Getting back to old hobbies (and a lesson in jewellery photography)

Coming to the end of my teenage years has encouraged me to reflect on where I was at the start of them.  As anyone would expect, I’ve changed a lot, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to reminisce and drag out things I used to love, if nothing else, for old times’ sake.

I hit teenagerhood (if that’s even a word) right around the time beading and jewellery making was a big thing.  I remember getting  a starter jewellery making kit from book club (yes, book club, remember that?!) in late primary school.

It completely, 100% had me in and I basically spent the next couple of years investing the entirety of my pocket money into jewellery making supplies, and making jewellery that I hardly wore, just for the fun of it.

It’s only now that I see that was a pretty big waste of time and money and that’s what inspired me to try to make an effort to wear some of the things I made, as well as to use up some of the big old stash.

I decided that a good place to start was to use up a whole heap of odd little beads – ones that have no matching ones, or that I don’t really like on their own, but actually work together really well.  There’s a mixture of glass beads as well as a few resin and plastic ones, which help keep the necklace light enough to wear comfortably.  (Please ignore how faded and dusty my beading tray is… it’s been a while!)


This is what I made.


This necklace is loosely based on a Katie Hacker design from her book 30 Minute Beading, but I’m sure I could give you a tutorial on the basic design, if anyone would like one!  The thing I like about it most is the fact that the toggle clasp is in the front, so it’s both functional and a feature of the design.  Here’s a close-up of the toggle, which also shows off its usefulness as a place to hang little charms…


Now, I did mention ‘a lesson in jewellery photography’ in the title for a reason… I’m no great photographer (I use my trusty iPhone 5S as my camera), and I found it really difficult to get good photos of this necklace.  There are so many shiny things for the light to reflect off, so I wanted to share a few tips of how I got this to work.

  1. Indoor photos.  In the shade.  There was too much sun outside to get anything without heaps of light reflecting.
  2. Adjusting the angle to help minimise issues with the light, and to move any shadows around until you’re happy with them.
  3. Try different backdrops to complement the piece.  The earthy amber tones in this necklace just happen to match beautifully with a lot of the natural tones around the house – I used doors, floors, cushions, furniture… basically I walked around and picked out anything I could find that looked like it may work and gave it a go.
  4. Especially if you’re an inexperienced photographer like me… take heaps of photos! I find it’s much less frustrating to take a whole bunch and sort through them later, rather than taking and retaking; agonising over one shot again and again.  Even if you have no idea what you’re doing, you’re bound to get some good ones eventually!

Warning, photo spam… here are some of the better ones I ended up with.

What hobbies did you enjoy when you were younger?  Will you go back to them?  And, would you like to see more jewellery here?




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