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Friday, December 20, 2013

Iolite Chain Bracelet

I started this bracelet years ago and never finished it until today. At first, I wasn't sure if I liked the stones dangling from the chain, then I got stuck with deciding how to finish the closure. Suddenly it came to me, to toggle it in a cold connection kind of way. It's not a new toggle technique or design, it's just the first time I've used it. It seems right. I'm happy with it.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Shea Butter Soap

My sample of Honey Almond Soap from Naturessheabutter.com arrived today. It smells so good and a little less expensive than L'Occitane's Shea butter soap. I can't wait to try it. 

 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cast Heart Ring Save

This was created and inspired by a ring Grandma gave me back when I was in high school. I made a mold of it and cast it. The casting seemed to go well until I found a bubble in the crown when finishing it. I was so discouraged and wasn't sure of what to do with it, until now. I decided to cut another heart shape out of the crown, where the hole was uncovered. I just put the saw blade right in the hole and started cutting. It took me an hour and a half from start to finish and not one broken saw blade. With the size that it was cast, I knew it would be a perfect fit for a friend who I promised a ring.  I'm extremely happy with the save and will probably treat the other heart ring casting in the same manner.

 


Evolve/Redo

I've been staring at some of my past creations and wondering what to do with them. Some pieces can be easily recycled and others are already products of momentary genius and should remain as they are. These earrings were a little bit of both, but the design no longer fit my current aesthetics, so I redesigned them.


I'm happy with the results. I love the exotic look of the Bali beads, which are a works within themselves. I just choose my own special ways to display them. The drops represent a simple sophistication. I love the warm caramel color of the Chalcedony. 


And yes I'm aware that one earring is longer than the other. I haven't decided what, if anything, to do about it. They're handmade and imperfect just like the person who'd wear them.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Copper Cuff

I wanted to use my bracelet mandrel and make a cuff. Some time ago, I purchased the book The Jeweler's Studio Handbook, by Brandon Holschuhthat had instructions for a copper cuff. This is the first project that I've made from this book, but I still recommend it based on the well written instructions and detailed photographs. I made a few changes to suit my own esthetics. I hammered the finish (because I can't stop hammering) and rounded the the edges. I also had to rely on my own knowledge and expertise when I had problem with the assembly. I couldn't get the bracket to solder to the cuff. I tried about five times before giving up. I decided to drill holes and use rivets, which created a new set of problems. The tubes were too big to fit the aquamarine that I'd chosen for this project. I didn't have anything suitable with a large hole and still fit the frame. I came across an old flat turquoise bead, that had a hole big enough for the tubes, but it was too big wide for the bracket. Since turquoise is a soft stone, I cut and sanded it to fit. 

Sometimes, you just need to make something! I'm happy with it.


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Triple Wrap Bracelet.

I showed my new bracelet to my grandfather, and asked him if he liked it. He said yes, if "I"made it for him, so I jacked my new bracelet (previous post) for beads and made him a triple strand. I used waxed cotton linen. I'm not sure if I like the "S"clasp, or the large final knot, but I think he'll like it anyway. I re-strung the single strand with red dyed quartz. I like it. Maybe I'll learn one day not to second guess myself.








Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Crafty Night Person

I've been staying up nights and desperately need to change my sleep cycle back to daytime. In the meantime, I read, study and make stuff. Here is a blanket square I'm working on.


I made this Chan Luu style bracelet out of leather, silk thread, and African trade beads. I thought about using the red quartz but changed my mind.


I finished it with a vintage metal button. I found the Beadaholique tutorial a few weeks ago on youtube by accident. The project has been in my brain ever since. It's perfect for a restless night owl like me. It's super easy. I think I'll make them for friends and family. I'll use rubber cord so they'll be more versatile, and not weaken in water, like leather.
I made the beading needle from fine gauge craft wire. I couldn't find my store bought ones. It worked like a charm.

The finished product!


It's so difficult to center your subject using Hipstaprint, otherwise, I love it.

Chan Luu has an interesting story. You can learn more about her in this Good Morning America! interview on youtube.

Finished Turquoise Ring

I finally finished Lori's ring. I don't know if she's still interested in it after all these years, because I haven't told her yet that it's available. I had a difficult time soldiering the shank straight, so I used wire to hold it in place. I hammered the shank (because I always have to hammer something) and filed the edges smooth. I am satisfied with the finished result.