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Choices, choices - part two

In part one of this series, I talked about (at great length!) how the decisions were made to start this necklace: theme, techniques, and color scheme.  Today I want to show you how I got from the basic idea to the planned design.  It all started with a small circle...

Maybe another time...
Since I already decided that the necklace was going to be made from overlapping bead embroidered motifs (see Bored By Back Stitch), it seemed reasonable to start the design process with plain circles that could represent them.  The only downside to this plan is that I know the circles will become smaller as they near the top of the necklace on each side, but I also know how to compensate for that as I stitch, so I decided to just ignore it for now.  I tried about a dozen different designs, just snapping a picture of each and moving on quickly to the next.  Lucky for you, I'm only going to show you two, one that lost and one that I chose.

The winner

I traced the circles onto one of my necklace patterns, and indicated where the overlaps would occur.  By folding the paper in half, I was able to draw the second half.  I had already decided that the pattern would be symmetrical, but that the motifs would not necessarily be identical on each side.  I really prefer a sort of balanced asymmetry, so I think this decision will work well for me.

The next step was to create a tracing paper pattern that I could pin to the foundation fabric.  I could have simply cut out my original pattern, but I wanted to leave that intact for more planning and to write my decisions on.  Like this:

It's rare that I don't know ahead of time what the centerpiece will be, but that's exactly what happened this time.  I actually had about four possibilities, although, funny enough, I knew what the other focal beads would be.  After trying them out, I wrote on the pattern where each would go.

My next step was to add some background color to the foundation fabric. I chose a neutral tan toned synthetic leather, and used Inktense pencils to color the fabric.  When they are brushed with water, they turn into a liquid acrylic ink which dries with a permanent finish.  You can read more about Inktense pencils and my great love of them on Mixed Media Artist.

This may seem like an awful lot of planning and preparation, but it was definitely worth it to me.  I had a very specific vision in mind for this piece, even though I didn't know every detail ahead of time, and I didn't want to waste time and materials by fumbling around!  Sometimes that works, this time I think not so much.

Until next time...

Tutorial posts:
Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Part five

Copyright 2013 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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