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Monday, April 11th

12 Apr

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Hello there!

This necklace has a tiny book pendant made of jeans and paper. I love tiny books. I often make them using those crimp-on end bars. Just slide the paper and cloth in and press down. Voila! a book with a loop for hanging.

What a friendly little necklace!

Wednesday, April 6th

6 Apr

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So here I am, popping my collar with this sweet and simple C’est La Vie necklace. The center piece is an enameled plaque made for scrap booking that I suspended from some silk dupioni ribbon. There are knots holding the plaque in place and I slipped large copper beads from Ghana over the knots. There is a clasp in the back. This necklace looked promising on my work table but I rarely wear it. The plaque can flip over pretty easily and the ribbon is a tad too long. I know, I could just re-do the whole thing.

Do you ever have that happen? You make a piece and it just doesn’t work so you think that…someday…you’ll get around to redoing it. That is hard work, isn’t it. The first flush of excitement with that new bead or pendant is gone and the next idea might be better. At least, you hope it will be better. I am realizing with this blog that I rarely redo an item if it does not work out.

Hmm…

Sunday, April 3rd

3 Apr

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This necklace consists of large, flat abalone discs suspended from a large-link chain with square jump rings. It’s simple and dramatic. Hmm, wait…I am kinda seeing a trend in my work.

Wow, didn’t know that would happen.

Really. When I started this blog (exactly one month ago) I thought I’d unearth some long-forgotten jewelry designs. I figured I’d find something mildly interesting to write about a few of them and otherwise the blog could serve as a digital portfolio of my work. I also hoped it would make me break out of the rut of wearing the same necklace for a week and then choosing another one…to wear for a week.

AND, truth be told, I would have bet you that most of my jewelry was complex and busy. But somehow, the nice little graphic representation of my tags right there on the right tells another story. Look at how big the word ‘simple’ is.

Weird.

Now, sometimes I worry that I choose simple because it is a shortcut to the end result. Meaning that while I could have, say, put these same discs in a fringed, peyote-stitched collar I didn’t.

‘Cause that would take for-ever and I’m lazy?  Because it might be a bit fussy? Hmm, gotta ponder that.

(I had intended to write about the odd, random-looking clasp floating on the back of this necklace. The necklace slips over my head but the clasp allows me to shorten the length to about 16 inches. It’s a bit of what might be lovingly called Farmer Engineering. I can wear this simple necklace even more now that it has two lengths. )

Saturday, April 2nd

2 Apr

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Friday, April 1st

1 Apr

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Mica. It’s a naturally occurring mineral that appears clear because of the careful alignment of the silica crystals. In parts of the northern U.S. the sheets are available in streambeds where they shimmer like silver under the waters. The lightweight, transparent nature of this mineral is very compelling to me. The first time I saw sheets of mica I immediately wanted to make jewelry with it.

Who wouldn’t?

First, it matches everything. Second, it’s lightweight. Third, it looks sharp and kinda dangerous.

This necklace looks like shards of glass, hinged together at odd points. I pierced the mica sections and set them with teeny dollhouse hinges using rivets and eyelets. The mixture of chain sections along the back and side include brass and sterling silver and the design is finished with a hook and ring clasp. This necklace is lightweight and comfortable and I like to wear it on days when I feel my outfit needs a bit of an edge. All those sharp, broken-glass looking shards seem too dangerous to wear but relax, they aren’t sharp at all.

For instructions on how to make a similar style see this tutorial.

Thursday, March 31st

31 Mar

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This necklace is made from very old African recycled glass beads strung on 2mm leather cording. Tied between the cording I have bits of olive green silk ribbon. What you can’t see is that on the back of this very heavy necklace there are four strands of leather strung with a good number of those African beads. The beads hanging down my back are interesting to look at, but more importantly they provide a counterweight for the front of the necklace. This heavy necklace is comfortable because of these counterweights.

If you want to see more examples of counterweights used in necklaces visit your local museum and check out ethnographic jewelry exhibits. You’ll see long tassels, beaded drops and long chain counterweights hanging from beaded collars and other large-scale necklaces.

Tuesday, March 29th

29 Mar

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This necklace is big.

I made it for a magazine that requested ‘big, statement necklace projects’ last year. Dramatic necklaces are all over fashion magazines and celebrity necks and the craft mags want to be able to say they are on trend. Sadly, this crazy-big Drama Mama was too much for the editors. The requested a simpler version, with central elements no bigger than 1×2 inches. Huh? That is not dramatic!

So, I think I’ve only worn this once before today. I thought it would be difficult to wear but its not. It is lightweight and comfortable (note the woven belt-strapping neck band!) and actually easy to wear.

This necklace is also popular; I was stopped by at least 5 people today asking about this necklace. That never happens. Must be the drama.

Tuesday, March 29th

29 Mar

20110329-100405.jpg

20110329-100443.jpg

20110329-100455.jpg
This necklace is big.

I made it for a magazine that requested ‘big, statement necklace projects’ last year. Dramatic necklaces are all over fashion magazines and celebrity necks and the craft mags want to be able to say they are on trend. Sadly, this crazy-big Drama Mama was too much for the editors. The requested a simpler version, with central elements no bigger than 1×2 inches. Huh? That is not dramatic!

So, I think I’ve only worn this once before today. I thought it would be difficult to wear but its not. It is lightweight and comfortable (note the woven belt-strapping neck band!) and actually easy to wear.

This necklace is also popular; I was stopped by at least 5 people today asking about this necklace. That never happens. Must be the drama.

Friday, March 25th

25 Mar


Today I wore two necklaces. I have been avoiding this as I really want to stretch out my favorites but I had a big day planned and I really needed to feel comfortable and suitably adorned.
I wore these necklaces with a raspberry-colored shirtdress and olive green platform shoes. It’s kind of an odd combination but the dress seems put together and crisp, and the shoes are a bit funky. Seeing as how I have orange stripes in my black hair a vibrant color combo shouldn’t be completely unexpected now and then.

The shorter necklace was a gift from my friend Joan. The turquoise discs are very good quality, clear blue American turquoise. The vintage button clasps the beads and can be worn front or back.

The longer necklace features a vintage carved cat made into a pendant by Susan Reynolds of Bijoux Savvy. She created a tiny, sparkly beaded collar for the kitty. The sides of the necklace are made with Elaine Ray small washer beads strung sideways with gold-colored SoftFlex and dark raspberry-red Toho seed beads. The necklace is finished with leather cording and a brass clasp.

I didn’t realize how often I layer necklaces until I started this blog. Almost every day I want to add a second or third necklace but I haven’t until now. It’s funny, I almost never make multi-strand necklaces.

I wonder why?

Monday, March 14th

15 Mar

This necklace is a modification of the one I made for this tutorial for Ornamentea.com. I made the original necklace last year and after we shot the tutorial I decided to make some changes to the design. I removed the small brass envelope and shortened the length. The crystal rhinestones feel very fancy to me and I wanted to feel fancy today.

I actually felt tired because it takes me a few weeks to get adjusted to Daylight Savings Time. This is a strategy I employ when I feel tired or sick; I dress up a bit. Not that I think dressing better will make me feel better. It’s just that dressing in comfy sweats and a tee would feel good until I caught a glimpse of myself and then I’d think ‘Well, she could have made a bit of an effort, right?’

I even tried to wear some platform-y black sandals today but that didn’t work out. I carried them to work in my bag but they went right onto the floor of the office and stayed there all day. Actually, the sandals are still on the office floor. It’s midnight. I hope they aren’t lonely.

The directions to this necklace are available here. You’ll have to make your own modifications.