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February 2009
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June 2009

Anni's Choice

Annischoice_1240 I try and see my good friend Anni, who lives in Florence, Italy, once a year. 

Last time we met up in Naples, Florida and found an off-the-beaten-track bead shop where Anni picked out these unusual inkblot stones.  I still don't know what they are but they're marvelous. 

I made a necklace for her, very simple to wear in very conservative Florence.  But then I had some fun with the combination of taupe, black and antique amber stones. I separated them with little ruffled beaded beads and finished off with a pewter chain and hook clasp. 

The ruffled beads are a welcome contrast to the smooth round stones.  It's 17" long and so pretty!  $175.


Cocoon_1234 A textured bead crochet in taupe and pearlescent olives and copper. 

The texture is achieved by varying the bead size.  In bead crochet, one must spend hours stringing the beads in a particular sequence and then more hours in the actual crocheting.  No thread or fiber is on the surface, one sees only the beads. 

This 17" beauty is capped off by two SILK COCOONS which I purchased in Dublin.  They are very sturdy and because they are silk, they take the dye beautifully. 

They are meant to be worn in the front and so are finished off with decorative wire work in a pewter tone.  $175.


Candyland_1232 Yes, sometimes I do work with pastel colors. 

This bead crochet necklace has several interesting points. The beads are translucent and the color derives from the hand dyed yarn on which they're crocheted.

It was dyed by Roz Houseknecht at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia and the colors are lovely:  palest chartreuse, pink and blue.  It is topped off by a gorgeous glass focal bead in darker pinks, chartreuse and blue by David Christianson of Rhode Island. 

A Sterling magnetic clasp holds the 17" long necklace all together (not for anyone with a pacemaker!).  $175.


Seabreeze_1231 A lovely and delicate 17" necklace which hangs to the base of the neck. 

Its focal bead is an artist made polymer lentil that has one side that is crackled white with touches of pale turquoise; the other is an antique pale turquoise solid.

I found the piece at a show in Miami about 5 years ago and have been looking for the right combination of beads to place with it.  I believe I've found it in these 24 small square semiprecious  Aqua Terra Jasper stones, each one a little different, but they match the focal bead perfectly.  They in turn are separated by small Sterling cubes which have tiny stamped patterns on them. 

A delicate Sterling hook clasp completes the look.  Small drop Jasper and Sterling cube earrings are included.  $175.



A totally wire worked 15" long necklace with a fantastic beaded focal bead. 

Imagine making a snowball, with layer upon layer to make it larger.  This beaded bead is worked from the center out, gradually building up the beads in layers which gives it tremendous depth. 

Scrolls, curlicues and coils make up the remaining necklace with two lovely mauve handmade lampworked beads, all done up in copper.  $150.

Blue Bayou


A great casual necklace with some fabulous beads. 

The square center focal bead is a Raku piece that I made (see KIMONO for explanation of RAKU).  Peyote stitched seed beads are interspersed with hand-carved Raku beads and 12 wonderful handmade borosilicate beads. 

Boro beads are glass and have multicolors at their core surrounded by clear glass.  It's kind of like looking into a wonderful blue-green fish bowl. 

The 19" necklace is completed with a special matching enamel toggle of copper and blue.  $150.

Oil Slick

Oilslick_1224This freshwater cultured "stick" pearl necklace is aptly named because of its metallic teal and pewter colors. 

 The stick pearls are each about 1/2 to 3/4" long, separated by tiny copper seed beads.  A Raku flower
toggle clasp can be worn in the back, front or side. 

The necklace is 22" long.  $175.

Turquoise Spiral

Turquoisespiral_1217 Fresh from the Maine Summer Studio comes this handsome piece.

It is cropped, about 17" long and meant to be worn at the base of the neck.  At its center is a length of Russian spiral stitch beadwork which is followed by two very lovely Sterling Silver cones, four fabulous 1/2" turquoise beads and two Raku discs. 

Completed by a simple Sterling chain so as not to detract from the center piece and a decorative Sterling hook clasp.  $175.


Kimono_1212 The focal point of this necklace is a RAKU KIMONO that I made.

Raku is an ancient Japanese method of pottery-making involving special clays and glazes, several firings in the kiln, sanding, etching and in the final firing, the piece is taken from the 1800 degree kiln and dropped into a container of combustible materials such as newspapers or dried leaves.  The heat of the piece immediately sets them on fire. 

Slap the lid on the container (a metal garbage can) and wait for it to cool down.  When you open it, you see the glow of the Raku piece among the ashes. 

Depending on the glazes used, Raku can be gold, teal and even magenta.  All have a distinctive metallic patina that I treasure.  I have collected Raku pottery from around the world and this interest led me to take classes to learn the techniques myself. 

is one of the results.  It is 2" high and 2 1/2" wide.  The sleeves of the kimono are embellished with seed beads woven through holes I placed there.  These holes became clogged with the enamel glaze in the final firing and I had to drill them open with a diamond drill bit.  This was a great demonstration of the hardness of the Raku itself. 

Eight braided strands of metallic teal beads including one strand of Touch Me, a velvety yarn, make up the 21" long necklace.  It is completed with Sterling cone end caps and toggle clasp.  $200.


Larimar_1207 The rare and beautiful LARIMAR stone is the centerpiece of this very special necklace.  The stone is mined in only one place in the world, the Dominican Republic.

Conduct a Google search for Larimar and you will see that the stone in my necklace is very, very special.  It is diamond-shaped and naturally-faceted. Its colors range from aquamarine to a pale pearlescent turquoise.  It is 1 1/2" long and 1 3/8" wide. 

It is encased in tiny seed bead stitching which I have Peyote stitched around it.  Hand-painted silk fabric from Prism Yarns provides the backing.  Twenty inches of six-stranded braided seed beads and a delicate Sterling scrolled clasp complete the piece. 

Absolutely one-of-a-kind.  $350