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Orange and Turquoise Howlite Necklace

Turquoise and orange. Not a color combo I often rock. I don’t wear much orange since it’s not great with my skin. But it’s so bright and happy and attention grabbing, especially paired with blue, that I’m determined to add some orange into my life this summer. (No, it’s not just because I want to be Oona, but that is one small part of it ;) Like my pink skulls necklace, the beads on this necklace are made from howlite, a stone that is commonly dyed to resemble other more expensive stones like turquoise. The pendant was from a necklace that I bought at a thrift store aeons ago, whose fake leather cord promptly broke, and so the pendant sat in my bead box for a very long time. I got a little excited and ended up buying a LOT of howlite turquoise beads (as you can clearly see). I …

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Pink and Black Skull Necklace

Clearly, I can’t start one project without diving into another handful at the same time. Since I had to buy some beads and dig out my beading supplies to make my pearl necklace, I clearly had to buy other beads and start making some other necklaces too! I really won’t complain about having too much inspiration and I won’t even complain about not having enough time to follow through on all of my inspirations. I’ll just share this fun new necklace, how about that? I bought these cute little skulls and fuchsia beads at the same time without actually intending for them to go together. But when I started playing around with ideas on my beading tray, it was obvious that they had to go together because, while I do enjoy a dose of the macabre, I enjoy it much more when it’s mixed with bright pink happy things! Since …

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How To String a Pearl Necklace

Making simple necklaces is quite easy. But, like many crafts, you can make simple projects truly special by paying attention to  craftsmanship. I wanted to make a pearl necklace to wear for my wedding so I bought some pearls and set about to learn how to string a pearl necklace in the best possible way. When working with pearls,  you need silk thread. While there are many, many options for beading threads, wires, and cords, you want to use silk because it is very sturdy but will not wear away at the pearls from the inside. I really enjoyed working with Griffin Silk Bead Cord which comes with a beading needle already attached for easing stringing. Other than using silk, there are two characteristics that set a pearl necklace apart from another necklace – pearl necklaces are often threaded on two strands of cord and a knot is tied between each pearl. …

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Handmade Alaska Souvenirs

While in Homer, Alaska, last week, I bought myself a couple of souvenirs handmade by local artists. The bracelet is carved from birch. It was made by artist George Overpeck. He spends his summers commercial fishing in Bristol Bay and kitesurfing on Kachemak Bay. His winters are occupied with woodturning in Homer. Most of his work is done with the Betula kenaica, a variety of white birch that is unique to the Kenai peninsula. The bracelet is amazingly light and I love how clear the patterning in the wood is. The necklace is scrimshawed by artist Brian Burns on a piece of ancient mammoth tusk. Scrimshaw is a type of etching in a which a line is scratched onto the piece then filled by pigment. Brian Burns practices his art and works on boats in Homer, Alaska. He is an avid hiker and explorer and collects many of the materials …