Junky-chic bracelet

I don't really wear much jewelry. I have a couple necklaces made by Berea artist Bobby Craig Thompson, but my wedding ring is usually the only bling I have on. However, last summer Laura and I both went a little crazy over Christmas beads. Fishwisdom Beads, our local bead store, had strands of these tiny colorful beads from Africa. At just over $5.00 each, they were a cheap thrill to jazz-up my summertime ensemble of cutoffs and a black t-shirt. I didn't even re-string them, just looped them around my arm to wear:

Apparently in my excitement this summer, I couldn't hold the camera still! There were a couple problems with this scenario though: first, I was embarrassed to go into the bead store with a plain old string of beads wrapped around my arm. Secondly, and more importantly, whenever it came time to remove the beads, the strands got all tangled together, and after fighting to get them off my arm, I didn't feel like ever putting them on again! But I loved the color and presence of them, and wished I had 10 of them all wrapped around my arm. (I had 3.) I wanted something big and bold, colorful and kinda crazy looking.

This summer I also saw a blog post about making rolled rag jewelry an the boys and I had a great time tearing up an old bandana an making some bracelets. I wanted to combine my Christmas beads and the bandana, but the beads were heavier, so they "sunk" to the bottom layer of bracelets and you could never see them. I just continued my colorful, if imperfect, bracelet wearing over the summer.

Yesterday I found those "bracelets" (They were tangled of course!) and resolved to make a colorful funky big cuff to wear. Here is what I came up with after about an hour of work.

I love it. It's big, colorful and easy to put on and take off. That's because of this:

The ends of the beads, bandana and felted i-cord are enclosed in a little piece of folded over linen. Hooks and eyes work as great fasteners. I twist it a bit before I put it on, and I really like the combination of color and textures. I am going to post a tutorial next, so you too can be colorful and kinda crazy looking!