Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Design in Progress at AHD - Aquamarine and Prasiolite Raindrop Earrings, Day 3

I spent a good portion of yesterday attaching the briolettes to the earrings.  It's time consuming, but I enjoy it.  I do get frustrated when I chip a stone with the wire or do something foolish like wrap the loop without attaching it to the chain (it happened...chalk it up to distraction).  Nonetheless, they are going well and I'm pleased with the way they're turning out.  I find it greatly streamlines my process to work in stages.  I cut several bits of wire at a time, then thread them through the stones forming the loops all at one time, then attach the wire to the chain and wrap the free end at one time.

Here's a shot of my progress so far...

I'm hoping to finish attaching the briolettes today.  Soon enough I should receive some new ear wires I purchased from JLeeBeads on Etsy.  I'm thinking I'll likely use them on this design.  For any of you who make jewelry, check out her shop.  She has a really good selection and her service is fabulous.  As an added bonus for me, we're both in Texas so my orders arrive in no time!  She also makes beautifully simple, classic jewelry which you can find at her other Etsy shop JLeeStudios.

Hopefully, tomorrow or Thursday will bring a post with the finished product, so check back soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Design in Progress at AHD - Prasiolite and Aquamarine Raindrop Earrings, Days 1 and 2

I'm so glad that things are back to normal after the holidays and I can start to apply my focus to new designs.  My Etsy shop is empty and it seems every item on my website is marked "Sold," not that I'm complaining!  I've had some beautiful new gemstones come in over the past month and have been dying to work with them.  I've missed having the time to sit down and produce new pieces.  I'm not one who can do a little here and there.  I have to sit for hours, working as close to completion as I can in one session.  One project I've been carrying around in my head is for a pair of prasiolite (also known as green amethyst) and aquamarine hoop/chandelier earrings.  They will be a teardrop shape with prasiolite and aquamarine briolettes dangling randomly from different lengths of chain.  The idea makes me think of falling raindrops (and I love the rain).  I've been obsessed with prasiolite for the past several months.  I think its pale silvery-green color is beautiful and coordinates with so many different stones.   I have another prasiolite design that will be in the works next...but that's a later post!

After aiming to begin work on this design from early last week, on Sunday afternoon I finally managed to start forming the hoops for these earrings.  My workspace is upstairs, but instead I collected a few tools, some wire, chain and my bench blocks to move downstairs in front of the fireplace.  The cats were very excited to sit with me by the fire until I finished forming the hoops and started hammering them on the steel block!  They were much happier with me when I started wrapping the hoops,  attaching the bits of chain with fine gauge wire, and they quickly moved back onto the hearth.  Just forming and wrapping the hoops took me the better part of Sunday afternoon and evening (read 6+ hours).  I had to tear myself away for a couple of hours to prepare dinner and feed my husband, but promptly went back to work until I had the hoops completed.

With the hoops formed, hammered and wrapped in wire, I've moved back upstairs to my table where the beautiful glistening gemstones shown above are laid out and waiting to become a part of these lovely little earrings.  I can't wait to sit down and start working on them again today.  It's so gratifying to see your ideas come to be after carrying them around in your mind.  I get a great deal of satisfaction from assembling my designs, bit by bit.  I'm looking forward to the outcome and sharing more as this latest composition transitions from concept to actuality!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ringing in 2010

Is it really already 2010?!  December was a complete blur and despite the fact I stretched myself way too thin with projects and responsibilities, it was a wonderful time spent with family and friends.  I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays as much as we did.

Once Christmas was over and the new year begun, I promptly began working through putting things back in order and reorganizing what I've let go over the past couple of months.  However, yesterday my plans were thwarted and I find myself in bed with a touch of the flu.  Today I'm very thankful for my beautiful little laptop my husband and stepchildren gave me for Christmas.  Hooray for wireless networking!  When I still held an office job, I was always mobile and quite spoiled by it.  I've now been given my freedom again with my little HP Envy, so at least I can get caught up on some online tasks and tax preparation from the comfort of my bedroom...propped up on a pile of pillows with a cup of tea by my bedside and stock for chicken soup simmering on the stove.  It's so hard for me to not continue putting the house back in order, but I know it's my body's way of telling me to slow down for a bit...I'm being a good girl and listening.

So, today I'll sit with spreadsheet open and enter business expenses and sales that were left for when things slowed down.  Along with Christmas shopping, I did a bit of shopping for Amy Holton Designs as well!  I have some beautiful faceted gemstones that arrived shortly before the new year that I'm dying to get my hands on, but I'll save that for a day when I'm feeling better and have more patience!  So...on with the not-as-fun-as-making-jewelry tasks that make the IRS happy.  It shouldn't take too long.  I do keep my records pretty well up to date so it should be fairly painless.

Looking forward to getting things organized, back into my routine, introducing new designs and drooling over all of my crafty friends' creations!  Wishing you all a happy, healthy, peaceful, and creatively inspired 2010.