Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Gift for a Friend

For her birthday, I told my friend Donna I would design a piece of jewelry to go with any outfit of her choosing.  She delivered a new top to me a couple weeks ago and I thought it was a great choice!  It has a funky peacock-inspired print in shades of turquoise, purple, fuchsia, cobalt, and ruby red, on a black ground.  The print is luminous and the colors really pop off the surface of the fabric in some places, and fade to neutral in others. The neckline was a deep V and I immediately wanted to fill that V with a Y shaped peacock tail image of my own.  The top is lush and rich, but subtle, and could be a casual shirt, looking great with jeans.  It could also dress up for a coctail party, so I wanted my piece to serve both purposes.








I found a dyed howlite torus in a nice turquoise-y color, and collected beads from my stash in all the colors in the shirt, choosing some Swarovski sparkle and lots of matte stone to serve my dual purpose.  Then I began fringing the torus wrap to create my tail.

I got it SO wrong the first time!  Bad proportions with too much length, and I mixed the color in horizontal bands and that was a mistake as well.  When you lave lots of texture and color, I think you need to organize it well to keep it from being a  messy pile of confusion, which my first effort was.  I'll show you, because it's the only photo I have of Donna's wonderful top...  But you can tell I wasn't pleased by the photo I took.  Sigh.  See how that color pops?  What a great shirt!

I don't know why this should be, but frequently when I design my beadwork, I have to do it wrong to see what it should be.  After staring at my chaos version for a while, I realized I had an opportunity to create a peacock eye image with the color selection, and that brought order to confusion and calmed the messy texture down to a reasonable level.  BUT, Donna is a petite woman, and I was worried that I had still not gotten the scale right for her. So I dithered about maybe making something more simple, and couldn't quite put the beads away yet.  But I did really like both the color arrangement and the depth and lushness of my second effort.


Fortunately, Donna stopped by yesterday with coconut macaroons from the Crossroads Deli, and while I made us tea, and she noticed the necklace on my stand and liked it! She tried it on, and I marked the length and finished the clasp while we drank our tea, and she will test drive it on Friday on a date she is looking forward to. 


I'm so glad that worked out!  And now all I need is a photo from that date... 

16 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous focal, Marsha! I really do relate to your comment about getting it wrong to get it right - that has happened to me so many times (and of course, sometimes I just never do get it right!). But it often does take seeing a piece to know where it needs to go. This one turned out just right!

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  2. It's GORGEOUS, Marsha!!!! As always, your fringe blows my mind. Absolutely delicious!! Can't wait to see the date pic with your friend wearing it proudly! :)

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  3. Fantastic work, I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. I predict great success for that date - she'll be radiating self-confidence in her shirt and your oh-so-gorgeous gift!

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  5. Thanks so much ladies. It's the kind of thing I just love to do, and I was so pleased when she liked it! And Callie, it's nice to know I am not the only one who has to de-bead and re-do!

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  6. Beautiful necklace ! I really love the style,the colors... everything :)))

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  7. Thank you Olena and Ilenia! I appreciate your comments!

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  8. Wow, stunning!!! And I always thought those donuts were so boring! I love it.

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  9. Again, my friends, thank you for your comments!

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  10. Wow! It is such a lovely piece! I am sure your friend would totally enjoy this piece for its uniqueness as well as the fact that it was specifically made for HER! Lovely piece indeed.

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  11. FABULOUS PIECE! and it looks so good with the shirt you paired it with!! Your friend is super lucky to get such an incredible gift!!!

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  12. Fabulous necklace! It's so lovely on its own that your friend will be wearing it years later, when the top is just a memory. Unfortunately, I share your experience of doing it wrong before I can figure out how to do it right. And someday I hope my "right" is as good as yours!

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  13. What a great gift Marsha! And it works so well with the shirt!

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  14. stunning pendant!!! perfect for that top! what a lucky lady your friend is!!!

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  15. Thank you all for your generous comments!

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