Sunday, May 16, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I haven't been to my house in Arkansas this May; instead, I've stayed in the city with my baby grand-daughter. I have missed the flowers of Arkansas although I really prefer the city. My yard in Arkansas, both front and back, is filled with my favorite peonies, a pale pink with a gorgeous smell. The flowering privet has a fragrance that I can lingers all over the property and the privet itself hums with the activity of harmless bees. A climbing rose covers two stories of the entire back of our garage - white roses with a pale pink tinge to them. Hydrangeas are in the front, the blue ones with their little clusters of petals and huge snowball like blooms. May truly blooms in Arkansas, and the "April showers bring May flowers" is an apt saying there.
Here my "flowers" are beads that I put together in jewelry. They do lack scent, but they make up for that by never fading and keeping their colour and shape forever. When I combine the beads and components into a piece of jewelry, it's as though I have a vase of fresh flowers that will last forever!
I'm working a lot with coral as the days get much, much longer. Above and below are two coral necklaces, one with dark coral "fingers" alternated with freshwater pearls and borosilicate lampwork beads and one with red coral and gold. Below that is a blue coral bracelet mixed with sterling silver sea charms and beads and Thai Karen Hill Tribes chain.

Above, a touch of coral enlivens a turquoise and coral bracelet with sterling silver and artist's lampwork. Turquoise and coral are a favorite combination of mine and warrants its own special page on the Cluny Grey website.
Other than coral, I've been working on briolette earrings, below are candy jade, but I have many more pairs on the briolette earrings page. I've recently found some interesting agate and you'll be seeing much more than just the 3 agate bracelets with crazy lace agate featured below.

It is also the season of graduations, proms, and weddings, hence the crystal jewelry below. The Swarovski crystal jewelry below can be found on our Swarovski Bridal Jewelry page. An especial favorite of mine are the large briolette earrings in Swarovski crystal below the Swarovski starfish.

Enjoy the longer May days! Don't forget that shipping is FREE!

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Emerald Days of May

I love May, the month of my birthday, for its flowers, green leafy beginnings shooting from the ground, and for the life that suddenly moves from inside stuffy houses to the fresh and fragrant outdoors. I always think of it as the month of emeralds, and the emerald is truly an appropriate birthstone for May. I love working with emeralds and I especially like to combine them with other gemstones. Today, however, most of the jewelry pieces that you see here have emeralds mixed only with sterling silver and lampwork beads. The emerald bracelet above is an example since it features only emeralds and sterling silver in two strands. Little charms hang around the bracelet and give it the life that this May birthstone deserves while opaque and transparent emeralds in different shapes and sizes mingle with one another.
One of the things I love about making jewelry is that I can make it affordable. At one time, few people could ever afford an emerald bracelet or necklace or even earrings. But using emeralds of different quality that have been made into beads, I can make a piece of emerald jewelry that you can wear forever - and it is the real thing!
Above, is an emerald bracelet with one lampwork bead that gives it a lively touch, while the emerald bracelet below features three of our nicest lampwork beads as the focal for the bracelet.
And the last emerald bracelet is extremely simple: a sterling silver bangle with four light-coloured fluted emeralds set in sterling scallops.

The earrings that you see here are also genuine emeralds, again mixed with sterling silver. I love the dainty chandelier earrings with three little faceted emerald rondelles dangling from each earring.
Finally, a cultured freshwater pearl emerald necklace with genuine emeralds. Keishe pearls are my new favorite pearl; their iridescence is generally particularly strong and their uneven shapes make them shine all the more.
Don't forget Mother's Day this Sunday! We are offering FREE PRIORITY SHIPPING on anything you buy!

emerald necklace