Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Green Mica bracelet

A while ago a friend at work traded me two green mica necklaces she'd gotten as free gifts, one a replacement for the other since it was broken upon arrival, in exchange for a blue necklace because she hates green.  I ended up destroying the broken one to use pieces of it in her new necklace, and the rest has been sitting in my bead box ever since.  The other necklace has been in its sealed package since she gave it to me.  I decided I wanted to make a bracelet out of some of the stones, and really disliked how cheaply made the other necklace was (no wonder the first broke), so disassembled the other necklace and used the nicely polished large green mica nuggets for this bracelet.  I don't know what I'll do with all the cheap silver-coated plastic rounds, or the badly-wired green mica chips yet, but at least the nice pieces were worth saving.  They're now strung on high-quality nylon-coated braided steel bead wire that can flex and yet doesn't break (even hard to cut it with wire cutters!), and strung with silver rounds (couldn't justify using the plastic ones).  I used a nice toggle clasp, too.
This bracelet is heavy!  The nuggets range in size and color, but if I were to hazard a guess, I'd say they're about 8mm to 10mm.  They're blocky, but not quite rectangular.

Name:  Something Worth Saving

Price:  $10 (reason: the stones are good quality, and the other materials make it worth this price)

Length:  9 inches

Survivor's Song bracelet

Since I'd used up all of the blue kiwi-stone I had, I bought another strand when I went to Von's with a friend almost three weeks ago, for the specific purpose of making a bracelet to match the set.  That was immediately followed by having my wisdom teeth pulled, and a crazy mess of stuff to do at work, and buckling down to meet the National Novel Writing Month challenge.  Now that I've beat the challenge, my mouth is more-or-less healed up, and I finally got a teeny tiny bit of spare time at home, I intended to put this together.  Then we got the bad storm this past weekend that ripped through Illinois (where I currently live) and Indiana (my home).  It destroyed the home of a very good friend at work, so I put things on hold again to hold a "fundraiser" here on my blog and on my FaceBook.  Through that, I actually had a friend put a reserve on this bracelet for when I actually got it done.
I had some time last night to make it because, given I have to be in late today to do my job (not allowed to put up the Black Friday sales stuff until tonight and after we close), I could sleep in this morning.  Feels weird not being at work this time of day, but at least I can tidy my house before Thanksgiving so I have somewhere clean to come home to following the insanity of working a 12-hour shift Black Friday.
I used up my last gold clasp to make this, and the last three Swarovski crystal bicones I had...and most of my remaining gold metal seed beads.  Also used up my last gold crimp bead covers.


Name:  Survivor's Song bracelet

Price:  $7 (reserved by Lou Anne G.)

Length:  7 inches; custom length

Monday, November 25, 2013

Deep Blue Sea...Sediment bracelet

I finally used up the last of the strand of blue impression jasper / sea sediment jasper / variscite nuggets I bought months ago!  I've been meaning to make this for a while, but was out of stringing wire and had no time.  I took multiple pictures to show the variation in the can see the reflection of my lamp in the dark blue shell rounds.

Name:  Deep Blue Sea bracelet

Price:  $10 (given to Jill S. for Christmas; resized to be smaller)

Length:  9.5 inches

Bejeweled bangle, version 2

I enjoy doing wire-wrapping quite a bit, and a few weeks ago to round out a supply order (needed new stringing wire) to get free shipping, I added supplies to make another bangle bracelet.  I have to be careful making these, as I use a good length of wire to anchor the Swarovski crystals, and my cat finds the movement of the wire irresistible.  She played with the wire on this one as it got shorter and shorter, and got more excited the shorter it got, so used her claws more, and wound up smacking my hand more and more as we went along.  I finally had to chase her away so I could finish.
I guess you could say this bracelet got Cassie's stamp of approval.

Name:  Bejeweled 2

Price: $25 (reason: Swarovski crystals and time spent)

Length: 8.5 inch bangle

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Honeyed Garnet necklace

I bought this Hessionite Garnet at one of my favorite bead stores at home a couple of weekends ago.  I'd passed it by a few times, but finally gave in and got it.  Then I had a problem: I had no idea what findings to use with it!  Silver?  Copper?  Gold?  Antique brass?  I debated for the last two weeks, and finally decided on antique copper, which wouldn't detract from the rich honey brown shades of the garnet, or its beautiful high polish.  I wanted to showcase the stones.  I think it turned out nicely.


Name:  Honeyed Garnet necklace

Price:  $30  (good quality Hessionite Garnet)

Length:  24 inches

Seraphinite donut choker

When I first discovered seraphinite, it was exceedingly rare and really expensive to get.  I happened upon a beautiful donut pendant (a lot larger than I'd originally anticipated) on Lima Beads, and it was within my price range, so I bought it.  It sat around quite a while because I couldn't decide what to do with it.  I finally just knotted it onto pleather cord and attached a leaf clasp to it and wore it as a choker.  I always intended to redo it into something nicer, but I always seem to wear it this way instead.
Seraphinite is a dark green stone with metallic silver feathering that seems to shimmer when it catches the light.  I took a picture of it in my hand to show you just how big it is.


Name: Seraphinite donut necklace

Price:  $15 (reason: price of seraphinite; personal collection)

Length: about 16 inches; pendant I believe is about 50mm across

Luminous Heart earrings

These are the earrings that match the previous necklace.  I made them using Swarovski crystal hearts and sterling silver.  They're really sparkly!  The color is "luminous green" that shifts shades from pale green to peachy to clear, depending on outfit and lighting.


Name: Luminous earrings

Price: $10 (reason: Swarovski crystal and sterling silver; personal collection) *earrings only*

Length: 1 inch

Luminous Heart necklace

I realized today I hadn't posted pictures of the second Wild Heart necklace and earrings I made about a year ago.  Part of that is because of how hard it is to photograph this particular Swarovski color.  It's called "luminous green" and at the time I purchased the hearts it was a new color.  I liked the color on the site, so wanted to make myself a set using them.  They almost seemed like "crystal AB" when I got them, in that they change color depending on what you wear, but instead of a wide range, they change from kind of a peach to a pale green to clear.


Name: Luminous

Price: $25 (reason: Swarovski crystal; personal collection) *necklace only*

Length: adjustable; knotted on 36 inch cord

A Friend in Need

I have a wonderful friend at work who lost her home to the tornado that tore through Gifford, Illinois, this past Sunday.  Times have been hard, and this was just the icing on the cake for her.  The retail business where I work is taking up a collection among us employees to help her, but I feel like it's not *enough*.  I want to do something more, as my own funds are stretched thin.
So I came up with this idea: for a limited time (I don't know how long yet), I will donate 100% of the purchases of my jewelry to her to help her rebuild.  While I cannot lower my prices (I only charge 30% labor on cost of materials), I can at least give her what I might earn for them.  Some of the pieces are not for sale (such as birthday or Christmas presents), but I might be willing to sell some of my personal collection.  It depends on the piece.  You get a nice necklace, ring, bracelet, or earrings.  I get a warm fuzzy feeling for doing something to make a difference.  She gets aid.
I can do a few custom orders, depending on what color / size you might like and the materials I currently have, or adjust a current piece to the right size (again, materials depending).  Though some items aren't for sale, I can make similar things, too.  I have a lot of leeway.
I didn't know what else to do, and I don't know who will even notice this, but it would mean a lot if we could all come together to make a difference.  My contact information is on my Contact Info page.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Winter Moss necklace

I actually finished this necklace over the weekend, following the trip a friend and I made to Von's (when I got the fluorite for Galactic Glimmer and the magnesite for Bronze Lily).  Unfortunately, it was dark when I finished it, so my pictures didn't turn out.  Then I worked late yesterday, so it was dark again by the time I got home.
Good news is, I had my much-needed-removed wisdom teeth pulled this morning, so in between naps (very tired, but very little pain) there was some sunlight for me to get decent photos.  It occurred to me to take pictures because I woke up in a sunbeam and thought "Oh!  I still need to get those!"
I'm recovering at my parents' house, and Mom has a lovely antique table beside the bed (and in front of the window), with a trio of in-tact sand dollars from a vacation when we were kids.  Given the colors of the moss agate, I thought the rich tone of the wood and the white of the sand dollars made a neat combination.
This necklace has been in the works for about a month.  I used heavy-duty nylon-coated braided steel Beadalaon stringing wire because it was all I had left (my thinner stuff is gone [again]).  This means two of the tubes couldn't work--their holes were too small despite the fact I used my bead reamer on them for over an hour.  Maybe I'll make a pair of earrings to go with it from them...
The name comes from the fact that it snowed last night, covering everything still green or with leaves still on it in a thin layer of powder.  Moss agate kind of has that same appearance.


Name: Winter Moss

Price:  $30

Length: about 16 inches (a short necklace on me; choker on most others)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bronze Lily off-center necklace

I like to do funky things for my sister as presents.  Over the weekend I went to my favorite bead store, looking specifically for something cool to use for a necklace for my sister for Christmas.  When I found these magnesite rondelles shot through with pyrite, I knew they were perfect.  The "pendant" was a no-brainer too--it's actually half of a toggle clasp!  I had originally planned to just bead the necklace and tell her the clasp was actually the focal, to wear it off-center, but the more I worked on it, the more I needed it to be crazier.  So I eliminated the bar part of the clasp and cut apart some chain I'd bought a couple of months ago, and voila!  Now the lily really is an off-center pendant.
I love the way the lily complements the pyrite in the stones, and how even the bronzy-and-black chain worked with the whole thing.  Even my brighter gold-filled findings seemed to work okay (didn't have the brass / bronze color).


Name:  Bronze Lily

Price:  $35 (reason: complexity, range of materials, time involved)

Length:  24.5inches, including extender

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Galactic Glimmer wrapped-cord bracelet

This is the first Christmas present project I've done this season.  A friend of mine from college likes "shiny" things, but has never been much of a jewelry person because it tends to not be all that practical to her.  She likes the idea of jewelry, just not the practice.  When I showed her the project Warrior's Bond, she really liked it, and I suggested letting me do something similar for her.  As she's a computer tech, she didn't like the idea of a bracelet, which can roll all over your arm when you move it.  I told her that the leather cording makes such slipping less of an issue, and even put on Warrior's Song and shook my hand upside-down to give her an accurate idea of how much movement it had.
She decided she wanted something blue/green/purple/pink, so off I went to my favorite beading store this weekend with another friend who had never been there, with a list of supplies I needed to purchase for a variety of things.  We spent about three hours there, and when I finally spotted these fluorite rounds on the wall, I knew I'd found the perfect stones for the gift.  They are magnificent quality (and therefore really expensive!), and the colors blend from ice-green to sky to lavender, to dark purple.  I matched them with some nice black leather, and rummaged through my mother's antique button collection for the perfect choice--the only one like it in the thousands I looked through, which changes color in the light to complement all of the colors in the bracelet.
Since the fluorite was so lovely, I knew I wanted to use it all in a single piece.  This way the button doesn't look so big, either.  Move fluorite I've seen is kind of dusty in quality; this is high gloss on top of its rich, blending coloration.
She named it Galactic Glimmer because it reminded her of the patterns of dust and light that you see in photos of nebulas and galaxies.
I love this piece!  I may have to make me one like it.  I suspect it would sell well, too.
Will get better pictures when I have light.


Name:   Galactic Glimmer

Price:  $45 (reason: extremely high-quality fluorite, and lots of it!  Gift for Megan N.)

Length:  18 inches or so; makes two loops

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Black Frost bracelet

Made this over lunch this afternoon, on break from work on my 2013 National Novel Writing Month story quota.  I got a nice strand of snowflake obsidian this week, specifically for this project.  As I said in my previous post, I had wanted to make both a moss agate and a snowflake obsidian wrapped cord bracelet.  The technique is tons of fun and relatively fast to do.
Someday I hope to make a necklace this same way (will require a lot more material!), and multiple-loop versions, but for now I'm limiting to a single loop.
As a consequence of getting into this project, the fish I made for lunch is a tad crispy and dry...
Sorry about the photos.  It's cold and cloudy today, so the quality isn't the best.


Name:  Black Frost

Price:  $15 (original sold to Lou Anne G.; is going to Azerbaijan!)

Length:  8.5 inches

Warrior's Bond bracelet

I've always loved moss agate--it ranks right up there with hematite, tiger's eye, Botswana agate, flame agate, malachite, and lepidolite.  I did a little research on what meanings people have put with it over the years, and one of the things it's known as is that it's a warrior's stone (so are hematite and tiger's eye, by the way).
I bought a strand of moss agate rounds about a week ago, some leather cord, and a leaf button because I wanted to try my hand at cord-wrapping again.  I did that technique a long while ago with some pearls and an antique button from my Mom's collection, and enjoyed it so much I came up with this idea.  I also have a snowflake obsidian one in the works.
Inspiration for the name came from the fact that moss agate is claimed to be a warrior's stone, and when I got it done for some reason it reminded me of a Clan BondCord from the old BattleTech series (defeated warriors would be taken by the member of the winning Clan who bested that person one-on one, and they would have to wear a three-strand cord around their wrist until they had proven themselves to the one who made them Bondsman three times).  While this is not a braided three strand cord, the name just seemed to fit.


Name:  Warrior's Bond

Price:  $15 (personal collection)

Length:  8.5 inches