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After waking up at 5AM for some last-minute cramming, then pedaling off to my 8AM Stats exam and my 10AM Cell Biology exam, I am ecstatic to face a whole week with no exam, no homework, nor even a class.

Or I would be ecstatic, if I had the energy. Perhaps I should take a nap.

For the time being, travel for Spring Break is off the menu. As an alternative, I am hoping to craft every day- and, perhaps, have a post for every day as well. It sounds like a good way to ring in the spring to me, no? To kick things off, here is yet another necklace that has been six years in the making.

Lay of the Land
Lay of the Land

I’ve had people ask me how it is I do so many different crafts- how I knit and sew and embroider and make jewelry and crochet and whatever else catches my fancy. The answer? I do it all very, very slowly.


Actually, this one was rather fast once the design came together, both times I made it. The problem was, the first design was structurally flawed and broke before I even managed to put it on my neck and look in the mirror. I had really wanted to use some black hemp string to wrap around the doughnuts and attach them to the necklace, for the sake of the play of the hemp’s texture and rough look on the combination of jasper and hematite. Unfortunately said string was a) too thick to string beads upon without vast amounts of struggle and b) too weak to support the weight of the hematite. Thus broken, the necklace remained packed away, mocking me with jewelery-ish failure, for years. The solution came in a flash of enlightenment, and a distinct sensation of “Well duh, why did that take me so long to come up with?”

Little Jasper
Little Jasper

I stumbled upon the broken necklace while reorganizing my beads, and a lightbulb went on: chain! If I used chain to attach the doughnuts (something whose textures and color also look fantastic with the primordial red of jasper) I could also string them on something else, something that ideally combined strength with thinness and ease of handling: tigertail wire.

For those who are unfamiliar with beading, tigertail is a steel cable wrapped in nylon. You finish it by smashing little metal tubes called crimp beads down over the cable, and voila! Simple, and strong.

Red Earth
Red Earth

Jasper and Hematite are among my top favorite combinations of gemstones. Also, amethyst and either aventurine or malachite.

She hangs, purposly, with a lot of distance between the upper and lower strands of the necklace at the center. I had hoped to draw even more attention to that huge, beautiful doughnut of jasper… which you can’t even see in this picture, but you get the idea.

How She Hangs
How She Hangs

What do you think? Does it work?

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