Showing posts with label fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fashion. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A Few Citrine Pieces for November

The word "busy" does not begin to describe the last few weeks! Here are some of the citrine jewelry pieces I managed to make along the way when I could find quiet stretches of time to work. I am one of those people who has to have hours ahead of me to create - knowing I have a spare hour or two just doesn't work for me. I've been mixing citrine with some of my favorite gemstones (citrine is a personal favorite that I wear often in the form of 2 rings, earrings, and bracelets). Above is a citrine and ruby bracelet with sterling silver. Below is a citrine bracelet with a mixture of artist's lampwork beads, crazy lace agate, yellow calcite.

Below are two views of a bracelet with aquamarines and citrines mixed with sterling silver.  The two colours are a wonderful combination, and the pretty box clasp with a bezel-set citrine really makes it special.

The bracelets below are first, a citrine and silver one-strand bracelet with a carved amethyst flower atop the focal citrine.  The center of the amethyst flower is a deep yellow sapphire.
    Next is a first for me: a bracelet with a magnetic clasp.  I've stayed away from magnetic clasps thinking that they were probably ineffective and because not many look very good.  This one however is really pretty with a carved lion on both sides; it is sterling silver, and the magnet is very, very strong!

The earrings above are made of fantastic faceted rectangles of citrine.  They have a very elegant look.
    Below, the earrings feature carved citrines and faceted citrines in one set of earrings.

Above,gorgeous carved gemstone leaves have dark yellow faceted nuggets hanging in front of them.
Below, more of the pretty dark citrine earrings with a flower them - all sterling silver, of course!
Citrine jewelry can be found on our Cluny Grey Jewelry website under Citrine Bracelets and Citrine Earrings.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October Opals

October actually has 2 birthstones: opal and tourmaline. Lucky Octobers get to choose from quite a few different colours since opals commonly come in blue, yellow, pink, white, and of course, the fiery opals of Australian origin. If October prefers tourmalines, they too come in many colours, the most common being pink, green, and black.
Above is an opal bracelet made with some of the loveliest blue Peruvian opals I've ever had. They are quite translucent and boast a lovely turquoise colour.  For fun, I decided to use some artist's lampwork beads with them; the touch of orange in the lampwork sent me looking for some of my best carnelian. These orange faceted diamonds are gorgeous and really add a Fall vibe to the bracelet.  The dragonfly toggle clasp is very special.  All sterling silver.
Below, the same blue Peruvian opals star in this bracelet which has only one artist's lampwork bead for a focal so that the opals can shine! Two little Thai Karen Hill Tribes flower charms hang from one side of the bracelet.
Below is a tourmaline bracelet with three strands of multi-coloured tourmalines of different shapes and sizes. (There are two views of the same bracelet). Pinks and greens predominate, but there are even some yellows and pale aqua stones as well. The sterling double flower toggle is a favorite.

I always work with sunstone in the fall although I wear it all year round.  Sunstone just seems like a Fall stone with it's golden orange colours and the sparkles that are in so many of the stones.  Good sunstone also seems to glow - and that glow seems right for fall, too. Both sunstone bracelets here have two strands and beautiful sterling silver toggle clasps. I especially like the lizard one shown in the bottom 2 pictures above although the first sunstone bracelet has an especially feminine feel with its swirling toggle clasp.

Enjoy the crisp Fall weather!


  • Cluny Grey Jewelry
  • Saturday, September 17, 2011

    It's Already September!

    It's already September - and that means sapphires. Actually, it's the middle of September and I am behind in everything. The cool air yesterday and today is wonderful though, and I enjoyed getting out my long sleeves and my fall and winter jewelry. Yes, I do have certain pieces that I wear more in the fall and winter, and it has much to do with the style of the jewelry more than the components or colours or gemstones. I find that in the fall and winter, the pieces I want to wear tend to be more elaborate; I'm more likely to layer necklaces and pile on bracelets than I am in these hot summers we have here. While I wear coral all year long, I tend actually to wear more of it in the fall simply because I like coral in elaborate designs. And coral colours are a staple in my wardrobe as is turquoise.
    Today, we start with three sapphire bracelets.  The first, above, features opaque sapphires, 14 karat goldfilled accents (very large gold fluted beads), and Lightening Ridge opals from Australia. It's a true luxury piece with a second strand featuring a 14 karat goldfilled chain with gold charms.
      Below, I mixed sapphires in dark blue with small gem-quality London Blue topazes.  I love this mixture; it's the first time I've tried it and I will be repeating it.  The accents are all sterling silver, mostly from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes, and the bracelet has a second strand made of tiny Thai sterling beads. Finally, the bottom sapphire bracelet is simply with a heavy dose of sterling silver and larger faceted sapphires. A single sterling silver charm hangs from one side of the bracelet.
    Next are bracelets made of varied gemstones and materials. First is a kyanite bracelet with lovely blue kyanite and two artist's lampwork beads for added interest. A decorated sterling chain winds around one side of the bracelet.  The sterling heart-shaped toggle is a stand-out with a beaded design, and the three kyanite teardrops look wonderful on the wrist.
    Above and below are pictures of the same bracelet: an abalone and emerald bracelet with vermeil (22 karat gold layered over sterling silver). These rough, opaque emeralds look wonderful with the iridescent abalone.  The two strands are both chock-full of emeralds, abalone and gold.
    The bracelet above is a favorite; I love green and purple together.  This two-strand fluorite bracelet is special for the beauty of the gemstones, the artist's lampwork beads, and that beautiful floral clasp in sterling silver.
    Below, a simpler fluorite bracelet still has the green and purple mixture, and one of our best artist's lampwork beads as a focal. Charms and a pretty gemstone clasp complete the piece.
    One of my favorite Swarovski colours, and I hope that they never discontinue it, is Pacific opal. The Swarovski bracelet above illustrates the intensity and beauty of the colour which is accented by a single floral artist's lampwork bead, and intricate sterling silver. 
       Below are two peridot bracelets. The first mixes peridot with pretty intense pink rose quartz, artist's lampwork beads (especially pretty ones), and sterling silver.  The second strand is a Thai Karen Hill Tribes chain with charms.
       The second peridot bracelet is also double-stranded with a generous helping of peridot of different shapes, artist's lampwork and sterling silver.

    Here's to trying to keep up! Enjoy the beginning of Fall!


    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Summer Bracelets for All Year Long

    Sometimes people think my colour sense is a bit crazy, but look at the bracelet(above and below) and tell me that it isn't beautiful! Dark faceted citrine nuggets, faceted peridot rondelles, faceted amethyst nuggets,and faceted ruby rondelles make this bracelet a colourful knockout!  It has one of my favorite second strands also: a simple strand of sterling silver tiny cube beads from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes; two little bezel-set amethyst charms dangle from it.  This bracelet epitomizes what I love about handmade bracelets.  It is a combination that you would likely never find in any commercial jewelry store. I probably like these colourful bracelets a lot because of my personal wardrobe; I wear a lot of black and white, usually with all white or all black with a touch of one other colour.  The mixed gemstone bracelets add a bit of dash to my outfits which, although I like to think of them as sophisticated,could also be thought boring otherwise.
    I really like chrysoprase, the gemstone that I believe is most often mentioned in the Bible. It was often used in ancient times, both in jewelry and art, and still has an undeniable beauty. This chrysoprase bracelet features artist's lampwork beads, a second strand sterling silver chain, and one of our prettier toggle clasps in sterling.
    The peridot bracelet (pictured above and below) illustrates my penchant for mixing different gemstone cuts of the same stone.  The artist's lampwork beads have a flash of metallic colour that adds sparkle as well. (Peridot is the August birthstone, so watch for more peridot jewelry).
    Sparkle works great in the summer! Imagine this Swarovski bracelet with an all-white outfit. The Pacific opal Swarovski crystals are a favorite with me. I adore their glow, and they remind me of the water in the Bahamas.  The sterling silver chain adds that "something extra" and dangles three Swarovski charms.
    Turquoise is also great for summer. Below,the  lampwork beads in this turquoise necklace determined the colour scheme. The beads are turquoise,clear, and dark amber. Sleeping Beauty turquoise and other genuine turquoise stones are complemented by brown chalcedony that picks up the dark amber colour in the lampwork beads.  The carved gemstone flower is actually carnelian.
       Below the necklace is a hunky, chunky turquoise bracelet with wonderful large turquoise nuggets mixed with golden vermeil from Bali.  A single golden key charm hangs from one side of the bracelet.
    A favorite combination of mine is emeralds and abalone, and in this last bracelet, you can see why I love it so much. The rough emeralds look great with abalone; the vermeil accents really adds to the glow of this bracelet.


    Thursday, July 07, 2011

    Rubies are Red Hot!

    I love working with rubies! In the last post, I said that rubies will work with any other gemstone, but they work just as well on their own. Rubies are perhaps one of the most romantic gemstones because of the lore surrounding them and because of their vibrant colour representing love and passion. The ruby was also believed to prevent separation of lovers. The ruby was also believed to protect warriors, give courage and endurance, relieve blood diseases, protect one's home and possessions, bring wealth and good luck, and enhance love and passion. Plus, it's just downright pretty!
    The bracelet above is from a new group of chain bracelets that I am making; this chain bracelet of sterling silver dangles four little faceted rondelle rubies. The chain I made myself; the toggle is sterling silver.
      Below, a pair of ruby earrings made with smooth ruby "pebbles" of bright red.  They feature sterling silver accents and are topped with a faceted cone of clear quartz crystal.  The ruby earrings hang from sterling silver earwires with an intricately made flower decoration.
    Below are three more ruby bracelets (and you will find more on the Cluny Grey site). The first ruby bracelet mixes bright and dark red rubies with sterling silver and two artist's borosilicate lampwork beads. The lampwork beads pick up the colours of the rubies and add a flashes of blue and teal to the mix.  Little sterling charms from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes hang from the bracelet.  The toggle boasts an oval cabochon ruby set in it.
    The next ruby bracelet is all about flowers and butterflies. Intricate sterling silver comes from both Bali and Thailand as well as Turkey.  A cluster of Thai Karen Hill Tribes charms, miniature flowers, is on one side of the bracelet.  A sterling leaf toggle is full of swirls.  The last ruby bracelet is a simple, slim bangle bracelet with small bright ruby pebbles and a beautiful sterling silver toggle clasp.  This is the perfect ruby bracelet to wear everyday. It won't get in the way, but those bright rubies make quite a statement!

    Here are a couple of other pieces I've been working on. Above is an iolite bracelet that I am really pleased with.  That large faceted stone in the middle with the jolt of colour is a carnelian.  I just love how it pops out against the blue, but at the same time looks as though it is right at home.  The iolite here is pretty and there are a few larger pieces.  Plus, those Karen Hill Tribes sterling charms add a bit of zest, too. The second smaller strand is almost all faceted iolite rondelles that have a nice sparkle.
        Below, WoW!  I had to put two pictures of this quartz necklace to show how it looks against black and white.  Photographing quartz, especially very clear quartz has always been difficult for me.  I want to get that sense of depth and shine at the same time which can mean (for me) snapping picture after picture and discarding picture after picture!   These are quite large clear quartz faceted nuggets enhanced only by the smallest sterling silver accents and very special artist's lampwork beads. I need another picture just to do the lampwork beads justice.  They are red encased in clear with sterling silver on them and a sort of metallic glow when you turn them. Wonderful!  This could be very, very dressy, or it could be for everyday.  It is one of those necklaces that I thought, "Do I want to keep this for myself?"  But, no, I can't start doing that or it would never end!  So into its special container it went to await a new home.
    Meanwhile, I love living here! I still say it's a bit cooler than Arkansas. And where else can you sit on the front steps of your townhouse, view the Washington Monument and watch the 4th of July fireworks!
    Enjoy your summer everyone!


    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Finally! I'm Back at Work!

    How I've missed work!  When I finally had enough supplies set up and organized so that I could actually make something again, I sat in front of the workbench just staring.  It has been long enough that I just didn't know where to start!  Luckily, I took a deep breath and began with something simple: the Swarovski aquamarine bracelet below. Aquamarine is such a lovely colour in Swarovski's collection; the colour reminds me of the waters along the Emerald Coast (maybe they should call it the Aquamarine Coast), a translucent blue that is deep and light at the same time. The large Swarovski graphic bead is a full 16mm and is one of my favorite shapes because of the lush look that it has.  Some of my favorite Bali sterling silver and I was off!
         Next came the aquamarine bracelet above. I am getting ready for July (the ruby birthstone) plus I just love mixing rubies with almost anything! Any gemstone - believe me, rubies will look good with it!  Of course, rubies look especially good with natural aquamarine, and I love these rubies that have a pinkish look to them. This bracelet is three full strands, but easy to wear because it isn't at all chunky despite those rubies having a healthy size.
    Of course, it is still June, so I was tempted to play with some rainbow moonstone. The first rainbow moonstone bracelet has a sharply faceted nugget as a focal; it's a simply bracelet but has good flash and Bali beads with flowers in relief twining around them. I love rainbow moonstone and I don't see very many people wearing it.  When I have worn it myself, people always comment on the gemstone.  It is considered a sacred stone in India, and before showing any rainbow moonstone jewelry, a jewelry will get out a special cloth to lay the pieces on so they won't touch the counter (they don't do this with all the jewelry).
         The second rainbow moonstone bracelet has little faceted rondelles with really good flash - and there are two strands of them. Despite the two strands, it is a dainty bracelet with a butterfly bead and a flowered toggle clasp.

    Above and below you see pictures of the same necklace.  I had these pieces of Swarovski crystal coral that I wanted to play with, including the largest piece of crystal coral they sell.  It is a bit strange, this crystal coral, but perhaps that is why I like it. I wanted to highlight the coral pieces so the necklace is all Swarovski crystals;  clear bicones make  up the main part of the necklace and the coral pieces dangle from it. Just to give the merest hint of colour I added little bicones of black diamond. They dangle above the coral pieces and continue past the coral a bit. I wanted the necklace to look great with black or white (I was thinking white or black linen, my two favorite summer looks). It will look smashing with either.  It is sterling silver with little Thai Karen Hill Tribes beads finishing where the crystals end.

    I told you that I mix rubies with everything! Here is a citrine and ruby bracelet to die for.  Carved and faceted citrine are complemented by the dark red ruby faceted rondelles.  The bracelet has plenty of sterling silver accents including a second strand of sterling silver with only a single ruby in the middle and a lotus charm on either side.  This is another bracelet that has presence that you can also work in without having to take off.
    I'm working on an iolite bracelet at the moment because I got some delicious iolite in and I just had to use it in something. I've also got pretty blue Peruvian opal and more rubies coming that should result in some knockouts!  I'll post on twitter when I get these all priced and on the website.

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