What a wonderful few days….
Yesterday at work I was helping our Maintenance chap to clear out rubbish that had accumulated around the site (the things I volunteer for! But I do believe that Managers need to get down and dirty sometimes). I not only found a £10 note, but then found hidden away in our Storage/Workshop unit a horde of Crystal Chandelier Drops. They are not faceted, but beautifully crafted just the same and I immediately thought of jewellery.
I am going away for the weekend tonight so won’t get chance to play with them until next week but I have lots of wonderful ideas for these gorgeous crystal beauties.
- Chandelier Rain Drop crystal
- Chandelier Smooth Almond crystal
I am beginning to think that I might have been a Magpie in a previous life! It never fails to delight me the infinite variety of items that can be put to fabulous use in Jewellery.
I have been busy with Mary’s Treasure and finally have some pieces of jewellery to present. The pictures are my usual poor quality but I am working on that with the help of BeadGem and Beading Daily. These blogs have both recently featured articles on how to photograph jewellery and this will probably be my personal challenge over the Christmas break.
You will find below five different ‘looks’ which have developed naturally as I cut and sorted the original nine necklaces. The white necklace is proving stubborn to dismantle and I am considering ways to use it as it is but jazz it up, and the Haematite and Pearl twisted choker I like so much as it is that I still have not dismantled it (and probably won’t unless I get some really incredible inspiration). I still have loads of beads left over and I will continue to make more necklaces, bracelets etc, but in the meantime I hope you like the few bits that I have made so far:
The choker on the left is made from 5 and 6mm black faceted beads that were spacers in one of Mary’s necklaces. I have added 4mm silver beads to add a bit of drama. It is a simple design, but very effective on the neckline, with a bit of sparkle and understated elegance.
- Mary’s Glass bead set
The glass beads in this set caught my imagination immediately, they were not obvious in the original necklace, but I felt that they are beautiful and deserved to be a focal point of a very simple necklace set. The beads are clear glass decorated in blue, green, and gold. I have set them in the necklace with black faceted and plain gold round beads and it is all hung on a double strand of gold coloured beading wire.
- Three strand bracelet
The colours in this bracelet are vibrant and varied and made a lovely multi-strand bracelet. I have used small Haematite tube beads as spacers to give a little sparkle against the quite matt finish of the acrylic beads. Even the haematite came from Mary’s collection and I am pleased that I have been able to create something so very different to the necklace’s that originally held these beads.
Recycling and re-designing pre-owned jewellery is so rewarding, and as you can see from the results so far you can make jewellery that is suitable for evening, smart day and casual wear with a little thought and imagination.
I made this pendant to show off the gorgeous colours of the beads and also to show that bead jewellery does not have to be bead heavy in order to make a statement. This type of pendant would look fantastic over a black PoloNeck jumper, and I think I will try to make a smaller version for earrings which would just complete the look.
A Hint of Xmas
The large twisted green beads are wonderfully shaded in a variety of hues and just called out to have a seasonal theme. I made the beady bead from my stash to try out the bicone embellishment, not really thinking about the colours and when I had finished I just knew that it had to go with Mary’s green twisted beads. Not only are the colours so traditionally Christmas, but my favourite colours are Red and Green so if I still have this necklace at Christmas then it will definitely be around my neck as I quaff a little Christmas cheer with friends.
I will continue to reinvigorate old jewellery as it is becoming a passion, and it feels so good to breath new life into gems and beads that can give pleasure all over again.
It’s a gloriously sunny October day, no coat required and I am ‘thinking ahead’ for a change. I have recently started making a range of affordable small pieces of jewellery, often acrylic and glass to keep the cost down, that would be ideal ‘stocking fillers’ for Christmas or quick and easy Birthday presents.
Handbag charms and key rings can be very attractive and inexpensive, but would make a lovely small additional gift for Christmas or a Birthday. Some of the charms on the left have been made with the Turkish eye symbol for good luck and the red one has a cluster of garnet chips which carry a whole book full of mystic properties, for example
- Give peace in your mind.
- Enhance your cleverness.
- Increase the feeling of pride and hearty sense.
With the recent flood of awards ceremonies and fashion weeks everyone has seen the latest in jewellery fashion. Earrings seem to be long and bold at the moment so I am adding some dangly chain earring to go with the selection pictured below. Layering bracelets and cuffs are very fashionable, and give a wow factor to costume jewellery. Cocktail rings are also big and bold with lots of bling and can be made adjustable so that they can fit any size finger. My favourite of the moment is a 5cm round flower ring made from purple dyed shell beads and faux pearls. It definately gets you noticed.
Christmas ideas are relatively simple to make and everyone likes a little sparkle in their Christmas whether it’s a gift or something to wear for the party season. I think I am going to be busy for the next few months, and enjoying every minute of it.
As a teenager one of the coolest parents around was Mary, the mother of my dear friend Karen. She always treated us as people, rather than some alien species, and probably most important of all, she was not afraid of teenage house parties. As I grew up I saw her rarely, but when I did meet up with her again it just confirmed Mary as one of my favourite people. Mary moved to Spain in later life and enjoyed a few years of sun and Sangria before cancer tragically took her from us.
Recently my friend Karen read my Blog about Recycling and offered me some of Mary’s costume jewellery, so that I can reuse the beads and breath new life into the jewellery. I feel honoured, and give thanks to Karen for sending me Mary’s Treasure, and I will now set about the challenge of making beautiful and vibrant jewellery that will reflect the wonderful memories I have of Mary.
I will post any jewellery I make from this stash so that you can see the transformation, and obviously any pieces Karen likes will be her’s.
I recently visited a Car Boot Sale and came away with a bag full of jewellery that the owners no longer wanted. My haul was fabulous and included Rose Quartz, Amber, Lapis Lazuli and Antique Crystal. In amongst the gemstones were the usual tired plastic beads on fussy necklaces.
I sad down to take the pieces apart and found more and more useful beads, spacers and bead caps than I first realised. So a very good haul indeed. Then came the task of sorting and dreaming of breathing new life into these pre-loved gems and beads.
The photograph shows just one of the results. A bracelet and pendant following the classic Chanel look. A few silver bead caps made a handful of tired beads into a very chic set.
I like to be Green when I can, and do so hate waste, so recycling pre-loved jewellery into something more en vogue gives me real delight. However, this is not something I have discovered, search the internet and you will find Jewellery made out out almost anything and everything. One of my favourite finds were handbags made entirely out of drinks can ring pulls – I think they are stunning and are often made to aid third world countries (see www.da-lata.com).