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

 

Simply Pink New Look 6340

There is nothing like triple digit temperatures to make you grab some fabric and a pattern and run to your sewing machine!  If you are looking for a quick, simple sundress to make for your summer wardrobe, look no further than New Look 6340.   Let me back up and say that I haven’t posted in a while because I have been packing (sewing) for an upcoming trip. Before that, I was cleaning up my sewing room (a HUGE task and you don’t want to see that).  I even donated some fabric!  However, due to the scorching heat outside, I have torn myself away from those tasks to make up this quick dress (and necklace).

I don’t care for the hot summers in Tucson, Arizona but I love the winters. So here I am in June and in need of the coolest possible dress to wear…EVER. Meet New Look 6340.  This pattern is perfect made out of a light weight cotton.  I made a size 14.  I purchased my fabric from Joann’s a while ago, so it qualifies as a stash buster.  This pattern offers 4 dress styles with notched, slightly scooped and V neck options.  Pockets and sleeves are optional. Two hemline variations offered and side seam ties can be added to tie in back and offer some additional shaping. I chose to leave off the ties.

Quick glance at New Look 6340

Quick glance at New Look 6340

Center front seems are not my favorite because they break up a print.  To get around this, I try to find an all over print that ‘reads’ as a solid and then the center seam doesn’t bother me as much.

Pocket shaped detail

Pocket with shaped detail

This pocket shape is not offered in the pattern, however a pleated version is offered. I decide to add a little bit of interest to the top of the pocket by shaping it with an inverted point at the center and facing it with a 1″ strip. I copied the shape on the strip and sewed the two pieces together, right sides together.  Next step wass to stitch and trim, clip the curves, turn and press. Because cotton ravels during washing, I serge-finished the pocket edges.  Press under the remaining three sides and top stitch.   I used the pattern marking for the pocket and used fusible tape to secure the pockets before stitching.

A-Line dress with center back seam

A-Line dress with center back seam

The hem is a simple 5/8″ seam turned under and top stitched.

Now you know I have to make a necklace to wear with my outfits, right?  I was fortunate to find some pink and orange ceramic beads and a metal leaf focal pendant at Joann’s.  I added some amber colored faceted crystal beads and some size 6 glass pink seed beads.  It’s a pretty simple design and easy execution with a gold toggle clasp.

Self made necklace with beads and pendant from Joanns

Self made necklace with beads and pendant from Joanns

Ceramic, glass and metal necklace

Ceramic, glass and metal necklace

So there you have it.  I came out of hiding to photograph two simple makes and now I’m on my way to be better prepared for the heat!  Now I have to get back to finishing another  TNT shirt for my husband for Father’s Day. What have you been working on for the summer?
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Earthtone Beaded Ombre Necklace

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Blended Bead Soup

Blended Bead Soup

If you have been perusing my About blog page, you have seen a glimpse of my extensive fabric collection, an now I’m confessing to you that I have the same problem with beads.  This is why I will not allow myself to start any more hobbies.  I HAVE NO MORE ROOM.  To use up some of the great beads in my stash, I experimented with an ombre (defined as having colors or tones that shade into each other) design, putting a dent in my stash.  I aim to inspire you to make something up for yourself or give as a gift.

Blended Bead Soup Necklace

Blended Bead Soup Necklace

The most difficult part about making this necklace was having the space to spread out the necessary colored beads of different shapes and sizes.  I spread them out on my living room floor and started stringing the strands.  It was messy, but worth it.
My Game Plan:

  • Odd number of strands
  • Alternate different shaped beads next to one another
  • Transition colors in a subtle way
  • Audition final layout
Auditioning the layout

Auditioning the layout

Here, you can see I placed the strands next to one another to see what I liked best.

Coral beads featured

Strands reversed

Above, I reversed the strands to see what it would look like…hmm, not sure.
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Switched back. I think I like this best. Just to be sure, take the time to play around with it a few times before committing to the final decision.

Using bead stoppers

Using bead stoppers

Here, I arranged the necklace as I would wear it and could determine if I needed to add more beads to the outer strands for the necklace to lay right.  The idea is to keep the color groupings together as they curve around.

Add more black or white to ends

Add more black or white to ends

Side View

Side View

It’s time to add a crimp to the ends of the strands, attach to the closure and add crimp covers to hide the crimps.  Oops, look like I need to add two crimp covers to the bottom strands.   Rushed to take the picture!

Slide Bar Closure

Slide Bar Closure

Many closures would work, but I liked this hinged and slide closure/clasp for three reasons:

1.)  It laid flat against my neck

2.) It kept the strands separated

3.) Easy to use.

I purchased the closure from Joann’s, but could not find it on their website to provide a link.  Here is something similar.

Up Close and Personal

Up Close and Personal

This is an up close view of how the beads can be arranged–do what you want.

Blended Bead Soup

Blended Bead Soup

It is a great creative project allowing for so many possibilities.  I want to try some other unusual color combinations just out of curiosity…..and to deplete the stash a bit more.  Have fun with your own leftover beads.

Other ideas:

  • Dismantle and combine old unworn necklaces and bracelets to make something new
  • Check your local thrift stores for possible jewelry to use
  • Make a long single strand blending colors

I hope this inspires you to make your own creation.  Let me know what you think.  Enjoy.

–Dana

Gray and Beige Equals Greige

Greige Outfit and Necklace

Greige Outfit and Necklace

Is there a neutral color that gets your attention every time?  It may be certain shades of gray, tan or camel or a interesting combination of shades you can’t even describe.  Well this is mine.  I love this boring and funky color of brown/gray/beige.  I bet many of you would call it something entirely different.  It is another alternative to black, and a bit more complimentary to my coloring.
I scored the necklace at a local art fair and loved the combination of colored stones set in sterling silver.  Earrings are self made by adding a bead to a post finding from my stash.
Back to the outfit.  I found the fabric at Jo Ann’s in the Famous Maker are which means it retails for $9.99 but eligible for coupons.  I bought what was left on the bolt.

The skirt is a column skirt – nothing special.  Just measure the length, add seam allowances for elastic waist and hem.  Measure around hips when sitting down and add 1-2 inches for ease.  I added a tricot stretchy lining since the fabric is see-through.  I copied the measurements of the skirt and made the lining just a bit smaller.

Tricot Lining

Tricot Lining

The pattern is from Sewing Workshop / Ann’s Cardigan and Tank.  I noticed this pattern on Linda Lee on the Craftsy Sewing Fashion Knits online course in my personal Craftsy library.  I think I have gushed over Linda before about her eye for color (and fabric) and the course if a great advertisement for some of her fabric and pattern choices as she describes some great techniques for working for knits.

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Pattern Front and Line Drawing

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Quick back view to help you prepare

A quick look at the pattern shown here gives you and idea of what fabric type and yardage you’ll need.

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Pumps from Kohl’s (old)

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Back comes forward forming a godet (a triangle shape)

The magic of the drape of the cardigan happens at the hip line.

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Side slit of tank top

Above photo shows the side slit of the tank.  Notice I left the hem edges raw.
Changes in the future I would make:The tank has a modern silhouette with the points but the length is a little short on me. I like the length with this ensemble because there is so much of this color and the proportions work out, but in the future, I will lengthen the tank by cutting the tank pattern at the waist and adding length there instead of the hem. That way, it won’t add more bulk at the hips.  DON’T NEED THAT.

Here is an up close view of the tank neckline and necklace.  The neckline is turned under and sewn with two rows of top stitching.  I love using two fusible tapes for the neckline:  Design Plus Bias Fusible from LJ Designs This is used to stabilize and serge. Then I apply Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape in the 1/4 inch width to help fuse the edge to the underside.  Then, carefully top stitch. Don’t do this late at night or too hopped up on caffeine!

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Happy with the results

The pattern is a bit pricey, but if you are a cardigan girl like me, the plan is to make many of these pieces to get my money’s worth. The fit is flattering no matter your size or shape. Just remember to purchase a drapey knit that highlights the cascading front. Do you have a favorite cardigan (or tank) pattern?

Green Apples and Green Peas

IMG_4050 Before I get started, I feel I have some explaining to do regarding my “break” from posting. It is due to many reasons, none of which may interest you, but I have been doing home remodeling to one room in the house, which leads to much upheaval in the rest of the house. I am pretty disorganized as much of my fabric and patterns are still not at my fingertips. I have also been trying to figure out how to keep up on the posts, offer interesting sewing projects when sometimes I just want to sew and not think in terms of blogging about it. Believe me, there is a difference between sewing and sewing to blog about it. Since I do it all, I have been thinking about ways to stream line and ease the process. I also have such a extensive collection …(hoarder) of patterns, that sometimes I want to make those oldies but goodies that are out of print. Is that just frustrating to read about a fantastic pattern that is no longer available?? When other sewing bloggers do it, I figure I MUST have that patterns somewhere….

There may be more outfits on the mannequin just to speed up the post publishing, so here I am back in the saddle. I hope the posts will still be inspirational yet shorter and more concise. So I will start up with one of the beauties from an independent pattern company….

Here is the Midtown Trench Coat pattern from Indygo Junction. I would include a link, but sadly, it is no longer available. Bummer! I call it my apple green trench because it is that exact color. The necklace is self made from beads purchased at the Tucson Gem Show. Green agate the size of green peas. (More about the necklace below). It may not be the best color on me, but I spotted this fabric at Walmart of all places and thought it might be cute made up in this retro-inspired coat.   It was cotton, 45″ wide and inexpensive. WIN! I thought it would be good practice (muslin) fabric to try out the pattern. It has a red slub stripe running though it which I wanted to feature on the bias cut cuffs and collar.

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3/4″ Sleeves, Bias Cuffs, Side Seam Pockets

I think I like the back the best. The pleats add so much interest and resembles the back of a swing coat.

Back View, Midtown Trench

Back View, Midtown Trench

The line drawings show the slight differences. I chose to insert the pockets into the side seams, but the patch pockets look great, too.  I made the shorter thigh length (32″) instead of to the knee.  I wear it with dark denim and a tank.

Back view of the Midtown Trench

Back view of the Midtown Trench

Green Apple Trench, DIY necklace, Hobby Lobby Buttons

Green Apple Trench, DIY necklace, Hobby Lobby Buttons

Amy Barickman, the founder of Indygo Junction, partners with Mary Ann Donze to make these great patterns available. I have about 5-6 patterns of theirs that I want to make up. When I attended the Sewing and Stitching Expo in Puyallup, WA, Amy was at her booth wearing the Mod Top and Tunic, and she looked so cute.   There is nothing like seeing a sample made up to sucker me into buying the pattern!

Click here again to see the different ways this looks made up in cotton quilting fabrics. I suppose any other medium weight woven fabric would work. Check out the other patterns on the site. You may find something that you can’t wait to try.
IMG_4050Buttons are from Hobby Lobby, and the collar, cuffs and facing are interfaced. There is a slight princess line shaping down the front. The pleats in the back are sewn right down the crease (my choice, not on instructions) to help keep the edges sharp.
Necklace: I’ve been wanting a light green necklace for some time now. I spotted these beads and envisioned them in a simple, multi-strand collar style necklace. The cones and toggle were also purchased at the gem show.
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Green Jasper, 8mm

Green Jasper, 8mm

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18″ Five Strand Necklace

Do you ever get compelled by a color that works it’s way into your wardrobe?

Red, Whites, Blues

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As July 4th approaches,  I have been getting into the red, white and blue theme in my sewing, scarf shopping, and jewelry making. This combo will be a year-round option, including other shades of the red/white/blue. Here is a quick bracelet I made from my stash beads. I like to call this approach ‘Bead Soup’ because I pick random loose beads from my collection and arrange them in a harmonious way, using up leftovers and creating something less planned and perfect. This works for necklaces, too.

First, gather all of the possible choices from your stash and spread them out.

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The above scarf was my inspiration.  It was from Stein Mart on clearance, similar.
As you can see on my tray, there is a Chico’s bracelet.  I purchased two and broke one apart for parts.   I often buy jewelry for the potential components in future designs.

Collect the tools, findings, and anything that may work in the design. Now, it is time to play.

Starting and completing involves jewelry wire, crimp bead(s), closure, cutters, and the crimp tool.
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Thirdly, arrange beads on the jewelry wire until you are pleased with the design.  If you are using a toggle, allow a little extra length before finishing so that it is easy to get on and off with one hand.  My finished bracelet is 8.5 Inches.   I don’t mind a looser fit, but you may want it tighter.  Do practice  fittings before finishing.

Note:  If you finish the bracelet and don’t like the fit, no biggy. Take a picture with your phone or camera, take apart and start over.  Wire and crimp beads are  relatively inexpensive and you will be happier with the results.

Coral, Pearls, Crystals, Semi-precious beads, silver components

Coral, Pearls, Crystals, Semi-precious beads, silver components

Do you have some beads in the stash that would make a great Bead Soup creation? I’l love to hear about it. Feel free to leave a comment.
Have a great Independence Day!
-Dana

 

Beachtime!

The Hotel Del Coronado

The Hotel Del Coronado

This post is a little recap from a recent trip to Coronado. It offers a little jewelry, mostly vacation pics, and some pretty foliage. Here is a little peak into some pretty images and some images of people you don’t know. It is a quick scroll-through. Thought I would mix it up a little.

Our annual family trip to the beach means getting everyone together on Coronado Island. It doesn’t get old. It’s great to walk on the beach, see the sunsets, ( I don’t get up early enough to see the sunrises), walk to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and see old and new shops. The tourists and locals couldn’t be more interesting to watch, the homes and streets are beautifully kept, and the dog beach is incredible for us dog-lovers-but-not-dog-owners.

Gift Shop Pillow

Gift Shop Pillow

The climate is perfect for some of my favorite plants. Here are just a few:
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Here we are at lunch in Ocean Beach at a restaurant with an ocean view. Good food and great company.
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Sean, Shannon, Ethan

Sean, Shannon, Ethan

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After lunch, it was time to visit the dog beach back on Coronado Island. Here is Ethan, Sean, and the newest member to the famiy, Outlaw.
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Here is Sean with Outlaw, a 7 months old boxer pit bull mix. This is a well-deserved outing for a dog cooped up in a truck for a 7 hour drive.

Sean with Outlaw

Sean with Outlaw

And then it was THE RACE. Two competitive brothers give it their all and fight to the finish. Ethan was the winner this year.
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The next day held surfing lessons for the kids while the parents and grandparents took pictures and cheered along. The first challenge is putting on the wet suits on the lawn. This is not for those who are modest about their bodies. Ummmm, the zipper goes in the back. Oops.
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OMG I look SO cute

OMG I look SO good

Shannon showing off her wet suit with cell phone in hand…
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Once the surfers get out to the water, the instructor helps get them ready for the waves. The instructors stay in the water for the full lesson helping the surfers get the most out of every good wave. At the end of the lesson, one of the instructors was stung by a stingray! They earn every penny.
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Here is Shannon concentrating on her balance and her poor instructor deep in the waves. He will wait out there until she comes back out to the surf.
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This may be the only split second shot taken of all three successfully standing up on the surfboards at one time. Yes!
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Thank you for indulging me with the family shots. Hopefully, I encouraged you to try a little surfing if you get the chance or check out a dog beach and get your toes in that sand.

Now, for the jewelry. Here are some purchases from Delores Forsythe’s store. Her store overlooks Orange Avenue, the main street, and is filled with beautiful jewelry from around the world. Many of the pieces are made by Delores. Along with Delores’ website, you can also check out Delores Forsythe videos on YouTube to see more about her and her terrific collection.
IMG_3584This is a shell and resin stretch bracelet and an expandable gold vermeil ring with smoky quarts, turquoise and labradorite stones.
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Sead Bead Magnetic Bracelet

Seed Bead Magnetic Bracelet

This is a seed bead, crystal, and semi-precious chip magnetic bracelet. There were many choices, but this one was my favorite. It is intricately stitched and with the two magnetic closure, it should stay on my wrist and not fall off.

Two Magnetic closures

Two Magnetic closures

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I love the color combination of lime greens, pinks, lavender, olive and copper.
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Next, was a stop by Kate Chan’s studio. She has a mission to create and sell eco-friendly and chic jewelry from sustainable materials.

Vacation By The Sea, Mixed Media

Vacation By The Sea, Mixed Media

This necklace is appropriately named ‘Vacation By The Sea’ and features resin and a wood component in Kamagong which can be found in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hawaii. It can have different names depending on where it is found. In Hawaii, it is called Pacific Teak Wood and Kamogong in the Philippines. This brownish-black colored heartwood most commonly originates from the island of Celebes in Indonesia.

Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach

Sunset on Coronado Island, March 2014

Sunset on Coronado Island, March 2014

It was a wonderful trip with great memories.

Olive Beaded Lariat

Semi-Precious Stones, Pearls, Jasper, Glass, and Mother of Pearl Beads

Semi-Precious Stones, Pearls, Jasper, Glass, and Mother of Pearl Beads

I made this a long time ago when I was in a beading mood.   It was before I had attended the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in 2013.  It was in with all of my other lariats, hanging there, lonely, until I finished the jacket in a prior post.  I don’t wear lariats often because they can get in the way and come undone rather easily.   But I do love the look.

I tried something new with this one to get it to stay in place.  Can you guess?   I had two quarter-sized lozenge stone beads and thought they would be heavy enough to keep the necklace from being fiddle-proof.

As you may have noticed, I like the color olive and all of its pond-scum colored relatives.   Jewelry is a great way to jazz up some boring or downright difficult-to-wear neutrals.  Any of the earth tones blended with a little crystal or shine is fine with me.   It is common that I will either buy/make the jewelry first and later find out it goes with other clothes in my closet or I sew up and outfit and am motivated to go to my beading stash and make earrings, necklace or a bracelet to go with that outfit.
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More about this jacket here.
Three Simple Ways to Tie a Lariat:
1.) Wrap it like the current scarves are worn; fold in half making a loop and pull the ends through. Slip over the head.

2.) Put it around your neck with ends hanging down and tie it like you are starting a knot but just do one cross over instead of two.

3.) Tie a loose knot.

Did I mention that this measures 47″? You can make a lariat longer or shorter. It is up to you.

TIP: Use a measuring tape as the lariat to determine the length wanted in the final design. This way, you will know exactly where to place your feature beads, overall design, and how it will drape before you get started.

Have Fun!!

Braided Beads

IMG_2231Mixing beads and then braiding them may not seam like a difficult approach to making a necklace, and it’s not, but I thought I would show you a few color combinations. Every necklace includes nine strands divided into three separate groups. Braid as usual, bringing the ends toward the middle until all nine strands are loosely draped. Add beads to ends if needed using spring clips on your wire because the braiding will draw up the length. When you are pleased with the drape, length and look, attach strands to the eye pin and prepare it for the cone and toggle closure.

Necklace length is 24 inches

Necklace length is 24 inches

I envisioned this being worn a turtleneck or deep v neckline so I thought the longer length would be a better choice. Plus, when the beads are braided, they seem to lay in the round a little better in a wider arc shape. All of the braids create a cord that doesn’t exactly drape or droop, so as I was making it, I would keep using the necklace form to see how it was progressing. The collection of beads includes chips, seed beads, Czech glass, any strand that catches my eye at bead stores! The strands can be strung in a repeating pattern or in a random to way. It is up to you.

Up close view of braided strands

Up close view of braided strands

Notice that all of the strands are different, yet related. This project is great fun because you get to use up so many beads from the stash. I call it “Bead Soup” because leftover beads can be used and incorporated.

Cones and Toggle

Cones and Toggle

All of the strands are attached to an eye loop of 20 guage wire and put up inside the cones. I then attach the toggle ends and finish with a wire wrap.
IMG_2246The next color combination used up some of my deep purple and green beads as well as iridescent blends of both colors. If possible, I blend both matte and shiny finishes to add interest.
IMG_2248As you may be able to see, the thickness of these necklaces is determined by the thickness of the beads used. It also affects the drape. I have found that the smaller seed beads keep the necklace more pliable.

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IMG_2247The same technique is used to finish this purple and green 21 inch version.
IMG_2237This is the dressiest of the three necklaces. I haven’t worn this as often in the past, but now that fancy, statement necklaces are more popular, it will get more use.
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IMG_2255If you love the look of pearls with casual outfits, you could make this with various size pearls and make the necklace more substantial. It would also sit higher on the neck with thicker beads or pearls.

Rose Toggle

Rose Toggle

I’m afraid my resources aren’t easy to track. I frequent the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show when it comes to Tucson every February. Purchasing findings are my goal every year, and I don’t always record all vendors and respective purchases. My routine involves coming home and putting newly purchased items with older like-items as an effort to stay organized. I make jewelry for myself and not to sell so it has never been too important.

I am particularly fond of the new pewter findings because they don’t tarnish. There are plenty of sterling components in my collection in the way of closures, spacer beads, end caps which just take more polish maintenance because they sit and don’t get worn as often. However, there is nothing like the beauty of shiny sterling silver. I am lucky to not have any metal allergies which would, of course, change everything.

What is your preferred closure choice and metal preference?

ReStyled Oval Faceted Iridescent Necklace and Earrings

I bought three strands of the large oval iridescent faceted beads so that I would have enough to do two rows to mimic a bib-style necklace. I could have just strung these horizontally on beading wire as I normally do but I thought I would design this hanging the beads vertically to resemble the current bib styles.  On the blue background, I see the aurora borealis (iridescent) finish bringing out the purples and the golds, but to your eyes, you may see other colors.
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Some of my most rewarding jewelry restyles are taking odds-and-end jewelry pieces from stores and various beads and then take them apart and make something new. Here is a clearance bracelet from Chico’s, beads from JoAnn’s that measure about 3/4″ long, E6000 adhesive and findings from JoAnn’s, and chain from Hobby Lobby.  Some of my inspiration comes from fabric, colors in nature, internet photos, window shopping and people watching.

The following is a brief description of how to make something like this.  If you are not sure of some of the supplies or terminology, there are some great YouTube videos on how to do basic beading techniques.  You can also contact me with questions for more information or ideas for future posts.

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To make the necklace and earrings, here are some of the items I used:
1.) Gold Chain approximately 30″ for the bib style from Hobby Lobby like this.
2.) Closure like a toggle, lobster claw or magnetic.
4.) Jewelry tools: wire cutters, round nose pliers, flat surface pliers to open links when needed.
5.) Bracelet from a store to be reworked. (I removed two round hammered gold decorative discs with pre-drilled holes off the bracelet for the earring posts to glue to. They aren’t even missed on the bracelet!) How about using two pretty buttons?
6.) Earring Posts like these or sterling silver options like these
7.) Dremel tool or sand paper
8.) Head pins in gold or silver to attach bead to earring back
10.) E-6000 adhesive
11.) Toothpick
12.) Napkin or paper towel
I want to make a comment on the E6000 adhesive. I normally buy the large tube, use it a couple of times and then store it away. My jewelry making can be sporadic, and by the time I get back to using the big 2 oz. tube, it has dried up and I throw it away. I was thrilled to pay the same price for 4 small tubes because I think I will actually get more value out of less product!

Before gluing the posts to the back of your earring piece, I recommend sanding the back with the Dremel or sandpaper so that the surface is given some ‘tooth’.   The roughed up surface will help the glue to better adhere to the metal posts. Put a little dab of the glue on the napkin, scoop a little glue with the toothpick onto the earring backs. Allow to get tacky and then stick to earring decorative disc piece. You can wipe off excess now or later. That is why I love E6000 for this application: strong hold and easy clean up.

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Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to design something like this necklace or earring for yourself.

Necklace:

  • Determine how long you want the necklace.  My longest chain measures 18.5, which allows for the beads to hang down right where I want them to.
  • Aim for an odd number of beads.  It seems to be the universal rule for ‘pleasing the eye’  or you can do whatever you like.
  • Evenly space the beads by counting the links between each bead.
  • Be willing to play around with placement.  It takes some time to get the beads and layout just right.

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Earrings:

  • The earrings were made just like the necklace beads.  Although these are meant to be a set, the earrings will be usable by themselves with other gold jewelry. I know it’s matchy-matchy, but I don’t care.
  • Feel free to do a wire wrap instead of a loop to attach the bead to the earring post portion.
  • Allow the glue to dry at least overnight.
  • The earring loops were made the same way as the necklace.   Insert the headpin up through the bead and form a loop.   Cut wire allowing enough remaining to form an attractive loop but don’t close completely because you still have to insert into hole of the disc. (Or whatever you are using for the decorative earring post).  Close hole.

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The necklace/beads move around, so if you want something that lays perfectly every time, this design may not be for you. I don’t mind the shifting because I love the way the light catches the facets of the beads.
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Here, you can see the green coming out in the beads but that is not the only color.
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The necklace looks more pink-ish against the black.   Because I am easily amused, what’s even more fun is seeing how different fabrics bring out the colors of the beads.   This makes the necklace/earrings so much more versatile in my wardrobe.
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I hope you have fun coming up with your own restyled/refashioned/remade design. I would love to know how your’s turns out.

Garnet Colored Coin Pearl and Rondelle Multi-Strand Necklace

IMG_2222What I’m wearing today…..This is a garnet colored coin pearl necklace I made a few years ago using up some of my gray colored faceted rondelles for a little sparkle. The coin pearl diameter is about 3/8″ or 8mm, and the rondelles are probably 6mm. There are 4 strands total, but I would have preferred to string an odd number but I didn’t purchase enough pearls. It does the job anyway. Earrings are sterling silver posts given as a gift too long ago.
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IMG_2227I like to string the rondelles in the mix at different intervals on each strand. One one strand, I may put them every 6 pearls, and on another I may put one every 8 or 10 pearls just to keep it from looking too boring. The rondelles provide that little sparkle as well as add that gray/black element I wanted in the necklace.
IMG_2226I finished it off with a pewter toggle (no tarnishing) and cones from JoAnns. I did a wire wrap and added some rondelles for a bit more sparkle just because!
IMG_2223So I hope this inspired you to make a little something for yourself or a gift for the holidays. Have a great day!