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Posts This Month
·· Sterling silver and Swarovski crystal "tulip" earrings
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· Comments enabled on this blog...
·· Peridot earrings on goldfilled chain
·· Rambles...
·· Thoughts on crimps
·· Tool thoughts
·· Argentium Sterling� Silver experiences: My First Allergy test with Argentium� Sterling
·· Interesting article/site on argentium sterling silver
·· Argentium silver ear wires, end of Day 2
·· Rambles...
·· Coin pearl pattern
·· More Argentium sterling silver ear wire thoughts
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· Freshwater coin pearl jewelry
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· Argentium silver ear wire thoughts
·· Rambles and some pics
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· Triple hoop earrings with square pearls
·· Triple hoop earrings, hammered goldfilled wire and freshwater pearls
·· Three bracelets
·· Freshwater pearl multi-strand necklace
·· Bali vermeil and freshwater pearl earrings
·· Rambles...

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Beading Blog - thebroadroom.net: May 2007




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Sterling silver and Swarovski crystal "tulip" earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 31, 2007 at 5:58 PM (Pacific)

sterling silver and swarovski crystal hammered wire earrings

Pretty pleased with these...the design took me a couple of days. The original design had three bends at the bottom, not four, but I found you have to make these bends pretty deep, and almost closed at the tops, otherwise your dangles "jump" from bend to bend.

These use handmade hammered "paddle headpins": Make Paddle-Style Head Pins

The headpins are fun to make and can be surprisingly versatile, although you have to use beads with small holes for this gauge of wire. I used an emery board to smooth the edges of the "paddles" where necessary.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 30, 2007 at 10:35 PM (Pacific)

Started making a tutorial on how to make a pair of simple hoop earrings out of wire. It's not difficult of course, you just need a few basic tools, and once you have the tools, you can use them for other applications, such as making jewelry clasps, connectors, components in general...

I have the tools and materials part basically finished, with photos. What's frustrating is that I can't really finish it until I get some wire. The sad fact is, I've used a limited array of wire. I've hardly used soft wire at all...I bought some to wrap a few briolettes with...but in the main, I've used only half hard.

As far as gauges...I've used 20, 22, 24 and 26. For components, 20 gauge would be the thinnest you would normally use. My 22 gauge argentium silver earrings are nice but I wouldn't care to make a lot of them; they're really quite delicate.

So, that's where that is. The wire is next on my to-buy list anyway.

It's funny now that I think about it, but I actually haven't missed buying beads that much. I thought I would. There are some beads I need to make specific projects...the black crystals for the choker, some black semi-precious beads of some sort...I haven't designed anything with black semi-precious stones before, I'm clueless. Black onyx? Jet? Black obsidian? Blackstone? I would have to see them in person. Then I had the idea of large pearls and small pearls for particular projects.

Aside from these though, I've been able to keep busy using beads I already have.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 29, 2007 at 9:27 PM (Pacific)

I realize I've been pretty remiss lately, in describing how to do things. Part of it is just that it's been done, better, elsewhere:

Et cetera, et cetera. Even when I was starting out making jewelry in 2005, there was already quite a bit of information online about doing so. Now of course there is a great deal more.

I think I will try my hand at a simple tutorial though in the next post.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 2:03 PM (Pacific)



Nice eh? This is the icon for our "site tools" section, from the site map for TheBroadroom.Net.

Do not despair, I am going to put up all of the site content. I have the content. Most of it is going to end up in the topic blogs; I'm projecting another month to finish it.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 27, 2007 at 9:43 PM (Pacific)

May is drawing to a close...I'm rather thinking that three months is too long for a "bead cold turkey." Actually I don't know yet. I have only a few beads in my mind now...the black crystals for the choker, some large pearls for earrings, and small pearls for the "five pearl necklace."

I'll probably get the pearls at an LBS or I could wait for the next bead show. The crystals are cheaper to buy online.

It's actually wire that I'm running out of. So I may stick to the bead cold turkey after all, and just go for a wire order.

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Comments enabled on this blog...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 26, 2007 at 4:49 PM (Pacific)

Finally put comments on this blog. The reason I didn't have them before, is that we do have comments on both the Beauty Blog and Fashion Blog, and they were, at first, a pain.

I say "at first" because most of the comments were spam, some more subtle than others. Of the remainder, people were asking questions, when we have perfectly good forums a click away. No one on either TheBroadroom.Net or The Lipstick Page Forums gets paid to answer questions. Posting the question on the forums at least means several unpaid question-answerers can distribute the weight of answering the query.

Anyhow that's a whole lot of yadda yadda...after a while, Blogger implemented comment moderation. And we haven't gotten spam or questions in a long time. And you never know, once in a while someone genuinely wants to comment on something, and it's kind of neat to be able to do so.
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Peridot earrings on goldfilled chain
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 10:47 AM (Pacific)

peridot earrings on goldfilled chain

As you can see, it's the same design.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 25, 2007 at 7:26 PM (Pacific)

Made some earrings today, using this pattern:



The pair I made today were teardrop-shaped peridot (vertically drilled) rather than crystals. Didn't have enough of the tiny goldfilled beads so substituted slightly larger ones. Had to tweak the pattern a bit because of the different size and shape of the beads. But it's basically the same design.

This kind of earring requires a certain amount of patience. I found it easier to stick the earrings on the outside of an old bubble mailer envelope...was trying out this same envelope as a "stand" here:



You just stick the earrings in and then work on them, because sometimes you need everything to hang straight.

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Thoughts on crimps
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 1:33 PM (Pacific)

Since discovering the jewelrymaking.about.com forum, and thereby switching to 2x2mm sterling silver crimp tubes, I've had no real problems with crimps.

But recently someone was asking about finishing off pieces strung on Soft Flex, and three people responded saying they kept an extra inch of Soft Flex on either end after crimping, and threaded the extra inch back into the last few beads of the pieces.

Now I tried that initially when I was starting out stringing, and the extra end always seemed to migrate out of the beads, producing a tiny tail of Soft Flex that I just didn't like. After a while I started trimming the Soft Flex flush to the crimp.

Two of the three folks who responded about the extra inch of beading wire said they had repaired pieces where the Soft Flex had been trimmed flush to the crimp.

This got me to thinking...because I'm relatively new to beading. Looking at my pics label page, and keeping in mind I did much more wire wrapping than stringing for a long time, the citrine and sterling necklace badly photographed here would appear to be the oldest piece of strung jewelry I currently own.

I went back and examined my strung pieces. The majority of them were double crimped, with wire thimbles. Some had been finished with a single crimp, others with more than two crimps.

I think I will try out double crimping everything. It actually does work with the majority of my designs.

The question would be, how much stress is on the final crimp given a two-crimp + wire guardian configuration. I'm sorely tempted to make a dummy piece and pull the beejabbers out of it and see how much stress it can take. I'm actually not sure where the weak point would be.

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Tool thoughts
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 24, 2007 at 2:59 PM (Pacific)

I'm analyzing my tool set today. Basically deciding which tools to spend more $ on and which can be used inexpensively. I feel this is a personal decision and not something about which you can issue cookie-cutter advice.

Some people believe it's best to buy the best tools possible up front--which usually means the most expensive--because that way, you learn on good tools and cut your learning curve.

Some people believe that if you learn on tools that aren't top-of-the-line, you will be a stronger crafter, since you make the tools work for you.

I'm a bit in-between; I do think you should start out on tools that aren't top-of-the-line. Part of it will be to see how interested you are in the craft. If you drop it after a while, you won't be out that much $.

If you decide you like it, that's when you'll have a much more concrete idea which tools should be more expensive and which of your initial, less expensive tools will still work for you.

I should clarify...some "more expensive" tools are cheaper in the long run. I'm reminded of a pair of haircutting scissors I bought back in Virginia, when I was a teenager. I believe they were $15, which, in that time and place, was a lot of money for haircutting scissors. Exotically, they were made in Germany and for whatever reason, I bought them at that beauty supply shop in downtown Norfolk.

Those scissors stayed perfectly sharp for more than twenty years with no sharpening or other maintenance. They saw many a home haircut and trim. It's only now that they don't seem quite as sharp as before...I'm estimating 25 years because I'm not sure exactly how old I was when I bought them. Pretty darn good for $15.

So that's the kind of analysis I'm doing today:
  • How often do I use this tool?

  • What criticisms do I have of the tool I'm currently using?

  • How would my work be improved by the new tool?

  • How long do I expect the new tool to last?

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Argentium Sterling� Silver experiences: My First Allergy test with Argentium� Sterling
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 23, 2007 at 11:37 PM (Pacific)

Argentium Sterling� Silver experiences: My First Allergy test with Argentium� Sterling
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Interesting article/site on argentium sterling silver
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 11:30 PM (Pacific)

Is Argentium Sterling hypoallergenic?

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Argentium silver ear wires, end of Day 2
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 10:04 PM (Pacific)

Well I'll be darned. All these years, I've never been able to wear sterling silver earrings. I tried it many times over the years, then finally gave up. But these argentium ear wires have worked...I still have them in. No oozing, itching, pain, redness, swelling...amazing, simply amazing. If you are designing for metal sensitivity, you may want to look into this.

I got this great tip from the jewelrymaking.about.com forum, which I'll say again, is the best beading forum. What's great is that it's well run, has a core group of knowledgeable and friendly posters, and is the perfect size--big enough to always have new material, small enough so you don't feel lost in the crowd. :)

So, it's go for the argentium wire earring experiment. Yay!

Oddly enough I've started liking these "test earrings." At first I felt they were too thin...they're made from the only argentium wire I had on hand...now I think they look interesting that way. The effect is almost like invisible hoops where you have the dangles floating in air. I suspect they might look better with two dangles per hoop instead of one...might try that.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 3:29 PM (Pacific)

Sorry about posting as TheBroadroom.Net a few times recently. Been working on getting the old site content formatted, starting with what's on the blogs...I usually have two blogger accounts open at the same time.

Anyhow, I've narrowed it down to three projects...not that I don't have a bunch of half-finished stuff sitting around :D but it's probably easier to do three projects at a time.

*** Coin pearl necklace and bracelet (possibly earrings) from the pattern in the previous post. That's easy, all I need are the three-to-one reducers and enough wire to make the hooks.

I could actually make the three-to-one reducers similar to this: image I went through this site and couldn't figure out where the image came from, found it in Google and thought it was neat.

But I already have three-to-one reducers picked out, it's a matter of ordering them.

*** Choker made of argentium sterling silver wire and black crystals. This is a little more involved, since I'll basically need to order everything for it--wire, crystals, argentium silver beads.

*** Series of hoop earrings. These I'm going to make in argentium silver first. At least I hope so. At the end of today, I'll know. Amazingly, so far the argentium silver hoops I've been wearing have not irritated my ears.

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Coin pearl pattern
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 12:25 PM (Pacific)



This is what the bracelet and necklace are going to look like. I'm going to try stringing it using a three-to-one reducer, not sure about the clasp yet (thinking of using handmade wire hooks though).

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More Argentium sterling silver ear wire thoughts
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, May 22, 2007 at 7:25 PM (Pacific)

I got to wear these only a few hours last time, now I've been wearing them another few hours. So far, so good. I should explain that I can't wear "regular" sterling silver or 14KT gold ear wires, only 18KT ($) or niobium...niobium is best but harder to integrate into designs than gold or silver.

I'm going to try wearing these over the next day or so, all day, to see if they really work (knock wood).

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Rambles...
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, at 3:05 PM (Pacific)

Okey dokey...came up with a design I like for the coin pearl bracelet. It's monumentally simple...realized that, for this piece, I'd gone overboard with the "dragon's hoard" (thanks to Mary V. for this poetic beading term). I suppose I was overcompensating for those days when I didn't have that many kinds of beads to use, but sometimes, simple is good.

In fact I like this design so much, I'm going to make a matching necklace. Maybe matching earrings (it's going to depend how many coin pearls I have, so I might need to modify the design some).

I'm at the point now where I'm ready to make a few more expensive items. I almost went ahead and ordered the wire today, then realized that was kind of stupid...for something like this, you need to know exactly (to the inch) how much wire and what gauge. So I'm wearing my argentium silver hoops today:



If this metal works out over several days, I'm going to order the wire in argentium silver and make the earrings. Once I know what kind of wire to get, that's when I'll get the spendier wire. I know the length I'll need but not sure of the gauge. (Plus I need some finer gauge wire, where I know the gauge but not the length.)

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 20, 2007 at 11:07 PM (Pacific)

Not sure if I like that two-strand pearl bracelet. With the citrines, the two-strand design works...because the citrines catch the light...you get a nice glowing effect even with only the two strands. But for whatever reason, two strands of pearls don't seem "enough" for that piece.

I tried adding on another strand, just literally adding it to one of the loops in the two-strand clasp. That aspect of it does work...using a two-strand clasp for a three-strand piece, it doesn't look funny. But I'm looking at redesigning and restringing the entire piece. It does look funny having two of the strands in a two-to-two connector bead and one strand just by itself. Darn.

I have some three-to-three connector beads left so that's my plan...take everything out, make a more cohesive design and shlep the three new strands into the three-to-three bead.

Right now it's a train wreck, I put some 8mm Swarovski roundelles in the new strand (these are nice) but the overall look is too undefined.

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Freshwater coin pearl jewelry
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, at 6:42 PM (Pacific)

Okey dokey...

coin pearl earrings on hammered goldfilled wire

multi-strand bracelet with freshwater coin and corn pearls

They're both pretty straightforward pieces. The bracelet is "reversible" of course, you can wear the coin pearl side toward your hand or away from it.

I'm still playing with the idea of making bracelets composed of multiple bracelets, rather than just multiple strands of the same bracelet, if that makes any sense. I have a couple of these already strung...one is mostly Swarovski crystals, but I crowded all three strands into the same loop and I think it would be better to use jump rings. The other, as mentioned earlier, is the same as the one pictured above only with silver beads instead of vermeil.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 19, 2007 at 10:50 PM (Pacific)

Had to make some jewelry on the fly today. I already had my multi-strand freshwater pearl necklace (in the Handmade Jewelry gallery linked to at the bottom of this post). It's a good piece, dramatic without being over the top, but I had only a few pearl earrings to choose from (I know how ridiculous that sounds...and I had to choose which limousine to ride in too, my life is such a tragedy).

But given that I have pearls from here and there, I decided to go with a simple pair of coin pearl earrings. (I'll take pics tomorrow, promise.) It was at this point (I wasn't rushing, had a couple of hours to come up with earrings and a bracelet) that it occurred to me that finally, after toiling since the latter half of 2005, I was now at that magical point at which you can make a piece of jewelry without reinventing the wheel.

That's been my big, albeit lazy, dream since the beginning. I wanted to develop my own "templates" for pieces. Didn't want to use anyone else's templates...nothing personal, just wanted to develop my own.

So, for the earrings, I went with this design:

handmade turquoise earrings on hammered goldfilled wire

Just plugged in a coin pearl instead of American turquoise.

For the bracelet, I went with an existing design also...I don't have a pic of the original, since I'm still fiddling around with it. But it is a two-strand bracelet, one strand made of coin pearls, the other corn pearls.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 18, 2007 at 6:47 PM (Pacific)

Went ahead and made the other earring. For one thing, nothing drives me crazier than making a single earring. For another, so far, the argentium silver is working out. It's premature to say, but so far, no redness, swelling, itching or irritation (knock wood)!

Regardless of whether the argentium works out, I had been planning on making something like this for a very long time. What I'd like is to make two sets of hoop earrings, one silver, one gold, then make a bunch of little dangles to dangle off them.

It's the same as those sets they sell you, but here you get to choose the size of your hoops, the exact material (I could make such a set in 18KT gold), and the beads to use for the dangles.

As a beader the notion of being able to use two beads is attractive unto itself, as, so often, you end up with a few "odd man out" beads from various strands and projects.

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Argentium silver ear wire thoughts
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 4:37 PM (Pacific)

argentium sterling silver wire hoop earring with keishi pearl

Read on the jewelrymaking.about.com forum that Argentium silver might be better for people with metal sensitivities, than regular sterling silver.

Having nothing to lose--I can't wear either regular sterling or 14KT gold earrings, only 18KT gold or niobium--I made up this solitary hoop earring. Normally I'd use a heavier gauge of wire for this, but this is the thickest Argentium wire I had on hand. I hammered the hoop to make it harder and added a pink keishi pearl drop.

So far so good, but then I haven't been wearing it that long, probably an hour at most. I'll post back here if it does work out.

I hate getting my hopes up, because for years and years I couldn't wear earrings at all...then Simply Whispers came out, and drugstores started selling those special surgical stainless wires in packs (which they don't seem to anymore?). Initially I converted my earrings to these types of wire, then I found 18KT gold also worked (but how many of those can you buy). Niobium is the best of all. But let's see if this argentium works.

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Rambles and some pics
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 17, 2007 at 7:16 PM (Pacific)

Haven't been able to make anything new (or even redo anything old) lately...been fixing up the site. Got fed up doing it for a long time...now I'd like to get it back into shape.

So far I've finished most of the active blogs and some of the archived ones. I started doing the Wit & Wisdom Blog--it used to be five enormous posts, before there were individual pages for blogs. Now I'm making it one quote = one post. (It's probably less than half done now, since you can't keep posting like that on Blogger.)

It's not going to be nearly as horrible as it looks now...I'm going to put a search engine on it (once at least some of this stuff gets crawled) so you'll be able to search it properly.

I did get to take a couple new pics as follows:

labradorite and vermeil multi-strand bracelet

^ This is all labradorite and vermeil.

citrine and sterling silver multi-strand bracelet

^ This is citrine and sterling silver. It's not a new piece, just a new pic.

bali vermeil cage bead and turquoise necklace

Top view of my Bali cage bead necklace.

black swarovski crystal and bali vermeil necklace and earrings

Same black Swarovski crystal and Bali vermeil necklace and earrings.

The rest of the new pics are in my Picasa album.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 15, 2007 at 4:12 PM (Pacific)

Did I mention my new Picasa account? It's linked to at the top of the page, this one:

handmade jewelry

I'm still putting stuff into it, but basically I'm trying to take better photographs of the stuff and consolidate all the pics into one place.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 12, 2007 at 5:15 PM (Pacific)

So what's up? Wore my triple hoop earrings today. Very pleased. It's always a moment of truth, wearing a new piece all day, wondering if the darn thing is going to flip all over the place or require constant "fiddling," but this is good. I'm definitely going to make a pair of them later on out of better wire.

I'm at the point that I need to start making lists. Need to organize my thoughts. So far I have:
  1. The hoop earrings out of better wire, probably either two smaller nested hoops or a single hoop design.

  2. Perhaps a simple endless hoop. I'll have to make a prototype for this first.

  3. A hoop with a pearl dangle? This can be the same as the endless hoop, or just a smaller hoop.

  4. A five pearl necklace. Here I'm going to need 14KT gold chain or better, because this is going to be a super simple piece, literally just five pearls on gold chain. Still shopping around to find reasonably priced chain.

  5. I've ditched the idea of making handmade links...tried it out today. They're not soldered, just wrapped the ends around and hammered the links. Kind of interesting, but not that great.

  6. Still pondering the choker.

  7. Have the idea of getting two large pearls...these need not be perfect pearls, just large and interesting looking...for a super simple pair of earrings.

If I think of more stuff, I'll push it onto the end of the list.

Later:

Have you been having problems publishing on Blogger lately? I had this post sitting in the blog but it didn't get published.

Anyhow, finally got the chance to take apart my wrapped link necklace mentioned earlier. I put some of the links back together in the basic design for the choker. It looks good. I'll have to skip adding anything on the bottom of the choker, that would just look cluttered. But the basic idea looks good.

Gold or silver? Gold would look fancier. Let's make it goldfilled wire.

Not sure what to do in back. Technically it should end in three "strands," two longer than the third (easy, add a jump ring or two to the shorter one, or a teeny bead link or something else to extend it). Thinking of using a three-to-one reducer bar and a simple hook.

Yet later:

Cripe! What's up with Blogger? There's nothing wrong with my FTP, that works fine. mutters...

Each time it doesn't publish, I feel like adding on some thoughts.
  1. I need to make some silver earrings with black stones.

These could actually be black crystals, but I'd rather go for stones. Black onyx perhaps. These earrings are to match a necklace I have...remind me to photograph it and the blue and silver one I made these for:


  1. Silver earrings same as the picture, with lapis stones instead of apatite.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 10, 2007 at 9:59 PM (Pacific)

Haven't been able to make anything new lately...grumbles... What I was planning to do, was take apart the necklace here...it's one of my earlier ventures in making wrapped links, I don't want to keep it. But I was going to use it to develop the pattern for my black sparkly choker. It will also give me a better idea what size crystals to use.

It could be designed like a series of flower shapes. In that regard, the flower shapes could be different colors...or the same color, connected using a second color. I'm drawing it out now and each flower shape would consist of 12 wrapped links. The connection consists of only two links so it's the flower color that's going to show.

Once I get a few of the existing links connected, I'll know whether or not this design is going to work. If it isn't, I'm game to make an illusion necklace instead.

Came across this site...I was looking for information about Modern Atelier (a perfumer based in Richmond, Virginia) but the name "Richmond Craft Mafia" had to catch my eye:

off the record...

And I was looking around on Youtube for some videos about precious metal clay...because I've spent some time on Youtube, can I admit I love what Google did with it? At first I was convinced Youtube was a bunch of crap, it would simply be everyone who would otherwise have wanted to be on TV...but it's good.

http://youtube.com/results?search_query=precious+metal+clay&search=Search

Have no idea when I would be able to get into this...I'm just saying.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 9, 2007 at 10:40 PM (Pacific)

Okay, I have an idea now for the choker, although it is nothing like the one in the previous post's video. I'm thinking of making it entirely out of wrapped bead links and jump rings. Revisiting the earlier idea of making the "fabric" of the necklace out of such.

What's going to make it stand or fall then, given that it's going to be a simple design, is using the right crystals and wire. I checked the price for wire with a higher gold content on my supplier's site and, forget about it. This kind of thing is a real wire-eater so it will be either argentium silver or 14KT goldfill.

I actually have some argentium silver wire on hand, it's half hard but I've gotten used to working with that. If I want the jump rings to be argentium silver though, I'll have to get some wire for that. I'm envisioning using round crystals. The idea will be to use a crystal with some width, to fill up more space between the links. I'm thinking jet crystals with two finishes, regular and AB. Speculating that AB on its own would be too flashy, and plain on its own would be too ordinary.

If I get the beads now, it will go against my "bead cold turkey" since the idea was not to buy new beads until next quarter. The thing is, it's going to take me forever to finish this piece. I'm going to turn it over in my mind some, but right now I'm seeing argentium silver wire and round black crystals, two finishes (or two colors of crystal, black and clear)?

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 6:11 PM (Pacific)

I had a few minutes to kill today, so I started sketching a few things I'd like to make.

One is going to be an expensive pair of gold wire earrings. It's not going to be a ginormous pair obviously, but I am making some prototypes of hoop earrings out of less $ wire to see what clicks.

Thinking of a simple endless loop, hammered. But if that's too plain, I can go for two nested hoops (not three the way I did my goldfilled ones).

Another thought is to take a thick wire and hammer it...not sure how easy it is to prototype this. The supplier I'm thinking of has the spendy wire in low gauges, but I'll have to investigate how thick they go for goldfilled or sterling (it doesn't matter which).

I'd like to make a choker...not this one:



I'm digging it mind you, but I doubt I have the skill as of yet. But something along the lines of a more dramatic choker, preferably with black crystals or jet or something otherwise black and sparkly.

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Triple hoop earrings with square pearls
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 8, 2007 at 4:13 PM (Pacific)

Okay, decided to go with the square pearls for these. I'm still pondering the nature of the hoop...because I'd like to make some out of wire with a higher gold content. Is it possible to make a good pair without the expense of goldsmithing, yes I think it is. But I'm not in a rush over it.

Anyhow thought I'd experiment some with outdoor photography. I realize you seldom see jewelry "on" someone in professional photographs, but I secretly feel that's a shame. I love seeing jewelry on someone. I suppose it jells for me, the exact proportions and flow of the jewelry, how the earrings hang, where on the neck does the necklace lie. Funny eh?

triple hoop hammered goldfilled wire earrings with square pearls

Why the closed eyes, it was either that or squint or do the pic with sunglasses on. Detail:

triple hoop hammered goldfilled wire earrings with square pearls

triple hoop hammered goldfilled wire earrings with square pearls

I love this one ^ because of the shadow.

Indoors:

triple hoop hammered goldfilled wire earrings with square pearls

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Triple hoop earrings, hammered goldfilled wire and freshwater pearls
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 7, 2007 at 3:22 PM (Pacific)

triple hoop earrings, hammered goldfilled wire and freshwater pearls

Not sure what to do with these yet...right now they're identical, except one has a square pearl and one has a coin-shaped one. I'm basically out of goldfilled wire of that gauge, so making too many more of this design is out of the question until I replace it...but I'm envisioning three pairs of earrings that mix and match (i.e. two square pearl ones, two coin pearl ones, two of something else).

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Three bracelets
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 5, 2007 at 11:06 AM (Pacific)

swarovski crystal, freshwater pearl, glass bracelets

Here are three little bracelets made of various materials...swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, blue lace agate chips, and some blue glass beads I've had for a while.

Edited to add: was in a hurry when I posted this, had to finish the pieces in a hurry too... The bottom two bracelets were designed by my daughter (by herself, I didn't check her work over).

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Freshwater pearl multi-strand necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 2, 2007 at 7:48 PM (Pacific)

freshwater pearl multi-strand necklace

Pretty pleased with this...it's a bit longer than a choker, so it's comfortable on even with the multiple strands.

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Bali vermeil and freshwater pearl earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 4:01 PM (Pacific)

bali vermeil and freshwater pearl earrings

These are yesterday's earrings. I've decided they're not too heavy. In fact I'll probably make a silver version, although I'm not sure I'll use pearls for that one.

Still finishing off the six-strand pearl necklace...that's 24 crimp covers to add. :p Probably take a pic tomorrow.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 1, 2007 at 7:44 PM (Pacific)

I've come to a conclusion: it's not worth trying to photograph jewelry at night, unless you've got a light box. At some point I will have to construct one...I've seen online the kind that use a plastic gallon milk jug...you cut the bottom off the jug (leaving the top and sides), place your item under the jug, shine light at the sides of the jug, and take the picture through the top (where you used to pour the milk!). It sounds a bit daft but in theory it should work. The issue has to do with light diffusion after all, which is why I can't take non-light-box photos at night (the flash bounces off the shiny beads and findings, creating glare).

It's too bad, I made some nice pieces today...one is a six-strand necklace, very simple, just freshwater pearls. I didn't have enough strands of one kind of pearls, so I mixed two slightly different kinds (imo made the piece have a bit more dimension actually). To go with this, I made some earrings out of Bali vermeil reducer beads and wire wrapped top-drilled pearls. They're a tad heavier than other earrings I've made; will have to wear them all day to see if the weight is acceptable to me.

Will try taking pics tomorrow. :)

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