Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chain Mail, Part 2 - Bracelets

I needed a birthday present yesterday for a friend who wears lots of my charm bracelets, and I thought I would do something different. This bracelet is a classic 2+2 weave in red anodized aluminum (very lightweight and also very strong and solid when linked in pairs). I tried adding some sterling charms to it, but it wasn't the right look. So I put smaller links on the outsides of each pair to give the bracelet some movement (and if I'd had small beads with big enough holes, I would have put those on the smaller links). The clasp is magnetic, which means that the bracelet almost puts itself on the wrist! My friend put the bracelet on right away and wore it all evening - it was very interesting for me to be able to observe how it moved.

This bracelet is a Byzantine weave in three colors, also with a magnetic clasp - there are lots of other possibilities for this weave ... stay tuned.

These flowers are very time-consuming! Here the magnetic clasp saves the day, because there is no need to allow for maneuverability with the clasp - the bracelet is very close to the wrist. These flowers would make fun earrings, and perhaps a pendant.

I was thrilled to discover the web site for one of my Czech manufactures, and there are 10+ pounds of glass beads on their way - that will be a fun day when that box arrives!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Personal Stash - Part 2

We're still in my personal jewelry drawer - these are the pieces that I didn't photograph properly last time!!

For my 50th birthday, I joined my three college roommates for a weekend on Martha's Vineyard. We had not been together for many a long year, and we had a splendid weekend. To celebrate the occasion, I made each of us a necklace in hematite and quartz - each different but using the same stones. This is the one I made for myself: it is asymmetrical and made to be worn doubled. I originally put a hematite ring on it, but I have to say that this stainless steel donut makes much more of a statement!

Here's one I don't really like. I wanted to try a lariat, so I did a three-strand with small black beads. Each strand is highlighted with either golden, silvered, or coppery seed beads and a matching bead at the end of the strand. I like to wear new models myself to see how they feel, so I wore this, and frankly it's kind of boring. It's still in my drawer, but I have a feeling that one of these days I'll take my scissors to it and do something else with all those little black beads.

The beads with the squiggles came from - you guessed it - Prague! The smaller beads in between are Murano glass, and Marcel gave them to me. This necklace is not too long, and it looks good with a crewneck sweater and jeans.

Vintage,vintage,vintage .... the beige beads with red and black squiggles sat in my bead boxes for years, and then one day, they just jumped right out and lined themselves up with the big chunky red beads and black beads. Vintage is basically just classy recycling!

On my very first tripto Prague, I bought a necklace that was just rondelles in blues, yellows, and greens. I mostly bought it because I liked the boutique, where everything was handmade, and because it wasn't symmetrical. But really it was too short for me - in this lifetime, I do not have a swan neck ... So I redid it, keeping the same sequence of rondelles and adding sterling silver rounds and vintage Czech glass beads in matching colors. Another good one for jeans!

Another one of my early creations ... it's six+ feet of hematite in various shapes and sizes, highlighted with all sorts of small glass beads in different colors. I don't know if I believe in the properties of stones or not, but hematite is considered to be an energy stone, and it does absorb body heat until it gets to your body temperature.

My one and only big-hole necklace - these are pottery beads with faces in them that I bought on eBay years ago and then never knew what to do with them because the holes were so big. Then I discovered rattail satin cord and this whole thing tied up nicely, with a few extra Indian glass beads thrown in to make it long enough to wear double without a clasp. I sort of missed out on the macramé craze - this was my chance to catch up!

And finally, these splendid vintage beads that I collected over a period of time - all the same style, but some are black and bronze and others are bronze and clear/silver. Since I never know exactly which way they will flip when I put the necklace on, the effect is never the same twice but always striking. It's possible that this is my all-time favorite of everything in my jewelry drawer!!