Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gemstones and Hearts!

Valentine's Day is creeping up on us, and I'm still listing jewelry pieces with hearts. I have gemstone hearts I should use, but I've lately been involved with the lampwork hearts that you see here. My favorite necklace with a heart is probably the one (close-up is above) I made with lampwork beads from Lynn Nurge, genuine rubies, and goldfilled beads and charms. The rubies are a generous size, nice and chunky, and the goldfilled components match the flecks of gold in these dichroic beads. Instead of graduating rubies until they were smaller and smaller, or keeping them all large (and thus making a very expensive necklace), I decided to make the ruby part of the necklace like a "collar" and join it to large-linked goldfilled chain.This ruby necklace will be a great Valentine's Day present for someone.
I bought several of these silvery pink Venetian hearts because I was so taken by the colour, the light pink laced with such a clear silvery shimmer. I liked the heart so much that I decided to keep it the star by hanging it from pink suede and adding only a touch of silver and a little faceted amethyst rondelle to the bottom. This lampwork pendant necklace can be found on the same page as the lampwork pendant necklace seen below, another heart pendant, this time from Annie Divelbiss. It, too, is laced with silver; the colours are different tones of blue-purple, and it hangs from a pretty imprinted sterling silver chain from the Karen Hill Tribes of Thailand. I've left most of the chain so that the buyer can wear it about 27 inches or have it shortened to wear as a choker.

Today we had the first snow of the year - or I should say the season, since we had no snow either in December or November. It was a wet, sleety snow, just enough to make driving difficult for drivers who aren't used to driving on slick roads and give shivers to the rest of us. How wonderful it would be to have about 6 inches of soft, powdery snow to look beautiful for a day or so, then melt away. How can it be winter without any snow?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More for Valentine's Day

I'm still trying to get my depleted website full once again, but it's not easy when you're a one-woman design team. Custom orders do keep me busy and away from the computer (that's why I'm always writing at night, at home, since my studio is downtown.). If I could make jewelry and work on my custom orders at home, I'd never get anything listed on the site. This week, sickness has also intervened , keeping me in bed for 3 days and away from the studio and the computer. My dear kitties , who are only a bit over a year old , totally exuberant, full of life and energy, spent most of those 3 days in bed with me, one sleeping beside me, one on my feet or legs. Of course, now they have energy to spare and all they want to do is play.Some of the new bracelets that will be on the website soon (or at least by the end of this weekend) are on the post today. The first is a rose quartz bracelet with pretty lampwork beads by Riveroaks Acres; it is big and chunky thanks to the rose quartz nuggets and the sterling bead with the heart on it. The next bracelet is unusual - a heart bracelet - perfect for Valentine's - but instead of pink or blue or red, the beads and heart are a combination of amber, black and metallics, both gold and silver in an odd combination that I really like. I mixed some black agate with banding with it, but the beads (by Lynn Nurge) are really the bracelet. It is goldfilled from each small bead to the toggle clasp. It will be on the Lampwork Bracelets page.
The sapphire bracelet below is made of more of Lynn's beads, borosilicate this time, and faceted sapphire rondelles. Loads of sterling silver are on this one.The amethyst earrings hang from some of my favorite posts with a cabochon amethyst bezel-set in them. The dangle part of the earring is made of carved amethyst lilies (love these lilies, love carved beads!). I like the posts myself because years of wearing heavy earrings have stretched my ear piercings. With the nice metal and plastic disk back, these posts hold the earrings in place without stretching your earlobes.

The Tuscon Gem Show is coming up in less than a month and I'm very excited about all the new gemstones I'll be getting. Every year there is something new and special to play with. I can't wait!
Note to my readers in Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Sweden, and Norway - we here in Arkansas feel that we are suffering because the thermometer hit 20 Fahrenheit. No snow yet, but the wind is bitter. I wonder how we would fare in Lapland?