jewelry


A while back, I wrote about these gorgeous CZ drops and a necklace I made using four of them.  Well, I started out with six CZ teardrops and had two left – one red and the other amber.  I didn’t want to use them together again since I had already done that.  I also thought one of them might look a little sad alone, so I looked for a companion and found this little black glass piece with a red splash.  He said he wanted to play so I said OK.

I love the pairing and I call the piece dash dot.  I realize that technically it’s maybe more of an exclamation point and dot, but at this point the dash dot name has stuck.

I used black beads with white spots and black glass for the main body of the necklace and for some reason, brown crystals seemed right for the front.  A few tiny shell squares and two silver crescent roll beads complete the design.

I love the simple sweetness of this bracelet.  There are three red white heart Venetian trail beads at the center.  “White heart” beads are ones where a color – red in this case – is layered over a white core (heart).  In the days when these beads were made, colored glass was harder to make and more expensive so this was a technique used to keep the beads more affordable.  I find the white heart also gives the beads a touch of luminosity.  I kept the design simple – jet crystal, black glass, aquamarine teardrops and darkened sterling silver chain.

Sometimes when I make very simple jewelry, I question whether I’ve done enough.  At times, I will ask my boyfriend what he thinks.  He always says the same thing – more notes don’t make a better song.  And he’s right – there can be just as much artistry in a simple, clean design as in one with a lot of complexity.

Photo courtesy of Candy.com

Remember them?  Oh how I would love it when I would manage to get one.  I’d put it on and wear it intact as long as I could.  But eventually the candy was too much to resist and so I’d pull the necklace up and bite off a piece or two.  And I’d nibble again and again.  Before long, my neck would be sticky and candy colored from trying to wear the necklace and eat it at the same time.  Eventually, I’d take it off and finish the candy, savoring each piece until I was left with the sticky piece of elastic.

And I was happy with this simple childhood pleasure.  Funny the things you remember.  I wonder if I would like it if I ate one now…

Photo courtesy of Blair Candy

No candy was provided to me by either company.  I would eat it if some was and be sure to fully disclose the fact.

I’ve been of two minds here lately – on one hand I’ve been making larger, chunkier ethnic eclectic pieces and I am so in love with them.

On the other, I’m equally enamored with a series of pieces based on images from the forest floor – tiny leaves, pods, vines, moss, lichen.

This pair of earrings is from the latter.  I’m working in brass primarily, cutting tiny designs in it, and then adding a second layer of related designs by stamping the metal.  I then add additional interest by darkening the brass, sanding it, and then darkening it again.  The result is darker edges – a small touch, but one that I think matters.

When I first learned to saw metal and was breaking saw blades right and left, I could not have imagined making such tiny cuts.  It’s nice being better with the saw and being able to make some of what is in my imagination.  So far, I’ve done two necklaces and this pair of earrings in the series.  I’m calling it “Secrets from the Forest Floor”.  I’d like to explore it more over the coming months.

Shiny new stuff and things from the past, the sweet simplicity, the deep complexity of walking through life with another person…

These are some of the concepts I tried to capture in this necklace, starting with an old key attached securely to a textured silver-toned metal plate.  That plate is firmly riveted to a second larger plate – this time darkened brass with multiple, random holes.  From the key and metal assembly hangs a shiny new heart – one filled with swirls of color – wondrous and inviting.  The chain – bright, shiny silver hearts, so delicate in contrast to the metal plate but strong enough to carry it.  A few crystals and tiny darkened brass hearts scattered up the chain complete the design.

The glass heart is from Artbeads.com Valentine’s Day glass pendants and the silver chain from their collection of Valentine’s Day chain.

Disclaimer:  The glass heart and silver chain were provided to me free of charge as part of Artbeads.com Beading for Bloggers program.  All other materials were supplied by me.

I love playing in  my button jar and finding ways to make jewelry using buttons.  Button jewelry can be colorful and fun, buttons can also be used to make jewelry more contemporary and sophisticated like these earrings.  I like the color palette – everything is in dark neutral and muted tones.  The adventure for me in making these earrings was to use the holes without using a lot of jump rings.  I could have done it that way but I think the visual emphasis would have shifted away from the buttons and towards the jump rings.

I used one jump ring in each earring – to attach it to the earwire at the top.  The other connections were made using head pins that start in the center of the smaller button at the bottom.  The head pin at the top bends up, through the back of the top button, back down and then around to complete the attachment.  The second head pin bends into a loop in the back used to attach the brass dangle below.  I’m going junk shopping today and hope I can snag a jar or box of more buttons.

I love it when a plan comes together – don’t we all?  In designing this necklace, my goal was to use a bit of tin from a box a friend gave me.  Once people know you can work with tin, old boxes start coming out from everywhere – the attic, garage, that closet – you know the one.  And I’m always happy to receive these treasures and the people who give them to me are happy the tin gets used.

I had this man in the moon charm and it fit so nicely over an area of the tin with a star.  I love the way the two fit together – you can’t tell if the moon is watching over the star or if the star is watching over the moon.  Doesn’t matter – you can tell that there’s a relationship.  And when I found another charm that fit nicely behind both pieces and already had three holes at the bottom for dangles, well, we were cooking with gas, as they say.

I used glass beads and pearls in shades of blue and bronze for the necklace and added bits of chain at the bottom with little star charms and more glass and pearl beads.  Here’s to sweet dreams.

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