Do What You Love With Passion!

It's been said that if we do what we love, it stops being a job and becomes a passion. I love to write as much as I love to design jewelry. With this blog, I will share both with you!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Natural Stone Focal Beads Become New Pendants

Pendants from Jasper and Lapis Lazuli

Do you ever just feel giddy when you complete something that you love to do, and you are so proud of the results, you just want to hoot and hollar?  Well, (laughing) this is the way I feel when designing jewelry.  It is such a joy to sit in my sandbox and let me inner child out to play.  

There is always a new season of colors to be inspired by, or perhaps a holiday.  Sometimes I just open one of my storage bins and pour the contents carefully into the center of my design table.  I will go through each piece, individually bagged for protection from scratches, until something goes 'wow' for me.  And then everything else gets put away so I can concentrate on the item before me.

A month ago I did some wire wrapping on eight natural stones.  This included creating a large loop at the top of these focal beads so they could be attached to necklaces. I decided they would be fun and playful with crystal beads creating a tassel at the top, as well.  

To keep the finished prices lower, I provided pre-made necklaces in rich colors of five-strand ribbons (with lobster clasp closure and extension) coordinating with the beautiful colors in each stone.  When finished, these eight focal beads became pendants with their own ribbon necklaces and flirty tassels.  The ribbons may be changed out for a favorite chain, as well.  Here, then, are the results with a description of the stones and colorations:

#1  Purple Sea Sediment Jasper

Purple sea sediment jasper is wire-wrapped with a gun-metal finish wire, tassels of dark purple crystals and gun-metal beads with olive green ribbon.  In the photo below, #2 has been designed with antique brass wire-wrapping and the specimen displays bright lavendar colorations.

#2  Purple Sea Sediment Jasper

#3  Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli in teardrop shape is wire-wrapped with antique brass wire, fitted with beautiful dark blue aurora borealis crystals and dark navy ribbon necklace.  There is a visible difference between #3 (above) and #4 (below), in the wire-wrapped detailing on each focal bead.

#4  Lapis Lazuli

The beautiful pendants in #5 and #6 are a unique blend of three natural stones known as fluorite, jasper and pyrite in teardrop shapes.  The wire-wrapping is a little different on each, but upon further inspection note that no two stones in nature could ever be exactly alike. 

#5  Fluorite, Jasper and Pyrite

#6  Fluorite, Jasper and Pyrite

The last two focal beads that I designed with were also Purple Sea Sediment Jasper, but note how these colorations are different.  They are not as purple as specimens #1 and #2.  These two pendants have far more red in them; one is darker and the other looks more pink.  The burgundy ribbons are lovely with both.

#5  Purple (Red) Sea Sediment Jasper

#6  Purple (Pink) Sea Sediment Jasper

I hope you enjoyed learning about these natural stones, if they were not already known to you.  I am fascinated by Nature and the amazing patterns and colors she creates. I hope you are, too!

"Thank you, and have a great day!"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October, A Busy Design Month

Excerpt, November's JEWELETTER Newsletter

October, A Busy Design Month

I am very grateful to share that the month of October was a busy month at Laren Dee Designs.  I completed a project designing Bracelets of Faith.  I used antique brass crosses, cable chain with lobster clasps and natural round agates, crystals and Czech beads. 

Another selection used a variety of turquoise-colored magnesite in a variety of pretty shapes with beautiful matrix.  Magnesite and howlite are natural minerals that are dyed to mirror turquoise and can be just as lovely but without the higher price tag.  And finally, two Celtic crosses made with 20MM stabilized white turquoise with either gold or silver accents were added to the selections.

There were two design challenges that I participated in, as well.  Sharyl McMillian-Nelson hosted eleven designers who used identical packets of beads to individually create at least one piece of jewelry.  This was great fun, as I loved the selection of beads that were provided. 

The second challenge was hosted by Artisan Whimsy, using owls as the design element.  I entered my Little Hooty Owl Necklace that I had designed only weeks earlier without knowledge of this upcoming challenge. 

It was a month for scarabs, too!  I designed two necklaces, one with Raku scarab from Duane Collins of Elements Pottery.  The second necklace used a ceramic scarab in green and cream colors, designer unknown.  It is fun to think outside the box and let imagination work its way through the process of design, choosing elements that create balance and harmony. 

In addition to those necklaces, another was created using a carved golden-hued jade Buddha and stringing a necklace with rich Earthy colors of reds and golds and throwing in aquamarine beads for a surprise kick of color.  I named it Pistachio, because the colors are unexpected and playful. 

Another necklace was created with wire-wrapped copper and featured Czech beads and crystals with seven Raku beads in naturally fired colors of reds, purples and greens (Duane Collins, Elements Pottery).  I see colors of mystic topaz when I look at the completed piece.

The final design of the month was this asymmetrical chunky turquoise-color magnesite beaded necklace with teal crystals and antique brass spacers wire-wrapped in five sections, attached to antique brass chain. 

On the home front, rain is definitely here!  The temperatures are lower yet some days I have still used the screen door and let fresh air into the house - it's that mild.  The trees are loosing their leaves and scattered everywhere the wind blows them.  All the outdoor furniture was moved under cover three weeks ago.  The water feature will soon be unplugged, emptied and stored away.  I still love to hear it running so am enjoying it before freezing weather hits.

Mt. Hood has received an early blanket of snow and ski operators hope to be up and running Thanksgiving weekend.  Winter is slowly making its approach.  Elk are here!  My grandson drove in last weekend and had to stop the car at the bottom of the hill and wait patiently, while twenty-five to thirty in a herd crossed the road towards the creek.  (You don't tell a six hundred pound elk to move it along!)

I looked out the next morning just as dawn was breaking, hoping to see them grazing on the lawn, but no such luck.  We did notice fewer apples in the trees this afternoon, and they were ones that were high up in the branches, too high for deer.  They did manage to sneak in when we were not looking!  The coyotes were howling the other night, too, so loudly their cries drew me to the door to listen.  Oh, I do love this time of year!  It's wonderful to be on the threshold of Nature, yet safe indoors.

I'm already thinking of Christmas, beginning to make plans for our family get-together.  Time is moving quickly!  I wish for you a lovely Thanksgiving Day with those whom you love.  If you will be traveling, I send you love and blessings for a safe trip.  May you enjoy this month and all that may come your way, that it may only hold goodness for you!

"May you enjoy a blessed November!"