Wednesday, January 20, 2010

From my personal stash, part 1

The best way to publicize your creations is to wear them as much as possible! When I was still in the world of education, I wore lots of jewelry. Then I moved to France and got into retailing, first a shop and later the Internet and mail order sales. I stopped wearing so much jewelry, especially long necklaces, which tended to get in the way of wrapping gift packages and shipping boxes.

My preferred metal is sterling silver, and I have lots of it. I always wear earrings because I have holes in my earlobes. In the winter, I wear rings, and in the summer, it's bracelets. I almost never wear sets of anything, although a lot of people do, so I generally make a pair of earrings to match necklaces that I plan to sell.

In pulling out necklaces from my jewelry drawers, I realized that there was a lot of black and red in there - no surprise, because I wear a lot of black and red. The black beads did not photograph well, which is why there will be a part 2 to this topic!

This red, orange, and yellow necklace with touches of black was the absolutely first one I ever made! It uses vintage beads of all kinds in what I like to call a studied asymmetry (basically that means that it's not as random as you think), a style that I still use frequently, particularly with odds and ends of vintage beads. It's long enough to double, which is useful for my current lifestyle.

This one didn't photograph so well either, but the beads with the swirls on them came from the famous trip to the Czech bead manufactures (these are hand-made), and they are mixed with smaller beads from Murano that Marcel gave me. This necklace is terrific with jeans and is the right length for a crew neck sweater! I could be happy to go to Murano and learn to play with glass.

This necklace is made with Picasso agates in two shapes, each strung individually on a wire. The appeal is the coloring of the stones. The necklace is simple and geometric and goes with just about everything! (It's a piece that I made to sell but it didn't so I kept it. Sometimes I wish that would happen with certain other pieces, but it doesn't always .... )

A very, very long necklace made with all sorts of vintage blue glass beads, as well as some small sterling ones and some chalcedony. I made this one many years ago - I don't know if I'd have the patience today. This one really goes better with off-white, which is my preferred color for shows, because most colors look good on an off-white background. My general look is not usually elegant, but when I need to up the level a bit, this necklace will do it.

I am in awe and admiration of people who work extensively with seed beads - I can't do it. I like to use them for accents and fillers, but I almost never feature them as an important design element. This necklace is the exception. The tube beads with raised dots (also from that famous trip to Prague) were just asking to be connected with rows of seed beads in matching colors. This is a summer necklace, more because of its delicacy than its colors. It's one of my favorites!

I have a thing about yellow glass ... it really appeals to me. It took me years to collect these vintage beads and assemble them into a necklace. This one is long enough to go over my head without a clasp. It's like having sunshine around my neck!!


  1. Hi Judy,
    Loved looking at your beads, I can picture you wearing most of these but not the yellow for some reason?
    Have you ever made a shorter chunky bead necklace that would go well with a dark coloured turtleneck? I recollect Sarah having a wonderful green & purple (?) necklace in Philly that I thought was just fab. Do you remember that?

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  3. Maggie, You've seen me wear the yellow necklace! I wore it once when we had dinner with you at the Manoir, and I wore it with the above-mentioned off-white sweater and skirt. (When I'm feeling very "Quimper", I have been known to wear it with a dark blue linen dress, too ... ) I don't remember Sarah's necklace, but I would be delighted to design something for you - how long, how chunky, and what color?? (No obligation - I like to do several and send photos - it's better to have a choice!)... j

  4. Judy, loved seeing all your colorful creations. You have been busy!
    I frequently wear the black and red necklace you did for me, and without fail it generates comments. Love it! ~ Sarah

  5. Judy - I loved seeing your beautiful necklaces - also the picture of you and Marcel...I framed it for my desk.
    I have lost your e-mail address so I hope this will work.