Saturday, August 27, 2005

Charm Bracelets: A Thousand Points of Light

I was explaining my method of making a "full" charm bracelet to someone on's jewelry-making forum and didn't post a picture (I couldn't figure out how), so I'm posting my latest charm bracelet here.
I call this one "A Thousand Points of Light" and it has just about everything around here that is shiny except the kitchen sink! (Which by the way is not exactly shiny right now, but has last night's pasta pan still sitting in it---I've been making jewelry all day). This bracelet is sterling silver and contains Swarovski crystals, Preciosa crystals, some Czech fire-polished beads, vintage lucite flower beads in frosted white and crystal clear, rock crystal gemstone points, Bali sterling silver beads, rock crystal nuggets, and lots of rainbow moonstone with its flashing blue fire. In fact, maybe I should have called this bracelet "Flash"; in the sunshine it does look as though someone had plugged it in! Click on the picture since you have to see the large version to appreciate this. I lost count of the number of charms. .

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Jewels of Autumn

Perfect for this Fall, back-to-school season: a briolette necklace in a wonderful Fall orange-red tone that enhances everything you wear it with. Great for basic black, looks fantastic with bright pink, camel and turquoise especially. Only the little rondelles are carnelian; all the other stones, including the glowing teardrop briolettes, are Laguna Botswana agate! These are a wonderful translucent stone so clearly beautiful that the whole necklace reminds me of hard candy!

Here is a small bracelet that can match the necklace. Once again, only the little rondelles are carnelian; all of the nuggets are Laguna Botswana agate. The stones in this bracelet show the wonderful translucence (what I call the "hard candy" effect) and the range of hot colours in this gorgeous stone. The stones are so beautiful that the only embellishment for the bracelet is its sterling silver toggle clasp.

Below is a bracelet with a pale carnelian oval as its centerpiece. Red carnelian rondelles and nuggets in deep orange join with different coloured carnelian heishi beads and a few sterling silver accents. While the carnelian is beautiful, look at the difference between it and the Laguna Botswana agates.

Finally, an example of breaking my own rule. I usually always put something, a tiny stone or even a tiny freshwater pearl if I want a nugget necklace with nothing detracting from the nuggets. I don't like even a hint of the wire underneath to show. However, here I wanted the effect of these Indian agate nuggets with their characteristic banding and beautiful tones and shadings of colour without the detraction of any other element, even silver, so I have broken my rule. Luckily, the nuggets have smooth ends and even drill holes so that when worn, the wire does not show at all. The "matching" bracelet however, has carnelian heishi beads between the same Indian agate nuggets. They work to make the bracelet more physically flexible which is important since we're dealing with a smaller circle of stones here. I finished this bracelet with a star-shaped toggle clasp that I love for its different look: feminine yet sturdy. I have also made nugget earrings to match this set which I will post later. The Indian agate is perfect to wear to work or school; its many colours mean that it looks great with khaki, camel, almost all the neutrals--even taupe--yet it uses the colours that we have come to associate with autumn. If you make a nugget necklace and do not want to add any other elements, you must be sure that the ends of those nuggets have consistent even drill holes and that the ends will fit together smoothly.
NOTE: Most of my pictures are extremely large if you click on them so that you can see details up close. In most cases, they will fill your entire screen.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Charmed, I'm Sure

This is a charm bracelet made from exquisite floral beads from Jon at Bubblebeader. I don't know how he does it! The floral beads have white petals, green centers, and are a marvelous shade of yellow that has a blush of apricot in some places. They have a matte finish and are just beautiful. The cream beads with buttercream swirls are by Lisa Sharik. I added handmade charms of sterling silver Bali beads and genuine citrine nuggets, Turkish sterling silver, and little gemstone citrine rondelles. The earrings are really special and show off the floral beads. Thanks, Jon! This is on auction at Ebay this week, sold as a set. .

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Fall Fashion Forecast: Jewelry to Match

According to many Fall fashion forecasts, plum, ginger, spice, burnt orange, dark wine, moss green and dark olive are going to be the colors for clothing as we leave Summer behind and start briskly stepping toward Winter. Of course, if you want to be really chic (and I do mean that in the French sense) your jewelry will complement these colours. I am happy since some of the jewelry I've finished will look great with them whether you're wearing an entire ensemble or just a touch of the "new" colour.
I love leopardskin jasper, and it's a perfect stone for this Fall. Its many patterns, the main one gives it its name, add variety and interest to a monochromatic outfit--my favorite! (I really do believe that dressing in one colour from head to toe makes you look slimmer). And leopardskin jasper is exceptionally versatile because of the interplay of colours in its striped, spotted, streaky and mottled patterns. This bracelet and earring set uses what some people refer to as red leopardskin jasper to distinguish it from its counterpart with a more brown or golden tone. The peach and pink are beautiful with brown, grey, charcoal, black and even what appears to be some dark olive green running through it. There is really no way to list the colours in leopardskin since just when you think you've finished, you realize you could identify another shade of peach or pink or red or grey. Of course, this set would jazz up basic black, but would look smashing with wine, and with olive green, and moss green, and ginger and spice....and well, you get the idea. The earrings are large enough to show up even on those with long hair.

This bracelet features roughly cut but highly polished tourmalines in varying shades, from the bright dark pink to a dark green. We don't need to go over those Fall colours again for you to realize how well this bracelet and earrings would match. What really makes this set special is that the little round beads between each of the tourmalines are genuine natural rubies. They are opaque and a rich, dark red. This is a weighty bracelet that will be able to carry those heavier Fall clothes.
All of the metal on the jewelry photographed here is sterling silver.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Back to School Jewelry

It's been 100 degrees and over the past couple of days here in Arkansas and it's hard to think of Fall, Fall colours, even going back to school. But I know that it is that time. I have got to start thinking in terms of brighter colours, Fall colours, and leaving the white behind.Some recent new work:
I have earrings to go with the cherry quartz bracelet. I love these faceted nuggets, which are almost emerald cut.

Candy jade is just gorgeous. This 2 strand necklace uses briolettes and the peachy-pink and green candy jade that I love.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Jewelry and the Personality

When a woman gets older, what helps her look her best? Jewelry! Yes, that's right, jewelry. Not necessarily the largest diamonds or gemstones, but jewelry that says something about her, jewelry that says something about the person that she has become over her lifetime. Cookie-cutter jewelry will not tell anything about a unique personality. It takes unique jewelry carefully chosen for its style, colour, size, and statement. The over 40 woman should not be putting on a pair of earrings just because they are in style--or the colour of them is "in" this year. She should be developing her own style, and by now, she should be brave enough to wear that style that announces (or shouts or whispers, as the case may be) exactly who she is.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

More New Work

First is an ankle bracelet made with Karen Hill Tribe silver and fire-polished Czech beads with a Turkish butterfly charm. I used to love to wear ankle bracelets in the late '70's. They're gorgeous on slim ankles. Next, just for August is a 2 strand genuine peridot necklace with a sterling silver pendant with 2 high quality bezel-set faceted peridot. Lovely green.

Finally , a Cluny Cat made from rainbow moonstone with lots of fire and flash. The briolettes in the center of the bracelet are especially nice. It's very hard to get a good picture of good rainbow moonstone. More Hill Tribe sterling silver accents this piece.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Peridot: Gift from the Volcano

The commonly accepted birthstone for the month of August is the green gemstone called peridot.
The Egyptians had peridot mines in ancient times on Zeberget. Believing that peridots could only be seen easily at night, the Egyptians worked the mines from the evening on fighting the many snakes inhabiting the area. The Romans used peridot referring to it as an "evening emerald" since its light colour continued to show up at night and believed also that peridot possessed many powers including the ability to heal stomach ailments and fortify the nerves.
In the Middle ages, peridots were often used to adorn chalices and reliquaries in the Catholic church since its light, bright green colour symbolizes rebirth and renewal.
Peridot crystals can be found on beaches in Hawaii, (peridot is thought to be the tears of the goddess Pele) since it is a gemstone with volcanic origins. However, most peridot is mined in Burma, Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka, and on an Indian Reservation in Arizona.
  • Astrological Signs of Peridot: Sagittarius, Scorpio, Leo, Virgo
  • Emotional and Mental Properties: Helps with wealth, gives protection, helps with childbirth; increases eyesight; enhances meditation, relaxation, spirituality, friendship, pleasure; increases wisdom, love, fertility, healing.
  • Description: crystalline gemstone from olivine mineral ranging from a pale to a deep clear green