I am grateful for recycling. Recycling of yard sale jewelry with a bit of leather cording and a photo from a too-costly catalog! (Yes, I am again window shopping and altering versions in Rob Redford’s pricey out-of-my-paygrade catalog. Unfortunately, said catalog was recycled before I snagged the scan of the page!)
The chocolate pearls and beads on bottom strand were from a $5 find at a yard sale. About $1 of leather cord and a strand of $3 sparklies and some old metal charms finished me a deeper, darker version of a necklace that cost about $130.
I decided playing with jewelry re-vamps, recycles, and cheap knock-offs was a thing to do in the recent weeks of social hell. I may not be able to affect much in my society, but I DID take charge of my own mood of despair and ugliness. So, yes, I am grateful for distractions and some creation of beauty.
First, using a leather strap with pewter-colored clasps, that was $2.50 at Michaels (on clearance), I created a knock-off of yet another greatly over-priced necklace I saw back in December in Robert Redford’s pricey, pretty catalogue. No other costs as I used old beads I rosary-chained, an old piece of drilled shell and several old cast-off charms. Literally, this was jewelry junk drawer work. It has some satisfying heft and reminds me of many old friends, some long lost, some dead. And it didn’t cost a couple hundred bucks!
Second, since the many hummingbirds I feed have been in moult, I’ve been searching for fallen feathers. With acres to fly around while feathers fall, I don’t find many — but since the Minotaur gave me a gift of beautiful dyed cultured pearls for our re-commitment ceremony last month, I made him something special, too. He got the very best feather — the tail feather of an Anna’s hummingbird! I didn’t find very many others — some from the wings of little rufous hummingbirds, and some tiny downy bits from the neck ruffs.
Last, I took two used necklaces picked up very cheaply and re-vamped/recycled them into something better. Both were made of pearls, one had an ugly dangly bit that I cut free at once. I had been holding onto a lovely fossil – opalized ammonite that I got for $3; I got it wire-wrapped and some tiny pearls and jet dangled attached for a better look! The other delicate tiny fresh-water earls were enhanced with a tiny amethyst! Surprisingly, the used $2 brass and mother of pearl earrings look great with either one!
I like updating old jewelry pieces, or completely disassembling them to re-create new things. I use some things so done as gifts and add others to my own eclectic collection of nothing very valuable, but all very wearable!
Among the things I don’t believe in? Spending too much money on pretty trinkets!
I get a lot of catalogues. One I dearly adore looking through is called Sundance. Yes, it is associated with Robert-by-god-Redford. It is full of beautiful things. It is also completely out of my price range/pay grade. I think you might just need to be the Sundance Kid to acquire many things in this catalogue! But isn’t that necklace there at left really pretty?
Sure, it is a bit sunny an pastel-ish (omg! pink pearls?) for me, I admit. But I was really charmed and thought it a nice piece of casual costume jewelry — after all, freshwater pearls are not a fortune, money-wise. Then I looked at the price. $598?!? Are you joking? I’m not laughing. My mood darkened considerably. Dear Robert-by-god-Redford, not everyone is a blinking movie star!
So I did what I usually do when something is out of my price range. I make something equally satisfying for myself. Mind you, I “collect” from junk stores, antique/collectible stores when I find bargains. In the last couple years I spent about $20 on six strands of various cultured freshwater pearls. I had already pearl knotted most of these on silk and put them into necklaces that were pretty, but a bit fussy and conventional for my slightly grungy, dirty-earth-hugging-Bernie-Sanders-delegate self. So today, I got just half those pearls out and took them off the findings. I spent a bit over $20 on new charms and some earring base pieces. And I produced my own stylistically similar, altogether more darkly inspired statement necklace! The “dark like my heart” pearls! This doesn’t make me Butch Cassidy, does it?