Sunday, March 23, 2014

Resurrecting Dead Jewelry

After the Christmas tree and Valentine I made from jewelry I inherited from various family members, I still had lots of less blingy, more colorful beads and plastic earrings left over.  I don't eat hard-boiled eggs, yet I still have a desire to celebrate spring by decorating eggs in my own way.  Using the colorful beads to make an Easter egg just seemed obvious since I had already hopped on to the holiday theme.

Most of the beads and earrings in this craft belonged to my mom, but there are a couple of strands of broken rosaries in there, too, that likely belonged to my uncle or brother. The 8x10 white shadowbox frame came from Michael's, as did the purple felt I used for the background.  For further instruction about how I did this, see the directions at the end of my Junk Jewelry Christmas Tree blogpost.  For other designs, click the "Crafty" label in the righthand column of this blog.

The bunnies and eggs so prevalent in springtime are symbols of fertility and rebirth. Though I can't resurrect the relatives who instilled in me a love of holiday traditions, at least I can help breathe new life into the trinkets they left behind.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Heart of Gold & Rhinestones

After the Junk Jewelry Christmas Tree craft, I still had lots of Mom's and other jewelry left over.  Given how much members of my family seemed to love holidays, it seemed appropriate to keep with the holiday theme, and next up was Valentine's Day.

For this one, I tried picking pieces that were related to the holiday. You can see several heart-shaped pieces and other lovey-dovey things like butterflies, flowers, the "key" to my heart, and red and pink items.

I remember my Uncle Bill giving me at least one of the heart-shaped stick pins when I was a little girl. There's a sailboat in there that kinda reminds me of my dad.  Not sure which of my deceased relatives earned the blood donor pin.  There's a promotional beer pin for Killian's; it doesn't necessarily remind me of anyone, but it is "red" ale.  :)

For an explanation of how I did this, see the directions near the end of my blog post for the Junk Jewelry Christmas Tree.  To see other variations on this craft, click on the "Crafty" label in the right-hand column of my blog.  I'll be posting more soon.  (There's plenty of other holidays!)

As I was making this, I kind of felt like I was making a Valentine to my mom and other relatives who've passed on.  I hope they received it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Junk Jewelry Christmas Tree

What to do with junk jewelry?  I've really been wondering that for many years and only recently discovered a good answer.

I have more than 400 pairs of earrings, and some I have no intention of ever wearing again because they are tarnished, broken, missing a mate, or not my style.  But I never throw earrings away nor most other jewelry because I have this crazy notion I will make my own with leftovers someday when I have ample time.  But not all jewelry can be strung together with beads.

Of course if you have good jewelry, you can sell it to a pawn shop or mail it to the gold and silver scavengers who will melt it down.  You can also donate to a thrift store, and there are some charities that collect nicer accessories and give them to battered women starting life anew so they can look polished on job interviews.

But if, like me, you have a lot of old jewelry you're pretty sure no one else will want and it just seems WRONG to throw it in the trash can, then this is a great idea for how to repurpose it, and it's surprisingly easy.  (Click "Read More" and scroll to the bottom of this post for directions.) The other reason I like this craft is that it is the perfect compromise between my need to get rid of junk and my desire to cling to the past.