Tag Archives: stones

Wednesday, June 15th

15 Jun

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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

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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.

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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?

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Saturday, April 30th

30 Apr

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Monday, April 25th

25 Apr

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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

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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

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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

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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.