Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer Color, Part Two

There's a lot more color in my shop this summer. A while back I stocked up on some VERY bright gemstones and briolettes and have been listing them as I finish pieces.

Who isn't lifted up by vibrant yellow? From fresh lemon yellow to the deepest golden-orange, yellow in small doses, whether in jewelry, eyeglasses, a belt, bag or shoes can bring some welcome life to any outfit. I particularly love it in concert with purple. A friend has glasses in almost fluorescent yellow and they look amazing on her with her darker complexion.

I found these bumblebee jaspers at the gem show in 2014 and grabbed them. The vendor is quite pricey, but they spoke to me and I knew that I could make them into something compelling. The oxidation adds some contrast but it's the incredible black, orange and yellow variations that make these stones so powerful.

I have a decent collection of antique-to-vintage mirror-backed glass sew-on jewels that  have been hoarding since the 1980s. There used to be shops along 38th street between 5th and 6th avenues that sold all kinds of trimmings and these colorful glass novelties always attracted me. These yellow glass scallop shells are sweet, and I couldn't resist using scalloped bezel wire, which does a nice job of holding them in place. You can clearly see the holes through which we'd sew them on to costumes, hats and other accessories. They were so dear that we'd cut them off the rental costumes after the show closed to save them for the next time! All of those stores have closed and the neighborhood is still part of the Garment District but is a faint shadow of its original status as a street of millinery supplies. I used to shop there daily for decades and miss some of the owners and their family-owned shops.

I found a shell button with a blob of yellow color, the only one in the group, which makes a nice little dangly off the end.

Here we are, purple and yellow, one of my favorite color combinations, using golden yellow and royal purple chalcedony briolettes. Love the translucency of the yellow drops, which I use often.

Hot pink, lemon and golden yellow chalcedony drops in a ladder style, wire-wrapped to sterling. The hotness of this pink is almost startling. It's not a color found in nature, true, but it's fun and certainly a treat for the eyes!

The same pink briolettes in smaller earrings, cooled by blue aquamarine and tiny chalcedony candy pink rondelles. 

Here are the previous lemon yellow chalcedony briolettes used with orange carnelian and London blue topaz. These remind me of The World's Fair, which I attended as a tiny tot but have almost no memory of. I can see this with an orange sundress at the beach, but take them off before swimming!

Pool blue chalcedony and translucent little aquamarine rondelles...ahhh, summer. 

Yes, I love purple. Who doesn't? I have three different tones here, I love it so much. Dark and light purple chalcedony and amethyst quartz in another ladder of color. Wear it with yellow!

Mysterious and always-compelling labradorite ranges from gray to green to blue. I have a lot of this stone and remember my excitement when discovering it over 10 years ago. These beads are a little rough in places with natural occlusions, and seem happy paired with a quiet lavender chalcedony briolette, the same one as in the middle of the above ladder earrings. I remember selling a similar earring in February at one of the rare shows that I do (no car). The customer turned it over and over in her hand, admiring how insanely sparkly these beads are. They are VERY sparkly indeed.

I thought I'd end with a contrast - an iridescent pale moonstone vs. a deep purple amethyst, set in blackened sterling silver. I only have one of these faceted moonstones, so I can't make another. It's open in the center, so it's somewhat adjustable. I gave the sterling two coats of Renaissance wax to help preserve the oxidization.

I'm working on some bracelets made of tiny gemstone rondelles that can be combined, so stay tuned for more color later this month.

Enjoy the summer, play safe and wear your bling!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer Color - Part One

I hope that everyone passing by enjoyed a lovely Fourth of July weekend. To me this marks the middle of summer, not by date, but by temperature. I am not a fan of hot weather, especially in New York City, where it starts to get warm in May. I measure summer from when I first start to wear sandals, when socks and shoes are simply too hot to wear, and continues after Labor Day to some point in mid to late September, and possibly even October in rare years. This year hasn't been too bad and after the winter we had, it's a pleasure not to layer up when going out. It's also a joy to see people in bright colors! Love the neons that refuse to go out of style, especially the Nike sneakers in hot pinks, greens and reds on MEN - Yay that. Every now and then I'll see a Pucci-style dress and go quietly wild inside. I live in a city that has adopted black as its color, so it's a real lift to see a bright pair of shoes, hat, bag, scarf, sweater, coat or jewelry to spice things up.

In summer I bring out the things I think of as "fun" jewelry, especially the fishing lure necklaces that I started making a few years ago. I still have some in stock and for myself that I wear whenever possible. They are labor-intensive to make, and I use a mix of vintage and new beads and slip a few gemstones in as well, like sky blue amazonite, red and orange coral and green and yellow jade.

They're truly one of a kind and perfect for the beach, though I wouldn't wear them in the ocean
(I wouldn't wear anything valuable in the ocean).

Some of these have been sold, and some are mine, but there are others available at the link above.

Above, the first one I made, that was detachable and could be a bracelet and a shorter necklace.

Love the huge moonglow bead!

I wear multiples at a time, (not this many, though) and they look great together.

Love this sweet little pastel fishie. Mine.

My favorite thing is to combine colors. :)

Next time, Part Two of Summer Color, featuring other new bright things in the shop!