Around the World: A Necklace Round Robin

by Cindy on November 28, 2010

Opening page, Round Robin journal 


I am so happy that you stopped by!   This is a LONG post, so please get comfy with a cup of coffee or cocoa.   I have so much to share with you today: talk about blogs, jewelry, FRIENDS,a publication and give aways!  {And you just might want to read to the end.}   I have been waiting for so long to share these details with you;  events that have taken place well over a year ago to the present.  Today is the day I’m finally going to tell you all about one of the most significant experiences I’ve had since I started making jewelry….


In early Fall 2009, I was crazy about making jewelry and visiting a bunch of my favorite blogs (as I am today).  There were several of us that were getting  to know one another after “meeting” on our blogs.  Leaving comments on each other’s blogs soon led to personal emails and friendships started to develop.  Soon an idea developed, one that could be an outward sign, an extension of our friendship.  Following suit of the then-recent book, “A Charming Exchange“, we decided to jump in and start a collaborative project, a Round Robin.  You’ve heard of quilting bees from years ago, well this would be a modern day bee – spanning the U.S. to Europe.  Our Round Robin group included these amazing jewelry designers, ladies who have become my good friends:  Sharon (USA) of Livewire Jewelry, Veronique (France) of Narrative Jewelry , Renate  (Germany) of Put a Little Magic in Your Life,andEsther (France) of Mes illusions Baroques.

Inside Cindy's journal

After some discussion, we decided on a fantastic way to carry out our collaboration.  Each of us would start  ONE  necklace so that in the end, each participant would have their own keepsake – all touched by the hands of their faraway friends.  We each decided upon a theme or color scheme for our necklaces, and shared the details in an art journal.  Yes, before long it was decided that a journal should accompany each necklace to help tell the story of how our necklaces came to be….  A journal ?!  I’ll admit this did cause a bit of panic for me.  I was in the company, afterall, of some incredible mixed media artists.  I had only used gesso once or twice – really.  So I spent many a night researching and reading through my favorite Stampington magazines, and got to work.   The above picture is taken from the first page in my journal.  Making the journal started as a challenge for me, but was so much fun!  I could see keeping the paints, gel medium, and stamps and inks out permanently.  If only I had more time.  Opening the journals and seeing the pages made by my friends before me was like opening a present each time.   I’ll show you a few in just a bit.

Round Robin journals!

Here is how it went down:   We each started a section of our own necklace.  We knew that in the end, it would be a long necklace with no set “front”, so any side could be featured.  We then sent our necklace sections in a jewelry pouch, along with the journal, to the next Round Robin sister.  I sent my piece to Sharon, then it went to Veronique, Renate, Esther, and then finally back to me.  Our necklaces traveled through the holidays and passed through our hands while so much was going on in our lives.  There were birthdays, house moves, good times and trying times.  We were flexible and tried to time our packages around the same time.  Some of us worked with lightning speed, others needed more time because life so frequently took center stage.  The packages were often filled with goodies and special surprises.  I know each time a package came from Esther, an incredible piece of her art would be found inside.  The anticipation was great….how would each piece transform as it traveled on its way?  And guess what?  There was no peeking!  We considered blogging about the project, but decided to keep it one BIG secret so that we were each surprised when the Round Robin finally landed home.  The project ended in late Spring of this year, and I think we were each a bit sad to see it finally come to an end. 

For my necklace, I chose a “Sentimental Journey” theme.   I love old, and worn sentimental keepsakes.  A necklace full of treasures from the past, or components that represent special occasions was just the look I was hoping for.  Using pale and muted tones, and tarnished metals, I invited my friends to take a sentimental journey with me.  My favorite component is the Madonna and child pillow bead.  This was my first time trying a photo transfer. The pillow was stuffed with felt from my son’s First Communion banner.  I remember Esther scanning a handwritten sketch and emailing it to me, explaining the ways of pillow bead construction.  We all learned from each other along the way.


Sentimental Journey

The Sentimental Journey ready to take flight

The Sentimental Journey ready to take flight

 After many months, my necklace returned.  I remember it was the kids last day of school and I brought the box with me in the packed car.  We were leaving for the beach and the mailman had just dropped off the special delivery.  I’ll always remember that feeling of awe and excitement when I opened the box and saw my finished necklace for the first time!   At long last  I present  to you (and thank you for being so patient), the journal pages and necklace sections made by my dear Round Robin sisters.  Sharon was the first to receive my necklace, back in October of 2009.  Sharon added elements that she knew were my favorites – a beautiful neutral-colored Czech glass bead framed in an ornate link.  She added a vintage clasp that reminded her of our friendship.  She added her favorite element, a pearl, stating that it was a “lovely natural beauty”.  A dangling amber looking glass was added to watch over me.  Her words were handwritten on incredibly rich and layered journal pages (I have long admired Sharon’s work with stamps and paint).  A detailed crucifix and AB finish crystal prism were added to my journal with a sari silk ribbon.

Sentimental Journey section by Sharon

Sentimental Journey section by Sharon

Sharon's journal pages

Sharon's journal pages, detail

My necklace  traveled all the way to France next!    Veronique created  journal pages full of pretty things that begged to be touched – flowers, old mother of pearl buttons, and lace.   Vero added several sentimental components to my necklace:  a vintage filigree link that belonged to her brother’s Mother-in-Law, a souvenir button from Paris, and link made from 5 faceted stones – one to represent each of  us.

Necklace section by Vero

Necklace section by Vero

Vero's journal pages

Vero's journal pages

The Round Robin package was in flight again, this time to Germany.  Oh how I loved reading Renate’s journal narrative describing her additions to the Sentimental Journey necklace.  If you follow her blog, you’ll know Renate frequents the flea market every Sunday.  When she found a rhinestone buckle, she knew it would just “the thing”, and added her signature resin.  She wrote that her muse was “strangely silent after that.  It was only after I decided to use the vintage resin rose that everything came together.”  Five moonstone rondelles were added and finished with a vintage mother of pearl button.  Renate created a clever section that could be worn alone as a bracelet, or added to the long necklace.  Renate kept us on track throughout the journey, always providing gentle encouragement and words of support.

Renate's necklace section, can be worn alone as a bracelet

Renate's necklace section, can be worn alone as a bracelet

Renate's journal pages

Renate's journal pages

My necklace flew once again to France, in to Esther’s talented hands.  Esther is a master with paint and collage, and was recently an instructor at a large workshop near Paris.  I was in awe when I poured over the many pages she created in my journal.  Her work could easily grace the pages of any Stampington publication.  Esther added wonderful sentimental pieces to the necklace:  a pearl and wire-wrapped pillow bead featuring her favorite Cleo de Merode, sparkly Swarovski crystals, and the best touch of all – a beaded link wrapped in vintage fabric from a wedding dress.

Sentimental Journey section by Esther

Sentimental Journey section by Esther

Esther's journal pages

Esther's journal pages

Additional journal pages by Esther

Additional journal pages by Esther

I’m sending a Merci Beaucoup to my Round Robin sisters (Bisous and Romizous!).  Here in its final glory, my prized Round Robin necklace  – a true treasure made by friends……. 

Sentimental Journey:  A Round Robin keepsake 

Thank you for making it this far.  This will be the longest blog post you’ll ever see on this blog.  You know me, I am normally short and sweet, but how could I possibly condense something that spanned countries, time and friendship?  I had a hard time editing out pictures as it was.  As a little thank you to YOU, I am offering a special little give away.  I’ve put together a sweet selection for the winner – maybe you can start down the path of your own sentimental journey.  You’ll find a chubby baby girl with a curl, vintage mother of pearl  beads and buttons (the butterflies are new but fit the vignette nicely),  a chandelier crystal, and other worn and loved notions.

Please simply leave a comment to be entered in the give away.  A winner will be announced this Thursday.

Sentimental Journey Give Away

Sentimental Journey Give Away

We have a special announcement, and couldn’t be more thrilled.  You’ll find a full article about the Around the World Necklace Round Robin in the brand new Winter 2011 issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry, available now.  We thank Christen Olivarez for this opportunity to share our story.  I think you’re going to love this issue….many talented friends are featured in this gorgeous issue!

Belle Armoire Jewelry Winter 2011

The Round Robin sisters have special blog posts planned for you all week.  Visit the remaining sister’s blogs over the next several days for more personal stories, pictures, and surprises!   Next up, please visit Sharon’s blog (Livewire Jewelry) on Monday.  On Tuesday, please be sure to stop by Renate’s blog (Put a Little Magic in Your Life), and Wednesday, please visit Esther’s blog (Mes illusions Baroques). Before I go, here’s a sneak peak – of a page in Sharon’s journal…..


Thank you for your visit and sticking with me til the end!  Anyone inspired to start their own Round Robin? 🙂


{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori Anderson November 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I am SO GLAD that I got to see your journal first hand. It was the MOST amazing thing ever. The idea was brilliant and I’m so happy for all of you on your story in Belle Armoire!!!!!

Judy November 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Oh my, such an amazing story of creativity and sisterhood. I really love how you saved this project to share with us all at once, the impact is amazing! Your necklace is a heirloom to be treasured forever. How lucky the editors of Belle Armoire are to have this wonderful story!.

Erin Strother November 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm

That is an awesome story! The journal pages are all so gorgeous, and the necklace turned out amazing. I’m sure you will treasure it forever.
Erin S

Stefanie November 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Incredible – to see a bunch of my fav bloggers to come together and create such beautiful things. Can’t wait to order a copy from Belle Armoire to read more about it. Thxs for sharing. I’m so excited to read the other posts!

Debbie November 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm

What a lovely idea and so beautifully prepared!! so enjoyed sharing your journey and please add me to your contest. Thanks for sharing with us Cindy!


Snap November 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm

How delightful! What a treasure! And, published too! YeeHaw! Well done! Thanks for the give-a-way. It will be fun to read the other posts. Thank you!

Shelby November 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Such an incredible story and journey. It’s truly inspiring and the necklace is a beautiful treasure that will remind you of your special friends in far away places. Now I’m more anxious than ever to get a copy of this issue of BAJ and see more posts from your round robin sisters.

Connie November 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Cindy, thank you so much for sharing this! What a wonderful personal keepsake you have now. I just love what each has added and the special meaning and thoughts that they shared. The journal is the icing on the cake. What a great idea. Congrats on getting into Belle Amoire Jewelry. I’ll have to go pick up a copy. I think I’ll go visit the others now. Take care, Connie

Kerry November 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Wow oh WOW, Cindy!! What an amazing, amazing story and piece of jewelry. Definitely a keepsake that will be treasured for years to come. I will have to pop into B&N to grab that BAJ too!! Well done ladies!!

LeAnn November 28, 2010 at 6:33 pm

It is all so beautiful! I can’t imagine a better group of women to do this with. Each and everyone of you is special. Thank you for sharing this journey.

Debra Dufrene November 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm

What a wonderful project. Thank you for sharing it.

Sharon P. November 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Oh how wonderful! Congratulations on your BAJ publication~the necklace is gorgeous and I cannot wait to scoop up the magazine on December 2!

Nancy November 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm

That was a wonderful story and idea-and the necklace is so beautiful. It will always be a cherished possession that people will ask you about. The journal was a great idea so you had a keepsake of the friends thoughts.

Kathy November 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Your necklace turned out amazing Cindy. What a wonderful keepsake for all of you. I love all the elements that all the ladies used. I can’t wait to read all the other ladies blogs. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

Julie November 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm

I am usually quietly reading and admiring from afar, but I couldn’t let this go without speaking up. What an awesome journey! Your necklace is gorgeous and the journal is a treasure. Congratulations on being published, it’s well deserved. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new issue! The 5 of you are truly inspiring artists.

cristi clothier November 28, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Wow! What a fabulous group of ladies you chose for this RR. You necklace is gorgeous. What a treasure it is! I can’t wait to see that copy of BA Jewelry.

Brenda November 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Beautiful necklace and the journal pages are stunning. Amazing journey!

Erin Prais-Hintz November 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Completely and utterly speechless. This is divine. To know that you have touched the work of each other and it has traveled through time zones and across mountains and rivers and oceans is so precious. I am so proud of all of you for the accomplishment that this has been! I know first hand how blessed a collaboration like this can be and there is nothing, NOTHING more energizing than collaborating with other artists. Thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to the rest of the stops!
Enjoy the day!

CraftyHope November 28, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Wow! What a wonderful story and fun experience. Your necklace is just so beautiful. As well, the journals add just a great touch to the experience. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Long post or not, it was worth the read!

Christine B November 28, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Oh….oh…OH!! What an amazing idea, an amazing journey and such an inspirational story! I am completely, utterly in awe of you and the Round Robin Sisters, and this incredible display of collaborative creativity! I can’t wait to see the BAJ issue and just soak in all that wonderfulness! Beautiful!

(hoping we can get together after the holidays and play…)

Marcie November 28, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing. I enjoyed reading it as much as you guys enjoyed creating it! Thanks for the inspiration!

Jen Velasquez November 28, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Wonderful! I feel like I’m so caught up in the runofthemill pieces of life that I’ve lost the sentimentality & sensitivity that I should have about beauty and love and friendship. Maybe some journaling would do me some good…especially if it involves pretty paper and gesso…haaaaaaaaa. I want to get together after the holidays and play, too!

kat November 28, 2010 at 9:47 pm

The result is simply gorgeous! Unique components and such a lovely story to go along with it. Truly amazing. Thanks for sharing the journey of this necklace with us.

Shannon C November 28, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Thank You SO much for sharing the whole story! I am sitting here with my cup of tea and wanting more. I just bought a copy of Belle Armoire this afternoon and I cannot wait to look at your story and to check out the other blogs.
Thanks for sharing,

Mallory November 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Oh, my goodness, I am in awe of your beautiful necklace! What a wonderful story! I’m going to pick up my copy of Belle Armoire tomorrow! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story!

Alice November 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm

What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing the journey of your necklace with us–and what a journey it was!!! This friendship you forged will remain in your hearts for years to come. Imagine a young girl finding your journal in some antique shop many years from now–how inspired she will be!

I’m so happy your story will be told in Belle Armoire. I’ll be making a trip to B&N to get a copy as soon as I can!

Jenny November 29, 2010 at 12:59 am

Fantastic tale you women have woven! And it wasnt too long a post, I kept reading on eagerly. Will you keep us linked to your Robin sisters as they post their treasures? Hats off to you on your being published…again! And you know I was eagerly awaiting the Manley article as well! Sweet!

Pattie November 29, 2010 at 1:05 am

How perfectly wonderful Lit’l Mama.

Such an amazing experience and a beautiful life memory!! I ask ya what could be better then to stretch your artistic wings, conquer a fear, push your comfort envelope, play with your art sisters, and share a bit of your soul?? Then of course there is the sublime icing of being published in a Somerset issue! 🙂 Congratulations!!

I must confess I’m more then a bit envious There are not very many times I feel a bit of sadness with my wonderful life here. But not being able to participate in the magical shared experience like these is certainly one of those times. Soooo thank you ever so much my little art sister for sharing your journey with me!

Pattie 😉
Mazatlan Mx.

Renate November 29, 2010 at 1:40 am

Cindy – this really took me back to that time and place – one of the best times in my life! Thank you is all I can say. This is a fantastic post.
And of course, please don’t include me in the giveaway.

esther November 29, 2010 at 3:47 am

Cindy!! (Europeans come later.. sorry .. ) What a great post!! thanks for speak about us with all this love!! You are our muse , and have make this dream come true! don’t be modest!! you are a queen!
congrats for this post! don’t include me in the GA.

hello gorgeous November 29, 2010 at 7:42 am

oh my Cindy! what an awesome journey….fab idea and SO special to be undertaken with “newly treasured” friends….it was magical reading the unfolding journey, almost like the necklace held some kind of magical spell from another age….can’t wait to visit the other blogs to see their side of this amazing project :oD

Congrats on the magazine piece, I am sure there will be LOTS of Round Robin group emerging as a result ;o)

hugs {as always}

hello gorgeous xxx

mary harding November 29, 2010 at 8:53 am

Cindy, what a truly wonderful story. I love the necklace your started and received after its journey. Wonderful photos but most of all I love the way all of you put yourselves into each piece and journal page. Truly treasures. And for the reader, such a treat that you have shared it with us. I will certainly look for the magazine, although it is not sold very near here. But I will find it. Thanks again.

Melissa M November 29, 2010 at 11:05 am

Cindy, what a beautiful post! the journal pages and necklace are so yummy. That necklace is just so special, and congrats on the journey being featured in BA – deservedly!

Sally November 29, 2010 at 11:19 am

What a fabulous post! Your necklace is beautiful and I love your art journal. What a bunch of lovely (and extremely creative) women you all are!
P.S. I hope there is much love and laughter filling the air as you settle into your new home!

lenna young andrews November 29, 2010 at 11:31 am

Dear Cindy, this is my very first visit here to your blog. My good friend Sharon (yes, sharon B!) told me of your amazing project, and then this morning I saw the link on Renate’s blog. Having done RR’s before, I know how amazing they can be . . . your Round the world necklace RR is simply incredible!!! Thank you so much for sharing the experience with us in such detail (I read it all!). And I do not usually buy magazines too often, but i will be looking for this one. Thank you. lenna

Nancy Williamson November 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm

This is absolutely wonderful………I love reading this post and all that went into the beautiful necklace….I would wear it proudly….Thanks

Lisa M November 29, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Wow, this is so beautiful! I used to participate in a lot of round robins and would love to again one day. It looks like you all had an amazing time and everyone was so generous with their contributions. Thanks for sharing this great story!

Jill Hoblick November 29, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Wow! What an incredible story 🙂 Like you, I have made friends for life via the internet and my love of hot glass. I love your work – you are an inspiration and I look forward to seeing your article in Belle Armoire! Keep doing what you are doing, you are so talented and thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. Fondly, Jill

Patty Lakinsmith November 29, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Thank you for sharing this with us, Cindy! A great idea for friendship and for art, and what better way to get your creativity flowing in new directions. I think it was even more wonderful as a big surprise at the end, rather than as a series of posts during development. Very nice!

ELisabeth Auld November 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm

What an incredible and wonderfullysweet story! So totally you, Cindy, and I look forward to checking out the other blogs. Hope the unpacking in the new house is going well!

Sharon November 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Thank you so much for sharing the experience and the journey of your gorgeous necklace. All of you are most fortunate to have participated and worked together.I look forward to checking out all the other pieces.
So much beauty makes me smile…..

Kelly November 29, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I don’t know which is more beautiful…the necklace or the story. Perhaps it will just have to be a tie. Thanks so much for sharing both and congrats on the article!

Jane T in NW Louisiana November 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm

What a delightful story and what a gorgeous necklace. Loved every word!!

Niina November 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm

So beautiful story. Your necklace is beautiful and original. I’m going to order copy of Belle Armoire somehow 😀

Leslie November 29, 2010 at 2:43 pm

What a fabulous piece of jewelry and a lovely description of it’s journey!

Stacy Hartis November 29, 2010 at 2:45 pm

As always I am in awe of your talents! What a great experience to share and pass down. I have struggled with journaling as I go back and forth to my book. You give me hope!


Dot Lewallen November 29, 2010 at 3:27 pm

What a wonderful keepsake to have. I’ve done round robin dolls with artist over the US and I still treasure the journal the most as it has little pieces of heart from each of my friends that added a section of beading to the doll. Congrats on the article and especial congrats at finding new wonderful friends here on the internet.

Barbara DeLisle November 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Love your story and the your web site. The art work is fantastic.

Deryn Mentock November 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Wowza, girls! That’s quite a piece of jewelry you ended up with, Cindy…fabulous! I love that you all journaled along with the creation of the jewelry. Congrats on the publication…I’ll be looking for it!

Leslie November 29, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Oh my lord… everything is just beautiful. I like the necklace a lot but the journal pages are what really grab me. I’ve done crazy quilt round robins with friends and I treasure those pieces. What a wonderful thing to have done among the 5 of you.

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