Other shiny neck things, yay!
This is a case of playing with materials and trying new things that spiraled out of control. Considering I was left with this result, I really can't find it in me to complain.
It all started with the fabric "feathers". I had some scraps and wondered if I couldn't manage to make a couple of different feather shapes and make them look relatively decent. That worked out, I think, and then I... just wanted to try a very different kind of stylized feather with beads... and naturally one can't make pendants without making a necklace, right? Yeah, sure. I had some cotton cord, recently learned the super simple macrame technique, have had these beautiful dark amethyst beads forever... and at the last moment I was handed a gold ring "for artistic uses". So, clearly, I used it. And this happened.
Orb Guardian pairs have come to be a symbol of partnership and trust. One feels affinity for the lighter stone, the other for the darker, both of them representing one half of a universal whole.
I hadn't actually seen these coming. I know, big shock. I just wanted to pick up a little polymer clay since it had been so long, and before I knew it... well, these. I'd intended them to be simple, and they did turn out to be... relatively so, but then I decided to complicate matters. They started out as very flat and smooth and I found that... boring. So I rounded them out, added texture and iridescent pigment, and of course a Swarovsky rhinestone each. I've also reinforced the wings to stand up to any possible hair or clothing snags, as well as balanced/shaped them in such a way that they carry the majority of their weight in the stone and the bottom of the tail so no one gets poked in the neck or chest while wearing them. Seemed kind of important to me.
Acalyn is a coatl or a winged serpent, really quite content to sing in the highest branches of trees, though given warmth and food and a little doting, she finds human shoulders relatively decent as well. It's said that these songs are sure to drive away nightmares and bring pleasant dreams to all who hear them, so the next time you happen to hear songs in the forest, you may just want to stick around to listen. You may also want to see if you can't lure out a lovely singing coatl with some trail mix. They love the stuff.
I was out to try something different. And this just kind of happened. I do like the idea of creatures that can double as jewelry, and somehow it just sort of evolved. this way. All of the frills are just specially treated fabric so it's not overly stiff and easily flexible, and the fabric paint is the standard type I use for crocheted creatures. Of course there's also so very much shiny with both tiny glass beads and larger fiber optic ones, plus all of the iridescent pigment mixed into the fabric paint. I just can't stay away from that stuff, you know. A large hook and eye finding allow her to clasp shut and turn into a necklace... or a wreath, I suppose. Either way, her internal structure is wire so she's easy to adjust.
Black, white and silver is classy. Elegant. But just black, white and silver is cold. The answer? The color of life itself: deep, rich crimson.
Admittedly, I've yet to identify these stones. They're heavy, high-gloss, and look to be to be very close to obsidian... but don't quote me on that. The red stones are jade dyed deep blood red, and I adore them. They have this incredible layered shimmer to them and the occasional black band that works beautifully. All of the wire and the clasp itself are all pure sterling silver. It can be worn with the stylized "leaves" on the silver beads visible, or flipped over so that they're just plain red. Either way, gorgeous.
I had a very clear image in my head as I put this necklace together; it seems something of a piece of ritual jewelry that a priestess would wear, keeping her constantly reminded of the circle of life, as it were. Life and death, joy and sorrow, ugliness and beauty; sides opposite but necessary, and always truly connected.
The centerpiece is red obsidian, looking to me like it represents a drop of blood in blank whiteness--but we're going for a theme here, see? It's set in hand-hammered and formed rose copper. Surrounding that are green snake/snakeskin agate beads, wooden beads hand-painted with flowers, and finally one of my favorite old finds, hand-carved wooden skull beads (with quartz beads supporting them). All of this hangs on a cord made of six strands of high-quality cotton embroidery floss, crocheted together for strength and stability. And a nice, rough look, I think. That also gives the necklace a comfy bit of stretch.
I've actually been waiting to put these beads together for... a while. Nice to see it all worked out so well.
And so two fascinations come together: prayer beads and Final Fantasy 7. ...No, I didn't think the connection existed before now, either. It was all because of these beads, discounted in the bargain bin and totally unwanted. I can't find them anywhere else, and there's probably a reason for it--it looks like someone swirled bright green paint into white cats eye beads, so there's a distinct glow to them. Otherwise known as (to me and me alone) Lifestream beads! Hey, why not. The "symbol" is Aerith's flowers with a ribbon around them. The rest just fell into place taking the general concept of a Catholic rosary and the background concept of the Sephirot.
And in case you're interested in the symbolism... Three groups of ten beads represent the three pillars/columns/"the three lines", and the ten steps/branches of the Sephirot. The white materia is just that--but the drop from it represents the "11th step/branch" which represents the abyss (but it's kind of blasphemous, ha ha, but then so am I). It must be acknowledged even by the protectors of the Planet, you understand. (Obviously I am not affiliated with any religion.)
And so two fascinations come together: prayer beads and Final Fantasy 7. ...No, I didn't think the connection existed before now, either. It was all because of Pray for the Planet's beads that I got this idea in the first place. These particular beads are black and beautifully textured, with tiny silver "cracks" running through them. Much more beautiful in person. So is the rainbow obsidian "black materia", which actually manages to have a silver glowing accent to it. Awesome.
And in case you're interested in the symbolism... Three groups of ten beads represent the three pillars/columns/"the three lines", and the ten steps/branches of the Sephirot. The black materia is just that--but the drop from it represents the "11th step/branch" which represents the abyss (but it's kind of blasphemous, ha ha, but then so am I). It seemed... appropriate for Sephiroth's symbol to rest on the edge of the abyss.
The original is sold, but I can take commissions for more.
You would not believe how long and hard I worked to get the roses just right. But wow, did I learn... a lot more than I cared to. Heh. Sculpey roses over a silver-plated wire frame surrounding a lovely rose quartz sphere. And I am so happy with it... but I wish the pictures would do the iridescent pink highlights justice. Ah well.
This was done in the style of my Aeris pendant, and was something I'd been wanting to do for a long while. Finally got around to just before (the good) Anime USA, and now it belongs to the fabulous SchalaKitty (whose web site needs pimping, since geeky 8-bit cross-stitch is awesome) as very minor thanks for all of her help with the panels. We could not have one it without you... or Kadaj.