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This long drop necklace is another re-do. I originally designed it as a short double tiered necklace but after a few wears, found it was too heavy and chunky.

Though I’m not usually one for long necklaces, I like the swagger of this new design.  It’s lighter, free and just a tad bohemian.

Plus, the neckline works perfectly with my new jean dress from the Gap!

I made this jewelry one year ago, to wear in Kristin & Dami’s wedding.  Sifting through my jewelry-making related posts on the blog, I’m not sure how I could have neglected to post this last August, but neglect I did.

In any case, since the happy duo are now with me in the flesh, and since a simple and elegant self-design deserves a little self-promotion, here it is:

If I do say so myself, it’s quite a lovely piece.  And when I wear it, it reminds me of special people.  The centerpiece is a clip-on earring; one of a few pieces my Mom saved for me after my nana passed two years ago.

It took me awhile to find the perfect re-setting, but I think it was worth the wait.

As you may be able to tell, my hands have been at work.  Winter is always a time when I hunker down and get my bead on.  Plus it’s a good way to temper my urges to cook nonstop.

So here’s my latest creation — nothing particularly creative but a simple design of chic spotted egg chips mixed with timeless black.

After a Friday night of debauchery with the gals in Melbourne, we ended up at Senoritas — my new favorite restaurant in the CBD and the second restaurant in Melbourne to actually have decent Mexican food.  The decor is Day of the Dead; the food a pleasing array of small dishes (tacos and dips) and standard mains (like a perfectly spicy and sweet rich chicken mole).

When the bill came, it was adorned by this cute little skull pin, which having had multiple rounds of margaritas, we promptly ooohed and aaawwwed over. So our server gave us each one – turns out they are little costume rings that they flatten and slide onto your receipt.

We spent the rest of the night (yes, we continued to drink…) rolling around the CBD and raising our rings shouting “sister skull power!!”  Strangely, no magic powers emanated from the rings, but we had a good time showing them off nonetheless.

To commemorate the event, and take a little piece of Friday nights out with the girls in Melbourne home with me, I came up with this colorful design.

¿ que bonita, no?

The great thing about making your own jewelry is that you can always recreate old things to make something new and pretty, or mend things that don’t quite work out right the first time.

Take, for example, this turquoise lariat… ah, how I loved this design.

I visualized the design about a year ago and over time finally found all the perfect pieces:  the turquoise disks for the collar, different textures of red coral chips, the perfect centerpieces (a chunk of red coral and a turquoise doughnut with a red coral flower through the center) to balance it out.

Unfortunately, try as I did, this design was not meant to be.  Time after time, it broke.  I tried a heavier gauge wire, reinforced wire, double strengthening the bind at the clasp… all to no avail.  It was just too heavy, too long, and with too many pressure points at the various juncture points.

When I went to mend, I found myself with a much simpler design but still elegant finish.  It’s a high neck choker, and looks lovely with a plain black dress and black cardigan; a real stand out piece.  What do you think, old or new?

This weekend, I dedicated myself to some long-over due jewelry making.  It started with an early night at work on Thursday, leading to the blown-glass creation pictured below. Then late night on Friday, I finally finished my project from our trip in March to Freycinet Park, Tasmania, and strung up my purple seashells.  And the trifecta:  on Saturday, after a few hours at the bead and gem stores on Smith St., Fitzroy, we settled in for a night of movie watching and beading! (well, I played with beads; Steve concentrated on movie watching…)

We watched 4 movies, so I guess that means I beaded for around 7-8 hours.  I’m feeling creatively-spent, but at least I have some pretty things to show for it…

blown-glass beads with swarovski crystals

I found these gorgeous blown-glass pieces at a bead store that was going out of business, and scored the lot for about $5.  Pair with leftover swarovski’s and viola, a shimmering adornment!

turquoise and red coral lariat

The necklace is doubled up here in the center to fit in the frame.  It’s a long drapey necklace, with a flexible swing but rigid and defined turquoise collar.  I’ve been meaning to do something in this color family for awhile, and I totally love it.  I think it will be perfect with the traditional Melbourne fashion – all black.  Brighten things up a bit!

carnelian drop necklace

for $10, I signed up for a VIP membership at this gem and semi-precious stone store on Smith St, Fitzroy.  Which was so worth it, as it gave me 50% off right away on these beauties – teardrop carnelian. Don’t they look like little dinosaur eggs?

 

black and white twist-up

This one is a collaborative effort.  The beads on the left were left-over from one of the only custom jobs I’ve done, for a friend of my good friend Lisa.  After I finished the commissioned piece, I had some extra of the swirly marbled beads, so I kept them until a new idea struck me.  A few months ago, a woman riding the tram had a twisted necklace like this, and I loved how simple yet elegant it looked.  So when I found these black lava beads this weekend, I knew just what to do!

purple shells from the clear waters of Tasmania

Handpicked for me by my loving husband when we were at Wineglass Bay in March, then painstakingly hand-drilled to make suitable for a necklace.  Its like my own personal piece of the sea.  Love it.

painted glass beads with rose quartz

I dig the contrast of the diamond white and black glass swirls, painted with delicate little pink roses.  I had a bunch of rose quartz already in my inventory, so I thought these were perfect to pair something new with something old.