Friday, October 29, 2010

A Garnet Story

As I do not have any new beads or jewellery to show today,  I have decided to write about the semi- precious stone, garnet.

My maternal grandmother's first name was Garnet. My mother's name was Garnet and my oldest daughter's middle name is Garnet.

I grew up captivated by the name and the stone from which my female relatives were named.
There are many jewellery pieces with garnets in them in my family. One was combined with rubies, others with diamonds. Simpler pieces stood alone with gold or silver.

For many years, I believed that garnets only came in dark red.  Red is the most common colour,  however garnets can come in many different shades of red from almost black to bright red.

I now also know that garnets can come in a variety of colours: brown, black, orange, red, green and even a rare blue-green. There are also stones which change colour depending on whether they are in sunlight or seen in artificial light.

In history, garnet was said to be a gem of "faith and truth".
It was believed to be medicinally powerful, used as a remedy for inflammatory diseases, to help cure liver complaints, and to aid in the cessation of haemorrhage.  It was also believed to cure depression.
In medieval times many believed that wearing garnet would protect against bad dreams, wounds and poison.

Garnets have been found in jewellery from early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times.
Garnets were found as beads in a necklace worn by a young man in a grave that dates back to 3000bc. This indicates the strength and durability of the stone. ( it has a hardness factor of 7-7.5 on the mohs scale)

In more recent times, it is said to be the birthstone for the month of January.

Just this week, a cousin purchased a new garnet and diamond ring to replace one that had been lost.
There is such a strong link between the name of the stone and the name of our beloved relatives that any piece of garnet jewellery will always evoke a fond memory or two,  often leading to an interesting discussion.
And that is always good.

I think I now may need to go and buy a garnet ring or bracelet or necklace.......!!



Photo Acknowledgements:
- Ring from Westonjewelry
- Cut stones from Silverjoyce

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Owl Necklace

It's been a busy week and there hasn't been a lot of time for beadmaking,  however I did get around to finishing my little owl necklace.

The colours in jawjee's owl are difficult to capture on film but they are a gorgeous mix of blue and greeny-blue in the body of the owl combined with captivating bright green eyes. There is also a dash of pinky orange in the eyes .

I decided to use one larger lampwork bead of my own in the blue-green combination, and also included two pairs of  simple spacer- beads in similar colours, separated by small bright olive-green crystals.

The beads around the neck are lovely blue topaz separated by plain silver.

A box-style clasp with peridot insert and a dangling silver leaf and small crystals complete the story.

I am loving how my necklace turned out.

Here is also a photo of the roses on my front fence.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

A few things from the Weekend

Well here are the caps I made this weekend.
They are made from copper (thank you,  Darren), textured with the little hammer from previous post and then given a patina using Lime Sulphur.
The little hammer  set was easy to use,  however,  because of it's relative light weight, it did require quite a bit of perseverance to pattern the copper.

I then sealed the caps with Renaissance wax.
I love the antique finish. Some of the caps also have a lovely pinkish glow which is a little hard to see on the photo.

I also put together a pair of "Rain drop earrings" which came in a kit from beadsonline.

My last photo is a little owl which I purchased from Georgie. Over the next week or so,  I hope to put a necklace together , incorporating this little fellow and my own lampwork beads. You can see more of Georgie's gorgeous owls and beads at  her website.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

100 bead necklace

 Wednesday 13th October 2010

I made these little spotty beads quite a while ago but have just recently managed to string them up. It's quite a long necklace as I put little silver beads in between and a  ring and bar clasp.
I intend to wear them with a white shirt; a bright, cheery look.

I always love getting parcels in the mail and today one arrived from WishWare Beads in Bunbury, Western Australia. It is a small texturing hammer for metal (see pictures below).  It comes with 4 different heads.

I intend to give this a go on the weekend, probably on copper sheet to see what patterns it can produce. If I like the look, I will make copper and/or silver bead caps. Perhaps I will have some results by Monday.


Monday, October 11, 2010

First Post

This is my first post on my first blog.
Here are some pmc bead caps and connectors (also a first) and some bead photos.
One is a photo of  stripey beads (thankyou Kandice) from a  recent challenge with my new bead group, the "Flaming Matildas"  and the other are beads made from Double Helix glass, Kalypso,  an experiment trying to coax out those elusive (for me) gorgeous purple and pink colours.



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