A very sweet friend of ours recently visited Japan for a couple of weeks. She brought us back some thoughtful little gifts, including sake, a sashiko kit (which I am looking forward to doing with her, as she picked one up for herself, too), and some silk samples from the markets. The beautiful silk samples are just big enough to make a little necklace like this (it is about 5 or 6 inches wide at the widest part of the "fan" there), and it seemed like a nice way to thank her. The metal findings and chain are brass, and I put two pretty freshwater pearls on it, too.
Now, all the credit for this idea has to go to tinctory, who makes beautiful smocked necklaces from silk (aren't the feather ones amazing?). She dyes her silk in beautiful individual dye baths that she makes from plants, and her smocking is far superior to mine. But - alas - I couldn't afford to just buy one of her pieces. As she's kind enough to show you "how it's done" in some pictures in her flickr account, I used those images as a guide and gave it a go. Not too bad for a first try - I hope my friend likes it!