Saturday, January 15, 2011


I was leaving the Desert Treasures Thrift store in the tiny town of Ajo, Arizona when the proprietor handed me a large Ziploc bag of “junque” jewelry and told me it was mine for $3.00. Well, I couldn’t pass that up!

With my husband driving, I dumped the contents of the bag out on my lap. Much of it was gaudy costume jewelry, mostly 80’s style and severely outdated. Yet, there were a few pieces which looked vintage and interesting. I separated out the silver pieces and began to visualize an eclectic choker design.

Here is a description of my "technique" (as we shall call it).  

I decided on a (I must admit, rather ugly) silver tone choker with an elephant engraved on the front as the base for my choker. Next, the center front piece had to be a bold, single earring! There was a vintage rhinestone necklace which I cut into several short pieces. I also picked out a pewter color ‘Partridge in a Pear Tree’ Christmas ornament which was chopped into smaller sections, a couple of vintage clip-on earrings, a brooch with several rhinestones missing, a wine glass identifier ring, another brooch and a handful of my faux pearls. Soon I was busy deciding on a layout.

I added other jewelry-making pieces I had purchased previously at the clearance rack of a craft store. These were dog tags, each with a word engraved on them: “Journey”, “Dream”, “Passion”.

As I began to lay the pieces on the choker base, I decided on an incongruous, off-center design for this very eclectic collection of silver tone pieces. On either side of the choker would be pieces that would balance out the piece, without being identical.

With the layout complete, I decided on the 527 glue to attach the individual pieces. I’ve used this strong bonding glue for many projects, from repairing shoes and vases to gluing beads, glass, metal and plastic together for assorted crafts.

With the main pieces glued in place on the choker base, I realized there were several missing rhinestones on the brooch, so I disguised this imperfection by adding a few single rhinestones clipped from the necklace and glued over empty spaces. Then, I added small pearls in the tiny, vacant crevices of the choker to blend the individual pieces together into my funky work of art!

  And here's the finished product!  

"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds around my neck." 
~ Emma Goldman