Tag Archives: shell

Thursday, June 30th

30 Jun


This shell-and-bead necklace is from the summer after my oldest daughter was born. It was hot, I was wearing a wardrobe of the same three shirts over and over and I was just starting to get back to work for more than an hour at a time. I made this one afternoon in a craving for bright colors and off-kilter fun.

That was eight years ago.

Knotted #8 silk in fuchsia with vintage green glass leaves, pink shell flower and 14k gold toggle. I used that toggle because it seemed so lux and I wanted to spoil myself a bit.


Thursday, June 23rd

23 Jun


Thursday, June 9th

9 Jun


I made this necklace years ago when my oldest daughter was just about two-and-a-half. I took my first trip away from her, an over-nighter to NYC for a quick trade-show visit. I knew she’d be fine. I missed her terribly, but I also really enjoyed a take-out dinner in my hotel room and a long evening of being all alone. Of course, I always travel with beads. This is the necklace I created. The reproduction typewriter key beads say ‘nearby’ and you can probably imagine who I was thinking about.

Wednesday, June 1st

1 Jun


Another vintage buckle choker.

This one is the original. I found all those buckles in an old button box I inherited¬† and the beads are from a broken 1920’s Flapper-length necklace that I took apart.

Copper jump rings with a natural patina, copper chain and hook, too.

Tuesday, May 17th

17 May


Vintage glass buttons glued into cupped bezels.

Copper jump rings.

Vintage abalone tiles purchased from Elliot Silverstein way back in the long ago.


Fuschia shirt dress.

That’s all.

Thursday, April 28th

28 Apr


Sunday, April 3rd

3 Apr


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.


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. )

Monday, March 28th

28 Mar

This necklace is made of olive-green Tibetian turquoise, abalone-shell discs, Toho seed beads, wood and bone all strung on #6 knotting silk. I made it many years ago in an afternoon of beading with my younger sister. I started with a big, blown-glass focal but pulled it out and added more stones, wood, seed beads. She watched me put it together and at some point said something like ‘wow, if I made that it would look really bad.’ That’s one of those compliments that you think is maybe not so much of a compliment.

But she IS my sister, so I know what she is saying.

Weird, busy, odd, layered, asymmetrical. Those things all come easily to me.

What’s hard is order. Patterns. Matching.

Making a 16″ strand of graduated pearls would drive me nuts. I don’t know if it would be boredom or just impatience. I would go crazy.

However, hand me a bunch of probably-not-matchy beads and some thread and I’ll string ’em up. I’ll add dangles and maybe a tassel. I can’t help that. Now, in my current profession, that’s pretty good. It’s okay to not be matchy. Or pattern-ish.

There is, however, another side to that coin. I can’t follow recipes. I have trouble assembling items using any kind of written directions. I space out when I’m trying to make a dress from a pattern and start thinking ‘don’t I really want a skirt?’ Because I’m so frenetic it takes me a really long time to learn from my mistakes. I will try and try again but I’m more like a squirrel than a scientist. I don’t carefully adjust one variable at a time and see what happens. I adjust seventeen variables and then throw in a new color of seed bead and see what happens.

Luckily for me, sometimes I like the result.