In early August, my in-laws sent me a birthday check: $43. I will leave it to my clever readers to guess the reason for that peculiar amount. At any rate, I wanted to use it to buy something pretty but couldn't decide between yarn and jewelry. A familiar dilemma... Then I remembered the beaded jewelry kits from Earthfaire, which had intrigued me for a long time, although I had never quite gotten the nerve to take the plunge. This seemed like the perfect excuse, especially when I discovered the Frosted Leaf Necklace, the focal point of which is a genuine oak leaf, coated in sterling silver. I could not resist, since the house in CT where I grew up was nestled in the woods and surrounded by oak trees, with a state park on two sides of the property.
In addition to the leaf enhancer, the twig-shaped cross-bar that it hangs from, and a magnetic clasp, the kit consists of silver thread and 5 different types of beads: Matte Vitral Crystal daggers (basically pale green/tan, with a gentle metallic cast to them), 4 mm and 6 mm Twilight-Sapphire Fire Polish Crystals (pale purple with a fascinating smoky quartz overtone), Silver-Lined Crystal megatamas (pure and clear, like ice), and Silver-Lined Crystal AB 8/0 (like little soap bubbles, with a rainbow sparkle). The beads are threaded in advance in a particular sequence and then knitted into a self-twisting rope using 2.0 mm (US size 0) needles. There are enough materials for a 32" necklace (i.e. a 16" strand on either side), but Ellen says right on the website that she thinks "shorter looks better," and given my own smallish stature, I knew I would end up with lots of leftovers. So I went ahead and purchased an additional silver leaf-clasp to make a matching bracelet, and some sterling earring findings as well. So far, however, I have just the necklace done. Here are some pictures. As always, click on any of these photos to take a closer look.