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Posts Tagged ‘jewelry’

redwood-trees

 

OK, you may be wondering what earrings and redwoods have in common…let me explain.

 

I recently took a trip to California with my husband and after landing in San Francisco, we drove to one of the California Redwood State Parks to hike. We went there directly from the airport so we wound up changing out of our ‘flying clothes’ and into our hiking gear in the restroom of the ranger station.

 

As we began our hike I realized that I had forgotten to remove my earrings and they were not exactly the kind of earrings I would normally wear to hike. They were my large open spiral earrings that are simply wire coiled round and round in a spiral of rings. Well, if you know me, I’m the kind of woman who likes things to ‘feel right’…..and these earrings simply did not. I thought about putting them in my pocket or my pack, but was afraid of damaging or losing them.

 

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 Large Open Spiral Earrings

After hiking a short while we came to a redwood tree that had fallen across the path and the section that blocked the path had been cut away. This enabled us to see the inside of the tree and all of the rings. Suddenly it dawned on me that my earrings were perfect for this hike. They represented the many rings inside of the beautiful redwood trees. My earrings then ‘felt right’ for this hike.

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Smaller Open Spiral Earrings on Etsy

As you see in the pictures below I couldn’t resist having my picture taken and realized that I may be the only woman to have her picture beside one of the fallen redwoods in order to highlight her earrings. I admit that this may seem odd to some, but as a jewelry designer, I’m often thinking of what my designs ‘feel like’ to the women who wear them and I was thrilled to find a connection between my earrings and my surroundings. Believe me, this isn’t the weirdest thing I’ve done. …………

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Jewelry may seem like a frivolous commodity to some. Sure, it can add bling to an outfit, but it can also make a woman feel happy and can be a wonderful gift for someone special. At times a gift of jewelry is the perfect expression of love.  This was the case with a recent custom order.

 

I enjoy designing custom pieces and like to hear that the recipient of the jewelry was pleased with the outcome.   I recently received a note from a customer that expressed such gratitude for a special order item that it brought tears to my eyes.

 

A woman from the Middle East inquired about a possible special order after viewing my jewelry on ArtFire.  Her Grandma lost a special necklace many years ago and she discovered it was similar to my Celtic Knot design.  The customer sent me pictures of her Grandma wearing the original necklace.  I was able to make a few adjustments to my design and the finished product looked very much like the one she had lost.  The customer was thrilled and planned to give it to her Grandma for her birthday.

 

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Click HERE to view Celtic Knot Necklace

I received an email several weeks later telling me how much her Grandma liked the necklace.  She was extremely happy to have received it and knew it was given out of love.  My customer had even received a call from her Grandpa to thank her for bringing so much happiness with the gift.   He said that the Grandma felt like the luckiest woman on earth to have been given this necklace by her granddaughter especially since she ordered it from half way around the world.  Yes, the Grandma likes the necklace, but the love behind the gift is what she treasures the most.

 

I was honored to have been able to help this young woman show love to her Grandma in this way.  I like knowing that I had a small part in bringing so much joy to a sweet 80 year old woman.  I have always loved making jewelry, but that note made me love it in a new way.

 

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The perfect ‘flapper’ necklace

(Click HERE to view this necklace

in my Etsy shop)

 

There are many rewarding aspects to being a woman who designs and creates jewelry. It’s great to be able to make custom pieces to go with particular outfits. My friends often notice my jewelry and their comments are very helpful.

The days that I want to wear a new design I get ready in an unusual way. Most women get dressed and then choose their jewelry, right? Not me–at times I decide what jewelry to wear and then find clothes that will go with it. It may be a bit odd, but after all, I am a ‘walking billboard’.

I often get orders for pieces I’m wearing. For instance, I recently had some women over for dinner and we agreed to all wear black….anything from pj’s to a formal gown. I chose a flapper outfit, and after donning my dress, feather headband and black boa I looked in the mirror.  I tried to picture which necklace would best compliment the outfit and instantly thought of one that I had made earlier that day—a long pearl necklace with a bit of a tassel.  It must have been the right choice because one of my guests liked it so much that she ordered one.

Not it’s time to get back to work and design something new for the ‘billboard’.  🙂

 

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Ideas for my designs come from various sources. At times it is something that spontaneously develops in my mind whereas at other times it may be something I see and then work into a new design. The other evening, a necklace someone was wearing on tv caught my eye and I immediately thought of many different variations on the design. This happens frequently, but unfortunately I often forget about it by morning. This time I could not get the image of the necklace out of my mind.

In the morning, I sat down at my workbench and began to experiment to see what developed from the ideas that were floating around in my mind. The final necklace turned out to be one of my all-time favorites. It is a three tier pearl necklace with a teardrop pearl gracefully hanging from each tier. I like it so much because it is simple, yet dramatic. It’s elegant, but at the same time, slightly sexy. I’m so excited with how it turned out that my mind is now overflowing with many different variations on the design—so many I would never be able to make them all.

It gives me great satisfaction when one of my designs ‘feels right’ to me and I get flooded with ideas for other pieces that will have a similar feel. The only problem with being this excited about making jewelry is that I have to make myself put down the pliers long enough to do laundry, clean, and other necessary tasks.  I’m sure that I will finish all of these chores at a fairly fast pace because I’ll be anxiously looking forward to spending time at my workbench working on the new pieces. (a.k.a. ‘having fun’)

I’m very fortunate that I enjoy my work as much as I do. Not only do I get to work in my pajamas many mornings, but I’m doing something I love to do. It doesn’t get much better than that. 🙂

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The 4 P’s

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I sit here at my workbench in a quiet house on this cold winter evening with my dog laying on the floor beside me, and I realize that I am content.  It is partly because of 4 elements……PJ’s, pearls, pliers & Pandora.

I was able to enjoy an early dinner and then slip in to my PJ’s.  I don’t know about you, but there is something extremely soothing about hanging out in pajamas.  They are soft, warm and extremely comfortable to wear.  Working at home affords me the luxury of often beginning my work day in my pj’s and slippers, but I also enjoy lounging around in them on certain evenings as well.

As for the Pearls, that happens to be what I’m working with this evening.  I’m experimenting with new designs and happen to be using beautiful, white Swarovski pearls.  I tried on a new necklace  to see how it looked — as I often do after finishing a necklace.  This particular piece was somewhat formal and I couldn’t help but chuckle when I looked in the mirror and realized I was wearing a very formal pearl necklace with my black pj’s.  The really funny part is that it looked kind of cool to me.  

The Pliers are, of course, the tools of my trade.  I thoroughly enjoy designing and making jewelry and am sometimes the happiest when I have pliers in my hand.  My workbench is often littered with various types of pliers/cutters/tools along with various stones, pearls, chain and findings and to some it may look like a disaster, but all I see are limitless possibilities in the designs I could come up with.

The 4th P is my Pandora radio.  For those of you not familiar with this, it is a website with various radio stations that you can customize to your liking by indicating which songs you like or don’t like.  I often listen to classical piano on the evenings that I find myself with an evening to myself, but tonight I felt more like JJ Heller.

So, here I sit with my formal pearls adorning my comfortable pj’s, with pliers in hand and soft music floating all around me………..life is good.  (and I’m coming up with extremely exciting designs.)

Oh, I should mention one other crucial piece in this ideal setting—-a glass of Merlot wine.  It doesn’t start with a P, but it goes well with pj’s and pearls, don’t you think?  😉

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I enjoy listening to music as I design and create my jewelry.  This past week I’ve been working on Catholic Rosaries and Anglican Prayer Beads.  These designs are different than the rest of my pieces due to the fact that they are not an adornment, but something that has a very deep and spiritual purpose—aiding people in their prayers.  I consider it an honor to be able to make something that may help a person spend time in prayer and I try to have a certain mindset as I make them.  Music can help keep my focus on the spiritual side of things as I go through the process of designing and then creating each piece.

Several songs touched me in a special way as I listened to songs that were focused on God and prayer.  The first was Your Hands by JJ Heller.  I liked the fact that it reminds me that some prayers go unanswered, but even then I am still in God’s hands.   This is a hard concept to understand and totally accept, but I continue to pray for the faith to believe those words.

Another song that hit me was Need You Now by Plumb.  Often we don’t find ourselves on our knees in prayer unless we are in some state of need and this song puts those thoughts and feelings to music.  As with the other song, this one also refers to unanswered prayer.  I can’t even begin to understand or explain why God chooses to answer some prayers and not others, but I just try to do what the one line in this song, “I’m trying to hear that still, small voice.”  Songs like this help to remind me of this.

I, personally use the Anglican Prayer Beads to aid me in my prayers, and even sometimes sleep with them.  When I awake in the middle of the night they remind me to pray instead of worrying or allowing my thoughts to get carried away.

It is my hope that anyone who winds up with prayer beads that I make will find them a very helpful tool in their prayer life.  A lot of work goes in to each set and I enjoy making them in a different way than the rest of my collection.

Here are a few of the prayer beads that came from my hands this past week.  Hopefully they will wind up in the hands of someone who needs them.

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Blue Sky Jasper in Antique Copper (click on picture to view details)

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Classic Pearls (click on picture to view details)

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Midnight Blue Pearls with Silver Cross (click on picture to view details)

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Red Picture Jasper (click on picture to view details)

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***(click on links below to go to jewelry and listen to songs)***

“Eclectic” is a word that has been used to describe me and I have to admit that it’s very fitting.  My tastes and styles vary greatly in just about every way possible and the music I choose to listen to is one of those areas.  I enjoy almost every genre from classical to head-banging rock and roll.  The different styles in my jewelry designs are also what could be called ‘eclectic’.  As I look at  the pieces in my collection I can almost ‘hear’ the music that might have been playing as I designed them.

One type of music I enjoy is the soft, ballad sounds of artists like Nora Jones, Natalie Merchant or Sarah McLachlan.  Many of their songs are about love, and the feelings those songs evoke  may lead me to create more ‘romantic’  pieces of jewelry, or at least ones that feel that way to me.  I find that these designs often have pearls in them and use warm-toned vintage metals.

Romantic Pearl Necklace  (click for more info)

“Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones (click to listen to song)

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Country music can inspire more rustic designs possibly with antique copper or ones that use components with a bit of a Southwest flair.  I have certain gems that just ‘feel’ country to me…Autumn Jasper or Blue Sky Jasper.  I often find myself singing along with the more familiar country songs.  (Being able to do that is one advantage to working at home.)

Rustic Blue Sky Jasper Necklace-Jason Aldean's "She's Country"

Rustic Blue Sky Jasper Necklace (click for more info)

“She’s Country” by Jason Aldean (click to listen to song)

As I’ve designed more Celtic pieces, I’ve also developed an appreciation for Celtic music.  There are many types of Celtic music from very traditional style which is very melodious and serene to a very edgy style that is predominantly drums—like the group Albannach.

Traditional Celtic Knot Necklace

Traditional Celtic Knot Necklace (click for more info)

Traditional Celtic Music (click to listen to song)

Sexy Summer Anklet--Celtic Byzantine--Albanach

Sexy Celtic Byzantine Anklet (click for more info)

“Alexander’s Welcome” by Albannach (click to listen to song)

(you MUST listen to the entire song to get the full Albannach experience.)

( I first heard this group at the Celtic Fling and I LOVE THEM!!!)

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I also have a deep love and appreciation for piano music–Michele McLaughlin, David Lanz, Joe Bongiorno and others.  This music can stir up strong emotions which then flow into whatever I am designing.  This type of music can sometimes make me more aware of the feel of the stones I’m working with or  make the colors seem more vibrant to me.  The jewelry designs created while listening to this type of music definitely have bits of my ‘heart’ worked in to them. (Even a few tears at times)

Cluster of Treasures-Christofori's Dream

Cluster of Treasures Necklace  (click for more info)

“Christofori’s Dream” by David Lanz (click to listen to song)

(see comment below You Tube video to see how I feel about this song.  It is truly an amazingly emotional arrangement.)

There are other days when I’m more in the mood for some serious Rock & Roll music—Aerosmith, Led Zeplin, Def Leppard……  That’s probably when my more edgy pieces are created—ones with lots of metal worked in to them..  I have to admit that when some of these songs start to play I can’t help but get a smile on my face and begin to ‘dance’ a bit in my chair.  There have even been times when a certain song comes on and I have to put my pliers down and simply get up and dance to the music. (Another advantage of working at home…..it’s usually not acceptable to get up and dance around in a cubicle.)

Sexy Summer Anklet---Walk This way

Sexy Summer Anklet (click for more info)

“Walk This Way” by Aerosmith (click to listen to song)

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Chains and Pearls Necklace

“Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard   (click to listen to song)

These 2 songs definitely get me up and dancing—how about you?  

(I got to dance to Def Leppard at one of their concerts this past summer.   Yes, I can still have fun at a rock concert at 50 years old. 🙂 

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I’ve often said that music is the key to my soul.  I enjoy the way it can tap in to some of the  feelings inside of me and I’m also grateful that I’m able to express those emotions through my jewelry. 

Now…………..what do I feel like listening to next?………………….

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