Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hearts All Around

A while back a friend of mine gave me a scrabble tile pendant that had been given to her and asked me to make a necklace around it.  At first I thought, ok, no problem - but this one gave me some challenges.  

I started creating with it and had a piece halfway made some time ago, but then I just wasn't happy with it.  I ended up taking it apart and starting back at square one.  After quite a while of debating what I was 
going to do with this piece and how I was going to create something with it, I thought of some of the heart shapes available from Swarovski and how the Devoted 2 U heart shape so perfectly fit the shape of the heart on the pendant.  So, using that I went forward and looked at the colors available to see what would work best.  This ended up being my starting point and finally allowed me to create something that I was happy with.  

For this piece I knew that I wanted to go with an illusion style, because it is one of my favorite styles to work with.  I enjoy the fact that you can do a perfectly symmetrical and intricately spaced style, or it can be completely random in the spacing and still look beautiful.  For this design, I decided to go with rose and jet Swarovski crystals as they were pretty close to the colors on the pendant.  

After I had this direction, I knew where I wanted to go, so I started constructing it.  For this necklace I definitely wanted the spacing to be even and match on both sides.  I worked with bicones, wild hearts and one Devoted 2 U heart.  Sometimes these can be tricky, especially when you are working with multiple strands, because you want to make them match, and when working with wire it can move and shift without you knowing.  Scotch tape is great to utilize here.  I usually use it to mark the middle point where the pendant will go, and then once half done I will use it to keep the strands in place so that the spacing is easier.  

Another thing I make sure to do when I know that both sides will match is to plan carefully.  The last thing you want to do when 3/4 of the way done is discover that you have run out of a certain color or size of bead.  I will usually make a small section, then before moving on I will set aside the beads for the other side.  This way they are already set aside so I won't use them by mistake.  If your illusion style design is more random, or doesn't match then you don't have to worry about setting aside these beads, because you can just play it by ear.  

I'm really happy with how this necklace came out.  In fact if I had another of the pendant I would probably make one for myself! :)  Sometimes having one piece to build something around can be so inspiring and sometimes it can be a road block.  This one proved to be a little difficult, but in the end I am SO pleased with the path that it took me on.  This is definitely one of my favorite pieces that I have created.