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Posts Tagged ‘necklace’

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True Californians look up at our dry hillsides and call them “golden.” (Never brown!) And in this beautiful state, it’s now the season of gold. It came a little earlier perhaps because of the drought, but it usually hits right around my birthday in early May. Let’s celebrate golden California with two hybrid West Coast-Venetian necklaces!

I made this piece as a birthday gift for myself and I have loved wearing it. The “M” charm is matte vermeil (gold over sterling silver), which I purchased at a gem and jewelry show from a great vendor called Forever Silvers. That company features tons and tons of charms. Highly addictive, highly dangerous!

The necklace includes Venetian glass beads from a company that imports them directly from Italy, the Venetian Bead Shop. I’m a big fan. (They are getting to know me pretty well over there!) That same company also sold me some round Swarovski crystals I used in this necklace, along with some pretty gold seed beads. I have to say, beads and charms are like candy. Once you start consuming them and get a taste for them, you can never have enough….

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The expanse of gold-tone seed beads at both ends mimics gold chain, don’t you think?

And last, I included Miyuki Japanese seed beads in a fun shape that I picked up on a recent trip to Virginia. As I travel, I always seek out crafts supplies! I also added in a few gold-filled metal spacer beads that I love for dressing things up a little.

To string this piece, I used flexible bead wire by Soft Flex, a company based up in wine country, in Sonoma, CA. I enjoy working with the lightweight version of their wire, which has a great drape. I closed up both ends with crimp beads and used a gold-filled lobster clasp to finish it off.

Here’s one more piece I made that I’d like to share:

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This one also includes Venetian glass beads, Swarovski crystals and crystal pearls, and Soft Flex wire. The central focal bead, two round beads and two twist beads are all wrapped with the colored wire, which I then passed through the bead a second time. It’s a cool way of creating a little space and movement in the piece without having to insert any extra crimp beads to hold things in place. I like these rose and gold tones for both spring and fall. The central disc bead looks like it’s been drizzled with raspberry sauce. Yum… The vivid colors are cheerful and appetizing, yet completely calorie free!

Write in if you have any questions about techniques, or just to tell me what you think of these designs. Happy crafting, and more to follow. I have more jewelry to show you, and I’ll also try to offer an update about a table runner and small quilt I’m working on in the near future.

 

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Ever since I returned from Italy this summer, I’ve been inspired to create jewelry with Italian glass beads. I’ve been drawn into these beads, mesmerized by them. They are as beautiful as any modern art, in my opinion. They are also more durable and jewel-like than most non-precious materials out there. (My daughters have dropped these tough glass beads–and I admit I have too–without any damage.)

The highlight of my Italian journey was a short trip to Capri, the fabled isle that attracted everyone from Roman emperors to modern movie stars. I’m calling the necklace pictured here “Memories of Capri,” and here are a few images to whet your appetite for a trip to that Mediterranean paradise. The Blue Grotto… the Faraglioni (huge stone formations off the coast)… the views, oh the views of the Bay of Naples… and, mainly, the nearness of the ocean itself, a unique and deep blue.

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The beauty just goes on and on there. My stay was short, but no matter how long I looked, I’m sure I’d never tire of those views. The image above is a sphinx at the Axel Munthe home (now a museum) on the very top of Capri, in the town of Anacapri. That ancient stone is probably the world’s luckily statue. And unlike on the Pacific where I live, it’s not whipped by strong, exhausting winds. There’s a peace to the place that’s magical.

I chose some gorgeous authentic Murano glass beads from the Venetian Bead Shop to create my necklace. I began with a few dual-toned rounds and some deep sapphire blue squares and small rounds. I then began to think of making a longer piece–but not too heavy–using seed beads to connect my bigger items, and adding a handful of Swarovski crystals for variety, additional color, and sparkle, and just a few crystal blue pearls. The crystals also help to vary and balance the shapes here.

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I used a .14 Soft Flex silver “extreme” wire to make a very flexible and light piece. And last, I used a silver jump ring and a lobster clasp to finish it up, with some silver crimp beads sealing off the edges. I wore this necklace to my office without doubling it–and it was fashionably long. Flapper length. And that’s fitting. I believe it was in the 1910s and 1920s that vacationers started flocking to Capri, though it was a destination long before–and long after.

 

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