"Live soberly and peacefully. Honor your parents, and preserve the peace and security of home and family."
With this amulet inspired by the Amulet of Mara from Skyrim, your love will flourish and endure. Mara is the patron Divine of Love, Marriage, and Fertility. In the land of Skyrim, wearing an Amulet of Mara is a sign that you are seeking a lover. After being wed, couples keep their amulets as a sign of their love.
"Honor the earth, its creatures, and the spirits, living and dead. Guard and tend the bounties of the mortal world, and do not profane the spirits of the dead."
With this amulet inspired by the Amulet of Arkay from Skyrim, the balance is yours to preserve and cherish. Arkay is the patron Divine of Blessed Neutrality and Eternal Balance. He is Fertility and Blight, Joy and Sorrow. This amulet makes an ideal gift for any philosophical friends who understand that life and death are both parts of the balance, or who need reminding that joy cannot exist without despair.
My apologies for the somewhat shoddy quality, I hate using digital cameras for detail shots like this. If there's any blur, I'm sorry, blame the flash of cameras for over-exposing the image and forcing me to hold it still with my shaky hands
Info: EDIT: people keep asking: Yes, I made this with my own hands >w> xD; This necklace was designed for ~Taciturn-Agony, who at the time I felt would eventually be my girlfriend. Things have changed though… she came into my life during a rough patch with her boyfriend and in school, and though we ended up falling in love with each other, she still chose him in the end after her school exams were finished and she no longer had to worry about them. She's one of my best friends regardless and I still love her. She's going in for tumor-removal surgery tomorrow...I pray she'll make it through and have a swift recovery.
About the design… She loves frangipani flowers, Plumeria for you herbology buffs. When she admitted she had a crush on me and I realized I had one on her, in our chats on MSN or Google Talk I'd often RP a little quick ditty of me placing a plumeria blossom in her hair. Her favorite color is sky blue and at the time she really loved silver too, which got me thinking about making something special for her using these things she likes. She was also planning to visit here and meet her boyfriend in person in January, and she said she wanted to meet me too, so my idea went from making something for her to making a jewelry piece I could give to her in person when we met. At first the initial design was a simple necklace and a complementing bobby-pin, but then I wanted to make it possible to have the hairpin also become a pendant if she so desired. The original design of the necklace was just a chain or a string of beads, with some sort of (at the time unknown/undecided) method of having the pin be able to clip onto it. The pin itself was a plumeria blossom and a leaf, the leaf covering the legs of the pin. However, this design had to be changed since any sturdy jewelry materials that could make a leaf would have made the clip too heavy to sit in her hair. I wanted to go with a fabric leaf possibly but if worn as a pendant the edges would have eventually become tattered. After multiple but not very different re-designs I ended up just going online to look at possible crafting materials I could use, and to price them and see which would be best for this project and to keep me going on jewelry design. Most of what I found was pretty expensive though, especially Precious Metal Clay (PMC), which at first I wanted to use to craft the blossom, leaf and clip all together. Abandoning the leaf idea I went to Amazon to look at possible frangipani blossom items I might be able to use for this. I came across two sets of Plumeria earrings, which now adorn the pair of hairclips. I found a bunch of other stuff too but ended up only purchasing those two items. While waiting for the stuff to ship I also found a string of 32 clear bicone Swarovski crystals at Michaels, which I thought would look nice as well on the necklace. I also found some jump-rings I forgot to order online, and some barrel clips. The rest of the necklace comes from materials I found at Fire Mountain, an online beading and jewelry supplier. When I first found them, I was amazed at the selection but I needed assistance since I had no clue what best to use for a project like this. The customer assistance was helpful, I was able to find exactly the hairpins and epoxy I needed, but I still couldn't quite find a good method of clipping the hairpins to the necklace. I was about to give that up and have the necklace and pins be separate entirely, when I found these oval rings. Mere design elements seemingly, but as soon as I saw them and how thin they are, BINGO. The necklace was complete. It only took me a little while longer to decide exactly what beads I wanted. When I have enough money I will definitely be getting more supplies from there, they have an awesome selection of beads both artificial and natural (quartz shards, agate, various precious and semiprecious stones, pearls, jewelry settings/findings, design elements, various types of stringing materials like leather, nylon and steel wire, etc etc).
However, it doesn't end there. I'm a visual worker and prefer to see how things will look, roughly, before finishing them. So, I took all these beads I'd found, and the earrings, and the pins, and I dragged the images into Photoshop and used the rulers along the sides to readjust the images to proper scale, then I copied and rearranged the pieces until I found a design that worked. I now knew exactly what I needed to buy without having to guess.
I put the necklace together in about an hour once all the materials had been delivered (about a two-week wait overall for everything, though I had to wait an extra two or three days because I had forgotten to order the Apoxie Scuplt epoxy clay).
The hairpins can be clipped onto either side of the necklace, or one can be clipped to the middle as a pendant while the other is worn. Alternatively both pins can be worn and the necklace stand alone around the neck.
Construction: The large white-blue plumeria earrings, I had my dad help me pull the posts out of. I would have done it myself but he ended up doing it The smaller sterling silver earrings, Dad helped me figure out just how to position them since he knows how to work with metals and epoxy. I bent the posts about 90° up and filed them with a nail file, then filed the epoxy points on the underside where it would stick to the hairclip leg. The post slid into the epoxy clay I later used to also secure the large white-blue blossoms to the hairpin head. One of the clips came loose though so I had to use Araldite glue to re-secure it, thankfully I bought that! I did some messing around with the design when I had the materials, laying everything out on the table before stringing it, and ended up adding an extra oval to the middle of the necklace. Since she lives in seemingly a rough area (from what I hear about NZ over chats anyway), I wanted this necklace to be sturdy, so I used two jump-rings per attachment. Construction of this necklace took me about an hour overall, it was rather slow work figuring out how to crimp the wire segments properly. But it was fun, and I plan to make more necklaces soon as I get more beads. I should have ordered more, I used up almost all the beads on this one necklace I have just enough left over for a bracelet I've made though, which I don't know if I should finish or if I should recycle the beads into future designs. The hairpins took me about half an hour total to construct, and then a day to let the epoxy set and harden.
I'll open up critiques, though I prefer to have critiques done on things I can change, like my drawings. However, I do want to hear what you think of this from a critical perspective.
This design is intellectual copyright to me; this image may not be used elsewhere nor the design of the piece copied/modified in personal projects without my explicit permission.