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

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.

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?

One Necklace 4 Ways

Coral Necklace wrapped three times=a choker

Coral Necklace wrapped three times equals a choker

This is an easy necklace to make. Wear it in the way that best suits your neckline and proportions. Simple stringing with a lobster claw clasp and chain allows the necklace to be lengthened or shortened and worn any way you want. Supplies were beads I had in my stash. Frankly, I just started stringing in a random pattern to use up all three feature bead types.
Supplies:
1.) Coral nuggets and glass beads from JoAnne’s in the same color
2.) Tangerine pearls
3.) Delica peach seed beads for spacing in between
4.) Beading wire (I used thin beading wire to fit through the pearls. I strung right from the spool not cutting until I ran out of beads)
5.) 2 Crimp beads
6.) Closure
I wanted a simple necklace in the popular coral color and thought this would be a great accessory. Sometimes I just want to whip something up quickly but it often ends up as a simply-strung necklace that is boring. This can be mixed with other necklaces, or worn in the following 4 ways.
Coral Knotted Necklace

Coral Knotted Necklace

Double Strand Coral Necklace

Double Strand Coral Necklace

Coral Necklace up close

Coral Necklace up close

Can you see the small seed beads in between beads?
Coral Necklace 44

Coral Necklace 44″ Long

Up close of barrel magnetic closure

Up close of barrel magnetic closure

This is the closure I found at Joanne’s. Not great gold quality, but very versatile. I can use the barrel magnetic closure to open or close by unscrewing one side from the other or use the lobster claw to adjust the lengths. I need to add crimp covers to make it look more finished. I was in a hurry to post this. I need to do my nails.
Magnetic closure

Magnetic closure

Extended to longest length using lobster clasps

Extended to longest length using lobster clasps

Magnetic Lobster Clasp from Joann's

Magnetic Lobster Clasp from Joann’s

The shortest length if worn in a single strand way is about 44″long.
Extended to 44

Length is 44″

The chain adds another 4 inches or so which allows the necklace to be worn three times around neck like a choker.
Extends to 48

Length is 48″Long

Coral Necklace wrapped three times=a choker

Coral Necklace wrapped three times=a choker

I hope you enjoyed this and learned something from it. Happy beading.