What do you mean - chipped?

A few weeks ago, Rachel from The Glass Cavern posted two pictures on Facebook, of an ammonite with inlays of Bello opal (lab-created). I have admired them more than once - and not just the ammonites, Rachel makes beautiful lampwork and so much more -, but I'm trying to use what is in my stash and my seed bead orders are bad enough, so I always resisted.

This ammonite was a little different, though. While polishing it, a little accident happened and a bit got chipped off the edge. Not wanting it to end up in a drawer, Rachel posted it asking if a wire wrapper or bezel maker was interested.
I'll admit that I jumped on the chance like a hawk on a mouse although I had no idea at all for it at first and only a very vague one minutes later. When the ammonite arrived, that idea had already decided to leave my brain because I hadn't written it down.

So I had to come up with a new idea and I decided to try something really new to me. Ammonites are of course flat on top, but not at the bottom, and from another pendant I knew that it could be a little difficult to bead a good bezel for it.

How about adding some of the beading foundation at the bottom and level the fossil out? How about making that piece a little bigger and then bead on it? Oh, or how about adding layers of beading foundation to both level out the bottom and "complete" the ammonite, so I could bead a bezel all around that and have an even better chance to hide the chipped edge?
I really had to wing this, but I was pleasantly surprised when it worked out just the way I had hoped.

After beading the bezel in bronze and golden seed beads, I had to fill up that extra space somehow. I decided on a organic look with a mix of golden size 11 and 15 seed beads, making one layer with seed beads sewn on individually and going through all of the layers of beading foundation, then I added some extra beads on top.
There is a two row edging of the golden beads all around and an embellishment with garnet beads only around the ammonite itself. For the garnets I chose different sizes, so some sit lower, some higher to repeat the organic feel of the golden addition.

I really struggled with a bail for this one.
Due to the spiral, the pendant isn't symmetrical, even if you may not notice that at first glance, and I wasn't sure if I wanted a very simple bail like peyote or herringbone or something a bit flashier like a triangle peyote bail.
To be honest, my preference would have been no bail at all or rather a hidden one (you may have noticed that before in my bead pendants, no matter if loomed, woven or embroidered), and after working out the best way, I did that in the end.

P.S. As usual, I had a hard time not to add dangles, but I think they really wouldn't worked for this one.


Fluttering into spring

Ever since my friend Michelle opened her Spoonflower shop, I have been thinking about using one of her fabric designs in one of my jewelry designs.
If you don't know Spoonflower, the platform offers "premium fabric, wallpaper and home decor that's printed on demand with unique designs from independent artists worldwide".
This was my first personal experience with Spoonflower although I first heard of it years ago.
All I knew was that I wanted to use my favorite of Michelle's designs, the "Whimsical Watercolor Wildflowers on Turquoise", but obviously only a very small part of it as it is not a miniature pattern. Not knowing what to expect, I ordered just a swatch to see what I could be doing with it and chose a sturdy cotton which would make a solid backing for embroidering on it. At that point, it was just a vague plan, I hadn't worked out any details at all.

By the time the swatch arrived, I had thought about it some more. For a wire wrapped octopus piece (that I haven't shown here, it's a component for a friend's basket weaving project) I had got a number of large flat copper rings (how is it I can never order just one thing?) ... ah, you remember my last post with the curtain ring? Yes, this time I would be using a different kind of "frame".
The rings are large enough to pick a nice part of the pattern and to add something of my own - I still hadn't determined what -  and they are lighter in weight if someone doesn't like heavier pendants.

Step 1 - prepare the "canvas".
I didn't cover the copper ring completely with the beaded bezel to achieve the look of a passepartout.

Step 2 - embroider small dew drops on the plants. That was easy.

Step 3 ... step 3 ... step 3 ... something to sit in the empty space above the plant. A dragonfly. A fairy. A butterfly!
That was the right choice for more than one reason (but that will be a different story).
For a second I thought about embroidering it directly on the fabric, but then I knew I wanted it to be 3D (which also has to do with that other story).

So I bead embroidered a pair of wings in colors that would complement the background using silver lined beads for some sparkle and added them to a small beaded body.
Lastly, I gave my butterfly two little winged buddies.

A simple bail and my pendant was finished :-)