Flamingos Love Jewelry

Designed just with them in mind!

Seriously… they were begging! And have you ever seen a flamingo on her wings and knees? Almost crying for me to make some flamingo bracelets and necklaces for them.

It was really a sad sight to behold. So what choice did I have? After all, it’s not nice to disappoint the flamingos!

But I had to have the right beads or I couldn’t create the perfect collection. It had to be just right. Something fun, but casual. Bright colors to match their bright feathers. Lots of pink, of course, but I also needed touches of contrast, white and yellow were good, but I also tried a few other color variations. Some worked. Some…not so well.

The biggest problem, however, is how to make bracelets and necklaces that the flamingos can actually wear. Their wings don’t have wrists at the end, so bracelets are a bit of a logistical problem. Necklaces are a bit easier, though, as long as they have someone to fasten them around their necks.

I finally was able to make a couple necklaces, and of course they loved them! Now they’re fighting over who gets to wear them first since I’ve only made two so far. 

The problems of being a flamingo mom….they just don’t end.

But I have managed to make several bracelets for them. And actually by trimming the feathers on their beautiful wings just a tiny bit, they’ve managed to get them on. 

You should see them flouncing around and showing them off! But they refused to let me take pictures of them wearing their new jewelry because, well they didn’t want all the other flamingos to be jealous and squawking for me to make some for them as well!

But they would let me show them off on this beautiful jewelry stand our daughter gave me for Christmas. What do you think?

So now I’m busy sorting out beads and charms to use in their new Flamingo Jewelry Collection. They haven’t said yet if they’re going to let me sell any of them or not, but just in case, here’s one that’s already listed in my shop. But don’t tell them yet! 

However, if you want it, it’s your chance to be the first one to own a bracelet from this exclusive collection! 

And please don’t tell them about the flamingo styled farmhouse garland I made. I have them listed for sale as well, but if they find out they’ll not give me any peace until I either make some for them to use at their dinner parties or take them out of the store and give the garlands to them! Decisions, decisions….

All I can say is, “keep thinking pink!” Because there’s more pink coming!

Behind the Scenes

“Oh that bracelet is really pretty! Maybe I should try doing that. It really looks easy.”

Well, it is. Sort of. 

But you don’t know what goes into the making of a bracelet or necklace. It’s what you don’t see before the bracelet is finished. 

I didn’t know what went into it all before I became hooked on making bracelets and necklaces. 

At first, I’ll admit, I copied designs I found online. Well not totally copied, but fairly close. But those were for me, and certainly not to sell. 

Then I started making my own designs, which was a lot more enjoyable and creative. 

Getting ideas and then finding the right beads is a lot of fun. Usually. Unless you can’t find what you’re looking for. So many times I’ve had a particular color and style of bead in mind, but can’t find it in the local craft stores.

Ordering online is the only other option. I don’t paying for shipping, but sometimes there’s no other choice if Amazon doesn’t have what I need. And I hate waiting, but what other choice do I have?

Now I do have a rather large assortment of beads in the studio,  since I’ve been doing this for awhile.  

 But it seems like there’s always something else I need.

Putting the design together is usually easy, as long as you have an idea what you’re going to do. I use a bead board to plan the jewelry out which allows me to not only see the design as I go but also make sure the size is correct. Which is very important.

Then comes the part I really don’t enjoy. Stringing is not that bad, and I have several different kinds and sizes of beading filament and wire that I use. 

Note to newbies: be sure to allow yourself enough filament to have at least an inch of filament at each end so you’ll be able to tie off the bracelet without the beads coming off. Yes,it’s happened to me many times, and I scold myself for doing it every time! You’d think I’d learn eventually. If the ends aren’t long enough to tie your knots correctly, you’re going to regret it. 

And be sure to use a bead stopper on each end of the almost finished bracelet or necklace. My favorite are the “bead bugs”. I like the name, but they really work well. I probably have 20 sets of them so I can make a lot of bracelets or necklaces at one time. Then complete the final steps with several pieces at a time.

Because for me, the most difficult part of finishing a stretch bracelet is gluing the knot, which is an extremely important final step to be sure that knot holds. Why is it so difficult? 

For one thing, it’s very precise, and the smaller the beads, the harder it is to tie the knots and position the glue correctly. I use a brand called G-S Hypo Cement which dries quickly, and because of the type of applicator, it’s fairly easy to get the right amount on there. Let the glue dry for a few hours, snip the ends off, and you’re done.

The problem, you may ask? Getting  the cap back on the tube in exactly the right place. Plus my astigmatism makes it even harder! You can see from the picture below that it’s very slim and tiny. I love the way you can manipulate the drop of glue, but let me tell you, putting that cap back on is not easy.

The other closure types, lobster claw or toggle clasps, can be easily as frustrating until you master the art of the crimp. (Just make sure to include the clasps in the overall length of your jewelry.) Putting the actual crimp bead on isn’t really that difficult. But finishing it off with a crimp cover? Let’s just say I haven’t mastered it as well as I’d like. The crimp covers are small, and have to be positioned just right to cover the crimp. And with astigmatism, it’s worse than putting the cap on the glue!

And if you mess up on these last steps, well, you sort of have to start over. Which is certainly not fun.

But the finished products are definitely worth it. 

Be sure to visit my store NotOnlyBracelets to see – and purchase –  some of my creations.