, fraying and breaking before it can relax and slide off). Or — better idea — I can tie the tassel onto a soldered jump ring, then attach the jump ring to the eye pin, allowing the tassel to swing freely, while eliminating any wear on the thread.
I decided to mix the copper and brass for aesthetic reasons, though of course convenience was a factor, too. I just didn’t want to do monochrome where it came to the metal. Even if I’d had those bell-flowers in brass-plate, I’m not sure I’d use them. For me, with this one, gold and silver are entirely out, as I like the antiqued look. No wearing this with dry-clean-only fabrics, but I don’t wear those anyway.
The two studs (the green pyramids on either side) are there basically because they’re the right color and they have two holes. I’m not sure whether the rest of this is really saying, “stud,” but…eh. 😉 Could add a little edginess.
While I was digging around, I also found some olive Picasso Czech two-hole tiles and bricks (back from when Tila beads were new and I got the Czech stuff to avoid the Art Deco look), stashed with some tortoiseshell (single-hole) Czech glass rounds. With all of these two-hole pieces, I could actually do something cascading, if I wanted to…but it’s too late to think on that, now. It took enough effort to get out the beading thread and use it to really…display where I wanted the main lines of the necklace to go. I can do a lot more with that, though…maybe multiple cascades, each linking back to a stud.
The yellow thread here is K.O. beading thread, which may be strong enough to actually use for the body of the necklace, and fine enough to weave into and out of beads. I wouldn’t trust the weight of this to Nymo thread (which I know frays with heavy use), but K.O. is pretty tough. I haven’t made and tested enough with the K.O. to know how it holds up under long term heavy usage, though — especially with the larger Czech beads…the drill holes might be rough.
Ah, and right — the eye pin linked to the soldered copper ring under the pendant? I’m going to make a loop at the top and connect this somehow to both sides of the necklace (I’m thinking with two more copper jump rings), so I’ll have a shield-type thing going on. My target length is somewhere around 16″ — a little longer than a choker, but (hopefully) not long enough to hit someone’s teeth. It will probably still be able to hit someone’s face, given effort, but it needs to be under 18″.
I think I’ve recorded all I’ve set out to — tomorrow is a new day, and I will get to work on this, then. I won’t be awake to tell you this later, but good morning!