A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Crop Circles, Camels and Blood Oranges

I have a thing for round disc pendants like this tantalizing "new jade" lozenge I got at Brought to Life Beads in Whitefish, Montana (where I live) a few months ago. I've been obsessed with this pale celadon color for a while now and keep buying more and more of it (I hope there are people out there with PayPal who share this obsession). Every week or so I would paw through my little box of pendants and wait for them to speak to me. Not a damn word. I really wanted to do something special with this one jade lozenge (is this why I have a thing for these discs? Because they look like giant candy? I don't even like candy). I carried it around with me for a while with an assortment of other stuff that I thought might make the most of it, but it just wasn't right. Finally, in a mad rush to pack to go to the lake for a few days, I was freed from my usual artistic paralysis and just threw some things in a container. One of them was a strand of these opalescent pale yellow green mini lozenges (or coins). I didn't want to take my whole stash so I just picked out a few pieces to work on. I did the majority of this pendant at the lake, even taking my Liver of Sulphur to do some oxidizing at our camp spot (we didn't get a lot visitors that weekend...) I really really like how it turned out--the circles and the wire remind me of a crop circle. I'm not usually that roundly pleased with my stuff (always something I don't like about it), but this really hit the spot for me. Simple.

Before that I was cruising around on some of the Flickr craft and jewelry groups, and visited the "Accessory Trends: Red, Peach, Orange, Gold" group. I was inspired. I hauled out my carnelian (lots of that), red agate, brecciated jasper and red aventurine and stared at it for a while. I was thinking bracelet. I didn't want it all Mardi Gras though (not that there's anything wrong with that). I don't really do the festive happy colors thing (irritates me for some reason)--I thought I could take all that luscious tangerine, apricot and poppy vermilion and make it something smoldering and moody with some deeply oxidized brass wire. So I linked them together with some heavy gauge brass wire, and added a length of chain I had made the other day, and popped the whole thing into the ammonia fumes (overnight, as it turned out--oops). Voila:

I love it. Kind of old-worldy. With a flash of fire.

And lastly, my ode to the camel and his habitat.

I ADORE camel. The color, not the animal. Wheat. A lion's mane. Sand. I was going to call it, "Behind my Camel", after a quirky Police song, and then thought better of it. Maybe not the best place to be. I don't usually give my pieces pretentious cheesy names, but it seemed OK in this case b/c I figured camel would be a search term. Camel and pendant and I had it covered. Especially since I don't have a clue what that little stone pendant is. Forgot to ask. Looks like something from the driveway. The little ivory spacers are bone, and the pale round beads are wood, and the light caramel colored disc beads are actually matte glass discs from Happy Mango Beads. (They are ever so slightly opalescent and come in a few different charming colors).

(Believe it or not, these photos were taken in my car on my lunch hour, literally IN MY LAP. I put the lid to a cardboard copy paper box upside down in my lap (this is also my work table in my "mobile studio"), arranged my stuff, and took a picture. No tripod. Steady as a friggin rock.)

Lastly, I sold some of my favorite pieces to family this last weekend, and am thrilled that they will be loved and worn, and given as gifts to special friends! The hardware bracelet, the house pendant with bronze pearls, the copper charm bracelet with amazonite and aventurine, and a labradorite and sterling necklace and earring combo are winging their way to Billings, Montana, and then on to North Carolina.

Thanks MaryLu and Marcia!


  1. Woweeee....what gorgeous jewelry. You were really in the groove there, creating such beautiful things. That first necklace with the round beads has such perfect wirework and an incredible chain. And the carnelian IS smoldering...and that Camel...love the whole layout (I'm a monochromatic kinda person too). What an inspirational visit to your blog today!

  2. Thanks! I made the chain myself with a technique I learned on the WigJig website. Chain with no soldering! I've used it a bunch before. 22 gauge wire, pretty easy.

  3. Pretty sure you've never made anything remotely "Mardi Gras". And that was my hardware bracelet!!!