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·· Labradorite necklace
·· Pic of redone blue chalcedony necklace
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· "A" sapphire earrings
·· New post preview feature
·· Happy New Year! (pic of double strand freshwater pearl necklace, pearl earrings)

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Beading Blog - January 2008

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One woman's adventures in the wide, wonderful world of beading.
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Labradorite necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, January 31, 2008 at 4:16 PM (Pacific)

labradorite necklace
labradorite necklace clasp detail
labradorite necklace pendant detail

I have this on the LP blog actually, only now I've worn it a few times. It's interesting, because often there's a problem putting a flat stone in front of a necklace. On many designs, the flat bead will turn sideways and stick straight out instead of lying flat. This is particularly true of a string of flat beads; it looks nice, but is impossible to wear.

This works somehow. I suspect it has to do with the stone itself--it's cut so there's slightly more weight on one side of it. As long as you face it correctly, it'll stay flat.

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Pic of redone blue chalcedony necklace
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, January 24, 2008 at 8:28 PM (Pacific)

blue chalcedony and bali vermeil necklace

I didn't change much, it's just longer in the back (the two blue beads in back were too high before), and the wrapping is much nicer.

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posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 5:15 PM (Pacific)

Finally got around to redoing this:

blue chalcedony, bali vermeil and goldfilled chain necklace

Discovered I'd managed to fluff one of the vermeil beads in the back on the original piece. After I'd fixed it, I decided to go back and make it current, i.e., fix it up the way I'd do the same piece today.

I've decided one of the Laws of Beading...besides "the last element you need to do is always the hardest" "it's somehow harder to redo an old piece than to make a new one."

I had to wrap one of the chalcedony beads literally five times, if you count the original wrap. Twice, there wasn't enough space to tuck the wire, and the second time the spacer bead got crushed up (discovered it was a seamed bead)...the chain slipped out of the wrap once...then, when I'd finally done it, I discovered I'd managed to cut off one of the links of the chain. Meaning I had to redo both the chalcedony bead and its adjacent link. Bugger...but it looks nice now. Better than in the pic.

In other news: a Shiana Sakura sighting: Entwined and Dew. She's got more Shiana products up in her Etsy shop. I find it helpful to see the components "in" something, even though the Shiana site photographs all of the pieces next to a ruler.

I have one of those Sakura pendants...haven't gotten around to making the necklace yet. It looks nice in the link, on a silver chain. I'm envisioning garnet or rose quartz with mine (it's bright silver too), stones?

I just finished watching last season's Dirt, the tv show with Courteney Cox. It's very much a Hollywood insider show...and I like it, it's good. The reason I'm mentioning it here is, they use the most fantastic artisan jewelry in that show. It's like they made a point of finding really nice stuff and then having the various characters wear it. I could watch the whole thing all over again just to look at the jewelry. Highly recommended.


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posted by Colleen Shirazi, January 21, 2008 at 11:38 AM (Pacific)

Haven't been doing many new projects lately, aside from the aforementioned earrings. Mostly, I've been going back over old projects...the ones I want to keep...and fixing them up. It's a slow but steady process.

Traditionally (if three years' worth of anything can have tradition), I've been taking a month or two off beading every year. Now I don't need to do that. I suppose I've felt a certain amount of stress, in whether I could really make jewelry.

I'm not crafty by nature. My interest in making jewelry derives from my interest in the thing itself. But now I feel I have the capability, and it's simply a matter of keeping at it. So, instead of grinding to a halt, I've decided to do it more slowly, more introspectively, for the given month or two.

goldfilled circle pendant with pink freshwater pearl

goldfilled circle pendant with pink freshwater pearl detail

Here is a redo of a hoop originally designed with thicker wire. I ran out...of course...actually I was short in the neighborhood of a quarter- to half-inch of wire, and my supplier is out of stock of this gauge (and has been for quite some time). I don't want to switch suppliers, so I redid the hoop with the gauge on hand.

The golden circle is nice...I made it like a wedding ring in size. Haven't worked out the top 100% yet, I had to bend the loop over to get the pendant to hang straight. It's balanced, but I'd like to make the loop look more centered.

Wondering if these guys have something in common:

lapis necklace and sapphire earrings

For this necklace, I had made some "moral obligation" earrings, plain hammered silver hoops with lapis dangles. Nice, but, the sapphire earrings are nicer. I haven't worn them together yet though.

blue chalcedony and vermeil necklace

Discovered I'd fluffed one of the Bali vermeil beads in the back. If I'm redoing it though, I'll probably add an extender chain.

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"A" sapphire earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, January 17, 2008 at 5:32 PM (Pacific)

sterling silver and sapphire earrings
sterling silver and goldfilled sapphire earrings

The bottom pic was taken rather hastily, I didn't have time to hang the earrings properly so I put them down on a white tee shirt. :)

Here I went for grade over size, so these sapphires are really very small. But they're not the opaque stones normally used in handmade jewelry; they're translucent, with small areas of transparency.

This is a hoop idea I got from Midori Jewelry. That was the first place I saw such a hoop. I'm getting better at making them although I've found I need to be very slow and patient while doing the wrap at the top. It's easy to fuddle it up. I added my own "touch" by hammering the wraps. Mainly because on some of my hoops, I didn't feel the wrap was secure enough, but I don't dislike the finished look. The idea for me is to produce something that looks a tiny bit rough, after all.

I can't wear 14KT gold earrings so you'll note, I used vermeil ear wires for the gold pair (from Shiana). Normally I don't think vermeil would work, but the Shiana vermeil, so far, is as superior as they claim. The gold plate is thicker than usual, plus it's over fine silver rather than sterling.

I went for the relatively inexpensive 14KT gold tiny beads to give the earring a more golden appearance. In fact it crossed my mind you could cover most of the wire with these beads if you wanted to.

It took me forever to come up with this design, because I specifically wanted to make smaller earrings. Tiny stones + smaller earrings...the stones didn't show well with my earlier designs. For example, I tried the one where you take a piece of wire and wrap it round and round the hoop--similar to this: Going Green Hand-Forged Earrings--and the tiny little sapphires hardly showed at all. weeps! I concluded the only way to get them to show would be to use a lot of them, all together.

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New post preview feature
posted by Colleen Shirazi, January 2, 2008 at 3:30 PM (Pacific)

I tried implementing the same version of this I used on The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog:


Here the only screenshots that don't come out, are of posts with Youtube videos embedded in them (and typically, multiple videos)...which I can live with.

The problem with using the screenshot feature here, I suspect, is the Flash banner on The Broadroom. Believe or not. I tried stripping various features off this blog to cut the load time...what happened is it would take the screenshot before the images loaded, pretty much negating the idea of having a screenshot...but to no avail. I'm not willing to take the Flash banner off in order to use the screenshot feature, so, this version does not contain screenshots, only the post preview feature:


...and so forth.
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Happy New Year! (pic of double strand freshwater pearl necklace, pearl earrings)
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 1:09 PM (Pacific)

double strand freshwater pearl necklace with pearl earrings

This is me wearing:

double strand freshwater pearl necklace

freshwater pearl, argentium sterling silver hoop earrings

I would like to wish my fellow beaders a happy and prosperous New Year, with more and more people choosing handmade jewelry. :D

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