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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Southwestern Necklace

I've been been on a southwest jewelry kick lately.  Seeing this necklace reminded me of some charms I bought ages ago.  So I pulled together the charms and a bunch of gemstone beads, mostly leftover pieces from other projects:
I stuck with coral, malachite, lapis lazuli, yellow jasper (I think?), and, of course, turquoise, strung in a "random" order.  Of the charms I chose five -- a bear, a deer, a gecko, a rabbit, and my beloved coyote (the subject of my senior thesis). 

I made the process of stringing the beads far more complicated and convoluted than it needed to be.  I started with my patented technique for creating a pseudo-random look; I had five kinds of beads -- round coral and jasper, and malachite, lapis, and turquoise chips -- and strung them in groups of five, varying the pattern within each group, until I ran out of lapis.  The necklace was too short, so I looked at what else I had -- five round turquoise beads and five yellow jasper chips, so I added five more malachite chips and five pieces of coral chunks, or another 20 beads total.  I had already strung about 60 beads, so I inserted a new bead every three beads, choosing the type based on its neighbors.  For good measure, I added two more on each end, and another coral chunk in the middle where there was too little red.  Still too short, so in addition to sandwiching each charm between two silver* Bali spacers, I added more spacers every five beads.  A few more chips at the ends, and I finally had a necklace the right length.  I especially liked the way it looked with a white shirt and jeans.

*Are they real silver?  I bought hundreds of spacers at a bead show years ago, and the seller swore they were real silver.  But the price was too good to be believed, and they've never tarnished like real silver.  On the other hand, they've never discolored like silver-plate or base metal, either, so who knows.

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