Every so often someone who knows about my jewelry making will give me a batch of old jewelry which they no longer want to keep. Sometimes a piece will just need re-stringing, or cleaning, but other times I get loose beads. My friend, Betty, surprised me the other day with a shoe box full of beads and broken necklaces, all in little jars. I was thrilled! I love the old pieces. They have a history and only need to be put back together for a new someone to enjoy.
Betty had taken the old pieces apart and put the beads into little jars and empty prescription bottles. Most of them didn’t have a clasp, just the beads, but I was delighted to get them. She had several jars of pearls in all different sizes and colors, and a few of colored beads I had never seen before. I couldn’t wait to get them home and see what could be done with them.
Some of the beads were large enough to restring and make into necklaces, but others were so tiny they could only be used as spacers.
I spent last evening sorting through what I had received and planning the projects. I have a large stock of beads on hand and can usually find something that matches or contrasts the major color. If not, the bead shop is not far away and I can always find what I need there. In order to match the beads I have, I put a sample bead, or beads, on a safety pin. That keeps them from being lost and I can usually find just the right beads to complete the necklace.
There was one set of pearls in a necklace that stumped me. There were two strands of graduated pearls with a gold motif at either end. There were no clasps. On further inspection, I found no holes at the end of these motifs. But there seemed to be glue on the backs. While trying to go to sleep last night I came up with a possible answer. These pieces might have been glued onto the front of a garment. This made sense to me, also because both pieces are too short to be a full necklace. What fun! I will be able to make one necklace out of the two shorter pieces, but cannot use the motifs. Maybe I will clean all the glue off of them and give them away.
When I am finished with the projects I will ask Betty to choose one, or more, of the finished pieces to thank her for the donation.
I love what I can do with the old, discarded jewelry and hope that more people will discover that I would be happy to take their unwearable jewelry. I just had a thought… If there is anyone out there who would like to send their old jewelry to a new home, I would be happy to take it. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we can arrange a delivery. I live in California, but the pieces could be mailed to me. Clear out your jewelry box! I’ll pay the postage.