The Good Sister

Growing up, my sister was a near-perfect child. Blonde, poised, smart, accomplished. An overachiever, appearing at the dinner table with face shining, hair brushed, and perfect grammar. I was, well, none of those things. Our mother and the bevy of nuns at St. Barnabas School who watched us grow up would have concurred that, of the O’Connor girls, Janet was the good sister and I was…a challenge. Today is her birthday, and I wanted to make something really special to celebrate it, especially given the fantastic scarf she has already gifted to me.

I knew I wanted to use this delicious color palette from Margie Deeb’s Fall Color Report. After collecting delicas and seed beads in the rich chocolate browns and slightly pink, slightly orange coral tones, I found the perfect necklace on Atlanta Bead Market’s class schedule: Jimmie Boatright’s Links, Rings and Things. There are not many things that I would spend 90 minutes in drive-time traffic for, but taking a class from Jimmie is at the top of that list!

My first stop was at Rodney Andrew’s Art Glass studio for these focal beads which worked perfectly with my browns and corals. The pointed oval links are from Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork. The chocolate truffle-toned delicas were so creamy I felt like I was weaving an elegant confection! They were so much fun to stitch and zip up that I’ll definitely be trying out more of Diane’s geometric shapes. The two-layered rings and bezeled discs brought lots of color and texture to the necklace. A bit of fringe completed the design. (I’m lucky to have learned this design directly from Jimmie. If you don’t live in the Atlanta area, look for the necklace to appear in a future issue of Bead and Button magazine.)

Estheticians say that the color coral is a veritable fountain of youth, and when worn on or near the face, brightens and rejuvenates.

A gift that’s both chocolaty and age-defying? Who’s the good sister now?


  1. What a wonderful necklace! It has such a light, airy feel, and the focal with the tassels is gorgeous.

    I hopped over here after your comment about UFOs (or USOs, in your case), just to tell you that I don't think I've EVER planned anything to the extent of gathering pattern and materials. I do a lot of my designing as I go, or I do it in my head ahead of time and then go track down the beads I need when I'm ready to start.


  2. This is so gorgeous! I love how you started with the color swatch. I'd like to make one of these too. I'll look forward to that issue of Bead and Button!