Monday, June 02, 2014

I Love Turquoise for Summer!

turquoise bracelet
Turquoise Bracelet with Sterling Silver
 Turquoise is probably my favorite color, so it follows that I would certainly love gem turquoise.  For years, I thought of turquoise as Southwestern and it reminded me of family trips to California, and conjured images of the Painted Desert, Carlsbad Caverns, Navajo reservations, and that endless highway called Route 66 that we drove on back then.
   Then, I went to Greece! To my surprise, turquoise was everywhere, as it was when I went to Egypt, and especially when I went to Turkey. Although I still can link turquoise with the Southwest US, it now gives me visions of ancient times in Mesopotamia, Turkey, Egypt and Greece especially when I mix it with lapis lazuli.
turquoise necklace
Turquoise Necklace with Carnelian

turquoise necklace
Turquoise Necklace with Vermiel

turquoise bracelet
Turquoise Bracelet with Lampwork Bead Focal and Sterling Silver
 Above, a Southwestern take on the turquoise bracelet, and below, a more Grecian look in turquoise and gold.
turquoise bracelet
Turquoise Bracelet with 14 Karat Gold-fill
The following pictures also demonstrate that the popularity of turquoise remains undiminished. It is truly beautiful and suits many different types of women.
double-strand turquoise necklace
Above, turquoise against tanned skin is a classic, but look, below, at how beautiful blond Cameron Diaz is in turquoise necklace and earrings.
turquoise necklace and earrings
Cynthia Nixon with her red hair and ultra fair skin is ravishing in this multi-strand, layered turquoise necklace. Look at how well it goes with her blue eyes! Every red-head should own turquoise jewelry.
turquoise necklace
Below, Selma Hayak sports two turquoise necklaces for a layered look.  I especially like the shorter one.
turquoise necklaces
Turquoise even flatters that summer perennial, the white tee!
triple-strand turquoise necklace

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  • Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    Summer Romance: Jewelry to Fall in Love With

    citrine necklace
    Citrine Necklace with Sterling Silver
    Everything goes in cycles, and making jewelry is no exception. What seems exciting and absorbing for months will suddenly become old, and I'll search for new gemstones everywhere, even though I have an unbelievably large inventory in the studio.  
    Then, there are times when I go back to the gemstones that first piqued my interest when I began making jewelry so many years ago.  Precious gemstones are perennials with me, but here are some of the other gemstones in jewelry form that I have long had a romance with.
    Above, citrines are one of my favorite gemstones.  I love sunny yellow. The citrine necklace above is very simple, large faceted nuggets with minimal sterling silver accents. It does have a sterling silver dog-shaped clasp (the dog is stylized but resembles a dachshund).  I love this necklace because it has absolutely wonderful sparkle.  Oh, and I adore sparkle!
    ruby bracelet
    Ruby Bracelet
    Above and below, this ruby bracelet features smooth large pebble-shaped opaque rubies that are a fairly strong red.  They look perfect with accents of 14 karat gold-fill and little faceted ruby rondelles.
    ruby bracelet
    Ruby Bracelet with 14 Karat Gold-fill
    fluorite bracelet
    Fluorite Bracelet
    I found fluorite to be one of the most intriguing gemstones to work with because of the purples and greens that look so great together.  It is one of the first gemstones I started using artist's lampwork beads with; I loved the way the right lampwork would draw the two colors together. This bracelet has a large lampwork focal, sterling silver beads, and a pretty sterling silver box clasp with a faceted amethyst.
    fluorite bracelet
    Fluorite Bracelet
    aquamarine bracelet
    Aquamarine Bracelet with Citrine and Sterling Silver
    Blue aquamarine (not the greener aquamarine) is fantastic with citrine.  Think of the sun and the sky, the sun and blue water.  I love this gemstone mix especially for the way that it perks up whatever I'm wearing. One gemstone alone can be classic and beautiful (see the ruby bracelet above), but put two primary colors together and you suddenly have a statement piece.  This bracelet will be on our Aquamarine Bracelets page.
    aquamarine bracelet
    Aquamarine Bracelet with Sterling Silver and Citrine
    Fall in love.  And whatever you do, wherever you go, wear your jewelry!

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    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    Warm Weather Bracelets: Gemstones and Coral and Pearls, Oh, My!

    coral bracelet
    Coral and Freshwater Pearl Bracelet
     Dark clouds are gathering outside; there are severe thunderstorm warnings for areas surrounding me.  It's the perfect time to make jewelry! 
    Why a storm puts me in a creative mood, I have no idea.  I am just glad that it does.  I cannot wait to hit the workbench.  Meanwhile, here are some of the newest creations:
    Above and below, coral, it's a sign of the season.  I especially like pinky-peachy angelskin coral that you see here which I've paired with the prettiest color aqua freshwater pearls.  These pearls have such a pretty glow and they are perfect with the coral.  Three strands of the pearl and coral mixture also have little sea-themed charms hanging from them.  The clasp is one of my favorite elegant toggle swirls.  All sterling silver.
    coral bracelet
     Below, I love mixing gemstones and this bracelet is an unusual mixture that I've never used before.  A large prehnite faceted nugget centers the bracelet; on either side are pretty faceted dark lemon quartz nuggets that are a yellow color.  Little faceted prehnite rondelles, each with its own faceted ruby rondelle on the bottom, dangle from around the bracelet.  The toggle clasp is sterling silver with an oval cabochon ruby bezel-set into the toggle diamond.  Two very intricately decorated sterling beads from Bali are on either side of the bracelet.
    unique bracelet
    Gemstone Bracelet with Prehnite, Lemon Quartz and Rubies

    unique bracelet
     This gemstone bracelet features lapis, aqua chalcedony, and citrine.  On one side larger rounded corner rectangles of lapis glitter with pyrite.  On the other side is a double strand of gemstones, chalcedony and citrine.  In the midle are charms of citrine, chalcedony, and rubies with one of our favorite sterling silver cherub coin charms.  The sterling toggle clasp feautures a double-sided toggle clasp with a faceted iolite on both sides.
    gemstone bracelet
    Unique Bracelet with Genuine Lapis, Chalcedony, Citrine, and Rubies
     Cluny always helps me when I work!  He finds it a great time to nap.  The more I work, the more he naps!
    Cluny, my number one helper!
    chunky bracelet
    Lemon Quartz Nuggets with Sterling Silver
    The chunky bracelet above is made up of some of our prettiest quartz nuggets with beautiful faceting.  This simple bracelet has minimal silver so that the nuggets get all the attention.  The toggle clasp is a larger sterling one with flowers both on the toggle ring and on the toggle bar.
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    Tuesday, May 06, 2014

    May Is the Month for Emeralds!

    emerald bracelet
     It's no secret that I love emeralds.  I am a May baby, after all, so the emerald is my birthstone.  My dream is to have a huge emerald cut emerald ring - but I haven't gotten around to that yet.  
    Emeralds belong to the same class of gemstone as the aquamarine;they are beryls. The green color in the emerald comes from chromium.  Emeralds are one of the four so-called "precious" gemstones, along with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires.
    It is very difficult to find a "perfect" emerald since almost all of them have inclusions.  And finding pretty emeralds in the form of beads is especially difficult, since most of the least-included emeralds are used for cut gemstones.  Most emerald beads are quite heavily included or opaque (or often both).  Even included and imperfect, I still adore emeralds.
    One of the reasons I love emeralds is because they are very versatile. Emeralds look very good when combined with other gemstones, both precious and semi-precious.  The emerald bracelet shown above and below also has neon blue apatite and rubies with sterling silver.
    emerald bracelet
     The emerald bracelet shown in the next two pictures, below, features neon apatite rondelles and peacock blue apatite coins.
    emerald bracelet

    emerald bracelet
     Of course, plain emeralds, here they are in the form of faceted nuggets and smooth coins which are quite rough, are a classic on their own with just a touch of gold or silver.  In this bracelet, the faceted nuggets are accented with 14 karat gold-fill.
    emerald bracelet
     Little faceted opaque emerald rondelles dangle from these sterling silver chandelier earrings.
    emerald earrings
    In the emerald earrings below, bezel-set opaque cabochon emeralds hang from sterling silver earwires each decorated with a single flat heart on its front.  Hammered sterling silver rings hang below the emeralds.
    emerald earrings
     Two emeralds piggy-backed and surrounded by sterling silver make the perfect precious pendant necklace. The flat faceted emerald nugget is a favorite shape of mine.  The dark inclusions add to the texture and interest of the gemstone.
    emerald necklace
    Emerald Necklace
     Emeralds and pearls are a combination dating back hundreds and hundreds of years.  Here the emeralds are with freshwater coin and keishe pearls in a creamy white color.  Two almost oval faceted emerald nuggets are on each side of the necklace. Three gorgeous faceted briolettes are the centerpiece of this emerald necklace.
    emerald necklace
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    For more about emeralds, see Emeralds: The May Birthstone

    Monday, April 28, 2014

    Shades of Blue and Purple

    Swarovski crystal bracelet
     I love the colors of Spring this year! The turquoises, blues, and purples are my favorites, and they are becoming on everyone no matter what her skin or hair color.  Swarovski crystals just continue to get more and more popular, so you will be seeing quite a few on the pages of Cluny Grey Jewelry!
    The first bracelet, above, is a luscious shade of orchid complemented with 14 karat gold-filled accents, charms and clasp.
    Below, the neon aqua apatite is a favorite gemstone of mine. It is translucent and looks wonderful usually combined with other gemstones.  In this case, those gemstones are gem quality amethysts and real Lightening Ridge opals from Australia!  The perfect metal is gold,  of course!
    unique bracelet

    Swarovski crystal bracelet
     Above Swarovski crystal bracelet, Swarovski's Pacific Opal looks fantastic with sterling silver and a single artist's lampwork bead.  The second strand of sterling silver chain (from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes) dangles more Swarovski crystals.
    Below, Swarovski's Chrysolite and Pacific opal look great with the opal cyclamen.
    Swarovski crystal bracelet

    bridesmaid jewelry
     Two versions on an aqua and white theme: top, Swarovski's Pacific Opal and marquise freshwater pearls, in one bracelet and below, Swarovski Azores and freshwater pearls in the shape of clovers or trefoils. Both Swarovski bracelets feature pretty sterling silver toggle clasps.
    bridesmaid jewelry

    Sunday, March 02, 2014

    Oscar Nominees and the Cluny Grey Jewelry They Should Wear

    As I was looking at the Oscar nominees for this year, I thought about what Cluny Grey jewelry I would choose for several of them, not for the Oscars, of course, since Harry Winston and Bulgari among other famous jewelry houses generally outfit the stars. But I thought it would be fun to choose some jewelry for them for other occasions.
     Here are my picks for some of the Oscar Nominees:
    Amy Adams:  I love Amy Adams' look, and that she has that gorgeous red hair.  With her warm coloring, she just has to go gold!
    Oscar Nominee Amy Adams
    I chose the lariat necklace below as a piece for Amy because it features copper Swarovski crystals and bright gold which would look great with her hair and skin.  I've also noticed that she apparently likes to wear small chain necklaces and lariats based on her photos.
    lariat necklace with Swarovski crystals
    Lariat Necklace
    For a striking statement, I would love to see her wear the Biwa pearl necklace below.  It has large Swarovski red magma crystals in it and a gold toggle clasp.  It would look dynamite against her wonderfully fair skin.  I would need to make a pair of earrings with the red magma crystals in gold to match this necklace and to sparkle against her gorgeous hair!

    cultured freshwater pearl necklace
    Amy Adams

    Below, aqua and turquoise look great with hair this color.  This Peruvian opal 14 karat gold-fill wrapped necklace suits Amy Adams perfectly!

    Opal Necklace

    Agate Necklace
    Meryl Streep:  I love the way Meryl Streep looks here.  The simple black dress with that wonderful collar, her hair pulled back, she is the epitome of elegance.  The necklace, above, made of tourmalinated quartz faceted ovals would look great for an elegant look everyday.  Plus the colors, with the black and many shades of grey, would not overpower her features although the gemstones themselves are rather large.
    Meryl Streep
    The ruby earrings, below, would also enhance Meryl's look by adding color and shine to her face.
    ruby earrings

    garnet necklace with cross pendant
    Garnet Necklace

    Cate Blanchett:  I am a huge Cate Blanchett fan; she is probably my favorite actress. I think of her as a chameleon, which is a good thing to be if you are an actor. Whether she is wearing stark black hair as in The Shipping News, red hair as Queen Elizabeth, or a pale blond, her looks are striking, interesting.
    With her shorter blond hair, I would put her in garnets; above is a wonderful, double-stranded garnet necklace with a gemstone cross pendant that would look fantastic on her (shades of Queen Bess?), and the garnet earrings, below, would be marvelous with her skin.
    Cate would also look amazing in the citrine necklace with the carved carnelian flower pendant, below.
    Cate Blanchett
    garnet earrings

    citrine necklace
    Citrine always enhances blondes!

    sunstone jewelry
    Sunstone Jewelry

    Sunstone was made for Cate Blanchett.  The peachy-orange color of the sunstone with the sparkle and gleam is reminiscent of her complexion and would add to her already amazing glow.
    sunstone jewelry

    Cate Blanchett

    rose quartz earrings

    Lupita Nyong'o: She looks stunning in red, but I think I would put her in some softer colors. Above the rose quartz necklace and earrings would add a touch of femininity. With a pink lipstick and a white dress, rose quartz would be beautiful on her.
    Lupita Nyong'o Oscar nominee
    I also think that clear quartz crystal would add sparkle to her look without overpowering her.  Her beauty is such that she needs strong jewelry, but not too much of it. When your looks are this strong and your complexion is this dark and beautiful, you simply need to let it shine through!
    handmade necklace with rose quartz
    Handmade Necklace

    quartz jewelry

    Those are my Oscar picks!  What do you think?
    All of the jewelry above can be found on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.