Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Sparkle of Christmas

It is truly the Christmas season! Every year, it creeps up on me, it seems, earlier and earlier. NO, I don't have my Christmas shopping done; the tree is not yet up (it should arrive by Fedex on Thursday, a nice fresh Fraser fir) and I am as busy as I can be! And it's only the 7th of December - I can remember when that date would have meant ages and ages until Christmas, but not any more.
I do really love the Christmas season. Here in Arlington, we've already had our first snowfall, big, fluffy flakes that looked like feathers falling from a goosedown pillow. Lovely.
Today, just a small sampling of some of the new pieces going on the website. I can't seem to get them all on there and priced fast enough!
First, above is a labradorite bracelet that is a bit different from most of those I make. It's a smaller scale, and it has apatite in it to match the flash of the labradorite stones. Below, a sunstone bracelet features lots of sterling silver charms, a sterling Thai Karen Hill Tribes chain, a special lampwork bead, and pretty, flashing sunstone nuggets, rondelles, and triangles. Adding to the sparkle is a special marcasite toggle clasp. Sunstone looks great with many colours since its sparkle perks up black and other neutrals and it's a great complement to blue and green. If you like to wear coral jewelry in the summer, sunstone is the fall and winter equivalent.
The freshwater pearl bracelet also features chain from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes and charms and beads (sterling of course) in an ocean them. The lampwork bead that is the focal is one of master lampworker Robin Weber's special beads.
And in keeping with the idea of the ocean, next is an
abalone necklace with an unusual pendant. The abalone shimmers and shines; the pendant is reminiscent of seaweed waving in the ocean currents. The middle branch holds a large oval of abalone; one side has a faceted oval smoky quartz and a faceted marquise rhodonite garnet, the other, a round faceted peridot and an oval faceted blue topaz.

The bottom unique bracelet bracelet (2 views) features a large focal emerald nugget, faceted rondelle sapphires. faceted rondelle emeralds, large faceted ruby rondelles and faceted rectangle rubies. The sterling silver bracelet has a pendant with a cabochon ruby in a bezel setting.

If you are still Christmas shopping, we are starting to send everything by Priority mail (no charge to the customer) to make sure that it reaches you by Christmas. Give a unique gift to someone special! If we don't have something you like, please see our blog list for other "indie" jewelry dealers!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Aftermath of Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving; it is my favorite holiday of the year. This year was especially good because we had children at Thanksgiving - my new grand-daughter and a three-year-old guest. What was remarkable was that we managed to have Thanksgiving here in Arlington, in an ill-equipped apartment instead of at home where all the good china, crystal, and pots and pans are. I hope that we are better equipped next year!
Tomorrow is what is known as "cyber-Monday", supposedly the day people do online Christmas shopping. I'm not sure about that, but just in case, I've been trying to tidy the website and get things listed by tomorrow. There will be a few new jewelry pieces also.
Above, a labradorite bracelet flashes its iridiscent colours, while below, a unique bracelet has a favorite mix of mine: lapis, turquoise, and carnelian.
Below are salvation bracelets, both made of genuine gemstones, that make marvelous Christmas gift for those who wish to show their faith. The second salvation bracelet features a large emerald nugget, a large ruby rondelle, and a large, smooth sapphire nugget as well as onyx, rock crystal, and citrine. It also has unusually elaborite sterling silver accents.

The bracelet that you see above is not rose quartz, but a very, very pretty pink chalcedony. Its matching chalcedony necklace also features a sterling silver chain with extra charms hanging from it.

Finally, a special piece: a smoky quartz bracelet has a special turtle clasp that features a golden Biwa pearl as well as a cabochon peridot set in its back.

I hope that you've recovered from your Thanksgiving feast and are getting ready to enjoy the holidays!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gleam, Glimmer, Shimmer!

According to Vogue and other important fashion magazines, gold is back in fashion. Of course, I don't think that it was ever out! I love the gleam of gold, and while I will concede that there are certain gemstones that are best served by sterling silver or white gold, (think rose quartz) I generally prefer my own jewelry to be gold or a mixture of silver and gold.
One of my favorite combinations is lapis, carnelian, and turquoise; all of these gemstones look great with silver (although lapis always looks better with gold), but put them all together and you've just got to have yellow gold to match the richness of the colours! Above, a unique bracelet with lapis, carnelian, and turquoise accented with 14 karat goldfilled elements (with the exception of the toggle which is vermeil), and below, the matching necklace and dangling earrings.

Above is a charm bracelet using vintage lucite flower beads and Swarovski crystals. I used to make different versions of these quite often, but they can take an extraordinary amount of time to make. They catch the light wonderfully.
Below is the shimmer of labradorite - a favorite stone. This bracelet has very good flash that is accentuated by, believe it or not, tanzanite Swarovski crystals. Although the mixture may sound unlikely, it is one that works.

And because it is November, below are two more citrine pieces: a citrine bracelet with the addition of apatite, and a pair of citrine earrings that hang from sterling earrings with citrine cabochons.

If you have a custom order, please start thinking about it now; things get very busy the closer Christmas gets!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The November Birthstone: Citrine

I'm very fond of citrine, the gemstone ranging from a pale yellow to a dark orange. First, I just love the colour yellow; second, citrine is an extremely versatile gemstone that looks great with many different colours. I wear it often with black because I like the contrast of the yellow against dark colours. I like a neutral colour that I call champagne or sand - it's a version of khaki almost, but with golden tones instead of brown - Anne Klein calls it safari. A paler citrine is gorgeous with it. In the summer, nothing looks fresher than citrine bracelets and necklaces paired with white linen or cotton.
Citrine is a variety of quartz with a moh's hardness of 7, a relatively durable stone although it can be scratched, and prolonged exposure to heat and sunlight will change its colour .
Citrine is believed to have many mystical qualities. It is known as the "money" stone or "merchant's" stone; some merchants will put a citrine in their cash registers to draw money to them. The ancients believed that putting a citrine on the forehead would increase psychic powers, and it supposedly will increase memory, aid in curing depression and diabetes, and foster creative expression, especially for writers.
The citrine's name comes from the French word for lemon, citron. The yellow colour is from the presence of iron. Ironically, if you own a citrine, you probably also own an amethyst! This is because the natural citrine is rather rare and most today are made by exposing an amethyst or smoky quartz to high heat to turn it into a citrine. You will be able to find the citrine bracelets on this page on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website at Citrine Bracelets.
Happy Birthday, November!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

The Christmas rush is upon us already! This is going to be a short post, just to get out some of the newer things that will be on the website soon. Above a pretty blue aquamarine bracelet that features matte lampwork beads in soft blue and khaki and a second strand of sterling chain with 3 little charms. Below, a long aquamarine necklace that drops just at or below the bustline (depending on where yours is!)
The next jewelry piece is a thin silver bangle bracelet that has faceted rondelles of tourmaline at intervals. And finally, some of the prettiest carnelian earrings I've ever made of lampwork beads and deep, dark, gorgeous red carnelian!

Monday, October 26, 2009

An Odd Assortment

Ah... the air is getting colder. . . I love this time of Autumn when the leaves are changing everywhere and the air is nippy in the morning. I'm looking forward to next weekend when we "fall back" and set our clocks back an hour since when I leave at 6:45 in the morning it is as dark as can be. I actually like the feeling that I am getting a jump on the day, but it does make the day seem especially long.
The jewelry pieces here are a motley group, no real theme, just pieces made because the gemstones intrigued me usually.
Above, you see an iolite bracelet (iolites are also known as the "water sapphire") with 5 strands of iolites and one silver-laced lentil bead that has a hint of purple along with the blue. The clasp is a large oval box clasp set with a cabochon rainbow moonstone that has a beautiful blue glow almost every way that you look. These multi-strand bracelets look especially good with blouses and sweaters with 3/4 length sleeves since every strand will show.
Below, a prehnite and tourmalinated quartz bracelet has three large, gorgeous lampwork beads as focals. They glitter and shine in the light and make a huge statement. All accents are sterling silver.
Below is a bracelet of London blue topaz; I dearly love London blue topazes and have quite a few pieces featuring these lovely dark blue topazes. They are rather hard to come by - the deeply coloured gem-quality ones, that is. And those are the only ones that I really care for. This blue topaz bangle also has Karen Hill Tribes beads from Thailand and a sterling toggle clasp.
Next, a necklace made with some unusual gemstones; they are amethysts, but they are large roughly hewn amethysts nuggets that have been sanded to give them an earthy look, sometimes almost a frosty look. Not only is purple one of Fall's most "in" colours this year, but huge chunky necklaces were worn by a majority of the models on the runways during New York Fashion Week.
Finally, the last two pieces are a bracelet and a pair of earrings, both featuring rose quartz. The bracelet has lovely artist's lampwork beads that pick up the pink beautifully; the earrings are made from some of my favorite rectangular faceted rose quartz beads.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Back from Arkansas!

I just got back from Arkansas, and am I glad to be back! It took 2 days for the drive and it rained the entire two days, making the trip fairly miserable - sometimes parts of it can be pleasant. I had to drive because of all the beads/findings that I was bringing from the Arkansas office which is still full. I'm exhausted, so here are some more pieces from the Fall Collection. They will be on the website soon. Enjoy!
Sunstone bracelet, above; below, sunstone earrings.

Above, blue Peruvian opal bracelet and earrings and immediately above a tourmaline bangle bracelet. Below are tourmaline chandelier earrings, and another tourmaline bangle bracelet.
Above are smoky quartz earrings; below, rainbow moonstone earrings.

Below is a Swarovski bracelet in the season's great American Beauty red colour and below that a true red carnelian bracelet.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall Collection: Part V

No, I'm not finished posting the new Fall Collection - not by a long shot! Because I am doing the photos, pricing, and web myself without help since my move, it means that I am going much more slowly than I would prefer. However, if you like anticipation....
Today I have another mixture of bracelets beginning with the blue lace agate and amethyst bracelet that you see at the top. The focal is actually a blue chalcedony faceted nugget, the amethyst is transparent and the lampwork beads are some of the absolute best I've had (from an artist whose work sells at a premium). Below is an amethyst bracelet that is complimented by rutilated quartz, thus combining two of the season's hottest colours, purple and grey. I love the amethyst gemstone toggle clasp. The lampwork beads are the perfect purple and grey!

The tourmaline bracelet above features three strands of all shapes and sizes of tourmalines and includes little tourmaline charms hanging at intervals from the bracelet. There is only one lampwork bead, a green transparent lentil with mauvey purple swirls, but it is wonderful. Tourmaline is a great gemstone for this fall since it either has the most popular colours or accents those clothing colours wonderfully well.
The blue lace agate bracelet below is all about flowers: sterling silver flower beads, sterling flower charms, and a focal lentil lampwork bead that has the look of a flower also. Below the blue agate bracelet is one of my favorite combinations: sunstone and dark blue apatite that has the slightest hint of teal in it. Another favorite of mine is the little sterling bird charm that hangs near the center of the bracelet.There are just three pairs of earrings here, but many more will be appearing on the Cluny Grey Jewelrysite.