Tag Archives: stones

Wednesday, June 15th

15 Jun


Semi-precious stones suspended from a sterling chain. I made this at least 20 years ago. Funny, it seems so tentative to me now.


Thursday, June 9th

9 Jun


I made this necklace years ago when my oldest daughter was just about two-and-a-half. I took my first trip away from her, an over-nighter to NYC for a quick trade-show visit. I knew she’d be fine. I missed her terribly, but I also really enjoyed a take-out dinner in my hotel room and a long evening of being all alone. Of course, I always travel with beads. This is the necklace I created. The reproduction typewriter key beads say ‘nearby’ and you can probably imagine who I was thinking about.

Saturday, May 21st

21 May

This necklace is made with American Beauty turquoise and a very old rhinestone button.

I actually did make this for my friend Joan, but she designed it.

When it was finished she decided it looked better on me and gave it to me.

A lovely gift.


Tuesday, May 10th

12 May

This necklace is faceted green garnet beads with smokey quartz and a crystal point. There is a really lovely old Bali clasp on the back.

I strung this rather heavy necklace on fine Soft Flex. Those garnets have the teeniest, tiniest holes you could imagine.

This is an example of a necklace that is a complete dud to me. I never wear it. Somehow it seems so plain and not at all ‘right’ with any outfit.

I think I’ll cut it up and try again.

Have you ever done that?


Saturday, April 30th

30 Apr


Monday, April 25th

25 Apr

I made this necklace after seeing a book by Mary Hettmansburger that featured woven wire jewelry. The book has basket pendants, woven cuffs and woven spirals. I made a few tiny wire baskets pretty quickly, no directions needed (my Appalachian roots helped me out there) but the coiled, shell-like design didn’t come so naturally.

I used heavy-gauge square wire for the neck wire. It’s comfy and cool in hot weather.

Friday, April 22nd

22 Apr


This long strand of tiny copper beads has an Elaine Ray handmade ceramic heart tied onto it with mustard-colored silk cording. It’s a really simple design, but this necklace somehow works for so many days. I wore it on Friday, traipsing around New Bern, NC, with my family. We were in and out of several Colonial-era homes and gardens and at least one gift shop. We saw Federal-style windows, Withdrawing Rooms, spinettes, pot hooks, butler’s closets and more bonnet-wearing Interpreters than you can shake a stick at. The day was lovely.

Tuesday, April 5th

5 Apr


I have to remember to have my husband take my picture early in the day. Today I forgot and it’s about 10:00 pm and I am tired. I taught a class and did about 1,000 other things already today.

One thing that was good was that I wore this necklace. I love this necklace. It has Imperial Jasper, carnelian discs, vintage 1800’s green amber beads, old cloisonne, coral, wood, mother-of-pearl, you name it. I made this on a trip where I packed a bag with many ‘favorite’ beads that hadn’t been used. I intended to pack a bunch of filler items as well but somehow forgot. Over that weekend I made five go-for-broke necklaces filled with some of my very favorite beads.  All just strung up; I didn’t have chain or anything else to use with the beads. Each necklace was different but they all share some common beads and they actually look good together, in a very Frieda Kahlo way.

I have just decided that this blog will sometimes include layered necklaces (meaning two or more at a time) but that when I do that at least one of the items I wear will be a ‘new’ design. That way I can show you how this looks all stacked up one day.

Right now I’m headed to sleep.

Monday, April 4th

4 Apr


Large, rice-shaped goldstone beads strung with a seven-strand clasp. Not adjustable in length, but then it doesn’t need to be.

I made this necklace several years ago as part of a collection for Bedizen. I envisioned it as being just a bit soap-opera-ish. You know, those dressed-up ladies always wore major jewelry and big clip earrings they took off to talk on the phone. A Chanel suit or at the very least a St. John suit. Heels. Hair that was styled. Yes, I am talking about Susan Lucci. I love that whole look. The absolute level of grooming impresses me for some reason. This wasn’t my look at the time. Even now I’m not exactly dressed-up even when I am dressed-up. I admire a St. John suit but I don’t own any and really, wouldn’t know how to wear it.

When I made this necklace I was doing a bit of work for a department store based in Texas. They were purchasing some multi-strand, sparkly glass bead bracelets and I really thought they’d like this necklace and the other pieces in the collection. There were dramatic earrings made on beading screens (very 1950’s!) and a bracelet that matched this necklace.

The department store didn’t like this necklace.

The length was good. The antique brass clasp was wrong (they wanted brighter gold-tone.) The orangey goldstone didn’t sell. It was a weird color for the trends at the time. Too rusty. I really liked it, though, and was happy to keep the sample. I still have the earrings, too, but if I wear them both together I feel like I need to get a suit and style my hair.

Monday, March 28th

28 Mar

This necklace is made of olive-green Tibetian turquoise, abalone-shell discs, Toho seed beads, wood and bone all strung on #6 knotting silk. I made it many years ago in an afternoon of beading with my younger sister. I started with a big, blown-glass focal but pulled it out and added more stones, wood, seed beads. She watched me put it together and at some point said something like ‘wow, if I made that it would look really bad.’ That’s one of those compliments that you think is maybe not so much of a compliment.

But she IS my sister, so I know what she is saying.

Weird, busy, odd, layered, asymmetrical. Those things all come easily to me.

What’s hard is order. Patterns. Matching.

Making a 16″ strand of graduated pearls would drive me nuts. I don’t know if it would be boredom or just impatience. I would go crazy.

However, hand me a bunch of probably-not-matchy beads and some thread and I’ll string ’em up. I’ll add dangles and maybe a tassel. I can’t help that. Now, in my current profession, that’s pretty good. It’s okay to not be matchy. Or pattern-ish.

There is, however, another side to that coin. I can’t follow recipes. I have trouble assembling items using any kind of written directions. I space out when I’m trying to make a dress from a pattern and start thinking ‘don’t I really want a skirt?’ Because I’m so frenetic it takes me a really long time to learn from my mistakes. I will try and try again but I’m more like a squirrel than a scientist. I don’t carefully adjust one variable at a time and see what happens. I adjust seventeen variables and then throw in a new color of seed bead and see what happens.

Luckily for me, sometimes I like the result.