Friday, 7 May 2010

Jewellery Box Makeover

So, I seem to remember admitting to not being much of a jewellery wearer and I'm determined to change that.  There are some things at the bottom of my jewellery box that haven't seen the light of day in many a moon and most items fall into one of the following categories:

- love the idea of but can't stand one or more of the component parts (and therefore don't wear)
- not very fond of (and hence have never been worn)
- love, but the style, colour, metal don't love me (again - a recipe for never being worn).

There are some pieces in there that don't fit any of these categories because they're lovely and suit me - I guess we'll just have to blame laziness or lack of outfit co-ordination abilities for not wearing these pieces very often (although I am trying).

Realising that before I create too many more things to stuff into the jewellery box - undoubtedly never to be worn either - I thought I would put some of my new skills to good use and try to adapt some of my existing collection into things I am more likely to wear.  And so the box was upended onto the bedspread and I did some sorting.

Some changes have been minimal - links taken out of earrings to shorten them or changing those pesky lobster claw clasps to toggles (I'm not a fan of the lobster claw and my fingers stubbornly refuse to undo the things).  There were these two Maori pendants that I simply love but that were on the traditional waxed braids which, frankly, looked a bit tatty and cheap.  No respecter of tradition, I've put a silver bail on each pendant and can now hand them from any chain.

So much better!

I forgot to take a 'before' shot of the next necklace.  I have no memory of where or who I got it from (sorry!), but the green shells were strung with some very ugly, dark beads.  Never has it been more satisfying to get the wire cutters out and destroy a necklace!  I'm fairly sure I will never re-use the dark beads although they have been saved just in case, but there is just a chance that I will wear this:

       Green shells with fake pearls and seed beads.

Seed beads are not my favourite things in the world after this project.  I bought some to try out braiding with beads and got very, very fed up stringing them.  However, the braiding experiment worked - I just need to work out what I'm doing with it now:

Back to my jewellery box... and I couldn't resist some of the local semi-precious stone: sodalite.  It's effectively lapis lazuli without the gold flecks of pyrite and it's mined in great quantities in this province  I made this fairly chunky necklace and bracelet out of the sodalite, some black onyx and some spacer beads - I like the look of it, but I may get those wire cutters out and re-do it so that there are fewer of those large discs.  Somehow it doesn't sit quite right at the moment:

That's the great thing about your own jewellery - you can change it as often as you like!!


  1. That is such a wonderful idea. I have so many pieces of jewellery in my drawer that I never ever wear.... maybe my winter project could be to sort it all out!

  2. Well done Fiona, I do that every so often with jewellery I make for the shop if it hasn't sold. I really like the blue set. I'm guessing you used tiger tail, or something similar. I usually keep the wire a tiny bit longer than necessary so that there is a bit of give in it.. lets the beads settle in. That might help it sit better. Another handy hint ( realise of course that you didn't ask but I can't help myself) is to put a couple of jump rings on before the toggle clasp as this also affects how the necklace will sit.
    I'm with you on the lobster clasps.. far too fiddly. My personal favourites are magnetic fasteners. They are especially good for bracelets.

  3. Well done Fiona! I like the blue set a lot. And that beaded braid must have taken forever!! It is beautiful though. I'm liking the colours a lot.