Monday, July 19, 2010

Something Old, Something New

And in this case, the old is what's new! I'm starting a new, small line of antique-style jewelry that will include Victorian and Georgian styles along with the occasional Edwardian and Art Deco piece. Of course, I will continue with my main line of gemstone jewelry because it is the closest to my heart; I love gemstones and will always want to work with them. The new line represents my interest in history - both of jewelry and other cultures and will include jewelry styles from other countries as well as Europe and America. One caveat: most of this jewelry is made from vintage materials and components that have been plated or even painted or finished by me. For the most part, the pieces are not sterling silver and goldfilled although I will be incorporating those elements at times. So when they are on the website, read the descriptions carefully if you are a purist and want only precious metals.
Above, a filigree upon filigree gold cross that dangles genuine freshwater Baroque pearls. Below, a silver bracelet with a large blue Swarovski rhinestone in the center of the flower.

Above is a gold filigreed circle with a butterfly and Pacific opal rhinestones set into the wings. Below, a Victorian-style necklace that is a collage piece with some elements such as the green givre marquises which were not actually around in Victorian times. Below the necklace is a gold cameo-like bracelet with pink rhinestones.

In the Gemstone Jewelry category that you are accustomed to seeing here are a peridot bracelet and rainbow moonstone necklace. The peridot bracelet is 3 strands of peridot with one strand sporting a focal of genuine abalone whose shiny iridescence picks up the glow of the peridot and adds a rainbow flash of colours; there is also a small abalone charm that hangs from another strand near its middle. The rainbow moonstone necklace is full of flashing rainbow moonstone with a rainbow moonstone pendant set in sterling silver. The necklace is accented with Swarovski crystals in Azores, a very pale clear blue that picks up the flash of the rainbow moonstone. Gorgeous and such fun to wear!

I will be traveling to Arkansas in the next week or so and it will be interesting to see what gemstones and components I've got there to be creative with (I tend to forget when I've been gone). And big surprise!!! I'll be bringing my cats, Cluny and Cuervo, back here with me. I've missed them like crazy!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Isn't It Charming? Aquamarines, rubies, and Swarovski Crystals

I am a great fan of charm bracelets. I personally prefer them in gold with weighty charms, some encrusted with gemstones; they are especially endearing when the charms have been collected over a long period of time and have a special or sentimental value for the wearer. The charm bracelet above is gold and has gemstones, but compared to those sentimental trinkets, it was put together rather quickly. Still, my favorite gemstones are in here, and the bracelet is rife with 14 karat goldfilled components so that it gives a nice golden glow on a wrist.
Below is a combination I'm quite fond of. Swarovski crystals in mocca, golden shadow and Indian sapphire combine to make this Swarovski crystal bracelet a real "shiner"! I've mixed it with 14 karat goldfilled accents to complement the colours of the crystals - and best of all - I made 2 of these! They are quite fetching when worn together for maximum sparkle (see the next picture). The first bracelet has larger elements than the second, but, boy, do they look great together!

Below, I so enjoy creating with aquamarines, especially when they are the true aqua blue colour. The aquamarine bracelet below is a true aqua blue; it would be a simple bracelet, but the special reticulated Bali beads of sterling silver and the many little aquamarine charms going around the bracelet give it a special status beyond simple. All sterling silver, of course!
I'm still working with rubies and have two offerings today: a sterling silver ankle bracelet with rubies for some lucky girl, and a pretty ruby bracelet with 14 karat goldfilled elements that is the epitome of simple elegance. It's small enough to be worn everyday, elegant enough to wear when you are dressed up!Yes, I'm working hard and will have more to blog about soon. Meanwhile, stay cool, but enjoy the summer days. I'm hoping to go kayaking on the Potomac tomorrow!

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ruby: The July Birthstone

Rubies are wonderful! Most of the rubies that I get are an opaque colour and usually a dark red or a pinkish red. I wish that I could find more rubies in different sizes (especially larger sizes) and shapes, but I do jump on any opportunity to get some that look out of the ordinary.
Rubies belong to the corundum family of gemstones and are generally the most valuable of that type. They register a 9 on the Moh's scale (with ultimate hardness a 10), so they are a perfect gemstone for jewelry. Almost every ruby is enhanced in some way (unless you are dealing with very rough natural stones), and you can assume that most rubies are heat-treated.
The lore surrounding rubies is legend. Rubies are believed to be able to ward off evil, to protect health, and to imbue a warrior with strength and courage. A ruby under the pillow is supposed to ward off nightmares (I love that one!) And of course rubies represent romance and passion to this day.
The first ruby bracelet features a hexagonal ruby at its center and lots of sterling silver as well as a ruby cabochon bezel-set in the toggle clasp. The ruby bracelet, below, is quite simple and symmetrical. Below the bracelet are three pairs of ruby earrings featuring shield-shaped rubies, faceted rondelles (with great drum-shaped sterling beads), and smooth teardrops.
Lapis bracelets
, below, are as deep and intense blue as the ruby bracelets and earrings are red. The first lapis bracelet is an especial favorite since it features 2 strands of variously shaped lapis stones and a Karen Hill Tribes strand dangling sterling silver charms. The second lapis bracelet features large, beautifully coloured lapis nuggets, smoothly polished and matched perfectly to some lampwork beads I commissioned from artist Robin Weber. Its pretty bird clasp makes it really special!

Stay cool, and stay tuned; my family, including my darling grand-daughter have left the country to be abroad. I'm going to have a lot of time on my hands!

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