Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Finding Closure

Posted by Elizabeth Hamilton on May 12th 2014

I am a findings fiend...and yet, even with my stockpiles, sometimes I have to search for the right clasp. 

Lately I've been lucky indeed, because I have my new springtime love...fold-over clasps. Yes, I've often trod down the path of the lobster clasp when I haven’t wanted a “fancy” clasp. But they are nearly impossible to work one handed when donning a bracelet. Enter, the fold-over clasp.

Fold-over clasps can also be particularly handy if you want a very unobtrusive clasp. For this bracelet I used a small copper plated clasp that would intentionally blend into the background compared with the blooms. Those blooms are frosted trumpet shaped flowers from our box, and some blooms I picked up at the AGOS special show in Winston-Salem last month. The base is 4 and 6 mm fire polished beads.

So...why don’t they look like white frosted blooms? Jacquard’s Lumiere paints. I got a set to use with polymer clay, and although I've yet to use them for that, I have used them for fabric printing (which is what Jaquard intends) and now, on Vintage lucite beads. Most of the paint is on the back side of the larger beads, so that they still some nice soft glow. This has me eyeing some lucite leaves, item #12720 from the site for more painting.

I like the huge available variety of box clasps. If you want to show off a clasp- think inside the box. Since you've made it to the site, I’m sure you've been amazed with how many box clasp variations there are at AGOS. Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everyone is a Hoard Stalker like me.

And because I am the way I am, ”Vintage Rhinestone Clasps & other Old Clasps” is my favorite clasp category on the site. I used one of my personal favorites (so versatile!) #20680, and studs from the April BHCC box to balance the floaty pink ombre ribbon on this bracelet. If you click on the thumbnail, you can get a better look at how I pressed the teeth back into the brad so they’d be easier on the skin.

This month we also got blank clasps! You can find more of those in my favorite clasp section too. I used the rhinestone finding in my clasp instead of the cabs that came with them. The pair of filigree were also in my box. The book chain was harvested from broken costume jewelry. This bracelet is very Neo-Victorian to me.

I've got such a variety of cabs on my personal collection, that I can use one in a clasp, and its sisters in the body of a piece, creating a perfect match. But sometimes the right clasp is just waiting for me- no assembly required!

This netted necklace used black drops from my box along with bothTwin beads and Superduos. Jennifer VanBenshoten’s Beading Daily blog on April 21st sparked an idea: why not use multiple 2-hole beads to my advantage? The top row are Twins, and the bottom of the main band is made of Superduos, helping me achieve a nice curve while using the same number of beads on both sides.

The large brass beads in our boxes reminded me of a plumb bob. And what is a plumb bob bead perfect for? A lariat, of course. This necklace also gave me a chance to practice adding accents and increasing bead sizes in a herringbone rope. The “knots” are there to keep the loop from sliding all the way up.

The round links in this necklace used to be the spring-shaped findings from our boxes. I liked the texture, so I cut them into jump rings. I used my double flush cutter- they were quite soft- and I’m kind of lazy and didn't want to set up my bench pin to use my saw. I used metal connectors from the Bead Hoard and dismantled some additional oblong chain to make the chain I wanted.

This necklace was also my beta test for a concept I came up with a few years ago. Four matching steel fold-over clasps were used to link four bracelets of similar theme. My wrist is sizable, so I can wear the set as a 28” necklace, or a 21” necklace and matching-ish bracelet, or pile on four 7” chain bracelets. If you have a dainty wrist, you may want to add another bracelet- unless you love chokers.

Instead of foreclosure, (or in this case “fourclosure”) I am definitely for closures.

And isn't that the way it s