Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Wedding Jewelry

When I planned my vacation time for the year, I talked my son and his lovely wife into going to Australia with me.  They had been before their wedding to visit their best friends who are living there.  We booked for a week in May, which was all the time the kids could get off.  And then their friends announced- they decided to get married while we were there!
Next thing we know, there is a party of us traveling and a great deal of excitement. 
I asked the bride what she was doing for wedding jewelry, and she replied she didn't know. So I offered to make it for her-and she said yes!
This is a project of incredible magnitude, and great excitement for me.
She emailed me pictures of a few things she liked, and told me the color scheme.
I emailed her photos of all the beads I have (quite overwhelming, I have a lot).
She liked the Venetian glass best.

Around Easter, I had the kids over for dinner with the express idea of picking my daughter-in-law's brain for design- after all, she is close friends with the bride.  And she fell in love with a blue crystal I had hanging around.  We used that as the focus, and slowly build a design from glass bugle beads, sterling beads and Venetian glass.  This is the prototype.

It has silver foil beads, bugle beads, Swarovski crystals, pearls & the center crystal; Meredith designed it. We used the pale blue Venetian glass above.
We Skyped, and she liked it; the design was official.
Next, we designed bracelets for the bridesmaids.

Afterward, I did a few prototype designs for earrings.

I just can't make it not be sideways. Sorry about that.

Anyhow, my only worry was the two blues in the necklace, so I sent her a closeup.

She decided to go with the white Venetian glass instead of the blue.
You can really see the detail- the tiny square silver beads, the large foil silver beads, the Swarovsky AB bicones and the little white pearls. That crystal pendant is real bling.
So I finished the set with a really neat, modern sterling clasp.

 So it ended up looking like this:

I made earrings to go with the bridesmaids' bracelets.  Meredith especially loved the sterling wave clasps.

 My daughter-in-law Meredith loves color, so she designed her bracelet with brighter Venetian beads, and added in some blue glass beads as well.

I also decided to make a bracelet for the bride and groom's mothers, who were also attending.  I wanted them to have a keepsake and I thought having somethings with the same design might add to the sentimental value of it.  I knew the bride's mom was wearing teal, so I made hers with teal Venetian glass.  I guessed on the groom's mom and used blue.  It was a good guess- she wore a lot of blue and wrote me a lovely thank you note when we got home.

This is not the best bridal photo- I have hundreds-but it shows the jewelry off really well, so forgive me, Amanda.  I think that at 2:30 am the bride still looked like she was having a great time.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


So this post shows my forays into earring-making, and how that has developed.
I have given away so many earrings that I didn't document by photographing and now I wish I had.
It all started with the pearls, remember?

These are coin pearls in a copper tone, with seed pearls.

The upper left are a maroon oval pearl-somehow I found other pearl rounds that matched.
Upper right is the complement to my own Wilma coral necklace. I can't remember if the findings are pewter or sterling. I think pewter, but am not sure.
Lower left is an early effort- white potato pearls. I used to wear these a lot.
Lower right; I got these semi-frosted glass beads at Vintage Vogue & really liked them. They are paired with Japanese seed beads on the largish size, also from VV, and silver beads.  I made two pairs- my friend Ros and her friend Lynda were staying over here and Lynda loved the purple so much I gave them to her.  She sent me some Celtic knot earrings from Wales as a thank you- and I wear those a lot as well.

Top left is Lapis Lazuli-these go with my Celtic lapis necklace.
Top right is turquoise and chrysocolla to go with my other Celtic necklace.
Bottom right is aventurine, silver, pewter & Czech glass-it goes with my leafy glass necklace & bracelet.
Bottom right is a close up of my carnelian set's earrings.  I just love the striations in that carnelian.

As I got more confident with wire work I started branching out from just a single dangling head pin...

These are aventurine cylindrically-shaped beads paired with cobalt glass beads from VV. I made these to go with an aventurine & cobalt necklace Kate had given me a few years ago.

This is Czech crystal paired with gold-toned beads & Miyuki seed beads lined with gold, strung on gold-tone wire. Sparkly!

You'll see the necklace this goes to later on. It's Prehnite, peridot & black agate with Miyuki seed beads lined in silver.  Look, Ma, no head pins!

All About Me

After making a bunch of things for friends, I turned to making some stuff for myself. I also tried thinking outside the box and shaking up my colors a bit. I have a tendency to stick to sea and twilight colors for myself.

This is my own red necklace with pewter spacers and three sizes of dyed coral.

This is my carnelian set. I loved the patterns on each oval bead. I paired it with carnelian rounds, onyx rounds and gold-tone beads & clasp. See? I am capable of making and wearing gold once in a while.
(I still always prefer silver and have had a love affair with pewter from the first time I ever engraved it.)

This necklace was originally made by Kate as a gift for me. It was too tight, she miscalculated the length. She got some more onyx beads to finish it but gave it to me to do as she was in the middle of moving.  It's jasper rounds separated by onyx 3mm rounds.  I liked the way she spaced it, so all I did was add onyx to the length. Then I made me some earrings to match. I subtracted the jasper rounds from the necklace & put them in the earrings so that the final count of jasper would not come to thirteen.