Posts Tagged ‘necklace’

I fell in love with a bought an antique Art Nouveau broken silver plated belt on eBay several years ago purely because of the Green Man masks on each section.

green man

I knew they would make gorgeous pendants/necklaces but I only got round to it the other day when I unearthed a damaged silver chain which was the perfect weight and patina to work with the panels.

There was just enough chain to make two necklaces.  The loops at the top of the panel were perfect to attach the chain, but that still left the loops at the bottom, which looked a bit odd without anything attached, so to the first one I added a drop with green cat’s eye beads, silver colour leaf beads and a central silver and abalone shell pendant from an odd earring, all threaded onto a length of silver wire.


For the second one I used an odd labradorite earring drop, two labradorite beads on oxidised silver wire and a tiny length of silver chain to make the drop.


They were a delight to make and can be found here and here in my Etsy shop.

Then only a few days later, I was looking for something else when I found some vintage embroidered linens in the back of a cupboard. Among them were two napkins, one quite badly holed and inspiration struck again! I cut them into sections for brooches or pendants and added to each one a hoop from various bits of odd vintage jewellery – bangles and earrings. The result…



…three brooches: large Daisy Spray, medium Daisy Wreath and small Golden Daisy


…and two pendants: Red Bellflower on the left and Brown Daisy on the right.


For each one, I laminated two circles of buckram together and gathered the embroidered piece of fabric over it to stiffen it and did the same with a plain piece for the back. Then I hand stitched the circles together with the assorted hoops/bangles sandwiched in between to give the whole thing stability. I used a variety of stitches including herringbone stitch, ladder stitch, beaded ladder stitch and chain band (below) to give an attractive finish to the edges.

DSCN8948.JPGIt then depended on whether the hoop I used already had an integral loop or not whether the finished piece became a pendant or brooch.  Lots of fun but not appreciably more space in that cupboard – two napkins go a long way!

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The theme for our January EG meeting was ’21st Birthday’ – ours, to be exact, and we plan to mark it with an exhibition later in the year. The activity was for us all to stitch a letter to be made up into bunting for the exhibition in the following style:


Liz had done a pile of lovely little counted work kits for us with the waste canvas all ready tacked onto the felt background and the promise that each letter should take no more than an hour to stitch.

It was a gorgeous little project, although anything counted tends to kill the atmosphere as you can’t count and chat at the same time! I ended up with a ‘T’ and had stitched it by the end of the session.


Then I trimmed the waste canvas closely,


damped it, and pulled the strands out.


I’ve got an ‘R’ to stitch next.

A friend has been giving me various odds and ends for upcycling as she clears her dad’s house, and some while ago, among the oddments was a vintage two-strand bead necklace with a damaged catch which was very much in her favourite colours but too short. I took it home and restrung it, interspersing the bigger glass beads with big copper coloured seed beads, which immediately made it longer while keeping the overall look.



I found a bright red plastic cabochon which fitted the top of the catch perfectly and used closed fly stitch, closely packed, to embroider a scattering of tiny leaves in autumnal browns on a piece of hand dyed brown silk.


Then I gathered up the silk over the cab, pulled it tight behind and stitched it securely before…


… sticking it into place on the catch. I was very happy with the way it turned out and Debbie seemed pleased with it too.



At the moment I’m researching and collecting natural dye stuffs and undyed linen, silk and wool to begin my first Dorian Gray project. Exciting!

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In my bedroom I have a grotty inherited two drawer chest of IKEA drawers which is only still there because it holds an inordinate amount of fabric. I’ve been looking vaguely for a replacement for some time, preferably one with a few more drawers in it… I imagine I’m not the only person who is always looking for more storage!

I love 60s/70s teak furniture with simple stylish lines and was delighted to find the perfect item in one of our local charity shops. So, for £40 including delivery, I have become the proud owner of nearly double the amount of storage in the form of this lovely teak veneered chest of drawers made by the Somerset based company Avalon.


I’ve been watching far too many upcycling programmes and although it was clean and serviceable, I couldn’t resist trying to restore it to its original glory. It had obviously been standing in sunlight and the finish was badly faded and the top had the usual quota of water stains, dints etc.


So, out with the sander and caution as among the information I’d been able to turn up online about Avalon furniture were warnings about the relative thinness of the veneer compared with other bigger names of the day such as Nathan and G-Plan.

The light varnish came away easily and I was easily able to sand out the damage to the top. The sides also came up really well too and I was over the moon at the beauty of the wood.


Then out with the Danish Oil and…wow. Just wow. I could not believe the depth and beauty of the natural colour of that wood. I haven’t used a stain to get that colour, just clear Danish Oil.


I am so in love! I also discovered that the solid wood legs unscrew (WIN!) so I was able to unscrew them and give them a proper sand, stain and polish. The carcass has had three coats of oil and been buffed up with a beeswax polish and I just have the drawer fronts to do when I get a nice day which isn’t perishingly cold. Working outside at this end of the year is a bit of a lottery!

As the recent snow and chilly weather has brought a halt to the chest of drawers, I turned my attention to upcycling jewellery which is a much warmer indoor activity. Buoyed up by the successful result I got from upcycling a couple of pairs of odd earrings into a unique necklace, I selected some more oddments and let my imagination loose.

Firstly, two brass earrings.


I completely deconstructed the bottom one into the chain and the hammered brass leaves and removed the bottom curve and fringe section of the top one to form the bib section of the necklace.


To finish it, I added some more gold coloured chain and some odd brass and blue glass beads.


And ended up with this: my Bold as Brass necklace.


I forgot to take a photo of the original earrings that went to make up this one, but the elements I reused were the laminated abalone teardrops and the central cloisonne teardrop bead.


With the addition of various lengths of silver tone chain and some toning cats eye beads, I created Sea Greens.


And finally, the left over beads from this earring, which had provided most of the components for a necklace already…


…were added to a gorgeous art glass bead to make a tassel pendant.


The pendant was then hung on a chain made, again, from oddments of reused silvertone chains and the last beads from the earring; each individually threaded onto headpins to make a feature where one chain section changes to another.


The result looks like this!


The embroidery, I’m afraid, is all still under wraps until December’s Guild meeting, but if you like the jewellery, it’s all in my Etsy shop here along with dozens of other vintage, original and beachcombed pieces.

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Last year at Embroiderers’ Guild we had an amazing full day workshop with Chris Gray which started off with printing from her mind-blowing collection of printing blocks. I only had a handful of bits of fabric and loved the printing so much that I ended up printing on everything I could find in my bags, including three silk carrier rods I’d ironed flat.


I love silk carrier rods, but like so many things, they disappear into drawers and boxes knowing that the chance that I might find something to do with them is slim to none.

However… I’ve been upcycling jewellery again and after trialling a few ideas for how to enhance this rather naff goldtone geometric bib section,  I came across the printed carrier rods and that turquoise one was perfect.



The nature of the carrier rod means that it doesn’t fray and I could simply stick it into the back of the triangle.


Turquoise is a complete nightmare to match colourwise because of the proportions of green and blue, but the turquoise nugget beads were a perfect match and some gold tone chain finished it all off nicely. It is always such a pleasant surprise when things work out smoothly and I have listed it here.


On a roll, I came across two odd earrings. This…

20171112_122216_HDR.jpg …plus this… 20171112_122229_HDR.jpg

…now equal this:


I have been embroidering as well, but it’s unfortunately under wraps until December.

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I’ve been restocking and updating my Etsy shop with that December thing coming up fast on the horizon and although a lot of my pieces have involved sea glass, sea washed china and found objects, I did get inspired by another vintage brooch without a central stone.


So I gathered some supplies and started to stitch a ribbon rose on some scraps of hand dyed silk.


With a woven rose in the middle, split stitch curling stems either side and some french knot buds, it stitched up quite quickly.


Then I layered three pieces of pelmet vilene, each slightly smaller than the other to create a domed shape, gathered the silk around the dome and pulled it up tight. A piece of the rust coloured background silk covered the gathering at the back and then I set it in the brooch.


You can find it here.

I also created this flotsam assemblage pendant



…from a piece of wave worn aluminium…


…which I beachcombed ages ago and just love; a piece of tactile driftwood and a long nugget of sea glass which sat in the groove of that grain perfectly.


A treasured oval piece of multicoloured Seaham sea glass went into a vintage pendant.


And rich green oval nugget of sea glass went into another vintage pendant.


In fact I managed to find and nearly match so many lovely green pieces that I was able to add a pair of upcycled vintage clip on earrings


..and a bracelet.


It’s lovely to be able to reuse some of these gorgeous pieces and bring broken jewellery back to life again.

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I’m on a roll!

An upcycled bracelet,


Pisces necklace,


Branch necklace,


Green daisy necklace,


Broken vintage brooch turned into a pendant


…and another upcycled broken brooch. This one does actually have embroidery in it!

The main piece was a ring brooch in lovely condition with all the original stones intact, but no pin, so I got rid of the remains of the pin mountings and decided to fill the middle with a back stitched spider’s web, rather like a Dorset button.


I’d got about a third of the way through the stitching when I looked on the back and decided I preferred that effect. So out it all came and I started again!


Much better.


Filling up the space nicely…


…and completed.


The thread is quite a thickish cotton and the web is really firm and sturdy. The back is neat too, but I’m pleased I chose to restitch it.


I added a vintage bar tie-pin as the brooch back and it covers the scars of the old closure quite nicely.


Very pleased with this!


The only other sewing I’ve been doing is a major repair job on one of our Scunthorpe Little Theatre Club costumes – a wartime woollen coat that somebody has turned into a pirate captain type coat. Various seams have given way and the gold braid is coming adrift everywhere.

Not creative in quite the same way, but extremely satisfying.


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Not much more to see with the blue crazy patchwork, but I have been upcycling/making jewellery again.

First was a simple brushed stainless steel pendant, probably 1970s. I had various ideas for embroidery to add to it, mostly on a second smaller disc, hanging from a jump ring through the top hole, but when I went looking for a jump ring, I found one of my hand cut reticulated brass discs and that was that.

Reticulated brass and stainless steel pendant

I love the contrasts – silver/gold and smooth/textured.

Then I rethreaded the remains of a vintage white glass bead necklace and the oddments from a gorgeous very dark red glass bead necklace along with some odd black and black/white lampwork beads to make this:

Black and white glass bead necklace 1

I love that the dark red beads (the flat faceted rondelles) are so intense in colour that they look black unless they catch the light just right and then they are the most mouthwatering crimson.

Black and white glass bead necklace 2

They’re both in my Etsy shop here.

If you enter TOPAZ1 at the checkout from now until the 20th of December 2014 then you can get 20% off any item in my shop – vintage, upcycled or handmade jewellery.

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