Saved from the trash, Created a treasure

When I was little, my Grandma had a jewelry box filled with her old costume jewelry for my cousin P and I to play with. Today, costume jewelry evoke those fond childhood memories and my Grandma’s traditional style. Costume jewelry once had a life much more interesting than the one it leads now – forgotten in a box, hanging in an antique shop, laid out on a table at an estate sale, left behind for more “timeless” pieces.

Costume Jewelry from my Grandma, in it's original state, beautiful color but broken strand

Costume Jewelry from my Grandma in it’s original state, beautiful color but broken strand

It’s easy to bypass costume jewelry. The funky shapes and colors don’t exactly blend with more free flowing, bohemian style jewelry populating the stores today. However, that doesn’t mean that these pieces don’t have potential. I like to take these broken, forgotten necklaces and earrings and give them a facelift to make them into something that can be loved once again.

Earrings as Pendant Charms

Earrings are great ways to add a statement piece to a necklace. Oftentimes earrings are eye catching and captivating, but overtime a pair may become separated or one of the earrings may break. Rather than toss these, I like to reuse them to create unique necklaces. In this case, a pair of spiral earrings taken apart were used as the pendants in two necklaces with very different styles.

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Turquoise and Goldstone paired with gold findings for a trendy necklace that carries an outfit easily from summer to fall.

Gemstones add a fiery color palate to the same charm, in an opera length necklace

Gemstones add a fiery color palate to the same charm, in this opera length necklace

The design of the necklaces are stylistically different and appeal to different wearers. My friend K loves the top necklace, whereas my mom prefers the bottom one because of the length and she can pair it with her neutral sweaters while we shop. It’s a way to build a connection through two pieces, while still maintaining unique personalities.

Elegant Drops – A Simple Update

Some necklaces have great structure already, but they’re too short. I like long, flowing jewelry that easily slides over the head when in a rush for work in the morning. These drops instantly add class to any business casual outfit, because they retain their original statement element.

Coral adds instant pop against neutrals.

Coral adds instant pop against neutrals.

Classic pearl drops add professionalism to the most basic of outfits.

Classic pearl drops add professionalism to the most basic of outfits.

The long chain not only makes these easier to wear, but it elongates the gaze and gives the illusion of a longer torso. Plus, I love the sound the multi-strand necklaces make as you move, it’s a soft clinking sound that reminds me of a classy party.

Major Reconstruction

Other necklaces are complete gut jobs. Maybe the original necklace is broken, or the colors just don’t mesh well together, or maybe some of the beads are just completely out of place in current trends. These are the necklaces that I like to cut in the middle, spill the beads on the mat, and start from scratch.

The purple beads in this necklace were taken from a necklace that featured several shades of purple beads. The chain unifies the beads and the new silver findings add pop.

The purple beads in this necklace were taken from a necklace that featured several shades of purple beads. The chain unifies the beads and the new silver findings add pop.

Sometimes I’ll mix the beads from several vintage pieces, or other times I’ll mix in the vintage beads as the focal point of the necklace. Lately, I’ve enjoyed working with wire and chain to allow the color to stand out. It also modernizes the piece by streamlining the lines and lightening the look. Much of the costume jewelry I’ve encountered is bulky, heavy, and colorful. I love color, but today’s jewelry calls for light simplicity.

These stones came from a necklace that mixed pink and green stones with these. It wasn't the prettiest combination, so here the orange beads are together for a fiery combination.

These stones came from a necklace that mixed pink and green stones with these. It wasn’t the prettiest combination, so here the orange beads are together for a fiery combination.

The major benefit is this jewelry is truly one-of-a-kind. Because much of this vintage, costume jewelry can’t be found on store shelves and the pieces are worked by hand, each one is unique. Not to mention, repurposed materials lowers our carbon footprint. Not only is it stylish, but you can feel good about what you wear too.

Big News…… no but really, we mean it, this is exciting!!

I’m proud to announce that our Etsy shop is live!!!

Please visit The Fells Design on Etsy. Many of the designs we’ve featured on this blog are now available for sale on the Etsy shop. You’re like a hipster, you saw it here first before everyone else knew about it. Or you already saw my pictures, you instagramma! Whatever the case, check it out! And don’t worry, I’ll still be posting behind-the-scenes, stories about the necklaces, features of custom designs and more on this blog, so you’ll always be in the know.

Spread the word, share the fun, support your friend, and happy shopping!

Only two and a half months until Christmas!!

Jade and Pearl – Design Simplicity

Every once in a while, it’s okay to indulge yourself.

Necklace, Bracelet, and Earrings made from Jade and Mother of Pearl

Necklace, Bracelet, and Earrings made from Jade and Mother of Pearl

This set I designed entirely for myself. I had spent a great deal of time working on pieces for others, and this time I wanted one that represented me. I chose these jade beads, because I love the color. It’s a trendy color for this season and I’ve always gravitated toward green tones. I started with the necklace, and the set bloomed from there.

The necklace length is short, but not short enough that it's a choker.

The necklace length is short, but not short enough that it’s a choker.

The Jade and Mother of Pearl compliment each other nicely

The Jade and Mother of Pearl compliment each other nicely

The jade beads are in two sizes, large and medium. I used mother of pearl in a fun diamond shape as the accent piece. The overall effect is a calm, harmonious set.

Sort of reminds me of the power bracelets I had as a kid

Sort of reminds me of the power bracelets I had as a kid

I tend to prefer elastic bracelets for their ease and convenience, which is why I chose that medium to string the bracelet as opposed to the nylon coated wire used for the necklace.

Fun earrings to finish it off!

Fun earrings to finish it off!

Although my ears are extremely sensitive, these nickel free earrings are just fine to wear. I’ve had no problems with these, which is amazing because they really complete the look.

I love custom designs. Taking inspiration from the person who will be wearing a set is what makes the designing part challenging and fun. Each piece created is unique to that person, and it’s so gratifying to create a piece that others love. Taking the time to design a piece for myself, helps me to explore more design options that others might like and makes me feel special too!

I have more fun designs coming your way soon, and a super awesome announcement to make. Stay tuned…..