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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Scarabs, Blood Moons, Lapis and Urchins

New Redesigns.

This necklace grew out of a bracelet that was getting really old.

The focal is a double sided terra cotta stoneware piece by Barbara Hanselman.

I used kambamba jasper wavy rectangles, handmade lampwork, Czech glass, and some very old silver "tin" beads.  These beads are getting hard for me to find.  I'd love to acquire some more if anyone has any.

And, here is the old bracelet. 

Next, I redid a multi-wrap bracelet that wasn't really that old, but I never did really like it that well - and apparently, no one else did either.

The stoneware is by Marti Conrad.

So I shortened the strap into a single wrap and now I like it much better.  I don't know why I didn't see it when I first made it.

Much better.

This four-strand lapis lazuli blue (dyed, I'm sure) necklace was pretty enough to me with the offset focal bead, very similar magnet clasp and sterling spacer beads, but it always seemed very heavy to me.  Now, some people like that, but when it wasn't sold after two years, I decided to redo it.

I tried to keep with the original feel of the necklace, but to lighten it up some.

I removed one strand and then softly braided the three strands.  I like it much better now.  We will see if anyone else does.

I made this necklace at a time when my sister was telling me that my jewelry was too "artsy".  She said that some people liked simpler jewelry.  I knew she was right, so I went through a phase of trying to make more simpler jewelry.

I made two versions of this - one had three urchins and this one with the five urchins.  The one with three sold right away, so of course, I knew she was right.  (I knew that anyway.)

I kept looking at this one and just thought it needed something more.  Maybe I just "do my own thang" more now.

So I went to work on it.

Voila la!

I added a hammered brass ring and a Shiva shell.  It is more asymmetric which I prefer.

We'll see.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter Monday - Turquoise and Trees - Jewelry Makeovers

Two more necklaces that I have redesigned recently.  Major, major difference.  And, much, much improvement, IMHO.  My shop is beginning to feel so much more fresh to me and it has become more management as well.

 New Version.  Love this natural and rough turquoise ladder pendant.  I used some kambamba jasper daggers, yellow turquoise, chrysocola and chrysoprase beads.

I also used some vintage copper "knot" beads.  I've had these for a long time and have been hoarding them.

I tied the beads on Irish waxed linen.
Old version.

These focal beads were made by Gabriel.  I made a copper and beaded frame for them, used a porcelain bead, some very nice tiger ebony wood beads, and some very nice lampwork by CherylsArt.

I tied them all on Irish waxed linen.

I made it long, about 24" to accommodate the long 5" pendant.

The original.

In the past, I used a lot of waxed linen.  In fact, the original of this necklace was made on waxed linen, but I had gotten away from it.

I love the way it hangs and good quality linen will last a very, very long time.

The thing I didn't like, mostly, about the original is that I couldn't keep the polymer focal beads from twisting around.  That is why I went with the copper frame.

So do you want to see more?  I still have a few more things that I am redoing.  Check back.

But, be sure to check back Saturday, May 3, 2014, for the Reveal of Lori Anderson's 2014 Bead Soup Blog Party.  I have a lot of pretty things to show you.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Another Redo....

Here is another example of a necklace that I redesigned recently.

Unfortunately, I did not save a picture of the before version.  It was quite different though.

The focal bead was made by Ingrid Mueller.  I complimented the focal with African hand painted glass, red mala bone beads, dyed turquoise bone, and fire polished picasso Czech beads wrapped to my hammered copper collar.


After redesign.  The focal was made by Cindy Doleazal.  I love the simplicity of her stick figures of children playing with their dog in the sunshine.  I used the same cube glass beads, and added peanut or farfal beads, hand made paper beads by Dee Rick, a hand made bird bead, again by Cindy, and a dragon vein jade bead.  I also added a bit of sari silk to frame the top of the pendant.

Better or worse?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Making Bangle Bracelets From Reclaimed Copper Tubing

The other day, my husband, Joe, came into the house.  He had been out in the garage and I had heard some banging, but you know how old guys do when they are semi-retired.  The sounds of banging are not an unusual sound around my house.
He held out something at me and said, "Look what I made out of that old copper pipe we had."  I must say I was stunned.  I was looking at a beautiful bangle bracelet.  He had polished it and buffed it and it was gorgeous and I told him so.
 He asked me if I thought I could put it in my Etsy shop.  Now, he has asked me this before and the answer has always been a resounding "NO".  But this time, I said yes. 
I really like the simple design of this bracelet and I told him so.
 I had seen a recent tutorial on making bracelets from copper piping but he hadn't seen it.  
 I think I like this one better.

 He went back out to make another one, but this one was a bit lopsided.  
I pointed out that it wasn't round enough and he tried to pass it off as being handmade.  Being the perfectionist that I am I told him he would have to go try again, but we were both concerned that the copper might be too brittle at this point for much more manipulation.

So, I used it as an opportunity to talk to him about heat annealing.  He doesn't like me showing him how to do anything - he takes it as criticism.  I guess 32 years together can do that to a couple.  But, he listened and watched while I played with it over the burner on our gas stove.  I knew that if I was careful, it could become a beautiful rainbow of color and he watched as it became the beautiful bracelet you see above.  
It didn't take much for him to maneuver it into a beautiful bangle shape.  After a bit of hardening and polishing in the tumbler, it was ready to go.  
I also loaned him my steel bracelet mandrel that I have had about two years and had never taken out of the box.

He is working on some different textures and having a ball.  Nothing makes him happier than a big hammer and being able to pound on things.
 What do you think about these new bracelets?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Taking Stock.....

During the last year of working on my Dad's estate, my poor ETSY shop has pretty much maintained itself.  I was only able to make a few new things for it, but really, for me that was a good thing.  I have always felt that my shop had too much inventory.  In my early jewelry-making days, I was very prolific.   Sales continued at about the same pace whether I was making new pieces or not during the last year and now the shop is a much more manageable size - for me.

However, there still remains a few pieces that I have had to make decisions about.  Some I have just simply taken apart and returned the components to my inventory.  There are others that I liked but felt they needed to be redesigned.  Here is an example of the later.

 When I was practicing law more than I am now, I spent more time in the courtroom than I do now, and jewelry like this was quite popular among the lady lawyers.  We wore a lot of black and the flash of red and silver was beautiful with our professional dress.

I believe that for every piece of jewelry, there is a person that will see it, love it, and have to have it.I always thought this was a beautiful necklace and bracelet set.  It was made of black onyx diamonds, black onyx black rounds, faceted red coral (genuine), and sterling silver chain and toggle clasp.

With a matching bracelet.

But, after almost three years, it was still in the shop.

So, I decided to take a stab at redesign.

 This is much more reflective of my current style of modern tribal bohemian (whatever in the world that is!) using most of the same materials but in a very different way.

I have a gorgeous collection of gemstones, but have gotten away from them the last couple of years in favor of more natural materials like bone, shell, clay, etc.

I want to thank my friend Kristin Oppold for the inspiration in her gorgeous use of gemstones to make me revisit my gemstone collection.

When I did, I found this fabulous double-drilled flat piece of agate.  It went beautifully with the black onyx diamonds.

Drawing on my "medicine pouch" flaps that I've been using lately (but in leather) I remembered a piece of copper with a rosey pink patina that I'd not used yet.

Of course, I needed some apache agate with its lovely pinks to pull it all together, add some black mother of pearl talon beads, terra cotta clay in a dusty pink, and red striped bone beads and voila!

The clay beads are made in the same way that the ancient Chimu peoples of Peru, South America, circa 900 A.D. made the clay for which they are so famous.

I found that crusty weathered piece of shell on the shore of the Indian Creek here in Kansas City about five years ago while taking my dog, Gracie Mae, to her favorite swimming hole.  I drilled the hole myself just to use it on this necklace.  It just seemed to be where it belonged.

The newly designed necklace is for sale in my ETSY Shop Here.  I invite you to take a look at additional photographs there.

So, what do you think?  Now, I don't think there is any good or bad jewelry, (within reason), but just different opinions on what people like.  Do you like BEFORE or AFTER best?