We celebrated our immediate family Christmas this afternoon, and while my sister and Mom were making candy afterward, I sat at the table listening to music and putting this together. The pendant is wire-wrapped agate, dyed blue. I found faux pearls that matched it, and interspersed silver beads with them to add a little sparkle. The clasp is an S-hook version that is reminiscent of the wire-wrap's pattern. Given the coloration and the fact that today's Christmas Eve, I thought the name was fitting. I will get better pictures when I have better lighting; necklace is wrapped around the stand in photos so the pendant would be where I could photograph it easily.
Name: Midnight Clear Price: $25 Length: 23.5 inches long; pendant 2 inches tall (including bail) by 1.5 inches wide
Decided, given the gloomy, drizzly weather outside, to toy around with necklace ideas this afternoon. I finally got the dragon blood jasper pendant I ordered last month, and the brainstorming came to fruition. It took about 3 hours of hand-beading (about an hour per strand), but it's done now! I used FlexWire for added stability, dragon blood jasper 6mm rounds to go with the pendant, forest iris round and peanut seed beads, red twisted bugle beads, copper freshwater pearls, teeny tiny seed beads in two colors, and yellow-green seed beads. Once each of the strands was done, I roped the three together over each other in a loose spiral to hold them together. The clasp is a sunflower toggle (not shown) big enough to suit the project.
Name: Dragon's Blood Price: $40 (reason: cost of materials, time involved) Length: 22 inches; pendant 1.75 inches wide x 1.75 inches tall
This is the project I actually bought the lapis lazuli for: a cross-weave necklace. I used 6mm rounds, gold metal seed beads, and two strands of FlexWire. The clasp was just something neat I decided to use; it's base metal, brass plated. I'm out of gold ones for now. Given the thickness of the wire I used, I had to extrapolate at the center and the ends of the piece, since the lapis rounds wouldn't fit four pieces of wire through them--the center stone needed four strands through it, the ends two wires folded back through to make four. I had some large-hole seed beads that were of similar color, so that worked. Note: I would have made this a little longer, but I have no more lapis rounds--pattern used up two strands as it is.
Name: Lapis Lazuli cross-weave necklace Price: $40 (reason: lapis lazuli price, time involved) Length: 18 inches; pendant 1.25 inches long
Lapis lazuli is one of those hard-to-find-good-quality stones that dates back to Biblical times. It brings to mind Egyptian splendor to me. In quality lapis, you should be able to see gold flecked in its surface. Maybe that's why royalty seemed to like it so much back then. Anyway, I got some fantastic lapis from a dealer, and when my cousin challenged me to come up with a gift befitting a 10-year-old girl, I toyed around with some ideas and this is one of them. It has rich colors that can be worn to fancy outings, yet can go with simple, everyday outfits. Girls like sparkle, and the gold in the stones and the transparent gold seed beads I picked to go with it add to that effect. It says I like a piece when it's one I'd consider keeping for myself!
Name: Egyptian Royalty necklace Price: $20 (reason: lapis lazuli price, gold findings; sold to my cousin, Britney) Length: 18 inches; pendant 1.25 inches long
Was looking through my personal jewelry this evening, trying to get ideas and cull stuff I don't wear to either sell or take apart for new projects, when I came across this little piece. I made it on inspiration from FusionBeads a long time ago, and when I'd ordered the supplies I'd had no idea the pendant wasn't very big. There were supposed to be two strands of cord, but when I folded over the crimps on the ends, the other strand squirted out, so I just kept the one. I used antique brass findings, pistachio-green waxed cord, and a blacklip shell pendant etched with pistachio-green leaves. I still like the effect.
A couple of years ago, my sister bought me a beading loom for Christmas. I started a pattern right away, but fought with knots and wildly differing sizes in my beads, and gave up. I kept taking it out and trying to work on it, come up with a new idea to work on, etc. This is the final result. General thoughts: think I'm going to change the type of thread I use. The loom's thread is thin and though the bracelet feels silky, it seems awfully loose and almost what I would venture to call cheap. I had to redesign the clasp because the one in the instructions didn't work. The nice thing about having a loom is it goes far quicker than by hand, and there are a lot of free patterns out there.
Name: First Loom Bracelet Price: $5 to $10, depending on beads used, size and complexity of pattern, time spent Length: about 8 inches or so
This is Dan's other necklace. I made this when we first started hanging out three years ago, because of a story he told me. He and his dad did a mission trip to Papua New Guinea, where he was given a handmade bagi (think that's how it's spelled)--a long necklace of hand-carved red shell heishi beads and bits of the shells the tribe used as their currency, strung on hand-woven palm-root twine. He wore it all the time in memory of the trip, until it broke at work and spayed tiny beads everywhere. He picked up what he could, but he worked the machine floor at Caterpillar, so there wasn't a whole lot of hope to get the thing repaired. I hunted down some blacklip shell heishi beads that had a little gold to them because he's a Purdue fan (and I only had a vague description of the bagi; I got all the details on how it was made, but, ironically, not a lot on its actual color and style), and strung them on hemp thread with a few hematite rounds to make bit of a pattern. I kept it short so he could wear it at work and not get it caught on anything--though by that point he was working for Ivy Tech, not Cat. I told him I knew it wouldn't replace the valuable treasure he'd lost, but I hoped it would still remind him of it, and wouldn't be so costly if it broke. Well...he wore it out. The hemp just couldn't stand up to the constant wear and tear. So I replaced it with heavy fishing line. Twice. Then wire. Knowing the wire was only a temporary fix, I hunted for an extremely durable stringing material and ran across SoftFlex wire, which is stainless steel coated with nylon so it doesn't rust, and the wire is braided for more stability. Last night I convinced him to let me have the necklace back, so I could perform my preventative adjustment, and gave him back the shard tribal necklace from a previous post. This is the first time I've gotten pictures of it. It's nothing fancy, just a surfer-style necklace because I knew he also likes to swim. I should note that for his birthday this year, his parents contacted the missionaries he and his Dad worked with years ago and commissioned a new bagi (pronounced boggie). They brought it with them when they came up to visit our church this summer. Dan's decided with the new one he's going to frame it for display instead of wear it.
Name: Blacklip and Hematite Surfer necklace Price: original not for sale; can do similar for about $15 to $25 Length: 19 inches
Okay, so in anticipation of Thanksgiving, I made a bracelet for myself. For Christmas last year, my sister bought me a mini-skirt (an article of clothing I always feel self-conscious in), and I haven't had a lot of opportunity to wear it. Since Thanksgiving was at her house, I wanted to show her I do wear it, so I started to plot out a new outfit, which revolved around one of my favorite stones: seraphinite. Seraphinite is a dark green stone with silver swirls in it. The outfit came together after a long day of hunting (apparently, dark green is "going out of style" despite it being the holiday season!), and since I had a very small amount of seraphinite rounds available, I decided to make a bracelet to go with an older seraphinite donut pendant necklace I already had. I dug in my bead boxes and found some sterling silver leaf beads I've had since I worked at Hobby Lobby, and a sterling clasp I had lying around, and wound up with this.
Name: n/a Price: $20 (reason: seraphinite is rare and expensive; sterling is expensive; personal collection) Length: 7.5 inches
I don't do men's jewelry very often, and this is actually a repair of one I made about a year ago (the wire I used wasn't strong enough to keep up with Dan's heavy wear and tear). I guess that's the good thing about my sister and a guy that wear the stuff I make them all the time--I get to see how durable my work is. In this case, the weight of the African green jasper chips and the Celtic pendant stretched out the wire I'd strung it on; I upgraded to SoftFlex wire, which has a weight tolerance that's considerably more. Originally, this piece was meant to be two different ones. I actually bought the pendant for myself. I bought the stone chips late last year (years after the pendant), and the pendant just seemed to suit the piece I had in mind. If the chips had been smaller, I still would've kept it, but they're large (and heavy!) enough they suit a guy better. Dan liked it, so it became his. I used gunmetal findings to keep with the more natural/rugged look, and still like the effect. The pendant is actually etched porcelain.
Name: Tribal Shard Necklace Price: $35 (original given to Dan V.) Length: 19.5 inches; pendant 1.75 inch diameter
I have a thing for interesting stone patterns. These bright green Impression Jasper tube beads were right up my alley, so I designed a necklace using them, antique copper metal seed beads, fern green and peridot green Swarovski bicones, a copper Swarovski square pendant, and copper findings. The copper draws out the brown in the Jasper quite nicely. This is also one of the longest necklaces I've made. I wanted to keep it simple to display the different patterns in the stone. The pendant can be adjusted to sit like a square, or diamond; the copper jump ring is loose enough.
Name: Jade Jasper
Price: $30 (reason: amount of stone and Swarovskis used)
Here's the second project I did for the girl graduating this weekend. She told me one time she loves the Swarovski color Crystal AB, so I incorporated it into this "extreme bling" bracelet. I used silver spacers, Swarovski pearls in two sizes, and Swarovski crystal bicones. I like how it turned out.
Name: Amethyst Glow
Price: $20 (reason: Swarovski crystals; original given to Mahlie)
A girl I work with is celebrating her graduation this coming weekend, and loves "bling." I asked her if she'd like me to make her anything, and she said she really likes bracelets, so I made two for her. The first is a mix of Swarovski crystals: teal, burgundy, and the new teal/burgundy blend released earlier this year.
Price: $20 (reason: Swarovski crystals; original given to Mahlie)
So. I know I haven't updated in a while. Chalk that up to a 40-or-so hour work week since late march, and a mad scramble of other things. Oh, and no spare change. Anyway... I'm hoping to set aside some time to work on a few waiting projects. I have a few ideas...
Lots of work to do...
This multicolor Jade phoenix and dragon carved pendant is going to be a challenge!
I love this little fox, done in tiger's eye
Nearly done with this lariat necklace out of a book Mom got me for Christmas...just need the bangles for the end
Have been working on this hand bead woven bracelet for my sister for years...still not done
Dan's newest beading project (and adventure) is finished! This time it was, as I've said before, learning the right-angle weave, using four different Swarovski colors to keep the pattern clear in his head. FusionBeads gave the four-color instructions the nickname "tartan" because the effect looks plaid (theirs was red, orange, yellow, olive). So for now, until he can think up an official name, we'll call this one Dan's Dutch Tartan. Why? Because he's Dutch and it looks tartan. heh. Colors used: fern green, peridot, sapphire, and dark sapphire.
Name: Dan's Dutch Tartan
Price: $35 (reason: Swarovski crystals, time, and effort; personal collection)
I really like the Medium Vitrail color Swarovski crystals. So I decided to make a pair of earrings to go with the Wild Heart necklace I made. Kept them very simple. They look rather rainbow-toned here...there's actually a lot more green in them than the pictures indicate.
Name: Medium Vitrail Heart earrings
Price: $10 (reason: Swarovski and sterling silver; personal collection) *earrings only*
I'm generally not that big on Swarovskis. They're expensive to make a relatively substantial piece, they don't have all the colors all the time, and often they don't have the color I like in a shape I like. Sometimes, however, I find a particular color I like, and a particular shape that sparks creativity. In this case, I ran across the relatively new shape called Wild Heart (came out last year), in a relatively new color for that shape: Medium Vitrail. I've always liked that color, and though I'm not particularly fond of hearts, this one just struck me as perfect for a necklace. It looked like stained glass. I also bought a pair of small, standard heart pendants in the same color to make a pair of earrings to complete the set. I wanted to keep it simple, so just used waxed cotton cord and tied sliding knots so it's adjustable.
Name: Wild Heart
Price: $25 (reason: Swarovski crystal; personal collection) *necklace only*
As I've said before, my sister recently got her certification as a yoga instructor, and I had intended to make this necklace as a congratulations gift. Unfortunately, the silk ribbon I'd bought to string it on was utterly the wrong shade, so I had to order a different one and delay the piece. In that time, I made her a fun bracelet in congratulations as well. Now the new ribbon is here and matches very well, so it's done!