Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Springtime Dewdrops: Beauty of Spring Project

Yes, it's been a while since I've posted anything. I apologize profusely. I've been so busy w/school and preparing for my senior art exhibition, I've had to put my personal projects on hold. Ugh, priorities, priorities, sometimes they suck lol. But having been on spring break all last week, I had ample time to catch up on some of my personal projects. This being the most important one. The theme for this piece was the "Beauty of Spring". It was our March project for the artbeads.com project bloggers.

For my part, I selected the Large Copper Butterfly pendant as my focal piece. Nothing says
"Spring" to me like butterflies and butterflies are always a personal favourite of mine.

I also chose accent pieces that were antiqued-copper plated charms. Keeping in mind what I associate with spring, I chose a bumble bee, a sunflower, a watering can (spring always means planting the garden for my dad and me). I also chose a flip flop, to which my roommate and I had a debate of spring vs. summer over. I chose it for spring because spring is synonymous with cute strappy shoes and easter dresses to me. In addition to the flip flop, I also chose a cut out star and a flower outline charm.
Originally I had wanted the charms to dangle below the butterfly pendant, as in a "Y" chain but I didn't realize the back of the butterfly was more of a tube, like for a slider necklace, then a bail so I had to come up with a different solution for my planned cascade effect. I ended up using a length of antique copper-plated cable chain that I cut up into sections consisting of 7 links each. Between each link, I placed a swarovski crystal in the new XILION cut. I used the 4mm XILION bicone fushia and indian red and the 5mm XILION cut bicone in erinite (green).

Another challenge I faced was stringing the butterfly. The tube on the back of the pendant was too narrow to slip the chain links thru but I was worried that just stringing it on wire wouldn't proved the necessary support so I ended up stringing a piece of wire with some 2.5 mm swarovski crystals I had that were a lovely orange colour and threaded the crystals thru the tube. They just barely fit but on the upside, while you can't see them, they also prevent the pendant from excessive twisting and spinning.

After I had connected the butterfly to the primary chain, I then went back and cut the remaining length of chain into sections of 3 links. I used alternating swarovski crystals in the center of the chains to join them, then connected them to the links on the primary chain. I tried to used opposite colours from the ones on the primary chain. Again, they were XILION cut, however the ones I used on the cascading chains are 5mm as opposed to 4. The colours I used on the cascading chain links were lilac, fire opal, and indicolite (blue).

After I had added the cascading lengths of chain, I still felt like the necklace needed something else and I still had quite a few swarovski crystals hanging out in my craft box so I set out to make use of them. I again ended up trying to use opposite colours from the ones on the links on the primary chain.

The final step in the creation of this piece was the addition of an antique copper toggle clasp . I thought it was a nicer, more fun and flirty touch then your average run-of-the-mill lobster claw clasp.

The finished product is about 18-inches in length and sits comfortably just above the bosom. Despite the copious amounts of metal on this piece, it's surprisingly light weight and makes a lovely rustling, tinkling noise when one moves.

The bead products:
and the copper line-etched toggle clasp were provided
to me by artbeads.com free of charge.
I am part of their blogging project
and have not been paid for my use or
opinion of the above product(s).

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