Then….and Now


Earrings, Candie Cooper, circa 1996 (a long time ago)

Katie and I were in the car for three hours on the way to the CHA show in Chicago.  Somewhere in between Warsaw, In and Chicago, I told her about finding a friendly plastic brooch in a long lost box of my junk buried deep in my parents attic.  I think I made it in 7th grade.  Treasure?  I don’t believe so!  Katie mentioned talking with another friend about sharing then and now photos on their blogs.  "Want to do it?"  she asked.  So here we are.

I’ve been making jewelry for a long time.  It started somewhere after sixth grade and every year, I make a little bit more.  It’s been fun (and humbling) rediscovering these little pieces of where I come from and seeing how I’ve grown.  Some things haven’t changed a bit—and thankfully some things have.

That leads me to tell you about the earrings pictured.  It all started when I was given a pair of handmade beaded earrings as a Christmas gift.  In my mind, the woman who made them was a Rock-star.  Make your own earrings?  Holy cow, I had to try it.  So, these are some of the veeeeeerrrrry first earrings I made.  I have no idea how they ended up in China.  I actually think at some point I was going to salvage the beads???  No idea.  Anyway, I’m so glad to have them here for when I teach jewelry making classes.  Why?  Because learning to make perfectly round loops at the end of a wire is tricky.  After a few demonstrations, I let the students try it on their own.  Inevitably they worry because their loops are maybe more oval shape than round.  Or one loop is bigger than the other.  Or their wire is a little gnarly from the pliers and bending it several times.  It’s easy to get discouraged and that’s about the time when I pull out my trusty earrings to illustrate the fact that practice really does make perfect.


And it works!!!….every time.  They notice by the end of class that every loop gets a little better than the one before. We all have to start somewhere, no matter what we’re doing.

I told Katie, I probably have at least six or seven more then and now posts I could do.  So stay tuned for a second helping of humble pie.


  1. Love ’em, Candie! Thanks for doing the round robin blog posts. I hope more people join us.
    Miss you!

  2. I LOVE LOVE the earrings. Super cute and something you can wear with anything. I also have a love for jewelry…but think your stuff is super cute. Good job!

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