April 29, 2012 § Leave a Comment
April is Remade Month – a campaign by 10:10. I was delighted to discover that my recycling of jewellery that would otherwise be languishing in boxes or worse still thrown away, was in a small way cutting carbon emissions.
One of the biggest barriers to a truly low-carbon world is the energy used to make the things we buy and use every day, especially when we need to replace them every time something goes wrong.
By sharing the skills and resources to keep our stuff going for longer, we’re giving ourselves choices, saving money and laying the groundwork for a smarter approach to making and owning things.
My latest remake is this Garnet & Peridot necklace:
The original necklace had been strung on pink nylon which had snapped at the join to the clasp. To repair this, I chose to use jewellery silk thread, only because I like the fluidity of the finished piece. You can also use 0.40 mm fishing line or Beadalon stringing wire. The benefit of the later suggestions is that you do not need to purchase a collapsible eye needle.
Some of the peridot pieces were missing and damaged, so I decided to add galvanized silver delica Miyuki beads.
By adding these, I could pick the best beads to put back into the necklace without sacrificing the length. The silver added a touch of sparkle to the necklace. And the tiny little tube beads also concealed the tiny knots I added throughout the necklace to make it more secure. (Of course you wouldn’t have to add knots if your are using fishing line or stringing wire.) Once, I had re-strung all the stones and seed beads, all there was left to do was attach the clasp.
I replaced the clasp. The original one was all crusted up inside which I suspect caused the nylon to snap (I’ve saved it to clean and polish up another day); and in any case it would not have matched the silver that I’d now added. So I picked this one instead:
As you can see above, I’ve attached the clasp by looping through the ring, threading back through the last bead , then tying the knot. I like to back-thread through a few beads, knotting after a couple to make sure it’s secured. You can use a touch of UHU textile glue or clear nail polish to seal the ends of the thread after you’ve cut of the excess.
So here’s the remade necklace:
This was a really simple remake. All the materials are easily found in Bead shops, craft stores or online and it probably only cost me £3 – the new stirling silver clasp being the main expense. I hope you’ve been inspired to remake some of your jewellery, if you do, have fun! I did. ♥K
P.S: If you haven’t already, I urge you to join 10:10
P.P.S Have a look at my previous remake projects on this blog for more ideas:
And how I started recycling jewellery: Recycling Jewellery – a challenge
March 16, 2012 § 2 Comments
Very on trend and very easy to make, once I started I haven’t been able to resist going back to this style as it lifts a casual look to chic.
See my earlier post for how to make these Shamballa-style bracelets and the origin of the Shamballa bracelet.
Here are my recent variations on the theme:
I fell for this lovely red beads when I saw them in The Beaderie. The glossy layer of glass over the painted floral design gave these a translucent appeal and provided vibrancy to the red. Teaming it with the black cord for contrast was a no-brainer which also enhances the pastel florals.
This stardust version is incredibly effective if you want the hint of sparkle without spending a fortune on the Rhinestone pave beads of the original Shamballa concept. You can also get the stardust beads in bronze, gold and carbon which are tantalizing in their own right. Here I’ve used the 1 mm waxed cotton cord as the base cord but gone for a 2 mm woven nylon cord for the macrame work around the beads (you will need 120 cm for the main part and another 40 cm for the overlap section). This creates a more solid frame effect around the beads. In the overlap section, I’ve added another stardust bead. You can do this with the stardust beads as the hole is large enough for the 1 mm cord to be threaded crossways. Add the Swarovski Helix AB crystals on last.
The eagle-eyed among you will recognise this as part of a set that has evolved since Decemeber. I first made a necklace with these 12 mm red Agate stones and glass-coated bronze ceramic beads last Christmas as a special request. Then I made the earrings for the birthday present and now here’s the bracelet for Mothering Sunday (Mother’s Day in the UK is the third Sunday of Lent instead of being in May).
These lovely dark blue and cobalt beads are amazing when worn with denim. Again, I’ve gone for the thicker cord on the outside to frame the beads. The solid look is softened by the delicate sparkle of the Swarovski Helix AB crystals waving on the tail ends. ♥K
February 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
This was my inspiration for Rescue Project No. 5. I would love to be at the Hilton Nui Resort in Bora Bora but since I can’t, I did the next best thing – make jewellery.
Those of you who follow this blog may remember the Turquoise necklace in the Recycling Jewellery Post: The lovely trapezium turquoise necklace that didn’t wear well, too many turquoise pieces knotted too closely together.
So inspired by the turquoise waters and the golden tones of sunshine reflecting off the wicker and wood, I created a necklace with just seven of the turquoise pieces. The turquoise pieces are joined to the gold-plated chain with eye pins. To create the illusion of the gentle flickering of sunlight off the sea, I added the Swarovski 4 mm crystal bicones and gold-plated leaves on either side of the centre turquoise stone.
I’ve still got the stash of all the other trapezium pieces of turquoise so watch this space. Meanwhile, I’ll dream of turquoise and sunshine. ♥K
February 16, 2012 § 1 Comment
“This was my favourite that I used to wear all the time until it broke” – sound familiar? That’s what this piece was…an old favourite:
I totally understand why it’s a favourite: after all who could resist the lovely translucent pale green of the gorgeous facetted chunks of Chalcedony in irregular shapes? The clasp was special too – it reminded me of a Lotus flower.
The stones had to be cut free as the wire had twisted in several places. After closer examination, I decided that all the silver spacers had to be replaced as a couple were missing and several dented. I ordered 6 mm plain sterling silver beads from www.cooksongold.com which were delivered the next day (I was impressed by the speed).
The next thing to do was to give it a good clean – twice in the ultra-sonic cleaner and a polish of all the stones with a soft tea towel. But the clasp and the rings needed more work. I started with Silvo Tarnish Guard, using the silver polish wadding, I gave it a good rub all over which got all of the tarnish off. But it was still looking rather dull. So I set to work on it again, this time with a silver polishing soft cloth (from John Lewis) and this worked a treat, bringing out a lovely shine.
While polishing the clasp, I noticed that the links were only attached to one of the two eyes on each side of the clasp. So to balance this out I discarded the old oval loop and added two sterling silver jump rings on each side , then connected these to the other links.
Instead silver wire, I opted for 0.46 mm Beadalon 7 Strand bead stringing wire with a silver finish. This is more expensive than the other 7 strand Beadalon wires and somehow more fragile too in that it kinks if you twist it unnecessarily. In spite of that drawback, I still like it because it is just as strong and blends with the other silver findings.
Here’s the re-strung necklace:
It was very satisfying working on this piece knowing that such lovely piece will not languish at the bottom of a jewellery case but be worn and loved once again. ♥K
January 3, 2012 § Leave a Comment
How rapidly time flies and to my shame I see the last time I posted was in October. I haven’t been idle – just too busy with family and work to blog. I have managed to get some beading in, so here’s a quick recap of what I’ve made in the last few months of 2011.
Still delving into my stash from Singapore, I made this Aquarmarine and blush pink rice pearl necklace knotted on two strands of silk.
I’m still working on a pair of Blue Chalcedony earrings to go with this necklace. Although I’ve made them up several times, I’ve ended up taking them apart again. So that’s still a work in progress.
Then there’s this Carnelian necklace that I teamed with Silver-plate netted balls I found in Spoilt Rotten Beads.
I love the way the Carnelian stones were cut but when I originally paired them with solid silver balls, I thought it somehow looked too heavy and didn’t bringing out the curves and varying shades of the Carnelian. Adding the netted balls worked a treat as it provided both the space and a sense of lightness between each carved piece. The earrings were trickier (maybe that’s just me) but I like the way the Carnelian pieces swirl when I wear them.
A busy month with Ballet and Piano concerts for both my girls and organizing a birthday party for 35 seven-year-olds, but I still managed to fit in a Wire Wrapped Jewellery Workshop by Mani Lindenthal at Spoilt Rotten Beads. This was my first class in wire worked jewellery and it was an enlightening morning. Mani is a very warm and friendly teacher who is clearly an amazing jewellery designer, happy to share her wealth of experience – visit her site: Mani Design. I did her Glamourous Cuff and Ring workshop.
Here’s what I started off with:
As I got into the wire wrapping and working my choice of beads into the cuff, I realized that I needed a fifth bead to give each section a focal point. I chose to add the lovely Shamballa beads that Spoilt Rotten Beads stock with very pleasing results:
I love the cuff and it made a perfect present for a lovely friend but I wasn’t too happy with the ring – it really needs more work.
And Finally December…
A colleague asked if I would make two Christmas presents for her. I was really nervous about this. She gave me the colour schemes she wanted and off to The Beaderie I went. I have to say at this point, The Beaderie is expanding rapidly, it’s amazing how Sally and Andrew have transformed the store adding twice as many beads and semi-precious stones to choose from.
Here I’ve used these olive-sized Amazonites and faceted aquamarine stones with frosted silver balls as spacers, finished off with silver plate oval link chain.
For the second necklace, I couldn’t resist the red coloured faceted red stones (The Beaderie has rows of these delciously coloured stones that are so tempting). This I teamed with flat Bronze coloured glass beads, black faceted crystals and champagne miyuki beads as spacers:
I hope the recipients of these presents liked them.
Well there, those are the highlights of the last quarter of 2011. My new year’s resolution: to blog about each project as soon as I’m done.
All the best wishes and Happy Beading in 2012!
October 7, 2011 § 1 Comment
Earlier this week I tweeted that I was working on a project but couldn’t say any more. Before I reveal, here’s the story behind it:
I wanted to create a Birthday present for a lovely and very glamourous friend. But where to start? Up to now I’ve been working in pearls and stones that I would wear but my style is not hers. I started on an opera style necklace of pearls but somehow couldn’t imagine her wearing it.
Then inspiration! And of all times: early morning, 6 or there abouts, I was still half asleep while getting ready to leave for work, it hit me – I knew exactly what she would like. But I didn’t have time to do anything about it and had to catch a train instead. It was really difficult to concentrate that day, my mind kept going back to this:
How would I turn this into a necklace? What would go with this? When I finally had the opportunity to get all my stash out, I had a play around and tried different combinations.
I decided that I liked the black combination best although I didn’t think the faceted glass beads worked. I started stringing the Malachite with 4mm black bicones instead but it still lacked a certain something. So I started over, this time adding black seed beads. No, didn’t work. Undo.
It needed just a hint of sparkle, to throw light on the black and the Malachite. I went through my collection again and there it was: a tiny tube of Miyuki Galvanised Silver Delica. And those tiny beads made the difference:
I gave it to her this morning. I’m happy and relieved she liked it.
What do you think? Would you have done it differently? ♥K
September 23, 2011 § Leave a Comment
It’s been a hellish sort of week at work with everything from train delays and cancellations, and unexpected ‘urgent’ demands at work to computers and technology playing up. But instead of heading straight to bed all fed up when I got in at 10pm, I went to my beading cupboard instead.
Can anyone tell me why? Sorting through my collection is just so relaxing, handling pearls, the rhythm of stringing and knotting is soothing. I didn’t do very much each night but enough to restore peace again by the time I climbed into bed. Last night I finished off this Malachite and freshwater rice pearl necklace.
It was the first time I knotted with these Malachite beads which had larger holes so the knots kept slipping. But I soon worked out that I should use the pearls to position the knots. I thought the addition of the sterling-silver filigree push clasp which I found in Spoilt Rotten Beads finished it off quite well.
This is going to go to a lovely lady who is retiring next week. I hope she likes it as much as I’ve enjoyed making it. ♥K
September 9, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Where has the summer gone! It’s been a hectic one for me – new job in addition to the girls being out of school and a trip to Singapore. Although I haven’t had a chance to blog, I’ve managed to get some beading done and a mass a supply of Pearls and semi-precious stones from my trip to Singapore.
Now that my girls are back in school, this my spot of catching up.Here are some pictures of my summer’s beading, without lots of detail but do ask if you would like to know more.
February 27, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I love the sheen of pearls and I love the smooth cool weight of jade but I have never seen them used together. Then I found these coloured jade stones at The Beaderie. It was the unusual shape of the dark pink stones that first caught my eye, then the lovely smooth olive-shaped light pink stones. The two tones of pink and shapes then got me thinking about mixing them with the pearls. I’ve used Swarovski glass pearls and clear seed beads that are lined with pink as spacers to make up the necklace and a matching bracelet. The charms on the bracelet are created from tiny beads of different shades of pink to create contrast. I complete the set with my trusty pair of pearl ear-studs. This is one of my favourite creations that I use often.