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Design on a Dime: Shoreline mixed media necklace

Design on a Dime: Shoreline mixed media necklace

Erin Strother
erins 2 years ago

Mixed Media Necklace

I’ve been kind of cranky and short-tempered lately, and I was complaining to a friend about it and she said no matter what my problem is, it’s pretty much always ESTROGEN’s fault.

So now I’m blaming estrogen for everything.* She suggested I should go get a massage to help me relax, but that’s expensive and since I’m uber-cheap, we all know that won’t be happening. I actually went to high school with a guy who is now a licensed massage therapist, and he told me once that he would give me a FREE massage, so like, every 7 seconds I would say, “Hey Jon, how about that FREE massage you promised me?” And then he would always have some lame excuse, like, “Oh, well, my cat just fell down the stairs” or, “You live 800 miles away, you freak. Quit stalking me.” Which, in all fairness, was true. (The 800 miles part, not the stalking part.)

So, anyway, no massages for me. But what I CAN do to help de-stress is go to the beach, because I live in San Diego, and we have beaches all over the place. Unfortunately, I don’t live very close to any of the beaches, because, well, just Google “San Diego beach town real-estate prices” and you will understand. So by the time I drive for 45 minutes through horrendous traffic and then try to find a non-existent parking place where I’ll probably have to parallel park (!!!) I’m way more stressed than if I stayed home and just made a beachy-type necklace. So that’s what I did.shoreline necklace whiteLR

bead mixI saw these new blue agate sticks that are perfect for embellishing with ribbon, wire and tiny beads. Then I found this mix of beachy-colored seed beads (appropriately called “summer mix”) that had a bunch of different strands—two different blues, two different greens, amber and matte golden tan. The mix also has one strand of small, assorted tan, gold and amber glass beads, which complement the seed beads nicely. The great thing about these mixes is they are really inexpensive—you get the whole bunch for only $3.99.

So I used a mix of those beads to make two simple beaded strands, and used some of the same beads to wire-wrap the pendant bead. You can get full instructions by clicking the photo, but here’s the short version of how to create the pendant:

shoreline pendantLR

Start by making a wrapped bale with 22-gauge wire. Then, cut a long piece of 26-gauge wire and wrap the end around the existing wraps of the wrapped bale a few times, leaving a long tail of wire. (I just realized I used a form of the word “wrap” four times in the last two sentences and my high school English teacher is rolling over in her grave. Now she’s rolling over in her grave again because I used the cliché “rolling over in her grave.”)

Next, cut about 6” of narrow ribbon. I used a turquoise color that matched the stone, but in hind-site, I think a contrasting color like gold or light tan would show up better. So if I were you, I’d do that, but you can use whatever color you like. Or just leave the ribbon off completely, which would be fine too—my feelings won’t be hurt or anything.

Anyway, wrap the ribbon around the top part of the stone. (You can use a drop of glue to help hold it in place.) Then, holding the ribbon securely in your non-dominant hand, use the tail of 26-gauge wire to wrap around the ribbon a couple of times to secure it. Then start stringing a few beads onto the wire and positioning them on the front side of the stone. Keep wrapping the wire randomly around the top area of the stone, stringing a few beads each time until you like the way it looks. Wrap the remaining wire around the wraps of the bale a few times to secure, and trim any excess wire.shoreline necklace click me

Then, just attach some brown leather lace to the pendant with a lark’s head knot. Attach all three strands together and add a clasp, and you’re good to go.

So this project should help you de-stress even if you live in a very un-beachy town like Omaha or Tucson, and don’t know any massage therapists. And of course, whatever goes wrong, you can always blame ESTROGEN.

* If this blog post seems a little cranky, it’s ESTROGEN’s fault. I’m also blaming estrogen for me eating an entire bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and not going to the gym this morning.

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.



  1. Rachel May 18, 2016

    Well cry me a river….I won’t be feeling sorry for you out there in sunny San Diego, but I Love this design and your crankiness and estrogen have inspired me to make my own version!?

    1. Molly Schaller
      Molly Schaller May 20, 2016

      Rachel, it’d be awesome to see your version! If you get a chance, post it on our Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/halcraft
      Happy beading!

  2. Diana May 18, 2016

    If cranky gives a design like this then I need to be cranky! Love it!

  3. Sharon P May 21, 2016

    I just love what your cranky, beach deprived self can create when “on a roll”! Simple yet elegant and a great way to bring the great sunshine with you everywhere. Time to create some of this beach magic myself as I too am nowhere near the ocean fun in Buffalo, NY. Hope you have a great weekend! ??