We’d like to introduce you to Nicole! Many of you probably know her from our Desert Ridge and Deer Valley studios -she has worked for As You Wish for several years and now manages our Deer Valley Studio. We know that Valentine’s has past, but we have been talking about hearts and add-ons lately and we saw Nicole wearing this necklace and we just had to have her share with you all of the FABULOUS jewelry she makes with our heart add ons and more! We hope you enjoy this post from Nicole as much as we do!

I LOVE to show off the things that I make. What better way to show off your pottery painting skills than to proudly display your work around your neck for everyone to see? Now, I don’t really recommend stringing the handle of a mug and wearing it like a necklace, but our add-ons are a FABULOUS alternative! When I wear my “add-on” pendants at the studio I’ve found that our customers really enjoy looking at them and a few have started making some of their own, so I’m offering this blog entry to help inspire our friends to try it out. You will truly “heart” it, I’m sure!

A few years ago I bought a red, glass heart pendant at my favorite clothing store and I ended up wearing it so much that the clasp wore out. One day, whilst sweeping up the concrete floor in our Desert Ridge location, my heart slipped from my neck and shattered on the floor. I guess you could say I was “heart broken”. Then I realized that my favorite pendant was EXACTLY the same size and shape as our Puffy Heart Add-Ons and I decided to make a replacement. Being a bit of a funky chick I soon realized that it’s IMPOSSIBLE for me to paint something entirely one color. It wasn’t long before painting heart pendants became an obsessive hobby of mine. I give them away as gifts during the holidays, for birthdays, just because or wear them myself…I even had one admirer demand to buy one off my neck while I was just walking down the street!

I eventually branched out and experimented with other mediums besides the fired-on glazes. We offer Acrylic Bisque Stains at all our locations and they’re super fun to use on the hearts because we have the metallic and glitter paints. Acrylic painted pieces can be taken home the same day you paint so they’re a great idea if you need to make a last minute gift. When it’s dry, we can spray it with a clear gloss for shiny and protective finish. Another nice thing about the acrylics is that you can add other things to it – my faves are sparkly rhinestones and tiny flowers glued on as accents.

Have you ever used Modge-Podge before? Modge-Podge is like clear shellac that’s water proof and allows you to seal on colorful images and stickers.

When creating a pendant from one of our add-ons, this first thing you should think about is how you are going to attach it to your necklace. We can drill small holes in them if you would like. Some of my pendants have a hole in each heart hump, some have a single hole in the “V” of the heart and some have a hole in only one hump so it can be worn kitty-wompus. Sometimes I don’t drill a hole at all and instead I glue an eye pin with a jump ring to the back of the heart and then cover the back with felt or suede. You can purchase suede scraps from leather shops for almost NOTHING! Make sure that if you want a hole drilled in it to let us know BEFORE you paint as sometimes the hole can break through the piece while it’s being drilled.

My favorite (and easiest) way to wear an add-on pendant is to just string some pretty ribbon through the holes but a hand beaded chain looks FABULOUS as well. The add-ons can be heavy so I would not recommend using your best silver or gold chain.
On almost all of my add-on pendants I like to use my favorite words for decoration. Doesn’t everybody have favorite words that just evoke happy feelings when they hear them? I like words like “Harmony”, “Breathe”, and “Beauty”…………and “Kitty-Wompus”…..”Fancy-Pants”……”Chimichanga”.

My Victorian-inspired pendants are the most popular with admirers so I’ve created a step by step process to show how EASY it really is to paint them with the glaze paints. For this piece I’ve chosen one of our “plain heart add-ons” which are about 2.5” tall and 3” wide, giving lots of space to work with.
1) Using a large fan brush, paint the entire background with Tweety Bird and allow to dry. Once dry, pencil a smaller heart shape around the contours of the heart.
2) Using a medium small round brush, paint two thin coats of Hint-O-Mint inside the penciled heart shape. Be sure to make long, sweeping strokes, this will allow the Tweety Bird to come through the Hint-O-Mint just a tad for light yellow tint.
3) Now for the roses! These dainty roses are painted in only THREE steps. Believe it! I’ve made a small reference chart for painting them. On this pendant, I made two large red roses, two large yellow roses, and three smaller white roses.
a. Using a small brush lay down your base color in one coat in a circular shape. Let dry.
b. Next, using your contour color, make two semi-circle strokes inside the base color. Let dry.
c. Use a long skinny brush and your petal color to make the petals of the roses. Once the petals are dry, you may choose to add accent colors like the white shine on the red roses. I put a little bit of light blue on the white petals to give them dimension. (Another note for the white petals…I mixed a tiny tad of white Puffy Paint in the Polar Bear white glaze paint to make it more opaque.)
4) Use a small brush to stick some leaves in between the roses. I used Pea Soup for these leaves and accented them with Mocha Fudge.
5) Next write your inspirational word using a fun writer, for this project I chose Je t’aime which is a lovely French translation of I Love You, outline the inner heart and add small dots to accent. I used Mocha Fudge to pick up the color in the leaves.
6) Lastly, dot the yellow border with Pure White puffy paint. Make sure to smush the puffy dots down or they’ll fire up like sharp spikes!

Wasn’t that easy!? The hardest part is having to wait the three days to pick it up. *Le sigh*. This heart would look ever so lovely hanging on a strand of pearl beads or frilly ribbon. I hope you find inspiration in this blog entry and enjoy creating your own wearable art with As You Wish! Don’t forget to send us your pictures on Facebook of the wearable art you make using our add-ons.