What does the last of the housewives do?

Tag: black and white jewellery

Back in Black and White

Haven’t done any beading in AGES! I’ve had a few things bubbling away in the back of brain, behind the baking plans and getting my legs working again plans and throwing out half of our possessions in the next cleanup plans. I went to a committee meeting last night that was planning, not a Fair or a Fete, goodness no, we’re a boys’ school, we’re all about the RUGBY! But a day of some description. My subcommittee is in charge of the bit that makes sure the Day is not just a long line of stalls supplying men dressed in black and white with sausages in the afternoon and egg and bacon rolls in the morning. I could go on at some length, but I’ll save for later, shall I? It just made me think of black and white jewellery again.

The week after this Day is a grand and marvellous Black and White Ball and naturally some of us may want some black and white jewellery to go with our black and white frocks. I’ve been meaning to do another Bargello style necklace for ages and the last two I’ve done have been monochrome, so I think it would lend itself to black and white rather nicely. So to the choosing of the beads, and for any of you that have ever attempted to paint a room white, you’ll know that there’s white and there’s white. AmIright?

I like to include Swarovski crystals wherever I can, and they only actually do two shades of solid white, chalk and alabaster. I only have alabaster, so that makes my white decision simple, stark white it is. The Ball invitation also suggests a touch of silver, so that’s going in too. The Bargello pattern that I use is from a 2006 edition of Bead and Button magazine and I’ve found that the pattern as written is a bit narrow and too short. The first Bargello necklace I made is the only one I’ve kept, here it is.

I’ve not offered it for sale, partly because I rather like it, partly because it is too short and narrow and partly because it has about fifty bucks worth of kyanite as dangles. I think it’s kyanite. Kind of an olive green gemstone, in leaf shapes. It’s also useful as a reference for starting a new necklace, it’s always a bit discombobulating.

I manage to start it off successfully even with the distraction of having to shoo away a couple of Jehovah’s witnesses. I do wonder if they should have good hard look at themselves, the last few pairs have consisted of one non-English speaker and one very elderly somewhat English speaker. Different pairs. I think they’re losing their base. I haven’t the heart to play with them any more, they’re too pathetic.

I’ve only got a few points in before I run out of 3mm Swarovski alabaster bicones. What a shame, I’ll have to order some more from Fusion. Oh, and they’re having a 20% off sale, and there’s some interesting discontinued stuff. And I’ll need some more black and white beads, this will by no means be the only black and white piece of jewellery I’ll be making. An hour and a hundred bucks later…

Well, here is what I’m up to.

I think it will work nicely. The question is, do I keep it for my own swanlike neck, or should I put it up for silent auction at the Day That Is Not a Fair? Or should I sell it for filthy lucre? Mmmmm, filthy lucre. My favourite kind.

Yet Another Black and White Necklace

It’s a funny thing with committees. You just dip your toe in, help out with a stall at the fete here, offer to count the take for the raffle there. You think you can take it or leave it alone, but before you know it you’re on your third gig as Treasurer and no end in sight. It has to be said that it’s an excellent way to find out about an organisation, be it a school or a choir, and you meet the nicest people on committees. Utter nutters too, but you learn to spot those and develop a quick left dodge.

So I find myself on two school committees this year. Another funny thing is that I don’t think I’ve ever gone along to a committee meeting or talked to a committee member and volunteered for anything. I just find myself on an email list with a commitment to leave the bosom of my family every fourth Thursday night. Here’s a tip, if you really don’t want to be on a committee, and someone you know who is on one offers to buy you coffee or a drink, run screaming in the opposite direction. As soon as you agree to just pop along to Sarah’s place tomorrow night and just meet everyone, you are so gone.

There’s a cocktail party at the Horror’s school tonight, rained for the third year in a row into the hall. The president of the committee I’m on at this school just loves the school colours and has fairly firmly suggested that everyone on the “exec” as she’s jovially calling it wear black and white tonight and possibly forever more. There are two ways I could go. I could cop out somewhat by just wearing a black dress and trying to blend in with the crowd. Or alternatively I could join in enthusiastically and wear the white dress I bought on a whim from Dotti because it was forty bucks, sling on a black jacket and make a matching black and white necklace. Oh yeah.

You’d think I’d have run out of black and white inspiration after the end of last year’s efforts, but it just keeps coming. I’ve added a touch of orange, I believe that’s part of the livery colours but I’ve only seen it on stationery. For those who are interested, it’s Swarovski Red Magma.

And because the Horror is only in fourth grade, I’m going to be associated with this school for a long time. This isn’t the last of the black and white necklaces.

Enough Black and White Jewellery – for the moment

I could just put up the photos of the final three, but I thought I should share some of the agonizing and carry on that goes on behind the scenes.

First, the music teacher. I was going to bestow upon her that black and white beaded bead on a black cord. But it looked a bit plain by itself, so I made a couple of smaller ones to go with it, and that’s all very nice, but then I realized this woman was much less involved in the Horror’s school life than his class teacher and would also probably cop a gift every year, so it was too fancy. Too fancy, I tell you. It has gone into the private collection for the moment. Here’s what she’s getting instead, and it will have to go in bubble wrap as that diamond shaped stone is actually stone and a little fragile. Perhaps she’ll break it, so she can get exactly the same next year.


Now for the Horror’s class teacher. For a while there she was going to get gingerbread men, as we haven’t actually seen her wear any jewellery. Then the Horror suggested that was possibly because no one had ever bought her any. Then we spotted her with a gold chain on, so jewellery was back on again. She had only been a casual appointment this year, so did we go and black and white? It may not be as useful to her as to everyone else. However, she does wear a lot of black, despite having more autumnal colouring, so she will get a herringbone spiral necklace, a pattern that has gone down rather well with teachers in the past.

It’s quite delicate, and will have a magnet clasp if I ever get around to finishing it. Those herringbone ropes are all middle.

Finally, the redoubtable Head of Year 7. She’s quite a flamboyant dresser, which is a shame because my stuff tends to be on the light and airy side. She should really be getting something from Six in a Row, but I can’t go around buying other people’s jewellery. I’ve gone with a star pendant which hasn’t turned out quite as I’d hoped. I usually use colours that are quite close together for it, using black and white makes it look rather pixelated. I’m happy with how it’s strung, I found a length of tubular mesh in the archives while digging around for black velvet ribbon, even though I knew velvet wasn’t quite right. I’ve done one in pink on a rosary chain coming out of two of the points, but that wouldn’t have been right for this teacher. I’ve also just sewn a bail onto the top point of a red and grey one, but that didn’t work at all. This works for me, I just have to figure out what clasp to use and I’m done.

Once I’ve finished that herringbone spiral, I can go back to decorating my ankle brace. I wonder how annoying little bells would be?