Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wicked Witch Necklace

The Wizard of Oz - Wicked Witch

For most beaders, the idea of scraping a finished project and starting all over again can seem horrifying. Not matter how carefully cuts are made, there will always be materials that cannot be reused, and of course all that hard work is gone. For bead weavers, the unsuccessful project is particularly frustrating, and not just because reusing the beads means plenty of tedious cutting, yanking and stitch ripping.

When I create something that doesn’t meet my own standards, I usually add it to my personal jewelry box. The lessons learned are worth the time spent, and I get a new bauble for myself. Still, there are some projects from my first year of bead weaving that have never been worn, and are carefully packed away in little baggies, waiting for their time to be used.

Voodoo Carnival Fringed Necklace

The Inspiration:

As I was going through my finished pieces recently, looking for just the right item to donate to a charity auction, I came across some older necklaces that I had made when I first picked up jewelry making. I had set them aside, too proud to remake them, and too picky to sell them. There is one necklace that always makes me feel a little regret that it never made it into the ‘sell pile’. I had made it after making several leaf-fringe necklaces that looked like plants and fruit. I was enjoying the technique, but wanted to do something interesting and unexpected.

I think that the red, black and white pattern looks just like the Wicked Witch’s stocking feet sticking out from under Dorothy’s house. My husband says they remind him of the sandworms from Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice. Either way, I love the bright red on black and white stripes, and I decided it was finally time to remake this old design.

Opaque Black, White and Red Beads

The Beads:

For this piece, all that was needed were simple 11/0 seed beads in black, white and red. The dark shade of red is usually hard to tell from brown, especially when it’s next to the other cherry and tomato beads in my organizer. But next to the stark neutrals, the red really pops.

The Beadwork:

I decided to simplify the design, and let the red fringe really stand out. Instead of a clasped necklace, I created an incredibly long strand of black and white seed beads, stitched it into a circle, and added leaves from start to finish. Although not as intricate as the original, the new necklace still has the same attitude as before, and is of course, completely metal free.

Wicked Necklace

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading


  1. I think it reminds me of the chili pepper light strands that people use when camping! I can definitely see the wicked witch in them as well!

  2. That is such a cool piece! I just love your work!!

  3. Thanks for posting on my blog so that I could learn about yours! I enjoyed reading about your wicked witch necklace which I think is very nice, but I also love the other red necklace that never made it to the "sell" pile. It should have!

  4. I can totally see the peppers, too! And I think that idea gives me some inspiration for another necklace! I'll have to get to the drawing board - thanks!

  5. Love it! it reminds me of holiday berries. ;)

  6. I've got a bag with a few items in it that need to be reworked. It's tough when designs we work so hard on don't work out. I take the attitude that it was something I had to walk through to get where I am going next and while the end product might not make it out into the world, I got what I was meant to get from it. I love the way the new necklace has like a spine running through it. Very nice!

  7. It's true that failures are usually our biggest learning experiences. It's so annoying when you have to undo all that stitching though!


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