Showing posts with label beading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beading. Show all posts

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Back from Bulgaria and New Jewelry

Happy New Year!  I am looking forward to 2014 being a wonderful, creative and productive year; I hope you are as well. I spent the Christmas holidays with my son and his family in Sofia, Bulgaria, the first time I had traveled to that country.  I've already fallen in love with Bulgaria despite not having it snow while we were there. Luckily, my son lives almost in the side of Mt. Vitosha and a quick drive did provide some white magic.  I fell in love with the food (ummmm, shopska salad and eggs panagyurishte ), the wonderful churches and monasteries, the people, the art. I saw fantastic early Thracian jewelry (Southeastern Bulgaria was part of Thrace at one time), wonderful icons, and ancient sites of worship.  I can't wait to go back. Of course, the main attraction was family, but Bulgaria with family is much better than Bulgaria on my own!

Above, the Rila monastery a couple of hours outside Sofia.

The jewelry today includes (above) a ruffled looking necklace made up of tightly strung dark blue chalcedony faceted briolettes; the color is fantastic!  Then a chalcedony bracelet that is a so rich looking with faceted rectangles of chartreuse chalcedony and 14 karat gold-filled beads and toggle clasp.
Below, vermeil earrings are graceful and reminiscent of some of the Byzantine jewelry I saw in Bulgaria where the gold is so pure that it shines a deep gold. The dangling tips are sunstones.

Below are bezel-set cabochon emeralds with sterling silver. The earwires are decorated with shiny hearts; below the oval emeralds are round hammered circles. Below the emerald earrings are dangle earrings with faceted bezel-set gemstones of pink chalcedony and garnets, also in sterling silver.

Oh, and I am enjoying tremendously the SNOW that we got on Tuesday. It was a rare delight to witness snow falling from morning until into the night and I was happy all day long! The snow energized me, and I was working hard on fulfilling those New Year's resolutions that I make every year. Meanwhile, work still continues on the new site.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Losing Weight, Kitties, and What About Jewelry?!

 I am the proud loser of 33 pounds!  I have been eating healfully since January of this year, eliminated all sodas, and even most artificial sweeteners, and I have learned to adore iced green tea - plain.  I've gone from wearing a size 12, sometimes 10, pant to a size 4! (Note: sizes have changed; even when I weighed 10 pounds less than I do now in the 'eighties, I still wore an 8, sometimes a 6 on rare occasions). 
Sorry, but I have to brag just a little.  The main motivator was my son who told me that he wanted me to be around for a long time for my 4 year old grand-daughter. I want to be here too!
 What are the cat pictures?  The upper picture is of Cluny, my namesake, and the lower of Cuervo Sebastian; both are boys.  They like to hang out up here on the fourth floor with me to, ahem, help me make jewelry.  You haven't lived until you've spilled an entire container of small beads and watched 2 cats go crazy.  I like it when they help me as they are in the pictures here.
 Don't forget that it will soon be Christmas before you know it and you are going to want some jewelry!  If it's custom jewelry that you want, please let me know in plenty of time, so you can choose designs and beads and gemstones at your leisure.  
Cluny and Cuervo will be here to help me!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Fall Collection: Part II, More Bracelets!

For years (at least it has seemed to me) navy has been difficult to find in clothing and accessories.  I am happy to say that navy is back in a big way.  Two weeks ago I bought the first navy blazer I've had in years, and have worn it constantly.
To go with the navy, here are my newest sapphire bracelets.  Although these are shown in gold I have also made them in sterling silver.  The top sapphire bracelet has two strands of sapphires accented by 14 karat gold-filled components. The sapphire bracelet, below,  was created with bezel-set faceted sapphires and small oval sapphire charms.  The larger sapphires are set in vermeil; the rest of the bracelet is 14 karat gold-fill.
And don't forget earrings!  The sapphire earrings above have smooth oval sapphires hanging from from elaborate sterling silver dangles hanging from earwires.
The earrings below hang from the prettiest earwires hand-decorated with flowers. The faceted sapphire rondelles are topped by Thai Karen Hill Tribes accents and have the bust of a Japanese geisha hanging below.
The earrings above are made of faceted sapphire rondelles and special Bali sterling silver. They feature special studs that are set with cabochon iolites (also known as "water sapphires") and have a festive and feminine look.

Unique bracelets such as this are a favorite of mine.  A very large smooth sapphire nugget is a deep pretty blue; it's surrounded by fluted 14 karat gold and then by faceted rubies, freshwater keishe pearls, and smooth medium green emeralds. Quite striking!
Wonderful labradorite flashes in this three strand bracelet with sterling silver and sapphires.  The blue of the labradorite echoes the blue flash of the labradorite.  Tiny little Thai Karen Hill Tribes beads add a pretty gleam to this bracelet.  The third strand is a linked oval chain of sterling dangling little sapphire charms.  For a special touch, an oval box clasp has a cabochon labradorite set into it.
Above, vermeil and high quality carnelian  sing together in this carnelian bracelet.  A wonderful touch is the leaf toggle clasp (also vermeil) closure.
Below, chalcedony is a gorgeous gemstone, especially when it is as wonderfully translucent as these gemstones in shades of aqua to sea-green and golden yellow. Accented with sterling silver.
Below, for blues lovers everywhere, a bracelet featuring genuine turquoise, pretty blue aquamarine ovals, and large lapis coins. Perfect for your jeans - or that cocktail dress!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

More Jewelry for Spring!

Tourmaline Necklace photo tourmaline-necklace-a6_zps5047df5b.jpg
The mixed colors of tourmaline are always in style; here the two strand tourmaline necklace is truly seasonless. The necklace has tourmalines in all shapes and sizes from smooth opaque nuggets to translucent rondelles to gem-quality tourmalines.  Sterling silver accents the many colors and a special gemstone clasp holds it all together!
   Below, I've become really enamoured of apatite, especially the neon turquoise color that you see here in this apatite and mixed gemstone bracelet. Gem quality amethysts are beautiful with the apatite, but the unusual addition is that of genuine opals from Australia. 14 karat gold-filled components show off the beauty of the gemstones, and 14 karat gold-filled sand-dollar charm adds a whimsical touch.
Apatite Jewelry photo apatite-jewelry-b6_zps83f9b5a9.jpg

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Above and below, this chalcedony necklace will mix with most of your chalcedony jewelry since it boasts wonderful spring colors of aqua, light green, purple, pink and yellow.  The purple gemstones are large faceted slabs of amethysts; the small faceted yellow olive gemstones are lemon quartz. Tiny accents of sterling silver are between each of the gemstones and a sterling silver clasp is the closure.
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Finally, chrysoprase boasts the ultimate spring green color in this two-strand bracelet with lemon quartz. Sterling silver components are in this bracelet featuring some of our favorite chrysoprase carved and faceted gemstones.
Cluny Grey Jewelry

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Jewelry To Blog About!

Who has time to blog when she is busy making jewelry? Certainly not I! And that explains my absence from this blog for a while. I have been busy making beauty as I hope that you will attest. Of course, I have been busy with some amethysts since they are the birthstone for February - and also since I love to work with amethysts anyway. The top bracelet is a beautiful, gem-quality amethyst bracelet made with cushion-cut amethysts and sterling silver.  It almost hurt me to make it because I love these amethysts so much that I want to make them into jewelry but keep them at the same time!  Once they are made into a bracelet such as this, it's as if those the amethysts no longer belong to me, and of course, I hope that they will go out in the world and be worn on someone's wrist with pride - but I will miss them.
  Below, this amethyst bracelet has some more of my favorite amethysts, but these couldn't be more different.  The three large, flat, flaceted slabs of amethyst that you see here have inclusions and are far from perfect. But they are translucent if a trifle cloudy in places, and I love them. And yes, I bought a lot of them so that the first thing that I did was to use a few to make a bracelet (with gold) for myself. The amethyst bracelet below is for sale though, and features not just 14 karat gold-filled accents, but also some of Robin Weber's fantastic lampwork beads with silver leaf.  They are so gorgeous.

I've been working quite a bit with abalone as well and I thought I would try the two together: abalone and amethyst, it seemed like a good mix, especially when I saw the abalone embedded in this pendant with its pretty purple iridescence, and with the purple cabochon bezel-set in sterling silver at the bottom of the pendant. I was so taken with the pendant that I decided to use just the elements in the pendant for the abalone necklace. Sterling silver, abalone and freshwater pearl sticks. It really is a looker!
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And as usual with me, one thing leads to another. I kept looking at the abalone and freshwater pearls together and decided that I would like to put together something with their wonderful contrast of light and dark iridescence, so the necklace below was born. It's a classic, so much better than just a plain pearl necklace!
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To end on colorful note, here is a piece of chalcedony jewelry I am wild about! This bracelet is all chalcedony and sterling silver and just as colorful as it can be.  I especially love the focal faceted nugget of aqua chalcedony. To make it even more special, I added a colorful gemstone toggle clasp in sterling silver.
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Don't forget that shipping is free for all purchases over $50.00; only $1.95 for purchases under $50.00!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

More Blue Topaz and Consider Custom!

 The Christmas Season is hard upon us and everyone is scurrying around to find presents. If you haven't done so yet, consider a custom piece of jewelry for someone special - in many cases, there is still time to make a bracelet, necklace, or earrings depending on what you want!
   Today, just three pieces of pretty blue topaz jewelry: a bracelet, and two pairs of earrings.
    The bracelet, above, is made with London Blue faceted rondelles and goldfilled accents. It's a small bracelet with great presence.
    Below are two pairs of blue topaz earrings; both are Swiss blue topaz; one pair is made with goldfilled fluted beads and goldfilled accents. The second pair is made with sterling silver and features Thai Karen Hill Tribes heart beads above the blue topazes. The blue topazes in both pairs are faceted cubes.

These will be available for sale in the next hour or so.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Trends for Jewelry!

Coral is always great in the summer! Ever since I had a peachy coral and lapis necklace (fake, though) when I was in my twenties, I have been in love with this mixture.  So I decided to translate my fake '70s necklace into the real thing - this coral necklace is the result.  I had to have a bit of sparkle in it to make it really special, thus the Swarovski clear crystals and the Swarovski large crystal coral drop.  It's a discreet sparkle that you can wear out and about; you don't have to be going to the opera at the Kennedy Center!  The sterling silver clasp has a cabochon lapis set into it.

Using lapis got me onto a roll, so I made three pairs of lapis earrings.  The first pair has a cabochon lapis set into the earring post and sterling silver Thai Hill Tribes accents. 

Lapis and pearls are classic together. Not only do these lapis earrings have lapis with sparkly gold pyrite and crystal Swarovski rounds and  clover shaped freshwater pearls, they have large cabochon pearls bezel-set into flower shaped earring posts. I love these!

Lapis and gold together is my favorite combination. The fluted 14 karat goldfilled beads give a more formal look to these earrings.

This amethyst bracelet with 14 karat goldfilled accents is simple but fantastic!  The flat, faceted amethyst nuggets are translucent and gorgeous with wispy inclusions.
   Below, one of my handmade bracelets from the Raj Collection full of faceted and smooth rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and amethysts. All sterling silver with little flower charms from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes.

Above, this is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill freshwater pearl bracelet!  These lustrous brown freshwater pearls gleam amid tiny 14 karat gold-filled accents while a gorgeous faceted smoky quartz olive-shaped focal takes center stage.
   Below, a salvation bracelet that is also a bangle bracelet. Round Swarovski crystals are in the salvation colours.  A heart-shaped toggle clasp is the closure. Sterling silver. 

The moonstone is the traditional birthstone for June.  Here is a piece of rainbow moonstone jewelry that will make you think anything but traditional! Two pretty strands of sterling silver and rainbow moonstones are accented by three clover-shaped freshwater pearls.  The real stunner is the clasp: a little frog with a cabochon freshwater pearl bezel-set into its back.
Hope you are enjoying your summer and have plans for a great vacation!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jewels for Summer!

I adore summer! Everyone is out and about, especially now before the full heat of the mid-atlantic is upon us, and new outfits are popping up everywhere. And to go with those new summer outfits, you need jewelry! A customer I spoke to mentioned liking lapis and sunstone just in passing and that got me started. First, I put lapis and sunstone together in the two-strand bracelet that you see here. And because lapis is one of those stones that just begs to be played with, I had to make a couple of other lapis pieces as well.

Below, for those who like something simple, a lapis bracelet with one pretty blue borosilicate lampwork bead for a focal; it's surrounded by Thai Karen Hill Tribes sterling silver then finished with thick disks of lapis sprinkled with sparkling pyrite.  The sterling silver toggle has a flower on both the bar and the ring as well as a flower charm hanging to one side.

I really love lapis with gold. Here all the gold is 14 karat goldfill.  Lapis with gold always makes me think of the riches of early Sumer and Egypt.

 I've had these beautiful and odd lampwork beads for some time. They were made by Lynn Nurge and while the three long pieces at first make one think of coral, they have tiny "bumps" all over them which makes them look like octopus tentacles.  Sounds creepy? They are gorgeous!  I mixed the colours with Swarovski crystals in copper and light tanzanite.  I can just imagine this necklace worn in the early evening with a white dress - or an orange one, or a light purple one or . . . . After I finished this I tried it on wearing a khaki coloured shirt and it was wonderful.  Major sparkle!
This necklace has been on the site, but I made it in the winter (I guess I was longing for warm weather).  This fantastic necklace is made with sterling silver and all Swarovski crystals, including Swarovski crystals in the clear coral shape. This is chic and very, very elegant with plenty of sparkle.
Are you enjoying the warm weather?  I'm getting ready for a trip to Paris soon, so I'm trying to find things to take that are cool but dressy at the same time.  You can bet I will have plain basics and lots of not-so-plain jewelry!