Monday, May 30, 2011

Post No. 6- It's Memorial Day

I spent the morning (and last night until 3 am, naughty me) pricing out some of the pieces I've made, calculating the exact-ish price of beads I've bought, surmising the amount of time it takes to make a bracelet with seed beads as opposed to hex beads as opposed to cubes...  Many creative or artistic people hate this sort of thing.  Not me!  I love tedious busy work.  I used to teach Ear Training at Juilliard, and I remember being the only one of my colleagues who actually enjoyed the ends of semesters, when it was time to calculate grades, painstakingly adding up hundreds of handwritten numbers.  Yes, I love the peace, and the balance, and knowing exactly what is to come from what I'm doing.  Perhaps this was due to the trauma of my first identity, as a classical pianist, and the helplessness of knowing that no matter how much I practiced, I might ruin it all in performance with just a few missed notes...

I always envied visual artists the chance to make something just right and have it stay that way!  No nerves getting in the way or sudden, unexpected destruction.  I was never any good at drawing; so glad to have found a way to gain some sort of continuous control over my art, as happens when I design and make jewelry.  This, and writing/arranging music; I can just sit there as long as I want, perfecting, perfecting...  Love it!

Speaking of making jewelry, here is my Sky Cluster Necklace No. 1, finished yesterday:
Two large and completely different chalcedonies, one long and smooth, one chunky and raw, share a sterling silver ring with Czech glass beads sitting across a smooth jade round, and an interesting concoction I cooked up by combining a beautiful lampwork bead by etsy's radiantmind with some blue lentil beads.   I like!

You know what else I like?  Nodeform's rings on etsy...  mmm...

Nodeform, why do you torture me so?  Why do I not have thousands of dollars to spend on your lovely creations?  If I did they would all be mine...  Nodeform...

In parting, I've been included in a couple of cool treasuries in the past bit.  Check them out!




Sunday, May 29, 2011

Post No. 5- Finally

I have a camera!  Not sure I'm going to keep it, but I have one.  Now I can show you those crystal necklaces I made on Friday.  Here's one with three blue bicones, (two different shades) and a beautiful Swarovski "polygon" crystal pendant I wrapped with silver wire:

I just listed it in my etsy shop, HERE!

I'm pleased with this one.  I like the drape-scalloped look to it.  Looks kind of Victorian to me!  Plus, the clearness of crystal...  Mmm...

I'll list some more tonight or tomorrow.  Right now I'd better get ready to go to dinner at my in-laws'.  I've had a bit of a nice day today- woke up early to feed the kids, went to Costco with the hubby and got the camera, got some odds and ends done from my to-do list, made chocolate chip cookies with my 8-year-old.  Fun stuff!
I'll leave you with a pair of delectable earrings from 2TrickPony, on etsy:

I want them!!  Visit them on etsy HERE, especially if you are in the market for an exorbitant gift for me...  ;-)

Alright folks, until tomorrow!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Post No. 4- Sleepy Time

Zzzz....  That's the kind of day it's been today.  I actually fell asleep in the afternoon, which is very rare for me!  I'm not a ready napper, but when I do, I sleep deeply.  I woke up not sure if it was Saturday or Sunday morning, which makes sense because it was pretty much right in between.  I eventually settled on Sunday morning, as I could remember going into the recording studio this morning...  which still feels like yesterday, now!  Confusing.

As for the recording studio, I am recording some Irish traditional music on the piano.  It was not my most productive session ever; I wore out my wrists on the piano's tough action after about an hour and a half, and my allergy-stricken voice gave out after about 30 minutes.  Oh well.  I may have gotten one track, which would be one more than I got last session!

What I should have done today, rather than sleeping (and taking the kids to the pool,) was get a new camera so I can photograph my latest creations!  Here is an iPhone pic of the Swarovski crystal necklaces of yesterday, along with a turquoise and purple "Cluster" necklace I made last night for my husband's cousin's graduation; a special order from my mother-in-law.

Closer up pictures within the week, I promise!

"Cluster" necklaces, by the way, are a type of necklace I make using a variety of beads hanging from a silver ring.  Most of them are monochromatic,

although I have on occasion made variecolored ones, like the Autumn Cluster Necklace, the Citrus Cluster Necklace (not pictured,) and of course more to come!

Here's a close-up look at the Peach Cluster Necklace:

We've got a smooth aventurine oval, a stack of Czech glass rondelles, an orange chalcedony teardrop, and a peach aventurine organic cube.  Here's where it's listed, etsy-side:

But enough about me.  Let me share with you a jeweler I discovered yesterday from Turkey, who makes the most interesting rings:

Sterling silver with gemstones in surprising places.  That "diamond" ring does have a stone in its cage!  The coolest, with many more in her shop on etsy here:

Well, I think I may go sleep again!  Nighty night...


Friday, May 27, 2011

Post No. 3- Before the Rain

Blah.  It's a blah, blah day.  I spent much of it making wedding-inspired necklaces with some exciting Swarovski crystals I just got in the mail from  I used to love crystals as a child; my prize possessions were little Swarovski crystal figurines, and a large, faceted crystal ball which hung from a slat on my canopy bed.  I remember once catapulting myself from the bed and whacking the center of my forehead on it, leaving me with a bump nearly the size of the crystal!  I'm surprised that didn't happen more often, actually...

First thing this morning I discovered that the water bottle that ruined my purse yesterday by opening and pouring itself into my bag also fried my camera.  Very bad!  So, no fresh pictures of my work today.  Instead I'll share something I made a couple months ago.  My sister-in-law-to-be came over today to try on necklaces and this one looked surprising fabulous!

It's all aquamarines, with sterling silver, of course.  I love the chunky, organic look of the stones, the icy coolness of it all.  Here's where it lives on etsy:  Funny- again, it's the color of the sky right now.  Must be something to that!

Speaking of the sky, (which I do have a thing for,) here is a picture of the sky earlier today, while it was beautiful enough to make the irritation of Memorial Day weekend traffic a little less irritating...

...and a ring I made for my friend's birthday a couple nights ago.  

See the resemblance?  :-)

And further on the subject of sky-jewelry, here are some ultra cool rings I was admiring in an awesome, England-based shop on etsy recently...

Each of those elements is separate from the other, and can move around on your finger.  Love it!  Check it out here:

The X-Men is blaring away downstairs and I'd better get to making dinner for my kids...  Until tomorrow!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Post No. 2- Cloudy Day

I'm in the same place as I was when I wrote yesterday, although today it's about 10 degrees cooler and the sky is more of a bluish-white.  Which reminds me of a ring I made recently...
Yup, that's the color of the sky right now.  The color of pale blue chalcedony, apparently...  :-)  This ring has a fabulous hammer-faceted chalcedony and is made of oxidized sterling silver wire.  It's listed here:

Can I tell you how glad I am I make rings?  It took me a while to actually decide to learn how and do it.  I myself have loved rings since high school, when I wore a ring on every finger.  You can count yourself lucky I don't have a picture of that!  I wore long broomstick skirts, had the largest hair I could manage, and yes, numerous rings.  I remember my reason for this being that I couldn't choose which ones to wear, so I had to wear them all.  I even wore several on some fingers.  Most of them were plain silver, and included a snake, a dolphin, a puzzle ring, and a Russian wedding ring.  I've lost most of them by now (except, of course, my least favorite one) but the one I liked best I remember clearly- a small amethyst marble captured in a squiggle of silver wire.  Someday I will recreate it, I can feel it...

My taste in rings is a bit different now.  For one thing, I never wear more than three, spread out between two hands.  I also prefer rings with large stones, which is a large part of what I go for when making rings, at least right now.  Again, it's all about color!

My computer's been running super slow today, probably because I was using GarageBand earlier.  I was using it to record an accompaniment track for my husband's cousin, so he could rehearse without me for his drag show next week.  I love using the piano for unexpected purposes...  I'll post pictures of it after it happens in a week!

Anyway, because it's running so slow, I've run out of time to write this post, so let me direct you to my latest treasury on etsy, called "Butterfly Effect;"  and say... hasta manana!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Post No. 1- The Beginning

I've just sat down on my bed to write this first post.  It is a lovely spring day outside in Utah- sunny, bright, high 60's.  It smells great and the birds or chirping as they seem to do in the springtime.  I hear the gentle clacking of the Venetian blinds in the breeze, a train honking as it passes somewhere not too far away.  Outside my window, past my messy work table (it's particularly chaotic right now, halfway between sewing and jewelry-making), I can see the edge of the next house, the blue sky, a few snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

The cat, of course, has immediately curled up beside me with her little paw on my arm, and I think I'm ready to start this blog!

I'm Anne-Marie.  I'm a musician, a mom, a jewelry designer.  I love to cook, sew, write, create.  This blog is going to be mainly about JEWELRY!  Handmade, creative, unique; some of which I make, some made by others.  Join me in my little world!

I love COLOR.  I love not-color too; plain metals, neutrals, black and white, but color...  Color makes me feel things.  Oranges and yellows make me thirsty, greens and blues relax me, red and purple make me feel rich.  haha  Might as well feel it, right?

I made a necklace lately using waxed Irish linen cord and using lots of COLOR.  I've got quite a few beads at this point, so I just went with my gut, and out came Spring on a String!

I love working with this grey linen cord; it's so me! Strung along it in this piece are:
5 pieces of Indonesian glass
2 cherry quartz
3 chalcedonies
2 carnelians
4 aventurines
2 lampwork glass beads(by radiantmind on etsy; love!)
sterling silver
and Indonesian bone.

I use quite a few of these Indonesian bone beads in my work; you'll be seeing more!  There's only one of them in this necklace; that orange one right in the center.  Those of you who know me know of my long love affair with transparency.  I love clear things!  What I've learned as a jewelry designer, however,  is that clear things look even clearer when they're with things that are not clear, like Indonesian cow bone.  Plus the colors these beads come in are great...  again, you'll be seeing more in the future!

This necklace, which extends from 17 1/2 to 19 inches, is also listed in my etsy shop here:

One more thing for today.  I was just accepted into the Jewelry on Etsy Team, or JET Team.  I'm excited!  Every day they have a featured member, and today's is an amazing artist from the Isle of Arran in Scotland.  I love her organic-looking pieces, like these:

See you tomorrow!  -Anne-Marie