Monday, April 25, 2011

Plum Blossom Necklace and Earring Set for the Carmel Foundation

 A good friend of mine is the development manager for The Carmel Foundation, so when she told me she was working on their auction, I got busy making a donation for the cause. Cabaret is the theme for this year's event, but I was stumped on making a piece in that vein; so I ended up with a floral motif set in deep greens and purple.

I hope she likes...and I hope it does well at the auction.

Sterling silver flowers - featured on the pendant, on the toggle, and in the earring findings - are handwired with grossular garnet nuggets, recycled purple glass nuggets, purple charoite rounds, green labradorite rounds, and rhyolite ovals.

Earrings feature green and purple fluorite nuggets, hanging from sterling silver French wires.

"Almost Right" Assymetrical Necklace

My seven-year-old was sitting on my lap, running his fingers along my necklace that I had just finished.

"Mommy," he said, "this necklace is almost right."

"What do you mean?" I queried, curious as to what he would change. It's always nice to get a second opinion on a design.

"The pattern is almost right. You have," he explained, putting his fingers on pairs of beads, "right, wrong, right. It should be right, right, right. This is wrong, but it's almost right."

I tried to explain assymetry and the aesthetics of assymetrical designs. He tolerated my explanation and concluded, simply, "Good job on the right parts. Maybe you'll get it all right next time."

Not because of his assessment, but I am keeping this 'Almost Right' necklace for myself. It pairs really nicely with the blues I've been wearing recently and, of course, my favorite Gap denim jacket!

Rough fluorite nuggets are handwired - in an almost right pattern - with amazonite nuggets and aquamarine nuggets to form this one of a kind necklace.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Eggs

I found these solid sterling silver Easter egg charms and the boys picked out the colors. Recycled glass beads and gemstones are handwired with the charms to make dainty Spring necklaces for their friends. Happy Easter!

Granola Mamma

A good friend of mine doesn't wear jewelry very often. I mean, she always wears her wedding band and earrings, but that's about it for bling. So when she asked me for a necklace - "just stones, no charms, in earthy tones" - I jumped at the chance to make something I thought she might wear.

I picked a piece of rhyolite that I had gotten in Oregon a few years ago, then handwired that with ruddy, faceted carnelian, mossy grossular garnets nuggets, sunny olive jade, golden rutilated quartz rounds, and small rhyolite barrels.

I hope she likes it. Happy Earth Day, fellow granola mamma!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Art Glass Center of San Jose

Today I went to the Art Glass Center of San Jose with Pia and Jenn for a girls' day; we drove up for their Glass Artist for a Day program. We spent four hours doing three projects: (1) a torched glass pendant, (2) a stained glass sun-catcher, and (3) a fused glass dish.

Our first station was the torchwork pendant. We were blown away by the level of stress and the amount of coordination it took.

Pia concluded and I wholeheartedly concur: we will never again balk at paying five dollars for a handmade glass bead!

We got to take home the sun-catcher but will have to go back up to pick up our pendants (they have to be annealed) and our dishes (they have to be fired in a kiln).  Here's a photo of my swirled pendant in progress...I'll post a photo of a finished necklace next month.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Faithful Necklace

This piece, with another artisan Mission-style cross, was created as an Easter gift. Again, using shades that are most often seen during this season, I picked purple for my mother-in-law. I still have another cross and would be happy to make a similar piece for you. Please contact me for a quote.

An artisan sterling silver Mission-style cross hangs at the center of this one-of-a-kind necklace and is handwired with faceted amethyst nuggets, recycled purple glass, freeform fluorite nuggets, and smooth fluorite rounds. The necklace closes in the rear with a sterling silver hook clasp.

Big Love Bracelet

Hearts, red, pink. I know it's not Valentines', but I love this color combination.

This chunky, one-of-a-kind bracelet features multiple shades of red and luminous pale pink. A large red agate druzy is handwired with rough rose quartz nuggets, hammered pyrope garnets, and deep red recycled glass rounds to form this piece. It closes wtih a sterling silver heart toggle clasp.
Click here to see more photos or to purchase this from my etsy site.

Happy Birthday to Beth

It's not much of a surprise: if you're a girl and you're getting a birthday present from me, it's usually jewelry.

Makes sense, given, well, given everything. But I try to make pieces especially meaningful for the birthday girl.

For Beth, I found a sterling silver button with a horse on it...then handwired it with rough fluorite nuggets, faceted green onyx, rough aquamarines, recycled green glass and pale green aventurine. As soon as she opened it, she put it on.

Perfect! Happy birthday, Beth.

Minty Fresh Bracelet

I love fresh mint. I steep it in hot water for tea. I chop it roughly and toss it in with fresh strawberries. I love the color. And I especially love the smell. When I found this sterling silver mint leaf toggle, I immediately gathered some green beads in all sorts of shades to create this bracelet.

Green labradorite, aqua green chalcedony, moss agate, Russian amazonite, wintergreen fluorite, deep green recycled glass, pale green glass are handwired with sterling silver to form this chunky, one-of-a-kind bracelet.

Click here to see more photos or to purchase this through my etsy site.

Mini Mushroom Man

When I was a kid, living in the Netherlands, we lived just around the corner from Wil Huygen who wrote Leven en werken van de Kabouter, translated and published in English as Gnomes.  My mom was never brave enough to knock on his door and ask him to sign our copy of the book, but when my parents and I would hike through the forests near our home in Soest, I would skip past all of the mushrooms, imagining all the kabouter who lived there.  A long way from Holland, I saw this mushroom on a Christmas Eve hike through Point Lobos and I was reminded of my childhood hikes.

Kabouter is the Dutch word for gnome. In Dutch mythology and Dutch folklore, kabouters are tiny men who live underground or else are household spirits helping in the home. They are generally shy of humans. The males have long, full beards and wear tall, pointed red hats. In the Legend of the Wooden Shoes, an old Dutch folktale, the kabouter teaches the Dutch man how to make wooden shoes.

So, when I found these sterling silver gnome charms, I had to have them. I chose vibrant red druzy and luminous rose quartz nuggets handwired with recycled red glass and sterling silver to create this one-of-a-kind necklace.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lacrimi de Cristo Necklace

Lacrimi de Cristo. Tears of Christ.

Okay, so admittedly I am not a theist, but when I saw these artisan Mission-style crosses, I wanted to create some pieces for those who do believe, using in shades that are most often seen during this season; the colors used in the sanctuary for most of Lent is purple, red violet, or dark violet.

An artisan sterling silver Mission-style cross hangs at the center of this one-of-a-kind necklace and is handwired with rough freeform pyrope garnets, frosted Burma rubies, and round purple charoite. The necklace closes in the rear with a sterling silver lobster clasp.

I created this as an Easter gift for my mom, but have three other crosses and would be happy to make a similar piece for you. Please contact me for a quote.

Yellow Rose Choker

Being born a Texan, I've always preferred yellow roses to red, though, admittedly, I am not a huge fan of the blossoms in general.  I prefer funkier flowers.  But when I came across these bright yellow Peruvian opals and deep green garnets, I knew I had to pair them with a sterling silver rose.

"The Yellow Rose of Texas" is a traditional folk song. The original love song has become associated with the legend of how a slave named Emily West Morgan helped win the battle of San Jacinto, the decisive battle in the Texas Revolution.

A rough golden-hued Peruvian opal hands below a sterling silver rose at the center of this one-of-a-kind necklace. Recycled deep green glass nuggets are handwired with labradorite, green aventurine, aquamarines, and grossular garnets to complete this piece. It closes in the rear with a twisted rope sterling silver toggle.
Click here for more photos or to purchase this piece from my etsy site.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Blossoms Necklace

This soft-hued piece reminds me of Spring blossoms.

Recycled light pink glass is handwired with frosted rose quartz nuggets, faceted cherry quartz rounds, smooth pale green fluorite, faceted milky green chalcedony, and moonstone to form this piece that closes in the rear with a sterling silver lobster clasp. A delicate, lightly oxidized sterling silver filigree blossom and a large eggdrop cherry quartz are at the focal point of this one-of-a-kind necklace.

Click here to purchase this from my etsy site.  There are matching earrings, but I haven't listed those yet.

Celebrating Spring with a Golden Glow

This piece glows like the sun in various shades of yellow and gold.

Recycled glass in different shades of yellow are handwired with clear recycled glass, citrine, lemon quartz, and raw Peruvian opals to form this piece that closes in the rear with a sterling silver lobster clasp. A delicate, lightly oxidized sterling silver filigree piece is juxtaposed with all of the elements in this chunky one-of-a-kind choker.

Click here to purchase it from my etsy site.

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Sweet Motherhood" Bracelet

I wanted to create something both meaningful and useful for a friend who will be a new mom this month.

As for usefulness, in my blissful sleeplessness of during the seemingly endless feeding and diapering cycle, I often forgot which side I was supposed to nurse the baby on next.  So, I swapped a ring from one hand to the other.  I created this piece with a simple toggle clasp so she can use it as a nursing reminder, if she wants, just switching it from one arm to the other.

This one-of-a-kind bracelet features a sterling silver bee charm handwired with recycled yellow glass, recycled clear glass, citrine, white onyx, and calcite.  It closes with a sterling silver flower toggle.
Motherhood has been such a sweet adventure for me – sweet as honey – that when I found this sterling silver bee charm, I knew this was it.
I hope she likes it!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Purple Bunny Choker

With Easter only three weeks away, I decided that I needed to use all of my sterling bunny buttons in jewelry this week. 

This Spring-hued choker - in soft and muted purples - features a sterling silver bunny button. Perfect for Spring, for Easter, or anytime!

The sterling silver button is handwired with smooth amethyst nuggets, faceted amethyst nuggets, fluorite rounds, recycled purple glass, and tiny garnet and rose quartz rounds to form this one-of-a-kind choker.

Another faceted amethyst nugget dangles as a focal point below the rabbit. The necklace closes in the rear with a sterling silver lobster clasp.

Click here to purchase this piece on my etsy site.

Beet Queen Choker

If you folllow my kitchen blog, Culinary Adventures with Camilla, you know that I recently cooked an all-beet dinner for a friend's 38th birthday. Beet bread. Beet chutney. Beet-rubbed leg of lamb. Even beet mousse!

So, naturally, I had beets on the brain when I made this hefty choker.

Large (dyed) agate druzy nuggets - in shades of red and golden beets - are handwired with faceted watermelon quartz, garnets, and recycled red glass to form this one-of-a-kind choker. It closes in the rear with a sterling silver lobster clasp.

Click here to purchase this piece from my etsy site.

Matching Earrings

You can't have a set without the earrings, right?!?

So, to match the Pretty Peacock bracelet and Pretty Peacock necklace, here are the Pretty Peacock earrings: amazonite nuggets and rounds are handwired with fluorite.

Click here to purchase them through my etsy site.

Pretty Peacock Necklace

Like a peacock, this one-of-a-kind necklace sports various shades of blues and green. Matte recycled glass, rough fluorite nuggets, amazonite, Russian amazonite, fluorite rounds, and green jasper are handwired to form this chunky one-of-a-kind necklace and closes with a sterling silver lobster clasp. A sterling silver peacock feather pendant hangs at the center of this piece.

Click here to purchase this through my etsy site.  There is also a matching bracelet.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Evolution of a Ring

If there are two things I am passionate about - besides my family, food, and jewelry - they are flowers and creative people.

My all time favorite blossom is a parrot tulip; but I have never been able to find piece of parrot tulip jewelry that I liked. So I decided to commission a parrot tulip ring from my very talented friend Paxton Mobley. I picked up my ring yesterday and it has only left my finger while I was cooking and when I went to bed! I love it.

Here's the creative evolution...
I sent him this photograph.

We went back and forth with a few sketches. This is the one we settled on.

Then he worked his magic with wax and silver.  And here is the final product...ta da!

It's exactly what I wanted. And that it was handmade by a fantastic artist makes it all the better.

Check out more of Paxton's work at his website. Click here.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Carrot-Hued Bunny Necklace

 I love all the shades of orange in this piece.  From vibrant tangerine to deep pumpkin, it's perfect for Spring, for Easter, or anytime!

A sterling silver bunny button is handwired with recycled orange glass, hammered carnelian coins, faceted carnelian rounds, orange Czech glass, and sterling silver to form this choker.

Another hammered carnelian coin dangles as a focal point below the rabbit. The necklace closes in the rear with a sterling silver flower toggle.

Click here to purchase this piece through my etsy site.,