Cuff Me

I’ve been wearing more bold jewelry lately. You get more style bang for the buck that way. Because how can you miss seeing really bold baubles? For example, cuff bracelets really draw my eye because they are usually really wide and heavily decorated. Here’s a few attention-getting ones …

You can get a vintage version of this style of cuff from India or Yemen, with the filigree pattern and a pin closure. Or I guess you can get a new one from Lucky Brand:


Love that hinge and pin closure!

Here’s a striking 19th century silver wedding cuff from Rajasthan, at Rabari in the UK:

Silver Rajasthani Wedding Cuff via Rabari

For a similar look but even bolder, antique cuffs from Uzbekistan at Maison Halter Ethnics:


A 1960s Navajo turquoise cuff, now sold, was at 1st dibs:


You don’t have to go antique or high end to find cool choices. Inexpensive stretch bracelets are a great way to get the wide cuff look. This was from Piperlime, and may not be available any more, but you can find similar wide stretch bracelets:


I have a set of gold stretch cuffs very similar to the above one. I like to wear them with a black and gold kimono jacket (called haori) for dressy events and people always comment about the combination.

To wrap this up, I like this ancient looking India-inspired style from Evocateur, with elephants seemingly scratched in to it:


This could go on and on. Really, I could post so many of these, you could keep scrolling down for five miles. But this is a taste, like an appetizer. Just a few ideas to get you thinking about going bigger and bolder!

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“Half-DIY” Buddha Amulet Necklace

Do you know about the idea of half homemade food by Sandra Lee? You use ready-made things, and add your own twist as you put a meal together? Well it can also be applied to DIY, and I really like the half homemade idea when you want to be creative but you’re time-pressed. Or when you don’t have the skills to do total DIY. Or when the perfect ready-made thing presents itself to you, and you just want to add to it. That’s what happened to me.

Years ago I got this Thai standing Buddha amulet on eBay:


I wanted to make a multi-cultural necklace like the one below that I saw years ago, worn by Hanh Merriman of  Life in Travel blog:

Diversity in Jewelry by Hanh at Life in Travel

Very apropos, she named that post “Diversity.”

Hanh’s necklace above is by Kimme Winters, which I cannot afford, so I wanted to make something. Of course a Buddha amulet would be part of the necklace. I’ve traveled through Thailand, Laos and Cambodia (hopefully soon Myanmar) and am drawn to wats and Buddhas. I thought my Buddha amulet from eBay would be about 1.5-2″ tall.  But the seller must have used a macro lens just as I did in the photo above. Because:


Not impactful at all!

And this wasn’t a cheap amulet. Oh well. The Buddha sat in the jewelry box for a few years. I always had the idea to combine it with something else. Just needed to find the right thing. A few months ago, while stalking the jewelry-making aisles at Michaels, I saw stone pendants with big holes in them. Big enough for the Buddha? Yes:


And it looks like the Buddha is in a cave, very cool. So to make this half-DIY necklace, I added a few things to the pendant. Here are the supplies:


Well that was the first attempt at making the necklace, then a 20-lb cat decided to lean on my stuff. How do you push him away when he just wants to be a part of things? Here’s the successful DIY, in a hotel, so no crafty cat. There was better light for photos in the hotel anyway:


First to give the pendant hole a backing, I found round copper blanks from Vintaj. But the dark Buddha was getting lost on the copper color, so I applied Rub ‘n Buff in Antique Gold to lighten up the copper.

Then I tied the Buddha amulet to the copper circle with a saffron string, like the saffron robes that Buddhist monks wear. This saffron string came with the packaging of something I bought long ago, and at the time I thought it should be woven into something with the Buddha amulet. So now the Buddha is tied with a knot to the metal circle, and the Buddha hangs free within the pendant:


Then I glued the metal circle to the pendant with E6000 glue. For now I let the saffron strings hang free, a little bit boho:



Here’s how I styled the necklace the first time I wore it. I wore the Buddha necklace with another necklace I made with chunks of pyrite, and a necklace with a Mexican religious pendant. The combo has the multi-cultural spirit of the original inspiration:


This would need more beads to be closer to the original inspiration.

As is, I think it looks a bit more like this Kimme Winters pendant combo Hanh shared on her blog, which is more sparkly:

Kimme Winters Pendants at Life in Travel blog

Hanh shares some more jewelry made by The Woods with Buddha amulets on her blog:

Buddha and Naga Amulet by The Woods from Life in Travel

I love the style and am inspired to make more jewelry! I’m eyeing some antique coins from India on eBay right now to make into pendants …


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Is it Tassel or Tassle?

Someone else had the same question. It’s out there spelled both ways. Anyway, here’s a passel of tassels today …

So there was this bead in Santa Fe. This bead is calling out to me to become a pendant with a tassel hanging below it. So I’ve had a growing obsession with tassels on necklaces lately.

Here’s one that’s spare and elegant, by shopkei on etsy:

Tassel Necklace by shopkei on etsy

Via Stella & Dot:

Tassel Necklace by Stella and Dot

This Vince Camuto version has a slightly more global vibe and is good example of a tassel and pendant combo:

Tassel Necklace by Vince Camuto

A Rachel Zoe tassel necklace at ShopBop:


A little bit of leather, a little bit of color in this tassel necklace at Ella Georgia:

Tassel Necklace at Ella Georgia

Some opulence, from Blugirl, fall 2011 season:

Tassel Necklace via Blugirl

There was an abundance of jewelry in Santa Fe — and there’s an upcoming post about “Santa Fe Pompeiian” inspiration found there — but I have a goal this year to do more DIY. So I found some beads and some fixin’s and will be making a few pieces. One of them will surely include a tassel or two or three …

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DIY: Bangle Bar and Necklace Bar Jewelry Organizers

Jewelry can get in a terrible tangle when piled in a typical jewelry box. But now, behold:


Rather than tangled, isn’t it better to have chains organized like this:


You can have this too. It’s very easy (and bonus, inexpensive) to do!

Continue reading “DIY: Bangle Bar and Necklace Bar Jewelry Organizers”

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