Creative Crystals

I often get into these creative modes where I get focus on a specific medium or supply. My recent craze is using crystals, be it vintage, natural, glass, anything with a sparkle to it. I am testing my boundaries with this because I generally do not use crystals in my work, I always get so worried I will break the delicate pieces or chip them. But a few months back at the Winter CHA I came across the Connie Crystal booth. The booth had this gorgeous dress made from paper and crystals, it was such an eye catcher I had to walk in and look at the crystals.

Connie herself was teaching make-and-takes and invited me to try making one of her projects. I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the crystal beads and focal pieces she had in a stunning array of colors. The crystals did not chip while working with jewelry tools and they had amazing clarity. I  bought some of the floor samples and carefully packed them away. I would take them out now and then just to look at the beautiful beads but still not sure what type of jewelry I would like to make of them. After seeing some some other artists work in crystal I got inspired. I researched some ancient jewelry patterns and I came up with these necklaces and earring sets:

Sterling silver chain, size: 12mm and 10mm Connie Crystal beads. A simple design but I was going for a fantasy piece that brought to mind a female warrior’s adornment.

Gold plate vintage chain with 10mm Connie Crystal beads. With this piece I went with the theme of the the Leo horoscope sign and the colors often attributed to the sign.

Silver plate chain and findings, vintage green crystals, lampwork glass beads and 14mm circle Connie Crystal beads. I love to put animal themes in my artwork whenever I can and with this one I used a lovely snake toggle as one of the many focals on this asymmetrical piece.  It hints back to ancient myths and legends so I named the set “Snakes of the Crystal”.

After making all of these pieces and using Connie Crystal beads I can honestly say they work very well, have amazing color and can handle being moved around a lot. I tend to adjust my jewelry pieces, connecting and moving about elements until I am happy with the design, and these beads came through it looking beautiful. If you do bead work or mixed media and want something different to add to a piece, go to their website. 🙂

Until next time, Safe Travels!


Summer Jewelry fun…

It is a very warm and dry summer here in sunny California, which means I am trying to spend as much time indoors trying to stay cool with the critters. I have been cleaning house, donating a lot to local thrift stores and our local senior center. Now that I am making more room I am finding art supplies I had forgotten about. What I did not give away I am now making some great new summer jewelry pieces.

First on my list is my recent obsession with fruit polymer clay canes. I found several blocks of lovely orange polymer clay, I just had to make some orange slice pendants and beads! At first I wasn’t sure what beads to place with them, but after sorting through a “Boss Bag” from Fire Mountain Gems, I found the perfect findings. After some rummaging through my stash of beads I was able to make up some really cute and summer time necklaces.

Handmade polymer clay orange slice beads, glass beads,  gold toned findings and bead caps.

Handmade polymer clay orange slice beads, glass beads and gold toned findings.

Handmade polymer clay orange slice beads, glass beads,  gold toned findings and bead caps. I used beads caps to simulate orange blossoms. 🙂

Next in my series of summer jewelry is my “Ice Cubes” set. I live off of ice water in the summer so anything that makes me think of cool water and relaxing makes me a happy camper. I found these lovely irregular lamp worked beads, no two were alike but they all had a silver foil on the inside that reminded me of ice. Add some silver chain, more findings from a “Boss Bag” from Fire Mountain Gems and voilà!

“Ice cubes”, silver chain, findings and lamp worded glass beads.

Next clear glass beads and findings (again “Boss Bag” from Fire Mountain Gems) make a piece that I call “Blue water, golden sun”.  I wanted to make a piece that would be reminiscent of the beach of clear blue waters with a gold sun in the sky.

“Blue water, golden sun” pressed blue glass, gold beads and gold findings.

Last but not least, “Cobra tears”. I always keep an eye out for hand crafted artwork and love to support artisans in their craft. The lovely hand carved coconut focal piece is made by artisans in Sri Lanaka. The carving is of Mucalinda, a snake-like being in the form of a cobra, who protected Buddha from the elements after his enlightenment. I buy these lovely hand carved pendants from my friend Kim McWhorter who makes sure the artisans get 100% of all money from the sale of the lovely creations. Kim is the the Associate Executive Director of Animal Venom Research International an organization that’s goal is to alleviate world-wide suffering caused by animal envenomation by bringing the technology of antivenom development to countries in need.

Crystals, carved coconut cobra, silver chain and findings.

Stay cool in the heat and keep crafting!

Until next time safe travels!