Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Story of a Necklace .... Final Installment

Well the necklace is "done". What next.....

It is time to clean-up. Put the findings away. The extra beads, etc.... Sometimes I may take a chance and string the leftover beads randomly to see what I get.

With the addition of silver spacers to some leftover beads I have created a simple single strand necklace that can be worn wrapped for a two-strand bracelet.

Next some earrings and maybe another necklace. Long this time - "Downton Abby" style.

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Story of a Necklace ... continued part 3

After sifting through my stash and finding a collection that I think will satisfy my vision I can begin to put the necklace together.

I like to make sure my finished pieces are as strong as I know how to make them. Since this will be a relatively heavy piece I crimp each strand separately onto a closed ring - then I use jump rings to connect groups of strands onto the clasp. When done I have a beautiful 12 strand necklace composed of semi-precious gem stones as well as beautiful glass beads. I like the randomness of the piece very much. What do you think?

This is one of my favorite styles of necklaces. You can create many different options with this design.  The individual strands can vary in length or be all the same, you can mix your beads or keep them the same on every strand, the number of strands can vary - I am sure you get the idea.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Story of a Necklace... continues

I have decided to work with the multiple stands of glass and semi-precious beads. This is my starting point.

Here they are in a more orderly fashion. It may make them easier to see.

Now I need to go collect more "pieces" to the puzzle. I think this will be a simple multistand since the beads are all over the map. Let's see what I find.

Clasp? Findings?  I originally thought I would use gold tone findings but I was not finding what I wanted.

More beads? I like to have options when I go to put it all together.

The extras include black glass beads, pyrite for sparkle and 2 sizes of dyed jade beads.

Let's see where this takes us next.....

..... to be continued

Monday, 23 February 2015

The Story of a Necklace..

I have a passion for jewellery, blown & vintage glass, books, travel, the list goes on and on…


 Recently, I had to suspend my efforts at designing jewellery. My Mother's health has rapidly deteriorated (severe Alzheimers disease) and we had to move her into a new home where she will receive appropriate care. That whole process involved countless consultations, phone calls, correspondence, doctor evaluations and lots of stress. In my case, this process lasted only 7 months, but I have heard horror stories about other families spending up to 2 years or more to make things right.


Before I decided to return to designing more jewellery pieces, I decided (again!) to renew my efforts to try and get "my house in order". Not just the jewellery components stored in my home and in my garage, I mean cleaning and editing everything in every room. Whew! My daughter made a comment the other day that I have been cleaning my house since she was 10 (and she is now 30 years old and a new mother). Twenty years may seem like a long time, but I find that I am still hard at work trying to get “my house in order”.

So, the last thing a recovering hoarder like me needs, is even more issues and "stuff" to deal with. I know how important it is to take action to reduce stress (like meditation), but I also realize that it is just as important to devote some of my time and effort to doing something that is creative. Designing jewellery makes me feel good, provides me with a sense of accomplishment and I find that it is also helps me to reduce my stress level. How great is that! Performing this one activity gives me 3 benefits.


I love making jewellery because it provides me with a challenge, provides me with opportunities to learn new things and because it helps replace my stressful worries with happy and creative ideas. I love to learn and I am always trying new techniques.


In my next few blog entries, I thought it might be fun to record what it is like when I am designing and making new pieces of jewellery. This will likely take more than a few weeks, since I wish to share as much of the process as I can with you.

My jewellery can take many forms. I like using pearls, crystals, gemstones, beach stones, metal, driftwood, bone, ... you get the idea. I may design pieces based on tribal influences, or I may design a period piece that evolves the Roaring Twenties, or perhaps something that is simple and elegant that would remind you of someone like Audrey Hepburn.  


Some jewellery pieces may look like I just walked down an alley or down a beach and picked up pieces of "stuff" that spoke to me. Sometimes I spend hours poring over beads and components in a very well stocked bead shop like K & S Jewellery in New York because I am just looking for an inspiration. At other times I simply get out my tools and design my own components.


My jewellery may contain found objects, ready-made items or unique components that I make myself using silver, copper, bronze, glass, wood and clay. Usually my creations are developed organically, almost as if by trial and error. I am definitely not someone who fabricates jewellery, based on using a ready-made kit, where I just follow instructions that someone gave to me. 


I sometimes favor a design criteria that seems to be in excess. Some of us believe that if a little is good, then more is better. But I may have to work on restraining that urge in me. Using lots of large and colorful beads may be good, but so is the idea of using fewer components that are smaller, intricate and more delicate.



                                                                           -          More  To  Come......    -

Friday, 18 July 2014

Pine Ridge Treasures Gemstone and Metal 2014 Blog Hop

This was a real challenge. I was sent some "Candy Jade" to work with. (I completely forgot to take a photo. Sorry.) I sat with those beads on my desk for a very long time. No inspiration. Nothing. They did not fit into my usual design esthetic. What was I going to do. By the time I decided what I wanted to create with these lovely beads time was running out. There was no time to wire wrap all these beautiful (but small) beads. So stringing it was.

I pulled some larger metal beads from my stash as well as a few spacers. The longer strand is very symmetrical with a vintage pendant at the centre. The second stand is completely random. I really like how they create a somewhat delicate but still in your face design.

Thanks Lisa of Pine Ridge Treasures for a great challenge.

Please enjoy the rest of the hop. Click here for a full list of participants.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy the hop!

We're All Ears: July Challenge

The inspiration and challenge for July was a tough one. I am not an American so I am not familiar with all the patriotic traditions. The photo below was the inspiration for the monthly challenge.


Click here or here for more details regarding the hop. This image only spoke to me of colour. I rarely work in multi colours but I had no choice in my mind other than to use red, white and blue. I have been collecting all of my vintage trade beads in preparation for some new necklaces and these beads popped out. I realize they are extremely simple but this is what I like to wear. Light and simple.

Thank you EARRINGS EVERYDAY for this challenge.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Tuesday Eye Candy

Hi all! Wow what a summer!

Just finishing off a garden rehab that was started last summer. I have put in a vegetable garden for the first time in my life (potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, various herbs.....) and they need way more attention than I ever imagined. Oh where do the weeds come from?

I signed up for a once a month night market. I cannot seem to shake the urge to make "all new" stock for each event. I have been busy with experiments and prep that will hopefully see the light of day soon. (It definitely does not pay to try to reinvent yourself each time out.) 2 nights are complete and 2 more to go.

Hope these pieces intrigue you.