Friends came over today to bead and learn some new techniques, and to play in the bead box. I taught simple stringing on tigertail wire with crimp beads and stringing on silk cord with calotte bead tips. everyone had a successful beading morning. One gal has problems with heavy necklaces on the back of her neck, but loves big dramatic stone beads and pendants.
We came up with this idea of making a back piece of chain, but not too wimpy of chain. Then fasten "S" hooks on both ends. Then you can make an interchangeable focus pieces with pretty beads that have circles on both ends. Now you can make anything to go on that chain. Make several back pieces, one in copper, one silver, one black chain etc. and just make lots of focus pieces. These are even easier to store. all the front pieces could be laid in a flat box just like bracelets..
We tried this idea with square toggles but having two toggles on a shorter (23") necklace had a tendency to flip the toggles in the collarbone area. another nice thing about this idea is that you use fewer, but higher quality or more expensive focus beads. You would not need so many filler beads. this front piece is only about 6-8 inches. There is also no annoying scratchy clasp and the necklace should not shift on the neck as much. If you have metal sensitivities and need only solid gold, you would only need the one chain and could still have other fancy glass pieces on the front focal piece.
This could even be adapted for less chain to show, keeping the chain hidden under your hair. This is best if you like most of your necklaces a certain length. However, a special neckpiece could be made for any dress neckline.