Saturday, July 24, 2010

Trying my Hand with Jewelry

I love tortoise shell. I have long been in love with a certain tortoise shell watch by Michael Kors, although I have been unable to find it in person. I'm not entirely in need of a watch, although I wouldn't turn in down. Below is the original watch. 
In attempt to find a similar but not exact watch, I came across lots of (spendier) alternatives:

(how cool is that wrap one??)
I also looked for tortoise shell jewelry. This was a bit harder. I found two really good candidates, at Lands Ends:

In the end, the Lands End pieces were a little more pricey than I wanted (although much better than the MK watches). The bracelet was originally $49.50, although is now on sale for $26.99 (hmm, maybe I SHOULD buy it), and the necklace was $89.50, now $48.99. 
One day, I did find a decent candidate at Target for $7.49, and although its both a watch and tortoise shell, it quickly proved that its not what I want. It doesn't lay flat, a near deal breaker for a detail oriented person like myself.

So in the end, what did I do? Attempt to make one myself, of course. I found some beads at Michaels that are very close to what I wanted (although not a chain) and decided to DIY (or, DIM- do it myself). It really wasn't so hard, given the right tools. In addition to the wire, clasp and beads, I purchased a book with some instructions, a crimper (like pliers, specifically for beading), and crimp beads.

 In all, I spent about $50 but I have enough beads left over to make another piece, in addition to two clasps, lots of wire and of course the crimper and book. I am very happy with this investment, and of course happy that I am able to tell people that I made it. I've had comments about how it looks like its from Ann Taylor, etc, which of course pleases me. :) It was quite a quick project, I made it in one evening while watching tv (and even had to restring twice) and wore it out to dinner with friends the next night! 
Truth be told, I don't love the clasp, and I think its probably made for a necklace, so if I ever come across a better clasp I will restring once again.

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