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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Black Onyx

Lately, I have been using black onyx in some of my designs. I like using the deep, black smooth stone because of its classic simplicity and besides everyone needs to have some black jewels in their wardrobe...its just a basic color that works with so much. So I decided to do some research on this stone and read about the legend regarding black onyx.
Apparently,Aphrodite, the goddess of love, lay in a deep slumber on the banks of the river, when a playful Eros (Cupid) decided to give her an impromptu manicure with one of his trademark arrowheads! The freshly clipped fingernails rolled down the bank and into the Indus River, where they sank to the bottom. Here, they were magically transformed by Zeus' three daughters, The Fates, into splendid black quartz. Thus, 'onyx' (a word roughly translated as 'nail' or 'claw') was born.

Another similar version said it was Venus, who had her fingernails clipped by the naughty Eros, and they were scattered to the beaches of the earth. Anyhow, cupid clipped some goddesses' nails and apparently that is how black onyx came to be! I love mythology! Black onyx is said to be the most powerful protection stone, protecting from negative energy, as well as being a grounding stone which is helpful in difficult, stressful and confusing times in our lives. It is also helpful to those who are in the process of letting go, either in relationships, or in attatchments to places and things. Having a seventh anniversary? Well black onyx is the anniversary gemstone for the seventh year of marriage. But watch out...it is said to decrease sexual desire...oh no!
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Daisy Jane

Well it is finally done...the necklace that is! You know... the one that I have been working on and off for several weeks now. After all the stress and self doubt, I must say that I am happy with the results. Yes, it is somewhat unconventional, but it is meant to be a fun lighthearted piece. My inspiration were the tiny flowers in the larger lampwork bead created by Deb at Sweetwater Designs. I also used contemporary and vintage Swarovski crystals, in shades of turquoise, amethyst and purple, as well as sterling silver beads and chain. The big funky flower is also the clasp! The name for this one is "Daisy Jane". Now I may be dating myself a little bit here, but I used to really love this song by the band America, which was popular in the mid 1970s.I still have the old cassette tape with this song on it.


     "Does she really love me 

I think she does

Like the stars above me

I know because

When the sky is bright

Everything's alright "
America
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sneak peak!

Well... I am off to Vancouver Island for the Easter break, in a couple of days, but before I go, I thought I would give you a sneak peak at that necklace that I have been working on! You know...the one that I had been struggling with. The etched lampwork beads by Deb at Sweetwater Designs, are lovely and you can see them in this photo. I think I am back on track now, and thanks to all of you that lent their support during my time of creative frustration!! Hopefully I will get it completed and have photos of the finished design after my little holiday. In the meantime I wish you all a very Happy Easter!

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The Circle Game

I just finished a custom order for a friend, who wanted a " black bracelet, that was neutral enough to go with almost anything." I came up with this bracelet, which I named " The Circle Game", after the song by sang by Buffy St. Marie, and written by Joni Mitchell. The bracelet consists of black onyx, Swarovski crystals and Bali silver. Black onyx is supposed to be one of the most powerful protection stones, absorbing and transforming negative energy.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time

We can't return we can only look behind
From where we came

And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Joni Mitchell

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wired

One of my favorite materials to work with when I am creating jewelry is silver wire. I love the versatility to be able to create basic jewelry components like headpins and jump rings, as well as coils, cages and clasps. Wire comes in different gauges or thicknesses, different shapes and also comes in 3 types of hardness, full hard, half hard and dead soft. I work with half hard and dead soft wire. Dead soft wire is pliable and very easy to manipulate. This type is great for making coils, spirals, coiled beads and wrapping.

Half hard wire is great for loops, holds its shape well, and is a staple in making earrings, connectors etc.

Wire can comes in different shapes such as round which is the most common, half round and square. The gauge of a wire refers to the thickness, with the higher the number meaning the thinner the wire. I use mostly 21 or 22 gauge wire, but the thicker 18 and 16 gauge wire is great for making heavier clasps, bangles and rings.

Whereas 26 and 28 gauge would be very fine delicate wire for finer pieces of jewelry. You can get interesting effects by hammering silver wire which will also "work harden" your piece, meaning that it will get stiffer as you work with it. If you want to learn more about making jewelry with wire, I would recommend these great books:


Wire Style by Denise Peck

Bead on a wire by Sharilyn Miller Pin It
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