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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Caramel's Claws Necklace

It started when I looked at a big, rectangular Chrysocolla cabochon, and thought, "That is just too pretty to cover up with a bezel."  Old prong set bezels flitted through my mind, and collided with Czech Crescent beads. This resulted, and Caramel's Claws Necklace was born.  I make that sound pretty simple, although it took a little testing, ripping, and finagling.

I think it is an idea adaptable to many shapes and sizes.   For that reason I created two listings for the tutorial,  If you just want to try the bezel technique, purchase just the bezel tutorial, available here in my Etsy shop.  If you want to make the necklace as shown, and do not already own the Acorn tutorial, purchase both in this listing.

Many cabochons are cut with sensitivity to the stone, and can vary dramatically in size and thickness.  As a maker of tutorials and kits, I recognize that I need to design for readily available focals. Plus, I wanted others to be able to use my pattern with something they could buy at their local bead shop or at the very least, online.  So I chose 30x40mm stone beads, sourced, cut, and sold wholesale only a couple miles from me, by Dakota Stones.

I used two different stones.  I did my first sample with Red Creek Jasper, and I just loved it.  But it's green, and in my experience, my worship of all colors from nature does not always apply to the masses, in particular my personal favorite green golds.  Sigh.  So I did not make this kit.

But I played with a warmer stone from the Red Creek strand, and on my second try was pleased.  I know the Bronze acorn earrings were the best seller, so here is a link to this listing...

The Patina Acorn earrings also sold really fast, so I visited Dakota with that in mind, and selected some Sunset Mookite. Patina is such a gorgeous Melon bead, with hints of gold, pink, and bronze in the finish.  I pushed the necklace a little into the rose, lavender, mauve and honey gold with supporting beads, and here is a link for what I call "Honey and Berries".

And finally, I got back to the cooler colors in the Red Creek strand, and supported the minty green with turquoise and silver with just a hint of bronze.  The Light Sage kits are at this link.

I did a second version of this kit with metallic teal prongs for the darker stones in the bunch, and a deeper Verawood bead.  Dark Sage kits are at this link.  I never made a sample, because each focal I use is one less for you to buy.

I released my first set of 32 kits last weekend, and I think there are 4 left at this point.

You know, it's a challenge as a designer, trying to decide how much money to invest in a design until testing the interest in it.  And the investment is not only in the materials involved.  It's in the time spent making and then rejecting samples, trying a slightly different bead color or finish, finding a "perfect" bead and discovering it has been discontinued or is back-ordered at the factory...  the list goes on and on.

But!  Apparently, you like this design!  So I will make more.  I may re-do some of these existing kits, but I have other ideas.  And while I think this design is timeless and durable,  the first set of kits has an Autumnal feeling to me.  And I have Winter ideas.  AND Spring ideas!

In the mean time, I have been asked for earrings to match the kits done to date.  So I am at work on those, and will release them as I finish them.  Two sets (Cinnamon and  Honey & Berries) are finished and in my shop at this listing.  Light and Dark Sage are on the way.  FYI, the Cinnamon is just one bead different from the original (and popular) Bronze kits.


I think these are close to colorways for the Winter kit releases,
 coming soon-ish to Haute Ice Beadwork.