Compared to the Marlene bracelet I made from the same book, “Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Crystals” by Jean Campbell, Olivia is so much easier to put together. But you still get the same high impact stunning piece at the end. I think that is what I liked the most about the projects in this book. In the end you get a statement piece of jewelry that can almost literally speak for itself and pairs well with a simple outfit. I originally planned this necklace as a complement to the pink plaid Vogue 8789 dress previously posted. But I am hesitant about pairing the two together; since both pieces are very bold. I think I can find a better piece of jewelry to match up with my plaid dress.
All total, the Olivia necklace most likely took around 12 hours for me to make. Olivia is probably more intended as an advanced beginner/ immediate beading skill level pattern. One would at least need to feel comfortable with the peyote beading stitch before attempting the toggle ring. Otherwise everything else is pretty easy. The fringe and chain are just simple stringing methods. The toggle bar is a simple zipped up peyote stitch tube. But before zipping up the tube, put in the end loop when it is easier to repeat your thread path on a flat surface.
The sculptural peyote stitched ring was only 7 rounds on each side so it didn’t take too long to create. You only need two rings, but I did make this three times. The first time, the double bead stitches were angled out and not laying flush with the rest. So it didn’t look very good. After I loosened up the tension on the first 3 rows, it came together much better looking. I probably should have made the ring a fourth time, but the second and third tries were adequate and didn’t look too terrible.
My first toggle bar broke when I sort of pieced everything together (to get an idea of what it looked like) on one strand of the crystals. It broke because I didn’t get enough thread passes through the loop. It was tough to get the needle through the beads on the curved bar. So the second time through, I went ahead and did the loop before zipping up the tube. This worked much better and I was able to get about 5 passes through the loop. It felt very secure and not likely to break. Another change I made to the toggle bar was to make it a total of 32 beads wide instead. The bead width given in the book, was very similar to the width of the toggle ring, so I was concerned that it would be able to slide out and I lose the necklace. A wider bar eliminates that concern.
After the clasp break, more troubles came. Lala decided he was going to hop up on the couch and throw the necklace and my bead board off. Every time I would put him on the floor, he would come right back up to terrorize the bead. Eventually, I won out on and he left the beads alone. But that was after he got a hold of the necklace and chewed the flexible wire. The wire needed to be replaced and the bunny got a stern lecture and put in his cage for the rest of the night. Then karma came and got me back. As I was putting Lala’s bedtime blanket over the cage Sunday night, the blanket caught the edge of the bead board and knocked it off of the shelf sending bead scattering all over the carpet. So I was on the floor looking for and picking up beads from the carpet. At least I bought extras of the bi-cones. I think I found all the scattered beads, except for the two beads I found in his cage when I cleaned it out later.
I made some changes to the beaded chain of the necklace. Since I was playing with rose crystals, rose aurora borealis crystals, and clear aurora borealis crystals, I made my three strand different. If it was a rose-colored crystal strand, I used the silver as the main seed bead color (pulling back in the silver of the toggle ring). For the clear strand, I used the metallic pink seeds as the main color. I did lengthen the necklace strands. Before and after each briolette, I added a single seed of the opposite color. So for pink crystal strands, it was the pink seed and it was the silver seed on the clear strand. It added just enough length to the necklace that the longest fringe hits at just the right spot above the bust. The original length was a bit too choker length for me. I didn’t see myself wearing something that clings around my neck.
This was the first time I have used crimp beads since probably 1997 or 1998. Back then when I learned to use them, I thought they were too hard. There could have been a lot of changes to the beads since then, or maybe I just have better coordination skills now. I didn’t really have any problems crimping the beads. There is a minor gap between the seed beads and the crimp beads. But overall, it doesn’t distract or take away from the necklace’s impact at all. I did crush two seed beads by accident when I did crimp the necklace. They were caught in the backside of the crimping pliers and I didn’t notice it.
I doubt I will make another version of this necklace, unless a friend or my sister needs a statement piece of jewelry like the Olivia pattern. I just don’t think it is possible to make another version and it be able to have its own unique piece. Any future version would just make people remember my pink version of this necklace. I just realized that the people I am around the most are guys so chances they wouldn’t notice a minor detail like this are fairly slim. Granted a couple didn’t even notice major details like drastic hair cut changes. So I would probably be ok if I wanted to make another Olivia necklace for myself. But it isn’t really necessary. I really do love the beaded projects in this book. I went ahead and ordered the beads for the Elizabeth Taylor “Apple Blossom” bracelet and “Maggie” a tribute to the bracelet worn by Natalie Woods in “The Great Race”.