Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Crayon Designs

  I've been stringing necklaces all week. Using up supplies from the bottom of the bead barrel.   You know, the stuff you don't like as much as the beads at the top:)

  It's been such an interesting challenge to turn something I don't really love into something that I actually care for as an end product.

 I began doing this because I have an intense desire to declutter at the moment. Also, because I feel so creatively empty lately. When I look inside myself I just see gray nothingness... or rather I did at the beginning. Stringing these necklaces has primed the pump so that I feel I'm creatively coming back to life.

  I only had two rules for myself. Whatever strand of beads I chose, I had to stick with that strand until I had accomplished a design. All of these strands took at least two hours to design them into something cool and interesting. Assembly did not take nearly as long.

  The second rule was that there were no rules as far as the mixing of components and materials. There is base metal mixed with sterling, and vintage buttons mixed with plastic buttons and gemstones. Hemp and or silk or chain is used on any and all of them.

  I call them my 'Crayon Designs' due to the fun and playful factor and not really coloring in the lines:)  Here they are in order of creation.

Reconstituted turquoise, carved wood, hematite,  and hemp.

Banded agate, vintage glass, plastic button, hemp, seed beads

Snowflake obsidian, plastic buttons both vintage and modern, sterling, silver base metal, vintage glass, hemp. Can be worn long or doubled.

TIP: When the back of the button is unattractive, just add a second button to the flip side of the component.

Vintage cobalt glass, wood beads, brass, and hemp

This last one was supposed to be a strand of opalite. Took forever for me to design it and at some point I realized I had designed the opalite right out of the necklace lol

Bone, copper, gorgeous rare vintage glass pearls, vintage mop buttons. base metal chain, vintage venetian glass bead. The pink vintage mop buttons on this are a stunning fuchsia, but alas they didn't photograph well.


  1. Mary....those are gorgeous....the last 3 my favorites!

  2. I like the last piece, have the value of itself.

  3. I LOVE the last piece!! Its a great contrast between the girly pearls and the primitive-ness of the bone. --Dearrings

  4. Thank you everyone!! I do think it's interesting how each design got a little more involved as I went.

    It's no surprise that you like the last one best:))

    They all look terrific with the right outfit though lol!!

  5. These are great! I love how you mixed it up. I need to do something like this with my "bottom of the barrel" beads. Sounds like a great challenge. I like the last one and the banded agate. :)

  6. Mary, Great project! You came up with some beautiful pieces. Each one has a very different look and it is interesting how each design became more complex. Once again, you have inspired me.

  7. They are all gorgeous! But I especially like the long Snowflake obsidian necklace. So many different elements and will go with almost any outfit!
    I need to destash too! Maybe I'll use your idea.

  8. Tela, Christine and Shelby,

    I'd be curious to see your destash projects if you choose to go that route. It gives me a somewhat virtuous feeling, as though I had spent the day dieting!! :)