March 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
I’ll admit that this was originally the first piece that I started on. I was drawn to the cool silky smooth rectangles of Moss Agate. But could I decide what to do? No – I was stumped, so I experimented.
Here’s what I started with:
Between each piece of rectangular piece of moss agate were tiny 4 mm round beads of moss agate of a lighter hue. You can just about see them in the picture above. You might also notice that some of these spacers are missing, others were chipped from the weight and movement of the rectangular pieces. So the first thing was to take it all apart and clean each piece. Then I tried out a few combinations:
I tried stringing the various combinations to get a better idea of how the necklace would look like but couldn’t decide which one to settle on. I ended up putting it all aside and working on the other pieces.
I finally returned to it last week and looking at this with fresh eyes, I realized that the Malachite enhanced the greens of the Moss Agate. I used 3 mm sterling silver beads as spacers between the moss agate pieces and the 6 mm Malachite beads to create a bit more space between the larger pieces and also ‘cushion’ the malachite and prevent these from chipping. Instead of thread, the necklace is now strung on 7-strand Beadalon wire and the small original clasp has been replaced with a larger ‘lifesaver ‘clasp to provide a sturdier and proportionate finish.
I like the result but enjoyed experimenting too. ♥K
February 16, 2012 § 1 Comment
“This was my favourite that I used to wear all the time until it broke” – sound familiar? That’s what this piece was…an old favourite:
I totally understand why it’s a favourite: after all who could resist the lovely translucent pale green of the gorgeous facetted chunks of Chalcedony in irregular shapes? The clasp was special too – it reminded me of a Lotus flower.
The stones had to be cut free as the wire had twisted in several places. After closer examination, I decided that all the silver spacers had to be replaced as a couple were missing and several dented. I ordered 6 mm plain sterling silver beads from www.cooksongold.com which were delivered the next day (I was impressed by the speed).
The next thing to do was to give it a good clean – twice in the ultra-sonic cleaner and a polish of all the stones with a soft tea towel. But the clasp and the rings needed more work. I started with Silvo Tarnish Guard, using the silver polish wadding, I gave it a good rub all over which got all of the tarnish off. But it was still looking rather dull. So I set to work on it again, this time with a silver polishing soft cloth (from John Lewis) and this worked a treat, bringing out a lovely shine.
While polishing the clasp, I noticed that the links were only attached to one of the two eyes on each side of the clasp. So to balance this out I discarded the old oval loop and added two sterling silver jump rings on each side , then connected these to the other links.
Instead silver wire, I opted for 0.46 mm Beadalon 7 Strand bead stringing wire with a silver finish. This is more expensive than the other 7 strand Beadalon wires and somehow more fragile too in that it kinks if you twist it unnecessarily. In spite of that drawback, I still like it because it is just as strong and blends with the other silver findings.
Here’s the re-strung necklace:
It was very satisfying working on this piece knowing that such lovely piece will not languish at the bottom of a jewellery case but be worn and loved once again. ♥K
October 7, 2011 § 1 Comment
Earlier this week I tweeted that I was working on a project but couldn’t say any more. Before I reveal, here’s the story behind it:
I wanted to create a Birthday present for a lovely and very glamourous friend. But where to start? Up to now I’ve been working in pearls and stones that I would wear but my style is not hers. I started on an opera style necklace of pearls but somehow couldn’t imagine her wearing it.
Then inspiration! And of all times: early morning, 6 or there abouts, I was still half asleep while getting ready to leave for work, it hit me – I knew exactly what she would like. But I didn’t have time to do anything about it and had to catch a train instead. It was really difficult to concentrate that day, my mind kept going back to this:
How would I turn this into a necklace? What would go with this? When I finally had the opportunity to get all my stash out, I had a play around and tried different combinations.
I decided that I liked the black combination best although I didn’t think the faceted glass beads worked. I started stringing the Malachite with 4mm black bicones instead but it still lacked a certain something. So I started over, this time adding black seed beads. No, didn’t work. Undo.
It needed just a hint of sparkle, to throw light on the black and the Malachite. I went through my collection again and there it was: a tiny tube of Miyuki Galvanised Silver Delica. And those tiny beads made the difference:
I gave it to her this morning. I’m happy and relieved she liked it.
What do you think? Would you have done it differently? ♥K
September 23, 2011 § Leave a Comment
It’s been a hellish sort of week at work with everything from train delays and cancellations, and unexpected ‘urgent’ demands at work to computers and technology playing up. But instead of heading straight to bed all fed up when I got in at 10pm, I went to my beading cupboard instead.
Can anyone tell me why? Sorting through my collection is just so relaxing, handling pearls, the rhythm of stringing and knotting is soothing. I didn’t do very much each night but enough to restore peace again by the time I climbed into bed. Last night I finished off this Malachite and freshwater rice pearl necklace.
It was the first time I knotted with these Malachite beads which had larger holes so the knots kept slipping. But I soon worked out that I should use the pearls to position the knots. I thought the addition of the sterling-silver filigree push clasp which I found in Spoilt Rotten Beads finished it off quite well.
This is going to go to a lovely lady who is retiring next week. I hope she likes it as much as I’ve enjoyed making it. ♥K