Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lazy Sundays

I love the sound of "lazy Sundays" although mine are usually not lazy at all. I often spend them working on photographs and the website if I've been able to make any jewelry that week. But I still love the concept and even though I'm working, it's as though the work isn't really work since I'm doing it on Sunday! It may be January, but I am busy working on new Spring jewelry; meanwhile, here are some pieces that will be on the website in the next day or two if they are not already. Above is a unique bracelet with a special wirewrapped focal bead, a faceted rectangle of rose quartz, and 5 strands of rose quartz rondelles interspersed with different gemstones - rubies, citrines, tourmalinated quartz, apatite, and amethysts. (It's my new favorite!). Below, you can never have too much labradorite! This labradorite bracelet is made up of two strands of different sizes and shapes of labradorite beads with little charms of labradorite hanging from the strands, and sterling silver accents.
I've been very interested in pearls lately, mixing and matching them with different elements. Below is a coin pearl bracelet with red magma Swarovski crystals (I love this red magma colour!) A sterling silver handmade rose and leaf from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes hang from one side of the bracelet. The freshwater coin pearls have a lovely nacre.
(See Gemstone Earrings)
More pearls below: freshwater pearl earrings in pink with light rose Swarovski crystals match the pearl bracelet with its flower accents, including a pretty flower decorated toggle clasp in sterling. The last two pieces are simple coin pearl necklaces, the first with Swarovski crystals and sterling silver, and the second with vermeil and keishe pearls.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January's Specials!

January's weather has turned from snow to rain; I can't wait for more snow! I am working (and have been on the new Spring jewelry for this year, and there's something about a heavy coating of snow on the ground that is inspirational when it comes to jewelry. Meanwhile, I've also been getting ready for Valentine's Day and working on a special page of earrings!
Above are two bracelets featuring the Red Magma colour from Swarovski; I love this colour, a muted orangey red with a deep tone. The first is a silver bangle bracelet with Karen Hill Tribes tube beads and red magma crystals in the cosmic shape. Next is a freshwater pearl bracelet with creamy arrow shaped freshwater pearls.
Below, I've had these pink Botswana agate sharply faceted nuggets on the workbench for some time, trying to decide what to do with them. Then I got in some white coral from Thailand and it seemed perfect for the swirling patterns of pink, white, and grey in the Botswana agate. A large sterling silver starfish is on either side of the necklace, and an S clasp features a starfish atop it. All the sterling silver is from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes. This necklace looks great with a crisp white blouse, and with sweaters - the softness of the colours, I suppose. It would be a perfect gift for Valentine's Day. Below the necklace is a pair of earrings with freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystal butterflies in red, another perfect Valentine's Day gift.

Pietersite is a lovely gemstone that is both polished and earthy at the same time. It's pretty patterns are brown, but include gold, beige, black, blue, sienna, rust, and tan. The bracelet has two strands: one strand is of gemstones, and the other is a sterling silver chain with Swarovski crystals in mocha hanging from it. The Swarovski crystals, which are also in the main strand, add a sparkle to the bracelet and lift it from everyday to special! Below are matching pietersite earrings.THE SPECIAL I'M WORKING ON will be a page of gemstone earrings which will sell for only $20.10 each. These are all genuine gemstones and sterling silver - no base metals, no faux stones! For example, below: smoky quartz, rose quartz, and chalcedony.
Just for fun, a charm bracelet that is all gemstones and sterling silver. The gemstone charms include aquamarine, chalcedony, smoky quartz, moonstone, Botswana agate, rose quartz, and opal. All the charms hang from the double-linked sterling silver bracelet which fastens with a sturdy toggle clasp.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Are You Ready for Valentine's Day?

One of the favorite gifts for Valentine's Day (in years past anyway) has got to be bracelets, necklaces, and earrings made of aquamarine. So here are some new aquamarine pieces that will be up on the site within the next day or two. Above, an aquamarine bracelet with sharply faceted nuggets of wonderful practically inclusion-free crystal quartz, and smaller nuggets of aquamarine. Below are aquamarine earrings with sterling silver chain links hanging from swirling filigree posts. The next aquamarine bracelet is a three-strand beauty with a pretty marcasite clasp; the pearls are freshwater Biwa pearls, and little Thai Karen Hill Tribes charms hang at intervals on the strands. Following, another pair of aquamarine earrings, this time hanging from some of my favorite sterling silver earwires adorned with an intricate handmade rose facing front.
Below, a quartz bracelet with a huge aquamarine rough cut nugget as the centerpiece, and finally, an aquamarine bracelet mixed with smoky quartz and sterling silver.
The last two bracelets are a garnet bracelet with red and green garnets and matching lampwork beads, and a smoky quartz bracelet for a special client.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Garnet: The January Birthstone

Did you know that the garnet was named after a fruit? The ancient Greeks thought that garnets looked like the seeds of the pomegranate - thus, garnet! In the Bible, garnet is mentioned fairly often, usually called carbuncle.
The Victorians were especially fond of garnets and mixed them often with pearls, opals, coral, cameos, and one of my favorite combinations, turquoise. But they were passionate about Bohemian garnets (from Czechoslovakia)set in gold with an entire piece encrusted with small and medium garnets glittering around a larger focal.
I love garnets because I consider them a neutral when they are a deep, dark red. They look great with black - and really blend with almost any other colour you can wear. I mention that I like the deep, dark red because garnets come in almost every colour except blue! They are also fun to create with because they mix so interestingly with other gemstones and other jewelry materials.
Above, for a more modern, artisan look, I've mixed garnets with artist's lampwork beads that have a touch of light blue in them; I love those flat, faceted garnet nuggets and recently was fortunate enough to find some (pretty large garnets can be difficult to find in bead form). I've used the same faceted garnet nuggets in the next garnet bracelet with flat, faceted citrine nuggets, charms, and some repousse sterling silver.

Above, a garnet bracelet where the garnets serve as a foil for the sterling silver, especially the sterling silver chains of different sizes. An interesting toggle clasp, a special oval ring in silver, and a hanging circle of garnets make this bracelet special.
Below, garnets playing well with others: the first bracelet features rose quartz and a special toggle clasp with garnet cabochons embedded in the ends of the toggle bar; the next garnet bracelet mixes with creamy coloured mother of pearl, dangling charms around the bracelet and a pretty butterfly toggle clasp. All garnet bracelets here are mixed with sterling silver.
Below are two more bracelets new to the Cluny Grey Jewelry site. The first, a freshwater pearl bracelet, the second is an aquamarine bracelet mixed with freshwater Biwa pearls.Don't forget to make your New Year's Resolutions!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

Yes, I am making New Year's Resolutions. No, I haven't finished them. I find that New Year's Resolutions are very important to me. They allow me to take stock really of the past year to determine what I want to improve upon for the coming year. I also take my time about writing them. I give myself all of January to make New Year's Resolutions since some of the most obvious don't always present themselves the first time I sit down to think about them. Some of my most important resolutions are those I think of while going about my routine, especially when I do something that makes me unhappy or ill-at-east. An ongoing one has been to be tolerant and easy-going about traffic situations. I've had it for a while now, and I have improved. Traffic doesn't phase me much; I don't curse other drivers or get jittery in a massive slowdown. Working on it has really helped!

One resolution is to write in this blog more often. I was horrified to see that I hadn't posted since early December. The Christmas season kept me very, very busy; this last week, the Wednesday before New Year's Eve, I had oral surgery (yuk!) and I'm just now starting to feel normal again.

The jewelry today: above, a ruby bracelet made with deep blue faceted turquoise, a new favorite combination for me; a sunstone bracelet with three ravishing strands of sparkling sunstone; below, two mother of pearl bracelets, the first with circles and squares and the addition of blue chalcedony in the squares and a mother of pearl clasp, the second, beautiful mother of pearl (my favorite mother of pearl that I have) with an iridiscent greyish cast and sterling silver.

Remember to make your New Year's Resolutions; it really can help!