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Monday, January 18, 2010

French General

Mr. Beadgirl gave me their "Positano Cameos" notion tin for Christmas, which had ten vintage intaglios and cameos and ten brass bezels. I immediately wanted to make a pair of earrings from the pink intaglios, so I did:
I had originally planned to use the brass filigree edge to lace pearls on top around the intaglios, but it would have completely covered up the brass, which I did not want. So I just attached little pearls on headpins to the bottom. The larger pearls for the top of the earrings required 26 gauge wire because the holes were too small for eyepins, which meant I had to do wrapped loops which I can never get to look neat. If I ever find the right size eyepins, I'll probably redo them.

Here are the rest of the notions from the tin:

While rooting around a box of unfinished projects I came across this necklace, made from the Christmas-themed notions box from French General:
It was birthday gift from Mr. Beadgirl a few years ago, and I made this very long necklace using the included thread and wore it all month; unfortunately, the thread broke at the end of the holiday season (I think the mercury glass beads cut through the thread), so I put it in a baggy and set it aside to fix, and promptly forgot it. So a few days before Christmas this year I restrung it on fireline thread, which should hold up better.

Now I was on a French General kick. I still have a lot of the green and red and white beads left, so I am stringing my favorite red beads, flat discs faceted on one side, to make a necklace (I have a collection of necklaces made from different kinds of red beads I like to wear together). The knotting between each bead is time-consuming, but it sets each bead off nicely.

I think I'll also make earrings from the dark green pearls from the set.

I also broke out another notions tin (I don't remember how I got it), of garden-themed beads, buttons, and charms, and pulled out the French General book on jewelry design (have I mentioned I'm obsessed with French General?). I made the lariat from the book with waxed cord, though I added a clasp (after the photo) since lariats aren't my thing. It's long enough that with the clasp I can wrap it around my neck a few times.

The first kit I bought from French General many years ago was to make a charm necklace from vintage white and cream beads. I made it just by stringing the beads onto headpins or jump rings and putting them on the included chain like charms, but I was never crazy about it and rarely wore it (I wish I had had the foresight to take a picture). So this summer, after seeing necklaces with multiple chains and strands, I decided to completely redo the necklace. This time I linked the beads together in different groupings and attached them to the chain in layers.

I like this much better, and have worn it quite a bit since.

Then there is the vintage button charm bracelet, to which I added some buttons of my own:

And the egg bracelet kit which I made into a necklace, which I like even though it is blue, and which I will be wearing in the spring:

Not until I put this post together did I realize how much of their stuff I have.

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