Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Victoria's Love Story

After all my shows were completed in 2009, I worked on a special collection of designs for Bead Trends Magazine's Designer Highlight feature on my work that was just published in the June 2010 issue. You can read more about this feature in May 27th's post.

Due to the magazine format, I could not share the story behind the designs. I want to take this opportunity to share with you the love story that was not printed along with the seven ensembles so you may understand my inspiration for each design.

The designs are listed below in the order of the storyline with the cover design, Blushing Blossoms, as the "finale" to the story.

Enjoy my little fairytale romance.

This is Victoria's Love Story...

Project 1: Victoria's Spiral
She stepped into the ballroom in a flowing black gown trimmed with all the finery of golden threaded lace. She searched the room with its multitude of unfamiliar faces cautiously. The room grew silent as attention spiraled towards her walking down the last few steps of the grand entrance. Then out of the corner of her eye she spied him as she greeted her father. There he was with a silly big grin greeting Victoria with a wink. Did anyone else see this? Her heart skipped a beat.
In classic and elegant black with bronze/brass metallic accents, the versatility of this design is captured by both the faceted jet beads and black onyx quatrefoils. The necklace is connected so that it is worn asymmetrically but with a defined pattern. The spiral clasp represents Victoria’s “spiraling” grasp on her suitor’s attention. The complimentary bracelet can be connected to the necklace to continue the flow of design and converts the princess necklace to opera length. The necklace can also be worn doubled as a choker when connected with the bracelet extender. The earrings continue the spiraling symbolism.

Project 2: Water Lilies
Victoria sat at one edge of the pond in the Secret Garden, a special secluded hideaway from prying eyes. Water lilies floated amongst several frogs, hopping from lily pad to lily pad whilst sunning themselves in the afternoon sun, croaking loudly in unison. The noise did not bother her as she drifted dreamily into thought, feeling rapid anticipation for the late evening. She smiled contently.
Custom coated waterlily colored baroque crystal drops adorn this netted chain necklace. Combined with golden shadow briolette drops and faceted rounds, the design evokes a subtle elegance. In any lighting, the crystals sparkle from the right, from the left and from center stage. This necklace caresses the neckline in choker length with sparkly drops dancing about, adding to the fluidity, flow and movement of the design.

Project 3: The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden was a place of magical possibilities where Victoria came to dream, escape reality and to pretend to be just like any other woman, not the privileged daughter of the Duke. Here is where she came to meet Him with the belief that although they came from two different societies in life, they were equals within the walls of this garden. She had to maintain this inner strength to continue the fa├žade. No one must know, least of all, the Duke.
The garden trellis medallion captures the essence of romanticism. The champagne coin pearl is filigree encased and wrapped into the pendant’s center. The coin pearl symbolizes the confines of the safety Victoria feels when she is within the garden. The champagne pearls, Waterlily drops, golden shadow crystals and rose luster firepolish beads were all carefully chosen for their subtle colors to evoke the feeling of privilege and status. The motion of the crystal dangles added to chain follows the movement of the wearer as she walks about. The earrings were designed to continue the necklace motif, which by no coincidence also compliments the Water Lilies netted chain necklace (Project 2).

Project 4: The Damsel & the Dragonfly
Victoria, “The Damsel in Distress”, is represented by the large oval rhinestone wrapped by the orchid filigree. The filigree symbolically frames the contours of her face while the two small drops represent her earrings. It has been several weeks since she saw her Love. Arriving early to the Secret Garden, she waits longingly for her “Knight in Shining Armor”. A dragonfly dances playfully below her face.
Dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength and happiness.
This necklace can be worn long as a sautoir or doubled by joining the spiral clasp as a double tiered lavaliere. When worn as such, a crystal necklace frames the pendant protecting Victoria in her Secret Garden. The chandelier earrings with its tiered chain embellishments and crystal dangles compliment the pendant’s wrap style.

Project 5: Capture Thy Heart
The thought of finally seeing Victoria after several weeks of absence quickened his steps. He scuffled through fallen leaves and pushed aside the ivy vines that hid the pathway into their hideaway, careful not to make too much noise. He wanted to take her away and start life anew but that was not immediately possible. He still could not believe that he was able to “capture her heart” nor could he fathom that she loved him as much as to risk her father’s antipathy.
A filigree heart connector cages and captures a Swarovski crystal heart drop. The symbolism in this design evokes Victoria feeling caged by her father’s will, yet her heart is captured by love and now belongs to Him. The festoon necklace scallops romantically around the neck to lovingly caress the wearer.

Project 6: Midnight in the Garden
The hour is just past midnight. He is late again! Where could he be? As soon as Victoria thinks this, she hears leaves rustling, followed by the noise of someone walking towards her direction. Could it be her Father, her Love or just the night wind teasing tauntingly at her? She sat nervously still as her heartbeat quickens in anticipation. She hopes it is He but she better hide, if not.
Much of my designing for this collection is of similar components. With the use of smaller components joined in a myriad of ways, one is left with more flexible design options, where a simple element can become a more involved design. Designing and beading is very much like a puzzle to me. Rivolis which are bezeled with a netted stitch can be joined easily with jump rings, a technique I utilize often. It is also not a coincidence that this ensemble compliments The Damsel and the Dragonfly (Project 4). Many of the designs in this Bead Trends collection are built from complimentary colors and can be worn interchangeably together.

Please note: The rivoli bezels are created following instructions from my book Bead Romantique (pages 26-27) with two additional beaded rows. Only the two additional rows of beading have been written for the Bead Trends article.

Project 7: Blushing Blossoms
So the story ends here with a grand finale, a blushing bride wearing a Blushing Blossoms necklace. Is this just one of Victoria’s dreams, that she ran away with her Love or was she really able to break away from the confines of her duty to family and her father, the Duke? We can only hope that love conquered all and everyone “Lived Happily Ever”.
Continuing the theme of romance and elegance, this blossom necklace utilizes five Botanical flowers from my new lampworked line combined with my luster (silver-fumed) Luft hollow beads. The asymmetric design adds visual interest with the Botanical flowers added to the necklace so that they could freely move, flow and dance around the neckline. The necklace in peachy and champagne tones reflects what it is to be a woman that transpires time, with a feminine mystique. This necklace would be a perfect fit in a summer wedding as the bride looks luminescent in an outdoor garden ceremony. I enjoy adding a bit of inspiration from Mother Nature and to infuse my designs with stories. I hope Bead Trend readers enjoy this exclusive collection of designs.

Please note: Reference my book Bead Romantique (page 42) for additional tips on creating a balanced and graduated dangle bracelet/necklace design.

I hope you have enjoyed reading Victoria's Love Story and are enticed to pick up the June 2010 Bead Trends Magazine.

Recreate the romance for yourselves...

The Storyteller
Hopeless Romantic


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