Added bling

Suzie Blackman
Monday, 27 September 2010

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I was lucky enough to get a surprise thank-you cheque for making the wedding dress. Rather than put it towards a new sewing machine (as I think was intended) I decided to treat myself and blow the lot on something very frivolous – jewellery. I got a couple of etched steel pieces from Ridley and Dowse (thanks for the link Mooncalf) that I’ve had my eye on; ‘Cara’ giant feather necklace and matching, more modestly-sized ‘Avery’ earrings. I’ve been wearing the necklace today on an 80 cm chain (it looked rather odd on the 40 cm one it came with) with a plain black dress and leggings, and got loads of compliments.

With the rest of the money, true to form, I invested some tools and materials so I could make my own jewellery. I used to make and sell jewellery when I was a teenager but I have not touched it since, not sure why! The plan is to make myself a necklace and bracelet, and take it from there.

I got a neat set of pliers, cutters and a crimp tool, stringing wire and some sterling findings.

Mini tool set

Some Swarovski beads, I’ve become quite fond of them after sewing them on the wedding dress.

Swarovski 3 mm and 4 mm bicone coated beads

I want my creations to look vintage, so I scoured Ebay for vintage box clasps. I’m glad I got lots because I wasn’t happy with some of them when they arrived. Never mind, I paid peanuts for all except the large Deco style one in the centre which I absolutely love. It will make me a fine necklace.

Vintage box clasps

And most importantly… freshwater pearls, lots of them!

Large white 'wave potato' pearls, small and medium white 'rice' pearls, small silver 'rice' pearls

The large pearls were by far the biggest indulgence and expense, but they are enormous – so big they don’t look at all real. With hindsight I’d maybe have gone for smaller ones, but for affordable bling these are hard to beat. IĀ guaranteeĀ this necklace will be nothing like your grandmother’s peals!

The author

Suzie Blackman

The dyer, designer, photographer, creative technologist and maker-of-things behind It's a Stitch Up. She lives in East London in a home filled with colour, fluff and house plants.

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One comment

  1. mooncalf says:

    Wow what a haul! Gorgeous stuff!

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