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Although I’d like to claim full responsibility, the necklace I made for this month’s ABS challenge seemed to make itself.

 Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940 By Frida Kahlo

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940 by Frida Kahlo
Oil on Canvas, 61.25 cm × 47 cm

It all started when I was taking photographs the polymer clay beads I made for my Etsy shop, and I was inspired to put the green and brown beads together.

Green and brown beads

I loved the combination, but unfortunately I only had four of the brown beads. The strand wasn’t even long enough for a bracelet, and they didn’t work so well together when “watered down” with other beads. Then I remembered when I was back at school (in my original zigzag phase) I did a drawing of the Midgard Serpent with small sections of different patterns all down the length. This gave me the idea to make a necklace using several short motifs of different beads.

Oddment necklace by Cate van Alphen

Oddment necklace by Cate van Alphen

I call it an Oddment necklace, and it was a great way to use up some orphan beads. There’s no clasp – it just goes over the head. I like the way it looks different depending on the way it’s hung. I hope it conjures up some of the richness of Frida’s paintings.

Oddment necklace by Cate van Alphen

Oddment necklace by Cate van Alphen

The short section of beads on waxed cotton cord is a nod to the intertwined thorns of the inspiration painting.

Brown beads by Cate van Alphen

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