Tag Archive | Creating Glamorous Jewelry

Marlene 2

A couple of years ago, I lost my favorite beaded bracelet (the Marlene) at the engineering competition I was helping at.  I think that my coat caught the magnetic clasp and knocked it off my wrist.  After I realized it was really gone, I re-ordered the supplies to make it.  I even paid to ship the 2mm indigo round crystals all the way from Australia (which I made sure to buy enough extra beads).

After several messed up starts, this time I was determined to get this bracelet completed.  I honestly think that this time the bracelet was much harder to make.  Maybe because I knew that the bracelet is a hard make?  I was trying to get it to look more similar to the picture in the book but I had a hard time achieving that.

Again, I did not use the recommended number of right angle stitches on the bezel.  Looking at the example in the book, it really looks like the directions have you add an extra row on the front than what the example shows.  On the back, I did add an extra row just to make sure I had a more secure bezel setting.

I read through my notes, previous blog post, and the instructions.  But to be honest, I still couldn’t understand how to make the finished bracelet look more like the picture in the book.  The bracelet does look very similar to original bracelet that I made.

This time I used a box clasp instead of the recommended magnetic clasp in the book.  I have worn it a couple of times and the box style clasp seems to be holding up well and realistically probably blends in better with the art deco/ art nouveau style of the bracelet.

 

 

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Maggie- a bracelet tribute to Natalie Woods

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According to the introduction of this pattern in Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Crystals, the pattern was inspired by a bracelet that Natalie Wood wore in the movie “The Great Race”.  I haven’t ever seen the movie.  The one time it was on Turner Classic Movies recently was when I wasn’t at home.  The picture in Jean Campbell’s book though looks very classy and the end result certainly didn’t disappoint at all. 

 This bracelet was specifically meant to go with the linen fabric I picked for a 1950’s style dress.  Since I wanted to be able to wear this bracelet with other outfits as well, I decided to go fairly simple with the color selections and only picked one of the colors from the dress fabric instead of two.  I used the last of my silver seed beads from the Olivia necklace.  Then I played with the plain and aurora borealis finish on my colored crystals. 

 I sat trying to figure out what I was supposed to do at Step 1 Curve part.  It just didn’t make sense.  The picture is only part of the component but I wasn’t really understanding which beads were the ones shown in the figure.  I kept trying until tragedy struck.  A size 15 silver bead said enough was enough and just broke.  So component one was taken apart to redo.  I then went ahead and skipped Step 1 Curve part.  From what I can tell, it may not be a necessary step.  My bracelet looks like it came out fine without this step. 

 I just could not put a snap clasp in another bracelet.  I have troubles putting on the bracelet I put a snap clasp on by myself.  This time I tried a mini magnetic clasp.  The little clasp is fairly flat.  Hopefully the little clasp will work well.  I couldn’t find anything else that looked like it would work. 

 Out of the four projects I have made from this book (Marlene, Olivia, Elizabeth, and Maggie), this is definitely the one I would recommend for a beginner.  Each link section only took about 20 minutes to make.  Each silver disc for the clasp was about 40 minutes.   Besides the Step 1 Curve, everything else is pretty easy.  After making a couple of links, you don’t even really need to have the book out to finish up the rest of the links. 

 This bracelet could look really cute (and perhaps modern) completed in a multiple colors. This may need to be considered for all the left-over 4mm crystal beads from previous project.  A burst of color should make a very spring inspired bracelet.   It would seriously be something to consider if I get to needing a quick bracelet for a special occasion or gift.  The look can be slightly different by adding more links in.  I really think this is the one I should make for my mom. It has a tennis bracelet look that she would like.  It may be intriguing to try using the links from this bracelet to make a band around a Christmas tree ornament.  It may be something to keep in mind when the next holiday season comes up.

 

(This was the best picture I could get quickly early this morning.)

It isn’t White Diamonds- Elizabeth bracelet

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Another bracelet from “Creating Glamorous Jewelry” book.  This bracelet was pretty easy to put together. The only hesitation I have about recommending it for beginners is that the double wrapped wire loops on the pearl flower clusters have to be a similar size to a number 11 delica cylinder bead. I had very nice looking double wrapped loops, but they were the wrong size and I had to fix them.

The flower clusters were easy to create. But my nice round double loops did not fit in with my size 11 delicas well. So for every cluster, I had to smashed the double loops into an oval shape so that it matched the delicas width better. I am glad now that I continued making flower clusters until I ran out of Rosaline crystal pearls. I was able to get 30 clusters completed. I had about 4 clusters that I wasn’t able to use because the smashed double loop was done very poorly. Getting the pearl clusters’ double loop to fit well is the only problem I see a beginner having troubles with. It may be possible to get around problem by changing the bracelet base seed beads to size 8 delicas instead of size 11. This probably will give the clusters a bit of wiggle room but I am not certain if it would or how it would affect everything else. But it would be something to consider.

It is a substantial bracelet and is fairly heavy for a beaded bracelet. All together it probably took about 20 hours to complete. I actually had the flower clusters created back in February. It had to wait until I had a chance to get out to Overland Park to pick out seed beads and a clasp. Then I really only worked on it during breaks at work because it was too cold to go outside for a walk.

I haven’t added any leaves yet to the bracelet. I have been considering how to redo the leaves. I tried to make one following the instructions and the sides along the crystal were rolling around it so much while I was making it. I am guessing my square stitches were not securing the beads in between stitches. But I am glad that I haven’t added the leaves quite yet because I have an even bigger problem with the bracelet.

I absolutely dislike the clasp. I like that it is invisible. But the 8mm snap is so big that only one really fits on the band. The bracelet is pretty heavy so a single clasp point may experience a lot of pulling. I am afraid that the tugging and pulling of undoing the snap could cause the bracelet to break. But that may just be me worrying for nothing and the bracelet is stronger than I think it is. However, I really think I will end up re-doing this whole bracelet if I can find a better clasp. The snap is just too hard for me to put on myself and it takes several tries to be able to clasp it.

I dislike this clasp so much that I am not even going to try it on the next bracelet- “Maggie” from Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements.

Fringed Expressions- “Olivia”

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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. 

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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”.

Marlene

All the projects in this book, “Creating Glamorous Jewelry” are based off of jewelry from Hollywood legends like Marlene Dietrich, Vivien Leigh, and Olivia de Havilland (just to name a few). Seeing that I have a love for classic movies, I thought it would be a perfect book to have.  The Marlene bracelet is based on one of Marlene Dietrich’s emerald bracelets. The beaded creation is as eye-catching as the original. I should be able to get a lot of wear out of it with jeans, top/ cardigan, and heel. It dresses up any simple outfit.

"Marlene" bracelet from Creating Glamorous Jewelry"

“Marlene” bracelet from Creating Glamorous Jewelry”

It wasn’t until after I was finished that I came across an interview for About that the author mentioned this as one of the more challenging pieces she had created. So I will mark down all the differences between the book’s version and my own to that and not user error like I originally thought.

The pattern in the book is designed for a 6 1/4 inch bracelet. So anyone making this will need to lengthen it. When I worked at a jewelry stand, 6 1/4 inch bracelet was classified as a child’s length. A standard size bracelet is usually 7 inches; which is what I lengthened this to.

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First part to make was the focal bezel.  Instead of the peyote setting I am use to, this pattern called for a right angle weave bezel.  I wasn’t able to follow step #1 exactly.  All total I used 34 right angle stitches instead of the 28 listed in the book.  I had switched out the seed beads for delica beads so that could be the reason but I don’t think it was the cause of my restart.  When I had used the seed beads, the 28 units was just too small for bezeling the focal 22x 30 mm crystal.  Be aware just in case this wasn’t all my fault if you make this pattern. 

My next word of advice for this pattern is it is very fickle with tension. Each of the side components with the 2mm indigo crystals were probably made about 3 times because I broke the thread and there was no way to repair it. The whole piece just started to unravel when the thread broke.  After all the repeated practice, I was able to make the side components in an hour. 

For the outer band stem connection, I wasn’t quite sure what the directions were telling me to do. From what I think I understand now, is that the herringbone tube should have been 12 beads instead of 6. I really slowed down progress on this bracelet when I started to wonder if it would be able to clasp without breaking.  In all, this was probably around 40 hours of patiences. 

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