Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A dear friend is traveling to China & Taiwan soon, and needed gifts for all her friends (she is originally from Taiwan). She purchased many necklaces from me for this purpose. While she was looking over all my available necklaces, she kept commenting on the necklace I was wearing. It is from my personal collection, made from an old brooch, with purple glass stones. It is one of my favorites....
It was missing a stone at the top, so I covered the hole with a piece of filigree!

Her interest in it motivated and inspired me to make some of my other old pins and brooches into necklaces....

First up is a blue butterfly pin I've had mere inches away from my bead desk for over a year (actually, me hoarding something for a year would be a short amount of time!) Let the digging begin. I dug through my blue beads to find beads to match. The round dotted beads are cool, I don't remember where I got them. They are round and covered with gold dust with the dots being sliced away, to reveal the blue glass under the gold. Kinda cool. The rest of the beads are left over bits I had in a baggie of mixed, mostly Czech, beads.
 How lucky that the butterfly's antennae had holes in the ends, to attach jump rings!!
 Next up is this fabulous rhinestone Art Deco piece. I do not know what it was in it's earlier life - it does not have a pin back or any other finding attached to the back, and no evidence anything was ever attached. It certainly looks like it would have been a dress clip, in my opinion. I got it at a garage sale a while ago. I've been on a Jesse James bead kick lately (making Pandora-ish necklaces on ball chain) and the 2 white beaded beads are left-overs from that, as well as the square crystal beads, and the green faceted rondells. The opaque round green beads near the front are vintage (from a broken vintage necklace). The balance of beads are Czech glass, or vintage rhinestone beads and spacers (from Margola Imports). This necklace is a bit longer than I normally make, about 24" or so.
 Another angle....she doesn't have any bad angles!
 A close up of the rhinestone focal. It has 3 green cat's eye glass cabs.
I threaded wire through holes in the design to create the wire wrapped loops.
 And, what fabulous necklace would be complete with out matching earrings? The oval melon beads are a bit greener in real life than this photo shows,
 This next necklace is made entirely with left-overs from the Jesse James beads mentioned above. These beads have normal sized holes, and wouldn't work on the ball chain. I added the Vintaj filigree bead caps, jump rings and chain, and wire. The smaller beads towards the back are slightly lighter in color and the 2 bigger ones towards the from have a slight AB finish. But they all still match each other.
 This necklace looks like something a royal would wear (except they'd be real gems, not glass).

These necklaces are a bit blingy-er (more blingy?) than my usual style, yet they are still "me". I do like crystals with the Vintaj brass, like opposites attracting each other.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sheryl's bracelet

A while ago, I received a phone message out of the blue from a woman named Sheryl. She was given my name and number at one of the galleries I sell my jewelry in. She really liked my style and wondered if I'd be willing to take her broken jewelry and create something new with the parts.
This is not something I had done before, but I agreed to meet her, and look at her broken jewelry. I knew that if she liked blingy, shiny things, I'd be in trouble (I do a little bling from time to time, but I really don't do shiny). I probably should not have been nervous. After all, she said she like my jewelry in the gallery.
We set up a meeting. She is really a lovely woman, and she loves jewelry, especially jewelry made with natural stones. While that's up my alley, it's hard to make stone jewelry on 20 gauge wire, since the holes are usually too small.
She also really likes the necklaces I make with Mahjong playing pieces. I am "famous" in her circle of friends..."this is the jewelry designer that makes the Mahjong necklaces..." she says. Her friends reply knowingly "Ahh".
I took on 4 or 5 projects and she was happy with them all. I made 2 Mahjong necklaces for her, with my mahjong piece and her beads and a few other necklaces using her beads.

So, over the last several months, I've made jewelry for her. And I did some minor repair work on a couple pieces. I really wish I'd taken photos of the jewelry I made, so I could post the photos here.
But I forgot. (with my head lowered in regret)

But I have finished a bracelet re-design for Sheryl, and, believe it or not, I took photos!!
Here is the before photo, sorry it's not great. I took this photo, to get her feedback on the surrounding beads. This bracelet was heavy and had two clasps. There is a carved Sterling clasp that is lovely, but it felt a bit too curved to fit a normal wrist. The focal, which is Sterling and Lapis, is also a clasp. I decided to only use the focal as the clasp (that leaves the other clasp for another project).
Here is the before photo...
Here it is "after". I looked through my stash of blue beads to see what matched the Lapis focal. It took me a couple months to firm up my idea. I knew it had to be at least 3 strands, so I made one strand chain, one strand beads, and the third strand chain and beads. There's lots of Czech glass, some lapis and sodalite beads, some cloisonné. While the clasp is Sterling, I did not use any other Sterling components, which was fine with her. (this would have been fabulously expensive if I had) And I added in some green beads with the blue beads.

 We met a few weeks ago, so she could see it and try it on. It was a tad too big (she has petite wrists!) I switched out some larger beads for some smaller beads and removed a couple links of chain.
We met up again this weekend. It fits her wrist like a charm! I hope she is happy with it and will wear it often.