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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Beach Pebble Necklace

Toward the end of our vacation in England last July, we spent an afternoon in Aldeburgh, a pretty seaside town on the east coast.  It was a very pebbly beach, unlike any beach I had ever seen before. In the face of such found object bounty, it was hard to keep myself from lugging ten pounds of pebbles home.  I did come away with a few, though, including a beige pebble with a hole located conveniently near one edge.  It's what I would call "nature's bead."  The hole actually contained some tiny pebbles that were wedged in tightly, but Scott helped me to clear them out.

I knew I wanted to try making a necklace with this find, but had a few things to think about.  First of all, this stone is relatively heavy.  That made me think it would be best to put it on a short necklace.  If the necklace were long, the stone would swing back and forth and hit my chest while I wore it, which wouldn't be very comfortable.  Also, the stone was thick enough that wrapping wire around it would have been challenging,  I knew from experience that it would be hard to get a good fit that didn't look clunky using wire, so I used short lengths of chain both to join the stone to the two sides of the necklace and to add the two beads that dangle from the bottom of the stone.  The last thing to think about was what beads to put with the stone.  The stone's large size pointed to using fairly large beads.  I also though that beads that didn't look too uniform or shiny would be best here--no strands of pearls or Swarovski crystals for this "nature's bead!"  I found some beads in my stash that I was very happy with--four large brown ceramic beads to echo the color of the stone, and a bunch of green striped African trade beads to add some color.

I linked all the beads together with fairly thick wire, thinking again about the size of the stone and trying to keep the rest of the necklace in proportion.  I found a toggle clasp with a shape that sort of echoes the stone's shape.  People won't usually see the clasp, of course, but I like the have my clasps harmonize with the rest of the piece if possible.

Once I thought of a design and selected my beads, the necklace came together fairly quickly.  I've been enjoying having another piece that reminds me of a fun trip.  It's a good pick-me-up on days when the next vacation seems impossibly far away.

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