Surprisingly soft and always shiny beaded creations for your neck.
It is a blessing to be able to witness one of the midnight flowers opening. Humans have to rely on their memories if they even happen to be capable of witnessing such splendor--these are not things that can be captured on film. Creatures of the fae persuasion, however, have the power to preserve these flowers and turn them into delicate pieces of jewelry. It seems simple enough, of course, but it becomes a bit of an obsession to capture the midnight flowers at the exact right moment when their color is absolute perfection...
Yes, that is a real preserved cattleya orchid. I wish I knew the method of preservation, because it looks and feels like glass but is obviously a resin of some sort. I've had this orchid for about two years, wondering what to do with it... and of course it would be just an accident that I had it laying next to an "I've got to do something different or I will scream" project. Therefore, this choker was born. Exciting, right? It's not as heavy as it looks; while the orchid itself does have a bit of weight, the beaded "net" is almost weightless. The chain at the back helps everything to even out. So, well, yay!
I can only imagine that it's a sentiment shared by most living things, nevermind just humans. Made as a gift for the lovely and talented Zellie Blake, apparently it was appreciated. Laughter is the best medicine, after all.
I'd made this piece with the intent that it could be worn as a choker or a doubled bracelet, as both look pretty spiffy. And it's not like anyone can argue with the words.
1,120 beads, 12 sterling silver jump rings, one sterling silver clasp, and an enduring message. You may recall my first bracelet/choker, given to my friend Zellie Blake.
Apologies for the sad news, but she recently passed away. To me, that was even more reason to make another bracelet. Seriously, cancer, fuck you. And so I like to this charity auction in memory of Zellie Blake. May we carry the light that shines so brightly that not even death can hope to dim it. Going to the winner are this little beauty and a brand new copy of Zellie's book, Lightning Spliced. All proceeds go directly to the American Cancer Society. And if you just want to check out Zellie's book, please do. All proceeds from that go directly to the American Cancer Society, as well.
A mischievous smile that doesn't show up in the eyes, that's what you have to look for. There's a little something beneath that laugh which you should be careful of. Luckily a little sparkle is just the distraction you need to get past without a second thought.
The color combination of black, red and purple was given to me as a possibility. This is actually the second idea that came to mind, as the first only caused much ARGH since black-coated wire strips when you so much as breathe on it and I'll just suffer that aggravation later. So the aggravation I ultimately put up with took me two days to figure out how to put together. The solution was deceptively simple... but time-consuming. Go figure. I just wanted to do a little something different with the netting idea. Swarovski crystals were an obvious accent choice.
As for the clasp, currently there's just a little hook in the back that hooks to the netting of the opposite side, as I have a scrawny little neck. It's designed so that I can easily add an extension chain, though, so it's very versatile.
There's an old tale passed down by the Serpent Clan that parents tell their children, of a little lost girl in the woods. She was alone and frightened and came upon a clearing that she didn't recognize--but she could see the stars above. "Midnight Serpent, Midnight Serpent, wrap the night around me and keep me safe until I get home." She said, over and over as she walked until she was too exhausted to go on. She woke up the next morning to find herself just outside of her village, a small diamond mark on her neck... maybe from the Midnight Serpent.
Of course Charlie here (of unidentified gender... don't ask) isn't quite as serious as all that. He's a sweet and friendly, fun-loving midnight serpent with a penchant for sparkling and the night life.
Charlie is a maaaaajor accomplishment for me. The serpent is enormous in terms of my dragon bracelets, and took some days. How many days? I don't want to know. I really don't even come close to wanting to estimate. Many. Lots and lots and lots of time and beads, with a Swarovski crystal tongue and eyes. And some tail accents. Of course my camera and I fought over trying to get the incredible colors right... and this is pretty close. There's nothing like seeing it in person, though.
Merfolk think human stories about mermaids wanting to live above the sea are silly. Clearly humans would prefer to live below, and not the other way around. The artwork of the merfolk is interwoven with their mythology; this one tells the tale of a young woman who caught a glimpse of a merman and fell deeply in love with him. For years she tried, sometimes with great hope and sometimes with great desperation, to hold her breath longer and longer, getting closer and closer to him until one day, finally, she swam deep enough to see him and reach for his hand. Scholars would have you believe that she merely drowned herself and her dying illusion was that of the merman's hand reaching back, but any artisan will tell you that the story ends in the strength of the heart, and the magic of true love.
I had wondered some time ago if I would ever rival Atlantis' Treasure. I suppose it's a matter of personal preference. 131 (that is, ladies and gentlemen, one hundred and thirty-one) Swarovski crystals combined with a number of glass beads that I refuse to count make this massively sparkly. So of course it barely shows in pictures. ARGH. I've been trying to get video of it. Failures, thus far--but I'll keep trying.
Well beyond our cultural memory, there was a long line of queens--warriors and scholars, from "proper" and learned to rough and feral--who abandoned their names to take on their country; and with it, a symbol of their status. The Legacy jewels have been stolen, bartered, hidden and, if the stories are true, were once melted down only to miraculously re-form in the hands of a True Queen. Clearly the legends differ from region to region, becoming more grandiose as time passes. The fact remains, however, the Legacy jewels do remain intact, perhaps waiting for their next queen...
As is usually the case, I didn't mean this project to be quite so... extensive. I'd gotten these gorgeous little "slightly imperfect" seraphinite beads a long while back with the intent to do a necklace of some sort, and it seemed like the right time to finally get around to doing that. And that seemed pretty simple, really... then I decided to add just a little bit of extra dimension by making it "not quite flat", which wasn't really a problem. Of course I followed that up by electing to develop a method with would make relatively thin beaded pieces extremely strong while maintaining flexibility and a bit of "stretch", which was more time-consuming than I wanted it to be... then came the thought, "Hey, you know what this needs? Earrings." And. Um. Well. This.
I learned. I learned a lot. As a result, the necklace is flexible and comfortable worn either as a choker or a double-wrap bracelet, and the ear cuffs are surprisingly comfortable even while I was trying them on with glasses. Weird. I'm also quite fond of using the non-pierced rings as the "actual earring portion", because it gives more flexibility to exactly where on the ear they get worn.
It's not uncommon for the most powerful magicians to keep a jeweled snake as a familiar. It's a bit of a status symbol, admittedly--but alchemists are able to make use of the jewels, and certain magicians can keep spells within them. The result is a "living" familiar, something that moves and appears to have a bit of its own consciousness.
Of course, this is not a jeweled serpent but a jeweled dragon, of a different sort of connotation in magic... Whether the dragon created the alchemist or the alchemist created the dragon remains unclear. I suppose you can ask, if you'd really like to.
I love this necklace. I didn't when I was in the middle of making it. This is the culmination of possibly a little over two weeks of work. Many, many hours. Many, many beads, and lots of Swarovski crystals. Depending upon the lighting, you will be able to notice the subtle shift in color of the diamonds along her back. It's a lot more obvious in person, but trying to get bright light on these beads for photographing purposes? No. Just, no.
And just because, yes I view her as a she. ...She just feels like a she. Now I must rest my poor abused wrist. Ow. A worthy ow, but an ow.