Tag Archives: stones

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.

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.