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On This Page
· The Mom pendant
· Rambles...
· Various pendants
· Square pearl pendant on goldfilled chain
· Handmade rabbit ear bail
· Green Venetian glass heart pendant
· Venetian glass heart necklace
· Venetian glass heart pendant
· Rambles and a few pics

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One woman's adventures in the wide, wonderful world of beading.
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The Mom pendant
posted by Colleen Shirazi, March 20, 2008 at 12:06 PM (Pacific)

handmade circle gemstone mom pendant

This is a pic of what I was blogging about yesterday.

As you can see, it was a bit of a bugger to photograph. You can get a nice still image by hanging the piece, but then the scale is unclear (plus you can't see all the stones).

I'm quite pleased with how this Mom pendant turned out. When you wear it, it looks different, depending on the light and how the stones have fallen. So sometimes the citrine becomes illuminated, and you see this little golden glow. Sometimes the moonstone shows has the barest of flash, I passed over moonstones with blue flash in favor of this one. The sapphire sometimes shows and sometimes doesn't. At first I tried to get it to show all the time, by putting it at the end or in the front of the chain, but decided I liked how it was. The aquamarine has a small inclusion in the back. In a sense it's the prettiest stone in the piece, because of the light blue color, but the slight imperfection makes it fit in better with the other stones.

Our generous friends at artViper have improved their screenshot thumbnail script. Actually what they did in the case of this blog, is cut off the top banner in the image capture. Great! So I've implemented blog post thumbnails again. Here is a screenshot of the citrine page:

screenshot of post thumbnails

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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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Various pendants
posted by Colleen Shirazi, August 28, 2007 at 4:55 PM (Pacific)

american turquoise pendant
American turquoise


red glass pendant
Czech glass and a tiny red glass heart

millefiori pendant
Chinese millefiori

The top two are some experiments with handmade bails. The red glass one, I made specifically with red glass, but it hangs really nicely. It could easily be used with three small gemstones instead.

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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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Handmade rabbit ear bail
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 24, 2007 at 1:10 PM (Pacific)

handmade wire bail

This is fairly standard, a single loop at the bottom and a pair of "rabbit ears" on top. It's not soldered so I carefully filed and bent the wire ends so that nothing ill should happen (poky ends, et cetera).

Here I can see afresh how useful it would be to have soldering equipment handy. I've been trying to pace myself as far as acquiring new's less for the learning curve and more a matter of expense. Even "money saving" techniques can cost a lot of money at the onset...thinking of all the various materials and tools I'd love to use at some point--PMC, torch, solder...

I'll wear this little pendant today...its green glass Venetian bead is the "little sister" of the one in this earlier wire bail experiment:

venetian glass heart pendant with handmade wire bail

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Green Venetian glass heart pendant
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 17, 2007 at 6:07 PM (Pacific)

venetian glass heart pendant

venetian glass heart pendant

Isn't that just a beautiful green color? The picture's pretty has green and blue glass in it.

This also represents me being tired of buying stuff. lol I decided to try my hand making a wire bail. It's nice...the fine gauge wire in the back doesn't show much when it's on. I could also make it fancier by wrapping the entire bail in fine gauge wire, but I thought I'd save that for another bail.

I'm also in the process of making some end caps out of wire. What with the E-6000 working so well, it occurred to me that handmade end caps would work just as well as bought ones...and again, I'm tired of buying stuff!

As it is, I'm out of 22 gauge trying to think of ways of trimming my costs.

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Venetian glass heart necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, February 12, 2007 at 3:44 PM (Pacific)

Okey dokey...the Hypo Cement alone was not enough to anchor the end caps (see previous posts). Not that it should have been; it was sold as a "glue-in and crimp" clasp. I was just seeing if it would work with glue alone.

Part of it could have been that I didn't get enough glue in there (Hypo Cement tends to come out even when you don't squeeze the tube), part of it could have been that it didn't cure long enough (the end cap is completely closed on one end after all).

I gave it the full 24 hours and then tried pulling it. One end felt loose, the other less so. I started crimping the bottom of the loose-feeling cap and gave it a pull. The entire cord came out. :p I pushed the cord back in and this time really crimped it...and tried pulling it. Basically I pulled it up to the point that the leather started to stretch...I expect the clasp to be secure. Crimping it did work.

Anyhow it's done, except that I'll attach an extender chain when I get some.

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Venetian glass heart pendant
posted by Colleen Shirazi, February 11, 2007 at 3:53 PM (Pacific)

I'm planning to make a series of these actually, using different Italian glass heart beads. This is a blue bead my daughter discovered in a bead shop, combined with Bali sterling spacer beads and a Swarovski roundelle.

This is going to go on the leather cord necklace when the latter is done.

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Rambles and a few pics
posted by Colleen Shirazi, January 10, 2007 at 5:17 PM (Pacific)

This is a horrible photo, I took it in the middle of the night. When I make the other earring, I'll take a better photo. What's great here is the top part...the citrine droplets catch the light and reflect golden. At the bottom is a citrine teardrop-shaped bead wrapped in argentium silver wire.

My daughter helped design this's remarkably simple (being two white square pearls) but the balance of pearl and gold is quite pretty.

Ramble commences here:

Ugh, I'm at the point where I have several "almost finished" pieces. These pieces would be finished, if only...most of them are missing only one or two components, like the extender beads for the turquoise necklace, a clasp for a turquoise bracelet, some Bali vermeil beads for a square pearl necklace (I tried it with just the pearls; too plain), a clasp for a square pearl bracelet, yadda yadda...

I'm finding, once you've mastered the techniques, the next hurdle is finding all the pieces you need. It's almost insanely difficult. Even for basic components, I've used three etailers, not one.

I suppose I should look at it, that "almost finished" can become "finished" much more easily than, say, "half finished."

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