Saturday, October 2, 2010

Over the Hill but Fancy!

My sister turned 40 last week.

She's over-the-hill now.
(Gotta rub it in while I'm still under-the-hill;
hmm, under-the-hill.  That doesn't sound better.)

Anyhow, I wanted to make something for her to celebrate, so I made her a jewelry set:

Notice the black string, because she's over-the-hill.

I thought I'd tell you how to make the necklace today since it's pretty easy, while I also display some pictures to celebrate my sister.

(I'll try to get the instructions for the bracelet and earrings on sometime in the next week.)

For you all


For Tammy,
my over-the-hill sister.

First, the really fun stuff: pick out your beads and needs.  I chose this ribbon thread, so I needed beads with slightly bigger holes.  Make sure the string, wire, leather cord, or ribbon you chose will pass through the beads you chose. (I speak from experience.) 
I picked some beads in colors I thought she'd like, and dug up some I already had. 
You'll need a clasp to finish off the ends.  I chose a package of toggle clasps.

I bought these cupcake pieces (also picked up smaller ones for the earrings) because I thought they looked fun, and my sister is the meaning of the word fun.

Also, because she has 8 sons, she is constantly celebrating birthdays, and I'm guessing that as they grow up and get married and have kids, well, she'll likely be able to wear this set once a week or so.  
By the way, yes, I did say she has 8.
Yes, all boys.
Yes, from her and her husband together.

No, I'm not going to try to catch up.

She wins.

Let's get this necklace done!
This double-sided tape was on the end of the ribbon, so I just folded it over to make it easier to pass through the bead.  If you do not have double sided tape, a dab of glue on the end while you get your supplies together will work; or light a candle, dip it in the wax and pinch it to give yourself a sturdy point.  There are also beading needles, but I don't have much success with them and this ribbon.

Twisting it when you're ready to ad the beads works well, too.
(At this point, I do NOT cut the string from the cardboard holder.  I usually wait until I've added the beads I want and figure out how many knots I want to add/ how long I want the necklace to be, before I cut the string.)

While you're preparing the threading point on your string, I'll share these:
 My over the hill sister and I with our friend Tammy in our younger years: got to love the poofy hair (and all the work it took to get it that way when we were born with stick straight hair).


A visit home during my freshman year of college: the three of us sisters.

 Okay, back to the necklace:

 Figure out the line-up of the beads by experimenting against a flat surface...

until you get the look you like,..

and then string the beads. After one side is done, add the middle piece...

and then the other side.

While you finish stringing your beads on:
my sister and I pose during one of her pregnancies.  We both inherited the magnificent trait of getting huge when we're expecting; the kind of huge that people stop and laugh at how huge we are.
  Yes, really.
  And you know how emotional and self-conscious we are when we're pregnant. 
People are mean to huge pregnant women.
Although I must admit, I do laugh when I see pictures of myself pregnant.

let's move on.

This picture was after the birth of her third; a special one to me because I was in the labor room with her.  It was a sweet experience except I kept laughing about her purple lips.  (I'm pretty sure her husband did, too.  It was really hard not to.)  A nurse had given her a purple popsicle when she got hungry right before induction began on the baby.
It was the purple labor.
Sorry, my over-the-hill sister.  I couldn't help it.

Okay, when your beads are strung, you are ready to ad the clasp.  At this point, you will need to figure out how long you want the string on your necklace and cut it.  Keep in mind that if you want to tie knots around each of the beads, you will need a little extra length for those.
Here is my toggle clasp.
BEFORE you tie it on, you will want to pick out a bead that you are going to use next to the clasp to hide the knot end piece
and string it on.

Then, leaving a little piece of string on the end, tie it on.
  I always tie right string over left string
then left side over right.

But I just read it should be right side over right
and then right side over right again.

If you know or have an opinion on the matter, please let me know.
Until then, I'll be tying.

Please don't be confused, but it does matter so that the knot will not come out.

Grab the left-over string together...
and carefully string both pieces through the end bead.
Carefully snip off the rough end piece right at the bead where it comes out.  

Then carefully tie knots on the outside of the end beads to hold them there.
This is a little tricky at first, but you'll figure it out if you work at it.
I'm sure if I can do it
(with much sweat and tears)
anybody can.

While you're tying those knots:
Here's my OLDer sister at the sink, making me laugh about something and whipping out clean dishes like they were toxic.  Fastest  dish-washer ever.

This is a special one to me.  With both of my first two babies, my sister was pregnant with me, although a couple months ahead.  I didn't realize how special this was until my last baby.  It was lonely being huge all by myself; well, and all the "what are you craving today" conversations.  
This was her with her eighth son and me with my first and only son.

I will show you the complexity of the knot around beads by showing you this next step.  This is done by pulling both ends of the necklace up together so you can find the middle of the necklace.

Slide the pendant down to the middle, leaving the other beads up higher on the string while you complete this knot.  Loop the doubled string over like this.

Lay the pendant over the top of the string like this, making a loop.

Tuck the pendant carefully through that loop, being careful to hold it's position on the string so it stays central on your necklace.

Carefully tighten the knot.  This keeps the beads from getting too close to the pendant which would make it hang awkwardly.

Take a breather as I show you my sister and her eight boys along with myself and my first two kids, our little sister, and our wonderful parents.  We all used to stay at a cabin together for a week or so, but haven't been able to all do so in a few years.  They found a new cabin they go to that is too far away for us to leave our farm.
I'm trying not to be bitter.
 I'll get over it one of these days,
or else I'll just say "forget it" and join them.

We were celebrating several birthdays in this picture.

This one is bittersweet.
Our little sister, who was born when we were teenagers, got married this past spring.
Then she moved across the country.
Again, won't let myself be bitter.  
Working on it.

But last weekend she flew in and we all met at a really fun family amusement park for the day.  Growing up is a hard thing, but it makes the times together priceless, 
for people who are over the hill 
and those of us who are heading up the hill.

Now you can play with your necklace to see how you want to place your beads.  You can knot them in place wherever you want them to be.

Here's another look.

But I chose this, partly because I hadn't left enough string on the necklace to make all the extra knots.  But I think it looks nice like this anyway.
Also, I put some water on the string to get the kinks out from where it was wrapped around the display board it came on.  Those will straighten out.  I was just in a hurry to get it done and wrapped so I could give it to her the next day.
Surprise, surprise.
I always plan on doing things way ahead, but find I end up getting it done the night before.

For you, my over-the-hill sister (Only you would get me to pose like this).


  1. Cute craft! If you like beading, have you discovered crimper beads? Super easy for getting the bigger beads to stay separated (like the way you had your knots). And I like you have learned to cherish my sister!

  2. Oh Tonya!! How thoughtful! You're the BEST sister ever!!! I love you dearly! I'm so thankful to have you as my sister and my dearest of friends!!!

  3. Carissa, Hi! I've used crimper beads for ending the necklace but not as you said, between beads. I had a little trouble getting them to crimp right, though. I need to experiment more with them. I'd like to take some classes someday. Have you taken any or just taught yourself?
    I'm so thankful for my friendships with my sisters as well. I feel so privileged to have the sisters that I do!

  4. So nice Tonya, and so thoughtful. Oh the poofy hair picture was great. Only I didn't have to poof my hair to stick out like that(yuck):( When did Tammy get the necklace?

  5. Yes, Tammy, we've all toned down in our hair! :) I gave her the necklace at Knoebels.


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