Sunday, January 29, 2006

One More Charming Bracelet & One That Shines!

I've been working on doing this bracelet for a while. The lampwork beads are by Burt Gumeson of Gumeson Designs and I bought them a colour of a time: the series is called "Jewels." I knew that I wanted at least one bracelet with the different colours combined, so here is the first one. I added different real jewels: citrine, amethyst, jade, blue quartz, blue agate, rhodonite, and fluorite. I added lots of sterling silver: Turkish, Thai Karen Hill Tribe, and Bali. The double linked sterling silver chain is also from the Thai Karen Hill Tribe. I listed this on Ebay tonight.

I love bangle bracelets and I am fond of this one because of the huge dichroic beads that have depth and sparkle and are fabulous. They are made by Dee Howl (yeah, I wish that I could make them!) and I couldn't believe that I was able to get them; her stuff goes fast! I made earrings to go with these and I cannot believe how much I like even the earrings - it's those wonderful beads of hers!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Pink Is So Pretty!

Here are 2 bracelets I just made while thinking in terms of Valentine's Day: hence the pink. I am in love with the first one, a made with thick round sterling silver tube beads from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes, and the wonderful lampwork of James Derrick Reeves. I used 2 of his swirling pink lentils around a regular bead also decorated with swirls for the front of the bracelet. Little Czech pink opal bellflowers are coming out of more Thai sterling silver - rosebuds here; there are Bali sterling silver beaded rondelles, and the "S" clasp that is decorated with a rose is also Thai as is the rose charm that is hanging beside it. This may be hard for me to let go - oh, and there are matching earrings, too.
This bracelet has a focal bead from LittleCrow, a beautiful pink tulip with green leaves around its base. The star gemstone here is pink in cubes, long tube-like beads, faceted rondelles and a carved oval and a "ruffled bead. And of course there's a lot of sterling silver including the toggle clasp!
These will probably be on auction on Ebay: search for Cluny Grey or for user id: chloemarie99
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

More Garnets for January!!!

The more I work with garnets, the more I want to work with them, especially when I get nice, evenly faceted like the ones in these . They are small teardrops with the hole running from top to bottom (which I often prefer when I am making earrings). They are beautifully faceted, so I simply took a bunch and hung them from a large jump ring first, then from these Bali sterling silver earwires with the large swirl on them. The garnets really catch the light.I love these large pearls in the deep burgundy garnet colour; yes, they are the same colour as the garnets, they simply have the pearl nacre! The faceted garnet nuggets here are from Spain and they are about 6-8mm wide and about 12-14mm long, so a very good and hard-to-find size for faceted nuggets in garnet. The name of this bracelet is "Wine Dark Sea" from Homer's Odyssey - I think the name is really more appropriate for this bracelet than for the Mediterranean. The lampwork beads are made by an artist here in the United States. The Bali sterling silver adds a nice counterpoint to this assymetrical bracelet.
"Red Sunset", the in the very first photo is named partially because of the wonderful from Beingbeads Studio. Turkish filigree shows them off, and I've loaded the rest of the bracelet with from Bali and from the Karen Hill Tribe. On the left side of the picture, you can see a very large smooth garnet nugget -it's almost 18mm-that you don't see very often. More of the garnet coloured freshwater mix with the stones. The second slender strand has only 2 elements: Karen Hill Tribe sterling silver bamboo beads and smooth garnet rondelles. This is one of my favourites, and it too uses those high-quality garnet faceted nuggets from Spain.
Garnets are such a classic that I don't think that they will ever really go out of style. And, they are one stone that because they are such a very dark red in most cases work as a neutral. I have a large oval garnet set in a simple setting of yellow gold and I can wear with everything in my wardrobe. Garnet, unlike a lot of other gemstones, translates well in to many different styles. It looks great in contemporary jewelry, Grecian, traditional, Victorian, Edwardian, Medieval - try to think of a period of western European history where someone didn't use garnets in jewelry! (I should have added here that these pieces are currently up for auction on Ebay! Search for Cluny Grey or for user id: chloemarie99)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

More of the "Canyon Aesthetic" II

I love the bright colours in this : yellow calcite, sodalite, dumorterite, carnelian, turquoise. The sterling silver prayer box opens, and adds balance to the 2 strand bracelet. "Canyon Mission" is up for auction on Ebay this week.
"Arroyo" too is part of the "Canyon Aesthetic" style. Carnelian, dumorterite, sodalite, carved jasper, and carnelian are combined with lots of intricately hand-decorated Turkish, Bali and Karen Hill Tribe sterling silver to give a lush but casual look to this wire-wrapped bracelet. Charms dangling from most of the links between the stones. "Arroyo" is also up for auction on Ebay this week: search for Cluny Grey or for user id: chloemarie99.

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Garnet: January's Birthstone

Garnet is the birthstone for January according to both traditional and modern interpretations. It is also associated with the astrological signs Leo, Capricorn and Aquarius. In the ancient world it was often referred to as the carbuncle. The name probably comes from "pomegranate", and garnets do resemble pomegranate seeds when many are used together.

Garnet blends well with many other stones; it's really almost a neutral since it's such a dark red stone. , beautifully patterned leopardskin faceted garnets, garnet rounds, and wheels combine with and a large flower from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes mix with the dark red tones of the garnet in the here and in the matching .

The garnets in the charm bracelet combine with the beautiful glow of borosilicate beads that also have a garnet cast to the colour. The handmade charms are made of many different sizes and shapes of smooth and faceted garnet beads.

Most people probably associate garnets with the since they experienced great popularity during this time.
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Monday, January 02, 2006

A Few Favorites

Looking back over the recent months, I've discovered that there are some materials I really like to work with although they are certainly not in the semi-precious stones or artists' category. One is as in the above made with Preciosa crystals (I like Swarovski also). These crystals are not Aurora Borealis coated so they are much more subtle than they would be otherwise.
I also love beads that are lined with foil, especially when they are well lined (no missing or ragged spots) like the ones above that are light blue and have flowers painted on the outside. Good quality silver foil looks great with white silver.
I personally wear more gold than I do silver, or I wear a mixture. The bracelet above has beads with sparkly gold middles, vermeil and 14 karat gold-filled accents and blue Preciosa crystals.