Sunday, February 6, 2011

The sparkle never dims

A lovely customer of mine has been cleaning out her mom's basement, discovering some beautiful vintage jewelry and clothing that belonged to her aunt and other family members. She passed along a number of the pieces to me, saying, "Have fun and see what you can make out of these for me."

Seriously. Can you believe the luck?

It's like the Bead Fairy opened up her sack and said, "would you like some free goodies to play with?"

Um, yes, please.

Among the goodies was a set of star-shaped buttons from an old cardigan, and a rhinestone necklace that was beautifully retro but not her taste. Here's what I had to work with:


She requested a bracelet from the buttons, and gave me free reign to make anything I could figure out from the necklace. The buttons turned out to be a real challenge, since they were slightly domed with a concave back, and were quite heavy for their size. The trick became finding other beads that would snug up to the shank of the button, while allowing for the curvature of the button's body and supporting the weight enough to prevent the buttons from flopping around.

After a few (okay, five or six) false starts with other designs, I finally settled on some black faceted Czech glass beads in a multi-strand weave. I left the construction of the clasp ends of the bracelet flexible enough to allow me to adjust the finished piece to the customer's wrist. Here's the final product:

The necklace had so many fun components to use. I used the bow as an asymmetrical bit of sparkle in a necklace of faceted, rutilated quartz beads. And forgot to take a picture of it (FAIL). But here is a pair of clip-on earrings from other part of the necklace:

They have the same faceted Czech glass as the button bracelet, so she can wear them with the bracelet or the necklace if she wants.

Big, big, sparkly fun! Next time I'll have some jewelry with more than just silver and black, I promise.

And I've encouraged my customer to go treasure hunting in that basement again soon!

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