For Christmas of 2013, I decided to make my grandmother a necklace that she might have an easier time putting on. I’d seen several designs with the clasp at the front and thought that might be easier for her.
It took some time to come up with the rest of the design. I tried several things, but nothing seemed to grab me like right-angle weave with Swarovski crystal pearls. I’d tried other crystal pearls, but they were painted and the paint started chipping before I even started beading.
The more crystals I added, the heavier the piece became. It was heavier than I’d expected and I started to worry that it would be too much for her. I stepped down to smaller and smaller pearls to cut the weight and make the piece less bulky on her neck. I hoped that would make up for the weight.
I forgot to take pictures as I was beading. I wanted to show some of the steps, but I did get a picture after I started embellishing. The picture was taken with my cell, so it’s harder to see the detail, but it’s a basic idea. You can see in the smaller pearls what it looked like before the embellishments.
Right-angle weave is my favorite stitch to embellish. It just adds a depth that the piece lacks and brings everything in tighter.
Here’s a close-up of the finished front of the necklace. Seed beads and 4mm crystal pearls adorn the front. I thought it turned out pretty well even though the seed beads weren’t the color I thought they were. I was looking for a little more contrast in the cream pearl colors. I didn’t want them to disappear into the other beads or the 4mm cream colored crystal pearls to disappear into them.
A close-up of the finished back. Most of the time I would only embellish the front, but I wanted it to be less noticeable if the necklace happened to flip over on one side while she was wearing it. I didn’t want to add more 4mm crystal pearls because I wanted it to lay flat, so I used two colors of seed beads on the backside. It also added some extra strength to the necklace.
The toggle clasp didn’t look quite right just hanging there in front, so I added some dangles with jump rings. I figured if I didn’t like the look, I could always remove them later. While I wasn’t completely happy with the look, I thought the dangles added a needed distraction from the clasp.
The most important part, once Grandma saw how the clasp worked she was able to put it on by herself. She really seemed to like it and I was happy with the resulting smile on her face.
These are the only pictures I took. I will try to remember to take more pictures at different stages the next time I take on a project this detailed.
Embellishing Grandma’s Necklace
Grandma’s Necklace Front
Close-up of Grandma’s Necklace Front
Grandma’s Necklace Back
Close-up of Grandma’s Necklace Back