Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Before and After: Evolution of a Necklace

I can't count how many times I have finished a design and just not been quite satisfied with it.  Too many to count for sure! And so it was with a necklace I recently found from the past.

It wasn't a totally bad necklace, just a little plain - so I had put it aside for a little while - well a little while turned into about a year and a half - and the necklace was quietly forgotten about.

Then one day recently while sorting through my inventory for tax purposes (UGGH - I dread taxes) I came across the necklace. And I decided to rework the design.  If nothing else it was a great excuse to put off working on my taxes!

The original necklace was beaded using freshwater nugget pearls, small Swarovski crystals, and a clear glass teardrop that I wire-wrapped for the pendant.  

Original Design

To rework the necklace, I first did away with the glass teardrop and replaced it with a more elegant plump faceted Swarovski crystal teardrop.  I fashioned the crystal into a pendant using a large silver jump ring and a small textured round link for hanging it onto the chain.
Finally, I added some tiny freshwater pearl dangles to add movement and visual interest.  Here is the finished product: 

Finished Re-designed Necklace

Close-up View 

I am tons happier with the design!  It's always gratifying when a design turns out well - even if it took a while!

To see this Freshwater Pearl and Crystal Necklace and more of my designs, visit me at!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Mother of the Groom Ensemble

My Mother of the Groom Ensemble

Bridal handbag

Armani Collezioni sheer shawl
$370 -

My oldest son is getting married in May, so I have started looking for my Mother of the Groom Dress.  I have ordered the above dress from Nordstroms and the shoes from Zappos.  (That's the model wearing the dress - not me!)  I am experimenting on Polyvore for the perfect look.

The dress is a navy blue with beads.  The shoes are open toed silver sandals with clear rhinestones.  The shawl and purse are not quite finalized, but I put some possible choices in my Polyvore photo.  

Next, I have to finish the ensemble with the perfect jewelry - guess I'd better get busy designing something for myself!  Will post pics when finalized.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

About Glass Fire Opals

Glass fire opals are some of the most beautiful man-made stones I know of.  Also known as Harlequin glass art, they were first made in the early 1900's and are known for their fiery  play of colors.  Glass fire opals are handmade and no two are exactly alike.  They are made by adding metals to molten glass.  

The most well known color is a deep ruby red often referred to as "Dragon's Breath."  The name originated because of the fiery flashes of blue and purple seen from within the glass - giving the illusion of a "dragon's breath."  

Other popular colors include pink, amethyst and topaz.  Here are some examples of different color stones:

Dragon's Breath Glass Fire Opal

Topaz Glass Fire Opal

Pink Glass Fire Opal

You can find my Fire Opal Collection in my Etsy shop. 

Dragon's Breath Fire Opal Earrings

Victorian Pink Fire Opal Necklace

Amethyst Glass Fire Opal Necklace

Pink Fire Opal Necklace in Antique Brass

Victorian Pink Fire Opal Earrings

Dragon's Breath Fire Opal Necklace

Visit me at to see all of my handmade vintage inspired jewelry!