Project Jewelry: Challenge 3 Results

Project Jewelry

Nature Inspriation

The beginning of this month was pretty hectic for me.  A lot of things slipped by the wayside.  So, unfortunately so did Project Jewelry.

Better late than never, though, right?

March’s Challenge was to use nature as an inspiration.  More details about Project Jewelry:  Challenge 3 (March) here.

For more information about Project Jewelry itself, click here.

For my pieces, I took the challenge literally.  I have made a couple of pieces of jewelry previously from natural elements, so I was happy to take this opportunity to make another piece from a natural element.

Natural Jewelry

Nature Inspired Necklace

The main portion is a twig I found during a nature walk.  Then I added the natural stone beads to it.

Then I made simple earrings and a ring to go with the necklace with the same beads.

Natural Jewelry

Natural Jewelry

I had an email entry from Judy Larson.  Here are her pieces and what she had to say about them:

Earth, Wind and Fire

After deciding on a theme, it was not difficult to come up with things that said “nature” to me.  Unfortunately, I could not decide on only one, so you get to see all of them.

EARTH:  This Native American inspired fetish necklace, Animals of the Earth, uses heshi and nugget turquoise beads with carved natural gemstone animals.

Judy Larson

WIND:  The sodalite rock in this necklace, Windswept, is held in a tension setting and hangs on hammered silver wire that is embellished with sodalite and silver beads.

Judy Larson

FIRE:  The agate pendant in the necklace, Treasure, is embellished with a Japanese coin and hangs from a necklace made of red agate nugget beads.   Sponge coral graduated rounds, discs and ovals are used in the set Simplicity.

Judy Larson

Judy Larson

So the winner is Judy!

April’s challenge will be up momentarily, with some fun changes!  (EVERYONE who participates will get a freebie each month!)

Don’t be shy!

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Nature Photography to Inspire

Nature Inspiration

I know that there are a lot of people who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to actually go out in nature.  So I thought I’d provide some photographic inspiration for those of you who can’t get out.

Here are some of my favorite photos that I have taken in nature:

Nature InspirationTrees in the Lititz Spring Park

Great Falls National ParkGreat Falls National Park

Nature InspirationSnow Geese at Middlecreek Wildlife Park

Nature InspirationHarpers Ferry, West Virginia

Nature InspirationHarpers Ferry, West Virginia

Nature InspirationThe Sun!

Full moonThe moon

Indian Echo CavernIndian Echo Caverns

Nature InspirationNiagara River

Nature InspirationNiagara Falls

nature inspirationFlowers

nature inspirationnature inspirationnature inspirationLewes, Delaware

nature inspirationLewes Delaware

nature inspirationRehobeth Beach, Delaware

I hope you find these photos as inspiring as I do!

Nature Jewelry Workshop

Love nature?  You’ll love my Nature Jewelry Workshop!  Learn more by clicking here.

(Note:  This workshop is Week #1 of Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry.)


Project Jewelry: Challenge 3 (March)

Project Jewelry

Learn More about Project Jewelry here.

Nature is probably my most favorite thing in the world.  That’s pretty vague, I know.  I love to be in nature, I love the mysteries of caves, the beauty of waterfalls, the gracefulness of trees.  I adore flowers.

Here in my neck of the woods it’s still pretty cold.  That makes it less attractive for me to actually stay out in nature for extended periods of time; however, I still do like taking short walks to the nearby park with a pretty stream and trees.  I love taking photos of the bare trees, even though I miss the all the leaves and greenery.


The Challenge:  This month we’re going to make 2 jewelry pieces based on nature.  This is broad, so be as creative as you want.  Go for a walk to get inspired (bundle up if it’s cold out!)  Even if it’s still winter there is plenty that can inspire you:  the way tree branches bend, the first little peeks of flowers pushing up, the beauty of snow geese flying above you.

You can be inspired by color or shape or anything else that catches your eye.

If you’re unable to get outside for any reason, just take a little “nature web surf” and see what you can find to inspire you!

Here’s something I posted to help you to get inspired even if you can’t get outside:  Nature Photography to Inspire.

OR:  If you want to get really creative, then pick up things you find along the way (stones, twigs, etc.) and make jewelry out of what you find.  Note:  Do not pick any live things, Mother Nature wouldn’t appreciate it!

Make 2 jewelry pieces.  Make any combination of necklace, bracelet, earrings, ring, brooch, anklet or other jewelry piece.  They can be a set or they do not have to be.

When you’re done, take a photo and upload to your blog, flickr, etc. and then add your link below.   (Click on the Mr. Linky link and follow the instructions.)  Or, if you don’t have a blog, etc. just email me your photo for the challenge:

Prize:  I will chose a winner on April 1st (also when the next challenge will be presented).  This month’s winner will get a PDF of my very popular Scrabble Tile Pendant Tutorial!

Special Note:  This is a no judgment zone.  If you are just starting, please feel free to join in, even if it’s your first attempt!  Everyone has different tastes and skills levels.  Even though I’m picking a winner, I’m choosing randomly!

Click here to add your link:

REMEMBER to join the Project Jewelry Newsletter sign up and get a free simple stringing tutorial!

Simple Stringing Tutorial


Project Jewelry: Challenge 2 Results

Project Jewelry

Today we’re bringing Project Jewelry:  Challenge 2 (February) to a close.

I know that a lot of you are watching and playing along without submitting photos.  That is wonderful!  I know that maybe you’re shy and worried about sharing because you’ve just started making jewelry, or don’t want to be judged.  However, don’t worry about that.  No one is here to judge you.

Even if you just want to email me your photos and don’t want me to share them, please do that!

This month’s challenge was to either head to a thrift store or consignment shop and find some jewelry to rework, or to remake a piece of jewelry that you’ve had.

I went to a local thrift shop and picked up these earrings and this bracelet:

Project Jewelry Challenge 2

I saw the earrings right away and knew I had to have them.  I didn’t like them whatsoever as is.  However, they were made with chandelier crystals, which I love to work with.  I knew I could easily take them apart and make something new with them.

The bracelet I wasn’t 100% sure about, but I got it anyway because it had some cute charms on it.  (I didn’t end up using the charms for this project) and I knew I can always use black and white beads.

I decided to make earrings and a bracelet for this month’s challenge.  I used elements of each piece from the thrift store in each piece I made:

Project Jewelry Challenge 2

Project Jewelry Challenge 2

Project Jewelry Challenge 2

Judy emailed in her entry (which, again, I encourage you to do if you don’t have a website.)

Here is what she started with:

Project Jewelry Challenge 2

And here is the gorgeous piece she created:

Project Jewelry Challenge 2Here’s what Judy had to say about it:

Spring Is In The Air

The two thrift stores in the small community where I live had no jewelry when I went looking at the beginning of February.  So that meant looking through my stash of jewelry and parts that I have collected over the years.

I started with a necklace my aunt gave to me many years ago.  I never wore it-not my style-but it was too precious to me to get rid of it.    I am thrilled with the challenge this month because I finally came up with a way to remake it into several pieces.  I also used parts from a necklace I inherited from my mother, a cabochon that has been sitting in my collection for years, bead caps from two fiber necklaces from the 1970’s and a leaf I made last year but had yet to use in a project.  The small silver beads were from a bunch of earrings I picked up at a garage sale several years ago.  The only thing I had to add was wire, three purple jade beads for the bead cap flowers and two purple kiwi beads for the earrings.

Thank you Kimberlie for the push to do this.

(You’re welcome, Judy!)

Karen emailed me with some technical difficulties.  I don’t have photos to share because of the technical difficulties, but since she emailed me, I’ve entered her in the giveaway drawing, too!

Karen told me she went to her local thrift store and found a necklace with really pretty beads and remade it into earrings and a revamped necklace.  (Maybe she’ll get her technical difficulties resolved and email me photos when she can?)


And the winner is …



I just want to reiterate, please don’t be shy!  Link up or send me your photos.  If you can’t send photos, email me and let me know what you’re making!  🙂

Project Jewelry Challenge 3 is on the way!

9 Lessons in Choosing Thrift Store Jewelry to Reconstruct Into New Jewelry

9 Lessons for thrift jewelry

9 Lessons in Choosing Thrift Store Jewelry to Reconstruct Into New Jewelry:

Thrift Store Jewelry RemakeThese 2 pieces I went out and specifically purchased to reconstruct.  The earrings are actually really oddly made dangles of chandelier crystals, which I actually use all of the time.  It was weird to come across them at the thrift store.

The other piece is a double-strand black, white and clear bracelet with a cute heart charm.

Why they are good choices to remake:

The chandelier crystal earrings were really a bonus find for me.  I use old chandelier crystals all the time in jewelry making, so I was thrilled to find these and to be able to fit them into the challenge.

Lesson 1:

Look for jewelry in materials you know you love and like to work with.  These earrings are ugly as sin, but the components used to make them are beautiful.

The bracelet has beads in the colors I like to most often wear and a cute charm I can reuse, even if not on this project I can save it for another.

Lesson 2:

Look for jewelry in colors you want to use.  Look at the individual beads and components, not the piece as a whole.

Note:  This is fairly obvious, but you need to look for jewelry that is strung on string, not the kind that is fused on the string.  You will find a lot of the fused stuff for really cheap, but you can’t take it apart to make new jewelry with it!

Thrift Store Jewelry Remake


Thrift Store Jewelry Remake

Why this is a good choice to remake:

The color is gorgeous.

The beads are unique – they are drilled in a unique location on the bead.

Lesson 3:  

Choose unique pieces where the components catch your eye.  Always examine them up close to make sure you can use the individual components and they are in good condition.

Thrift Store Jewelry RemakeWhy this is a good choice to remake:

This piece is a little different in that I have no plans to take this bracelet apart.  I like it.  However, I do full intend to add to it.  This is a nice base.  I like the flowers and the chain is sturdy.  The bracelet is in good shape.

Lesson 4:

Sometimes you can use the jewelry you find as a base to build upon.  Check to make sure the jewelry is in good condition and sturdy if you aren’t deconstructing it, but rather using it as a base.

Thrift Store Jewelry RemakeWhy this is a good choice to remake:

At first glance this bracelet does not seem like a good choice.  It has pretty colors, but those beads look pretty secure.

When I picked it up and examined it more closely, the colorful components were buttons and they were just sewn onto the bracelet.  I could easily deconstruct this bracelet.

Lesson 5:

Sometimes you have to pick it up and examine it more closely before you decide against it.

Thrift Store Jewelry Remake

Why this is a good choice to remake:

I love all of the beads.  Some of them have crystals, even.  And it was a great price.  To me, it almost looks like a bead strand you purchase at a bead store.

Lesson 6:

Just go with your gut and pick out things you like.

Thrift Store Jewelry Remake


Thrift Store Jewelry Remake


Why this is a good choice to remake:

This is actually a belt.  It has a lot of these cool wooden pieces that I can reuse PLUS all the cord as a bonus!

Lesson 7:

Sometimes look in other parts of the thrift store to find accessories with components you can reuse.

Thrift Store Jewelry Remake


Why this is a good choice to remake:

When I purchased this piece, I fully intended to polish it up and wear it as is.  But then I started think of ideas for the necklace and the pendant separately.

Lesson 8:

Keep an open mind when you purchase thrift store jewelry.  You might come up with different ideas than you originally planned!

Thrift Store Jewelry Remake


Why this is a good choice to remake:

The beads are beautiful.  This bracelet is in bad condition and about to come apart, but I can reuse the beads to make something gorgeous.  (I may just restring them as is!)

Lesson 9:

If you find a piece of vintage jewelry that is beautiful as is, leave it as is or repair it so that it’s functional again.


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