OOTD: Orange Seed Bead Cheetah
Today I'm introducing the second seed bead necklace that I have made as part of my new pandemic hobby. I took my inspiration from this tutorial because it was similar to the overall color scheme I was using and I liked the inclusion of the long gold-tone spacer beads interspersed randomly with the seed beads. I created 16 total strands, including plain 3 mm seed beads, plain 4 mm seed beads, plain 4 mm faux ivory pearls, seed beads with long gold-tone spacer beads, and three different thin gold-tone chains.
I didn't follow the tutorial's instructions for creating the necklace because I wanted to build the necklace starting with 3 plain seed bead strands I had already put on FireLine with jump rings attached at the ends. I finished stringing-and-jump-ringing the other bead strands (nice and easy), jump-ringing the significantly finer than I had meant to purchase because I am a noob cable chain strands, and half-assedly attaching crimp ends to the snake and box chain strands that were also extremely narrow and a total pain to deal with because you can't put a jump ring through them. I created 16 strands that varied a bit in length but that were still very similar (within about 1" to 1.5") so that the resulting necklace would be a thick, compact mass of strands.
I then divided these strands in two sets of 8 strands and added each 8 small jump rings/crimp ends on large jump rings. I was going to put them all together in one bundle, but even with Robot's help holding the large jump rings as I added the strands, it was too difficult...and yes, perhaps Robot lost control of one of the jump rings when it got overburdened and everything fell to the ground...so I went to plan B: 8 strands per jump ring.
This left me with two sets of 8 strands with large jump rings on both ends. Next it would make sense to add the clasp and, if desired, some extra chain for the length, but since I was waiting for a larger and less troublesome gold-tone chain to arrive in the mail, instead I used a gold-tone necklace extender with lobster clasps on both ends (like this; not an affiliate link) to put the necklace on.
I am reasonably pleased with how it turned out. The overall bulk and shape of the necklace is spot-on what I had intended. I like the look of the long spacer beads in the strands. But I wish the chains were larger to have more visual oomph; they are mostly lost against the seed beads, even though the beads are small. And I think the orange seed beads had a less neon bright quality in my mind than in reality. (I'm not sure why I would be delusional about the color as I already owned the beads, had worn an individual strand of them with other necklaces before, and had them immediately at hand when I planned the necklace.) But I declare the necklace a success and have plans to wear it again.
Other styling options: I can certainly amp up the chain factor by wearing it with extra stand-alone gold chains. I could add a pendant necklace that is a bit shorter or longer than this necklace. I could add a tassel necklace that is much longer than this necklace. A stand-alone string of pearls would add polish. Really, all sorts of layering/neck mess options exist if want to give the necklace a different look.
Here is the necklace in the context of its debut outfit. If one goal of styling is to bring people's attention to the "portrait area" of one's face, wearing a somewhat-brighter-than-intended necklace close to the neck is perhaps not the worst thing a person could do. It's interesting...I'm not sure whether it's the orange beads that are brighter or the coral cheetahs that are less bright than I had imagined. Of course, the first thing that attracted me to the cheetah blouse when I saw it in the store was the print: CATS! It's not a print made to look like the fur pattern of a cat; it is images of the cats themselves (what I call a "zoological print" rather than the typical "animal print"). But the second thing was that the cheetahs are a somewhat softer coral-and-pinkish-peach rather than the typical more golden-orange color. So then I turned around and introduced gold/orange with the necklace I made, haha.
Grey-blue sleeveless cheetah blouse - Evri/Kohls - 2X - $16.65 - 8/2019
Black ankle pants - thrifted, Eileen Fisher/Goodwill - XL - $15.00 - 5/2014
White long-sleeved cardigan - Lands End/gift - XL - 10/2020
Black silky scarf [as headband] - thrifted, ThredUp - $4.80 - 12/2019
Orange/sandstone/gold multi-strand seed bead necklace - made by me - 5/2021
Grey ribbon flats - Louise et Cie/Zappos - $50.00 - 12/2013
A few words on the pants and cardigan in this outfit. How is that I otherwise wear a 2X but these items are XL? It's kind of strange how that works, isn't it? These thinnish knit Eileen Fisher pants seemed a bit pricey when I bought them at Goodwill--15 whole dollars!--but for that brand and given how well they fit, they were well worth it. Now it's 7 years later (????) and I'm definitely not the same size (!!!!) but the pants still fit. It's a sisterhood-of-the-traveling-pants-level mystery.
As for the cardigan, it's a hand-me-over from my mom after she lost some weight. I actually own this same cardigan (in sky blue) in my usual 2X size, but as a summer-layering-over-sleeveless-tops cardigan, the XL works well. I realize this may not be a cardigan category for everyone but it is for me. Having a somewhat undersized cardigan for this purpose is not a problem because you don't need to fit other sleeves underneath it and you don't need to be able to button it.
My position is that as long as it fits well in the shoulders and isn't so ridiculously small so you feel uncomfortable or like an NFL player stuck in a kindergartener's desk, a more close-fitting cardigan can look good. I know some people will die on the "all cardigans/blazers/vests MUST be plenty large enough around to button even if you never button them" hill, but not me. I mean, if you're not going to button it, a cardigan that could be buttoned but isn't...well, sometimes that just looks too big and voluminous to me, especially if you're not wearing skinny jeans, a pencil skirt, or an otherwise very fitted bottom.
Do you have various categories of cardigan in your closet, intended for different use cases, like "summer layering over sleeveless tops" or "shrunken to wear with dresses" or "long and voluminous for the days that leggings insist on being pants"?
I link up with:
Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge (Mondays; 3rd Thursday)
Mica at Away from the Blue (Mondays)
Debbie at My Random Musings (Mondays)
Leelo at Beauty by Miss L (Mondays)
Roxanne at Glass of Glam (Mondays)
Laura at I Do deClaire (Tuesdays)
Emma at Style Splash (Tuesdays)
Jess at Elegantly Dressed & Stylish (Tuesdays)
Gail at Is This Mutton? (Wednesdays)
Shelly at The Queen in Between (Wednesdays)
Carrie at Curly Crafty Mom (Thursdays)
Ada at Elegance and Mommyhood (Thursdays)
Jacqui at Mummabstylish (Thursdays)
Suzy at The Grey Brunette (Fridays)
Nancy at Nancy's Fashion Style (Fridays)
Michelle at My Bijou Life (Fridays)
Erika at A Little Bit of Everything (Fridays)
Rena at Fine Whatever (Saturdays)