Sunday, May 30, 2010

Beach inspired jewelry and a day out in Carmel CA........

Talking about enjoying the beach and the ocean........the girls and I were lucky enough to spend a day in Carmel, CA earlier in the week.  This is such a cute town with a fabulous beach and an off leash dogs on the beach policy!!!!   We were able to have lunch at Doris Day's Cyprus Inn (also very doggy friendly) - we sat in their gorgeous flowered enclosed patio - and romp on the lovely white sandy beach (see pic below) is a pair of earrings I made which were inspired by these enjoyable outings.....
Silver shell beads topped and tailed with beautiful appatite rondelles in various ocean hues with a tiny blue topaz rondelle at the bottom.  As always sterling silver wire, headpins and earwires.  L:ightweight with a fun swing and deliberately different and original for each ear!!

I am sure many of us are inspired by the nature around us.........

My Etsy store has FREE US SHIPPING continued this US Memorial Day holiday weekend (ends midnight monday 31st may 2010) -  Enjoy the rest of this lovely weekend everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Water pups.....

There's nothing my 'girls' like better than a trip to the beach and this weekend they got lucky and were able to have two long romps (with naps in between).

Chasing tennis balls is a fav - although Molly likes to put them in the ocean instead of bringing them back to you and then enjoys watching you go wading to retrieve them!  You can almost hear her giggle as she's doing it......

She used to be the fastest rocket on the beach but now her little sis, Mia has longer legs and can outrun her.  Mia's game is to block Molly from running after her ball, so now Molly has to zig zag side to side to get past her and then go full speed all out to beat her to the ball.....  So fun to watch.  No wonder they are both exhausted afterwards!!

Boogie used to like water games too - the beach and the pool!  Especially laying on the pool float and then sploshing off!!

The girls do pretty well there too.....diving in and swimming out, running round the pool 20 times and .....repeat!!
Course you can always just pose on the side when you get tired.......... or
 see who can get to the ball first!!!  What do your animals do that makes you smile?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ancient tree of life......

So this weekend I received this lovely gift - Its an
"Ancient Tree of Life" 
sculpture from my good friend Joey Cattone......  She had found the beautiful azurite rock in Arizona and knew that those gorgeous sparkly aqua/turquoise colors would go soooo well with my decor!!!  So she brought it home with her and made me this delightful tree out of wire and beads to decorate my mantle.  I've seen tree of life themes on jewelry before so I decided to look into the tradition and meaning a bit more........

Apparently, the Tree of Life is a universal symbol that can be found in the spiritual tradition of most cultures around the world. If you think about it..... trees provide shelter, they are tall and strong and have deep roots connecting them to the earth but they also reach skyward towards the 'heavens'.    They lose their leaves and grow new ones...bear fruit...enriching the air we breathe. All symbols of life, growth and renewal....... 

I think its beautiful to look at and I love that it was handmade with love..........  Joey's other work can be seen on her website :  (and include murals, watercolors, oils on canvas, prints, sculptures and many others)  Check her out!!!!  And thanks Joey!

And for those of you who would like to incorporate a tree of life pattern into some jewelry - here's a free one to download from Janice Parsons of the beadshop -   Aren't these gorgeous?  I'll have to make one for me!!!

And here's her website - full of beads, findings,components, projects and free downloads -  Thanks Janice x

And here are some gorgeous tree of life jewelry pieces from Dolcie Crawford - just look at the detail and beautiful colors on this one......The bead is a natural Paua shell.   Very special indeed:)
Her other work can be seen at her store :
Her facebook page :
Her blog :   Thanks Dolcie :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

The anatomy of a custom order!

I do love a custom request! Now I am a little bit of a detail freak, so I have a need to ask quite a few questions along the way........but in the end, its a real pleasure making something for a customer and making it exactly as they want it. 

Yes, I throw in my design eye - the color choices, the shapes, sizes, overall look etc....but isn't it a wonderful thing to be able to say "I want an amber necklace just like the multi gem one I bought from you, with silver and quartz" and get......exactly what you want?

The first challenge was to find and pick some beads and pieces to bring together.  Its always fun laying the gems out next to each other to try and see what will work and how it will all look......
Before I knew it I was home and laying out my treasures with some pieces I already had, on my design board to see how it all might come together..... Then once I had made the base silver outline with wire, I started adding beads and gently bending it into shape....
Next stage was to pull together the final pendant outline shape and make loops on each end - one for the necklace cording and the other one in so that it can also be worn as a bracelet if you choose.

BTW - Amber is a beautiful stone made of fossil tree sap and has been known since antiquity. A fossil itself, it can contain many preserved insects and other animals and plants that are tens of millions of years old. These frequent fossil inclusions were made famous in the movie "Jurassic Park".The fossils that are encased in amber probably got there when they flew or crawled on to the fresh seeping sap and then got stuck. The sap oozed over the trapped animals and perhaps fell to the ground and was later covered by dirt and debris. The sap later hardened and became a fossil.

Here's the inspiration piece - it can also be wrapped around your wrist and used as a bracelet...I've also seen similar pieces worn off centre with the cord doubled around as a long 'choker'.......I've even thought it would make a very fancy hair slide with a dowel through each end!!!

And here's a close up of each end of the finished pendant waiting for its necklace cord!
I think she picked a really nice combo of colors don't you?  So whats your creative process with your custom orders?  I was lucky here in that the design was similar to a previous one so I knew kinda what she wanted.......but sometimes thats the fun and a new shape or design comes together because of it!  In the end the customer chose to add another larger chunk of clear quartz - which I actually think looks great :) ....... and here's the finished piece.