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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pewter Filigree Earrings

I've used these filigree chandelier findings to create some nice chandelier dangle earrings in various color combinations.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Red and Green Agate Beads

These are large puffed coins of polished agate in colors of red, green and brown.  Each bead is over 1-3/4" in diameter, which is a significant size and therefore weight.  These were acquired at one of the regional shows of Rings and ThingsRings and Things has an Internet store and also travels nationally to do local bead shows.  They have a large selection of jewelry supplies and excellent customer service, so I do recommend this store.

Normally, I prefer glass over gemstone, and lightweight over heavy, but these really piqued my interest.  I first decided to use them in a necklace only, as I believe they were too heavy for earrings and too awkward to put in a bracelet.  Then I had to determine how many beads in a necklace.  I thought about one center focal bead, or possibly two beads each up by the collarbone area, but settled on three beads in the center.  The necklace needed to be short enough for the large beads to lie flat, so I chose 22".  Anything longer and the beads would dangle in such a way that wouldn't display their great color and natural design. 

It didn't take me long to decide the beads would go on wire rather than beading wire.  I didn't want to have any qualms about wondering if the beading wire would break after a customer gets it home.  I used sterling silver wire for the beads, and then strung five strands of seed beads on each side, using medium beading wire.  That gives it enough strength to hold up the three beads.  Then I finished it with a sterling silver hook clasp.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pottery Beads

This is my first time using pottery beads.  These blue beads have a roughhewn look to them, and they had a large uneven hole.  I wanted to limit any abrasiveness so I used an orange suede cord for its strength and durability, and also knotted the beads in place to limit their movement.  Beads sliding back and forth can cause the stringing material to abrade.
The upper part of the necklace is an antiqued silverplated chain.  I didn't like the idea of having these large beads up against the neck.  I also like to limit the amount of heavy beads in a necklace. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday's Magical Dragonfly

This little guy posed for me in the garden.  It seems he was staring right at me.  He is so beautiful he almost looks magical to me.

May you all have a magically wonderful weekend!  Cheers!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy Mango is Happy

Happy Mango Beads is a bead store in Colorado.  They have a cute website and sell many interesting beads.  They have had a shout-out on their Facebook page for blog reviews, and I am happy to oblige.  These first pictures are of their resin bicone beads.  These are a spring green, a pea green, and have a milky opacity.  I used these in this necklace.

They also have these large bicones in blue. Again, they have a milky opacity with a matte finish.  I would call this somewhere between aqua and turquoise.  Both of these bicones have holes large enough to hold two strands of beading wire I believe. 

Next are some resin wheels in a dark brick brown color.  These are unusual because they have a center drilled hole.  If they were drilled top to bottom, they would string in a flat way, which of course is fine, but I wanted something that would jut out three dimensionally.  And I wanted it big, but light.  You'll see the necklace below.
I was looking for the contrast of the chunky wheels on the thin (yet sturdy) beading wire.

Next up is Snowflake Obsidian in nugget form.  When I first glanced at this, it appeared to be black and white, but actually it is black and gray.  We are most familiar with black obsidian, a type of volcanic glass.  My first thought is that this would look good with other black and gray beads, along with some silver, for a classic look.  For an updated look, it could be paired with some neon colored beads, such as orange, yellow, or green.  Just below that are lava beads in tabular form.  These are polished and irregular.  Lava beads always have that pock-marked look to them.  Isn't it nice that both these beads come from volcanoes?  Volcanoes are so destructive, yet still produce something lovely.

Last but not least is the Happy Mango itself.  Alright, it is just a mango from my kitchen.  I have surrounded it with the beads from Happy Mango Beads.  The mango looks like it had a wild all-nighter, but don't worry.  It has no regrets, just some lovely foggy memories!