Friday, May 20, 2011


I spent a bit of time (through three episodes of 30 Rock on Netflix) experimenting with some weaving techniques.
The first used small seed beads and a french weaving technique to create beaded leaves or petals. I first tried with these pretty iridescent ivory colored seed beads that are more chunky and have sort of a square perimeter. I found that it was very difficult to get the strands to wrap close together.

So then I tried again using small (very small!) pink seed beads and found it was much easier to keep the weaving tighter and more to the size I preferred. When I got done I added an extra shiny gold iris glass bead on top and twisted the wires below and created an open spiral out of them. I really liked the multiple textures that were created overall.

The next weaving technique used just wire to create a herringbone weave. I saw this done around a pearl on a listing on Etsy and thought it was so beautiful. I found that it coincidentally is the same process as the french bead weaving from above, but without the seed beads! It was a bit difficult to keep the wires where I wanted them, but ultimately, once I got it going, it was pretty smooth going and turned out very pretty! I used it to create pendants for earrings, but I also thought it would look really pretty as the top of a wire wrapped ring too!

I am sitting now with my girls finishing up an episode of The Backyardigans (oh how they can sing a harmony!), but once I have a moment I will definitely be adding pictures to this post so that my descriptions will make more sense.
Happy Friday!

Edit:  Pictures now added!  :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I happened upon the following website a few days ago which has a really great guide to gemstones. It's alphabetically ordered and has photographs of each gemstone right there in the list. I really liked its clear and concise layout and so I thought I would share this here on my blog.

What is your favorite gemstone? Or, rather, what are your favorites? (cause, really, I think it might be difficult to just choose one!)

There are so many more than the handful that we readily hear about - sapphire, ruby, topaz, etc. Many I've never heard of before. I look forward to experimenting with more of these amazing gemstones in the (hopefully near) future!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Birth Stones

I've been looking for a good summary of birth stones by month. The following excerpt is from the farmer's almanac online and was a pretty good succinct summary.

Birthstone Meanings by Month

January's birthstone, the garnet, is thought to keep the wearer safe during travel.

February's birthstone, the amethyst, is said to strengthen relationships and give its wearer courage. At one time, only royalty could wear the gem. Ancient Greeks thought that the amethyst guarded against intoxication. In fact, amethyst comes from amethystos, a Greek word meaning "sober."

March's birthstone, the aquamarine, was thought to cure heart, liver, and stomach diseases—all one had to do was drink the water in which the gem had been soaking. Early sailors believed that aquamarine talismans, etched with the likeness of the sea god Neptune, protected them against ocean dangers.

April's birthstone, the diamond, in addition to being a symbol of everlasting love, was once thought to bring courage. In Sanskrit, the diamond is called "vajra," which also means lightning; in Hindu mythology, vajra was the weapon of Indra, the king of gods.

May's birthstone, the emerald, was one of Cleopatra's favorite gems. It has long been associated with fertility, rebirth, and love. Ancient Romans went so far as to dedicate this stone to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Today, it is thought that emeralds signify wisdom, growth, and patience.

June's birthstone, the pearl, has long been a symbol of purity. The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

July's birthstone, the ruby, was regarded by ancient Hindus as the "king of gems." It was believed to protect its wearer from evil. Today, the ruby's deep-red color signifies love and passion.

August's birthstone, the peridot, symbolizes strength. It is sometimes called the evening emerald for its light green color. It was once believed that the green peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. When set in gold, this gem was said to protect the wearer from nightmares.

September's birthstone, the sapphire, was once thought to guard against evil and poisoning. It was believed that a venomous snake would die if placed in a vessel made of sapphire. Traditionally a favorite stone of priests and kings, the sapphire symbolizes purity and wisdom.

October's birthstone, the opal, symbolizes faithfulness and confidence. The word comes from the Latin opalus, meaning "precious jewel." Necklaces with opals set in them were worn to repel evil and to protect eyesight.

November's birthstone, the topaz, symbolizes love and affection. It is believed to give the wearer increased strength and intellect.

December's birthstone, turquoise, is regarded as a love charm. It is also a symbol of good fortune and success, and it is believed to relax the mind and to protect its wearer from harm. Turquoise rings, in particular, are thought to keep away evil spirits.

Did you know that each month also has an associated birth flower? There's a list with their meanings at:

Fun Stuff!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


One of the fantastic things about jewelry making is the endless possibilities! I've been reading oodles of blogs and online tutorials lately and as a result have learned and seen lots of inspiring techniques and ideas.

I have been a bit under the weather the last few days, but sitting in bed with all my gear spread around me has been a great distraction. A few new things I've tried include punching out of sheet metal, stamping sheet metal, and creating coiled shapes and filling in the centers with wrapped embroidery floss. I received a resin kit I ordered from (after receiving a discount as a fun prize from their totally captivating digital Easter egg hunt throughout their website! it was such a fun idea and so well executed!). So I did some reading up on resin bead creation and am excited to give that a try!

Photos will follow soon! And meanwhile, there are several other new pairs of earrings newly listed on my etsy shop - with new photography taken in my homemade light box.