About a year ago, I needed an outfit to attend two weddings. Failing to find a suitable dress, I decided to make my outfit. I made a 1950’s inspired pink shantung dress with a blue sash and a blue necklace to go with it. I was never too pleased with the dress’s fit, but the necklace I liked:
You will notice that there are some brownish beads at the points, in the vertical section and below the large blue drops.
These used to be bright gold.
What I didn’t know when I made the necklace was that not all beads are made equal. These came in a canister and they were cheap — turned out they were not a such a bargain after all.
Apparently galvanized finishes wear off (or chip off in this case) very easily, especially when you wear the necklace in Maine in the summer (and sweat!)
When I tried to use these beads in other projects, I barely got past the first few rows before the color was coming off. Sometimes I think wear adds to the look of the piece, but in this case, the blues need the bright gold. And with these beads the gold is still coming off. I try to make things that will last awhile (a sort of rebellion against disposable culture, I guess) out of real materials. When the necklace was new, it looked like an homage to Queen Nefertiti, but now, it’s kind of sad looking. Not that I’ll stop wearing it. I considered making it over – but since I have so much else to do, It will have to fall apart before I’m motivated to go back to it.
Here you can see the unfortunate beads a little better:
So lesson learned: buy the more expensive materials when you can.
Incidentally, this is the same necklace that my cat is wearing in the header.