Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Difficult Pendant

I received the components for this pendant as part of the Artbeads.com Winter Enchantment promotion. That should give you an idea of just how long I've been struggling with it, since we're now well into Spring.

Honestly, I probably should have just sat this challenge out, but I can't resist the lure of free beads. It took me a bit to think of something to fit the Winter Enchantment theme. Let's face it -- I am not enchanted by winter. I hate it. Especially this winter, with its hard freeze and the need to replace my water heater and my furnace. But there is one thing I really love about winter... the February gem shows! My first thought was to get some stone beads, but I didn't see anything that caught my fancy. Then I figured, hey, why not get some nice crystals and make a fancy necklace inspired by the Swarovski party?

So I picked out some Rivolis and a Pendant from the Swarovski Elements section, and some super gorgeous purple iris 24k gold Delicas from the Seed Bead section, and figured I would make something pretty and fancy.

Once I caught up on my massive beady to-do list, I sat down to work on the necklace. Well, things kept going wrong. The first bezel I made for the large rivoli was too small, so I had to make a bigger one. I had two small rivolis, and the first one bezeled up fine, but the bezel was too large for the second one, even though I used the same number of beads! So I decided to just stack the two rivolis and hang the beautiful baroque teardrop from them, but I don't think I like the way it looks. Whatever, I just wanted to finish it and move on. So I decided to string a pretty necklace with faceted freshwater pearls, Swarovski pearls, Czech glass, and use the Delicas as spacers to tie the color scheme together. No, that didn't work either. I didn't have quite enough beads for any configuration I tried, and the SoftFlex didn't want to go through the Delicas at the top of the bezel. That is about when I gave up.

Last night I thought I'd give it one last try before photographing it. I figured maybe the super-fine bead stringing chain would fit through the Delicas. But no matter where I looked, I couldn't find the last bit of that chain that I have. So I give up, evil crystal pendant. You win. And by win, I mean I'm going to put you away someplace where I don't have to look at you for a while, and eventually I will cut you up and use your components to make something else.

All difficulties aside, the crystals and Delicas were all great. I love the color of the Delicas, they really embody Winter with their soft, muted metallic colors. And I've wanted to use one of those graphical Swarovski pendants since they came out. The design is printed on the back of the pendant and seems pretty permanent -- at the very least it didn't rub off when I was working with it, and I can't scratch it off with a fingernail, so it should stand up to daily wear. One of the rivolis did have a small chip on the edge, but I don't know if Artbeads sent it to me that way or if I dropped it and chipped it at some point.

Disclaimer: FTC guidelines require me to mention that the Swarovski Elements and Delicas used in this failed project were provided to me by Artbeads.com at no cost in return for promotional consideration on my blog.

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