Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tiny, delicate, gold.

Hmm, I think I need to start with an explanation about how I read other people's blogs. I love reading blogs, read them constantly, but I don't - can't - do the Google reader, feed, catch up with "my" blogs every day kind of thing. Too much clicking, too few words. Reading is like oxygen, I need large amounts. Instead I like to read them all in one go. I'll find one that catches my eye, and follow it back and back until I lose interest or run out of posts. Then I'll start reading a new one, and try to forget about the old one for long enough for a good number of posts to build up before I check on it again.

That's how I came across this post, from October last year, by a super cool Australian called Hannah-Rose Yee. (What is it with these Australians and fashion, all the Country Road clothes in Woollies are calling my name. I hear them at night.... Wait, what was I talking about?)

Anyway, although the phrases "Olsen twin" and "fashion icon" do not belong in adjacent areas of my brain, Hannah-Rose's genius is such that as I read the post I found myself remembering certain things - like how much fun it was aged 12 or so to run around with my best friend in matching anklets, also, that I have a pair of jeans that exact length hiding in my wardrobe that haven't had nearly enough wear lately, and lastly, that in my jewellery box lurk at least three thin gold chains dating back to the time when thin gold chains were the thing to give to a little girl of a certain age, only I never wore them because I was running around in purple leather anklets instead. That, in other words, a pair of delicate gold anklets had become suddenly, inexplicably, desirable - and, unlike those Country Road clothes, well within my reach.

It seriously took me less than half an hour to turn one of my old chains into these. Most of that time was spent picking out the beads - I wanted them to be similar but not identical, and a sort of gold-ish neutral so that the whole thing would be a bit understated. By the time they were done I was having way too much fun to stop there, so naturally my next thought was "so how will they look if I wear them as a necklace?"

The answer was "pretty good, although the second clasp in the front looks just a little superfluous." Superfluous, huh? My inner voice thinks it's all educated and stuff today. So I made it non-redundant - take that, inner voice! - by adding a brass star charm (stolen from my charm bracelet) on an extra bit of chain (hey, I'd already cannibalised the findings from the second chain, it wasn't about to miss a few more links).

Then I realised that the extra length of chain would be just enough to let me wear it as a bracelet as well. It took me a while to figure out how to loop it through, but it worked. So here I am, feeling all smug and thrifty, with the ultimate Transformer piece of jewellery (It's a bracelet! Now it's a necklace! Now it's two anklets! I feel like I should be selling it on some over-excitable home-shopping show). I'll probably end up wearing it as a necklace most of the time, as I'm a necklace person through and through.

I found it the tiniest bit intimidating to try and hack fine jewellery like this - that pesky inner voice was all like "I can't do this, it's proper jewellery", but it's actually the easiest thing in the world to do. You just have to note that although the links in these fine chains can't be opened and closed, all the slightly larger ones used to attach the findings (clasps and so on) can be. So you have to cut the small links, maybe you lose one or two; but for the rest it's just opening and closing jump rings like anything you can buy in the craft shop.

So, what's hiding in your jewellery box?


  1. Lesley! What a great post, before I actually was given some proper, proper anklets with little gold charms winking off them (perfect, by the way), I was desperate for anklets and I appropriated some necklaces into doing the trick. I am queen of transformer jewellery - I also like to wear the anklets as bracelets, they're big but I love how they hang really far down off the wrist, and necklaces also make good bracelets too haha... I'm glad you are loving your anklets, I think that in delicate gold they are so much more modern and grown up than the anklets we all used to wear aged 12. I saw some girls the other day in the city wearing matching anklets - friendship bracelet kind of things, woven and beaded - and it was such a throwback to youth..


    ps. thanks for leaving your comments, I appreciate it, and I loved this post!

  2. Ah, I love anklets. My mom always, always wears one and I guess it rubbed off on me. I had a 9k gold one with a ladybug on it once, but it was stolen. Now I am on the hunt for a new one - I don't have other chains that could be used, but if I did I would have tried this! :) Maybe I'll get one with little bells. I love bells, even though my mom says I'll sound like a temple prostitute :P

  3. Hannah-Rose, thanks so much for commenting here! And for all the inspiration I've been getting from your blog - I made it back to the first post today, and it's been a really great read. I even wore a long skirt on Sunday, something I hardly ever do :)

  4. Carmine, you so won't sound like a temple prostitute! I bet all the respectable Hebrew women also wore anklets with little bells on them. It sounds like such a good idea!