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Part 2 of Ouches Don't have to Hurt: Designing and Attaching Ouches

We’ve talked about how to make ouches.  Now I want to talk a little about design and about how to attach your finished ouches to your clothing.  Design is a subjective thing. I’m going to tell you what I think looks good, but if you feel differently, go with it! I think what looks good is contrast.  Varying shapes, colors, sizes, and textures makes for a dynamic design. Try putting rounds stones on square filigrees, or combining ovals and rounds.  Accent a large central stone with tiny jewels.  Combine gems and pearls for a combination of hard and smooth. Designing Try out your designs before glueing.  If you don’t want to buy your stones before finalizing your design, pick up...

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Part 1: Ouches Don't Have to Hurt, or, How to Make Inexpensive Jewels for Elizabethan Costume

After several posts on rhinestones and jewels, you're probably wondering what I'm going to do with them.   I'm making ouches.  Ouches were small(ish) jewelry pieces, similar to decorative buttons or brooches. In the period, the most wealthy people wore jewelry everywhere they could find to put it, and much of this jewelry was in the form of ouches. Ouches were made of precious metals and gems and were extremely expensive. They seem to have usually been used in matching sets, although often you'll see several different sets worn at once.  Many of Queen Elizabeth's portraits show her wearing sets of red stones and of black stones at the same time. There are some craftsmen making excellent reproduction ouches, but but given that I need...

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Jewels and Rhinestones from AliExpress: A Review

I received my lost jewels when the Post Office finally got the bright idea of actually sending them to the address printed on the package. So as promised, here's my review. The large rectangular stones were purchased via Aliexpress from cshine rhinestone & jewelry Co.,Ltd.  I bought the 13x18 rectangular stones in gold claw settings, in the Black Diamond color. These stones are gorgeous. They have just enough sparkle to look impressive without being too gaudy. The color doesn't show up well in the picture, but it's a deep gray.  The gold claw sew on setting is stamped from very thin metal, so I wouldn't count on the claws  being terribly strong.  I may pop all the stones out of the settings...

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A Source for the Bling

When designing the Queen Of Margonia costume, one thing was evident to me from the beginning: I want bling.  This thing needs jewels and lots of them. Now obviously I can't afford to use the real thing, so I went shopping for rhinestones and glass jewels. As anyone who's ever shopped for them knows, they are not cheap, especially the largish stones I want to use.   One source kept coming up in my searches:  So I checked it out.   According to Wikipedia, " is an online retail service made up of small businesses in China and elsewhere offering products to international online buyers. It is owned by Alibaba. ...It facilitates small businesses to sell to customers all over the world, and, just like Amazon,...

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My OTHER Big Project

I'm sorry it's been a while since I posted.  I've been hard at work on a new pattern line, for bellydance costumes.  If you know anyone who might be interested, they can check out the Facebook page.  A website will be up soon.  I'm going to be doing a Kickstarter for this project, so please spread the word!  

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