Thursday, October 19, 2017

Garnet, pearl, and silver magnifying necklace - for sale

Antique optical lens, crystals, garnet,
pearls, rhodonite, and Bali silver

I made this piece in 2006, when I first began to need a pair of drug store readers, but couldn't bring myself (yet) to admit it!  Now I use them all the time and no longer need this pretty piece, so it is the next item up looking for a new home.

This is what I wrote at the time:

I do not need glasses...yet!  But there are times when the print is just too small.  This handy magnifier is actually a powerful antique optical test lens, dangling from a gorgeous strand of purple, pink, garnet, and black.  The lens is French, from a test set made in the late 1800s.  Isn't that the coolest thing?  The lens "strength" is etched on the glass.  The necklace is a 24 inch long continuous strand to slip over your head.  Keep this one handy!  It is a one-of-a-kind original.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mixed metals and bead necklace - a tutorial

I wore a necklace a couple of days ago that I had forgotten I even had!  It looked amazing with the Fall colors that I was wearing, and it occurred to me that with the mix of metals and the neutral palette, it would be great with all the Fall 2017 Pantone colors.  And another thing...the multiple strand effect at the bottom is exactly what you're seeing right now in a lot of fashionable necklaces.  You might even want to make it just a bit longer by adding several more links of chain at the top, but that is up to you!

The only problem I ran into in updating this necklace tutorial is that the original beads are no longer available, but I found lots of really nice replacements.  Two collections that really caught my eye were the 40 piece white (including ivory and tan) and the 40 piece gray collections from Jesse James Beads:

Go take a look at the tutorial, and pick the colors for yourself!  The ivories and grays are really versatile, but wouldn't this necklace look great in a bright accent color too?

Interesting chain

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Copyright 2017 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Golden Harvest - a beaded neckalce tutorial

Golden Harvest

There's lots of swing and movement in Golden Harvest! Brass chain, beads, and findings set off the golds, ambers, and greens of this Fall-inspired piece. The original necklace, shown here, uses my own handmade lampwork glass beads, but I have found some substitutes in horn that you can use instead!  I particularly like how Golden Harvest blends with the Pantone Fall 2017 colors Autumn Maple and Golden Lime.


Lampwork beads...substitute horn beads
Rootbeer seed beads, size 6/0
Horn rings, 25mm
Green MOP leaves
Yellow MOP leaves
Brass rounds, 3mm
Brass rondelles, 7mm
Gold-colored head pins
Gold jump rings, 7mm
Gold jump rings, 4mm
Medium weight bead wire, bronze
Crimp tubes, size #2
Small brass chain
Medium brass chain
Toggle + clasp

Wire cutters
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers

1. Start from the center middle.  Using a short length of beading wire, make a loop with seed beads and brass rounds, taking the ends through one seed bead in opposite directions.  Add a few more beads to each end and set aside.

2. Use four head pins to create two links from two horn rings.  Thread them through the rings from the inside out, and turn a wrapped loop on each end. 

3. Use crimps to attach the center piece from step 1 to the horn links.

4. Cut six lengths of chain in staggered lengths, and attach three to of the horn rings, first to a 4mm jump ring and then to a 7mm jump ring. 

5. Use a head pin to attach a central large bead with a few smaller accent beads to the middle of the loop in the center.  At the bottom of the loop, use a 4mm jump ring to attach a small length of chain, decorated with MOP leaves and brass rounds.  Use head pins to form wrapped loops around the chain links.     

6. Attach beading wire to the outer wrapped loops of the horn rings and string on 4 to 5" of beads, including large and small accent beads, brass rounds, and brass rondelles.  I added another dangle a few inches up using a couple of head pins. 

7. At the end of the beading wire, crimp it around a length of chain.  To one side, add a toggle, and to the other side, add a toggle bar.

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Copyright 2017 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Flapper - a necklace made from vintage glass beads

Flapper - 39"
Vintage glass beads, raw brass

Get ready to dance!

I was delighted to come across this necklace that I made 6 years ago, because look at how perfect it is with the Pantone Fall 2017 palette!  I'm putting it up for sale, because although I love it, I just don't wear it, and it needs a new home. If you'd prefer to make one, the link to the tutorial is below.


Original tutorial

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How well do you know your jades?

Dyed African, Chinese, Mountain or Malaysian "Jade" are pretty...but they're NOT real Jade

Jade, Jadite, and various "Jades"

I have always wondered about jade.  Everyone when I was growing up just used the term "jade" to refer to anything that happened to be that color.  Even then, I think that I knew there were stones that were commonly called "jade" but were really imitation.  However...I had no idea that jade and jadeite were two very different beasts, nor did I know that it's actually jadeite that is the more expensive of the two.

Wikipedia to the rescue:  
Jadeite and nephrite are totally different minerals. They have different densities, different hardness, different crystal structure, and different chemical compositions. Classic jade, the jade that comes from China, is nephrite, and jadeite, the rarer type of jade, comes from Burma.

The finest-quality jadeite—almost transparent with a vibrant emerald-green color—is known as “Imperial jade.” The royal court of China once had a standing order for all available material of this kind, and it's one of the world's most expensive gems.

Up until 1863, nephrite was believed to be one and the same as jadeite. Nephrite is a fibrous aggregate variety of tremolite-actinolite, a basic calcium magnesium iron silicate, whereas jadeite is a pyroxene mineral.
Here are just a few of the many options you have to use in your designs.  Please, buyer beware, and only buy from reputable dealers:

African "jade"

Natural jadite, C grade

Nephrite jade

Dyed imitation "jade"

Previous posts in the series:
How well do you know your pink stones?
How well do you know your turquoise stones?
How well do you know your white stones?

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