Saturday, February 27, 2010

Prehnite and Tanzanite Earrings

I've started using my newest beads to make some earrings and necklaces.  Most of what I've made is for an upcoming show I have at Picture This Art Gallery in April.  But a small selection will be listed on etsy instead. 

These brand new earrrings feature flattened marquis shaped prehnite beads accompanied by small tanzanite rondelles.  The color combination screams "spring" to me!  The pale green with the periwinkle is a bit unexpected, but I think, lovely.

These earrings are for sale in my etsy shop.  Remember, I still have a 20% off sale going on.  Simply make your purchase and I will refund the 20% via paypal.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Vintage Jewelry

As recently as last December, I expressed  (maybe on twitter?) that I was considering selling off my collection of vintage jewelry.  So, why then did I go ahead and buy some more while in Arizona?  The answer is, because I love it and will never part with it, regardless of what I might say!

In my early days of collecting -- about 15 years ago -- I could see how this could get out of control very easily, so I made some rules.  The basic rule is that the piece has to be composed primarily of beads.  It's not that I have anything against rhinestones, but my life revolves around beads and it seemed fitting that I collect bead jewelry.

This is getting too wordy, so I'll just skip to the pictures of my latest acquisitions: these four necklaces that I found in antique stores in Scottsdale.

If a necklace is in poor condition (like the 2nd one, which broke as I was staging it for this photo), I have no qualms about deconstructing it and salvaging the beads for new uses.  The aqua blue necklace is another story altogether.  It's in pretty good shape and absolutely gorgeous.  It will probably become a display item in my studio.  And that's fine.  I'll smile every time I look at it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Barrette Collector

When I was a kid, I always had short hair.  I kept it short through my 20's.  When we moved aboard our sailboat in 1988, I decided to grow my hair long.  I've been collecting barrettes ever since.  I store them clipped to belts that are hanging from hooks in my closet.  That way, I can see them all at a glance.  Pretty clever, huh?

I have polymer clay barrettes, beaded barrettes, fused glass barrettes, carved wood barrettes, birch bark barrettes (favs), metal barrettes -- I think you get the idea.  I have barrettes . A lot.

While browsing etsy one day last year, I found Restringit, who was offering these awesome mixed metal barrettes at an extremely reasonable price.  I bought two.


Aren't they great?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Journal Sale !

I've decided to have a sale in my other etsy shop, A Peaceful Life.  I have 16 spiral bound journals listed there.  The sale is Buy One, Get One Free!  That deal is hard to beat.  Shop, make your purchase and I will refund the appropriate amount through paypal.  Easy peasy.

Here are a couple of the journals listed:


Monday, February 22, 2010

New Whiskey Quartz Earrings

Warning -- these are huge!  Not only are they huge, but they're gorgeous too.  The faceting is amazing and the color is that of golden honey with a touch of olive green.

These earrings are for sale in my etsy shop.  Click on the photo to go directly to the listing.

Remember, my 20% off-everything-sale is still going on in my shop!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Desert Botanical Garden

While in Scottsdale, Carol & I made a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.  It was just a short drive from our hotel.  The day we visited was extraordinarily warm.  Carol used the word hot, but I reserve that for the 90's and higher.

Just inside the entrance were some gorgeous bright green succulents.  Or so we thought.


Turns out, these gorgeous "plants" are glass made by Dale Chihuly.  Aren't they fabulous? 

Friday, February 19, 2010


You've seen most of my new gem purchases and you can imagine that I'm excited to start playing and designing with those new gems.  So, to help move some older inventory, I'm having a sale in my etsy shop.  Everything is 20% off through the end of the month. 

The prices you see are the original ones.  I will issue a paypal refund for the 20% discount after your purchase is complete.  Now is the perfect time to get that pair of earrings or necklace you've had your eye on.

I'll leave you with a photo of a brand new listing in my shop.  These earrings are already so reasonably priced at $17.  It's an even better deal at 20% off!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

And ... I bought a ring for myself

This ring is so different from any of my other jewelry, but I fell in love with it immediately.  It's big, bulky and a bit heavy.  My hands are really pretty small, so this ring looks even bigger when worn.  It's a very fun design.

I found it in the booth of a woman selling all sorts of crafts from Thailand including Hill Tribe beads and lots of silk scarves and shawls.  Yes, I bought a small amount of Hill Tribe stuff too.

The condition of my hands is a bit embarrassing.  I'll blame it on the weather and not on my age.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tucson Gem Show Purchases . Part IV

I know for a fact that Brandi is not bored by these photos, so I'll continue, if only for her visual enjoyment.

There was a serious lack of quality carnelian, peridot and iolite in my stash.  I fixed it with these strands you see here.  Both the peridot and iolite are larger than those I usually see.

Now for some honey colored chalcedony and smooth labradorite briolettes.  Can't seem to get enough labradorite.  Anyone else have that problem?  I'm sure I'm not alone.

Now for the biggest splurge of all (right after that London Blue Topaz).  These sapphires are gorgeous and range in color from a traditional blue to greens to golden to pink to almost crystal clear.  I have no idea what I'll do with them ... yet ... and no, you can't have any.  They're all mine.  Mine.

There are plenty more gems, but that's it for the photos of them.  I hope you enjoyed the show!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tucson Gem Show Purchases . Part III

The saga continues with more gemmy photos.  Are you drooling yet?  I know that I am indeed drooling and I can't wait to actually start working with some of these gorgeous gems.

Here are some tiny peridot brios, long marquis shaped smoky quartz (I have a serious weakness for this shape), chubby marquis shaped whisky quartz and rose quartz.

Now for some cardamom cut (at least that's what he called it!) fluorite, big fat deep blue sapphire brios and more cardamom cut green amethysts.

Last one for today: rose quartz and amethyst chubby, but shorter marquis cut brios.

I think I have one more day of photos.  I hope I haven't bored you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tucson Gem Show Purchases . Part II

I managed to take some more photos today and I'm still not done with all the sorting and cataloging of my new gemstones.

Dark pink chalcedony and bright green onyx, both in a generously sized briolette.

Convex cut whiskey quartz briolette and some petite rutilated quartz brios.  These smaller stones will make great earrings.  The definition in the rutiles is amazingly clear.

 Beautiful moonstone with plenty of flash and some really large labradorite briolettes.

While I visited some of my regular suppliers in Tucson, I was very pleased to find three new vendors.  Not that they were new to Tucson, just new to me.  The variety of stones available in Tucson always amazes me, as does finding a new vendor anxious to do business with a one-woman operation such as mine.  A friendly dealer who is willing to spend time answering my questions makes for such a pleasant experience.  Sometimes that personal touch really goes a long way in developing a good working relationship.  They know I'm not a huge customer (like a bead store in a big city), but they know I'll be back next year.

Tune in tomorrow for even more beautiful gem photos.  Then maybe I'll share some photos from the Desert Botannical Garden in Phoenix.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tucson Gem Show Purchases . Part I

Carol & I landed at the Anchorage airport last night around midnight.  We had a fabulous gem buying trip to Tucson followed by an equally terrific visit to Scottsdale.  All together, we were gone 10 days.  It was a great way to spend Carol's milestone (50th !) birthday.

Now it's time to share some gem photos with you!  The primary gem in the photo is a strand of gorgeous London Blue Topaz briolettes.  Above you can see part of a strand of large labradorite briolettes.  

From top to bottom, here are quartz (whiskey or cognac) brios, deep turquoise apatite brios and long, large prehnite brios. (See this post from last year to hear about my theory of the variety of quartzes)

Stay tuned -- tomorrow, I'll share some more gem photos.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pretty in Pink . Pearls . Tourmaline . Earrings

These earrings are a bit different and came into being while looking at my beads with a new set of eyes, much the same way as these earrings.  The pink pearls have proven difficult for me to use effectively, as they are drilled on the diagonal.  Of course, they look great strung together and form a chevron pattern, but I was tired of that look.

Wrapping the pearls with sterling silver wire, straight across the top, leaves a line of wire from the exit hole to the top wrap.  I suspended a pink tourmaline rondelle from that bit of wire.  Different, huh?

You can click on the photo to go directly to the listing and see how these earrings look when hanging.

Quick note -- I will be out of town February 3-14.  I hope to do a little blogging while in Tucson about the shows and my bead purchases :)