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On This Page
· Necklace with three hoops and moonstones
· Labradorite pear necklace
· London Blue Topaz necklace, sterling chain necklace
· Green amethyst and emerald earrings
· Labradorite necklace
· Pic of redone blue chalcedony necklace
· Various jewelry pics
· Aquamarine necklace pic
· Square pearl pendant on goldfilled chain
· How to finish the ends of fine gauge bulk chain
· Aquamarine earrings, version 1.1
· Aquamarine earrings to go with the necklace
· Aquamarine and Bali vermeil necklace on goldfilled chain
· Peridot earrings on goldfilled chain
· Rambles and some pics
· Version 1.1 of Swarovski crystal earrings
· Swarovski crystal and chain earrings
· Venetian glass bead, leather cord necklace
· Turquoise necklace
· Black Swarovski crystal and vermeil earrings, turquoise and vermeil earrings
· Labradorite and vermeil necklace and earrings
· Bali vermeil cage beads and turquoise necklace
· Chalcedony necklace, then and now
· Freshwater pearl earrings

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Necklace with three hoops and moonstones
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, March 22, 2008 at 4:34 PM (Pacific)

handmade necklace with three hoops and moonstones

Not sure about this one yet. It's experimental, because these aren't soldered hoops; they're strictly bent and hammered.

On a personal level, I like geometry, and therefore geometrical shapes. I've had the notion of making an abacus pendant for months, not because I know how to use an abacus :) nor even because an abacus is itself useful. It's the concept of making a square pendant that's attractive to me.

On my (never-ending) pile of pieces to redo, is a simple square coin pearl pendant:

square coin pearl pendant

I would do it differently now of course...but it's been sitting there since forever, and I still think about it. How nice to wear a simple white square of nacreous pearl. Otherwise, frankly, I find square pearls impossible to work with. You can't seem to do much with masses and masses of them; they stand out best individually, when you want the square shape somewhere.

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Labradorite pear necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, March 20, 2008 at 7:08 PM (Pacific)

handmade labradorite pear necklace
handmade labradorite pear necklace

In the top pic, I was leaning at a funny angle, trying to capture the schiller in the stones. It hangs much more the way it does in the bottom pic.

I made this for special occasions, imo it's too much for every day. Unless you can pull something like that off. :)

BTW labradorite is light for its size. I thought these stones would be way heavy, all together on the chain like that, but they're not. I'm not even sure this needs a counterweight in the back--I haven't finished the back, I haven't even cut the chain yet. I'm using a chain sample I got, so the last thing I'll need to do in this piece is cut the chain itself.

For this necklace (top center image):

handmade london blue topaz necklace

...I put a small smooth citrine coin in back, on an extender chain. I got the idea from Midori Jewelry. The necklaces have this neat little green "melon" in back. I didn't want to copy the melon, of course, but I liked the idea of finishing the pieces all in the same way. So I'm thinking of putting another citrine coin in the back of this piece (I've had these coins since forever and couldn't figure out what to do with them until recently).

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London Blue Topaz necklace, sterling chain necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, March 4, 2008 at 2:13 PM (Pacific)

london blue topaz necklace


Finished this today (top center pic). I added an extender chain in the back, with a small round citrine and Bali sterling bead at the end. I blogged about the development of the piece here: Fashion Notes: Something I've been fiddling around with if you'd like more detail.

I've come to realize...most of the time, what I'm looking for is a sort of industrial look. Or I should say, I miss the industrial concept. So much of what I see is...I don't know how to put it. Meaningless, unattached to any purpose.

Which I feel accurately reflects our U.S. society--we've lost our sense of purpose. The U.S. was always a place where people built stuff, made stuff, manufactured, innovated, pushed ahead. The end goal was never some bizarre life of leisure. The end goal was to make another factory, or railroad, or software program.

I'm wearing this chain today:

sterling chain necklace


It is, literally, a length of chain. I bought it because I'd seen this beautiful, super long sterling necklace on a modern English tv show. I bought a length which I felt would surely exceed the length needed, just to be on the safe side...and yet, when I saw it, what a lovely chain. It's not heavy, it looks like more because the links are hammered flat. Today I used a fine silver jump ring...it was soldered, I had to cut it for something else...it's just, turn the angled end of the ring in a cup burr a few times, and join the chain together. I don't want to cut the chain.

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Green amethyst and emerald earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, February 3, 2008 at 3:17 PM (Pacific)

handmade green amethyst and emerald earrings


Quite pleased with these. The emeralds shown are really tiny, the ones that come at the ends of a graduated strand. Supposedly they're at least 2mm (which is already small) but some struck me as being even smaller. Stringing them though, they look quite pretty.

If you look at the right-most bottom pic, you can see the emerald "frame" is bent a little. I've fixed that since the photo.

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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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Various jewelry pics
posted by Colleen Shirazi, December 5, 2007 at 5:28 PM (Pacific)

hi!

This is the lapis and silver necklace and earrings mentioned earlier. The bracelet ended up looking not so good, so I didn't wear it.


last day

This is the American turquoise necklace and earrings from a while ago.

turquoise, labradorite and keishi pearl necklace

This is a new piece I'm fiddling around with. It's entirely personal, not something you'd make to sell (conversely, not something you'd be able to buy either). It is to commemorate the sea around Jamaica (the two above pics were taken there, as well as the background pic of the boat), which is just the most kick-ass sea you've ever seen.

Here I used American turquoise...the water there is turquoise. If you look out at it, you'll see patches of turquoise and deep blue. The turquoise sea is over areas of sand, the deep blue over coral reefs.

The labradorite has mostly greenish-blue or blue flash, and the pearl is a naturally pink keishi pearl.

The anchor is gold, actually. I went looking around for a golden anchor, and the best one was a 14KT gold charm. I found a sterling silver anchor at Target, but I really wanted a gold color (plus the sterling one was too big). In real life it looks almost like a fleur-de-lys rather than an obvious anchor.

It has an extender chain in the back, the kind you make using short lengths of chain and jump rings.

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Aquamarine necklace pic
posted by Colleen Shirazi, August 13, 2007 at 4:13 PM (Pacific)

aquamarine necklace

Redo of this:



As you can see, it's a much simpler design. I knew the 3-to-1 was too busy, but didn't want to waste the chain or other aspects of it.

I ended up with three extra pieces of chain, but they're all long enough to do something with, say matching earrings (I'm going to redo the earrings too). As far as the aquamarine "bobbles," I was pleased to be able to rework some of those too...bend the top loop open, trim the wire a bit, pop the top Bali bead off, replace with a daisy spacer, redo loop, reattach.

I'll take a pic of the "tacky strand of diamonds" one after I've put the crimp covers on.

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Square pearl pendant on goldfilled chain
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 9, 2007 at 4:33 PM (Pacific)

square pearl pendant on goldfilled chain

square pearl pendant on goldfilled chain

Please excuse the photo...I was out in the garden today, digging up holly. Can you believe holly is a weed out here? It was a cherished, Christmas plant back home. Plus there are tons of English ivy (another weed out here) and blackberries (we have a blackberry "zone," but the darn thorny things seed all over the place).

Here I am trying out the idea of finishing the ends of a bulk chain with wrapped loops (see How to finish the ends of fine gauge bulk chain).

Probably overdid it a bit here, added some Bali vermeil beads, hmmm...what would be nicer would be the small goldfilled beads, but a bit bigger than the ones I have now. The biggest size I have on hand is 2.5mm, because I don't usually use goldfilled beads except as tiny spacer beads (the ones in the pic are 2mm). Thinking more in terms of 3mm, possibly one of the fancier styles.

Oh yeah, and because everyone needs an animated gif:

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How to finish the ends of fine gauge bulk chain
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 8, 2007 at 4:11 PM (Pacific)

This is something I've been noodling around with for quite some time. The problem with attaching regular jump rings to the ends of fine-gauge chain, is that you stand a chance of the chain getting stuck in a tiny gap in the jump ring.

The answers I've seen most often consist of the following:
  • Use an oval jump ring. This is a special oval-shaped jump ring, with the cut made on the "long" side of the oval shape. Since whatever you put in the jump ring gravitates toward the "short" ends, the odds of anything getting stuck in the cut are substantially lower (plus the stress is on the stronger uncut wire).

  • Use Snapeez jump rings. I've never used these...they're special jump rings that are purported to "snap" shut.

  • Use split rings. I recently got some heavier-gauge split rings, and these have turned out pretty well on chain, but the ones I got were a bit large.

Fortunately, the lovely owner of Camali Design posted this neat idea on the jewelrymaking.about.com forum (published with permission):

"...why not use a wire wrap to attach chain to clasps etc. That way they definitely won't come loose. I sometimes just use a small silver bead and wrap that to chain and clasp. That way it just integrates and no need to use a stone if you don't want to. So, use a small 2 or 3mm silver bead, or if you like match any other stones in the necklace/bracelet with a small round or rondelle stone for the wrap."

If you go to her site, you can see this thought in action on some of the pieces.

Out of all of the options, this is likely the sturdiest and most interesting way to finish the chain.

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Aquamarine earrings, version 1.1
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 6, 2007 at 1:21 PM (Pacific)

aquamarine, bali vermeil, goldfilled chain earrings

Okey dokey, the version I did yesterday was too heavy. Too much silver at the bottom, stones probably too big...this one uses smaller stones and less than half the silver.

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Aquamarine earrings to go with the necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 5, 2007 at 5:09 PM (Pacific)

necklace and earrings made of aquamarine, bali vermeil, goldfilled chain

earring made of aquamarine, bali vermeil, goldfilled chain

Sorry for the less than stellar pics...I'm getting a bit tired. Soon I'll go water the garden. :)

Here the issue is how to "pop" the color of the aquamarines. In my experience, aquamarines are sold dyed, unless specified otherwise (and priced accordingly). i.e., when you wash them, you lose much of the color.

Yellow is a good color to pop blue (if you have blue eyes and "warm" coloring, you can enhance your eye color with yellow-toned eyeshadows: champagne, gold, peach, orange, brown with a golden tone, etc.), so I went with Bali gold vermeil for these stones.

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Aquamarine and Bali vermeil necklace on goldfilled chain
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 1:03 PM (Pacific)

aquamarine and bali vermeil necklace on goldfilled chain

This is what I was noodling around with yesterday. The fun part is in getting the strands to lie correctly. I'll have to try out wearing it today, but at least in theory, the weights should be in the right places.

Going to make some earrings to go with it too.

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Peridot earrings on goldfilled chain
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 26, 2007 at 10:47 AM (Pacific)

peridot earrings on goldfilled chain

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

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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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Version 1.1 of Swarovski crystal earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 26, 2007 at 9:49 PM (Pacific)

swarovski crystal earrings on goldfilled chain

The earlier version was terrible! I wore them in windy conditions and they were all over the place. I had the idea of stabilizing the bottom wire by simply adding more weight (hence the extra crystal) and added some on the sides to boot. The side crystals probably aren't necessary, but they look nice. This design is quite stable (I test it by grabbing the earrings and shaking them the way you would a smoothie in a bottle before drinking) but don't know yet if it's too heavy. If it is, I'll toss the side crystals.

And...Einstein that I am, I forgot not to do those teeny-spiral headpins on the bottom dangles of long earrings. Even hammering them doesn't help...they still end up sticking to your fake-fur collar, should you have one (looks guilty). So I switched these back to small-loop headpins and moved the spiral guys up to the sides.

At the end of all this, these remind me now of Indian chandelier earrings, on a slightly smaller scale.

Edited 4/27/07 to replace that horrendous night photo.

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Swarovski crystal and chain earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 4:26 PM (Pacific)

swarovski crystal earrings on goldfilled chain

This is a very simple design...I'm working toward making "wall of crystal" earrings, but these are not it. (I suspect slightly smaller crystals would be better for the "wall of crystal" earrings.)

Still they came out nicely. I'm going to wear these today.

If you look you'll see it's largely odd pieces of wire and chain. The readymade components are the earring wires; you could just as well make your own out of goldfilled wire. I haven't bought niobium wire yet--and not sure how much cheaper it would be if I did--as I have tons of preformed niobium wires on hand.

I'm running out of supplies...on purpose. Right now I need to be more creative with what I have. It's too easy for me to jump on the Internet and find what I need for the moment, or for the next few projects...more difficult for me to look at what I have and make something interesting out of that.

I do plan on buying more supplies of course, just seeing how much I can come up with before doing so.

Note: these earrings have been redone, the original design was too unstable.

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Venetian glass bead, leather cord necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 17, 2007 at 4:08 PM (Pacific)

venetian glass bead, leather cord necklace

venetian glass bead, leather cord necklace

Looks like I've found my model at last! The scale is a bit off, but I love this picture...one of my all-time favorite actresses.

I've decided in favor of this piece even though it is not a conventional design. When it's on, the chains in front hang in a sort of butterfly shape.

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Turquoise necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 12, 2007 at 4:47 PM (Pacific)

turquoise necklace and earrings

Wonder whose hand is in the background? lol...

I'm not sure this necklace is quite "it." If I were making it to sell, I would have used fancier chain or some other way to make it stand out more. In fact I'm thinking chain with long and short links (don't have any on hand).

I'll give it some thought...designed it anyway so that the turquoise dangles could easily be moved to a different chain.

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Black Swarovski crystal and vermeil earrings, turquoise and vermeil earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 11, 2007 at 6:13 PM (Pacific)

black swarovski crystal and vermeil earrings, turquoise and vermeil earrings

Not sure yet about the black ones. They're exceedingly simple, made to match a black Swarovski crystal and Bali vermeil necklace. Since the necklace was kinda fancy, thought I'd go simple with the earrings. They're a good light weight, and not too long, on.

The turquoise ones are standard jig creations...the trick is to bend them so that the turquoise drops don't flip around when you wear them. I also "soldered" the side loops with some fine gauge wire. Debated whether to wrap the bottom loops as well, but there's no purpose in doing so (I could also have wire wrapped the top loops but wondered if that would be "too much").

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Labradorite and vermeil necklace and earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 4, 2007 at 7:12 PM (Pacific)

labradorite and vermeil necklace and earrings

labradorite and vermeil necklace detail

labradorite and vermeil earrings

The necklace is actually not new, though you'll note I haven't attached crimp covers yet. It's a random design of labradorite rounds, some faceted rondelles, and Bali vermeil beads.

The earrings used to be made with tiny pearls...I made them a while ago and intended to redo them, I wasn't happy with my detail work. They were nice earrings but a bit ordinary, so I took them apart and used the chains for the new pair.

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Bali vermeil cage beads and turquoise necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 3, 2007 at 3:34 PM (Pacific)



It's...the yard chicken! I wanted to take this picture showing the few California poppies we have in the yard, but there was no place to put the necklace near them (haven't given up though, love California poppies!).

Unfortunately the toggle didn't come out at all, it's a nice plainish oval-shaped one. Don't those awful tiny thin soldered jump rings make a nice chain?



This pic makes the necklace look shorter than it is...the two barrel-shaped turquoise beads in the back show completely. I had to lean back some to take the pic. But I wanted to show how pretty the open cage bead is in the front.

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Chalcedony necklace, then and now
posted by Colleen Shirazi, March 2, 2007 at 5:22 PM (Pacific)

Then (far left):



Now:



There is another pair of the Bali vermeil cylinder-shaped beads in the back, behind the last pair of chalcedony beads, that would show in the summer when you put your hair up (in fact I think of this as a summer necklace).

These are the same chalcedony beads I used before; I bought six of them, so there is now a lone chalcedony bead in the box. I suppose I've gotten away from "wrapping for wrapping's sake" and more into trying to create simpler, more wearable designs.

Speaking of wrapping...AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! There are so many different choices even for wire for this. All along I've been using half hard, round wire, usually 22 or 24 gauge. Now I've been reading that soft wire works better. I tried out some dead soft for doing my briolettes:



...and it worked great, but I never thought of using soft wire for wrapping!

Then, to make things even more interesting, I saw a rec for half round wire, this one:


image courtesy www.rings-things.com

The idea is that half round wire lies flatter against your piece and tucks better. Now that certainly stands to reason, and it's a great idea, but I am dizzy!!!!!

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Freshwater pearl earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, October 18, 2006 at 10:05 AM (Pacific)



Believe or not, the first time I've worked with chain. This is a copy of a pair of fine earrings I got as a gift, only with creamy white pearls rather than black pearls.

These were pretty straightforward to make, but be forewarned, the components are very small.


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