Friday, September 05, 2008

Cheap Chic

While I’m still lucky enough to have a job and a house with a fixed rate mortgage, I know the economy really sucks right now. Although prices at the pump have gotten a bit better recently, they’re still painfully high.

Because of this, I’ve tried to put a moratorium on my discretionary spending where possible. I’ve at least attempted to get things on sale when I do buy anything. Hence this really cute top I got at ON SALE at Ann Taylor:

I liked it so much that I got it in brown, too (hey, it was on sale!):

I desperately needed something pretty for summer, but versatile enough that I could wear it into the fall. These tops look great with jeans and I have also worn them with a denim skirt, a white skirt, white shorts and chocolate brown Capri pants. When it cools off, I can add a white cardigan sweater on top to keep warm.

I wanted some matching jewelry to go with them. They don’t need necklaces because of the pretty, embroidered decoration at the neckline, but I thought a bracelet and pair of earrings would be great. I already had a bracelet and earrings set that I made years ago in shades of brown, amber and gold that goes really well with the brown shirt.

I had NOTHING in that particular shade of blue and I wanted something more interesting than just my white pearl bracelet.

So, I set myself a challenge to make something to match the blue shirt without spending more than $10 on NEW beads (i.e. stuff not already in my stash) and without going over a total project cost of $25.

Here’s what I came up with:

I ALMOST got away without spending ANY money on new beads, but the shirt is a pretty unusual shade of blue and I didn’t quite have anything in the stash to match it. Everything I pulled out was a little too turquoise in shade except for some crystals…and I thought they were a bit too fancy for this look. I wanted something classic, but slightly on the casual side.

So, I had to pick up that strand of dyed blue quartz beads at the LBS

Here’s what I spent:

1 strand 8mm blue quartz rounds $ 7.00 (from LBS)
½ strand Swarovski 10mm white pearls $ 5.00 (from stash)
Misc. pewter beads, spacers and components $ 3.00 (from stash)
1 pr. 14k gold-filled earring hooks $ 1.75 (from stash)
Beading wire & crimps $ 1.00 (from stash)

Total $17.75

That’s $17.75 for a nice bracelet and earrings that go with this cute shirt and will also go with anything white (like a white shirt and jeans), black or brown. I think that’s a pretty darn good deal and just goes to show that while it’s possible (and very easy) to spend a fortune on beads, you don’t HAVE to and you can still come up with something nice and fun as a design.

Of course, the expensive stuff is fun, too. As you’ll see in an upcoming entry.

Have a nice weekend.



Softflexgirl said...

What a great project?!


Silver Parrot said...

Thank you, Sara! Of course, yesterday I discovered that I'd spilled something on the blue shirt and I don't know if I'm going to be able to get the stain out so this whole project may have been for naught.



Kaos Siberians said...

Good lord, you sound like the guy on Clean Sweep. Only $17.95 for a bracelet that'll match this outfit and work with everything else in this color family...what a bargin!