Apr 28, 2011

Blue Jade and Bali Silver Bangle

I decided I was getting short on my wired bangles so it was time to make a new one. Having purchased some 20g square wire a while ago this seemed the ideal opportunity to use some. Using 20g meant that the bangle would not seem as delicate as some of my bangles have so I wanted a slightly bolder design. 

I had some gorgeous beads of Jade dyed a lovely blue colour and fortunately, unlike a lot of gemstone beads, the holes on these beads were big enough to cope with the wire I wanted to use. I then decided it would look to accent each bead by encircling it with some Bali silver spacer beads that I had. Finally i used the outer core wires of the bangle to frame the beads.

So, the final product - my Blue Jade and Bali Silver Bangle.

Apr 27, 2011

Twilight Market 29th April

Once again, here are some more BrisStylers who will be trading at the BrisStyle Indie Twilight Market on April 29th:

Apr 26, 2011

Playing with Shells

On one of my visits to NZ I picked up some gorgeous pieces of pink mussel shell, all that had been drilled to be used as pendants. One piece was quite a bit larger than the others and was a good pendant size, the other pieces were smaller and had all been corner drilled.

I decided to come up with a necklace design that used all the drilled pieces of shell together. The first decision was how to actually hang them from the necklace. I wanted to ensure that they all hang freely, and clear of each other so that each piece could be clearly seen. I therefore decided to create a frame from which to suspend the shell pieces.

Using sterling silver wire I therefore wrapped three pieces of wire together shaping them as I went to create a swirly frame from which all the pink mussel could be suspended.

I then had to decide how to complete the chain of the necklace. I decided that fresh water pearls would be a good match with the mussel shell. Initially I tried pink dyed pearls but these tended to clash with rather than compliment the shells, the pink of the shells being such a delicate shade of pink. I therefore tried with some natural coloured pearls and decided that these worked well. Each fresh water pearl was therefore set on sterling silver links.

Finally the clasp, with the necklace having a major wire wrapped component to it with the initial frame, I knew a bought clasp just wouldn't look right. I therefore wired together my own toggle style of clasp.

So, after my play with my shells, I ended up with my new necklace design - my Pink Mussel and Freshwater Pearl Necklace.

Apr 25, 2011

BrisStyle Marketeers - BITM 29th April

Here are some more Marketeers will will be trading at the next BrisStyle Twilight Market in King George Square on April 29th.

Amethyst and Sterling Tear Drop Necklace

Even though for the most part I like to keep all my designs original and one offs, there are times when I have come up with a good design that I want to use again - or at least, use as the basis for a new design that is a variation to the original. This was what happened with this new necklace. I had previously had a tear drop design necklace featuring some laboradite, and then had a variation of that that still featured laboradite but this time included a cabochon focal.

This time I had some gorgeous checkerboard faceted Amethyst briolettes that I wanted to feature. The Amethysts slightly varied in size from one largest and so I set the largest at the front of the necklace and then slightly graduated the tear drop shaped frames working back. So this has allowed some slight variations form my original design, the stones, the number and the graduation. The chain is slightly different too, this time using S shaped links, finishing with an S shaped hook clasp. The S links allow for the chain to be worn slightly shorter if desired.

Apr 24, 2011

Sunday Theme - From the Sea

The sea is one of the most powerful forces on the planet and yet is so beloved by most people. The sea breathes life and vitality, and is of course teeming with a world of its own. From the coral to the fish, the wildlife in the sea is endless with much of it still to be discovered.

For crafters the treasures of the sea bring their own bounties - so much inspiration!

My piece that fits this week's theme is my Seashell Lampwork Pendant.

Here are some pieces from members of my Jet and BrisStyle teams that also fit the theme:






Apr 23, 2011

Sapphire Earrings - Pink

When I joined in a gemstone buy last year I bought my first ever lot of Sapphire gemstones - was very exciting. They were a gorgeous selection of stones, some in varying shades of the more traditional blue colour, and some in varying shades of pink.

The size of all the Sapphires, in tear drop briolettes, meant that they were perfect for earrings so I decided to team some of the pink sapphires with 14k gold fill wire, and some of the blue sapphires with sterling silver.

I wire wrapped the pink Sapphires in the 14k gold fill wire and then suspended them all from a jump ring - 8 sapphires to each earring. These jump rings were then in turn suspended from some hand forged ear wires - also made using 14k gold fill wire.

So there you have it, my first design using Sapphires, my Pink Sapphire and Gold Earrings.

Apr 22, 2011

Friday Favourites


Introducing Some BrisStyle Marketeers

Here are some BrisStyle Marketeers who will be appearing at the next BrisStyle Twilight Market on April 29th:

Apr 21, 2011

Before and After - Photo Editing

Now by no means do I profess to be an expert but even for a rank amateur like me using photo editing software can make such a huge difference to the final quality of product photos. I thought it would be fun to show some before and after photos of a couple of pieces that I have just listed (I usually immediately delete all my "befores") so you can see what a huge difference it can make.

Other than the white background, these photos were edited using the "guided editing" feature (I said I was no expert) on Photoshop.



Apr 20, 2011

White, Blue and Gold Lily Pendant

Lilies are one of my favourite flowers so you can imagine how delighted I was to discover this gorgeous fused glass cabochon in the store of one of my fellow JET team members Emotional Oasis. Actually truth be told it was originally set with a bail to use as a pendant but Emo kindly agreed to take the bale back off and refire to make a smooth cabochon.

Having got hold of the lovely cabochon I wanted to do it proud. Although blue is traditionally paired with silver I decided to go with the 14k gold wire to give a more luxurious feel to the pendant and also because I knew it would help to pick out the colours of the lily, with stamens. 

I then created a frame that would leave the cabochon looking as if it were suspended within the frame, twisting the central wires, and then using them to sweep across the top of the pendant.

So there you have it, the design story behind my White, Blue and Gold Lily Pendant.

Apr 18, 2011

Not a Spider in Sight!


As any one who knows me at all well will know, I hate spiders - so much so that I don't even like pretend ones! I do however appreciate the shape of their webs, and can even, when pushed, admit that they can look quite good outside with the morning dew on them. So, when coming up with my new design pendant, my remit to myself was a web with dew but no spiders.

Having learned to wrap two "spokes" of wire together when folowing a tutorial for making a cross, I figured the same principle should be able to be used for even more strands. The main difference that I bought to making this work was to hammer the centre of the wires flat so that they were more easily able to sit on top of each other. I used four pieces of wire to create the shape I wanted thus having eight ends to wrap together. I then built up the wraps from the centre thus creating the web shape.

For the last round of wrapping wire I added White Alabaster Swarovski Crystals, thereby creating my glistening dew on the outer edges of the web. Finanlly I wrapped a fresh water pearl to the centre of the web.

So, the final design, now available online, is my Sterling and Crystal Web Pendant.

Sunday Theme - Red

Red, one of the primary colours, is a colour that can both provoke and represent powerful emotions. From the old English rēad, red is used as a symbol of guilt, sin or anger, often as connected with blood or sex. Contrastingly the colour red is also associated with love, passion, lust and beauty as well. Red is also used as a symbol of courage and sacrifice which is probably why it is one of the most common colours found on national flags.

When it comes to jewellery these seems to be a shortage of red gemstones, as compared to other colours, especially if you're looking for bright red. Garnets is one of the gemstones that is in red and they are used in the piece of mine that I have chosen to represent my theme - my Sterling Silver and Garnet Watch.

Here are some more red items from some of my fellow team members in the JET and BrisStyle teams:





Apr 17, 2011

BrisStyle Indie Twilight Market

The countdown is on to the next BrisStyle Indie Twilight Market in King George Square, Brisbane on the 29th April. The market will run from 5.00pm to 9.00pm with over 60 stalls of handmade goodness.  Why don't you pop on over to the BrisStyle site to get details on all the fabulous stall holders who will be there.

In the meantime I am busy getting all my new pieces ready and will be showing off a few more of them over the next couple of weeks.

Apr 15, 2011

New Mixed Metals Design

Well I'm mixing my metals again! I am also using patterned wire again having previously created both an all silver bangle with patterned wire and also a bangle with gold patterned wire edged and wrapped with sterling silver wire. This time I have used some sterling silver patterned wire, with a gorgeous hearts design and teamed it with some 14k gold fill wire to create my Gold and Silver Hearts Wired Bangle.

Apr 13, 2011

Ruby in Zoisite and Silver Chains Necklace

I'm starting to catch up with my photo taking, although there's a way to go yet, and so I can finally start listing some of my new designs.

My latest necklace, is definitely one of those designs where less is more. The beauty of the design is that it is so simple and focuses on the gorgeous gemstone beads of Ruby in Zoisite. These gemstones are primarily in the deep green colour of Zoisite, with its black markings, but in several of the beads, the rich red of the Ruby can clearly be seen coming through.

Each gemstone bead is set on a sterling silver link to which two chains of sterling silver have been securely wrapped. There are two chains between each of the beads, thus creating a "station" style necklace.

Apr 10, 2011

Sunday Theme - Clouds

A cloud is a visible mass of water droplets or frozen ice crystals suspended in the earth's atmosphere. Of all weather phenomena, clouds are among the most fascinating. From the silky filaments to high altitude cirrus to the towering, threatening mass of storm-bearing cumulonimbus, clouds are as varied as the weather itself. I just love looking up at the sky sometimes and seeing the fascinating patterns, shapes and colours that the clouds can form.

Of course, as with many other facets of nature, the shapes and colours of clouds are well used by designers.

I bought a fused glass cabochon aptly entitled cloudy day, and this is now the main feature in my Cloudy Day Bangle.

Here are some more examples of clouds being used by members of the BrisStyle team:





Apr 9, 2011

Win $100 to spend on Artfire!

To celebrate the launching of a new daily email called "The Artfire Collection of the Day" Artfire are giving away a $100 gift certificate good for any Pro Studio (including mine) every day!

Here's how it works:
  • Sign up to receive the ArtFire Collection of the Day
  • Artfire will send you a unique 3Letter-3Number code (eg AAA-111). This is your shopper code.
  • Each day the Collection of the Day email will include one shopper code, if your shopper code matches the winning code you can claim a $100 gift certificate good in any Pro Studio on Artfire
So if you fancy a chance to spend $100 in my studio without it costing you anything now here's your chance! Just sign up here!

Friday Favourites


Apr 4, 2011

A Great Invention

Sometimes reading through Jewelry making magazines can be worth it just to discover the new products that are highlighted. One great example of this is the Easy Earring Card Hole Punch Kit that I read about in one magazine. On looking into it further I discovered that the kit consisted of two punches, a leverback punch and a double post punch, designed to make creating your own earring cards so much easier. Since I was in the process of getting my own designed earring cards these proved to be a great find. These have definitely proved to be a great buy, with both punches having their uses for different styles of earrings, and I can well recommend this product. Check out the Easy Earring Card website for further details.

April Birthstone - Diamonds

Diamonds are probably the most well known and the most coveted of all gemstones. Diamond is the hardest natural material known and this hardness is the source of its name. Diamonds are first thought to have been recognised and mined in India, where they have been treasured for at least 3000 years.

Although mostly known for being colourless, diamonds can actually come in a variety of colours, the colours being caused by impurities, inclusions or structural defects. The most rare coloured diamond is the yellow diamond.

With diamonds being such a luxury there are several stones that can made a good substitute colour (clear) wise including rock crystals, white topaz, and the synthetic cubic zirconia.

Here is an example of a piece of jewellery made with a rock crystal - my Crystal Quartz and Gold Necklace

Some members of the Jetteam have been lucky enough to work with the real thing - so are are some examples of hand crafted jewellery using real diamonds:





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