Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Do you remember the old joke where the out of towner stops a NYC cabbie and says, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" The answer is "Practice, practice, practice."

That's the quip that was on my mind when I decided I could make myself some new summer jewelry. I used some of the jewelry techniques I had been reading about in O'Briens Metal Craft Discovery Workshop and Kelly Snelling and Ruth Rae's A Charming Exchange . I have been collecting tools and findings for awhile and I finally got the nerve to try my hand with them.

This necklace I cut from a lemon cookie tin. I used my new tin snips and made the fleur-de-lis and then filed the edges with tiny metal files. I used my new metal hole punch to make a tiny hole in the top and put a jump ring to attach it to the necklace. I made a few other metal charms from works on the same tin and attached them to the necklace. Since I had never used a crimp bead before, I had a few false starts in getting the necklace all put together. In the end I tied tiny bits of purple tulle in between a few of the beads which took up the extra space left by my clumsy attempts with the crimp beads. (Yes, she said, I begin to understand why they say that necessity is the mother of invention.)

For the second necklace, I cut little bits of wire, stung a green or gold textured bead on each and then bent the wire on each end and attached the bead together as I went. On a few of the gold textured beads, I covered them in old dark green veil from an old hat I tore apart for its millinery flowers and secured the netting to the bead with little bits of light green tulle. At the end of the strand of these beads, I attached to each size an old rhinestone button from my stash and strung a length of different colored rhinestone beads between the two buttons and attached the strand to the buttons with fine wire I wove around the spokes in the buttons.

For the third necklace, I made a little bird's nest by wrapping silver wire in the shape. I painted a little birdie brown and blue (to match the robin's egg opal beads) and glued it to the nest with E-6000. I also included some dark teal crystal beads for interest. (Sorry my little birdie is so blurry!)
Even though my work may be a little rough, I have been happy in the designing process. I caught the green on something getting out of the car and had to climb around and gather the bead that broke, but I was able to restring and start again. I plan to practice some more so that maybe I can make some as Christmas gifts this year. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.