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? 🙂


{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

quiltingjewel39 (susan marling) November 29, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Wow Cindy – that is a gorgeous necklace and what talented ladies. That pillow bead was a very special way to start it out. I am like you and am not into the journal making although I love to look at them and I was blown away by the pages you shared. I’m going over now and look at the other blogs and will head out to get Belle Armoire mag. You are just full of suprises lately!! The beads and buttons in the give away are wonderful.

Joy November 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Hi, Cindy! I found my way to your blog through Lenna Young Andrews, who posted about your round robin. I am totally amazed with this story – the necklace is absolutely beautiful and the journal is such an added treasure for you! I will definitely be buying that magazine, too – congratulations!!!

maureen November 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

What a great story! I wish ALL your posts could be this long. Thanks for sharing this great treasure. I can’t wait to see the published article. I can say, I knew her when…

Sandy Richardson November 29, 2010 at 8:50 pm

What a wonderful blog thanks for sharing such an inspiring story.Be Blessed

Sandy Richardson November 29, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I loved your story and the inspiration
please add me to your contest.
Be Blessed

Linda November 29, 2010 at 9:30 pm

What a wonderful story…I loved reading about the journey your necklace took! It’s gorgeous and quite a keepsake. I look forward to reading more about it in the magazine.

Mary K November 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm

What a wonderful project. I especially liked how you all journalized each added piece/ I am sure you will treasure this piece of jewelry.

Jan Vermillion-Thomason November 30, 2010 at 12:45 am

CINDY!! Oh, my goodness, that necklace is the bomb!
It looks absolutely glorious and is something that I would wear proudly as I know you will!
Please enter me into your giveaway for reading all the way to the end (which was so much fun – i’m just teasing you).
And, on my blog tomorrow i’ll have photos of the rehearsal dinner that i did for my son’s wedding two weeks ago if you’d like to see those pictures.
Maybe you should give me til the end of the week.
Maybe you should just wait til i send out an email. LOL

have a glorious day, jan

Madelin Wolf November 30, 2010 at 4:19 am

I, too, found your blog through Lenna Young Andrews’ blog. I was so excited to see another type of Round Robin and a fabulous one at that. I have participated in 2 or 3 quilting Round Robins following the same routine and they were fun. In our case, we made blocks on a monthly theme and showed them at our meetings, so we had a “surprise” each meeting. Your necklace is beautiful and the fabric bead is truly unique. I have made the rolled-up fabric beads using Krystal Wick’s book, Fabulous Fabric Beads as inspiration. Even though I have an embarrassing amount of fabric, I had to buy more that had shiny metallic bits to make my beads zing! Thanks for offering a tasty give-away!

Maya November 30, 2010 at 7:56 am

What a great blog post! I love all the pictures. Please include me in the give-away 🙂

Laura Twiford November 30, 2010 at 8:18 am

Cindy this was such a wonderful post and quite the sentimental journey! The finished necklace is beautiful and what a lovely idea to create the journal to travel along with it, like a stamped passport of it’s travels! I am actually in the middle of a round robin right now. My “tribe” of friends from Art and Soul and I are doing an apron round robin. We began in June sending off our own apron with our touches added and each month we send along the next on each with a decorative touch added. We are going to receive them back when we arrive together at Art and Soul. We too are keeping everything secret until then. We have 9 participating. I can’t wait to be able to blog about it in May. Maybe we can consider this idea for next year. Thanks for sharing, will look for the magazine.

Carol Myers November 30, 2010 at 9:03 am

So sweetly beautiful! Friends are a Good Thing – a God Thing! Thanks for sharing and for the heads up on the magazine release! I’m out the door to hunt it up. Have a blessed holiday season, Cindy. You and yours!

Christine Damm November 30, 2010 at 9:50 am

What you all created is truly breathtaking! I just adore those pillow beads! Maybe you could do an evening workshop at the next ArtBliss on those? You are so lucky to have worked with Sharon and Renate– I love both those girls and really admire their art. I can’t wait to see the BAJ article and whowee! we are both in the mag together — at last!!

Bette B November 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm

This was such a beautiful idea and adding the journal was a real treat! The necklace is beautful and I LOVED reading your entire blog – it may have been long but it sure was worth every word written. I’ll be looking for the issue of Belle Armoire.

Lisa November 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Wow, Cindy, that is an amazing story! And so cool! I can’t wait to see the article in Belle Armoire Jewelry. All 5 of your styles go together very well – in jewelry design and journaling. I am excited to see the rest of the blog posts as well. Thanks for the giveaway, I would love to win those gorgeous beads!

~*~Patty November 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Hello ~ I am visiting from Sharon’s blog and I am totally charmed by the international friendships and sharing of creativity…so special and inspiring. One of the things I truly appreciate about the mixed media blog world is that there are no borders…we are one and that is a beautiful thing!
Thank you so much for the chance to the lucky winner of the treasures you are offering.
I cannot wait to get the Belle Armour issue

kim November 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Words can not express the beauty of this wonderful treasure and the journal to go along with the journery is amazing. A treasured piece that will last lifetimes. Thank you for sharing.

cat kerr December 1, 2010 at 12:26 am

Congrats to you and all your wonderful friends!!I have already enjoyed the issue and drooled for a while at the gorgeous creations!!Ok it was more like a couple of hours…I am thrilled for you all!!Bravo!!Hugs,Cat
Yes yes please count me in on your generous giveaway!!Keeping fingers and toes crossed!!Cat

Breana December 1, 2010 at 12:39 am

What an incredible journey. I cant wait to read the new Belle Armoire Jewelry issue. You have inspired me. Thanks for sharing!

Cindy December 1, 2010 at 2:22 am

THANK YOU so much everyone for sharing my excitement about this project. And I loved hearing your Round Robin stories – collaborating with dolls, aprons, journals and quilts! All of these combined would make such a great special interest issue in a publication, wouldn’t you agree?

Riki Schumacher December 1, 2010 at 11:42 am

Wow Cindy, what a fabulous idea and project! I am so thrilled you got to work with the most wonderful ladies. The necklace and journals took my breath away, everyone adding their own incredible talent. I haven’t opened my BAJ yet, but now need to and read more. Love the post, love the project, love the love that went in to it. Magnifico everyone! Hugs, Riki

PS- PLEASE enter me in your wonderful contest, would love those goodies!!!!

Cat Dodt-Ellis December 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Oh my!!!! What stunning visuals, I’m in love with this concept of journal & jewelry! I can’t wait to read more in published form. Your sweet friendships have really informed your artistic process with the result of incredible beauty!

Jude December 2, 2010 at 2:02 am

Yes, a long blog-post but worth every second invested in it. From reading other comments here, it seems many of us have participated in round robins of one sort or another, & had varying degrees of satisfaction. I’ve mainly been in journal r/rs, & not all had happy endings! Ah, such is life. It’s all about connecting, trust, shared love……oh man, this sounds way too earnest! Anyway…. your “true treasure made by friends” is gorgeous. Best wishes

sandi m December 2, 2010 at 6:20 am

What a wonderful story and beautiful treasures you’ll cherish forever. The Journal idea really makes this collaboration extra special. And having this adventure travel around the world makes it extra, extra special. France… one of my favorite places in the world.

Congratulations on the BAJ story. You all should be so proud. Can’t wait to get my issue and visit the other ‘Robins’.

Mari Aparicio December 2, 2010 at 9:07 am

Cindy: Leer este post me ha hecho llorar de la emoción. Este regalos de amor y arte compartido entre ustedes amigas es un tesoro incalculable!! Desde que compre la revista me enamoré precisamente de tu colllar!!! I,m in love with your necklace!! es una obra de arte llena de amor y tesoros!! Disfrutalo

diane cook December 5, 2010 at 11:50 am

Cindy~I could not be more proud or happy for you! I absolutely love how you shared it all with us here, and have waited to actually have the time to read it. I love the journal pages each of you did in your journals~gosh, I love that!
And, Renate was so very clever to think of adding her piece as one you can wear separately as a bracelet! This was just the most beautiful post, and thank you for really sharing the details of your Round Robin adventure.
What a gift ?

lynn gonzalez January 26, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Wonderful journey, we saw your article in the magazine, and now some of my beading friends started a round robin.. Thank you for the inspiration. Lynn

lynn gonzalez February 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm

What a beautiful journey, some friends and I are doing this too!!! my robin is still flying.

Shannon Schmid August 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm

This is a beautiful article and the final pieces were wonderful. It inspired 2 groups of 6 of us each to start our own journey. The first team is now finished and elated with what we learned about ourselves and each other. The second is almost finished. Thank you for sharing your talent and for a very inspirational article! SLS

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: