Tag Archives: simple

Sunday, May 15

15 May


A gift from Tracy Thomasson.

I usually wear it layered up with several other chain-y, charm-y necklaces.

She etched the metal tab.

Monday, May 9th

9 May

Really, what can you do with 1,000 year old Roman glass beads?
Other than pair them with copper trade beads and go about your day.

Thursday, April 28th

28 Apr


Saturday, April 23rd

24 Apr

Today is overcast, gray, warm. I’m wearing a necklace I will really miss this year. Large beads of African green amber are linked together with gold wire in ‘messy’ wraps and doubled jump rings. There is no clasp; the necklace is the perfect length to slip over my head. If I have to take a trip and think I only want to take one necklace, this is the one.

Monday, April 18th

19 Apr


This necklace consists of four strands of fine-gauge copper chain attached to a vintage mother-of-pearl tile with a vintage glass leaf cemented to the tile. The chains are all attached to a copper lobster claw clasp (see it there on the left side of the necklace?) that hooks in the front. This design allows the wearer to choose either an 18″ necklace (as shown) or a 36″ necklace.

I thought I invented this idea.

Really, I did think I invented it. Yeah, now, years later I realize that NOTHING is new. Especially in the world of jewelry.

Back then, I thought I hung the moon. Or more accurately, I was SURE that no one had ever done this. It was MY idea. A convertible necklace! Wahoo! Roll up the limo, I invented the convertible necklace.

Then, a year or so later I picked up a 1930’s Life magazine and was perusing the side-bar ads.

There it was, an ad for a necklace that could be worn ‘long or short as the lady desires.’

Damn. They stole my idea. Well, in reverse, time-machine-using meaning of the word ‘stole’ that is.

Now, older and wiser I know that there is not a new idea. There are just new thinkers who refine the old ideas. Okay, ONCE in a GREAT while there may be an actual new idea but that’s super-duper rare.

Beads around the neck? Been done.

Chain wrapped around the wrist? Check.

Fancy stuff on the earlobes? Yep.

Now this could be thought of as disheartening, but I don’t see it that way at all. I don’t make jewelry to impress YOU or to make you say ‘Wow, she really did something amazing!’ I make jewelry because I enjoy the making process* and I enjoy keeping myself busy with tiny things, sparkly things, shiny little things. It keeps me off the streets and connects me with a primal human urge to decorate myself and others. Plus did I mention the shiny?

The other chief benefit of this mindset is that I am not at all disturbed** by anyone who copycats or get’s inspired by my work. I can’t be. First, because I make a good portion of my living as a craft writer and seller of sparkly, shiny things but also because I don’t get caught up in the idea that I am my ideas.

Let me repeat that; I am not my ideas.

I am me, I have ideas.

My ideas spin off into the world and then perhaps you have them or perhaps someone else has them and changes them and moves them into a different (but not totally new) direction. That’s okay. I’m fine with it.

*Remember, I am the person who can wear a different necklace every day for a year…or at least thinks she can!

**or, more accurately, I am a person who can talk herself down from being disturbed pretty quickly…

Sunday, April 17th

17 Apr


This necklace features a hand-made glass acorn from Lori Flanders on checked ribbon.
I wore it today because Raleigh, North Carolina – the City of Oaks – lost a lot of those very trees in the tornado yesterday.
Hand-made glass bead on sterling head pin. Tiny checked ribbon finished with knots inside knot covers. Hook-and-ring closure. One of my favorites in any times of trouble.

Sunday, April 10th

12 Apr


This necklace is a simple charm made of Art Clay Silver strung on a length of acid-green silk. I made the charm. It is one of the few metal clay pieces I have made. I really wanted to love that medium, but somehow I realized I’m more of a collage artist and not a sculptor. It just always felt weird and I never loved what I made the way I often love the charms and pendants¬† other people make.

Well, except this moon.

It was just a rubber stamp I borrowed and pressed into the clay. I fully intended to give this charm as a gift to someone but then I wore it one day and looked in the mirror. That moon looks like a perfect letter ‘C’ in the mirror. I loved the idea of a secret initial as I’m not exactly the type to wear a monogram most of the time. But secrets, I love secrets.

That acid green silk is just knotted or tied at the neck. No clasp.

I usually wear this necklace daily when I take a summer camping trip. Never take it off. Wonder how I’ll handle that this year.

Friday, April 8th

8 Apr


This necklace is made with 20 feet of 24 gauge sterling silver wire strung with old watermelon-green chevron trade beads. I started by making a hook on one end of the wire and then strung the beads. I created a loop 16″ down the wire and then wrapped, twisted and twined the remaining wire back and forth along the length of the necklace. I didn’t intend to use all 20′ of the wire but I actually feel like the necklace could use more wrapping, not less.

I wear this a lot; it’s simple, comfortable and elegant. I love the idea of creating the entire necklace-clasp too-with a single length of wire.

Monday, April 4th

4 Apr


Large, rice-shaped goldstone beads strung with a seven-strand clasp. Not adjustable in length, but then it doesn’t need to be.

I made this necklace several years ago as part of a collection for Bedizen. I envisioned it as being just a bit soap-opera-ish. You know, those dressed-up ladies always wore major jewelry and big clip earrings they took off to talk on the phone. A Chanel suit or at the very least a St. John suit. Heels. Hair that was styled. Yes, I am talking about Susan Lucci. I love that whole look. The absolute level of grooming impresses me for some reason. This wasn’t my look at the time. Even now I’m not exactly dressed-up even when I am dressed-up. I admire a St. John suit but I don’t own any and really, wouldn’t know how to wear it.

When I made this necklace I was doing a bit of work for a department store based in Texas. They were purchasing some multi-strand, sparkly glass bead bracelets and I really thought they’d like this necklace and the other pieces in the collection. There were dramatic earrings made on beading screens (very 1950’s!) and a bracelet that matched this necklace.

The department store didn’t like this necklace.

The length was good. The antique brass clasp was wrong (they wanted brighter gold-tone.) The orangey goldstone didn’t sell. It was a weird color for the trends at the time. Too rusty. I really liked it, though, and was happy to keep the sample. I still have the earrings, too, but if I wear them both together I feel like I need to get a suit and style my hair.

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. )