Embellish for Before and After Keepsake Necklace

When memories prompt, “Keep this,” and practicality adds, “Really? It’s too-o-o-o small,” call me.

My advice is frequently, “Embellish your treasure. Make a keepsake necklace, something you’ll enjoy wearing again and again so you can treasure your memory.”

A single strand 18” necklace of red carved beads with brass connectors was Jeanne’s treasure. Jeanne had purchased the necklace some years ago when she was living in India.


The question of  updating the piece was left to me.

Initially, I thought I might make a three-strand necklace. The red and ivory called to me. I  looked at various combinations, considered adding glass, and of course, brass.

Nothing seemed quite right. Large beads quickly overwhelmed the 12 originals, making them seem less significant.

Unexpectedly, I found myself adding a focal of ivory and playing up the international feel of the carved beads.

Because my stash included some ivory carved beads, I chose to use ivory as a base and accent with the brass and red. Three strands, then five.

I added chain in the back, so two of the additional strands hung from it. This engineering also allowed the necklace to mold to the neck.


The completed keepsake necklace looked much more substantial than the original.

The finished piece is balanced, light and most importantly, a beautiful memory.

Which do you prefer – Before or After?