Tag Archives: necklace

Upcycling a Necklace

I bought a cheapie necklace on sale a few years ago and wore it only once. It was the wrong length, the charms weren’t in the right places, it just didn’t work. So, I thought about ways to change it. I like sculptural, asymmetrical pieces and figured I had nothing to lose by trying to change this long strand into something different. I grabbed a pair of needle-nose pliers and off I went.

before

Before

after

After

Here’s the necklace on me so you can see how it lies. I also wore it on Day 6 of the 30 for 30 challenge.

necklace

I hadn’t planned on making earrings but I had extra chain and charms when I’d finished the necklace so I grabbed a few hook backs from my craft supplies and ended up with three new pairs!

If you have a before-and-after story to share, tell me in the comment and link to your post if you have one.

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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Fashion, Thrifty

Leaving Santa Fe

All good things must end. And so my trip to Santa Fe came to a close. It was a fabulous city, and a great location for a long weekend of art, shopping, food, and friends.

The day before we left, my friends and I tallied up the jewelry we’d purchased during our stay. It was impressive.

jewelry

We found great pieces by local designers. Turquoise was the big hit, but we snapped up pieces in amethyst and other materials too. The morning of our departure, Cheryl and I wandered from our hotel, the Inn at Loretto, to the open-air artist market next door and bought even more jewelry.

We met two artists who collect semi precious stones and polish and refine them. They will wrap any piece in silver and create a ring or a pendent. Cheryl had a turquoise ring made. They made me a pendent. Here’s my pendant, and a trilobite fossil pendant I picked up from them as well.

pendants

The jewelry shops are pricier than the street vendors, but even by street vendors prices, these guys were reasonable. The pendants were $30 each.

In my rush to get authentic Southwest jewelry while I could, I snapped up a few pieces of Native American jewelry from another artist. His prices were terrific too, and all the pieces are made by him. I bought a bracelet, two necklaces, and three pair of earrings. Their style was similar to a bracelet (also in the following picture, in the upper-right corner) I bought earlier at the Farmers’ Market.

turquoise

multi

earrings

While browsing the outdoor market, I met Takako, a Japanese expat living and designing in Santa Fe. I bought one of her fantastic silver and amethyst rings.

ring

My other pieces, that I’d purchased earlier in the trip, include a fair-trade, hand-woven bracelet by Lilybead

bracelet

And an enameled metal necklace from Dancing Turtle Studios. I found their booth at the Farmer’s Market too.

enameled necklace

I really enjoyed meeting the artists who created these pieces. The jewelry is a souvenir of my trip and will always be special to me because each piece has a story behind it.

The end of our trip wasn’t all about bling. Before we left Santa Fe, Autumn made delicious, refreshing drinks for the four of us. We named it The Blue Loretto. Here’s how to make it:

  • Four parts Trader Joe’s Sparkling Blueberry Flavored Juice Beverage
  • One part Vodka
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Ice

Directions: Throw all the ingredients in a glass and enjoy. Simple!

blue loretto

I miss Santa Fe. The sun, the art, the adobe architecture, the friendly people. All of what the city offers makes me want to go back. I hope you get to visit too.

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Filed under Art, Crafts, Fashion

Imani Necklaces: From Uganda to Me

While reading posts at The Compassion Fashion Project, I found out about an inspiring group of women in Uganda and how they are changing their lives by making and selling jewelry.

necklace

The tough part: Their pasts. The women, often victims of war and rape, were forced into the sex industry.

The good news: They are now involved in a community where they receive counselling, education, and job skills. As the Imani website says, the women “are paid fair Ugandan wages for each accessory they produce, are enrolled in a savings program to support their children in school, and receive help with medical issues.”

necklace 2

In my sheltered, privileged life,  I haven’t ever had to think in terms of survival. To me, fashion has been fun, even trivial. Now, I can put my money toward items that literally help free a woman from forced prostitution. She can now earn as much money making a necklace as she used to make selling her body.

The necklaces are beautiful. They’re made from recycled magazines, meticulously rolled into beads, and lacquered. Each bead is unique, just like the women who made them. And the women, who were once discarded, give discarded materials new life as something precious and beautiful.

There are many different styles to choose from. Both of mine are colorful and bold. You’ll see me wearing them in upcoming outfit posts. Now you have a reason to shop. Check out the store and buy some jewelry today! The prices are reasonable, and you can’t find a better cause.

necklace 3

Imani beads

Once again, to celebrate National Poetry Month, here’s a poem:

from Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women
by Maya Angelou

It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.

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Filed under Crafts, Fashion