Lend me a hand

Necklace with hand beads from Beads-N-Things.
Necklace with hand beads from Beads-N-Stuff.

I don’t wear much jewelry. But when I do, I try to make sure that they are either interesting pieces or that they tell a story. And recently (the past few years or so), I’ve been “making” my own necklaces with charms or beads I find places. Some of my favorites came from the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Egyptian exhibits, and include an ankh, an Eye of Horus, and a hyroglyphic hand (the initial “D”).

Speaking of hands, it’s been this long-running joke in my family that I’m obsessed with hands. Which I kind of am. Not the real-life hands, per se, but the image of the hand. I have always been drawn to them, from Michelangelo’s incredible Creation of Adam image to the ubiquitous hand and heart on fire milagros found in Mexico and Latin America. I can’t explain it, and I don’t think I’ll venture to try.

But a few months ago, I came across a small packet of beads I’d picked up at Beads-N-Stuff when I was in Bisbee, Arizona, that had been sitting in my drawer since August 2007. Among them were a few bone beads and two petite, shapely little pewter hands. I had purchased them with the intention of making a necklace, just like I had with the charms from my New York trip from the Met.

See how tiny?
See how tiny?

I promptly took a trip to the craft store and picked up metal hoops (the holes in the beads were too small to go through a chain by itself) and a chain, and then “created” my necklace. And I loves it!

But I have a confession: I’m really beading-retarded. Like extremely. I don’t have much patience for the craft (so it’s a good thing I keep my projects to include one or two beads). After getting home from the craft store, I realized that I had purchased an entire container of not just any hoops, but the ones that look like keychains. And they wouldn’t come apart! And my poor little beads were too fragile to try to push through (one of them bent a little, and I was afraid it’d break!), so I had to act quick. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here’s all you need: a small amount of hanging wire and needle-nosed pliers. Cut a small piece of the wire, and then take the strands apart (which is the part that takes the longest), leaving a thin string-like piece. Then, with your pliers, attach the bead to the hoop by wrapping it around itself several times. So far, my skin hasn’t been irritated by the wire, and the beads stay on fine.

And now I can wear this cute piece of jewelry that reminds me, each time I wear it, of my trip to Arizona, and my goal to return (which will hopefully happen this month!).


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Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.

2 thoughts on “Lend me a hand”

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