Saturday, March 24, 2007

An Old Idea Is New Again

Prayer boxes are very "in" right now, but they probably originated thousands of years ago in Hindu or Buddhist cultures. It seems a pretty sentiment, and a deeply faithful one for the devout, emphasizing the belief in the miracle of prayer, its efficacy in affecting our lives.
The prayer box reminds me of Jerusalem, the Wailing Wall, as I watched while the faithful pushed little rolled up pieces of paper with their prayers, their requests written upon them into the cracks of the Wall, believing I suppose that God would get to them faster there, or that the act of travelling to the Wall, writing the prayer on paper, and making the commitment to put it there emphasized the importance of the plea.
The prayer box also reminds me of the Medieval period when God was such an important part of people's lives that worship was not relegated to Sunday, but a part of every waking moment or many parts of the day. God surely had a more immediate and constant connection to people in this age where a recipe instructed the cook to let the mess boil as long "as it takes to say the Rosarie." And everyone knew just how long that was.
The prayer boxes on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website feature different designs, some embedded with gemstones, some plain with relief scenes or figures, but all with a lid that opens and closes to keep safe within a piece of paper with your prayer written on it. Most prayer box necklaces are a prayer box hanging from a chain, but I've tried to improve upon the simple chain by making the necklace a part of a wardrobe so that the necklace becomes a part of an outfit, an accessory as well as a symbol of faith.
All of the prayer box necklaces here, and more, can be found on the Prayer Box Necklaces page of the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.
Also, this week we're running more auctions on Ebay; for great deals, check user id: chloemarie99 or do a search for Cluny Grey.
Also, for those of you who are as impressed as I am by someone who can work wonders with polymer clay and turn it into works of art, check this link: Elise Winters and see the gorgeous work of Elise Winters. How does she do it!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Trying Ebay Again

I've had an ebay store, Studio G for about three years now, and much of the time I've run a few auctions since store items don't come up in the normal search results. However, I'm about to give up on Ebay. It's a grand idea, and works I suppose for many things, but Ebay continues to raise fees everytime you turn around, and changes things constantly it seems to make it more difficult to sell so that I don't think I've had anything up for auction for at least a month -maybe a bit more - and probably not the month before that. That said, I do have 5 bracelets up for auction this week although one does end tomorrow night I believe - the others on Wednesday. They all have starting bids substantially lower than what they would sell for in my store or on my Cluny Grey Jewelry website. So I'm going to see what happens.
The labradorite bracelet that you see above is up for auction. I love this bracelet and every gemstone was chosen for its flash. It also has some great beads in sterling silver. The bracelet below is all Swarovski crystals in the colours of silk and morion, an unbelievably great combination - I couldn't believe it (the bracelet is much prettier in person). I'm auctioning the earrings with the bracelet so that could sell for about half of what they would be on the website. I'm really taken with Swarovski lately because I love the new larger beads and the wonderful new colours (rose water opal -yum!).

Finally, a great blue chalcedony bracelet that has matching lampwork bead earrings to go with it; again, I'm auctioning both together. The great lampwork beads are a sort of periwinkle blue with a dash of metallic silver encased in clear -very pretty, very hard to describe. They are the work of lampwork artist Irene Collier.
So, if you get a chance and you're in the market for some graduation or Mother's Day gifts or maybe something to wear to the prom, check my Ebay auctions this week: my user id is: chloemarie99 or you can do a search for Cluny Grey - or simply click on the link in the first paragraph here. Hyvästi! Tchau!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Fire and Ice, Sea and Sun

I like so many different gemstones and styles that if left to my own devices, in the course of a week I can come up with some very disparate looks. Fire agate is a current favorite of mine, and I like it so much that I've created a new page on the Cluny Grey website for Fire Agate Jewelry and I predict that it will be fairly full before long. I love large faceted nuggets, like those in this fire agate bracelet - and I love to mix a bit of sunstone with my fire agate creations, too. The other element (besides the lampwork beads I love) that I like to incorporate are Swarovski crystals. Talk about sparkle! The bracelet below has all three of my favorites.I am a bracelet person; I love bracelets, love to make them, love to wear them, oftentimes as many as I can get on at one time and still lift my arms (well, not quite). But I've been trying to make more necklaces since so many of my customers like matching sets - earrings, bracelets, necklaces, all that work together. I made the lariat necklace that you see below from grey Biwa pearls with an iridescent nacre and from faceted rock or quartz crystal that is huge and chunky. I really like lariat necklaces because they are very easy to wear and usually quite versatile.

The turquoise necklace that you see here is quite long and mixes lampwork beads by master lampworker James Derrick Reeves with turquoise and amethyst. I made matching earrings from the same turquoise and amethyst. I love those faceted amethyst nuggets. Below, I made a double strand necklace with some smooth amethyst nuggets, faceted peridot, garnet, and a lot of smokey quartz to show off a large drusy (druzy) pendant set in sterling silver with faceted gemstones in peridot, quartz, and garnet and an amethyst teardrop hanging from it. The clasp has a garnet cabochon set in it. When I make a necklace like this, I love to find gemstone clasps to use even though I know that it probably won't show most of the time. I still think it's a nice touch though. This necklace will be on the Drusy Jewelry page. This is also the first brown drusy that I've ever had.

Finally, another bracelet that I had to put on here today because I like it quite a bit. The huge faceted nugget is of amazonite and is slightly twisted. The lampwork beads are by James Derrick Reeves, and of course, the design is by me. I'm seriously thinking about keeping this one although I do have a couple of these huge nuggets still and I'm just wondering what I could do with them.