Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Ring in Spring

Posted by Elizabeth Hamilton on May 1st 2014

Well, I think we were all starting to believe it would never happen...but spring may be arriving after all. When it hit 80 degree this week, I started joking that snow must be on the way for next week. 

Since the weather has been trying new patterns, I thought I’d try some new items as well. I can’t explain why I automatically make necklaces; I don’t have a good reason. It may have something to do with the fact that I've never had a great way to display earrings and rings. My “hand model” is the size of some bizarrely long toddler hand. It’s really quite creepy. And I've yet to find an earring display I love.

So my mini mannequin, Art, has been drafted to help me out this I wanted to make the simplest of rings with the green swirly vintage glass cabochon from the March box. And that’s what I did. Nope, no special skills were used on these rings, just glue. I think it’s good to make myself do something simple for a change.

I really liked the green geode shaped cabs. I opened the March box while at my local beadshop, and the store manager was so enamored with them, that I gave her one. I can not guarantee that I won’t disassemble it later to harvest the cab for a cuff. But in the meantime, it makes a pretty funky ring.

My last ring used the vintage bugle bead applique. I gave it an extra coating of Tacky Glue on the back side to help reinforce what might be pretty delicate thread. I've been collecting some trims to incorporate into bead embroidery. I wonder if it’s cheating to use pre-beaded trims?

Earrings are more within my comfort zone. These earrings are based on the hydrangeas that I plant every few years in my yard, and can never get to grow. So these are wishful thinking! And I can’t accidentally kill them with my brown thumb. Each flower is on a headpin, with a wrapped loop on the backside. The wrapped loop gives the assembly a little more bulk. When I tried plain loops, all I got was a wilted mess. After making a garden’s worth of flowers, I loaded them onto the links of vintage chain.

The hollow white glass beads were so light that they were perfect for earrings. I made a french-beaded flower petal to use like a fancy headpin. The petal’s loops are fairly springy, so I wasn't worried about breaking the bead when I made my wrapped loop at the top.

And on to bracelets! I wanted to use a non-metallic material to string the wood beads. Since I use so much chain, it was time to give it a go with silk cord. I kept the knots loose so that the whole thing looked a bit more free and beach-y, than if I were trying to knot pearls. Those cords are super secure. I glued them into a cord end that was then crimped around them, But I was still feeling a little unsure, so the cords and cord ends are wire wrapped for extra support.

Then it was back to something well within my comfort zone: netting with Fireline. Unlike this spring’s weather, seed beads always behave like seed beads. So comforting. I used the vintage seed beads from the box to net a trellis, and to square stitch the ends. The vintage glass button is from the buttons and sew-ons section of the website. My original plan was to use more of the wood rounds in the nets, but the colors just weren't going to play well together. So I used frosted drucks instead. I like the inside of the cuff better than the outside. Perhaps in the future I’ll make one inside out!

In the meantime, don’t let this spring weather turn you inside out...just turn you inside- to bead.