Sharing the passion for Jewellery and Jewellery making

Just before Christmas, someone at work asked me if I made wedding jewellery – having never made anything specifically bridal before, I hedged my bets with a non-committal “of course” ūüôā¬† So the last month has been spent searching through the internet, books and my limited imagination to get ideas for wedding jewellery.

The result was a Tiara, necklace and bracelet that I think are not too bad for first efforts.  The Tiara has a fairy queen type feel to it, whereas the necklace and bracelet have a winter wedding aura.

The soft toys in the photo’s¬†don’t have names, but they both do things; the cat meows when you pull its tail (I do not condone pulling a live cats tail, mine would definitely withdraw my privileges to live in its house!)¬†¬†and the dog walks, barks and does backwards somersaults – just my little stress release thing, and anyway they look cute…….

Seed Pearl Coil bracelet Gold & Silver coil necklace

 
The great thing about wedding jewellery is finding the romance is the wire, gemstones and design of the piece.  I went for the idea of the fairy tale princess, and felt that white pearl, crystal and a combination of gold and silver would be fabulous for Cinderella and her contemporaries.  I would love to do a commission for wedding jewellery, matching the colour scheme, the dreams and hopes of the happy couple and my imagination, and feel that I have some way to making the day magical for the bride and groom.
 

Pearl & Crystal Tiara
I have worn the Tiara twice since I made it; firstly on New Years eve at a Royal themed party and just last weekend at a Royal Golden Jubilee themed charity Aerobathon.  Yes, you read that correctly Рtwo hours of Salsa, Zumba and Aerobics in a Tiara, I have such an exciting life!
 
Let me know what you think, perhaps about the jewellery or the toys:)

Ah, another of my favourite gemstones, I just love to play with Labradorite in different lights and when I wear it I find myself moving more than usual to get the light to dance on them.

This Picture shows the wonderful schiller that appears on the stone when the light hits it just right, and its amazing. The blue, green and gold shown here are wonderful, I have also seen purple sparkle out of Labradorite gems!  The play of colour contrasts with the grey or black of the stone, and transforms it from a potentially dull stone into a stunning gemstone.

 

About Labradorite:

Labradorite is found in the area around  Labrador, Canada. It has also been reported in Norway and various other locations worldwide.

 

Labradorite occurs in mafic igneous rocks and is the feldspar variety most common in basalt and gabbro. 

It occurs in large crystal masses in anorthosite and shows a play of colors called labradorescence. The labradorescence, or schiller effect, is the result of light refracting within lamellar intergrowths resulting from phase exsolution on cooling in the Boggild miscibility gap. (From Wikipedia)  In other words, the schiller is caused by light refracting from crystal inclusions under the surface of the the stone.

Mystic properties:

A stone of transformation, Labradorite is a useful companion through change, imparting strength and perseverance.  It balances and protects the aura, raises consciousness and grounds spiritual energies.  Excellent for strengthening intuition-promoting psychic abilities.  Powerful in revealing the truth behind illusions, Labradorite banishes fears and insecurities, and strengthens faith in the self and trust in the universe.  It stimulates the imagination and calms an overactive mind, developing enthusiasm and new ideas.

Healing properties:

Labradorite treats disorders of the eyes and brain, stimulates mental acuity, and relieves anxiety and stress.  It regulates metabolism, balances hormones and relieves menstrual tension.  Labradorite treats colds, gout, and rheumatism, lowers blood pressure, and aids in digestion. (From Charm of Light)

Black Labradorite and Howlite Necklace

    I made this necklace for wearing over winter jumpers, and it is a wonderful   combination of textures and components that capture light in different ways. 

The ‘chain’ is a lovely silver angular gimp that simply sparkles.¬† The Labradorite is faceted and twinkles blue as you move through out the day and the Howlite has a wonderful marbling of grey to blend it with the black of the labradorite.¬†

I wanted to do something with tassels, so I have made a simple chain tassel that flows against you fluidly as you move and obviously catches all light sources marvelously.

Howlite is a relatively inexpensive gemstone, but I think that the pure white of the stone with its marbling of grey makes it quite striking.  Until I began to make jewellery in earnest I had never heard of it but now it is my standard gem when making monochrome pieces or adding background for a dominant colour.

I hope you like my design and have learnt something about the wonders of Labradorite, please let me know your thought by posting comments, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Chandelier Drops

What a wonderful few days….

Yesterday at work I was helping our Maintenance chap to clear out rubbish that had accumulated around the site (the things I volunteer for!  But I do believe that Managers need to get down and dirty sometimes).  I not only found a £10 note, but then found hidden away in our Storage/Workshop unit a horde of Crystal Chandelier Drops.  They are not faceted, but beautifully crafted just the same and I immediately thought of jewellery.

I am going away for the weekend tonight so won’t get chance to play with them until next week but I have lots of wonderful ideas for these gorgeous crystal beauties.¬†

Chandelier Rain Drop crystal
Chandelier Smooth Almond crystal

I am beginning to think that I might have been a Magpie in a previous life!  It never fails to delight me the infinite variety of items that can be put to fabulous use in Jewellery.

 

I have been busy with Mary’s Treasure and finally have some pieces¬†of jewellery to present.¬† The pictures are my usual poor quality but I am working on that with the help of BeadGem and Beading Daily.¬† These blogs have both recently ¬†featured articles on how to photograph jewellery and this will probably be my personal¬†challenge over the Christmas break.

You will find below five different ‘looks’ which have developed naturally¬†as I cut and sorted the original nine necklaces.¬† The white necklace is proving stubborn to dismantle and I am considering ways to use it as it is but jazz it up, and the Haematite and Pearl twisted choker I like so much as it is that I still have not dismantled it (and probably won’t unless I get some really incredible inspiration).¬† I still have loads of beads left over and I will continue to make more necklaces, bracelets etc, but in the meantime I hope you like the few bits that I have made so far:

Cascade Choker

 

¬†¬†¬†¬† The choker on the left¬†is made from¬†5 and 6mm black faceted beads that were spacers in one of Mary’s necklaces.¬† I have added 4mm silver beads to add a bit of drama.¬† It is a simple design, but very effective on the neckline, with a bit of sparkle and understated elegance.

 
Mary’s Glass bead set

The glass beads in this set caught my imagination immediately, they were not obvious in the original necklace, but I felt that they are beautiful and deserved to be a focal point of a very simple necklace set.  The beads are clear glass decorated in blue, green, and gold.  I have set them in the necklace with black faceted and plain gold round beads and it is all hung on a double strand of gold coloured beading wire.

 

Three strand bracelet

The colours in this bracelet are vibrant and varied and made a lovely multi-strand bracelet.¬† I have used small Haematite¬†tube beads as spacers to give a little sparkle against the quite matt finish of the acrylic beads.¬† Even the haematite came from Mary’s collection and I am pleased that I have been able to create something so very different to the necklace’s that originally held these beads.

 
Recycling and re-designing pre-owned jewellery is so rewarding, and as you can see from the results so far you can make jewellery that is suitable for evening, smart day and casual wear with a little thought and imagination.

Spiral Pendant

 
 

I made this pendant to show off the gorgeous colours of the beads and also to show that bead jewellery does not have to be bead heavy in order to make a statement.  This type of pendant would look fantastic over a black PoloNeck jumper, and I think I will try to make a smaller version for earrings which would just complete the look.

A Hint of Xmas

The large twisted green beads are wonderfully shaded in a variety of hues and just called out to have a seasonal theme.¬† I made the beady bead from my stash to try out the bicone embellishment, not really thinking about the colours and when I had finished I just knew that it had to go with Mary’s green twisted beads.¬† Not only are the colours so traditionally Christmas, but my favourite colours are Red and Green so if I still have¬†this necklace¬†at Christmas then it will definitely be around my neck as¬†I quaff a little Christmas cheer with friends.

I will continue to reinvigorate old jewellery as it is becoming a passion, and it feels so good to breath new life into gems and beads that can give pleasure all over again.

Pretty in Pink

I have been busy making jewellery with my Gizmo (jewellery makers will know what this wonderful gadget is and how it makes life so much easier).  I am still working on more elaborate designs and will post some soon, but please take a look at one of my first attempts.

This has been made with pink glass pearls, acrylic bicones and cubes and glass hearts.  The beads are set on silver plated headpins and rolled to give a coil effect setting, with occasional spirals to compliment and contrast the rest of the focal bead setting.  Then this piece is attached to bright pink coils for the choker, set with a handmade clasp in matching pink wire.Glass & Acrylic beads in shades of Pink with bright pink coil choker

I have also made a blue version with blue banded Agate, blue Quartz, Labrodorite and Pyrite, it is so comfortable to wear and I love the bright blue wire contrasting with the gemstones.  The blue shiller on Labrodorite make this a perfect partner for blue gemstones and I just love the gem anyway.

Gemstones and wire            I sold the pink choker, but the person wanted the centre piece on cord which I did in a slip knot to fit everyone.  This left me with the coil choker; from which I have made a necklace of pink dyed Imperial Jasper, Pyrite flowers and small multi coloured Quartz drops. I have given this necklace a long pendant/dangle of gemstones which completely changes the coils from a choker to an elegant if dramatic necklace.

Please do not be shy to comment on the jewellery or blog РI can only get better with constructive feedback.

Thinking Ahead

It’s a gloriously sunny October day, no coat required and I am ‘thinking ahead’ for a change.¬† I have recently started making a range of affordable small pieces of jewellery, often acrylic and glass to keep the cost down, that would be ideal¬† ‘stocking fillers’ for Christmas or quick and easy Birthday presents.

Handbag & keyring charms   Handbag charms and key rings can be very attractive and inexpensive, but would make a lovely small additional gift for Christmas or a Birthday.  Some of the charms on the left have been made with the Turkish eye symbol for good luck and the red one has a cluster of garnet chips which carry a whole book full of mystic properties, for example

  • ¬†¬† Give peace in your mind.
  • ¬†¬† Enhance your cleverness.
  • ¬†¬† Increase the feeling of¬†pride and hearty sense.

 With the recent flood of awards ceremonies and fashion weeks everyone has seen the latest in jewellery fashion.  Earrings seem to be long and bold at the moment so I am adding some dangly chain earring to go with the selection pictured below.  Layering bracelets and cuffs are very fashionable, and give a wow factor to costume jewellery.  Cocktail rings are also big and bold with lots of bling and can be made adjustable so that they can fit any size finger.   My favourite of the moment is a 5cm round flower ring made from purple dyed shell beads and faux pearls.  It definately gets you noticed.

Christmas ideas are relatively simple to make and everyone likes a little sparkle¬†in their¬†Christmas whether it’s a gift or something to wear¬†for the party season.¬† Selection of EarringsChain earrings¬†I think I am going to be busy for the next few months, and enjoying every minute of it.

 

I just wanted to let you know that my colleague really liked her new purchases – the multi-strand was just the right length and colouring for her and she tells me that I was spot on with the design for her Daughter-in-law. Feeling good now, but I will be just as awestruck when the next person asks me to make something for them.