Sunday, December 30, 2007

Note from Washington, D.C.

I'm still in Washington, D.C. enjoying the city, shopping, museums, and mostly visiting with my son and daughter-in-law. Before I left home, in the flurry of getting out Christmas orders and packing and making sure that my dear kitties were well taken care of, I did manage to pack 2 of my favorite necklaces, just in case I got a chance to wear them. The top one is a favorite of mine that I'm thinking of keeping and I really made it with myself in mind. The light green largest middle gemstone is a roughly faceted emerald; the large aquamarines are natural and undyed and a lovely blue. The smaller gemstones are rubies, sapphires, and more emeralds. There are also larger rubies and sapphires in faceted sapphires as well as more faceted emeralds in a rough emerald shape. Fourteen karat goldfilled round beads up to 5mm accent the precious gemstones, and for ease of fastening, I used a goldfilled toggle clasp since this is only 16 inches in length. When I was making it, I was thinking of wearing it with a beautiful 18 karat gold cross that my husband bought me for Christmas in Portugal about 3 years ago; it's one of my signature pieces of jewelry that I wear constantly. When you have a signature piece of jewelry like my cross, I think that sometimes it becomes such a part of you that it's not necessarily as noticeable as it should be; the gemstone necklaces worn above really becomes a foil for the beauty of the cross and it looks new all over again (it always looks beautiful). Of course, the gemstone necklace also looks great alone, as does the tourmaline necklace. Mixed gemstone necklaces are so versatile that are almost a jewelry wardrobe within themselves. And if you have a signature piece - even if it's a bracelet, an additional strand of mixed gemstones can really dress it up and make it perfect for an outfit you may have thought it didn't look right with before.The handmade necklace above was made entirely out of tourmalines; I got really fortunate and found some faceted tourmaline rondelles in pretty colours ranging from almost black to dark emerald green to pale green to pink. The focal points are three gorgeous pink faceted rectangles that resemble an emerald cut. Once again, I accented with fairly large 14 karat goldfilled rounds. This necklace is also a choker, slightly shorter however than the one above.
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and wish you all a very Happy New Year! Don't forget those New Year's Resolutions!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Gemstone of the Great White North: Labradorite

If there were such a thing as a "winter" gemstone, it would be labradorite. I cannot see the blue flash without thinking of the Northern lights, fjords, and thinking of lands I read about in fairy tales with Hans and Gerda and the Snow Queen. Labradorite is one of the most evocative gemstones I work with.
The bracelet is new, and it has some wonderful flash to it - even where it doesn't show up in the picture. Every single labradorite stone on the bracelet, no matter how small, I chose for its blue flash, and the large smooth oval is simply amazing! Both pairs of earrings also have major flash - some of the best labradorite I've ever had.
Although I love jewelry, I work with gemstones everyday, and tend to get a bit blase about some - which is good because I am able to part with the jewelry I make (otherwise I'd have to build a new room onto my house just to hold the jewelry). But labradorite still gives me pause, so that I find myself sliding stones across my desk and later making something for myself from them (something I rarely do otherwise). There is magic in labradorite, and I love wearing magic.Labradorite Jewelry can be found on these pages on our website: Labradorite Jewelry Labradorite Earrings and Labradorite Necklaces.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Swarovski: Playing with Sparkle

Sometimes working with Swarovski seems like playing with moonbeams that gleam and sparkle, only moonbeams that come in every colour of the rainbow. The past couple of days, I've been taking breaks from other work to scoot the crystal around my desk and see if they formed themselves into any kind of cohesive design - that's how working with Swarovski often is. I realized that there were certain colours that were not at all represented on my Swarovski Crystal Bracelets page, so I set to work to remedy the situation. I realized I had very few pinks and purples, so I created the bracelet above and the one immediately below. It's difficult to tell from the pictures, but almost all the crystals are 8mm, 10mm and over. I love the larger sizes of Swarovski crystals, and I also like to use the newer colours. The bracelet below features palace green opal (one of the newest Swarovski colours) and rosewater opal, as well as my favorite, Pacific opal.
The pink bracelet below has a focal of Crystal Moonlight and the majority of the bracelet is rosewater opal. Finally, I worked with the light red Siam , a colour I rarely use although I love, and I mean love, to work with red and red-toned gemstones. I mixed the red Swarovski with the more muted silver shadow and included a little silver shadow butterfly. The last challenge was photographing these so that their sparkle showed - and I am still not satisfied with the results - especially with the opal colours!

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