Saturday, January 31, 2009

Red Eyed Tree Frog Figural Brooch

I worried the entire time while I was making this red-eyed tree frog brooch. Worried I'd run out of malachite beads. I was running soooooooo low on them. I posted about it on twitter the entire time I was working on it.

My eyes were so tired last night, I couldn't finish him. But I was dying to know if I had enough beads to make it....

I was praying this morning. It went something like this: "Dear God, please let me have enough malachite beads to finish this frog. If I don't have enough beads, I know I'll find myself in the car on the way to Hobby Lobby to see if they have any. I know if I get up to Hobby Lobby, I'll end up taking our grocery money and spending it on more beads, because, as you know, God, I have a serious addiction to beads. If anyone can work miracles, YOU can. Please work a miracle for me!"

As I was continuing to weave beads through his body and legs this morning, I found 4 beads with misdrilled holes. They had to be put to the side...they couldn't be used. To say I was holding my breath as I got to the end is an understatement!

When I finished, I had 4 beads left...the 4 that were misdrilled that I'd put off to the side. Tell me that's not a miracle! I've never had the *exact* amount of beads to finish a project!

I love red eyed tree frogs. They bring happiness and joy to one's life. This one can bring happiness and joy to your life. All you have to do is be the first one to go here and purchase him. He is a one of a kind.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dragonfly Brooch with Garnet, Citrine and Pearls

This lovely brooch was inspired by a local lady who collects dragonfly jewelry. She asked me if I had any dragonfly pieces...and now I do!

The frame (outline) of the dragonfly was formed with wire. I added his color with the gemstones and pearls.

His head is actually a deep amethyst crystal rondelle, which blends in exquisitely with the deep red/purple of the garnet stones. His eyes are vintage black onyx tiny crystals.

The dragonfly brooch is available here. :) It's the first figural brooch I've made in this technique.

From past to present...a look back...and what's in the future

Just this past week I was searching disks for any photos of my seed bead jewelry, made from 1999-2001. My old computer with all of the photos crashed and burned....but I know I have some on disks somewhere. I had no luck finding them. And then, out of the blue, a collector posted a photo of this set, which I made in late 1999 or early 2000:

I love the style of seed bead and filigree work, made famous by great designers such as Miriam Haskell and Stanley Hagler. I started working with the style in 1999, at first with brooches, and then with necklaces. This was the first necklace and earring set I made using the seed beads and filigree.

I made less than 50 seed bead jewels. All are signed JAI with a signature tag applied on the back. So if you see that tag on a piece of this type of work, it was made by me.

I stopped working with the seed beads in 2001. I've tried a number of techniques since then, as evidenced by this blog and the archives. For a period of time I stopped making jewelry altogether, and spent a few years painting and exploring various other forms of artistic expression.

At the end of 2008, I returned to jewelry design full-time. I feel my explorations in the art world have influenced my newer works. I now find myself thinking of things I would normally think of when painting - specifically a lot of thoughts are centered around color and contrast.

At the end of 2008, I gave some serious thought to what direction I wanted to go with jewelry design. In order to create a recognizable style, I knew certain things would have to be constant in my work. I decided these three things would be constant in my work from now on out: gemstone chips, pearls, and wire. There may be other components added in from time to time, such as lampwork beads as shown in the Winter Berry set above. (available here)

And larger gemstones such as the 375 carat yellow quartz stone shown in the Profusion necklace, above and below. (available here)

I call my new type of work "clustering". As I work, I form a cluster of beads into a design, using wire as the transport medium to get the beads where I want them to go, and make them stay where I want them to stay. The finished pieces of jewelry remind me of life: life is a big cluster of a lot of tiny experiences, forming a total visual picture of our selves...who we are...what we believe we behave...and what we do. With each bead I place on the wire, I add more and more to the cluster, just like each experience...each moment...each memory...we have in life adds more to the story of who we are, and how our lives are shaped.

This is my life. It is a cluster of life experiences. My new pieces are designed to reflect a completed - yet still evolving - picture of life.

Saturday, January 24, 2009 topaz, aqua, pearls

Today I finished these earrings...they match nicely with the pendant I posted yesterday.

Of course I didn't have any more vintage aquamarine rhinestone findings - I used the only one I had in the pendant. So they're a little bit different. I chose some aquamarine crystals, and they are so rich in color.

In keeping with the same color scheme of the pendant, I used the glass blue topaz gemstone chips and freshwater pearls...all based on the same gold filigree as the pendant is, but in small scale, of course. :)

I think these earrings, and the pendant, would make a lovely Valentine's gift for someone. I was thinking today...I wonder if all those out there buying gifts for Valentine's will be running into the stores right before the big day buying some small, dainty and delicate jewel? Nothing wrong with that, but some of us like a little more *substance* to our jewels. :) And some of us really would appreciate the thoughtfulness of choosing a one of a kind creation. By a real artist. Seriously! How special would YOU feel if you knew the gift you received was truly a one of a kind...that no one else would ever have that same, exquisite jewel except YOU, and that it was handmade? And that the one you love picked it out?

2009 is a time for changes. It's a time for doing new things and making bold moves. It's time to step out, be a little different, explore the unexplored. You can begin now. Just think about it. And then just do it. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

What to do with a vintage aquamarine finding I've been saving for 4+ years???

Four years ago, I went on an adventure. I hopped in my little 1995 Ford Probe and took off to Florida in it. By myself. I drove straight through and was scared to death! But I made it! I was going to visit some of my jewelry buddies, specifically my vintage jewelry friends. One day we went to Barb's house. Not only did Barb have this AMAZING studio and office, she had the most wonderful collection of vintage beads and components I'd ever seen. I was in heaven!

While I was there, of COURSE I had to buy some things from her. My oh my...what trouble that was...making decisions from all these glorious parts and pieces. The things I could do with what she had...

The items I purchased from Barb are so exquisite, I have stretched them out over the past 4 years, and gradually integrated them into my work. In this pendant, I finally integrated an AMAZING vintage piece with luscious aquamarine marquis rhinestones. I acquired some more of the blue topaz gemstones, and they went so well with the vintage component, it inspired this 4" pendant.

Of course I added freshwater pearls. All are hand-wired onto the gold plated filigree (multi-filigree, actually) base.

This pendant is bold....yet lightweight enough to be very comfortable. It's romantic...and peaceful...

And sparkly enough for the fabulous evening out or party. I've named this piece INDULGE and it's available here. :)

Win This Carved Ivory Heart Necklace with Rose Quartz and Cranberry Pearls!

You can win this beautiful necklace just in time for Valentine's Day:

All you have to do to register to win this one of a kind valentine heart necklace is visit this page, and follow the instructions to qualify for the giveaway. There are many other fabulous prizes as well.

I have really enjoyed reading some of the comments entrants have made about why they want to win this necklace, which is part of the entry process...leave a comment stating which prize you'd like if you're a winner - there's going to be *3 Winners* chosen. Here's what some folks are saying about this one of a kind, designer necklace:

My favorite gift is the Carved Ivory Necklace w/ Rose Quarts & Cranberry Red Pearls. Absolutely gorgeous!

I would love to win Carved Ivory Necklace w/ Rose Quarts & Cranberry Red Pearls because it is soooo beautiful!

I really love the ivory necklace. Its so pretty and girly :) Plus its totally unique! Hope I win!!

I like the Carved Ivory Necklace w/ Rose Quarts & Cranberry Red Pearls the best.

Carved Ivory Necklace w/ Rose Quarts & Cranberry Red Pearls ~ it’s feminine, delicate looking, and perfect for Valentines Day!!

I would really like to win the Carved Ivory Necklace w/ Rose Quarts & Cranberry Red Pearls. It’s beautiful and creative.

So what are you waiting on? Go over and get your entry in to win this stunning, original necklace!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Michelle Obama...her colors...her jewels

The first lady's color choices of dresses are all the talk in the fashion world today. I love this yellow and green combination. It offers shows a sense of renewal is taking place. Perfect.

Yellow is a color which awakens joy and happiness and brings on euphoria. YES. We need a lot of that! Green is the color of freshness and renewal. Double YES. Read more about the colors you wear and how they can affect your life, your health, and your emotions in my free online ebook, Healing With Color.

For the big night...more yellow in a paler shade, which actually looks white in many photographs. White is a symbol of peace, purity and salvation. Blended with the pale yellow, it brings happiness and joy along with it. I think the good ole USA needs a dose of all of it...I know I will gladly take it. :)

And then there's her pearls. Wonderful. Awesome that she chooses pearls as a staple in her jewelry. Pearls symbolize purity. Spiritual transformation. They symbolize honesty. Wearing them breathes LIFE into the soul. They give a person self-confidence. And best of all, they're anyone can tap into the elegance and power of pearls.

From the traditional pearl necklace, to a stunning jewel mixing pearls with other precious gemstones, pearls are a favorite, and always will be.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Simply Spring

Some of my friends over on Twitter have been talking about being tired of I thought they might be ready for a little Spring. :)

Yes, this one is for you, my snow-bound friends. Glorious golden yellow citrine in the center, surrounded by lovely pale green new jade and freshwater pearls.

I designed this necklace short enough so it can be worn with polo style shirts...such as to work where you can't necessarily wear a big collar like this...but when you want to wear a little cluster of something special with that polo. Of course, it will look just as elegant with a sundress. :)

See how lovely the Spring colors are?

This necklace - simply titled SPRING - is available here.

A Valentines Day Surprise...

Oooh...someone is going to be sooooooo lucky this Valentine's Day, as someone will win this beauty....

Details on how to enter to win this, as well as other fabulous prizes in a stupendous Valentine's Day giveaway will be posted later this week. :)

I enjoyed Mona's lovely video Valentine's Day extravaganza on the Jewelry Connection yesterday. Got to see lots of gorgeous jewels and learn about many terrific designers.

This morning I created and ordered thank you cards to send to my customers. And I worked on uploading new designs to my other website, JaiCards.Com.

And I began working on something else...and hopefully, in about 6 months, you'll be seeing a whole lot less of me. No, I'm not going anywhere, but I hope about 33 pounds of this weight I gained during my serious depression 2 years ago will be leaving me. I'm blogging it over here if you're interested in following my progress.

Now I'm off to the studio to try to get something new and cool accomplished today.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Video Slideshow of my jewelry

This morning I created a video slideshow of my jewelry. Hope you enjoy!

Click here to view full size. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

PROFUSION Yellow Quartz Iolite and Aquamarine Collar Necklace

And here is a week's worth of work...titled PROFUSION...

Ever since I held this amazing faceted 375 carat yellow quartz gemstone in my hand, it screamed COLLAR NECKLACE. I knew it would make an amazing centerpiece.

How to fashion it was quite challenging. Sure, I could have bought a pre-made collar finding and simply added the stone to it. But I like to form my own shapes, and since the stone is uniquely shaped, I wanted to fit the base of the necklace to the stone.

So I formed my own base around the luscious lemon-y colored stone, and then began the process of selecting the gemstones. The color choices of stones were hand-selected based on a memory...and a wonderful one, at that. I was remembering a trip to Hawaii almost 17 years ago, and standing on a dinner cruise ship, staring out over the darkening ocean waters, with the glowing moon in full shining down upon the sea. It was one of those moments I'll treasure always. :)

For all of you who write and ask me what I was "thinking" when I design a piece...just so you know, I don't "think" when I'm designing...I remember and I feel the memory. Thinking is for office work. FEELING is for jewelry design. :)

So as I worked, I pulled the colors of the ocean and the glowing moonlight into the necklace, using gorgeous violet blue Ioilite, totally awesome Aquarmarine, glittering citrine, and a plethora of freshwater pearls paired with metallic blue glass pearls. Oh, and I almost forgot...hidden throughout the necklace are flat round opalescent glass beads, just adding to the glow and pulling all of the blue and yellow colors together.

Making this necklace was well-worth the week of time I spent on it. And just think...I have two more of these gorgeous yellow quartz stones to use in something else. Now you have even more to look forward to. :)

PROFUSION is available here.