Posts Tagged 'earrings'

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend: adventures with brick stitch

Design copyright Veon Schunzel

A while back, my family and I started going to Native American pow-wows. These events are a great way to spend the weekend with your loved ones, and to experience some Native American crafts and culture.

At the Schemitzun in Connecticut, for example, 500 or so tribes are represented in a 3 day festival, hosted by the Mashantucket Pequot tribal nation. This wonderful 3-day event, which tends to take place in late August or early September, features tribal dance competitions, drumming and live music, and amazingly tasty food (don’t worry vegetarians, there are options for you! try the vegetarian fry-bread, like an open-faced bean taco). Best of all though, in my opinion, are the AMAZING handmade craft (and craft-supply) booths.

For you jewelry enthusiasts out there, events like the Schemitzun can simultaneously be the best – and worst – places for you. You will be absolutely bowled-over by the quantity and quality of handmade jewelry. Gorgeous inlaid stone pieces are always present in vast quantities, but my personal weakness is the beaded jewelry. I tend to fall in love with just about every item I see, and I usually can’t resist bringing home a few pieces. Being a crafter though,  my initial thought is often an average between “OMG pretty!!!” and “I want to MAKE that!!!!”

Luckily, these festivals often attract lots of glass-bead vendors just for people like me (and you!) who get inspired to make things at home. If you want to try your hand at something like the earrings I made above, you can join the hordes of enthusiastic beaders pawing through bins and bins of beautiful glass seed beads and hand-carved stone pendants at a pow-wow. Of course, these materials can also be purchased online, but not much beats the thrill of  “the chase” in finding your perfect colors in person. And you might even be able to haggle your way to some discounts at a festival…

If you’d like  to read more about the beaded earrings above, which were hand beaded using the brick (a.k.a. Cheyenne or Comanche) stitch, please follow the link below.

Happy beading everyone!

Continue reading ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend: adventures with brick stitch’

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Art Nouveau-style necklace

Every so often, I will see a piece of jewelry that seems to be crying out to be something else. This was absolutely the case when I spotted a pair of really great art nouveau-style earrings in Forever 21 a few months ago. I LOVE big dangly earrings, but I prefer that my earlobes not hang down to my knees…And since these earrings were made of metal, they seemed much too heavy to wear for any length of time.

I thought that these earrings could use a new lease on life, so I decided to make them into the above necklace. To make the necklace, I used only: 1) some old scrap chain I removed from a much too long necklace that I bought from Forever 21 a year or so ago, and 2) the jump rings that came with the earrings; 3) I added a simple, cheap clasp from the craft store, and that was it.

All in all, I bought 2 pairs of earrings, which I think were about $5 a piece, and nothing else. All the other items I had lying around. In the end, I ended up with 1 necklace, and 2 pairs of much smaller earrings – which won’t be uncomfortably heavy to wear. Please see below for a shot of the smaller earrings. I did have to add a 2nd pair of earwires to the mix to make the 2nd pair of earrings though. But for less than $10 I got a pretty eye-catching jewelry set, and another pair of earrings to give away. Not too shabby!

Hope you enjoyed this project everybody. I’d be happy to answer any questions if you’ve got ’em. Happy summer!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought that I would make a pair of empanada earrings.

Now, I know that empanadas do not represent anything to do with the holiday really, and that Mexican heritage cannot be boiled down to a filled pastry, but hey….they look pretty cute right? So if you’d like to see how I made these, please click the “Continue reading” link below. But in the meantime…

I researched Cinco de Mayo today to find out what it was really about, because I was curious. I honestly didn’t know anything about the holiday, other than my personal speculation that it must be the happiest day of the year for the Corona beer company.

Turns out, the real story is way more interesting than margaritas and an excuse to wake up wearing a sombrero. Cinco de Mayo is not the observance of Mexican Independence day as one might think. It actually started as kind of a “Stick it to the Man” debt-free holiday.  And, honestly, can’t we relate to that concept pretty well these days?

It all started when Mexican president Benito Juárez decided that Mexico was going to stop paying interest on its debts to France. France, of course, was expectedly perturbed by this, so they threatened to occupy Mexico until the the debt was paid up. The French occupation suffered a pretty embarassing setback though when, on May 5th 1862, the Mexican militia was able to handily rout their opponent (translation: they OWNED the French army’s derrieres). The French army had not seen defeat in 50 years before that day, but, they sure got a good look at it in Puebla, México. Four-thousand Mexican troops defeated a better-equipped 8,000 french soldiers, and no foreign army has really invaded the Americas ever since.

So, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, and in honor of sticking it to your creditors “con estilo” (with style), I present to you, this empanada earring tutorial. And, if you read till the end you can see a cool Mexico-related video! Happy 5th all!

Continue reading ‘Happy Cinco de Mayo!’


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