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On This Page
· Various pendants
· Square pearl pendant on goldfilled chain
· How to finish the ends of fine gauge bulk chain
· Chalcedony necklace, then and now
· More blogging here...
· Jade necklace: then and now
· Citrine/sterling necklace and earrings, rambles...
· Rambles and a few pics

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

Then (far left):


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

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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More blogging here...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, February 10, 2007 at 4:10 PM (Pacific)

The Lipstick Page Forums Fashion Blog: It's been a day of...

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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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Citrine/sterling necklace and earrings, rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, January 27, 2007 at 1:01 PM (Pacific)

Okay, I've redone the earrings...these are smaller teardrop-shaped citrine beads. Doing the wrap now has become easy for me. It took me, oh, about five or six times of totally dorking it up, but I've come to see that you have to dork things up at first. I mean you have to be of the mentality that you need to sit down and dork things up. And it's good. It's practice.

I'm starting to play with my 1mm black leather cord...I have five yards of it. It's really nice. I think it's better than 2mm for what I have in mind...I'd like to make a series of pendants. Mind you I don't know how to melt glass, these are just going to be worked with existing glass beads.

All in all I'm quite happy with how it's been going.

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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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