Saturday, August 28, 2010

Using Gemstones for Healing

So I got this book that explains the metaphysical properties of gemstones. Pretty much everyone knows their birthstone and what that stone represents.  In other culture, gemstones represent healing and chakra alignment. Crystal healing is a huge industry.
I am not sure how much I buy into that, but hey, it can't hurt. Planning jewelry for people with an eye to "boosting" systems they want boosted is apparently a new talent of mine.
I made jewelry for everyone I work with. I included quartz, which is supposedly good for people who work on computers a lot, in each one. I didn't take photos of all the stuff I made unfortunately.  I also made a bracelet for each neighbor.

This one is ocean jasper rounds (sacral & solar plexus chakras, stress reduction, adrenal function), pearls (hormone balance, harmonizes emotion, balances fluids in body), peridot (heart chakra, cell regeneration, neutralizes toxicities) and pewter.

This one is tree agate (stress reduction, recovery, increases optimism) & jasper squares (sacral & solar plexus chakras, stress reduction, adrenal function), tiny coral beads (good fortune), moonstone spears (hormonal balance, emotional stress), black agate and pewter.

This set is for a friend & is one of my personal favourites. It has fluorite rounds in green (heart chakra, heals emotional stress) and purple (heals bony structure of body, helps with physical trauma, mental focus) , fluorite purple chunks, moonstone spears, peridot, quartz rounds (cleansing & refocusing) and pewter spacer beads.

Because I tend to be really symmetrical, I got some fluorite large nuggets at the last show.  Unable to just mix them up, I separated them by color. This necklace I made for a friend who loves blue. It's ice blue fluorite, chunky potato pearls, pewter beads & clasp. Because I didn't like the way the bead wire showed between the irregular chunks, I separated each chunk with a tiny seed bead from Japan that is lined with silver.  The silver shines through and not only separates each chunk, it helps the light pass through and brightens the piece. I use this technique all the time now, but most often when I am working with irregular beads.
I liked the blue so much I made a second set.

This time I added pewter beads that make me think of waves. The fluorite is two colors of blue. The earrings were an experiment in seed beads paired with irregular chunks.  I ended up taking them apart because they did not please me, but the friends I showed them to seemed to like them.


I re-made the white glass necklace with copper-toned pearls and Venetian glass; accents are silver & copper beads, small pearls, and copper clasp.  Funny how the big pearls and the Venetian rounds make it so much more sophisticated.

I really liked these glass beads, they reminded me of leaves. I paired them with brown glass rounds and green glass Czech cylindrical beads, "pewties" spacers and a sterling leaf clasp to make myself a bracelet.  I made a necklace and earrings to match that I will add photos of later.

These are mixed glass bracelets. I was experimenting with the square and round shapes in summer colors.

I had a bunch of cobalt blue beads in numerous shapes; I love cobalt blue. I tried pairing drops, bicone crystals and flat round glass beads with crystals and sterling spacers and crystals. I liked it when I made it. Three months later I hated it so much I took it apart and still haven't done anything with the components.

I have a lot of glass beads still but have worked more with semi-precious gemstones. Documenting my artistic journey has made me want to go back and dig out the glass again!

The Art Glass Series

At the July bead show in Concord, I found these really beautiful Czech glass beads; rectangular in shape, about an inch long and with copper streaks shining through the color.  I bought them in green, white and ice blue.

This one I paried with copper-colored Czech glass beads, copper beads, opalite rounds and a copper clasp.

I paired the green with copper-green glass beads, green glass and aventurine rounds with copper clasp.

It's a little easier to see the colors in the bracelet.

I liked it even better when I paired the Czech glass with copper-coloured dyed pearls, blue pearls, sterling and copper beads, Venetian glass and copper clasp.  Yeah, I kept this one.

Friday, August 27, 2010

So after the wedding...

So after the wedding I was really itching to get going on some more beading-this time for yours truly.
So I did. Here's what I accomplished.

This is a goldstone necklace I made for me. I liked my daughter's set so much I just had to make one for me. I Paired it with  some ornate sterling beads and endcaps I got from my door prize from Elephant Eye Beads.  It breaks a cardinal rule of beading; when you put the heavier beads in front and the tiny beads in back, the thin line of small beads can cut into your neck from weight & cause discomfort. It doesn't, and it is still one of my favourite necklaces.  Don't you just love that sparkle?

I liked the diagonal drilled square amethysts. I paired them with sterling beads. I broke the cardinal rule again. And a few months later, I re-strung the whole thing but you'll have to wait to see that.:)
Isn't that diamond-shaped clasp something else?

I really liked the ceramic triskele pendant. A triskele is a Celtic symbol; Christians think it represents the Trinity, but in actuality it represents the three incarnations of the Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone.
I paired it with chrysocolla, with the same green and blue tones. I played with silver findings and was not happy with it. I liked it much better with gold toned beads; simple rounds seemed to do the trick. I spaced the smaller beads by interspersing larger chrysocolla and turquoise beads from Vintage Vogue. I later read that chrysocolla is often found where copper is mined and is often paired with copper; the metal and stone seem to have an affinity. That explains why the silver findings did not fit. I may re-make the lot with copper some day. Who knows?

This triskele in blue and white I paired with Lapis Lazuli in a variety of sizes and shapes, and with silver beads from Elephant Eye. It just pleases me.

I made this bracelet and earrings for Ditto-Czech glass  nautilus bead & tube beads, opalite (a man-made stone) rounds and sterling.  Seed pearls in the clip on earrings.

These oval beads are probably aventurine; the large rounds are quartz, the small beads are aventurine & the findings sterling. It makes me think of leaves.  I never wore it and ended up taking it apart.

And on I go...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Wedding Jewelry

So I mentioned that I had shopped several times at the bead stores in town. I had picked up some Celtic beads and had my friend Melissa make me some earrings and things, then she taught me how and I made pearl earrings then some bead earrings. The first bead show I went to with Melissa I was more a spectator- just got a few small things. The second I went to with Patti & Gini- I started conservatively but then ended up getting a whole bunch of things.  We took a lunch break and showed each other the stuff we'd picked out.  It was really interesting how differently we approached the hobby; Patti loves crystals and went heavy-handed on bling.  Gini is fire and had some really spectacular gemstones in that spectrum.  I had some moon-oriented findings, glass shells and earth and sky toned stones. I went back and got crystals to accent my projects, and some brighter stones than my usual wont.

So I got a really nice dress for the #1 son's wedding that was a lilac color with  taupe-colored embroidery on the jacket & neckline. I went to another bead show on my own, to pick up some more beads for my own project.  I was so emboldened by the good results from my first show that I kind of went to town & bought a lot. I got amethysts in every shape imaginable. I found purple-hued crystals that had brown tones in the light that matched my dress perfectly.   I got cats' eyes, coral, jasper, agate, goldstone.  I found some interesting clasps to finish off projects. I even won the $25 worth of merchandise door prize! I spent it on silver findings.

This is the necklace set I wore to the wedding. I got a lot of compliments and it continues to be one of my favourite sets. It's amethyst coins, rounds, ovals and crystals with sterling beads & clasp.

I don't know why it won't go vertical but whatever.
I really like amethyst.

Monday, August 23, 2010


As my beading skills progress, I wanted a forum in which to show my friends what I have created. Since I am  obsessive about photographing my creations, this should not be a problem.
I've been making earrings for a few years now. My visit to Hawai'i started me off when I picked up a bunch of pearls. Then I started using bead from the two bead shops in town. (Yes, we have TWO bead shops in town-it's kind of a mandatory hobby, I guess.)
My first creations were for my son's wedding. I made jewelry for myself, my daughter and a friend.

This was my first; a gift for my sister. I found the glass shells at a bead show. The beads are jasper and the clasp is gold. 

This is a coral and sterling silver simple necklace I made for my friend to go with her dress of white with black flower print.  I call it Wilma.

She can't wear pierced earrings so I made a few clips for her.
I liked them so much I made a few for myself.:)
Goldstone is a man-made semi-precious gemstone. Originally invented in the alchemic quest for making gold from other natural materials, it was made nearly exclusively by an Italian family, its recipe handed down through the generations. It comes in several colors, usually seen in a warm brown. I favour the dark blue with its silver glints.

My daughter's dress was blue, so I made this for her, accented with sterling spacers and Swarovsky jet black crystals. I also liked the funky sterling clasp- very modern, so I knew she'd like it.
Apparently, I neglected to take a picture of my own set, an amethyst and sterling creation that matched my lilac-colored gown. I guess that will be the topic of my next post.