Hello, and welcome to my very first blog post!
I’ve been making beaded jewelry for many years. I wanted to make jewelry for even longer than that simply because I love beads. When I was a college student in Chicago in the 1980s, my sister was nice enough to go to a bead store with me somewhere in the city. I am directionally impaired and might not have made it there and back by myself!
I’m not sure how I even knew it existed. It was in an office building with an old elevator that had a creaky black gate opened and closed by an elevator operator. The store was a big warehouse of a room and had thousands of beads not displayed, but in those little pull out drawers they have for nails in hardware stores.
I doubt I got to look at a fraction of what they had, but I remember the earrings I made – small stone discs in mottled blues and greens stacked for a nice dangly feeling. They are something I would still wear today if I hadn’t lost them. I have no idea how I knew what to buy or how to shape the head pins with no tools or directions. They weren’t my best loops, but they were good enough.
Gradually I learned the basics of jewelry making (buying beads all the while). Although I still love and wear some things I made back in those days, many of the pieces are no longer my style. Long ago, I made a necklace with purple pearls, crystals and marcasite. It went well with how I dressed back in the day, but I no longer work in a skirt and pearls type of environment. I haven’t worn it for years, so this is the first piece I decided to take apart and make into something more wearable for me now. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of it before I took it apart, but below are the ingredients. (An extra silver clasp got in the picture somehow.)
I’ve noticed that I love beaded chain any time I see it in someone else’s work. I ordered this gorgeous pendant (below) from Mamacita Beadworks to go with some chunky beads, but found that those beads overwhelmed it. (Please click on the link to go see her work. My photography skills are limited, I’m afraid.)
However, I thought it would look lovely with a simple beaded chain. It will allow the pendant to stand out, and I think using the pearls in this way makes them more casual and suited for everyday wear. Please see my next blog post for the finished product. I don’t always work very fast, so I can’t say when that will be, but I’ll see you then.
Thanks for reading!