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· Necklace with three hoops and moonstones
· Sapphire and gold hoop earrings
· Better pic of Madeira citrine earrings
· Madeira citrine earrings
· Green amethyst and emerald earrings
· 2007, the year in beading
· Shiana fine silver, lapis and Bali sterling set
· Hammered sterling silver hoop earrings with blue apatite

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One woman's adventures in the wide, wonderful world of beading.
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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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Sapphire and gold hoop earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, March 20, 2008 at 7:03 PM (Pacific)

handmade sapphire earrings

This is a somewhat lower grade of sapphire. Still a tiny bit translucent, but without the rich color of blue sapphires.

I was very pleased these beads had been hand selected...I bought them online, three packages of four beads each. Someone had gone through and made sure I got two of each color. That's how I could make matching earrings.

This is goldfill and vermeil, with karat gold beads.

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Better pic of Madeira citrine earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, March 8, 2008 at 11:41 AM (Pacific)

handmade madeira citrine earrings

Not sure what to make next. Thinking of going ahead and making another copy of these frames, though I don't know what to put in them. I'm just thinking of "something symmetrical, using one or two chains, and a small stone."

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Madeira citrine earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, March 7, 2008 at 4:38 PM (Pacific)

handmade madeira citrine earrings

Been playing around with these for a while...had the idea of capturing this "winter tree full of robins" idea--not even sure they were robins? They weren't like East Coast robins, with vivid red-orange breasts, but rather a softer color.

Anyhow, because the citrines are wrapped to the chain, they move around a lot...rather like birds on a tree :) I tried this out initially with some bright silver chain I had on hand, but the oxidized one fits much better. (Using the same motif, it becomes like the dark branches of the tree.)

I was out of soft wire, so I went ahead and used half hard. It was, oddly, as easy to make the frames, because I'd started out using only half hard wire in the first place. lol! I'd had no real idea what temper to use for what, so I bought only half hard, in 20 and 24 gauges, figuring these would work for the most applications. So returning to this temper was curiously comforting.

I'd been trying for a long time to make this sort of frame. I'd say my earlier endeavors were typically too big and/or too heavy. And I've been trying lately to make more conservative styles, so again a smaller size is in order.

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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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2007, the year in beading
posted by Colleen Shirazi, December 8, 2007 at 2:15 PM (Pacific)

For your reference:

2006, the year in beading
2005, the year in beading

Technically I should wait until January 2008, but I'm afraid I'll be caught up in something else by then.

From this point forward, I'm going to post the first image of the given year, and rip it to shreds write some commentary on it:

turquoise necklaces

Neither of these exists anymore, although of course I've recycled the beads.

turquoise nugget necklace and earrings

American turquoise nugget necklace and earrings...hmmm, same sweater. This is a nice set; I still wear it.

turquoise necklace

This is okay too. I've had better luck placing flat oval beads toward the back and sides, rather than doing them all around, because, in the front, they tend to flip around too much.

I've also become pickier about aquamarine. I still have the aquamarine from the first necklaces but the quality of it is pretty eh.

And now the last piece I've made in the given year (okay, I know I should wait until the end of the year):

freshwater pearl and argentium sterling silver earrings

These are really nice. I fell asleep wearing them...very comfortable. This is me wearing the earrings:

freshwater pearl and argentium sterling silver earrings

I can admit one thing that drives me nuts, is that no one seems to take pictures of earrings "on." I can dig the necklaces, because these are usually photographed on a bust, or at least placed in such a way you can guess what they'd look like on, but earrings really must be worn. jhmo

I've moved away from fancy premade clasps in the main. They're expensive, and I've found something simpler tends to work just as well. If I truly hankered for a fancy clasp, I'd make one, and I've been making my own extender chains too.

As far as the stones, turquoise is still one of my favorites.

Predictions for 2008:

I'm not planning anything radically different for 2008. I can't afford to start silver- or gold-smithing, that's off the table (although I haven't ruled it out for the not-so-near future). I've given a certain amount of thought to selling my jewelry, but the tax system tends to make me think it's not going to be worth it. I do bookkeeping for small businesses in California...we are, ah, a heavily tax-oriented state.

I am planning to continue making jewelry as I have been. I enjoy it even more now, both making and wearing it.

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Shiana fine silver, lapis and Bali sterling set
posted by Colleen Shirazi, October 24, 2007 at 5:46 PM (Pacific)

lapis and silver set

I can't believe I didn't post this here? My brain's been fried lately.

This is a set I made from the Shiana fine silver pieces blogged about here: The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog
Beauty & Fashion Notes: this 'n' that

The flower pendant, butterfly beads, and double-flower toggle on the bracelet are all from Shiana. This image came out a bit darker than how the stuff looks in real life; it's typical lapis, a dark-blue strand mixed with a strand that has more white inclusions and pyrite. The pendant is oxidized but looks "brighter" than in the picture.

The butterfly beads are quite interesting; they're not hollow the way typical sterling silver beads would be. They're two pieces of solid silver stuck together, with a small channel in the middle. Both the pendant and the beads are heavy for their original design had two strands of lapis (was kind of interesting, engineering the front) but was too heavy for practical wear.

The double-flower toggle is bright silver, but it's true what they say on the site, it's not really bright or shiny. All of the silver has a beautiful soft glow.

The argentium sterling earrings are exceedingly simple for a reason: I've found even slightly elaborate earrings don't work with even marginally elaborate necklaces. The overall effect is too much, and I end up never wearing the two together.

Here are the same earrings with a different necklace (I didn't make the necklace, it's Iranian):

argentium sterling earrings

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Hammered sterling silver hoop earrings with blue apatite
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 30, 2007 at 2:12 PM (Pacific)

sterling silver hoop earrings with blue apatite

I would rather have made these with lapis stones, but recall I'm still on my "bead cold turkey," so I used some blue apatite stones instead. Pretty pleased how they came out, would like to try making more hoop earrings.

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