Spring Necklace Set

Today I finished making a necklace and earring set that I will be donating to the school for its Spring Art Show.

I took inspiration from a necklace I made recently for myself using white glass pearls of various sizes. I wear it quite a lot now that the weather is warming up! It makes everything feel a bit spring-like! You can see my inspiration necklace in the top right of the photo below.Spring! somethingspecialbyfiona.wordpress.com (683x1024)

The colours I chose to represent Spring were yellow and pink. I used a combination of beads in various colours, sizes and textures to make this necklace.

Spring necklace somethingspecialbyfiona.wordpress.com (1024x683)

Each of the smaller charms are on headpins and each one is threaded separately on to wire, with frosted white beads in between each set of charms.

Spring necklace . somethingspecialbyfiona.wordpress.com (989x1024)

I hope it will help raise some funds for our local school.

Do these colours remind you of Spring? What other colours would you wear?

Linking up with:

Table and Hearth

A Tray of Bliss

The Pin Junkie

The Interior Frugalista

Natasha in Oz

Great Idea Thursdays

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How’s this for a feature necklace!

I’ve been fixing a few jewellery items lately, you may have noticed 🙂 It makes a bit of a change, and I like to see what is special to other people. I also enjoy looking at the techniques that have been used, and quite often I shake my head at the shortcuts that I see. Mind you, the breakages I am fixing are generally caused by children pulling on things, not necessarily poor workmanship!

Today’s necklace is a gorgeous, bright, multi-strand eye-catcher!

coloured necklace 1

It was originally strung on thread, and I was not surprised when the owner told me it broke quite early on, given the weight of the necklace. It was restrung by a family member of the owner, and she quite rightly used wire. She did a pretty good job, however it has again broken. Due to regular use of crimps around the back of the necklace, it looks like not many beads were lost when it broke – I worked on the idea that just 4 small beads were missing, and the length of those beads was easily made up with the clasp I attached.

I took several photos so I could have records of how it went together, in case I had to totally dismantle it before I could put it back together.

Coloured necklace 2

I could see that the 3 strands didn’t hang separately, they were braided twice.

The three strands of wire didn’t continue throughout the necklace. You can see they finished between the red and yellow beads above the aqua bead cap. There was a crimp hidden inside the bead cap, and then several more around the back to the other bead cap. There was no clasp, instead the two wire ends were crossed over and held in place with crimps.

This is certainly a technique that can be used when you don’t want to use a clasp, or there is no need for one. This necklace is long enough to slip over your head, so a clasp is not necessary. However, since it is quite heavy, I think adding the clasp allowed me to make the join stronger.

I have two widths of Tigertail (wire) I work with – 0.38mm and 0.45mm. Mostly it doesn’t matter which one I use, but in some cases I need the thinner one because I am working with tiny beads, and sometimes I need the wider one as I am making a heavier piece.

This time I needed to use the 0.45mm Tigertail due to the weight of the necklace, but was hoping it would fit through the tiny yellow beads three times!

Even though the yellow beads are very small, this time I was able to restring reasonably quickly by threading the new wire through the old strand then sliding the beads across.

Coloured necklace restringing technique. somethingspecialbyfiona.wordpress.com

In this picture the new wire is on the left, the old wire on the right. I have moved some beads over to the left, and then continued with this process. Working on a small section at a time, this is still a much faster way to rethread rather than putting each bead on individually. (Mind you, it still took around an hour to compete this job.) Luckily the hole through the beads was big enough to let me do this. You may remember when I hope to use this technique before when fixing another necklace, but couldn’t 😦

Once I had finished the three strand part, I braided them loosely twice then gathered all three wires together and crimped them. I hid that crimp under the aqua bead cap, as had been done previously. If you can manage to hide or camouflage a crimp then please do so 😉

The next big yellow bead slipped on easily as it had quite a large hole, so I managed to hide another crimp inside. Then I fitted on the rest of the beads, very pleased that the three strands of wire fitted through those little yellow beads.

Normally when finishing off you would thread the wire back though a couple of beads before cutting it off. This just makes things a bit neater, hiding the cut wire between two beads instead of at the clasp.

So I added two large crimps, then the clasp, and threaded the three wires back down through the crimps. Of course there was no way I would fit six wires back through those beads. The next problem is that no matter how good your cutters are, you can’t cut the wire cleanly off right next to a bead or crimp. You just can’t get in that close. It’s not generally a problem when you have threaded back through a couple of end beads, because the wire end can slip back into a bead. So I squashed the crimp closest to the clasp to hold everything in place, then I very carefully slid the second crimp down a touch to cover the cut ends before squashing it. I am talking a millimetre at most here. Hopefully that is enough to stop the wires scratching the wearer’s neck, because that doesn’t feel nice at all.

Coloured necklace fixed! somethingspecialbyfiona.wordpress.com

I didn’t think to take a close-up of the clasp end, sorry.

So hopefully with the three strands running the whole way through the necklace it will be stronger. And I’ve managed to hide most of the crimps to give a slightly cleaner look.

And how about those colours? They would jazz up just about any outfit! What do you think?

* Linking up with Mimi’s A Tray of Bliss

A very special pendant becomes wearable again

A lady dropped in some jewellery pieces for me to fix during the week, including a couple of very sentimental pieces which she hadn’t been able to wear for some time. For example, one was a bracelet from Smallprint with her children’s fingerprints. The clasp had broken. Now she has a new clasp and can wear it again 🙂

She also brought me a pendant. The sort that doesn’t have a hole. The fitting that was glued to it had fallen off, and she asked if I could somehow make it back into a necklace. This pendant is part of her husband’s and her proposal story, so very special. It had been on a black wire choker-style necklace and she wanted something similar.

First of all I needed to make a bail to glue to the back, with a hook to fit the necklace. I wasn’t sure how I was going to fashion the necklace at this stage, but I made the hook quite big. Here is the bead, and the bail I made:

pendant and bail somethingspecialbyfiona.wordpress.com

I decided to make the necklace on wire threaded with black flocking. I glued the bail to the back of the pendant, then made up the necklace. pendant somethingspecialbyfiona.wordpress

When I went to carefully thread it on, there was a small glitch – you guessed it, the loop I made was a smidgen too small 😦 I played around squashing the loop, but it wasn’t going to work, so I had to make up a new one. It’s slightly different in that instead of a double loop it is a single

necklace somethingspecialbyfiona.wordpress.comfinished necklace somethingspecialbyfiona.wordpress.com

I hope she will enjoy wearing this again.

What sort of sentimental jewellery pieces do you have?

* This post has been shared on The Pin Junkie, and A Tray of Bliss

Doodles

I am always looking out for new ideas and designs to create. When I see something that catches my eye, I try to do a quick sketch so I have something to refer to.

Here is one I did recently, I think the original idea was in a magazine:

Doodle pic 2

Not a lot of detail there, Fiona! Oh well, that’s half the fun!

After a week or so of 2 of us in this house having a cold, and the 3rd member away for the week, I haven’t done much beading. But today is cool, windy and a little wet so a perfect day to create.

I’m sure I noted this design as I had some beads in mind, but when I tried them out I didn’t like them so much. Actually, it was probably because they were bright summery beads and today is not bright and summery. Perhaps I will try with them again one day.

Instead, I saw these beads in my box and decided to go with them:

Doodle pic 1

Do you think the finished necklace looks like the doodle?

Do you like to briefly note down ideas when they come to you?

Pin-spiration

Today I was all set to work on a particular project for a client, but found I was short a few vital parts. So, after ordering what I needed, I headed to my jewellery Pinterest board for a little inspiration. This is what caught my eye today

pinterest beads

from http://www.beadinggem.com/2010/08/all-in-row-necklace-focal-inspirations.html

I knew I had some beads which have been sitting in a box for some time waiting to be used, and I knew this was the day! So I searched and searched until  found them, then searched and searched some more for various findings, connectors etc to match. You know as well as I do that finding the prefect beads for a project takes way more time than actually making it 🙂

So this is the result:

brown gold necklace. Something Special by Fiona

What do you think? Doesn’t look much like my inspiration does it? Which is a good thing, of course!

Now to see what response I get when I wear it to school pick-up shortly…I think it’s very important to give things the ‘wear test’.  And my pieces also get a very special extra test – the ‘Caitlin test’. A friend’s young daughter always checks to see what beads I am wearing, and loves to give them a good pull!