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Design on a Dime: Ohm Sweet Ohm necklace

A couple of years ago I was bored and looking for something new and interesting to do, so I decided to check out yoga.

Knowing nothing about yoga at the time, I did a bit of research, and after discovering several terrifying poses that looked as though a trip to the emergency room might be necessary after attempting them, I found a beginner pose more suited to my skill level (none) called “Mountain Pose.” Basically, it involves just standing there. Another pose called “Savasana” (or as I like to call it, “lying on your back, napping”) also seemed right up my alley. A third pose, inexplicably called “Cow Face” (I am not making this up) did not look particularly pleasant, but based on the name alone seemed amusing. Yoga sounded swell! I decided to try a class.

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At first, I was worried I might feel completely out of place, walking into a room full of beautiful yoga people with all their chakras aligned, executing poses the likes of which could make cast members of Cirque Du Soleil weep. This couldn’t have been farther from the truth. In reality, my class turned out to be filled with incredibly diverse people of all skill levels, including a bald guy wearing bike shorts, an elderly Asian woman who owns every color of velour track suit ever known to mankind, and a woman who I swear is descended from trolls.

Troll Woman is freakishly inept at yoga. Like, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), Troll Woman is a minus 247. I mean, she is seriously THAT BAD. Every Monday she waddles in with her hair looking like a matted cat, and hideously mangles every pose she attempts with all the grace of a wildebeest being sucked into a sewer pipe. And yet, she shows up week after week. Why? My best guess is that she simply enjoys it.

On the other end of the spectrum is “Yoga Barbie.” In her early 20s, Yoga Barbie (whom I suspect has secretly had all her bones surgically removed and replaced with rubber bands) has long, straight hair, perfect skin, zero percent body fat, and wears a zippy sports bra exposing an improbable set of six-pack abs. She carries a large bottle of disgusting-looking green gloop with her at all times, and apparently has a nasty case of Attention Deficit Disorder, since she can’t seem to follow along with the instructor for more than five seconds before she just ignores the class and starts doing whatever pose looks coolest. I constantly want to throw a towel at her and yell, “HEY! YOGA BARBIE! What the heck are you doing?! Also, could I borrow some of those abs?”

So, by now you’re probably wondering why I’ve been blathering on for an hour about yoga, when this is supposed to be a column about BEADS. “WHERE ARE THE BEADS?!” you are probably shouting to no one in particular.

Patience, Grasshopper. I’m working up to a feeble moral here.

During yoga class last Monday, as I was thinking smugly to myself how I had totally mastered “just standing there” pose as well as “lying on my back napping” pose, it occurred to me that yoga class is a lot like the beading community. I looked over at Troll Woman, who was flailing away butchering “Warrior III,” and then at Yoga Barbie, attempting what appeared to be a hand stand balanced on one finger while doing the splits. I looked around at the rest of the class. They all had different strengths and weaknesses. Some seemed naturally talented, while others struggled with basic techniques. Some had been practicing for years. Others were novices. The one uniting factor was that we all just enjoyed yoga. We just wanted to learn and grow and master the craft as best we could.

The beading community is much the same. There will always be someone who breaks the rules and does their own weird thing, and someone who may not be the most naturally talented, but does their best and simply enjoys the process.

The most important thing is simply to show up, practice, and enjoy yourself. Or, if you prefer, just lie there and nap.

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I was in “Downward Dog” pose the entire time I was making this necklace.

In this spirit, the Ohm Sweet Ohm necklace I designed is totally Zen, without any budget stress. I started with iris blue freshwater pearls and then chose a few assorted glass beads from a mixed strand (both on sale for $2.39 each). I also bought a strand of cool Hamsa hand pendant beads (on sale for $3.59) and used a drop of alcohol ink to color the “eye” to give it more interest. The “Ohm” charm rang in at $1.99. I used one citrine nugget, which was a leftover bead from my stash, but feel free to use any accent bead you have handy—a crystal or briolette would look equally smashing. You’ll need a tiny bit of chain, and the usual findings—head pins, eye pins, a couple of jump rings and a clasp. Matching earrings are pretty much free, other than the cost of ear wires. Altogether, both necklace and earrings set me back less than $15.

Just click the photo to download a full set of instructions, which are so simple you can do the whole thing, find inner peace, and still have time for a couple of sun salutations.


Erin Strother

About Erin Strother

Erin Strother is a full-time graphic designer with an obsession for jewelry design living in southern California with her long-suffering husband George and their disobedient dog Swiffer. She has won 6 Pulitzer prizes, an Academy Award for “Best Virtual Sound Editing,” $4 in the California State Lottery, and other prizes too numerous to mention. She is currently working on her first novel, “The Summoning Circle.” (Really!) See more of her work at http://www.studioEgraphics.com and http://www.etsy.com/shop/StudioEgallery.