Making Jewelry: Fabric Beads and Leather Bands



I spent the morning in my studio making jewelry. Yep, jewelry. It took me back to my elementary school days making thread bracelets and beaded necklaces galore. I've had this little stash of beads made from fabric scraps and I decided today was the day. I love seeing textiles used in jewelry and accessories, especially when materials like fabric and metal are juxtaposed in surprising ways. My assembling was very simple: Five hand-stitched fabric beads strung onto sturdy cotton thread.

Now, please add "jewelry designer" to my ever-growing list of alter egos. It's up there with florist, botanical illustrator, marine biologist, and interior designer. Maybe alpaca farmer is still on that list too? I can't keep track. Too many inspirations, too little time.

And then as I was cutting the leather tag off of my husband's worn out jeans--preparing them for my "up-cycled denim" stash which means cutting out all seams, tags, and threadbare patches--I let the scissors do a bit of wandering. Yep, wandering. Soon after, I had three small strips of leather, my bookbinding awl, and some heavy duty quilting thread whistling along to the tune of a new little leather ring. How fun is that?

Last week I finished teaching the last of four fundraising workshops for artists. Hurrah! This officially ended my spring deadline extravaganza, just before the summer solstice knocked at my door. I promptly promised myself I would preserve some summer studio time to just, "make things".

To take a road trip away from deadlines and down the dusty paths of crafting just for fun. Textile jewelry, a new summer dress, bibs for the little one, and finishing up a mini quilt I started months ago--that's my shortlist. Oh, and strawberry jam. And reading books. And picnics in the Oakland Hills. I think maybe this meandering is actually key to sustaining a creative practice. Other days it feels like a luxury. Maybe it's both.

I keep thinking more and more about the slow design movement. About Natalie Chanin. About this article by Natalie Chanin. About Abigail Doan. About my friend, Sasha Duerr, and her company, Permacouture. Yes, yes, yes. And noticing how the philosophy continues to resonate with my own values and studio dreams. It's one of those reverberations that continues to echo in the chamber of your ribcage long after you thought that it might hush. Well, then...

Hello, Monday. Hello, friends. Hello, corner of the universe.



  1. Cute! I would like to order a necklace and ring, please!

    1. Hooray! So glad to know you like them. And always so glad to see you over here, my dear dearest.

  2. Lovely pieces you're making. Enjoy the time away from deadlines! I look forward to what you come up with next.

    1. Oh, you are very wise. Yes, to enjoy some time away from deadlines. The challenge. But the payoff too! Thank you.


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.