Sunday, March 09, 2008

New skills and a prize

Cindi asked what new skills we've been trying out. While on vacation, I learned ( and I use that term loosely) to make earrings. At our hotel in the Poconos, Catherine, the lovely lady from Cate's Jewelry (see her designs at taught my daughter and me to make our own earrings. We had the best time rummaging through the gorgeous gems she brought along for us to use, oohing and ahing and pulling out the ones we liked best as we decided which combinations to use.
Here's my first pair which have large mother-of-pearl dangles and pearl accents.

I probably bit off more than I should have with the double dangle on each one but Catherine saved me by suggesting that I insert a tiny bit of chain at the top to give the earrings movement. They're such fun to wear because I get a quiet music everywhere I go as the mother-of-pearl clicks together.
Catherine very graciously let us make a second pair since we had extra time. These are my second design:
Although the amber chunks at the bottom were drilled to support the wire, my daughter gave me the idea of wrapping the wire around the stone for decoration. I liked the chain so much in the first pair that I incorporated it into the design of these. These colors go with just about everything I own so I find myself wearing them a lot. There's something wonderful about having jewelry that suits you personally because you made it yourself.
Making jewelery is a lot harder than it looks. Catherine coached us in the basic techniques of bending, twisting and cutting wire and chain but she had to give us more direct aid with tasks such as attaching the hooks to the earring. I came away with a new appreciation for the jeweler's art.
Since I had so much fun, I decided to give away the earrings below to a lucky RTY visitor.
I'm afraid that these were not made during our session but they're pretty and I bought them in the hotel's gift shop. Send an email to with "earrings" in the subject line and I'll enter you in the contest for these pretty pearl danglies.
Has anyone else tried a new craft recently? Tell us about it!

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Blogger Dawn Brocco said...

Lovely earrings!! I wish I could enter your drawing, but, like my mother before me, I became allergic to gold earrings at 35.Bummer, indeed!

9:47 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Gosh, Dawn, I'm sorry about the allergy! Usually folks are allergic to the NON-gold earrings. You could always give them as a gift though. I'm sure a friend would appreciate that.

9:59 AM  
Blogger kshotz said...

Lovely earrings Nancy! I'd have to say that making jewelry has always looked hard to if it's harder than it looks, I'm sunk! I'll bet it's especially fun to wear something you made yourself though!

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Tanya said...

I have just recently tried kumihimo braiding - I LOVE it! I first made the required stand out of a birdfeeder purchased at the hardware store for 2.95 but then a friend in my spinning/weaving guild loaned me the proper stand (Marudai). The braids are so beautiful and my kids have had to give it a try too!

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

I'm about to try weaving. I've measured and cut the warp, and today I get to thread the heddles and see if I can get it to wind on fairly evenly. :)

10:54 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Tanya, tell us more about kumihimo braiding--what does it look like? What is made out of it? It has such beautiful musical names to go with it. I'm fascinated.

Cathy, good luck with the weaving. Please keep us posted on how it's going and send pictures! There's nothing more beautiful than hand-weaving, well, except maybe hand-knitting. ;-) I can't wait to hear about your experience with it.

8:34 AM  

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