Tuesday, October 21, 2014
It's been a while since I've updated my blog. Needless to say, I've been pretty busy with work and life. I've been keeping my Simply Adorned Jewelry page on FaceBook updated, as well as created a shop on Storenvy.com for my work. My blog is kinda on hiatus due to the fact that I put all this work into it and few people seem to find it or comment. My FaceBook gets more traffic, though about the same number of comments, and I hope the store will get more activity as well. Most of what I've posted on here is available on Storenvy.
My new store is linked here:
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Yesterday I whipped out eight bracelets using leftover stones from a variety of projects. They're all about the same length, in a variety of colors and patterns, depending on what I had available that worked with them.
Picture-taking didn't turn out too well as you can see--the camera won't focus on the foreground, whether it's the front of the bracelet or just the bracelet in general, only the background or the back of the bracelet, no matter what I tried.
Price: Malachite and silver $20
Green aventurine and gold $10
Sapphire, Swarovski, and antique copper $15
Blue lace agate and silver $10
Garnet and silver $10
Peach/Red aventurine and antique copper $10
Rhodonite, blackstone, and silver $15
Yellow jade and silver $10
Length: all are about 8 inches
I've had these blue-and-white petals for what seems like forever, trying to decide what to do with them, and was recently browsing an old jewelry catalogue and came across an idea that might work. The catalogue had used fancy amethyst briolettes and gold, but the design basics worked very well for this, too. I didn't have enough petals to do the entire necklace that way, however, so finished it out with the silver rounds.
My camera is still being quite grumpy and doesn't focus properly, so the pictures are bad, sorry.
Name: Blue Sunflower
Length: about 20 inches
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Back when I first started making jewelry as a kid, in part thanks to my Dad making special "date" trips to my favoritest store in the whole wide world with me, I wanted to make my Mom a necklace. So we went, and I picked out a rhodonite heart bead and several pink lepidolite rounds for an illusion necklace. I strung it (with Dad's help and a lot of frustration) on some poor-quality, very weak gold-colored wire, and was never happy with it, but Mom kept it nonetheless though she never wore it. About two years ago, I found it in her jewelry culls to be thrown away, so I took it to redo. It sat in my bead box until last night, when I finally came up with a plan to use it and some of the remaining rhodonite rounds I got for her opera-length necklace from this fall.
I wanted to do something fun and creative, so I used silver wire and wrapped both ends (it had two holes for stringing I utilized) to make it a link pendant, then I strung the rest of the necklace off-center so the heart would stand upright when worn. This was the result.
I used silver wire, Beadalon beading wire, rhodonite, blackstone, and a lot of silver.
Name: Bound Heart
Length: just over 20 inches
Friday, May 9, 2014
This is what I do on quiet, rainy Friday evenings since I'm not dating. I was half-watching a Ninja Gaiden walkthrough, letting my hands tease ideas from my brain for the pendants I have lying around. Throw in a batch of homemade popcorn, a glass of milk, and a cat for company and, well, this was the result.
This pendant is a nice piece of amethyst, wrapped with a tarnish-resistant brass wire vine and Swarovski bicone "buds", accompanied by pressed glass leaves. I didn't follow a guide, or any photo for inspiration, just let it tell me what it wanted to be.
Name: Amethyst Blossom Vine pendant
Length: pendant is approx. 2 inches by 1 inch, including bail
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Finished this today, though it was mostly made yesterday while I was doing laundry. A new technique for me: tubular netted. I had planned to make it longer, and because of that had used a batch of seed beads (black iris) that I had a ton of, but somewhere in adding thread the second time something went wrong and I couldn't figure out where or how. So I finally gave up and simply attached the clasp. It has the feel of a grapevine given the netting style and the clasp with its grape leaf toggle and the cluster of grapes on the bar. I didn't originally know how I felt about the black iris coloration with such intricate chainwork, but it grew on me the longer I worked with it.
Name: Through the Grapevine
Price: $35 (reason: mostly time and effort)
Length: 18.5 inches
Didn't realize I hadn't posted this here!
I had a hard time deciding what to do for Mom's birthday (the 28th), when I suddenly hit across a series of ideas. I was originally making this style of bolo in a bright blue-teal, and she had remarked how much she liked it and wanted to see me finish it. But I haven't gotten around to it due to lack of finding ideal fringe beads. Then, during Bead Day with my niece, she commented how much she loved these buttery-yellow seed beads a friend of mine had sent me. Bingo!
So I started to bead the bolo chain. Then I realized I didn't have a ring for it. So I rummaged through some things until I came across a metal ring necklace I'd bought on clearance with the intent of using spare parts for another project (but had found a better alternative), and decided one of the links would be perfect. I still wound up one or two fringe beads short, so I smuggled the unfinished work home last weekend, snuck to my favorite local bead shop, bought a couple beads, went home, smuggled my bead box and the project upstairs while she was busy in the garden, and finished putting it together.
Price: $40 (original not for sale)
Length: about 30 inches
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Made this with my Aunt in mind today. She had a very rough day and I was her pep talker. I thought about her all day, and kept thinking about these beautiful amethyst nuggets I had waiting for a special project. I came home after work with the intent to use them...only I had no idea for what, which has happened multiple times. Then, just as I'm getting ready for bed due to a freakishly early morning at work tomorrow, inspiration hit and this is the result.
Length: almost 8 inches
Another cane glass project; was trying to clean out the remains of my stash tonight. Projects like this let me think about other things while I work, and today was one of those days I needed that. As this bracelet came together, the red-orange crystal bicones reminded me of candied apple slices I used to get at Shoney's as a kid (a chain now out of business). I thought they contrasted well with the handblown cane glass, and they actually match the red stripes on them. Also used silver rounds.
Name: Candied Apples and Orange Peel
Price: $15 (reason: cane glass prices)
Length: 7.5 inches
This necklace is named after my rose, Orange N' Lemons, given the color scheme. I used up some handblown cane glass, the last of my fire opal Swarovski bicones, yellow-orange rondelles, and flat yellow Czech glass rondelles with gold metal seed beads. Bright and cheery, and even a little bit refreshing to look at. I don't do much with crystal (or sparkle), and strangely enough I don't do much with fire tones like these despite the fact that I'm drawn to them.
Name: Oranges N' Lemons
Price: $25 (reason: cost of cane glass and Swarovskis)
Length: about 19 inches
Friday, April 18, 2014
What a battle to get this done! I bought this really nice green, silver, and gold Murano leaf pendant years ago (another "finally done" project!), and it's been sitting in my bead box ever since. I've tried a variety of techniques with it, but none worked until I decided to simply multi-strand it using a mix of gold, brown, and green.
First I fought to get all five strands the same beaded length. That done, I then battled to get the bead cone and crimp cover on one end; the holes were too small for five steel strands, even at the thin diameter I use. Got one side set, and started on the other, wrestled for fifteen minutes, then discovered the pendant hole was just too small for the widest part of the cone to go through. Being glass, I didn't want to force the issue (a good hard yank might've done it). So I had to undo 15 minutes of work by pulling the cone and crimp cover back off, stringing the pendant, then another 15 minutes to put them back on.
All figured, this took two days to do.
Note: the colors in the pendant look washed out in the photo, but the greens and golds match in both pendant an beads.
Name: Springtime Murano
Price: $30 (reason: time and effort mostly; Murano foiled glass isn't entirely cheap, either)
Length: about 20 inches; pendant is 2.5 inches tall
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
On our Bead Day, my "niece" really, really wanted me to have one of her two Hello Kitty charms. I've spent the last two weeks trying to decide what to do with it. I finally settled on using the corally-bubblegum pink freshwater pearls I bought during our outing, some butter yellow freshwater pearls purchased a year ago from the same place, and some silver metal seed beads to make a charmed memory wire bracelet. I'll have to wear it Easter Sunday when she visits for dinner so she can see it.
Price: $15 (personal collection; not for sale)
Length: 4 loops
Sunday, April 13, 2014
I've had this Crazy Lace Agate donut pendant for even longer than my Dragon and Phoenix. I remember purchasing it when I was housesitting for my sister one fall. I originally braided some thread and just wore it around my neck that way, but I was never really happy with it. So I set it asid in my bead box for years, never quite finding anything that really worked with it. Finally, one of the sites I use for supplies got in some rounds that matched it (a lot of crazy lace agate has a brown cast to it, but my donut is entirely shades of gray), so I bought a strand thinking it was 16" like most strands are and some gunmetal gray wire. Turns out the strand of beads was only 8" so I had to get even more creative with my wirework for the necklace to be a decent length. I chose the link style I made because it looked vaguely Celtic. I used up my remaining silver wire for contrast, and the rest is done in the gunmetal. Also made my first S-shaped clasp. Very different from what I usually do, but I really like it.
Name: Shades of Gray
Price: $40 (reason: wirework)
Length: 18 inches
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Perfectionist that I am, I'm debating redoing the interior strand so the beads line up with the voids on the outer strand of this necklace. Malachite is a rather expensive stone to get good quality, so I've been collecting it over a couple of years for a project and last night I finally got the inspiration of what it would look like. I handmade the bail for the donut, and carefully measured where each beaded section would be on the two strands, then crimped them in place. I accented just a little with some silver. I made a "visible" illusion necklace, since that seems to be a growing fad--instead of clear fishing line, I used the usual protected steel cable I use for stringing.
Price: $40 (reason: malachite prices)
Length: outer strand 21 inches, inner about 19 inches
I have had this dragon and phoenix pendant for years now, but never found stone that went well enough with it to make a necklace from it until two weeks ago. The seller I bought it from claimed it was "multicolor jade" but when I got it the patterning of the stone is clearly multicolor moss agate. I went to my favorite store looking for something to go with it and had almost given up when one of the girls working there got an idea and brought out some very flawed sodalite rounds. Given the pendant is mostly green and brown I was rather skeptical about using the blue, but it worked when we held them up to each other. There was enough brown flaw in the stones to ease the blue tinge, unlike any of the green we'd tried. I discovered when I got home that I hadn't actually purchased sodalite, but the strand I'd chosen (which I chose because it had a lot more of the brown in it instead of the vivid white-lined blue common to the stone) was actually sapphire. I matched it with some antique copper to draw out the brown.
I absolutely love the way it turned out. Glad this is now a finished piece in my personal collection!
Name: Dragon and Phoenix
Price: $20 (personal collection; not for sale!)
Length: 16 inches
This is the second piece I (mostly) got done during Bead Day with my niece. I thought the wire-wrap links looked a bit like butterflies, as did the colors I used. I've mostly stuck with silver wire for projects as it's readily available, but decided to play with some blue I had (also have green and orange). It was fun experimenting. And it turned into a decent bracelet.
Length: about 8.5 inches
I made this about two weeks ago. I've had some memory wire for necklaces for quite a few years, but never really played with it until this. I also hadn't played with one of my favorite stones, Tiger Eye, in a long while, either. This was the result.