Friday, March 9, 2018

Turkmen and Fabric Boho Necklace

 I'm crazy about fabrics. Crazy about beads. Crazy about Turkmen jewelry parts, crazy about lapis. For weeks--maybe months--I had been trying to create a necklace with some of the gorgeous Turkmen parts that Gwen Lafleur carries on her website.

One day I accidentally placed a length of orange ribbon by the parts I was puttering with on my jewelry tray and decided that I just HAD to combine orange with the dark blue lapis Turkmen pendants, Turkman Waziri and Kuchi Pendants, and silvery Turkmen jewelry parts.

The Turkmen jewelry pieces looked great together on the design tray, but were too heavy when all used together.
The problem was that the orange ribbon wouldn't thread through the Chinese blue and white beads from my jewelry stash that I had incorporated into the design. So, off I went to the Garment Center to find orange beads or thin orange cord.

When I got home, neither the new cord nor new beads worked. And they didn't have exactly the size or color I wanted so I ended up with red beads and turquoise beads.
The red and orange beads weren't quite right with the Turkmen coins and Chinese blue beads.
Neither the red nor turquoise beads really looked right, so I took them away. The orange silk cording didn't seem strong enough to support the heavier Turkmen parts. Then I came up with a design that looked good on the tray, but when I strung them on the wire, it didn't hang right, it was waaaay too heavy. I also realized that I already had a necklace (created a few years ago) that was very similar sitting right in my jewelry box. I put the tray and beads away and slept on it.

This design looked pretty, but was almost identical to a necklace I had made previously.
Then I decided to start over. I puttered and puttered, adding and subtracting beads.
Finally I pulled it all apart, pulled out a few lighter weight Turkmen pieces, mixed it with the red and turquoise beads, added some rolled fabric beads I had made years ago, and decided to aim for a festive look. (Fabric scraps were cut into long triangles and rolled on a skewer to create the beads. They were hand-stitched and a few decorative seed beads added for accent.)
The handmade fabric beads were a lightweight, colorful and refreshing addition.
While deciding what to string it on, I remembered some colorful Spice Market Yarn. I "auditioned" it next to the beads and it seemed just right. The colorful "warm base" twisted fibers were just the thing to unite the fabric beads and lighterweight Turkmen elements.

The spice market "darn good yarn" went nicely with the handmade fabric beads.
Some lightweight Turkmen jewelry parts were mixed with the fabric beads.
I wanted the cording to show, so I decided to try tying the beads and baubles on with knots. I tested a small piece to see how it worked.

Small silver beads were used to keep the Turkmen parts from sliding off the knot.

To keep the Turkmen pieces from sliding over the knot, I added a few silver-colored spacers.

The colored beads had a tiny hole and the cord wouldn't go through them. My solution was to use a small headpin and turn a loop so the bead would hang off the cord.

A closeup of the bead with a turned loop, and the blunt needle used for stringing the necklace.
Several closures were tested, but a simple knot worked best.
The necklace is long enough to slip over the head without requiring a fancy closure.
The question, once all the beads were on and knotted, was how to create the closure. The cord was too thick for the silver closures I had on hand, and the little crimps were also too small.

I decided to make it long enough to go over my head and tied it closed.

The "Darn Good Yarn" was tied securely before being stitched to hide the ragged ends.
I didn't like the raggedy edges so I wrapped them with a pinkish-red thread and stitched it down neatly...well, not perfectly, but my wobbly stitching blended in pretty well with the colorful cord.

An blanket stitch was used to secure the loose ends of the closure.
The finished necklace is lightweight and fun, and makes me think of summer...maybe it is because the central Turkmen part that hangs down reminds me of a fish, or maybe it is the gingham check and calico prints that the fabric beads were made from. I picture myself wearing the necklace with a summer tee shirt, a flowing gauze skirt, walking barefoot along the beach boardwalk, watching the waves break on the sand, and feeling totally relaxed and recharged.


Jackie PN said...

Linda, what a spectacular necklace! I totally love your choice of beads,turkman parts and design! And the sari yarn!!! Wow- yes, definitely summery , although I would find myself wearing this boho beauty year round! Bravo sister!!
Jackie xo

Jill McDowell said...

Love this idea Linda. Your necklace reminds me of summer too. I think you’re right about the red check..... I’ve recently developed a thing for beading and am prepping for my first piece. Your timing is perfect! Thanks for the inspiration.

Kate Yetter said...

So beautiful! I love the ethnic feel to this piece and the wrapped yarn. The color are so amazing together. love it!!

ann barnes said...

I love seeing the evolution of your necklace project! Stringing it with that fiber is so wonderful and it pairs so well with the fabric beads. Loveing those Turkish parts!!!! Gorgeous Seeing your creativity take flight is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

Lynda Shoup said...

Love this necklace! It looks breezy and playful. Now I want to go play with beads.