Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

The Hoard Inheritance

Posted by Elizabeth Hamilton on Oct 17th 2013

I’ve had a number of people bequeath items to me, since they know that I’ll give them a good home in my personal hoard rather than just throwing the stuff out. The first time I received a major inheritance, it came in the form of 17 underbed storage boxes of fabric from a friend of the family’s deceased acquaintance. I spent weeks washing it and cutting much of it into 6” squares for lap quilts. Another friend made 20 lap quilts for a nursing home from those squares. I gave boxes full to the Home Ec teacher at the high school down the street. I gave as much away to my local Etsy team members as I could. And I still have 4-5 dresser drawers full remaining. 

The next 3 lots were of miscellaneous costume jewelry bits from various deceased relatives and relatives of friends.

This July, I received another supplies inheritance. Some time ago, one of my Aunts dove into stone setting and some wire wrapping. That’s just not my bag. I like glass and plastic exponentially better than real stone. And wire wrapping? I do a little basic work, but I’d much rather work with Fireline than wire for anything other than basic connections. These are supplies many jewelry folks would envy: stone beads, sterling and Argentium wire and fancy findings, tiny opal and iolite stones and cabs. Prong setting pliers.

So in honor of my Aunt Bobbie, this month I decided to blend her little hoard with the capital H Hoard.

These earrings are made of connectors from our boxes. These little doo-dads are the hidden heroes of costume jewelry. If you flip over a piece with a cluster of rhinestones or whatnot, you’ll see similarvintage stampings hosing riveted prong settings. Having them front and center looks a little steampunkie, but I like the movement the links afford. I may experiment with more of them as links in funky chain, or to form a net of sorts.

The briolettes are from one of the many packages from my Aunt’s HSN/QVC shopping adventures. They are really iolite colored, but they are so dense that I thought they were black until I saw them in sunlight at high noon!

I don’t collect stone. But I do remember ogling the malachite jewelry in the Service Merchandise and Spiegel catalogs as a youngster. (Little did I know then that almost 30 years later those Spiegel fashions would be all around me again- as a kid I thought they were SO glamorous.)

This bracelet is a combo of plated pagoda-esque connectors and some of the many nugget strands I suddenly own…and a couple of crystal bicones that I threw in just for fun.

After a few kumihimo projects I decided I wanted to incorporate some traditional braiding and knotting into my beadwork. This bracelet uses cone ends and a clasp from my Aunt’s collection, and the tiny blue bugle beads from our boxes…or at least my packet was blue…anyhow…to keep the knot springie the structure is beading wire, rather than Nymo or Fireline. Yes, those are extra jumprings at the bottoms of the cones…I was a little paranoid about the strands getting out of order.

Another sudden stockpile was agate rounds. I’m not sure what my Aunt was planning to make with 6 12” strands of multi-colored agate rounds. I used portions of two to produce a necklace, bracelet, and a pair of earrings, so I still have a lot of agate rounds to go! The shades worked well with the brass loops from the box to make an earthy carnival set. I guess instead of fruit salad, as some mixed colored costume jewelry is called, mine’s just salad.

She also left me a slew of glass faux pearls. Now, these are something I use often, so there was no stepping outside the box here. All of her strands and packages were mixes, so I spent some quality time sorting the colors and sizes and separating them into little baggies. I am armed with just about any shade I’d need.

I’m always stoked to see vintage chain in our club boxes, so using the aluminum curb chain was a no-brainer.

I feel bad for whoever inherits my left-overs…it’s a lot of stuff. And it will probably be someone who loves precious metal clay and sewing fleece, so they too will have a bounty of new materials to incorporate. In the meantime, I’ll do them a service and try to use as much of it up as I can!

The Hoard…the gift that keeps on g