Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Gearing Up for Fall

Posted by Elizabeth Hamilton on Sep 18th 2012

I've been storming through the September box. I hope you've been as fascinated by this month's treasures as I have been. 

I read a lot of magazines, so I always get a little excited when the fat fall issues start to arrive. The funny thing is that I'm not looking for a trend to follow, I'm really just looking for affirmation that what I like to wear hasn't gone the way of the typwriter. The same could be said of jewelry trends because really, it's more important that we enjoy what we do, and love what we wear than to appease the fashion know-it-alls.

The tortoise colored rings reminded me of safari jackets and pith helmets...but since I own neither, I wanted to create a necklace that kept that feeling alive. I ended up with two necklaces that look great with a khaki wardrobe. I combined the rings with some champagne rounds from an early box and those terrific aqua picasso 3-cuts (item # 20524) that came in over the summer. The longer necklace is strung on waxed cord (not my usual choice). The stringing material shows in the finished piece and is in keeping with the earthy vibe.

Here's a close-up of the two necklaces. As you can see the wraps were kept loose- perfect wouldn't have looked right to me, it would have been too precious for the piece.

I loved the uneven color on the melon beads and took the opportunity to revamp (dismantle) a spiral stitch necklace I made when first learning bead weaving. It was time to harvest those crystals!

Crystal clusters find their way into so many of my necklaces.

On one of my first few times into my local bead shop (I blame the folks at Beadlush in Charlotte for sucking me into this

vortex of beads) I purchased some beaded beads from the manager that reminded 

me of little berries. I was amazed by them. Megan was kind enough later to show me how to make them when helping me get the hang of Right Angle Weave. Since I'm not so good at following directions, but I'm great at tying my shoes, I use cross-weave. Here are my clusters, illustrated in 3 steps. I used beading wire for the illustration, but I typically use Fireline for the real-deal.

First I string up two needles. Then I string 4 crystals; I let 3 slide to the middle of the thread, keeping one close to the needle. I slide the other needle through the bead, so that my needles head in opposite directions. It really does help to think of lacing your shoes when you do this, because you want to form the cross.

On the next round I add two crystals that slide down to the work, and cross through a third. I continue in this manner until eleven beads have been strung. At this point it will seem like those last two beads are on the road to nowhere. Send those threads back through the center of the very first group of three that you let slide to the middle of the thread.

Cinch up both ends of your thread, and reinforce the cube. Voila!

I added an additional crystal on either side of the cluster (for a total of 14 6-mm bicones per grouping) and interspersed them with the melons. This necklace uses just short of a gross of bicones! And in the end it's really not gross at all!

The bag of wooden beads from the Phillipines was one of those things I set aside on my way to the sugar coated orange and white Japanese beads. After finishing the melon bead necklace I was still in the mood to mix crystal with more rustic beads. So the bead bag came back to the top of the project stack! I drilled a second hole in the focal bead, and distressed it (with my clamp while I was drilling, so I distressed it some more) for more texture.

And finally, here's a tiny sneak-peak of the next post, and last item I made from the box ingredients. And, no, you don't even get to see a blow-up'll just have to wait until the next blog! And just like the others, it's a little bit rustic, with a bit of sparkle, and a whole lot of texture.