This is a photo of my work table yesterday.  I was having one of those days when ideas were just flowing – multiple ideas for multiple pieces of jewelry, all in a rush and tumble, almost all at once.  Some are captured as sketches, others have enough beads pulled together to give me the main idea of the piece.  Do I have way too much going on?  Probably.  Should I reign it in and work on one piece at a time?  Yes.  And I will.

But when the ideas are flowing like this I let them flow, even if it means temporary chaos.  I do what I can to capture each idea and then begin to focus on the actual development of each piece, evaluating each idea for soundness as I go along.  I’m excited, I did get some soldering done yesterday.  I need to get on my jeweler’s bench and get some sawing, drilling, and filing done today.  I can’t wait to see the ideas become reality.


Turtlenecks provide a perfect opportunity to accessorize.  With some sweater and shirt styles, the location and size of the collar must be taken into account when planning accessories.  We’ve all had it happen before – the necklace that keeps falling inside our shirt instead of sitting on top.

With turtlenecks, the neckline is high up and practically out-of-the-way.  Most necklace lengths work very well, however, very short necklaces can be tricky – even ones that usually fit us because of the extra volume created by the turtleneck.  Extending the necklace with a bit of chain or ribbon can resolve this.

Another reason turtlenecks are great for accessorizing is because they provide a colorful backdrop for your jewelry – creating a canvas that you can play and experiment with when it comes to color.  In this photo, a very red necklace was chosen to stand out against the green of the sweater.  They both hold their own and I think the match is a good one.

Another nice way to accessorize a turtleneck is with a pin.  Instead of placing the pin on your jacket lapel, place it on the neck of the turtleneck.  My favorite pin for doing this is a little bumblebee pin I received as a gift from my boyfriend.  I can wear it with a turtleneck and jacket, and it peeks out sweetly at my neck.  Plus there’s none of that pesky seatbelt hitting my pin syndrome that can sometimes occur when its on the lapel.

So, enjoy your turtlenecks with your statement necklaces or other jewelry pieces that you just love, have fun, accessorize and let the world see your beautiful style.

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Things are exciting here at The Bead Dreamer.  I’m busy packing orders from yesterday’s Cyber Monday Jewelry Party.  I was awesome being able to talk with some of you on the phone and I plan to do this again.  Everyone who attended seemed to enjoy the party and liked having the opportunity to ask their questions about my jewelry.  Here’s a little bit about what’s coming up this month.

  • Bead Dreamer jewelry ships free all month.  No coupons, no codes, simply select the jewelry you want and the shipping’s on us.
  • The next book giveaway from Lark Books will be announced on Saturday 12/5/09.  We’ve had three delighted winners so far and I’m looking forward to selecting another.
  • Our fourth book giveaway will be announced later this month as will a gift card giveaway from  How awesome is that?  Not only do you have the chance to win a book, you can also win some beads and supplies for your jewelry project.

As usual, I’ll be talking about jewelry making, accessorizing, jewelry storage, and other topics you’ve come to expect from my blog.

So Happy December and let’s look forward to a wonderful month.

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I am cold-natured so the first nip in the air sends me running for something warm.  This fall, cardigans seem to be everywhere and I love how well they work with jewelry.  Layering is still a strong trend and cardigans are perfect as the top layer over a shirt or tee, the middle layer with a shirt underneath and a jacket on top, or the bottom layer worn as a shirt.

BR Cardigan

Photo courtesy of Banana Republic

I love this look from Banana Republic.  To me, this outfit is about hard and soft contrasts and subtlety in textures and tones.  The cardigan is very soft in color and the ruffles add more softness.  The jeans add a bit of edge.  They are worn-looking and distressed, adding texture.  The necklace adds hardness and some fluidity.  The length works because it falls clear of the neckline of both the cardigan and shirt underneath.  A very short necklace would also work with this look.  Jewelry could also be used to bring a tiny splash of color.


Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

How beautiful is this outfit from Anthropologie.  It has a vintage feel to it.  I love the colors – everything is soft except for the mustard top peeking out from underneath and the red punch from the signature necklace.  I think this outfit absolutely needs a strong necklace and I like the length of the necklace, falling slightly above the mustard top.  Love it.

GH Cardigan

Photo courtesy of Garnet Hill

A bit dressier and more romantic note is set by this cardigan from Garnet Hill.  The necklace is bold enough to hold its own against the patterned sweater.  Yet, because they are in the same color family, the cardigan and necklace do not fight each other for attention.  She’s wearing a dress underneath.  I could also see this cardigan dressed down with a chocolate brown shirt underneath and jeans.  Warm and pretty.  Sounds perfect for fall.

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Why not?


A friend gave me this bracelet and I love it.  The brass keys are just so pretty.  I wear it as a bracelet, but find that I am wearing it even more as a necklace.  I did this by adding some chain in the same color tones.  I use the clasp on the chain to connect to one end of the bracelet and the clasp on the bracelet to connect to the other end of the necklace.  It works beautifully.

So take a look at your bracelet stash.  Maybe you’ve got a piece that can do double-duty as a necklace.  It’s great to be able to buy something new.  But sometimes, shopping in our own wardrobes and finding new uses for things can be smart and fun.

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I used to hear that if you had a top with a lot of embellishment or ornamentation, you should stick with earrings or a bracelet as accessories.  Or, if you wore a necklace, it needed to be something tiny.  I’m noticing necklaces being worn with embellished tops, and when done the right way, the look is lovely.  The coral colored ruffled top from J Crew is an example.  I love the necklace they have paired with the top.  It makes the outfit far more interesting than it would be without the necklace.

This beautiful top on Joely Fisher looks great with the multiple strand necklace.  It creates interest but does not steal the show from the vibrant color of the top and its embelishment.  I think it’s a very nice and modern combination.

Embellished Tops

I think the collar of  this shirt from Ann Taylor Loft creates a problem for this style of necklace.  It’s a pretty shirt, I would either go the bracelet/earrings route or wear a bold necklace close to the throat.

Pleated Collar Button Front

So, ladies, enjoy both your necklaces and beautiful tops this fall.

Photos courtesy of J Crew, In Style Magazine, and Ann Taylor Loft respectively.

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HandmadeFallI’m participating in the I Heart Handmade seasonally inspired handcrafted market.  The online show runs from September 19th through October 17th.  As always, it’s a nice show with a variety of crafts persons and artisans.  There’s whimsical art, homemade candy, knitted creations, baby boutique items, and of course, jewelry.  Take a moment and browse the show, it is lovely and everything is handmade.  Here’s the link.