Repair, recycle, rejoice

It will probably come as no surprise to learn that I’m not a fashionista. I’d never buy something just because it was a designer label, or because X-celebrity wore it to that thing. Equally, I’ve no problem if you do, it’s just not for me. I get as much pleasure from getting a bargain buy for a couple of quid at a charity shop as from spending ten times that on one item. Which doesn’t mean I’ll turn down a bargain when ones presented to me. Like a cashmere jumper for £10 just because it had two little holes in it.

before….

and after. Very much a bargain for a small repair.

Now, the recycling! 

I finally got round to reusing some of the stuff my friend at work had given me. Mother’s Day was coming up and my mum loves that I can give life to something old, and I have one vivid childhood memory of my mother, dressing for Sunday church, putting on a bracelet, that she only wore on Sundays. I wanted to give her an everyday wearing one!

From this



I deconstructed the beads into respective sizes



Used a nifty jump ring design from Dorothy Wood’s  The Beaders Bible





And ended up with this





I really love how a bead can look so different, just by altering the setting. And I love the design so much that I’ve already made a couple more. I’ll save them for another post, because….it’s rejoice time. A year after losing my sweet Toby, the house is once more filled with binkying and leaping and happiness. Meet Daisy

And Millie

it’s a wonderful thing to get home from work and have a happy reaction! It’s lovely watching their individuality develop – though they do share a love of Lakeland catalogues, just like me!



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What was old is new again

Jewellery’s a funny thing. It’s one of those things that you really do react to instinctively. Maybe you’re out shopping, and you pass by a jewellers. Some days you’re indifferent to anything in the window. Other days you may see something you think is awful – gaudy, tacky, whatever. And sometimes you’ll just know that one piece is your piece, as if fate has finally brought you together. I felt that way about my unofficial wedding ring – we weren’t shopping for one, it’s not a traditional ring, but then again neither am I (hence being unofficially married).

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So it’s not a great surprise that, no matter what, we find it hard to let jewellery go. A necklace with a broken catch, a bracelet with missing links, the earring that has no matching partner. We can’t wear them, but we can’t let them go either.

I’m guilty of hanging on to all sorts of things that I’d probably be better off letting go – both material and emotional. Jewellery, letters, photos – things I should probably just keep in my head and heart. But decluttering is just the practical side of letting go. And that can be cathartic. So my mum and I gathered some old jewellery

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and with some earrings and a bit of necklace and some of my stash

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made a key/bag charm. Old to new, upcycling memories.

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My to do is almost to done

Aaaaarrrrgggggh. That is the sound of my impatience. Or more rightly, my impatience being shouted down by my “if you’re going to do it, best do it properly” muse.

As per my last post, I’ve now replaced the plastic beads with prettier ones….they do look much better but boy do my fingers hurt! Straightening aged end pins enough to get the tiny red seed bead off, not to mention the big round white and brown ones turned out trickier than I anticipated. As did bending them back into shape when I’d replaced said beads. But I think it was worth it?

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And here they are in close up

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I attacked the charms with brass cleaner and the hearts have come up particularity well I think. And I think this is the order I’m going to put them on, with the ank in the middle.

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So why have I not finished?

Well, I decided to go with suede cord crocheted into chainlink to hang them from, as the one metal chain I had was too silvery and all my wire is either silver or green and I thought it wouldn’t look right against the brass charms and brown-toned beads. So I used my 4mm hook and chained a good length, trying as hard as possible to keep the cord straight and flat. But the natural stretchiness of the cord means I need to dampen it and flatten it overnight before I string everything on it. Like I said. Aaaaarrrgggh!

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So that’s tomorrow’s first task – at least I know what I’m doing when I get up in the morning!