Tag Archives: stones

Sunday, March 27th

28 Mar

Today I had no plans to leave the house. At all. The weather was chilly and rainy and just right for what I like to call a ‘pajama day.’ In reality, this usually translates to unmatched-fleecy-shirt-and-knit-pants day, but the name sticks.

I spent the day rearranging the house. We moved our bedroom to the studio and the studio to the bedroom. We have a tiny old house so this amounted to moving stuff across the hallway but no matter, I was not planning on glamorizing myself at all.

Even with the intentional lack of glamor, I still wanted to wear a necklace. Yes, part of that was because of the commitment I made to this blog and you, my four readers (hi Mom!) There was something else there, too.

I wear jewelry every day.

Now, I don’t just mean my wedding ring. I do wear that every day but I mean that I wear some kind of intentionally selected adornment every day. Even on Pajama Days. Even camping. Even giving birth. I can’t help it. I think that some fashion editor once said “Accessories are what separate us from the animals” and I do agree, on one level. I’d also add charging interest on loans, Netflix and a good bluegrass band to that list but accessories are definitely in the top ten.

More importantly, for  me, wearing jewelry is the one thing I do that says ‘hey, folks, I didn’t just roll out of bed and show up here! this level of sloth is intentional!’ Yes, my hair may be mussy and there is probably a good two-day stubble on my ankles but dog-gone-it, I am wearing a necklace.

This necklace is one that I often reach for on a PJ Day. Simple and not fussy, but also kind of hard for me to wear on a regular day. Maybe because it’s not interesting enough? That idea of a briolette strung between two lengths of chain is popular (I’ve even used it myself quite recently!) but somehow this necklace seems too simple on most of my regular days.

It is perfect for accessorizing the fleecy shirt, though.

Alexandrite briolette, gold-filled chain, clasp and wire

NOTE: the close reader of this blog (Mom!) will note that the posts don’t seem to publish on the day I write them. Sorry, this is a technical error I keep making. Accidentally. I often write this post right before going to bed, like a diary, so I am tired and I forget to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s and click all the clicky-clacks. Sorry.


Friday, March 25th

25 Mar

Today I wore two necklaces. I have been avoiding this as I really want to stretch out my favorites but I had a big day planned and I really needed to feel comfortable and suitably adorned.
I wore these necklaces with a raspberry-colored shirtdress and olive green platform shoes. It’s kind of an odd combination but the dress seems put together and crisp, and the shoes are a bit funky. Seeing as how I have orange stripes in my black hair a vibrant color combo shouldn’t be completely unexpected now and then.

The shorter necklace was a gift from my friend Joan. The turquoise discs are very good quality, clear blue American turquoise. The vintage button clasps the beads and can be worn front or back.

The longer necklace features a vintage carved cat made into a pendant by Susan Reynolds of Bijoux Savvy. She created a tiny, sparkly beaded collar for the kitty. The sides of the necklace are made with Elaine Ray small washer beads strung sideways with gold-colored SoftFlex and dark raspberry-red Toho seed beads. The necklace is finished with leather cording and a brass clasp.

I didn’t realize how often I layer necklaces until I started this blog. Almost every day I want to add a second or third necklace but I haven’t until now. It’s funny, I almost never make multi-strand necklaces.

I wonder why?

Thursday, March 24th

25 Mar

This simple necklace consists of a Green Girl Shibuichi key suspended from a strand of Japanese Keishi pearls with a bit of hand-dyed silk ribbon.

I usually wear this necklace layered up with a few others but as I’ve dispensed with that device for the year it stands alone. The tiny pearls are strung unknotted on white silk and finished with 14k gold bead tips and a lobster-claw clasp.

This necklace is so simple: pearls, ribbon, key. I think it works because each of the three elements are a bit off. The pearls are very textured, the ribbon has a variegated dye and the cast key is obviously hand-made and not functional.

Tuesday, March 22nd

22 Mar


I like this necklace because it contains a mix of art beads by two different artists and the greeny-gold color looks good with just about everything. I made it with a figural bead from Lisa Daly (it is flipped over in the picture so the torso is just showing it’s rear end…how cheeky!) and a grouping of Elaine Ray beads. I also used a chunk of real Tibetian turquoise that is intensely olive green and black right there at the center. The length of the necklace is finished with some Japanese kimono cording with black, gold, green and red flowers.

This necklace started out much longer but as I worked on it I kept removing bead after bead. The Lisa Daly figural bead had been on my work table for a long time and I kept struggling with how to use it. It is a bead of a naked female torso, after all.  The front of the bead is  obviously female and voluptuous.

Maybe too much for mixed company.

I decided that a more monochromatic design would minimize the distraction of the figures assets while making the most of the pretty glass coloring. The design also looks good even if one or more of the beads flips over. I don’t like messing with my jewelry once I have it on.


Tuesday, March 15th

15 Mar

This necklace was made a few years ago when I was working on projects for a book. I had to make 30 or so projects for the book and because of the age of my children I worked at night. Some nights would be terrifically successful. I’d start on a project and take step-by-step photos of it as I went along. I’d finish the project in a few hours and then write it up. Materials, tools, step 1, 2,3 etc. It would be clockwork smooth.

Other nights, not so much. I’d start a project, then start another. I’d check my email. I’d watch half a movie. I’d find the perfect CD to listen to. I’d make tea. I’d adjust my lighting. I’d bead for a bit. I’d go back to the first project. Then I’d make something for myself. Something that I totally didn’t need, maybe didn’t even want and certainly wasn’t going to use for the book.

As far as I know, I have never worn this necklace until today.

It was a lovely bit of procrastination, though. Assorted labradorite and smokey quartz. Copper wire and sterling wire. Copper bead caps. A bit of brass in the jump rings and some chain in the back.

Thursday, March 3rd

4 Mar

This is the first official day of the project and I selected an older design. This necklace features a pendant created with two five-strand end bars and has beads strung between the end bars. The end bars have also been wrapped with mixed Czech glass seed beads using fine gauge wire. The bottom stone is a matte finished onyx bead and the stones strung in the middle of the pendant are 4×4 cubes of blue goldstone (a manufactured stone) strung and crimped. I originally designed this necklace about twelve years ago and there was a carnelian/brown goldstone version as well. This design never sold well, but I liked it. I really like the movement in the pendant element. I never wear this necklace, though, and partially the pendant is to blame. It’s pretty long. That means it ends up wayyy down in my cleavage.

I designed this necklace at a time when I was a bit tired of making vintage-y designs and wanted to move into a new direction. The pieces in this group were all very chunky and bold. I have to say, the entire collection never really sold very well. Most of the items were too weird for my regular customers and somehow they didn’t connect with very many new customers. A bracelet that matched this necklace, however, was part of a very frustrated and protracted design collaboration with one of my biggest catalog customers. First they wanted to see a sample of the bracelet as designed; it was perfect, they loved it. Then they called and asked to see a sample but without the wrapped ends. Then they wanted to see one with beads that weren’t glittery. Then they asked for a bracelet that had fewer strands. Then even plainer beads. By the time we were done, the bracelet was a three strands of dark blue round glass beads with a clasp.

They didn’t end up ordering that bracelet for the catalog. It was too plain.