Thursday, February 25, 2010


During my first solo trip many years ago, a pair of gold earrings that had been a gift to me were stolen from the top of the TV where I set them while I went to my car to get something. The maid was working a few doors away when I left and my hotel room had been cleaned by the time I returned - I didn't think I was gone that long - and my earrings were never recovered. I guess the poor maid gets blamed for everything.

Travel tips I've read since then recommend taking only cheap jewelry such as a necklace of wooden beads in case of theft or forgetting and leaving it behind so the loss is minor.

The problem is that I don't like wooden beads nor the majority of the inexpensive jewelry I've seen. I did find a cheap pair of earrings while I was in Los Angeles in 2007, but the ear wires irritated me so I never wore them again.

Heading to Hobby Lobby to see what it has for making jewelry, I found two long aisles that were nearly overwhelming. There were glass beads, metal beads, letter beads, stone chips, crystals, pendants, findings in gold, silver, bronze and black; and various types of cords for making earrings, bracelets, and necklaces along with tools.

I selected a silver leaf, a filigree piece, and a tear drop of paua shell for pendants, rectangles of paua shell for earrings, an assortment of jump rings, 1 mm stretch cord, and pulled 25 leaflets of free instructions for more inspiration. I also got hypoallergenic ear wires.

The best part was that many of the items were 30-50% off. Score!

Another customer and I started discussing our projects. She agreed about traveling with only inexpensive jewelry because one of her necklaces had been stolen from her motel room.

"It doesn't matter if you hide it. If the thief wants it, it'll be stolen," she said.

I admired her necklace that reminded me of those worn by Emily Deschanel's character, Dr. Temperance Brennan, in "Bones." It was multicolored with turquoise, red, gray, and other colors that would go with just about any colored outfit.

"Thank you, this and the (matching) earrings were my first project. I got the stones from an Indian fair that's held in September. I hope the people will be back this fall because I'd like to get more."

After checking out the satin cords in the sewing department and getting three-quarters of a yard for US$0.59 for a necklace for one of my new pendants, I paid for my selections and went to Walmart where I bought a three-in-one jewelry tool that has round nose pliers for curving wires into loops, holding/crimping edges, and a wire cutter.

Sometimes, I think preparing for travel is almost as much fun as actually traveling.

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