Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fastest Project Ever!

My new Roman earrings
After failing even to begin four of the last six challenges, and finishing another one (the bog blouse) more than two weeks late, I am really happy to have a challenge I could finish on time, namely, my Roman earrings for this fortnight's HSF challenge.  I made them yesterday afternoon, doing a step at a time in between other chores that I was supposed to be doing.  ;-)

Threading the pearls onto the head pins was easy.  So was adding the crimp rings and closing them. But the crimp covers nearly turned out to be my undoing. I kept dropping them, and had a hard time keeping them in place long enough to apply the pliers in order to close them over the crimp rings.  They did not want to fit neatly over the crimp rings, and I bent one slightly trying to get it in place.  However, I finally managed to get them more or less closed and in position without mangling them too badly, and the earrings are small enough that it's nearly impossible to detect the mangling while I''m wearing them, unless you stand close enough to me to touch my nose with your nose.

Stephens's video claims that the Romans liked the s-hook design because it made it difficult for precious-bead earrings to accidentally fall out.  The same factor makes them tricky to insert at first (particularly since my head pins are especially thin and fragile).  However, by the time I got the second one in place for the first time, the process was going better.  I still have spare crimp rings, too, so if I ever have to remake them all I'll need are new head pins and a new set of crimp beads.

My current plan is to get enough beads make a matching necklace for the final challenge of HSF 2014 ("All That Glitters").  That will give me more incentive to finally do the makeover of my Roman garments.  I find I'm looking forward to that.

The Challenge:  #7 Tops and Toes

Fabric:   No fabric involved.  The earrings are made from two 10 mm rose gold glass pearls, two rose gold filled head pins, two crimp rings and two rose gold crimp beads. 

Pattern:   I followed Janet Stephens' tutorial video on how to make Roman earrings, except I added a crimp cover over each crimp ring to make it look as though there is a gold bead above each pearl.

Year:   First century C.E., more or less.  Jewelry styles often persist longer than clothing styles do, so similar earrings may have been worn centuries earlier or centuries later than the time period during which we perceive them as having been fashionable.

Notions:  See above.

How historically accurate is it?   The design and shape are period.  Gold wire and beads and glass pearls also are period.  However, some of the jewelry findings and the specific techniques (i.e., using pre-made head pins, crimp beads and crimp rings) are not.  So let's say 50%.

Hours to complete: Probably no more than 5 minutes all told (6.5 minutes, if you count the time I spent reviewing the Janet Stephens instructional video).  Possibly less.  If I'd had better tools for handling the crimp covers, it might have taken as little as a minute and a half.

First worn:  Only to confirm that I could put them on and take them off.  I need to get photographs of myself wearing them soon.

Total cost:  $9.16, including shipping!  (Pity I didn't save this one for the "under $10" challenge!)


  1. I love them. I think they're really cute, and although they might not be completely historically accurate no one will ever spot that unless you tell them.

    1. Thanks, Stella! I appreciate the compliment, and I agree that any minor inaccuracy will slide right by most people.

      I have been selecting components for the matching necklace. I'm very excited about it.

    2. Ooh, can't wait to see the matching necklace! I bet it will be gorgeous.