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Monday, June 30, 2014

A Seashore Curio Necklace

The idea came several years ago from Martha Stewart, but I got a beachy vibe from the project, perfect for the sea glass and shells I've collected over the years, plus other assorted charms and beads:

The first step was drilling holes in the glass and shells, which turned into quite the project itself.  I tried first with my normal drill bits, going slowly and keeping the glass and tip of the drill bit submerged in water, and it took forever -- at least an hour of steady drilling to get a hole in one measly piece.  That caused quite a delay as I researched drilling glass, realized I needed diamond-tipped drill bits, tracked down an affordable source for them, and got distracted by myriad other projects.

A over a year later I tried again, and what a difference the proper tools made!  It still took 10-1 minutes per glass shard (substantially less for the shells), because I didn't want to rush and risk overheating or shattering (one broke anyway), but that was much more manageable.  The results:

The drill bit had a completely flat tip:
 and experts recommended starting the hole with a domed bit, but I was not about to buy another one.  Instead I started drilling at an angle, to create a divot, and then repositioned the drill perpendicular to the surface.  If you look closely, you can see that my inexpert control resulted in a little "etching" on some pieces.

Once the drilling was done, I set the project aside again to work on other stuff, and finally picked it up again a few weeks ago.  I cut out a linen crescent and started sewing on in layers glass, shells, beads, charms, fabric doodads, ribbon, buttons, and anything else that struck my fancy:

Once I was happy with the look, I used fabric glue to attach it to a backing piece of linen:
and attached ribbon ties, and frayed the edges as per M.S.  This was a great project to use some of the beach glass and shells I've accumulated, not to mention other charms and beads and even some heshi strands and carved shell birds I bought ages ago and forgot about.

A few favorite details:

This looks like a flip-flop:

Of course, I can't actually wear this necklace, at least not while I'm in proximity to Beadboy3, who's in the grab-everything-and-shove-it-in-his-mouth phase.

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