Friday, July 17, 2015


Lately I have been looking to find inspiration from designs of the past. One of the things I have been checking out is vintage jewelry from auction sites like They have some beautiful pieces offered for sale. Some of them are really unusual. It encouraged me to look through my jewelry box for vintage and unique items. I like to go to the local auctions and various markets, and have bought some interesting things there.

This is a vintage ring I found at auction. I am not sure what it's story is, but it has different colored stones set around the top, and it is really tall. I thought it was a great find.
Some of my favorite pieces of jewelry are one of a kind, and some are just different from anything I see readily available.

This is a piece I found at a second hand store.
 The enamel egg and amber design is similar to one I remember seeing in the book  Africa Adorned by Angela Fisher. I believe it said the style of necklace was given to a woman to commemorate her becoming a mother. 

 These amber rings belonged to my maternal grandmother. She loved big rings. I found the necklace at a flea market. Some of the beads are missing, but the remaining ones are pretty nice.

 My paternal grandmother received this pin when she graduated college in 1930. She had a degree in Spanish, which I find strange because I was never good at languages. I love the pearls in the heart shaped part.

These are some easy to make bracelets. I used sterling wire with trade beads. They are fun to wear with just about everything I own.

 Rubies and opals are my favorite stones. I found the rubies at the gem show in Tucson in 2006. I strung the two strands of faceted beads separately, but I wear them together, usually wrapped around my wrist. They look great with gold bracelets.

These rings came from the local farmers market. They do have some bakery and produce there, but most of the place is odd little shops. When I spotted the rings in the coin shop I bought them because, well,  I love opals.

This is a piece of jewelry that has a pin back as well as the chain. It came from a jewelry shop in an antique mall. I don't know how old it is, but I have had it for 20 years.  I really like the way the different kinds of turquoise are used together. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Battle of the Beadsmith

Space 25/50
My Battle of the Beadsmith entry this year represented the culmination of a year of intense beading. I had only finished my Bead Dreams entry the week before the April 1st start date, and I made a bracelet for the Etsy Beadweavers spring swap in that time. I had no idea what I was going to make, and at midnight on April 1 I was struck with the idea of a space theme. The free form format I had been playing with seemed a perfect medium, and even though the idea was very self indulgent I went with it. The second week of April I started making my entry for the Fire Mountain seed bead contest, and I spent three weeks on that. It was accepted to the next round of judging, so it was time well spent. That piece was purple flowers, and may have proved a better choice for my Battle piece since my space themed necklace was voted out in round 1. The space necklace was the second in my Earth and Sky series, and I probably should have taken more time with it. The thing about the Battle is all the beautiful beadwork designs are amazing, in some battles especially it is so hard to choose. There are some really unique ideas this year, and once again I am happy just to be included with such talented bead artists. 


Friday, April 10, 2015

Waterfall Necklace

Some pictures of Glen Onoko Falls in the Pocono Mountains near Jim Thorpe, Pa.

 The blue bead I found while hiking the trail that gave me the idea to bead the waterfall. I added it to the necklace, under a fern.

Close up of bracelet and necklace

I used labradorite and aquamarine beads along with two hole beads and seed beads to create the waterfall.

 Reverse view

 The sun came out for this picture

The entire piece is free form bead work incorporating brick, peyote, square, herringbone, spiral stitch and fringe. I worked on it over five months and am very happy it was chosen as a finalist.