Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Working with Stones

Working with stones is like working with miniature sculptures! Interesting forms in different colors and shapes - stone beads add another dimension to the creative process. When I'm working with stones, I think there is nothing better - of course, I think that when I'm working with glass, too. But many forms that are available in stones would be difficult to create in glass, and each substance has its own qualities. One thing everyone should know about stone beads: almost all stones are treated to enhance or add color.

This is moakite in several different forms, including a big wavy coin as a centerpiece, round pillows, and nuggets, with red jasper chips to set off moakite beads.

 The big disks are called green web agate, for obvious reasons, and they are interspersed with free-form chunks of carnelian. Quartz rondelles separate the beads. Very autumn!

 I don't often mix stones and glass, but these vintage blue pressed glass beads looked good with the dark blue sodalite. This necklace uses little copper round beads as separators. Dress up or dress down - a good match for a suit or a pair of jeans.
And here is a multi-stone necklace, with V-form beads in rose quartz, red aventurine, amazonite, and dumortierite. This one looks really good with a turtleneck sweater in any  number of soft colors!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

All that Glitters!

Crystals have been hot for quite a while now - kudos to Swarovski for fabulous marketing! I have been very late in getting into the crystal mode, but I do like certain kinds of shiny beads!!

This necklace is winter personified! Foil-lined hexagonal beads in pale blue, silvered bugles, and different blue shades of E beads - these all contribute to an icy, shimmery piece of jewelry!! Foil-lined glass beads are enormously versatile - it's one of the reasons that I like working with them.

This looks vintage (but it isn't) ... shades of pinks, violets, and mauves in different faceted forms, strung on pink thread - very ladylike! This one is an adjustable choker - I don't usually do necklaces this short, but it looks elegant right at the base of the throat.

And this one is vintage: blue faceted beads, pear-shape frosty ones, and ruffles (one of my favorite shapes in beads,  and I haven't seen them in years) ...

I got a bit carried away here ... I was poking around in my bead boxes, and I found myself with a handful of lampworked glass beads in various colors, each with gold or silver glitter. So I started playing with them, and I found a box of copper-lined E beads to set them off. But the necklace wasn't long enough, so I started adding vintage crystals of various shapes and coatings, and by the time I was done, I found myself with a long rope of lots of glitter - all it needs is something dressy in just about any color!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Doing My Colors

Several decades ago, Color Me Beautiful was a fairly revolutionary concept, and of course I did my colors - being a brunette, it was no big surprise that I was a Winter: white, black, bright colors, silver jewelry, etc. The concept evolved, and a friend of mine who underwent the entire training process told me that actually I was not a 100% Winter but that I had a little Autumn mixed in there. Well, one of my grandmothers was a redhead, so that's not too surprising. And this fall, that Autumn side of me seems to be coming to the forefront!

These beads came from a shop in Prague last spring. I was in a jewelry/bead shop on the Place Wenceslas, and the stairs to the upper level were roped off, with a sign saying that there were more beads upstairs and ask the salesperson for help. So I asked the young woman in that part of the shop if she would open up the upstairs for me; her reply was along the lines of "was I really going to buy any beads (or was I just going to waste her time)"? Well, she had to follow me around with a basket to keep up with all the beads I was tossing at her, and yes, it was worth her time!

These oval slices of Czech glass are in all different tones of early autumn leaves, with just enough blue to recall a clear autumn sky! (I've lived in Brittany now for more than 15 years, and still the autumn is when I'm most nostalgic for the USA ... we do not have autumn color - when it stops being green here, it's pretty much brown!)

And this one is made up of a variety of glass beads, including red millefiori chunks, glass double pyramids that look like agates in reds and beiges with light striping, and little brown barrel-shaped glass beads to enhance the autumnal effect.

Of course, there are lots of other things sitting on the bead board, and not all of them are "Autumn" ... we're back at work, so stay tuned!