Something Old, Something New

Something Borrowed, Something Blue.

Recently (there’s that relative term again) I decided to weed through my mass collection of earrings spanning far too many years. Ninety percent of those earrings are ones that I have made myself though. In fact, I haven’t bought a pair of earrings in nearly five years.

While separating my collection into piles of keep, break apart, or just replace the hook and clasp, I came upon a set that I really loved but had fallen out of favor with because it had tarnished so badly.

20140317-073343.jpgBlue, in case you hadn’t noticed, is by far my favorite color, green coming in a very close second. It was the blue beads that first drew me to this set hanging on the costume jewelry rack all those years ago. But not just that, the delicate chain between the smaller beads was so shiny. You know how Southerners are about shiny things. This pair became my go to pair with my blue outfits for many years. They stood out nicely against my naturally dark brown curls.

As my collection grew from my creative spurts, more and more newer, shinier sets crowded this pair out making them virtually invisible to me each morning as I selected my adornment. While sorting through all my sets I rather cavalierly chucked this once much loved pair into the break apart pile along with all the other tarnished beyond reason sets. How cold and callus the decision was and it took less than two second to make.

Like any time consuming project, by the time I was finished sorting and reorganizing the surviving pairs of earrings, I was ready to call it a day. So there all the discarded earrings sat on my dresser in handmade wooden bowls (remember I am a MakerGoddess) for what seemed an eternity. Finally, the day arrived that I had the time to deal with all the mess.

First I replaced the hooks and clasps on the ones set aside for that easy repair. Back into the collection they went. Next, the task of breaking apart all those earrings whose metal parts had fallen into such a state of disrepair that the only redeeming quality left to then were the beads. But wait, couldn’t they be saved, I hear you asking. I did think of that. A couple of runs through a sonic jewelry cleaner though revealed the hopelessness of the valiant effort. So back into the bowl they went as they waited their fateful meeting with the cutters.

Pair after pair snapped apart, the beads IMG_1680 set aside for reintegration into my vast stock, 20140317-075645.jpg the metal works cast into the bin like fish guts. With each successive pair any and all sentimentality faded more rapidly than a blink. Until I came to this pair. I paused, holding it in one hand, the cutters still poised in the other. The next few seconds, that seemed to last an eternity, were filled with reasons to keep the set. The chain and hooks can replaced! Or can they?

I was down to my very last pair of silver hooks, recouped from a pair I had previously repaired, when the hope of rejuvenating the beloved earrings began to waver. Then a search of my lengths chain presented another road block. While I had some pretty delicate links in my stores, none were as delicate as the original. Was this it, the end really come for my favored pair? No!

There is no way you can ever mend anything back to its completely original state. Even car enthusiasts can spot a restored classic from one that’s never had work done. The smallest chain in my supply may have been bigger than the original, but it would still work, wouldn’t it? Yes!

Painstakingly counting and recounting and recounting and recounting (yes, multiple times) each link set between beads in the original to assure comparable length in the new, I set about the delicate surgery on my old friends. I didn’t have to be so precise, but wanting to remake the pair as close to the original design spurred my tenacity to the task. It soon paid off!

20140317-080638.jpgEmboldened by the success of the first repair I set my lithesome hands in motion at a faster pace, counting but not recounting as many times the links of the original and replacement chains.

Sheer ecstasy filled my heart when I saw the pair, completely rejuvenated.20140317-081430.jpg

I could have relooped the beads, but I felt for nostalgia’s sake, keeping a bit of the old was important. It is this blending of the new and old that now gives this pair its old fashioned charm. And they still stand out nicely against my naturally dark brown (thanks to Miss Clairol) curls. See?

20140317-111235.jpg

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Very sentimental and so relevant to this project. Old, check. New, check. Even blue, check. But where did the borrowed come from I hear you asking. Well, it wasn’t my design to begin with now was it?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ron Mexico
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 11:12:44

    Wow, those earrings look great on you! I was looking for some jewelry for my recently pierced nipples. Perhaps you can help me. 😉

    PS…thanks for the data charts. Hope you are enjoying your break.

    Reply

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