Monday, December 26, 2011

Custom Secret Message Necklace - BELIEVE

This is one of my favorite necklaces to make.  This one is for Aubrey - she is such a cute girl.  Her parents wanted to do something special for her for Christmas, so here's a fun personalized necklace with a secret message just for her!  This is a great pendant to celebrate ANY occasion.  Fun for weddings, thank yous, new babies (with the date of birth on the back), or any time you want to make someone feel special.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Custom Personalized MANTRA Necklace

Another beautiful project for the amazing Heather.  This one is for her sweet mother.  Heather wanted to give a "Mantra Necklace," representing her mom's best qualities.  She is strong, beautiful, and greatly adored!  Heather liked the look of this necklace (top), but wanted it in a gold-tone.  This was a fun project because it made me think outside of my usual box.  I work mostly with sterling silver and will often mix metals, always using silver as my base.  My stockpile of findings and attachments is mostly silver, so it was kind of like an adventure using brass for this necklace.  I'm always up for an adventure!  If only I could afford gold, but that's another story!

Copper Fortune Cookie Bracelet

Another project for Heather, this is a "Fortune Cookie" bracelet.  You can see more Fortune Cookie bracelets here.  The first one was actually inspired by a real fortune cookie message, hence the name, and the size of the copper piece is the same size as the fortune paper.  Well, Heather's sister-in-law's (also a Heather) mantra is "CARPE DIEM."  That's pretty much a fortune, isn't it?  This fortune comes with genuine swarovski crystals, turquoise jasper, garnet, moss aquamarine, smoky quartz, and my favorite sunny citrine.  The copper will patina as Heather wears it, giving it a beautiful worn and cherished look.  Seize the day, Heather!

Custom Grandmother's Necklace

Here's a beautiful Grandmother's necklace that I made for my friend, Heather, to give to her Mother-In-Law for Christmas.  Count them!  10 grand-babies on this necklace!  It is a really fun, huge (about 2 1/2 by 3 inches), handcrafted brass heart pendant that hangs from a 30 inch chain.  A real keepsake!  The brass heart will patina with wear, giving it a rich and aged feeling.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Have Yourself a Purple Little Christmas . . .

Here's a special little Christmas gift for a very special little friend of mine.  She loves purple!  I used to make quite a lot of these necklaces - back in the early days of bead-making.  Before I figured out how to make reliable "pairs" of beads.  I made a lot of beautiful singles (ugly ones, too!) - unable to duplicate the size or design.  So, I came up with this beautiful style of necklace to showcase a single bead.  I sold many at local craft fairs, but honestly, most of them ended up on the necks of neighbor-girls as birthday presents.  It's a sweet little necklace for a sweet little friend.  I hope she likes it!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Been busy . . .

Been busy, you know, as usual.  Doing everything BUT the thing I love the most.  I still sneak it in every now and then, but if it's been nearly 10 months since my last post, well, that says something.  Life can get loud and busy, can't it?  Here's a look at a few of the projects I've sneeked in over the past several months:

Above, a mother's circle pendant for a good friend.  
Birthday pendant for the one and only Diana, below.

Remember my crazy post about Eddie Vedder? You can read about it here.  Well, an AMAZING fellow Eddie Vedder fan bought the necklace for his wife.  He even had me make a coordinating pendant for him.  Well, I'll be dipped and hung out to dry!

These Antique Garden Markers have nothing to do with jewelry, but they sure were a fun project for my church's Super Saturday craft day.  That would be Zalea Marie who stamped the one on the far right!

And finally, FINALLY, in August, a precious day at the torch.  I got several good sets and have been dreaming ever since about another spell at the torch.  Maybe my dreams will come true - in January?  Maybe? 

Below is the bottom bead in the above photo.  It's for Jen, my long lost friend.  She saw my post on facebook about finally getting to torch and stamped her name on this bead.  It's only taken me 4 months to get the time to wire it together for her.  This will be a nice surprise in her mailbox!

Oh, there's a few more projects I've been working on.  We've been switching around computers and got a new camera, so I'll have to admit I'm having a hard time tracking down photos, and I honestly have missed even taking pictures of a few projects.  Hopefully I'll be back in the habit of posting before another 10 months goes by!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mother's Pendant Necklace

So, earlier today, I posted about how cute this necklace would be as a Mother's necklace. I had a little "free time" today after helping at school (2nd grade math games), just enough to construct this lovely heart pendant for my sister, Kim. Her birthday is coming up and I love to surprise her. This is the same heart pattern that I used for Zoe's Valentine pendant, but I hammered in J&K (for Kim and her husband, John), and the names of her 4 smashing boys: Tyler, Jaron, Cameron, and McKaden. I distressed this one a little bit more and attached a riveted bail. 100% handcrafted, aged, and polished. This one is about 26" long and can be layered with a favorite necklace (recognize that labradorite? I can't stop wearing it . . .) I used a snippet from the same silk ribbon I got in Tucson 2 years ago and Voila! Happy Birthday Kim!

Valentine Necklaces

This year for Valentine's Day I made gorgeous heart pendants. The large one is for Zoe and the small one is for Zalea. Zalea's is about 5/8" and the back says "love you." Zoe's is about 2" wide by 2 1/4" tall and I tied it with a snippit of silk ribbon (from Tucson) to match her outfit. It slides on a 24" ball chain. 100% handcrafted, aged and polished by hand for an antique look. The stamping is from the last line of ee cumming's poem, "my father moved through dooms of love" and it reads "LOVE is the WHOLE and more than ALL." The girls got these lovely necklaces and what did Enzo want? Milk chocolate.

I have been thinking that this large heart pendant would make a great mother's necklace. It would be fun to put your kids names all over it. I will have to play around with that idea a little bit. Watch for further posts . . .

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Eddie Vedder

I may as well just admit it . . . I am hopelessly in love with Eddie Vedder. He was the inspiration for this latest pendant, RISE. Or, actually the song is the inspiration. It is one of my very favorites. He is just simply amazing. Of course, the word "hopeless" is key to the infatuation since Eddie Vedder doesn't even know that I exist. Dave has no worries about me actually running away with him. I'll just watch You Tube clips when I need my fix, and get back to work.

The construction of the pendant went pretty well until I tried to solder on the ring at the top to attach a chain to. That little part took several tries (and an extra hour or two). I finally realized that the pieces of silver just didn't have enough surface contact. Once I formed a new loop and propped it up the soldering went as well as could be expected. The cabochon is a Red Picasso Jasper from an artist on Etsy. It has a fabulous brush of green on the top and it looks splendid with this faceted garnet wrapped chain, don't you think?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Adventures In Metalsmithing - OR - The Grass Is Green Enough Where I Stand!

Here's another lovely experiment. I would love to say that creating this piece was a joy, super easy and fun. Anything but! It was tough! I worked on this one on and off for 2 whole days! At one point, I just had to walk away from it. I ruined 3 pieces of bezel wire! And to top it all off, my bezel wire slipped just slightly while I was soldering the pieces together so the final stone lays crooked! All the same, I love it! This is a gorgeous "green sea sediment jasper" that I purchased from a lovely artist on Etsy about a year ago. The colors are exquisite! Just looking at it conjures up feelings of green, spring, meadows, newness and growth. I couldn't find an adequate quote for the back, so I filled in the space with words that say "green" to me.

I learned a lot while making this piece. The whole time, I was using proper techniques, I just couldn't get it hot enough from beneath for the solder to flow in the right direction (it kept going up). I finally brought out my plummer's torch and that did the trick. One of these days, I will have proper tools, but in the meantime, I am loving the challenge of making do with what I have. That's a lesson for life if I ever had one!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Labradorite Pendant Necklace

How I love a good experiment! This is one of the 5 Labradorite cabs I purchased at the Costa Mesa show a few months back. I have dreamed about these stones ever since I bought them, and finally made the time to bust out my soldering equipment and and do something with them. I'm a little rusty, and I don't quite have the proper tools, but I'm pleased as punch at my first pendant. This is a high dome cab with an amazing flash, gorgeous color! I am just in love with this stone, and this necklace seems to match just about everything I wear. I am eager to try another setting. I can only get better the more I try! By the way, I had a lot of fun trying to take the photo of me in the mirror. I was laughing so hard for some of the shots, they're just too silly to post.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hammered Copper Initial Pendants and Mother's Necklace

Here are some more necklaces I made at Christmastime. I just love it when someone finds my blog on the web and commissions me to make custom pieces for them! The top shot is for James, who had me make these lovely copper hammered initial pendant necklaces for his 4 girls. James was the nicest man to work with. It was as though he had been in my studio a hundred times and knew just what questions to ask. This was a really fun project to work on and I hope his girls just love their personal necklaces.

The second one was for Derrick, who wanted something sparkly and special for his wife. It includes all five of their boys names and enough Swarovski crystals to shine to the moon and back. This was also a great collaboration and I really enjoyed making this piece.

Mother's Necklace and Initial Pendant

I love helping people give great gifts! These photos are of projects I did for my friend, LeeAnn, to give as Christmas presents. Above, is a mother's necklace. It's classic, timeless, and matches everything! The chain on this one is 24" long and can easily be layered with other necklaces.

Below, is for Tyler, LeeAnn's cute teenage daughter. This one is also versatile and fun to layer. It is earthy and organic with just a hint of sparkle. The strand is a mix of various semi-precious stones.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chan's EXCELLENT Adventure

So, the Gem Faire came to town a couple of weeks ago. This is the same Gem Faire that I usually visit in Salt Lake, but it came to Costa Mesa! Our Saturday schedule has been really crazy lately and I didn't think I could possibly go, but I made arrangements to sneak away for a couple of hours to get some badly needed supplies. I even made it there and back without the GPS!! (Even ran into my dad who was in town on a visit!) As usual, I walked away with a little bit more than I needed, plenty to get some creative juices flowing. These amazing stones from left to right are: labradorite cabochons, moss aquamarine cubes, moss aquamarine rondells, faceted ruby rondells, labradorite coins, and two lovely strands of pyrite to add a bit (more) of sparkle! Wow, am I excited to have some time to play around with these! I have a couple of designs already in mind. We'll just have to see what evolves!