I was able to scratch another small bit off the epic To Do list that makes up my 18th century court gown project: the earrings. The lovely person or people over at the Grand Ladies website where I first laid eyes on this painting of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples and Sicily describe "the only jewellery she is wearing are large pearl earrings with diamond surrounds."
Since this was her only jewelry, I really wanted to make sure that the earrings were just right. It's a big dress and a big wig, so I needed something a lot larger than what I would normally wear. Plus, they needed to be pretty decadent, since this was a queen I'm recreating here, and your standard costume jewelry might not cut it. Cue the Google-fu and this is what I found:
Over 1/2" across and they fit the description to a T. They were gorgeous. They were perfect. They were no longer on sale and cost $275! Which is... no. Hard limit, I cannot spend more money on the earrings than I did on the dress. So, on to Plan B. I'd been keeping an eye on the buttons and such whenever I happened upon a crafting store or website, with the hopes of being able to make something up on my own. In amongst the wedding supplies at my local JoAnn's I found these lovely buttons:
I think I might actually like the look of these even MORE than the fancy expensive earrings. The ivory tone makes them look so much older and, as they were flat backed and not raised, they would sit flush against the lobe of my ear. And even though anything that's intended for "wedding" use is going to be stupid expensive on principle, a pair of these and a pack of earring backs came out to a grand total of $20, which is a far sight better than the alternative.
Here's how I made it work:
|The supplies: buttons, earring posts with 10mm pads upon which to attach the buttons,|
Jewel-It glue, large and fine wier cutters and safety glasses.
|So I used the smaller wire cutters to do a bit of fine trimming, but there was still a bit of a rough edge.|