Monday, September 30, 2013

Jill's Blues trade necklace

Another lady I know from work, when she found out I make jewelry, came to me about the same time the I got the tumbled quartz to work with.  She'd gotten a free green necklace along with a purchase from somewhere, which was broken, and they were sending her a second.  Problem was, she doesn't like green.  So she proposed a trade--both necklaces, to be worn or used for spare parts, in exchange for something blue.  I showed her what little blue I had (most has been used up on various projects), and she liked the blue impression jasper chips--also called sea sediment jasper or variscite.  I had pendants on the way that were the same color, so I wound up combining them with the chips, a few baby bellflowers, a few bicones, and some silver off the broken necklace.
It's really hard to get good pictures when it's dark out, and hard to show the extreme variety of the stones.


Name: N/A

Estimated Cost: $30 (traded to Jill S.)

Length:  about 18 inches

Tina's Tumbled Quartz Pendant

About three weeks ago now, one of the ladies I work with approached me with a challenge--she'd gotten a "rose quartz" tumbled stone, and wanted to know if I could wire-wrap it into a pendant.  I had to break it to her that the stone isn't rose quartz; someone tried to dye it to look that way, even possibly "cherry" quartz.  I also told her I wasn't confident in my wire skills yet, but I'd do my best.
I've been mulling over what exactly to do; there's no drilled hole and the stone is tumbled to polish it, so it's not an even surface.  I wound up using a caging technique out of one of the books I've got, then attaching a jump ring for a necklace chain to the top.  Hopefully it will hold up; I used 20-gague wire so it'll be sturdier, but we'll see.

Name: N/A

Price: $15

Length: stone is about 1 inch tall; chain is 16 inches plus extender for example

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mahogany Obsidian bracelet

For this bracelet I used up my last remaining five 6mm mahogany obsidian rounds, two blackstone 4mm rounds, and a bunch of 4mm mahogany obsidian rounds.  Again, I wanted to stay simple yet classy.  The five larger rounds are the focal for this bracelet, set off by the blackstone on either side, and complemented by the smaller mahogany rounds that make up the rest of the piece.

Name: N/A

Price: $10

Length: 7 inches

Feathered Feature earrings

I made these earrings for my sister as an experiment.  I'd never used feathers before, or a whole lot of chain work.  They're a spin on FusionBeads' "Great Minds Pink Alike" earrings on their Inspiration page.  My sister likes feathers, but not particularly pink, so I was torn between a color like orange, yellow, blue, or green.  I've done a fair amount of blue for her, and the little Swarovski drops didn't come in a whole lot of colors, so I settled for green.  They were very difficult to work with, but the effect is cool when they're done.
Kudos to my sister, Margot Roudebush of Whimsicals By Margot here on BlogSpot, for the photo; she sent it to me once, but it disappeared months ago.  I spent a lot of last night looking for it because I remembered what it looked like, to no avail, so she managed to track it down from her end for me.  Photo (c) Margot Roudebush / Whimsicals by Margot.

Name:  N/A

Price: $20 (reason: Swarovski crystals, time and effort) (original given to Margot R.)

Length: 4 inches

Dragon Blood Jasper bracelet

I had no idea this bracelet was going to be so hard to photograph!  Out of about 20 pictures I took, ONE turned out, and it's not even centered!
I got some smaller dragon blood jasper rounds this week, and decided to use them and the remaining 6mm rounds I had from the necklace I made a while ago to make a simple bracelet--something quick and easy given I feel like despite working at full-throttle as hard as I can all week I've accomplished nothing.  I used a two-tone scarf I got at Maurice's last fall to bring out the red in the stones, black seed beads so the dragon blood jasper's unique colorations would speak for themselves, and antique silver findings.  This jasper is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

Name:  N/A

Price:  $10

Length: 7.5 inches

Metal Monarch necklace

Like I've said multiple times, I don't do a lot of chain or wirework.  I'm still learning the ropes with it, and not very confident yet.  Still, when I found this pendant at Wal-Mart, I knew I had to do something with it for my sister.  So it's stayed in my project box for quite a span while I tried to figure out just what kind of chain (or multiples) to use with it.  I had hoped to do several chains of different textures with it, but the attachment holes on the back were too tiny to support more than one, and I didn't have the supplies to sturdily attach more than one unless I wanted the attachment jump rings bent all out of shape or to wrench open.  So I settled for just one type, and think it turned out fairly well.

Name: Metal Monarch

Pricet: $20

Length: chain = 30 inches

Ball-and-Chain bracelet

So I saw someone had designed this type of bracelet during one of FusionBeads' 30-day Beading Challenges sometime in the last year, and now it's a project on their Inspiration page.  It looked like a pleasant, fairly easy technique to learn, and a relatively inexpensive one, but the colors you can use make it full of endless possibilities.  I will admit--it's a little tricky to get started (you feel like you have too many and yet not enough fingers at the same time), but once you get the routine down it's really fun and easy.  If done with the right colors of cord and ball chain, they can suit a girl or a guy, and are small enough for multiples on one arm.  Might be easy and neat to convert into a necklace, too.

Name:  N/A

Price: $10

Length: 8 inches

Mahogany Obsidian necklace

A fellow employee at my job happened to amble by when I was showing another co-worker some of the fun stones I like to bead with about a month ago, and pointed out he really liked my mahogany obsidian cross-weave necklace, but would have preferred had it been made to suit a guy rather than a "girly" one I'd made.  He also said he'd buy whatever I came up with as far as "guy" necklaces because he thought they were cool.
So I ordered some nice mahogany obsidian and found some unique hematite to go with it--as well as gunmetal findings since he didn't want anything as "sparkly" as silver.  Personally, I think the mahogany obsidian goes really well with gunmetal regardless.  When I went to my parents' this weekend, I picked up my supplies and made this as soon as I got back home.

Name:  N/A

Price:  $20 (original sold to Dale T.)

Length:  19.5 inches

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dawn ring

Just finished a second wire-wrapped ring, this time experimenting with multiple beads.  This one turned out more like I expected the first, Harvest Festival, to--the wraps to hold the ring together are more stacked on each other than beside, and I couldn't get the beads on top to stay level, but neither are extremely notable.
This ring is named for the pale colors that show at dawn before the spectacular colors kick in.  The stars begin to fade, and the sky gets kind of silvery.  The focal bead for this ring is a lavender-striped star, with two lavender faceted beads framing it, on silver wire I just bought today while running an errand.  I even prepped it so it would be bigger than the last one, but it still wound up a size 5 (prepped for a size 7).  The nice thing is, I can make multiples of most of my stuff, suited to the size someone wants.


Name:  Dawn ring

Price:  $8

Size:  5

Harvest Festival ring

I did it!  I never thought I'd ever be able to say that with any sort of satisfaction, but I officially made a ring I'm happy with!  My sister is big on wearing rings, but I'd not been confident enough with my wirework to attempt one other than buying the ring base and wire-wrapping crystals or other beads to it.  I've seen all sorts of neat rings other people have made, but never had the courage to dive in and try any of the techniques.
This attempt is actually two-fold. 1: I wanted to be able to make rings for my sister in the future and 2: a lady at work asked me to wire-wrap a tumbled, dyed quartz for her that didn't have any holes drilled in it, and I wanted some practice before I did it.  Given I'm not at all comfortable with my wirework (and therefore don't post my attempts), I told her it would take a while, and I've been doing some research on the right gauge of wire to use, and how to actually cage a tumbled stone without holes in it.  About a year ago, I bought a wire jig setup on sale and three different, brightly-colored rolls of 20-gauge wire (copper-orange, blue-teal, and lime) so I could officially start wirework.  I made several attempts, none of which made me happy, and gave up for a while.  Turns out, the wire recommended for caging a tumbled stone and for ring work is 20-gauge, so I figured today I'd make another attempt.  Since I've really wanted to make a ring, that's what I tackled.
Usually, a first attempt like this makes me frustrated and disappointed, but this one turned out to surprise me!  I used a piece of leftover cane glass from a bracelet I made my sister when she got her yoga instructor certification, and the copper-orange wire since it matched the stripes in the glass.
It's really hard to photograph such shiny glass, so pardon some of the lack of focus.
Another note: this ring is named after a ring in one of my favorite games--Dragon Age Origins.  I thought the name fit the colors really well.


Name:  Harvest Festival ring

Price:  $8

Size:  a little larger than 5, but not quite 5 1/2

Friday, September 13, 2013

Northern Lights multistrand necklace

Just finished this necklace today.  I've been working on it for probably a month, simply because it takes a long time to string four strands of beads over two feet long each!  I'd get bored or burned out from hand stringing them on the heavy-duty fishing line and take a break.  I originally planned for five strands, not four, but when I set the first end one of the strands didn't crimp in with the rest, so I had to make do with four.
This necklace is the longest I've done, I think--over two feet long!  I'd seen the bead mix at one of the supply places I frequent, and decided I needed to do a multi-strand necklace with it, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to mix in larger beads like I did with the brown/green/cream and purple/lime/turquoise ones I did a couple of years ago.  I went ahead and bought the standard-sized mix, then decided I'd just use them.  The colors are black, hematite gray, pearlescent semi-transparent white, icy teal, and pearlescent transparent clear, reminiscent of the aurora borealis in wintertime.  They're also very difficult colors to photograph on a sunny day!
The wearer can either let the strands hang free for a simple, classic look, or knot them for a shorter, more contemporary look.


Name: Northern Lights

Price:  $25

Length:  28.5 inches

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lapis Surf

Finished a new project today: a surfer-style heishi necklace.  It's made of lapis lazuli and silver (I know, I know; lapis has real gold flecks in it, but the silver suited the style better).  It's hard to find heishi beads made out of stone, but I happened upon a seller last year and had to get these.  He's the same guy I got the pendants and rounds from in previous projects (the lapis cross-weave necklace and the one I made for a cousin's little niece).  I had also originally intended to use a Maori fish hook pendant with this, but when it arrived it was huge, so it's still in my to-do box until I come up with an idea for it.
This piece appeals to both guys and girls, and is long enough for both at about twenty inches.  I put it on heavy, durable, coated wire and used a simple lobster clasp and jump ring to fasten it.


Name:  Lapis Surf

Price: $20 (original has been sold to Dale T.)

Length: 20 inches

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Forest and Starlight

I once worked in the floral department at my local Hobby Lobby back in Lafayette.  It was just out of college, and I worked there about two years before leaving to focus on my Masters.  I think while I worked there about half my paycheck stayed because of what I spent on jewelry supplies.  This is one of the necklaces I made while I was there; I used dark green 6mm pearls, silver size 11 seed beads, and 4mm rice hematite beads I bought there, and dark teal 4mm potato pearls I bought online.  The result was a necklace of very rich, cool colors.  I made an identical one for a friend there when I left (I made necklaces for two other friends as well).

Name: Forest and Starlight

Price:  $20 (personal collection)

Length:  approx. 18"

Orchid Blossom necklace

I made this necklace for myself shortly out of college.  I found this beautiful lepidolite carved pendant at Von's up by Purdue campus, and kept it in my bead box a long time before I settled on what I wanted to do with it.  This is the result.  I used lepidolite rounds, tiny seed beads, and fire-polished glass to add sparkle, as well as dark purple pearls.


Name:  Orchid Blossom

Price:  $20 (reason: cost of lepidolite and pendant; personal collection)

Length:  approx. 16"; pendant is about 1.5" across

Two more memory wire bracelets

These were done for my sister's birthday a couple of years ago (does it seem like I make very little other than for her?).  She told me right before that birthday she never wanted any other gift than jewelry from me, so I make her quite a bit every year, both for birthdays and Christmas.  The one was only partially done when I took the picture; I can't find a completed one.  They used size 8 seed bead mixes from and jewel.  These were probably the first memory wire bracelets I ever did, besides my first kit.


Name:  N/A

Price:  $8 ea (originals given to Margot R.)

Length:  approx. 6 loops each

Vitrail Dangle Necklace

This is one of the projects I did for myself.  I had imagined up this necklace, only with the Swarovski color Volcano (even wrote a short story about it), but I liked the Light Vitrail color better.  It's one of the first chain / wirework pieces I've done, and I wore it out--it's currently in my repair box.  I used Light Vitrail cosmic rings and bicones, and Figaro chain, then wire-wrapped the rings into the chain.  I liked how it turned out, but I should have used heavier wire or jump rings (I was having a hard time finding thin enough jump rings that would still fit around the cosmic rings).  I really need to fix this one...


Name:  Cosmic Light

Price:  $30 (reason: Swarovski crystals, time involved with chain and wirework; this necklace is currently in pieces in my bead box and unavailable)

Length:  approx. 20" to 24"; can't remember for sure

Lavender Shimmer choker

This was one of the last Etsy projects I did; this, as with the Cheery Cherry Choker and Crystallized Ginger Choker, went to my "niece" for her birthday a couple of years ago since she loves jewelry almost as much as my sister.


Name:  Lavender Shimmer

Price:  $10 (original given to my niece, Aubrey)

Length:  approx. 16"

Green Butterflies Illusion Necklace

Yep, another Etsy project.  At the time, I was trying to do a variety of colors and styles, so this was one of three illusion necklaces I did (the others being Shades of Shadow and Night Pearl).  I didn't like this one as well.  I mean, it turned out well enough, so I can't quite place why I don't like it--especially since green is my favorite color.  Maybe it's because the measuring and crimping for the different sections was tedious and frustrating.

Name:  Emerald Butterflies

Price:  $15 (reason: time involved)

Length:  I think approx. 18"; it is now in my redo bin

Shades of Shadow Illusion Necklace

Another former Etsy project.  I was experimenting with different illusion necklace ideas and techniques, using a variety of Czech glass, pearls, and semiprecious stones.  This one turned out all right, though measuring to keep both sides equal so it would hang right drove me crazy!

Name:  Shades of Shadow Illusion Necklace

Price:  $20 (reason: time involved)

Length:  I think approx. 18" to 20"; it's around here somewhere still, but I can't remember

Stone Chip Bracelet

Another birthday project for my sister a couple of years ago; just rediscovered the photos on my FaceBook page while fixing photos for earlier posts that mysteriously disappeared.  I used sodalite, aventurine, and Russian amazonite.  Originally, there were two other strands of chips--blue goldstone and another green stone I can't remember--but the chips were a lot larger and heavier than anticipated, so even heavy-duty fishing line couldn't support that much weight at the clasp crowded together.  I made her a matching necklace as well.

Name:  N/A

Price:  $15 (original given to Margot R.)

Length: approx. 8"

Crab Fire Agate pendant

Another piece I made for Etsy several years ago.  The pendant on this is an absolutely huge oval of crab fire agate.  I had no idea when I originally purchased it that it would be so big.  I wanted to keep the focus on the pendant, so I used simple black seed beads and orange fiber optic (also called cat's eye) 6mm rice beads to draw out the color without detracting from the stone.
My sister expressed an interest in it, so I gave it to her for her birthday the year following its lack of sale.  As you can see, the colors can go with a variety of things; the fabric I used for the picture is a batik Mom had spare from a quilt block.

Name:  N/A

Price: $20 (given to Margot R.)

Length: can't remember; probably around 18"

Crystallized Ginger choker

I made this piece a long time ago, back when I tried selling jewelry on Etsy.  This was made alongside my Cheery Cherry Choker, and though I really liked it, I didn't have anything I could wear it with when it didn't sell.
So, since my little "niece" (actually a second-cousin, but she calls me her aunt) loves jewelry, I gave her my Etsy cherry choker--I have a matching one, as does my cousin Britni--and this necklace.  I used orange aventurine cubes and puffed squares, and seed beads.


Name:  Crystallized Ginger Choker

Price: $20 (given to my niece, Aubrey)

Length:  approx. 16"

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall Poppies Loomed Bracelet

     I'm posting this today, now that my sister's birthday is over and she already has her gift.  A couple of years ago, she bought me a beading loom, and I've only just begun to experiment with it.  I purchased a pattern to start with since I was getting frustrated with the design process, and changed the color scheme to better suit my sister, choosing browns and oranges instead of black and green and blue.  I also chose silver-lined Delica seed beads instead of the opaque, more common seed beads because they add a little sparkle and a richer color, and are more equal and consistent in shape, which makes it easier to loom.  This was the second beading project I've done on a loom.  I like how the pattern turned out, but as of yet I'm not particularly happy with finishing it--I don't like knotting, though the knots I used are very sturdy.
     I was fortunate to find a scarf (my sister loves scarves almost as much as jewelry) at the place where I work that matched the flowers in the piece.  Pardon the bad pictures...I'm going to try to get my sister to take better ones, as she is the professional photographer who owns the blog Whimsicals by Margot.  Make sure to check out her blog!  Happy 29th birthday!



Name: Fall Poppies

Price:  $30 (reason: time involved, quality of beads and thread used)

Length: approximately 9"