Custom Jewlery:Redesigned -- Part II



Brass Leaf Bracelet, {tula in bloom}

What I love most about redesigning existing pieces, versus making something completely from scratch, is working within a set of limits, which necessitates creativity. As Dave Gray wrote in his blog, “Creativity is driven by constraints. When we have limited resources -- even when the limits are artificial -- creative thinking is enhanced. That's because the fewer resources you have, the more you are forced to rely on your ingenuity.”

In redesigning Katie’s collection I was constrained by the prefabricated materials and the type of pieces she preferred: earrings, bracelets and rings, with the occasional long necklace. The constraints allowed me to stretch my creative muscle and come up with some really fun ideas and looks. Some of the ideas worked as I imagined; others had to be tweaked to harmonize with the characteristics of the materials (and the law of gravity). I aimed to reuse as many of the pieces as possible, but felt free to add elements from my stock to enhance the pieces.

Redesign #1: Peacock/Leather Bracelet

I knew from the beginning I wanted this necklace pendant to be a bracelet that highlighted its colors and sparkle. I wanted the pendant to lie across the back of hand like a charm. With a leather braiding technique I’ve used in previous designs, I wove dark green dyed leather cord to create the strap and loop through which the pendant would be clasped.

Original necklace 
Green leather cord

Fishtail braid

Peacock/Leather Bracelet


Peacock/Leather Bracelet



Redesign #2: Nature-made Necklace

Again this was a piece that had sprung to mind almost immediately upon seeing the bird earrings and this egg-shaped green stone. I made it long, per Katie’s preference, and added a crossbar of driftwood I found at the beach in Bodega Bay, which I sanded, stained, and drilled to add wire, forming eyehooks. I reused the chain provided in the original collection.
Original pieces

Original piece




Driftwood, treated and drilled


Nature-made Necklace
Nature-made Necklace

Redesign #3: Brass Leaf Bracelet

I loved the chain that came with the peacock necklace, and wanted to incorporate it into a bracelet. I kept the leaf and feather pendant and charm intact from the original piece, which added an asymmetrical dimension and continued the hanging charm theme I began with the Peacock Leather Bracelet. I curved the leaf to fit a wrist, and widened an opening in its perforated surface to use as part of the clasping system and to slightly exaggerate the "decay" of the leaf.

Original piece

Curving the leaf

Brass Leaf Bracelet

Brass Leaf Bracelet

Brass Leaf Bracelet

 Redesign #4: Tiny Blues Drop Earrings

I thought these small light blue stones would be the perfect accent for drop earrings I created by deconstructing a larger pair of earrings a friend had recently donated to me.  I added small brass accent beads and used the ear hooks from Katie’s original bird earrings.

Original pieces

Earrings from stock materials



Tiny Blues Earrings


Redesign #5: Katie’s Keychain

A friend had made a sweet pendant for Katie which she included in her submission, and while it didn’t fit into the other designs I was developing, it did make a lovely keychain, something that she can always carry with her.

Original piece

Katie's Keychain


Redesign #6: Mediterranean Divide Earrings

Katie bought the original earrings in Italy and loved the design and colors; unfortunately one was lost. This is a perfect example of what can be done to still enjoy an earring that is no longer part of a pair.  I cut the piece in half using snips and filed the edges smooth, then used a hole punch for the jump rings once I figured out a design.  This project is also a great example of how an idea must adapt to real world -- or how I had to submit to the laws of gravity. Several design ideas and a final compromise yielded these modern/bohemian little beauties.

Original piece

Sketching ideas
Design idea
Design idea
Visualizing before further alterations
Mediterranean Divide Earrings
Mediterranean Divide Earrings


I may fiddle around with the remaining pieces from the original collection, but as of right now I’m happy with the current redesigned pieces. Even better, Katie is happy with the redesigns! She loved all the pieces I made, especially the Peacock Leather Bracelet. 

If you like the designs shown here and are interested in learning more about custom ordering, email me at omonivie@tulainbloom.com.

Want to see more {tula in bloom} jewelry and design? Head over to my Etsy shop, and sign up for my email newsletter on my Facebook page.

Check out the process from the beginning: Custom Jewelry:Redesigned Part I



“...the prerequisites of creation are playfulness, love, concentration, practice, skill, using the power of limits, using the power of mistakes, risk, surrender, patience, courage and trust.” {Stephen Nachmanovitch, author, Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art}



may the flower of your life force bloom.



All drawings and finished designs are subject to copyright.  Copyright © 2014 Omonivie Okhade