Wolf, Labradorite, and Moonstone

Here’s another beaded pendant I’m working on.  I made the wolf head a year or so ago – I sculpted it from polymer clay then painted it.

My first step in making the pendant was looking through my stone cabochons to decide what to pair with it, and I chose a round rainbow moonstone and this very rounded triangular labradorite.  Once the stones were selected, they nearly self-selected the beads. 

My original bead selection didn’t include the amber color.  It was only after I had been beading a while that I realized that the beading was way to cool given the tans and buffs in the wolf.  So I added the amber beads to my palette and added a few randomly throughout the design.

After making a few of these pendants, the process is becoming pretty standard.  After I’m done with the flat beading (in other words, all the beading except any dangles), I trim the backing as close to the beading as I can get without cutting through any threads.  Then I glue on the ultrasuede backing.  I get the ultrasuede from http://www.fieldsfabrics.com because they have a nice selection of colors and will sell in amounts as small as 1/8 yard which is particularly nice because ultrasuede is expensive!

Beginning with the mustang pendant that I finished a few days ago, I have added a stiffener between the beading and the ultrasuede.  I use a piece of plastic that I cut from a plastic lid.  It’s about 3/16″ smaller all around than the beading so that I won’t hit it with my needle when I finish the edges.  I simply lay the trimmed beaded piece on a piece of paper and draw all around it.  Then I cut a shape from the paper that’s smaller that the beading and use that as a pattern for cutting the plastic.  Alene’s Fast Grab glue is a great adhesive for joining the layers because…..it grabs fast!

When the glue is set, I trim the ultrasuede even with the beaded piece and finish all the edges with tiny, closely spaced whip stitches using two strands of embroidery thread.  Then I’m ready to add any bangles as well as the peyote stitch bail.  It’s a little tricky to add the dangles because I have to attach them to the existing beading without piercing through the piece.  So all the thread knots are hidden within the beading.

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