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Posts Tagged ‘repurposing’

I’m on a roll!

An upcycled bracelet,

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Pisces necklace,

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Branch necklace,

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Green daisy necklace,

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Broken vintage brooch turned into a pendant

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…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.

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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!

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Much better.

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Filling up the space nicely…

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…and completed.

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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.

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

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Very pleased with this!

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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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The cuff book is now lined, pressed…

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…and about to have a selection of papers stitched into it.

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A damaged leather and chain boho style leather bracelet is having new leather flowers.

DSCN1102 Embroidered like the original felt ones with long stitches in variegated thread with bead centres.

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One more to go onto here.

And a beautiful Art Deco buckle which was cracked in two places (centre and bottom right)…

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…is becoming an assemblage steampunk style brooch.

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In the background, two vintage watch faces, one further embellished with a mother of pearl disc, and a random piece of filigree added to the outside with a humming bird charm dangling from a convenient loop.

Still a little more finishing to do on all of them – I’m finding it difficult to settle to complete one thing at a time these days!

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Theatre has rather taken the place of embroidery for the last couple of weeks and apart from a few more patches of french knots on the encrusted piece, nothing much else has happened until this weekend when I was inspired by a new batch of broken jewellery to make something to add to my Etsy shop.

The starting point was a pink and gold diamanté bracelet. The catch was sound but the middle section of the bracelet was broken and quite a lot of the diamantés were missing from the strap section. I removed the broken bit and once I’d reset the spare diamantés from the broken section into the gaps in the strap, I had this:

Pink corsage bracelet 1

For the middle section I decided to needlefelt over a slim metal hoop which had been an old earring drop with some leaf green roving and then to define the edge I added a fringe of green, gold and pink seed and bugle beads.

Pink corsage bracelet 2

Putting it in place to gauge the effect.

Pink corsage bracelet 3

Now for the hard bit, working out what to add to the front of the needlefelted circle. This was my first try – a beaded stem and beaded fly stitch leaves with woven spiders’ web flowers.

Pink corsage bracelet 4

it was late last night and I was taking against the embroidered flowers so I decided to go to bed and sleep on it. I liked them no better in the morning so went looking for some flower beads with which to replace them. All the flower beads were too bulky but I did find some vintage gold tone bead caps which with seed bead centres worked much better.

Pink corsage bracelet 5

Then all that needed to be done was to use jump rings to connect the central corsage piece with the straps.

Pink corsage bracelet 6

And one sad and sorry bracelet restored…

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…and in my etsy shop waiting for a new owner.

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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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Thank you all for your comments on the green quartz vintage necklace. I was leaning towards number 4 myself, so it’s good to know that other people liked that one too. In the meantime I’ve been playing with some more upcycling. First, a vintage brass ring which was just crying out for some embroidery in the centre.

Desert Rose ring 1

I measured the centre of the bezel, drew an appropriate sized circle on vilene and filled it with a mixture of eyelets and French knots in a variegated blue and copper coloured cotton thread.

Desert Rose ring 2

I cut it out, stabilised the back with Modge Podge and prepared to add it to the ring. It was too big. By some way. Back to the drawing board. This time I changed my mind as to the colour. The copper didn’t work with the soft gold of the ring, so I went for an old gold and dusty crimson variegated thread. (And I measured the circle more carefully this time…) In progress…

Desert Rose ring 3

…and finished and mounted in the ring. I’m so pleased with the colour this time. I’ve called it Desert Rose and put it into my Etsy shop here.

Desert Rose ring 4

Then I found a vintage brooch with turquoise/blue rhinestones around the edge but its central stone missing. I ran up a blue silk ribbon rose inside a wreath of feather stitch on some hand dyed silk dupion and mounted it over a dome of vilene to replace the centre.

Blue ribbon rose brooch 1

Blue ribbon rose brooch 2

That can be found here.

And finally I took the sad and sorry remains of a vintage brass and glass bead necklace apart and put it back together with some vintage copper/turquoise faux pearls, modern glass beads – turquoise rondelles and tiger striped ovals…

Turquoise drop necklace 1

…hand made glass beads with amber nodules on the surface…

Turquoise drop necklace 2

…and a fabulous hand made green/turquoise glass focal bead I’d been saving for such an occasion…

Turquoise drop necklace 3

…to create this:

Turquoise drop necklace 4

Which is also in my Etsy shop here.

To celebrate my little burst of creativity and the run up to Christmas, (and hopefully encourage some buyers!) I’ve created a discount code.

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

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My next upcycled jewellery project is this stunning vintage necklace.

Green quartz necklace 1

It probably dates from the 1950s or early 1960s and is in lovely condition, professionally strung, with gimp loops over the ends of the thread to protect it from rubbing through on the sterling silver catch. The gently graduated green beads are some kind of (probably dyed) quartz and feel cool and smooth. In between them are little crystal bicones. Well, apart from the one that was missing.

I had two choices: to take the necklace apart and restring it, replacing the missing spacer bead, (and I really didn’t want to mess with the quality of the original work) or as the missing bead was to the right of the central bead, I could remove the spacer on the other side and add something of my own silversmithing to hang below/frame the central bead and fit over the thread on either side. So I gently removed another spacer bead…

Green quartz necklace 2

…and began to doodle possible ideas. My first was an organic drop, possibly with some piercing, so I made a paper mock up – silver sheet is far too expensive to cut unless I’m positive the idea is going to work!

Green quartz necklace 3

I liked that, but when I showed it to my middle one, she pointed out that the spacers were angular and didn’t feel the organic flowing shape fitted the necklace design. I took this on board and Mock Up 2, a more angular, crystalline shape, followed:

Green quartz necklace 4

Actually, I quite liked that too, so I showed my husband. He was dead set against both of them and felt the drop should echo the main bead. Like this, possibly with a pierced centre:

Green quartz necklace 5

I also offered this alternative, with the possibility of a bead hanging from the tip:

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And also this one, using diagonals rather than vertical lines and with the disc having a hammered texture – actually, I’ll probably hammer all of them.

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The problem now is that I’ve got so many that I’m really not sure which design works best. Every family member has a different opinion so I’m asking for blog help. Here are the five designs I’ve outlined:

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Which design (if any) do you think works best to complement the original necklace so I end up with a happy marriage of quality vintage and contemporary hand made?

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