Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Focus Pieces-Turquoise

 So, early this summer my friend and I went to a gem show. It was pretty huge and I had a pretty good time. One interesting thing I found was a string with about seven or nine focal point pieces of all assorted kinds. I thought to myself what a great idea- there's an easy start to a necklace and I can just build components I have around the focal.  I think I got four or five strings.
I had a great sunny afternoon putting them all into groups by color, and then adding strands of filler beads, stone, glass and pearl that looked good.  I have to do it on a sunny day because the true light lets me make color combinations that just don't work when I do it by artificial light at night-the next day I
Then I got busy.
My first bunch of necklaces were based on turquoise. Yeah, I am pretty sure it's what Willis the Beadmeister calls "Faque Turquoise"; dyed magnesite.   Maybe if I had a shop I was selling this stuff in I'd spring for the real thing but not right now.
 This one was a gift for a friend. I loved the pendant. I paired it with some big pewter beads, and blue beads and some turquoise colored large seed beads. I made her some earrings as well.

This one was also a gift set, using the same blue beads. I shook it up by using these different pewter beads. I liked the markings on them-they make me think of waves.

For this one I used chips, separated by Miyuki seed beads, chalcedony faceted beads accented with pewter bead caps, gold-dyed pearls, and gold-dyed mother-of-pearl coins. The gold-colored striations in the focal stones made the gold accents a perfect foil for the gold-colored accents used in this series.


 For the next one, I used rectangular turquoise-colored magnesite and rounds, and bronze-colored pearls to go with the darker striations in the focal piece.
 For this piece, I used chunks of magnesite, rounds, and bronze small and large pearls, pewter accent beads.
At this point, I was getting a little tired or turquoise, so I put a few draft pieces aside and went on to some other colors that I will showcase next.
I set up combinations, put them in a baggie, and piled the baggies in a box.  When I had a few minutes, I would take one out and start playing around.  That made it much easier to keep going and keep myself entertained.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

All About Me (Part 2)

I made a green necklace for St Patrick's Day. Last year, I realized I had very little green in my closet; this has been rectified and now green rivals purple in the closet.  Thus I needed some green pieces to wear with the green duds.  This is dark green aventurine.

It's paired with larger (4mm) agate beads, smaller (3mm) onyx beads, pewter Celtic squares, and sets off my sterling silver triskele ex-earring-turned pendant (lone survivor of a pair).
That's a pewter hook clasp with Celtic-style design.
Here's a close-up, however fuzzy.

So after coming back from the destination wedding (it was a destination for us, not for them!), I set about playing around for myself.  I took an earring that had a long-lost mate, and turned it into the centerpiece for a necklace.  I had planned to use Labradorite; I love its opalescence. Oddly enough, when I lined it up, I ended up useing Prehnite, a pale green African stone.
 No fancy spacers for this; just onyx beads to emphasize the tiny black streaks in the translucent stone, peridot to enhance the green and Miyuki silver-lined seed beads to separate & make them pop.  I had fun making the dangly earrings; they continue to be my favourite pair right now.  Here's a close-up.

Then I just had to make myself something with this yummy faceted lemon quartz. It didn't need much of anything to dress it up, so I just spaced it with Czech crystals & my trademark use of Miyuki  seed beads-this time gold-lined.  Sophisticated is what I was aiming for & I think I got it.

And dangly earrings to complement it; seed bead, cold-colored spacers and crystals.

I know this post is about my own stash, but I had to make something with the lemon quartz for my sister.  I paired it with citrine chips and gold-tone beads. Yeah, and some dangly earrings, too.

Then I used the leftover citrine chips and paired it with some large chips-my friend thinks they're glass, but I think they are dyed quartz or dyed fluorite.  I added jasper and seed beads.

The elementary school my kids went to had art and music as full subjects; when they were setting it up, the teachers all applied for grants.  The art teacher got funding for a kiln.  I have a lot of ceramic pieces the kids made.  Dan made a bunch of beads. I could never figure out what to do with them so I got my friend to string them.  Then I found some huge pewter beads and decided to re-string the set.  I wear it a lot more now.

This is another re-do; I removed the tiny opalite rounds on the back of the neck, added more pewter stars and opalite coins and moonstone spears.  It's a lot more balanced now. I also added a few strands to the earrings.

Here's the close-up.

I did the same with the amethyst squares; took out the smaller rounds on the rear of the necklace and balanced out the piece with square Celtic pewter beads drilled on the diagonal like the amethysts.

Here's a close up.

Did I show you the set I made for my son's wedding? I can't remember, so I'll show it here now.

This is a ceramic focal piece I had for a long time.  I finally decided to pair it with 3mm "fossil" agate, 4 mm howlite and pewter flowers.

Then I finally made the labradorite set. I used a sterling silver dragon that had captivated me as a focal point.  I used labradorite rectangular beads separated by pewter frame beads that contained labradorite ovals.  I used a few onyx beads on the dangling dragon. For separators, I used pyrite; everyone knows a dragon must have gold (however foolish).

Close-up; LOVE that opalescent glow.  I even like the dark specks. My friend hates this stone and thinks it looks dirty. I love the look, the feel, the weight.

So that's my stash. The next few posts will highlight some more stuff I have made for friends, and necklaces I have made just to be making things.