Creative University Recap #2 – Cluster Necklace – My Class

Creative University Recap #2 – Cluster Necklace – My Class

Sorry for the delay – I got a little distracted by some things at home.  Back today with another Creative University Recap.

Tresa asked me to be a teacher for C.U. waaaaay back in the fall of last year.  I was so excited and nervous and had a trillion ideas going through my head and then she specified that I would be teaching a Jewelry class. Oh boy… more ideas started swirling around… and then I settled on one idea. 

Here is the cluster necklace/junklace that we made for my CU Jewelry class.


                 IMG_3065web   IMG_3072web

I went to a few gem fairs and jewelry shows with my friend, Valerie, and started collecting goodies that I could incorporate into my project and started making a prototype. I spent a couple of weeks hemming and hawing over the last couple of elements for it.  I had a budget but I liked the rolo style chain better than the “gangsta style” curb chains and I had an idea for a fabulous “souvenir” style charm that I just HAD to squeak into the budget.  Well, I threw the budget out the window and spent a little extra on my project. It was so fun and so worth it. 

Packages of goodies in my studio.. It was like Christmas.. a big, fat, blingy Christmas!




Here I am adding the first sneak peek to the CU students facebook page. Buwahahaha. I loved being just a little sneaky!


I pre made 120 charms for the necklaces.  First, I did 61 (I broke my first one, which is why I premade them) crystal drop charms shown below tied together like a chandelier.


And then I premade 60 of the custom designed mother of pearl CU “souvenir” charms. I designed the artwork in Photoshop Elements and then brought it over to Valerie’s office and she laser engraved them for me.  BUT, laser engraving was not the last step before they became charms.  I hand filled them with silver paint and then cleaned each individual charm and set them to dry. My fingers were painted in silver splotches for a couple of days.  Here are a couple of snap shots of my CU souvenir charms.



Once my two premade charms were completed and ready to go I set out to sort out parts for 60 kits.  Holy moly… this was a LOT of sorting of teeny weeny pieces. 


And then I packaged them all up into neat little bags and topped them off with cute little cardstock “toppers”.



Ready to go to Creative University!


I taught two classes at CU.  One Friday night after dinner and one bright and early Saturday morning.  Here are some snapshots of the two classes.  We had so much fun and everyone finished their projects before they left class!

Teaching wire wrapped loops with Erin’s Pipe Cleaner-Noodle Method.  Not sure WHAT I was saying or thinking or cheesing with that crazy look on my face but I love the sexay apron that Tresa made for us teachers!

I had four FABULOUS teacher’s assistants/Charm Fairies (two for each class) who were amazing and helped keep us all on track with our charms and necklaces.  My Fairies were Kari Seals, Tamara Werderber, Melody Pugh, and Michelle Johns.  I made each of them a special charm as a thank you gift.



Here is a pic of me and three of my Fairies… I’m not sure why Tamara isn’t with us but I went back through my pics and found one of me goofing around with Tamara and Kimberly.



And here are some random fun shots of my classes.









I had such a fun time teaching this class!  I think everybody learned something new or sharpened their skills or opened the doors to a new hobby.  

Inky Smiles!


PS.. If you’ve read through this entire post, thank you!  Leave me a comment on this post and tell me why you need a new pair of earrings  (be creative) and I will draw a winner for a pair that match this necklace!   Winner will be posted on Thursday night after 8 pm mountain time. Winner will have 2 days (claim by Sat 8pm) to claim the prize before another winner is drawn. Please email me your contact info once your name is drawn.


17 thoughts on “Creative University Recap #2 – Cluster Necklace – My Class

  1. Those earrings would match my awesome cluster necklace;o). Thanks so much for all the hard work you put into to your class, it was fabulous. I am so glad I met you at CU

  2. Hi Erin! I have to say that your class was my favorite at CU. I loved all of the classes, but jewelry is totally new to me and now I'm very excited to try more with my newly acquired “skills”. I use that last word losely because I definately need lots more practice.

    Also, this isn't the most creative, but I think my CU buddy Cindy needs a pair of earrings to match her junklace. (I already bought a kit from you for myself.) Cindy doesn't spend much time on her computer outside of work. She's not a blog stalker like me, so I know she most likely will not see this post. Crossing my fingers for Cindy. 🙂

  3. My Dear Excellency of Jewels:

    LOVED your post, and LOVED your class. Problem is, I barely got my noodle earrings finished to match my noodle necklace and I REALLY NEED the beauties you made to go with my GORGEOUS cluster necklace (where on EARTH were my priorities??) I mean, the noodle attire is great for workdays, but I'd really like to have a matching GLAM necklace and earrings for those special evenings out. I LOVE ya, darlin'….SO great to see you again!!

  4. Wow! After reading through your post, I have a much greater appreciation for all that you did for us. Thank you! I love that necklace and am so glad you went with the chain you chose instead of a curb link chain. Also, thank you for designing the special CU charm for us and adding all the silver to it by hand. So much work and thought went into this and I really appreciate it. It is such a cute necklace. It's one of my favorite souvenirs from CU. I have a special project planned to display my bracelets and necklaces from CU. I just need to get my rear in gar and get it done. lol.

  5. Erin, thanks again for putting together such a fun class. It was certainly nice to create something no paper-based. I've already worn my 'junklace' a few times, and have receive compliments on it every time. The special engraved CU charm is very impressive.

    And I don't really need a pair of matching earrings – since I already won a pair from you at CU! 🙂

  6. Oh my gosh, Erin! This post is SO fun! I'm wishing I was there learning from you!! This necklace or whatever you gals called it is fabulous! You created a one of a kind awesome piece of jewelry. FABULOUS!!! It sure looks like your class was a huge hit. Yay for you!

    Can an outsider to CU be eligible for your earrings? I hope so, because I'd love to win them. Wanna know why? Because after YEARS of not being able to wear pierced earrings, I finally, finally am able to wear them again! I had to “retrain” the holes for two weeks and I finally did it. Now I'm on the hunt for fabulous new earrings. *Ü* I want to look fabulous like you! *Ü*

    And before I go, thank you, thank you for opening up your posts so that I can read it in my Reader! Hugs!!

  7. This was such an awesome class at CU! I loved learning how to make charms and bracelets! And the necklace is awesome! (although, mine likes to come undone)

    This will be such at good craft habit to have!

    Thank you Miss Erin!!

    (and I might have to link to your blog to show off the good photos!)

  8. Thanks everyone!

    Yes, the contest is open to non CU attendees as well. It's open to anyone who reads this post!



  9. I am addicted to making the cluster dangles that I clip on, but I lOVE, LOVE, LUV the toggle clasp you used! Where, oh where do you get your supplies? Will you share!?!?! So cute! Wish I could have been there!

  10. I need a new pair of earrings because I've lost 75 pounds and I'm loving showing off my decidedly less pudgy face with some ear jewelry framing it! 🙂
    It's also tax season and as the wife of a tax software developer, I could use some love. 😀

    papercandy at gmail dot com

  11. Hi Erin- these are the moments when I wish I lived in USA- so I could attend all these fun getaways- I love your sense of humour-your are so energetic and inspirational and wish I could attend a CU -will have to find out if there are any in AUS. -then I may be able to get them to “impoort” you to teach- what a ball that would be. Would so love these earings and I am inspired enough to try and make a charm necklace to match- even if I don't win them- they look absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for the chance and the update on your blog about CU and all your activities.

  12. I could definitely go for some beautiful new earrings!! My wonderful working husband is off…working…and I am home with our four children. Mama needs some bling to wake up her tired booty!!

  13. I need those earrings because you can never have to many pairs of earrings! Also I didn't go CU and don't have a necklace. 🙁

  14. Hey, I just gave away my 2nd necklace that I bought at CU! It is LOVED! In fact I had to take the owner of the necklace to Hobby Lobby to buy supplies. Then back home to teach her how to make a wrapped loop! Passing on all your knowledge!! Love ya!

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