Friday, December 12, 2014

DIY Necklace With Beads From a Parisian Shop

paris-drogerie-necklace
When Sean and I went to Paris a couple months ago, one of the most helpful things for our trip was a little book a coworker gave me to borrow. It's called Paris: Made by Hand and it features 50 little shops with handmade, vintage, and found goods. When I was flipping through the book on the plane ride to Paris, there was one shop that stuck out to me in the book and we went there first.

My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

That shop was La Droguerie, a bead + yarn + trimmings shop in the 1st Arrondissement. Once a butcher's shop, La Droguerie now has walls and walls of colorful yarn, tinkly beads, and beautiful trimmings. I bought a little collection of purple glass beads, some feathers, a felt flower, and some plastic beads.

My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

(Sean waited outside. ;P)
My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

When I got home to NYC, I started working on the necklace. I've never made a necklace in this style so it was a bit of a test run for me. First, I stretched a double layer of silk over an embroidery hoop. Then I took one of my roommate's necklaces and traced a shape I love with pencil on the silk. After that I took a bit of cord I got in a For the Makers box and stitched the cord to the outline. (This is a bit tedious but it adds a nice outline to the necklace and it keeps you in the lines as you're stitching beads.)
My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

Next I stitched an additional outline of tube beads next to the cording and added the center element of the necklace.
My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

Then I started to construct the skeleton of the necklace's design. The tube beads were great for adding a design and the seed beads were great for filling in.
My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

After that I took the silk off of the embroidery hoop, cut an inch around the design and then folded it under and stitched it to the front. (With that process I also secured some of the outer beads.) Then I stitched the ties to the corners and added another layer of silk to the back to hide all of my knots and stitches. I made concentric stitches to secure the extra backing.
My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

About a month ago Sean and I went to Dia: Beacon, an art museum in upstate NY. I photographed the necklace there in the Richard Serra sculptures.
My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop

If you've got plans to visit Paris, definitely get a copy of Paris: Made by Hand... And Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. I'm still reading the Hemingway book but every time I open it I get reminded about the clinking of cafe dishes, the feel of walking on cobblestone streets, and the excitement of walking into a dark colorful bead shop full of the most perfect trimmings. Besides New York, I've never fallen in love with a city as quickly as I did with Paris, but both of these books were big players in the process. :)
My Necklace With Beads from a Parisian Shop






Monday, October 27, 2014

DIY Porcupine Quill Earrings + Necklace, Shot in Paris

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

Over the past couple years I've grown really interested in jewelry created from natural objects. From rocks to more rocks and shells, my jewelry collection is getting a little out of hand. The stuff I make isn't something you can wear every day, but it's so therapeutic to me to sit sewing or soldering at night after work that I can't stop doing it. My favorite way to relax out of the NYC bustle is to plop down on the couch with Netflix and a cocktail working on a new jewelry project.

While we were in Paris over a month ago, I photographed my newest natural element jewelry projects-- a pair of porcupine quill earrings and a porcupine quill necklace.

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

Supplies you need:
-Porcupine quills (I bought two batches on Ebay.)
-Ear wires
-End caps. I can't find the exact ones I used online, but they are similar to this, or this, or this, or this.
-Jump rings
-Earring hooks
-E6000 super glue

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

To make the jewelry it is incredibly simple. The hardest part is rounding up all of the supplies. Once you cut the porcupine quill to the length you want, just glue it inside the end cap and use a jump ring to attach the end cap to the earring hook. For the Makers always has really awesome jump ring tutorials. :)

For the earrings I used African porcupine quills and for the necklace I used North American porcupine quills.

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

I photographed the set of jewelry as Sean and I were exploring around the Louvre in Paris.

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

One of my favorite things about traveling in pedestrian cities is how fun it is to have little picnics on benches. On regular days I eat a lot of cheese... But in Paris it was shameful. (It's just so cheap and fresh!)

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

One funny thing about the African quills vs. the North American quills is that I had to file them down a bit, but in completely different ways. The North American porcupine quills, while tiny, are actually barbed and they stab into your shirt repeatedly if you don't take a nail file to the lower portions of them. The African quills are super sturdy and sharp... So you might give yourself a puncture wound in the shoulder if you don't dull them up a bit. :)

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

DIY Porcupine Earrings and Necklace

And if you don't want to make a pair of earrings yourself, I've got a few for sale in my Etsy shop!




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