Thursday, September 26, 2013

11 in one Convertible Statement Necklace

I was playing with statement necklaces last night.  I had made this necklace, but thought with a little tweaking, I could make it even cooler as a convertible necklace.  How many looks could I get with the same 4 pieces worked different ways?  I took a large metal chain, a beaded necklace, a brooch, a lone clip on earring and a piece of coordinating ribbon and constructed this piece.  This one was very simple, with not too much construction for a beginner. Make sure the components all go well together.  I chose fire polished crystal that matched the stone in the center of the brooch, I used all silver metals and a gray ribbon.  You could use any combination that works for you and your personal color palate

1. Using my mannequin, I pinned the chain on where I wanted it with straight pins.
2. Next I draped the 24 inch bead chain so that one row hung lower than the other, and pinned it to the mannequin as well. (When I chain up beads for these necklaces, I connect the beads together with jump rings.  The jump rings allow for more conversion options.)
3. I attached chain links to the two ends of the chain necklace, with a lobster claw on one end.
4. I attached a lobster claw to the bead chain and then clipped the two pieces together with the lobster claws at opposite ends.   .
4.  I clipped on the earring over the join of the chain and the bead chain, and it holds really securely without wire wrapping. 
5. Last, I pinned the brooch on to the join on the other side of the chain.

Now you have a bold statement necklace.  Here is where the magic begins. Unclip and unpin everything until you have 4 components again. Use just the heavy metal chain with Jeans and a t-shirt, or add the brooch for a more formal look.

The bead chain looks great alone, or with the brooch clipped on the end.

Clip the bead chain to the heavy chain and tie it in back with a ribbon and you get a triple strand bib necklace.  Add the brooch and earring and you get a dressed up version of the bib.

Take off the heavy chain and tie it back to make a double strand beaded necklace, or add the brooch for a focal point on the beads.

The bead strand is the perfect length to wrap 3 times around your wrist for a bracelet.

The last one is the brooch alone.  Most people don't wear them anymore, but I always look for brooch and earring sets at the flea market to make things just like this.  I think this is a really versatile way to take some heirloom pieces, or that box of jewelry Grandma left you and make some cool fashion forward pieces to spice up your wardrobe.  Take those triple strand bead sets apart and chain them up with some complimentary colored beads and make one for yourself.  They are fun, and you will find that the more you play with them, the more you will start to look for these kinds of pieces at yard sales.  You will be thinking, "How could I use these all together and make it a convertible piece"

Friday, September 20, 2013

Jewelry Displays

I have been working on some displays for shows I have coming up.  I am looking at using things I have around the studio that I can repurpose for hanging long necklaces.  The easel boards work fine for shorter things, but the long ones present more of a challenge.  My friend Nancy found a cool lamp at the Long Beach flea that had all these crystals hanging on it.  She removed the crystals, and the wires on it made perfect places to hang earrings and necklaces. 

Finding new ways to display things for photographing and listing on Etsy is another project I am working on now.  Using vases, candle sticks, bowls, frames and fabrics to stage makes a big difference in the way your products sell on line.

I have been booking home parties or Trunk Shows, and selling jewelry and components.  I will be offering classes soon as well.  I find many people would like to learn how to rework their own jewelry and make new pieces from Grandmas jewelry.

Starting next week, I will be doing some tutorials on reworking pieces you have in your jewelry box and no longer wear. I will take several pieces and create one stunning piece by combining, restringing, wiring and riveting new pieces together.

Check back on Thursdays for upcoming posts and tutorials,

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Summer Tales

I took the summer off to host 5 exchange students from Spain and France.  Here is all of us camping at the Russian River in July.  We had an incredible time with these kids.  We learned about their cultures, improved our Spanish, learned all the curse words and hip phrases in all 3 languages, and stayed up late at night playing cards and laughing.  It was the best summer my kids have ever had, they told me after the students left.  We shed many tears when parting because they had become such a big part of our family.  There was a big empty space in our home when they were gone.  Things were quiet, and we all felt a little sad for a while after they left. 

I recommend  hosting students for the summer.  We have hosted several times, and every time, it is a fun and really fulfilling experience.  My kids now have 5 new friends in Europe that they can visit anytime they want.  Some of the girls will be coming back with us again next summer, and we are planning a trip to visit all of them soon.  The families of all of the kids have contacted us and told us they would love to host us in their homes and show us their towns when we visit...  How great to have local guides to take us around and show us all the sites.

My kids all learned this summer, that people are really the same, all over the world.  They love the same things, like the same music, have concerns about the same issues, wear the same clothes, and think about the same stuff.  They all forget sunscreen, got too little sleep, and love to joke and laugh and hang out with their friends.  I am looking forward to seeing them in their homes, meeting their parents, and spending time in their countries learning more about their cultures.  It was a memorable summer...

Now, I am back to work.  I have several shows coming up, and have been cranking out the jewelry.  I will be posting photos soon, and listing more on my Etsy site...