Jewelry For Travel

The topic of this post is simple jewelry designs to help pull your looks together while travelling.   Of course, these can be worn at any time and necklaces add a little interest while coordinating with basic clothing pieces.   These are me-made, and more inspiration can be found on Pinterest.    The post I wrote about my London trip better shows my overall cohesive plan.

The necklace on the left is a wire wrap technique, which means that wire is wrapped with a loop on each end. The bead is in the middle.  A series of loops link together forming a long necklace.

The necklace on the right is a simple stringing project where beads and spacers are strung in a pattern with a closure in the back.

Variation = Versatility
Both necklaces complimented my wardrobe pieces by combining neutral colors. To offer the most versatility, I constructed them by varying the lengths and varying the bead size.   Although I love scarves as an alternative to spice up a neutral outfit, I prefer to wear necklaces if the temps are warm.

Questions To Ask 

What kind of trip will it be? ¬†A beach vacation, a work conference, or a family reunion all require specific wardrobes, so the jewelry included (if any) will be different. ¬† I want simple and easy ‘go-to’ items that add detail that makes the outfit looked finished and that I put a little extra time into the overall look. ¬† I don’t pack items of great value, but I do ask myself if I would be really disappointed if the item(s) broke or were stolen. ¬†Although I would miss these pieces if something happened, I also ask, ‘Can I remake or replace this jewelry?’ ¬†If yes, then in the bag it goes.

Assorted beads from my bead stash

Assorted beads from my bead stash

40 inch assorted bead necklace

40 inch assorted bead necklace

Discover Your Preferred Necklace Lengths
Trends in jewelry come and go. Classics like pearls and gold chains seem to remain strong, but it is the length that is important and very individualized.   I like more substantial pieces and have a shorter and longer length I keep coming back to that seem right for me.

If I want a longer necklace that has the potential to be doubled up, I have discovered that 40″ is a good length for me, especially if I include a closure in the back. ¬†That way I can unfasten it and place the closure in the front, avoiding pulling it over my head. ¬† Another length I prefer is at the collar bone. ¬†I have written about it here¬†and here. ¬†Toggle closures are bigger and can be fasten easily.

Navy, gold, silver, light pink, shell, pearl beads

Navy, gold, silver, light pink, shell, pearl beads

A closer look. Most beads from Joann's

Many of these beads are from Joann’s and from my stash

Design and Composition

Sometimes it helps to take a closer look at the beads, their arrangement and the tiny beads or spacers in between. I have written about going into stores and making a beeline to the accessories to check out the jewelry designs. Keep an eye out for jewelry that can be re-purposed or re-designed to your taste. ¬†If you like to bead, you may recognize in the picture above some of these beads from the Joann’s. ¬† Often the collections are a blend of beautifully colored beads. ¬†All that is needed is to string them up!

Small lobster claw closure

Small lobster claw closure used with a split ring

Metals Used Instead of Color
Using colored beads is not the only way to add interest in a bead design. Sometimes adding metals does the trick.   Adding the wonderful warmth of copper or the cool tones of silver and pewter translate as color and can add so much to the overall color scheme our eye sees.   Gold can be used instead of yellow and blackened silver can add the black to ground a design and add some shine.

Since mixing metals is a current fashion trend, I used gold square spacers on the sides of the navy blue stone beads and pewter/dark gray spacers (above photo) to incorporate a dark gray into the design.

Gold pewter toggle closure

Gold pewter toggle closure

I didn’t get many outfit posts recorded, however, here is one taken while walking late across the Westminster Bridge toward Big Ben.

Dressed for Big Ben

Dressed for Big Ben

Other simple choices for travel were the earrings I packed.  All of them were purchased and could be worn interchangeably with the necklaces.

Do you have some versatile jewelry pieces you like to pack? ¬†Do you even bother to pack jewelry? ¬†Would you consider making your own jewelry? ¬†Please share your comments below, cuz’ I want to hear!:)

Happy sewing , creating, travelling, packing, etc.!:)

-Dana

 

Pantone Spring 2017 DIY Necklace

Necklace worn with Butterick 5526

Necklace worn with Butterick 5526

Pantone Colors Spring 2017

Pantone Colors Spring 2017

I love a happy accident. Without even planning it, I managed to make a DIY beaded necklace using all of the warm shades of the Pantone Spring 2017 colors. ¬†Truth be told, I made this before I knew about the upcoming colors. ¬†Sewing my own clothes and making my own jewelry keeps me both on and off the streets! ¬† I never know where I will find inspiration to create….

The Pantone Influence
When Pantone introduces the colors for a season, I’m always interested and curious, but that is as far as it goes. ¬† The colors serve as a springboard to create something new in a slightly different color combination or they prepare me for what I will be seeing in the fashion, home decorating and fabrics. ¬†So far, I am liking these new Spring 2017 colors, both cool and warm. ¬† Do you see anything you like? ¬†Do you already have these colors represented in your life? ¬†One easy way to incorporate them is to pluck your favorite color(s) out of the mix and add an accessory to your wardrobe (maybe something you already own), add a throw pillow on the chair or wear new lipstick/eye shadow shade. ¬†Or say NO to all of them!

Much to my surprise, it looks like Pale Dogwood, Primrose Yellow, Hazelnut, Flame and a pinch of Pink Yarrow are all present in this necklace.  It seems to me that the current necklace style trends are long, tassel, diminutive and/or minimalist. But for those of us who are told to keep the focus upwards, I follow that advice to the point that the majority of my feature necklaces are more substantial in nature and fill in necklines.

Mixed Bead Multi Strand Necklace

Mixed Bead Multi Strand Necklace

Different Styles
Speaking of necklines, I was happy to see the attention these necklaces bring to the celebrities’ faces in this photo.

Neckline focus

Neckline focus

Imogen Lamport wrote a great post illustrating necklace styles that best flatter necklines.

Imogen Lamport's Necklaces for Necklines

Imogen Lamport’s Necklaces for Necklines

The picture above shows that there is a time and place for all necklace types, day or night. ¬†What’s your style? ¬†Are these too much for you? ¬†Too gaudy or just right? ¬†I have heard some women say that most necklaces are just too heavy to wear and the weight gives them headaches. ¬†I. ¬†Would.¬† Die. ¬†I like em’ big and bold here, here and here.

Now I do realize that this is not one of the serious topics circulating in our world right now. ¬†However, what I can control is how I present myself in the best way I know. Wearing things I make is very gratifying because I can express my style, satisfy a creative ‘itch’ and complete a project from my many queues.

And then there is style icon Iris Apfel. I love her spunk! I read somewhere she said, “More is more, less is a bore.” She is a person who knows how to use abundant accessories as her trademark.

Moving in the other direction, is a simple chain with some adornment more your style?

Clean and simple

Clean and simple

Simple chain and bar necklace

Chain and bar necklace

Although sewing is my first love, making my own jewelry using beads of all types comes in second place. ¬†The accessory department is my first destination when I enter a department or consignment store. ¬†It is there that I find inspiration for color schemes, construction and style. ¬†I’ve been know to whip out my phone to take a picture or two….

Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show
As I write this post, it occurs to me why the Tucson streets are crowded with out-of-state licence plates…our city is revving up for The annual Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show running from late January through mid-February. It is a world famous minerals, fine jewelry, lapidary, fossil and all things rock related show. It brings tourists and vendors from around the world and is overwhelming the first time one attends. But then after that, it is all-consuming and exhaustive. I encourage you to visit if beads and rocks are your thing…that sounds weird, I know, but there is so much to see. ¬†If you are able to attend, my advice would be to bring a backpack, water bottle and comfy shoes. Oh wait, MONEY, too!

My Necklace Inspiration:
First of all, I never know when I’m going to see something that motivates me to create. ¬†Often it is color. ¬†Believe it or not, the little .99 bags of assorted peachy/gold beads from Walmart were the inspiration for this necklace. ¬†The little bags contained a random assortment of these juicy colors. ¬†As a result, I pictured them blending well with the other beads in my stash. ¬†The few random big balls were the focal beads, supported by all of the other supporting colored beads.

21 Inch 5 Strand Necklace

21 Inch 5 Strand Necklace

It was certainly a bead stash-buster and use up some small and medium size beads as filler and color blenders. Instead of looking at containers of money beads sitting in my stash, I love finding a way to use up these little lovelies.   For this style, I simply started stringing beads graduating from smallest to largest toward the center and then down to smallest again.  If a multi-strand necklace is too bulky for you, refining your beads selection and making it only 1-3 strands would also work.  Maybe the color scheme is right, but a longer style with a tassel would work better.

Another view of the strands

Pearls catching the light

Cone and toggle closure

Cone and toggle closure

All five of the strands are pulled up into large cones using beading wire, crimp beads and an eye pin.  The strands are attached to a toggle closure.  I find large toggles to be the best way to fasten the multi-strand necklaces around my neck because they are easier to grasp, fasten and undo.  I have plans to post a DIY tutorial on how to finish a multi strand necklace for anyone who may be interested.

Necklace worn with Butterick 5526

Necklace worn with Butterick 5526

To read more about the shirt I made to wear with it, click here.

And fianlly, what are you making/wearing/ buying that incorporates the new Pantone Spring 2017 colors?
-Dana