Jewelry designs, garden photos, and anything else that comes to my mind!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Turquoise, Brass, Shells, the Works!

This is a three strand necklace with a spiral focal.   I would say what I used, but then what didn't I use!  This took some time to make, and my better half kept walking by my studio door hearing me doing a lot of mumbling and grumbling.  Trying to get the strands to fall exactly right was the most difficult part.  I used chain and findings in an antique brass color.  Natural shells in nugget and teardrop form are there, plus puffed ovals of turquoise magnesite and round glass in capri blue.

These round capri beads are from Rings and Things.  They have a nice weight, and are a color deeper than cobalt and lighter than navy.  I am a big fan of glass beads -- you can never have too many! 
The puffed ovals are turquoise magnesite, another item from Rings and Things.  This color looks so nice with the dark color of antiqued brass.
This necklace is somewhat OTT for my taste, although I have no one to blame but myself.  Do you prefer the more simpler looks, or the larger pieces with many components?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mango Got Mail

A while ago I won a contest at Happy Mango Beads and received a gift certificate to their shop!  They had so many lovely beads, it took me a while to choose.  Above you see my mango exulting in the receipt of my mail package from them finally.

I purchased three items, all which were new to me.

These are called Melon Orange Bamboo Coral Nugget Beads 12-18mm.  I believe they are showing their color accurately in the picture, and I would describe this color as persimmon, rather than orange.  These are cylindrical irregular nuggets with striations and marks in colors of bone and charcoal.   These will look nice with many colors, including silver, navy and pastel yellow.

Next is the Brecciated Jasper Oval Tabular Beads 16mm.  I've tried to get the color just right, but unsuccessfully.  This color is somewhere between brick red and warm brown.   They are nicely polished and have charcoal grey marks on them.  I might pair this up with paler colors of blue or lilac.
Then finally we have the purple howlite round tabular 18mm.  What a great purple!  These are in the shape of giant M&M's.  Leave it to me to fantasize about chocolate while sorting beads.  Perhaps I will combine these with silver and transparent olive?  Who knows.  I usually collect what I think is pretty, and then there is quite a design gestation period.  I'll get there eventually.

The last picture shows the Mango draped in beads, relishing the thought of creating new jewelry designs.  Cheers to all!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October Iris

No one told these iris that it is October!  It is fine by me.  Much of the garden is beginning to slumber off into its winter sleep, but it was nice to find these lovely irises blooming.
I have a bit of lettuce still growing.  This should be a tasty treat.  The planters on either side were also planted with lettuce seeds, but nothing sprouted.  I believe my seeds became too old.  I need to spring for some new seeds next year.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Connecticut Craft Show

There was an Artisan Marketplace during Homecoming Weekend at the University of Hartford in Connecticut.  I drove up from Philly in pouring rain and fog, but the next day was beautiful.  We were set up outside one of the University's newer buildings.
I sold many items, and had even more compliments on my work.  It is so nice, since I design and craft in my solitary workshop.  I thought I would post some of the more interesting comments here.

A little boy to his mother:  "Mom, this looks just like King Kong!".  My new advertising slogan -- "Wear this on your next night on the town in the Big Apple -- while you shinny up the side of the Empire State Building."

Woman to her daughter, loudly:  "If you wear these and shake your head, they will slice your neck to ribbons!"   Hmm.  There have been no reports of fatalities from customers.  Apparently, these earrings may resemble a Ginsu knife?  New advertising slogan:  "It slices, it dices, and also accessorizes your ensemble!"  (n.b. there are no sharp edges on these).

This necklace was my most expensive one showing that day and it received many looks and favorable comments.   But one woman looked quizzical and wanted to point out perhaps an error on my part.  I'm not quite sure how to describe her demeanor.  She said "What is that?"  My answer, "It is agate."  Her feathers became even more ruffled and exclaimed "It doesn't come naturally like that!"  My reply, "That is correct.  It is dyed and fired.  I often use dyed gemstones, pearls, and shells in my work.  I believe it often enhances the appearance."  Dyeing adds color and firing enhances the color.  Stones from the earth are also polished and drilled.  They also don't dig them up already on a wire with a clasp.  Frankly, I need a bit of dyeing and enhancing myself to look presentable!