Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

July 27, 2012

Oh the Cruel Irony

It really sucks to be a jewelry fanatic, but allergic to metal.  Even hypoallergenic metal makes me break out.  Surgical steel.  Silver.  I don't wear gold.  A couple of years ago, I spent days changing all my earring hooks to plastic ones.

One of the jewelry casualties is my collection of sparkly bracelets that I purchased in the early and mid 00s when they were super popular at gift shops, in sets of 3.  I wore them every day to work, coordinating the different colours to match my tops and necklaces.  I remember the turning point being my trip to Victoria in 2007.  I was wearing my jewelry and started getting itchy.  My earlobes were driving me crazy and I had an itchy, red raised rope of a welt around my wrist where the bracelets were.   This was the same trip when I  also developed solar urticaria (basically an allergy to the sun).  After I got back to Washington, I laid off the jewelry for a couple of weeks and then put them on again.  Well, the earrings were taken out on the way to work and the bracelets shortly thereafter.  I don't wear jewelry much anymore, unfortunately.  It's gotten to the point where I've had to coat the back of any metal pendant with clear nail polish and it still doesn't work all the time.  

These bracelets need to be seen, dammit!  They are so pretty!!  I had an extra styrafoam cone left from the button tree project, so I painted black glitter paint on it, which took 2 days to dry.  Then I started stacking the bracelets onto the cone.  I was going to use glue to adhere them, but I just didn't want to permanently commit them to the cone (in the off chance I can use the bracelets again), so I used pins instead.

My craft assistants.  "Mama seems to have it under control...time for a nap!"

And here's the finished product.  I ended up restringing the top 5 bracelets to make them smaller to fit.  But it was missing something.  What to do for the top?

I posted the above picture on Facebook and mentioned my need to put something on the top.  Once again, one of my friends came through with the brilliant, and unbelievably OBVIOUS suggestion of using a big marble!  This just goes to show you how I sometimes can't see the forest for the trees, but other people can.

So I dug into my marble collection to see what would look good.  After a lot of 'nahs', I found one that was the right size, and kind of represented the jewels of the bracelets.  I glued it in place and then surrounded it with multi-coloured rhinestones.  Another win!


  1. Wow! Very creative and too cool! What a great idea Jo-Jo... sorry to hear you can't wear them anymore, but at least now you can adore them without itching!

  2. I have a sensitivity to metal as well, but can wear gold with no problems.

    (Silver and other metals only for a short time, then I get the itching too.) The ears and the neck are most sensitive for me.

  3. Anonymous12:43 PM

    Even in adversity, you make something beautiful :0)

  4. Fantastic!

    I suppose it's lucky you can at least handle the metal long enough to make stuff, but not to be able to wear it must break your heart.

  5. Love it! This is even better than wearing the jewelry. You should make them and sell them!

  6. I have problems wearing some jewelry too yet gold is not one of them. I basically don't wear much anymore anyways but I like your idea of using the pieces for a display. You never cease to amaze me with your creativeness!