Monday, July 16, 2012

Making jewelry

     For years I've been wanting to try my hand at making jewelry. Whenever  I found a piece of jewelry I liked in a magazine or catalog, I clipped it and taped it in a spiral notebook. The notebook is full, but ... no jewelry was made. I was intimidated.
     To get over my intimidation, I chose to join a bead of the month club - Simply Beads. Each month I get a kit complete with everything I need to make that month's choices. I had six of the kits sitting on the desk in one of the bedrooms we turned into a home office. A few weeks ago I decided to "bite the bullet" and made my first necklace and earrings. I chose the kit I thought would be the easiest. It took me what seemed like hours, but I finished it ... and here it is.

I was so proud when I finished this. :-)

     The other day, Steve and I stopped at Michael's because I wanted to get some stretchy string to re-string a bracelet I got from a dear friend, Valerie Footh, at a garage sale we had together a few years back. I'm not sure what happened, but the stretchy string got way out of shape - almost as if someone had placed it around a big bottle and left it. 
     Anyway, while we were there, Steve found some orange "rocks" he liked for me to make a bracelet with ... and then I thought, hey, I should replace the silver beads on a necklace I got from Valerie at our garage sale. The beads kind of bit the dust, but I took the clasp off the necklace, took the beads off and saved the chain and clasp. Bought some beads, but now can't find the necklace. I put it somewhere safe. LOL So safe, I guess, that I can't remember where I put it. Sheesh!
     So ... here's the orange bracelet. I had three stones left over, so I made a pair of earrings and with the third stone, I am going to make a necklace. I will need to buy some more baubles to go with it, but that's OK, too. Oh, and the brown earrings were made at the same time I made the necklace and earrings above.

I know, they don't look like much, but they are a big deal to me.
     I really like this pretty little turquoise and silver necklace and earrings. I had some beads left over from making the necklace, so I made a stretchy bracelet. I love the stretchy bracelets. No hassles with trying to clasp them together one handed. Just stretch and slip it over the hand.

This is my 'little precious.' :-)
    And while we were at Michael's, I found a lovely heart-shaped stone and a little silver chain, so I put the two together and voila, a necklace for under 10 bucks. Can't beat that. 
      I've never really been much of a  jewelry person. 
     Oh, sure, when I was younger, I wore inexpensive rings, necklaces and earrings. When I got my ears pierced, I invested in a pair of sterling silver earrings. When my friend, Deanna, and I went to Reno and Lake Tahoe, I won some money on a slot machine and promptly went downstairs in the MGM Grand and bought myself my first piece of "real" jewelry - a 14 karat gold opal ring. Simple design. I loved that ring. Then for Christmas one year, I received an emerald ring - beautiful. After that, I bought myself a pearl and ruby ring. And one year my hubby bought me a gold necklace with a gold heart and a diamond in it.
     Then, one time when the girls were young, we spent a week at the Shilo Inn at Seaside, Ore. On the last night we were there, someone broke into our room and stole all my jewelry except what I had on. Mind you, I only had the three rings, a couple of bracelets and a couple of necklaces that I kept in one of those roll-up jewelry bags. I didn't think it was safe to keep it in one of the drawers, so I put the bag in my purse and hid my purse - I didn't want to take it to dinner with us - on the top shelf of the closet behind a bunch of other stuff.
     When we were coming back to the room, we saw a guy with a black bag come out of the hallway that led to our room at the end. It was a special occasion and we rented a king-size suite with an ocean view. The guy was in a hurry and he darted into the laundry room. At the time, we didn't think too much of it. Later that night, we heard someone turning the knob on the door. Again, didn't think too much of it. Maybe a kid checking to see if any doors were unlocked. 
     The next morning after we got ready to go, when I went to get my purse, it was gone. We told the hotel management, but you know how that goes. It's not their responsibility. We called the police. They took our info and we headed home to start making phone calls to cancel our credit cards.
  All the way home, Stephanie and Nicole played detective, tracing back our steps, who we talked to, etc. We figured there was a family working together. Two youngsters befriended Stephanie and Nicole and invited them to go swimming with them that night. We said, sure, that while they were swimming, we'd have a drink and listen to the music and come get them at a certain time. I think we went to the pool to get them probably a little earlier than we'd said, which was why we saw the guy with the black bag.
     Before we got home, a credit card had been used at the Red Lion in Astoria and another one had been used at a department-type store. Fortunately, we reported the cards missing right away and were not held liable for any of the charges.
     Several days later, we get a phone call. My purse was found in the dumpster behind the hotel. We went to pick it up. Everything was there except my wallet and my jewelry. And in the wallet were some photos of my parents that were irreplaceable - or so I thought until many years later, my aunt found them and sent me copies.
    We never again stayed at the Shilo at Seaside and that's when I decided not to buy any more  jewelry. I pretty much quit wearing anything except earrings for a very long time. Only recently have I started wearing necklaces again. I don't wear rings, not even my wedding ring. Didn't want to take the chance of it getting stolen. It's such a horrible feeling to know someone rifled through your belongings. 
     Anyway ... enough of that. 
     I am happy to report my interest in jewelry has come back to life!

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