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On This Page
· Various earrings
· Sterling silver and Swarovski crystal "tulip" earrings
· Sterling silver and Swarovski crystal "tulip" earrings
· Freshwater coin pearl jewelry
· Rambles and some pics
· Three bracelets
· Version 1.1 of Swarovski crystal earrings
· Swarovski crystal and chain earrings
· Swarovski "light azore" crystals
· Black Swarovski crystal and vermeil earrings, turquoise and vermeil earrings
· Swarovski crystal, Bali vermeil and colorless aquamarine bracelet
· Oooooh...
· Black Swarovski crystal and Bali vermeil necklace, part 2
· Black Swarovski crystal and Bali vermeil bead necklace
· Jade necklace: then and now
· More blogging here, with pics

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Various earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, August 29, 2007 at 7:34 PM (Pacific)

argentium sterling silver hoop earrings with swarovski crystals

argentium sterling silver hoop earrings with labradorite

argentium sterling silver hoop earrings with freshwater pearls

These are pretty neat for you to whip up, you will need to hammer them. Then you can decorate them however you please.

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Sterling silver and Swarovski crystal "tulip" earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 1, 2007 at 3:54 PM (Pacific)

sterling silver and swarovski crystal hammered wire tulip earrings

Well that's it. Toward the end I was starting to think of these as "Murphy's Law earrings," because seemingly everything that could go wrong with them, did. Yet, here they are.

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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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Freshwater coin pearl jewelry
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, May 20, 2007 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 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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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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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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Swarovski "light azore" crystals
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 20, 2007 at 11:03 PM (Pacific)

light azore swarovski crystals

Was trying to take a pic of the "light azore" shade of Swarovski crystals (far right). The sun was setting and I don't feel I got it quite right; the picture was too dark so I had to lighten it in Photoshop. The actual crystals are a bit paler and more delicate-looking, but it does give an idea what they look like in real life.

Light azore is a very pretty color. Sort of a shade deeper than an aquamarine stone.

In fact that is a problem...Swarovski's can look very different in person than they tend to online.

Take "crystal silver shade" for example. In real life, it's a lovely pale grey. I would say it's a neutral grey rather than "cool." I was checking it out to match some pink keishi pearls. But online it can look almost clear, not grey at all.

Going back to the above picture, two kinds of clear crystals: "Moonlight" finish (far left); AB finish (top). Moonlight is sort of a cross between a plain clear finish and AB...a little more "shine" and "glow" than the plain, but not as much rainbow dazzle as AB. (Moonlight is nice, I like it.)

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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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Swarovski crystal, Bali vermeil and colorless aquamarine bracelet
posted by Colleen Shirazi, March 14, 2007 at 10:01 AM (Pacific)



This is it so far...as you can see, I still need to move the strands off the diamond-shaped part of the toggle and onto a jump ring.

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Oooooh...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, March 13, 2007 at 7:04 PM (Pacific)

I'm really pleased with my new bracelet. Okay I'm still waiting on my crimps order, but I read on the jewelrymaking.about.com forum that you can use seamless sterling beads as crimps. I have some of these on hand (2mm, from Artbeads.com) so I tried it out. Perfect--way better than base metal crimps, about on a par with actual sterling crimp tubes. The one caveat is that two strands of 0.014" Soft Flex just fit...if you were using thicker Soft Flex, it probably wouldn't work.

I don't have a pic yet...and I will need to restring it, I'll probably wait until I get the crimps to do so. I'm using the same diamond-shaped vermeil toggle here:



The reason I need to restring it is that it's a three-strand design, and I put all three strands (with their respective wire guardians) in the loop of the diamond-shaped part of the toggle. The three wire guardians do fit, but they don't lie as nicely as they would if you put them inside a soldered jump ring and then used a small jump ring to attach that to the clasp.

The three strands though, look smashing with this type of clasp. With the clasp on the bottom, the effect is like three individual bracelets. Also, with three strands, the clasp lies nice and flat.

The three strands are different combinations of Swarovski crystals, vermeil Bali beads and some clear aquamarine nuggets. I used three finishes of clear crystal: plain, AB and Moonlight. It's mostly bicones; one of the strands has Swarovski rondelles on it. As I say the idea is to make it look like 3 bracelets.

What else did I learn...you can't twist the strands on this design, they don't stay twisted, at least not easily.

About Moonlight, if you haven't tried it...it's nice. I got some from Fire Mountain Gems to try out...the effect is subtle, not "flashy" like the AB finish. It just seems to have a bit more depth and definition than plain crystal. Worth the extra cost? that might depend on how many crystals you're planning on using. If it's a boatload of crystals, I wouldn't pay the difference. But here it looks nice (I will put up a picture once I've restrung it)...three kinds of clear crystal.

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Black Swarovski crystal and Bali vermeil necklace, part 2
posted by Colleen Shirazi, February 28, 2007 at 1:00 PM (Pacific)



Okay, now this does go from two strands to one. I used a single crimp cover on each side and used some slightly larger beads to cover the rest of the crimps.

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Black Swarovski crystal and Bali vermeil bead necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, February 27, 2007 at 6:30 PM (Pacific)



Ugh, this photo sux. I'm too tired to try getting a pic that's not out of focus?

Here the bugger was deciding how to handle the 2-to-1 strand design. The other time I did this type of design, I crimped the double strands on top of the cones--here I'm using 2-to-1 beads rather than cones--which was necessary in the previous design because some of the beads I was using for the single strand part had small drill holes.

Here it's not at all necessary so I decided to make the "one strand" part double, in short I brought both lengths of softflex up all the way to the back. Since I'm using wire thimbles, it was a bugger getting the ends closed.

Now my greater question is whether or not this is a stronger or weaker design than the first. My gut tells me it's actually stronger, since both strands would have to fail in order for the piece to break. Plus, it does look nicer in front because I don't have to design around a set of crimp covers.

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Jade necklace: then and now
posted by Colleen Shirazi, February 5, 2007 at 12:11 PM (Pacific)



Sort of, anyway. There was an interim version, with peridot nuggets...and the one on the right, I'm not 100% sure about yet. I was one rondelle short of putting five rondelles at the ends, instead of four...I'm debating whether or not to get more rondelles anyway (it's a beautiful jade). If I do, I would probably go ahead and make it five.

The original is dated August of last year; the one on the right was done yesterday. Same jade beads, I just cut apart the original and reused them.

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More blogging here, with pics
posted by Colleen Shirazi, January 2, 2007 at 7:09 PM (Pacific)

Year 2 of making jewelry

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