Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Golden Swan Necklace

Sheath Dress Topped with Ostrich Feathers by California Designer

The world of fashion - high and otherwise - is a wonderful resource for anyone who creates jewelry. The beader who knows what the season's hottest colors will be before the rest of the pack may find their designs becoming a must have. This is a goal for many of us, and keeping up to date on fashion trends can be an important tool.

The Inspiration:

While watching an episode of FashionTelevision earlier this year, I was totally blown away by the amazing designs in the Julien MacDonald Spring 2009 collection. The entire show was filled with totally wearable pieces in trendy neutral tones. The garments that really caught my attention were those with gorgeous soft textures - some using light and delicate feathers.

I immediately picked up my sketch book and scribbled down some ideas that captured the same whispy textures and edgy lines. The colors were also an important factor. Some ideas used a lot of black, and others plenty of cool creams. It was the beiges and taupes that I liked best, so I contemplated some neutral necklaces until the perfect idea clicked.

Swarovski Crystal Golden Shadow Beads

The Beads:

I started with some Swarovski beads in Crystal Golden Shadow. The color was just right for my Julien MacDonald inspired piece. I gathered up and assortment of crystals, including 3 and 4mm faceted rounds, and some tiny cosmic triangles. I’ve always wanted to use Swarovski components like these, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

For the body of the beadwork, I added cream-lined black diamond Toho triangles, olive gold-lined clear 11/o seed beads, and gold lined black diamond 15/o's. Although each shade is slightly different, they all seem to compliment the Golden Shadow crystals perfectly.

Gold and Cream Beads

The Beadwork:

One of my initial sketches was a beaded pendant with bugle beads done in brick stitch. I had envisioned several layers of beadwork suspended from a delicate beaded chain. After some contemplation with the beads I had selected, I decided to go with a single layer of St. Petersburg chain, stitched together into a wing-like pendant.

Golden Swan Necklace

I connected the pendant to a smaller St. Petersburg chain using the Swarovski triangles. I really love the colors of the piece, and I think it really captures the feather inspiration, although it’s a little more eclectic looking than the clothing that sparked the idea.

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading

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  1. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this! How graceful.

    author of "The Beader's Color Palette" and "The Beader's Guide to Color"

  2. Thanks ladies! I was a little worried that it might be too "weird". That's what I get for asking the DH what he thinks!


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