This year, I'm working on some necklace making makeovers using a stash of vintage and antique jewelry that was given to me by a very dear friend from Los Angeles. Many of my original beaded jewelry designs are inspired by vintage and antique jewelry designs, so I'm really having a great time coming up with new uses for some of these beautiful old pieces of jewelry.
My mother had several beaded necklaces made from strands of tiny drilled shells, and I love the look of natural shells when they're used in bead-weaving and beading projects.
As soon as I saw this three-strand shell necklace in the stash of vintage jewelry from my friend, I knew I wanted to repurpose those shells and use them for something else. I had a wonderful clay sea goddess cabochon in my stash that matched the green shells perfectly, so I decided to go with a green, cream, and rose color palette for the piece, reflecting the colors of the tiny shells. I rounded out my materials with a few strands of matching freshwater pearls and a handful of Twin beads in a matching shade of green.
I couldn't get the whole piece finished over the long weekend, but my plans for this necklace making makeover include finishing the off-center fringe along the bottom, some more embellishments along the brick stitch edge, and a fluffy, embellished spiral rope using more of the shells and freshwater pearls! Once the necklace is done, I want to make a pair of earrings with a pair of matching cabochons from the same artist.
I'm really having a great time looking through all this old vintage jewelry and tearing it apart for new necklace making projects. It's turning into a great way to get me unstuck when I feel like I don't want to bead. Even better, it's helping me to use up a tiny bit of my humongous bead stash!
Are you looking for some new ways to make jewelry? If you love fresh ideas and combining jewelry-making techniques in your necklace making projects, you won't want to miss Beads, Baubles, and Jewels Series 1700 on DVD! There are thirteen great episodes on four discs that show you how to combine your favorite jewelry-making techniques like bead-weaving, wire wrapping, resin, mixed media techniques, and polymer clay for truly unique art jewelry. Get your copy of Baubles, and Jewels Series 1700 on DVD and challenge yourself to add some new dimensions to your necklace making projects.
How do you mix up your beading projects when you feel like you're stuck in a rut? Do you learn a new technique? Do you tear apart an old piece of jewelry and use the parts for something new? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your tips and suggestions with us!