Monday, May 16, 2011

Symbiosis or the Love Story

Hi ppl!

My computer is compiling and I got some time to spare for blogging.

Today we will talk about the Love Story. And the story of making the Symbiosis.

On one hand, it is about the love story of a friend and and an office-mate of mine - Su-lin, who got recently married (applause here, thx). On the other hand, since I already am happily married, it is about the love story between myself and my beautiful new iPhone 4 (looooove).

Su-lin was kind enough to allow me to make her bridal necklace. She's a sci-fi fan, and a microbiologist (otherwise she would not survive me as an office-mate). I had approximately one week time.

After having a brainstorm, we decided that the necklace should be very simple in front, but get gradually crazy on the back. The wedding gown left the back open, and, as everybody knows, the couple's back is the part that all the spectators are usually looking at during the entire ceremony.

The aim of the project was to make a necklace that was: i) assymmetrical; ii) sci-fi, and iii) look like mold. I called it phylosophically: Symbiosis.

Materials and Methods

Swarovski 4439 20mm Square Ring Crystal CAL V SI

Swarovski 5310 simplicity cut beads 6 mm White Opal and White Alabaster
Swarovski 5328 Xilion bicones 3 and 4 mm Crystal, Crystal AB, Moon Shadow, White Opal, White Alabaster
Miyuki Delicas 11/0 and 15/0 Metallic Dk White Gold 24 Karat Plated
Miyuki Delica 11/0 Transparent Crystal
Seed bead soup 11/0 whites - opals - transparents (Toho and Miyuki)
Czech charlottes 13/0 and 15/0 Transparent Crystal plane & AB
Fireline 4 lb test
Needles Pony # 12 and John James #13

Due to the camera malfunction, all pictures were taken by iPhone 4 (loooove) (Figs 1 and 2).

Figure 1. Working table in the process...

Figure 2. By touching the screen you can accidently take a picture of yourself instead of the other thing you have intended to take picture of. (NOTE: the earphones, connected to iPhone 4 (loooove). What a sound!!!)

Front and Back
The base of the collar was woven using the netting stitch. Swarovski square ring mount onto the base using the freeform peyote and white gold plated Delicas (Fig 3).
The back-part was made separately using free-form peyote stitch (Figs 4-6).

Figure 3. Does it look like T-3 for you, or what? ;)

Figure 4: A - Here is how we start growing a mold.

Figure 5: ... and it gets bigger.

Figure 6: Look, professor, I think it is a girl!

The front and back parts were pinned onto the velvetine necklace display prior to assembly (Fig 7). The integrity and the exact placement of the back-part was secured by adding bridges of free-form peyote (Fig 8). The clasp was woven using the white gold plated Delica 11/0 and incerted into the mock-up. Free-form was used to link it to the necklace (Fig 9).

Figure 7 (A-D): this is how we make a mock-up. It was not at all that trivial to make it lie, instead of just hanging (the final score was 1:0; after a long battle I won).

Figure 8 A-B: Connecting the front and the back with free-form. The left side was supposed to be taken over by the crystal-white mold.

Figure 9: The clasp is in. The right side is taken over the mutated metallic mold. Note: the white mold is starting to take over the clasp!

Results and dicsussion

Figure-too-lazy-to-check-which: taken 1:52 in the morning, hence the blurr. Less than 12 hours to the ceremony ;)
And here is the happy couple - Su-lin and Isak (note the location of the necklace before hugging with the croud)

And this is the back, after the hugging ;)

And once again - CONGRATULATIONS, guys!

Despite a slight occasional migration to the left, the necklace held through the entire ceremony + hugging + dinner. As far as I understand, it was not too uncomfortable.

- iPhone4 (loooove) is an acceptable replacement to an ordinary camera in case of emergency.
- One week is a crazy timeframe for a necklace like this, especially if you are 100% employed and a mother of two. Beaders advised to use it as The Last Reserve for best friends only.
- Note to the croud: be cautions when hugging a bride! The necklace can easily get misplaced.
- Mental note to myself: next time, check all necklaces in a hug-test. I always try to make both sides of the assymetrical necklaces of the same weight, but they sometimes try to get a life of their own.

Su-lin, thank you for your boldness and allowing me to be a part of your Big Day!
Isak, thank you for the opportunity to be at Su-lins wedding ;) Best of luck, guys!
Mats and mum, thanks for taking care of the Rascals while I was making the necklace!

I was not paid by Apple to blogg about the iPhone. However, I would not mind ;)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What’s Old is New Again!

No Bead Dreams for me this year. But I am in a good company of some really cool rejects. :)

Still busy. Make it too busy. But beading eventually.
This is one of my latest - a piece for the Artbeads Blogging: Eternity Spirals

The challenge this time was "What’s Old is New Again!". Here is a part of the information that the bloggers got: 'For this theme we would like you to seek inspiration from the past by incorporating old, vintage or antique items into your designs and combine them with modern elements such as Swarovski crystals, Glass, Resin, etc. The only requirement for your creations is for each piece to have at least one ‘old’ element. It can be a family heirloom, vintage cameo, an interesting bead, pendant or item you found in an antique shop, an old key, photo or any unique element of the past. You can even re-use an old jewelry piece and ‘borrow’ items from it if you like'.

I though of what people do usually use in such a context... Filigree, vintage stampings, steam-punk findings, pieces of old china, fossils... Just for the sake of originality, I picked an old celtic wooden ornament from this shop section. This pendant has started the theme of the Eternity Spirals that flows through the necklace.

Then, I picked my medium. I learned how to make macramé when I was five or six - my mother could not find a babysitter and I got to follow her on a course (Thanks mom!!!). Last year I made couple of bracelets, earrings and pendants using micromacramé with beads, but nothing fancy. All over the sudden, I just had to knot some thread! So, I went for the Super-lon cord, which can be found here. I really liked this big pack of well-picked colors!

Wood + green cord. What else? Swarovski! Here I picked my favorite Vitrail Mediums.

Those were the basics that I got from the Artbeads. However, something was missing. I badly wanted to get my hands on some raku ceramics. And I found a wonderful Etsy shop of Wondrous Strange Design that got EXACTLY what I needed!
IMHO, all that looks quite well together ;)

This celtic cross ROCKS!

So does the button that I used as a clasp.

This is one of the round raku beads:

And, last but not least, the focal raku pendant, Pale Moon Rising as artist has called it (do not forget that all pictures are clickable for enlargement).

But what about including something REALLY old? Here is one of the wooden beads, all coming from my old broken earrings made of cherry wood:

This is what is left from the project: two wooden connectors and a raku button. I will make another neck piece of those, but later.

Disclamer: were kind enough to supply me with the Crystals, cord and the wooden components free of charge. However, they did not pay me to write this review. I do genuinely like their products and ENJOY working with that shop.
All other materials have been purchased by the author of the post.
If I see any of my pictures running around in the Would Wide Web without any permission, I will get upset. And you will get bad karma. Why don't you just ask? I do not bite!