Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Swarovski, Charoite, and Coral Earrings

Once again, I'm behind in the blog. But I do have excuses such as a very long week-end in Philadelphia (thank goodness, it was nice there!), and many commissions keeping me busy. I have made a few pairs of earrings though, mostly of coral, just to get in that summer mood that I can't wait to have every year.
The top pair are dangling coral earrings in a very pretty pink colour. I personally prefer the beaded studs with drops although I know that earwires are much more popular lately. Although coral was widely used in the Victorian era for all seasons, today most coral jewelry is worn more in the Spring and Summer than any other time.
The earrings above are made of simple coral ovals mixed with sterling silver and hung from some of my favorite Karen Hill Tribes earwires. These earwires are so dramatic! So young and modern! I love this look. The coral earrings below feature blue sponge coral and cool dapped sterling silver disks with circle cutouts of different sizes. The gemstones around the blue coral rondelles are ocean jasper that I picked out of a long strand in order to get these particular colours.

The earrings below are made with huge Swarovski Helix crystals with an Aurora Borealis finish, sterling silver rings, then hung from small sterling hoops. They have loads of sparkle to have just one bead apiece!
Finally, these earrings are made of some very good Russian charoite (all charoite that is real is Russian) ovals and amethysts. They hang from some of my favorite earwires with amethyst cabochons bezel-set into the front of the earwires. Because of the charoite, these earrings are listed on my Unique Gemstone Jewelry page.
I hope everyone is getting ready to enjoy the summer, and of course, as everyone knows, summer is much more enjoyable with the right jewelry - wherever you get it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hemimorphite and Graphic Swarovski

As usual, I've been busy! But I'm trying to keep the blog updated. I just received some hemimorphite, a stone that I don't think that I've ever used before although I was familiar with it. I decided to give it a try. I believe my hemimorphite started out as transparent (as much hemimorphite is) and was dyed to give it the blue colour that one usually wants in hemimorphite; it is still pretty, and it is translucent - which I like.
Hemimorphite is mostly found in the form of beads and cabochons since it isn't that hard ( a Moh's hardness of about 5.0), and because it has perfect cleavage, meaning that it is very hard to facet. The lampwork beads from James Derrick Reeves determined how I used this hemimorphite: I simply repeated the colours used in the lampwork -the hemimorphite for the aqua/blue, peridot for the green, and of course, amethyst for the purple. Once I'd finished, I was happy enough with the bracelet that I decided to make matching earrings with the hemimorphite and the peridot. I was really happy with those! You can see both on the Unusual Jewelry page on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.

I really am having a love affair with the large Swarovski crystal beads - the Cosmic and the Graphic, and the large Helix. Below is a bracelet in the "Copper Crystal" colour - a favorite of mine, and all goldfilled accents. And below that is "Dinner at the Ritz", a bracelet made of Karen Hill Tribes handmade chains with clear crystal AB Swarovski beads, tiny ones scattered throughout the chains, and one huge whopper Graphic bead of 18mm hanging beside the toggle clasp which is meant to be worn in front.To all my jewelry friends in Estonia and Finland - Hello - Hei - juveelid armastajapaar
(I'm trying to say jewelry lovers!) I hope the weather gets warmer for you soon!FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WRITE AND ASK WHERE THE PRICES ARE: GO TO THE WEBSITE BY CLICKING ON THE LINK ABOVE OR TO THE RIGHT!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Swarovski & Opals

I've been working with blue Peruvian opal and Swarovski (among other things) this week; I adore blue Peruvian opals when they are really blue, or that pretty aqua colour. I feel about blue opals the same as I do the pink ones - the dark inclusions make them better much of the time - giving them character and contract. Above, the blue opal bracelet is mixed with antiqued vermeil accents. This is listed on the Opal Bracelets page. I always find Swarovski addictive once I start working with it - the sparkle, the colours, the finishes. I don't often work with pink Swarovski, except for the opal colours, but I had the large Helix beads (10mm I believe), and the larger the Swarovski is, the better. Below, the copper crystal bracelet has the new large crystals (about 14mm) mixed with the Helix, rounds, and rondelles, and all goldfilled accents, including the toggle clasp. These are listed on the Swarovski Crystal Bracelets page.
Below is a pink Peruvian opal necklace with a large, flat, faceted nugget as its focal. The focal nugget is wonderful. I mixed small pink opals, flat rectangles, rondelles, and carved scarab beads along with the sterling silver. I like working with opals, but pink opals can be challenging because I like the opals to match in colouring - and pink opals are often very disparete even on the same strand. Some will be peach, some pink, some have a slight yellow to beige tinge; others will be slightly translucent with dark inclusions, and some almost perfectly pink. I don't really like to mix them all, but keep them together according to hue. The pink opal necklace below can be found on our Opal Necklaces page.

What next? A charm bracelet - I haven't made a nice full one for a long time!