Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crystal Charm Swap

Robin's finished necklace

Thanks to Robin Sanchez sharing her crystal charm necklace that she made when she was in charge of a charm swap for Kim Caldwell's Moulin Rouge event last year, our small group decided we wanted to have our own swap. Our participants included Kathie, Kat, Robin, Jackie, June, Margo and myself - seven of us. We decided on the date of the gathering and to have two crystal charms for each member. So, we all had to come up with 14 crystal charms. These charms were to have bales already attached and ready to be hung from chains that we would provide for ourselves.

I don't think any of us realized how difficult it is to find and not pay a small fortune for crystal jewelry in the form of earrings, pins, necklaces, etc. Sure, for $15 to $20 you could get beautiful pieces, but who wants to pay that much per piece? Not any of us, for sure. Kathie actually got a great deal on eBay for a large package with various pieces that she could and did use.

My mom's costume jewelry frame

I lucked out in that I had all my mom's costumed rhinestone jewelry saved. I have never know what I would want to do with it. I had used some of the more common pieces to decorate a frame of my mom's photo taken on a cruise the night before she died. I had gotten the idea from Jackie, when I first met her. She had a standing frame completed in the same fashion so I went on a hunt to Home Goods looking for something similar.

First necklace I made with only my mom's jewelry

Added to the pink drop and to the top
of my center piece
that I made.
Can you see the difference?

Well, *"best laid plans (sic) of mice and men". . . Kat ended up getting very, very sick; Kathie had to go back to Chicago to help manage her ill father; and June was dealing with a sick husband. So, we ended up being only four people in person but we had everyone's charms to exchange.

All the charms came in decorative opaque packaging. Margo had each person's charm package labeled since she personalized her soldered glass charms with rhinestones encased behind glass. Robin also dedicated her charms to specific persons.

Robin came bearing her charms plus her amazing wire woman that she had finished. We were also anxious to see the finished product since we had watched her start to build it at my home the last time she was here. We are hoping that she will pursue taking this project to Somerset Offices in Laguna and that she will have her "woman" featured at some point in the future. In the mean time, here is Robin's wire woman surrounded by the packages prior to opening them.

Robin's "Wire Woman" surrounded by charm packages

Close up of top of head detail Robin did

After we opened our packages, and started laying them out, we decided that if we wanted to trade with our present friends that we could and should.

Here are photos of our completed necklaces. There still might be some changes and perhaps silk ribbons or more dangles, but this is what we ended up with after lunch.

Robin wearing her necklace

Jackie displaying one of the necklaces she made today

Close up of one of Jackie's necklaces

Margo wearing her necklace

Margo's necklace up close

Von's market provided a foot long delicious sandwich plus tomato/Mozzarella slices with balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top. Margo made homemade potato salad with a delicious addition of bacon (hear that Elena?) incorporated. Yummy. Robin brought delicious mock cheese cake with sliced strawberries for dessert.

By 3:30 pm we were finished and Jackie, who had made her necklace and Junes, also volunteered to take Kat her crystal charms to her home. Robin, Margo and I took off for a short "road trip." Robin, lives about 40 minutes away and works, so while she was down this way she wished to venture to Ocean Beach and a bead store on the main drag for supplies. On the way there, we stopped at our favorite scrapbook store in Point Loma, Paper Tales. We wore our necklaces and the owner of Paper Tales, Michelle, was there and admired our charms. Since we were on the subject of jewelry, we discussed one of our favorite jewelry artists featured regularly in Somerset's magazine, JewelryAffaire Spring 2011 pg. 102, 103 - Debby Anderson who turns out to be a sister of one of our local artists extraordinaire and friend, Jane Pollack. Small world. I met Jane through Jackie. Six degrees or closer, it appears.

Sally wearing the necklace she made today

Margo Photo Shopped me and my necklace
Thank you Margo

The two previous photos of my necklace no long exist. I took it all apart and created this! More like Robin's.

Side note: See the flowers on my blouse? This was one of my most favorite t-shirts that I got a spot on that I couldn't get out. In another of Somerset's magazines I saw theses flowers made from fabric. I took the blouse to JoAnn's to look for similar color and stretchy fabric. Wella! I wrapped and stitched theses down. My friend Debi suggested I attach them off center. It really looks better in person. My little Sony camera is not taking very crisp/sharp photos theses days. I'm super happy with the results and I guess that is all that counts.

Lastly, I was so hoping the little findings I had order from Vintage Jewelry Supplies would come when everyone was here. Debby Anderson had been kind enough to share the website where she purchases her little gems that are found on her jewelry pieces. As I began this blog, "best laid plans of mice and men," they came the next day. They are wonderful. Can't wait to start using them on my pieces. Check out their site.

Margo took this photo of us and then PS'd it.

Future Crystal Jewelry Pieces being created by me:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

*"The best laid schemes of mice and men"

Meaning: The most carefully prepared plans may go wrong.

Origin: From Robert Burn's poem To a Mouse, 1786. It tells of how he, while ploughing a field, upturned a mouse's nest. The resulting poem is an apology to the mouse:

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren't alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.

The poem is of course the source for the title of John Steinbeck's 1937 novel - Of Mice and Men.

of mice and men


Leanne said...

Sally, sounds like a lot of fun. There must've been something in the wind as I just finished participating in a similar bling swap!

Robin Sanchez said...

Sally love the remake of your clear rhinestone necklace!! It was such a fun day and the food was great. Im glad we were able to take our little road trip and find some great things to add to you "stash". We should get together and make some jewelry with our new purchases. Thanks for opening your home to us artists. Its always a treat. Im glad we met!!

Debby ~ Romancing the Bling said...

Sally...I want to come play with you girls! I agree with Robin...your remake of your "blingy" necklace is beautiful! I was lucky to meet Robin and participate in the necklace swap during Moulin Rouge (also the bracelet swap with Terry Frias) :)
While reading your post I was so flattered to come across my name in your! I met Jackie for the first time at my niece Candace's bridal shower on the 9th!
Lastly, thank you for leaving such a lovely comment on my blog ~ I haven't taught any classes yet and I have been tempted to spread my wings a bit! :)
I'm adding your blog to my blogroll so I can remember to visit often!

Take care,


Elena Lai Etcheverry said...

i am so bummed I missed that swap! love it Sally! so fun!