Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Monthly Challenge: Final Check-In

Well, here it is... the last day of July.

And, by extension, it is also the last day of the July monthly challenge.

...Golly, this month certainly went by quickly.

Still, I am happy to report that I successfully completed my challenge! 

I did indeed manage to wear a new jewelry set each day of July. 

I have covered all but the last five days in previous entries, so now it's time to show off what I wore from July 27th until today, July 31st:


...And now for some close-ups...

July 27

The One Ring to rule them all!

...Complete with matching One Ring earrings. (Yes, I realize that would make it three One Rings, which just gets silly... perhaps two are decoys?)

I made these pieces using charms from a Lord of the Rings bookmark set I had. Fun, simple, geeky, and a nice addition to my July 27th outfit.

July 28

This set is all about recycling and giving things a new chance to shine.  

You see, the pendant is actually a converted vintage clip earring... The back was coming off, so I helped it along its way and then glued on a bail. The beads for the earrings are also salvaged--they are from a discarded piece I picked up at a thrift store. Even the chain is recycled--it was originally part of another necklace that I decided to dismantle.

...What fun to take old, discarded pieces and make something new!

July 29

It is probably no surprise that, even when I buy jewelry from the store, I cannot help but tinker. 

(Disclaimer: now, if I'm buying from a specific artist, that's another matter entirely--I'm paying for their vision and their time and their hard work, and I don't take that lightly. But from a place like Target or Kohl's? All bets are off!) 

So, yes, case in point: this is actually a pendant from a necklace that I bought awhile ago... I decided that I didn't like the original necklace design, so I removed the pendant and strung it on a velvet ribbon. The result is elegant, classy, and definitely not as gaudy as the original.

The earrings? They are store bought, and I left them alone.

July 30

This elaborate necklace all started with a pair of earrings I got on clearance from a big discount store (Gabriel Brothers, maybe?).

As soon as I saw the earrings, my mind started to tinker and plot, and I suddenly had this fully detailed idea about a necklace I wanted to make. 

So, of course I bought the earrings and got to work--and the finished necklace turned out pretty much exactly as I envisioned it. Made with copper and glass and a lot of brecciated jasper, it has a fantastic weight and was one of the first pieces I ever made that made me feel like a jewelry designer.

And the clearance earrings that I bought? You can see one of them in the pendant--the two discs with the round jasper dangle inside.

(The earrings that I paired with the necklace were purchased the same day, I believe--also on clearance... they aren't identical, but they definitely match the feeling of the necklace!)

July 31

Another necklace that makes me feel like a jewelry designer.

My friend and I went to Michael's one day, and we both ended up buying the same beads. She ended up making an awesome choker with hers... and I made this. Six strands of sparkly grey and black bling, that looks fantastic when being worn. For awhile this was my go-to necklace, before I moved on to my current one... It was fun bringing it out again.

So, there you go! A month's worth of jewelry, all chronicled here.

The sad (exciting?) part is that I have only begun to scratch the surface of what I own. Perhaps I'll do this again, some other month down the road...

But, for now, I stand victorious!

Thank you all so much for following this challenge with me... I hope it was as much fun for you as it was for me! 

Now, to think about what I'm going to do for August...

Have a great night, everyone!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July Monthly Challenge: Check-In #5

Hello all! It's time for the second-to-last July monthly challenge check-in! 

...I realize that I'm running a wee bit late, but July isn't over yet! I should be able to squeeze out two entries before it's done (one today and one tomorrow, if everything goes according to plan).

So, let's get down to business! 

This particular check-in covers Tuesday 7/22 to Saturday 7/26... And this is what I wore:


Yep, it's another mix of purchased-and-made items... and a lot of blue. Apparently, I wear a lot of blue.

And now, for close-ups!

July 22

I actually made this set on the 22nd to match my outfit. 

I had three of those lovely lampwork beads, and I was trying to figure out the best way to showcase them. The final result was quite simple, but perfect for the occasion. 

July 23
These pieces were made by the same lady who made the lime-green set I wore on July 12th

It's sad that she's no longer online... I really like her style. Ah well--I'm glad I was able to get these pieces before she decided to close!

July 24

This is my go-to jewelry set.

It's the one that I tend to wear every single day if I'm not careful. In fact, one of my unspoken goals for this month was not to wear this set, because I wear it so much every other month.

Yet I made the exception on July 24, because it was a super stressful day. 

Why was it stressful? Silly reasons that I don't really want to get into here, but they involved having to be articulate and assertive and dealing with business people not being entirely truthful. It required every ounce of confidence and grown-up esteem that I possess, and was not a day for experimentation or trying out something different. 

...It was a day that I just needed to wear this set.

It makes me think of stained glass, like the rose window in a cathedral.

Now, I realize that it doesn't look like much... it's simple, and could be written off as nondescript. But this set matches practically everything I wear, the necklace falls at just the right spot on my collarbone, the earrings are just large enough to peak out of my hair without being overbearing, and the design is just detailed enough to be interesting without being too busy.

I love this set, and it was very nice to not have to worry about my jewelry that day--I just grabbed it, put it on, and knew that it was perfect. 

...It sounds goofy, I'm sure, but it definitely helped me get through my frustrating and stressful July 24.

July 25

I made this necklace years ago--except that in its original conception it was hand-knotted on black silk thread, with a beautiful gold clasp. I made the earrings to match that coloring.

Then, when I went to wear it on the 25th, the necklace broke. :(

Undeterred, this is the quick solution that I came up with. I still really wanted to wear this set on that day, because it matched my outfit perfectly, so I ended up just restringing the necklace for sake of time. 

I do hope to re-knot it later, but it honestly worked out fine... It would have been nice if it hadn't broken, but at least it still worked out! :)

July 26

Another set with a story!

First up: the earrings. They were made by the lovely lady at Timeless Trinkets on Etsy. I bought them just because I liked them, but later realized that they perfectly match the necklace, which I had purchased years earlier.

The necklace: When I was in high school (I think the specific year was 1996), my mum and my sister and I took a summer trip to England. We traipsed all over the British Isles--from London to Inverness to Land's End, and had a wonderful time.

One of many places we visited was Tintagel Castle in Cornwall--which was both awesome (yay archaeology and Arthurian legend!) and terrifying (ack heights and panic attacks!). This necklace I purchased in the gift shop there, before we took the slippery cliff-side stairs to see the ruins.

Whenever I wear it, I can't help but think of that awesome trip.

So, there you go!

Five more days of jewelry down, and just five more to go!

Thank you again for reading, and following me on this journey!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July Monthly Challenge: Check-In #4

Ta-da! It is, yet again, time for a monthly challenge check-in!

I've done four of these already? Wow.

So, now to answer the ever-so-pressing question... What jewelry did I wear from last Thursday (7/17) to this past Monday (7/21)?

And the answer is... this!

Everything together!
...It didn't all quite fit in the picture, but you get the general idea. :)

And, true to form, here are some close-ups... 

July 17

This is a set that I made. The necklace can either be worn single-stranded and long, or doubled up as a choker. For July 17, I went with the choker look... And I am now looking forward to August, so that I can wear it again.

July 18

Yet another set that I made! 

...Because it can be fun looking like a typewriter. :)

This set was actually inspired by one that I made for my sister a couple years ago (for a Christmas present, I believe). I made her set first, and was later delightfully surprised when I found more charms to make myself one. 

July 19
A set that I did NOT make, imagine!

This set was actually made by the Etsy seller, walkonthemoon... A really lovely seller, who makes truly lovely things. She uses everything from Swarovski crystals to druzy stones to vintage components. This particular set was made with custom-coated Swarovski crystals and sterling silver. 

(She also makes gorgeous things using Fordite--like this set!--which I constantly drool over. They're a bit out of my price range--understandably so, and worth every penny--so, I look at them and dream. *wistful sigh*)

Close up of the crystals, trying to capture some of the color-shifting and sparkle.

July 20

This is a vintage rhinestone necklace, paired with matching vintage rhinestone hoops.

And now it's time for Full Disclosure: I actually didn't wear this set on July 20th. Why not? Because I didn't actually wear any jewelry that day. Although we had big plans, I ended up not feeling well and subsequently lounged around all day like a log. A pajama-wearing, jewelry-less log. (The metaphor breaks down, but you get the picture.)

So, why am I including this set then? Well, this is the jewelry set that I picked out to go with the outfit that I planned to wear... And, instead of leaving this day blank, I decided to count it. After all, I would have worn it, had I not been dizzy with vertigo and a Headache of Doom. And resembled a log.

July 21

More vintage pieces! ...That I did actually wear.

The pieces were sold separately, but I thought they went very well together. The earrings are actually much larger than I usually wear, but it was fun getting out of my comfort zone a little bit. 

So, there we go! Another check-in successful!

...And it looks like there are two more to go!

I do hope these posts aren't too boring... This journey has been quite fun for me, and I've been enjoying sharing it here. Thanks for joining me on this trip! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July Monthly Challenge: Check-In #3

Yet another monthly challenge check-in!

This one, like the others, covers a 5 day period... So, for those keeping track, it goes from this past Saturday (7/12) to yesterday (7/16).

Again, it's an interesting mix of purchased/altered/created-from-scratch items, ranging from tried-and-true designs to a completely new experiment.

...And it was quite difficult to get a good picture of everything together, so my apologies for the jumbled-looking pictures.

Here it is, all together!

 And now, for the daily rundown...

July 12
Something I did not make!

I bought this handmade set from a lovely lady in California a couple years ago... I would love to link to her store, but she has since closed it.

This set is light-weight and fun to wear... and I was surprised to find that I have an outfit that matches it perfectly. For someone who didn't think she owned a lot of green, I've been wearing a lot of it so far this month!

July 13
...Something I did make!

A few months ago, I found packets of this crystal-and-gold-link chain at JoAnn Fabrics on super clearance. I snatched them up--and then subsequently did nothing with them. 

Until this past weekend, that is, when I decided to just go the simple-and-elegant route of attaching them all together. The end result is a super-long 60 inch necklace of awesomeness, complete with matching earrings.

And, well, I was so excited with it that I immediately started wearing it. (Added bonus: it just so happened to match my outfit, which I didn't do on purpose. Score!)

July 14
Another thing I made... this one was an experiment.

I bought this three-tiered pendant from one of my favorite Etsy thrift stores, and when it arrived I was a little stymied. I hadn't expected it to be quite so... well, large. For awhile, it just sat on my craft table and mocked me.

So, on Monday, I decided to tackle it.

I got out various lengths of scrap chain and started draping them every which way, connecting everything with jumprings. (I also tried some different bead dangles, but they didn't look quite right.) I actually started wearing it while I was making it--just to see if the chain was laying correctly, and if it would continue to do so even if I moved.

The end result is actually rather spectacular--and exceedingly hard to photograph. It looks the best when worn, and I couldn't get a good picture of me in it. (Even when I was done, I didn't take it off!)

Honestly, I'm not 100% certain that I like it. But, considering that: 1. this was my first time ever doing something like it, 2. the pendant was from a thrift shop and I already owned the chain and 3. it looks downright regal when worn, I consider it a win. We'll just see if I wear it out of the house next time, or if I end up turning it into something completely different! :)

July 15
Re-worked vintage necklace set.

This was originally a vintage lucite necklace that was falling apart. The beads were fine, but the construction... well, the construction needed some work.

So, I did just that. I gathered the beads and re-wire-wrapped them... and the end result is a jewelry set that looks fantastic with jeans.

July 16
Completely and totally store-bought.

This set? I totally didn't make.

But I still love it.

(And another instance where I wore green. Heh.)

There really isn't much of a story behind it... I got it on clearance awhile ago, and have worn it on and off since. I got several compliments on it, though, when I was at my writer's meeting, so it's definitely a keeper!

So, ta-da! Yet another five days worth of jewelry!

I have to say that it is rather amusing that the largest and fanciest piece I wore happened to be on the day I didn't even leave the house. I suppose there is something to be said for getting dressed up just for the sake of getting dressed up!

I also think it's rather amusing that my taste seems to be all across the chart. Purchased pendants, vintage lucite, dainty chain, and giant 4-inch ethnic-looking pieces all seem to be fair game. I'm not quite sure how I would define my style, but I definitely wouldn't call it boring!

And I suppose that concludes this check-in. The month is a little more than halfway over, so I guess we'll see what the rest of the month holds.

As always, thanks for following me on this journey... I hope everyone is having a fantastic day!