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Jewelry Inspired: Fire Agate in Sterling Silver ~ Finding Creativity Again…

I sold my “Day of the Dead” earrings,ย  so I wanted to make something in replacement. I was drawn toward these faceted fire agate beads that I picked up at a Gem & Mineral Show this summer. Not exactly falling into the category of, “leftovers” butย  I have been jonesing for some true creativity & inspiration lately, so I’ll take it wherever it appears!! ๐Ÿ™‚

This always happens when I go away. While on vacation, my mind is turned on. I get lots of ideas for marketing, photography backgrounds…what I would like to make and designs…however when I sit back down at the bench my head and hands just don’t seem to be communicating. What we got here is (a) failure…to communicate… ๐Ÿ˜‰

So earlier this week I sat down with the beads and some sterling silver wire. I knew that I wanted them wire wrapped, that I wanted them to be somewhat free formed and more rugged/edgy than elegant, certainly notย  “perfect” – but would have a universal appeal and style. I tried a heavy gauge square wire. Then aย  heavy gauge round wire. Both attempts ended up in the scrap pile. I found myself digging out the bead caps and making a simple yet beautiful pair of fire agate earrings…

The only problem is, it nagged me all night and into the morning. It’s not what I wanted to do – at all! Although they looked great it wasn’t what I was going for. So out came the nippers and cut cut cut…I dismantled them. I could have gotten two more beads out of the stash but – these were the ones I wanted to work with. So with determination I sat down again. This time with a 20 gauge round sterling wire. I was amazed at how fast and easy these worked up:

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These earrings were such a joy to make. They were truly meant to be. They also reminded me to never give up – and to never settle. The creativity will come back…it always does… ๐Ÿ™‚

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 78

I feel like I am on auto pilot today, yet I was still able to put together this turquoise bracelet. I do love turquoise. I never seem to tire of it.It always looks great with silver…

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I do apologize that these posts are getting shorter & shorter. I twisted my back putting my daughter to bed last night so I am trying to not stay in the same position for very long. Happy creating!

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 77

Today’s creative endeavour is a companion to yesterday’s anklet. Cute and simple dangle earrings in tiger eye and faceted garnet:

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Needless to say, I am starting to run out creative steam…but on I push regardless if it’s just a simple pair of earrings. I commited fully so on I plug each day until I simply can’t anymore…but on that note, I must get up and move…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 76

Today was helping DH clean the house day. I know I know, it’s Sunday but lately I have just decided to do the cleaning when the whim hits me. So this afternoon when I had a moment I decided to put together an anklet, again in anticipation for soon-to-be-bare-legs. This one contains tiger eye tubes & faceted garnet beads. It’s completely adjustable giving the versatility to wear it a variety of ways as well as no fuss with getting the size right. As usual I fashioned the anklet with a safety chain. Simply slip over your foot; that way if the clasp becomes undone, you won’t lose your anklet. I learned this lesson from many a lost ankle bracelet. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tiger eye is associated with astrology as the planetary stone for those born under the sign Gemini; & is commonly associated as a birthstone for those born under the sign of Leo.

Tiger eye also contains many metaphysical properties. For centuries people have believed that the unique properties of gemstones hold specific healing powers & awareness. Tiger eye is said to be associated with the correct use of power, clear thinking, courage, enhances protection, grace, grounding & integration of spirit with worldly energy, integrity, personal empowerment, practicality, the ability to see clearly and without illusion, & willpower.

Red garnet is deep transparent cranberry red with some inclusions, and is the birthstone of the month of January. Garnet is associated with astrology as the planetary stone for those born under the sign Scorpio.

Garnet is said to aid in career success, energy, inspiring romantic love, sensuality & intimacy, passion, past life recall, positive thoughts, and self-confidence.

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 75

Woot! Day 75! I can’t believe I have been able to keep this up for 75 days! Although my goal is 100 days of making at least one piece of jewelry a day I certainly wouldn’t mind stopping here…especially considering all that I have going on right now. But I will keep plugging away as long as I can. Today I was still inspired by the sun, so I made this cheerful sterling and fossil beaded anklet. I still had a bit of time left so I pulled together a cute pair of dalmatian jasper and fossil bead earrings. Simple, yes. Affordable, yes. I have built a reputation on good quality, affordable jewelry, so although this may seem like boring old bead stringing I think it is a must to offer. Sure there are many other aspects of artisan jewelry I would like to delve into but time & economy are against me right now. So I will stick to what I know and what I am good at. ๐Ÿ™‚ As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I love the versatility and affordability of fossil beads. Cut & dyed limestone in many cheerful colours. I prefer it over fiber optic glass actually. Cheerful yet earthy. Happy Saturday. I hope it has been sunny where you are…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 74

Happy Spring everyone! It was a gloriously sunny day here today. Hard to not feel optimistic on a day like today. My offering for today’s creativity, was purely aesthetic. I wish I had some spiritual reason for pairing these stones together, but it was totally just because I liked how they looked. This bracelet contains hematite donuts, dalmatian jasper and lemon agate:

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The dalmatian jasper is fun huh? Reminds me of so many things…ice cream with cookie bits? Jersey cows?ย  Hee hee…It’s believed to have gotten its name because the spots resemble those from the dog of the same name.

Off to start my Friday night! Tomorrow is another milestone…day 75! 25 days to go. It has been a rewarding & fun journey…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 73

I am in such a good mood today – spring is definitely in the air!ย  So nice to know the equinox is tomorrow!ย  Today I was distracted by the sun, but was able to complete a custom order with hematite and moonstone, list it, sell it and ship it off. After that there was only time for yet another simple pair of earrings, so out came the turquoise again. The stone faired well for my mood yesterday, so I figured I’d keep that going today. I was hesitant about this one because it is featuring small turquoise chips; the average size is 3.5mm, and some are flatter than that. But I am really happy with the results. I’d definitely wear them and I don’t make anything I wouldn’t wear myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Because chips are affordable, these are listed at only $12 – and as always, free shipping. There is still sun shining thanks to daylight savings time so I am going to enjoy before dinner.

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 72

I finally am starting to feel like myself again. I think a lot of contemplation and some nice weather really helped. I only had time to make one pair of earrings today. Turquoise is such a spiritual stone I wanted to use it in a piece today; but with limited time it had to be something simple:

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These are turquoise nuggets on 30mm sterling silver hoops. Turquoise is said to be balancing; connects us with all life; is generally healing; helps us attain honest communication; increase serenity; give us meditation energy, positive thinking, protection, sensitivity, strength, and wisdom. All things, I so needed today. I feel like I am getting there…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 71

Today was a fairly easy design day as I simply finished up the last two pieces in the garnet & pearls series. I think I needed the break, anyway. I’m feeling a bit unmotivated as I deal with some emotions stemming from my mother’s death a few months ago. Strange how those things come up at different times. So today, I put the finishing touches on a pair of earrings to match the necklace & bracelet I made yesterday, as well as a pearl cuff bracelet accented in the 4mm faceted garnet:

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Even after all that – I still have some of these garnet beads left! The smaller sized beads are definitely deceiving. ๐Ÿ™‚

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 70

When I started to think this morning about what would be my inspiration for today’s creations, I decided to take direction from my destash pile of beads. I have these 4mm faceted garnet beads to use up. One of those, I needed some for a creation awhile back & over bought…sooo…thinking about it, I didn’t want to make the same garnet pieces I made back in January for a birthstone theme, I really wanted to pair these up with something more light. Since we are heading into wedding & formal season,ย  I decided to pair them up with some freshwater pearls. This is two of four pieces that I started. These two, a bracelet and necklace, are finished & I’ll complete the other two tomorrow:

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Interesting info: garnet is the birthstone for the month of Janurary and also the planetary stone for those born under the sign of Scorpio. Pearls are the birthstone for the month of June & also the planetary stone for those born under the sign of Cancer.

Till tomorrow…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 69

Today was mookaite day. I felt the need to add a couple more affordable pieces to my Artfire Studio, and mookaite came to mind. This bead stands really well on its own therefore I thought it was the appropriate choice for these pieces. Mookaite (also spelled moukaite) is a form of jasper native to Australia. Stone variance from a reddish brown, tan and cream colored.

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You can see by comparing the first and second pair of earrings, there really is a neat variance to the colour of the stone. Truly one of my favourites to work with. As far as lore goes, mookaite is believed to aid in in embracing new circumstances, acts as an emotional protector, encourages the desire for variety & new experiences, enhances decision making & helps us when dealing with negative situations. Indeed, a fascinating stone.

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 49

Despite being really tired today because my little was awake at the crack of dawn, I got quite a bit accomplished. This has to do with the fact I had my morning cleared as an appointment in the city has been postponed until tomorrow morning. So I was free to play amongst the beads. ๐Ÿ™‚

First off I am happy to say my customer loved the baby birthstone bracelet I made yesterday, & bought it plus my tiny bubbles bracelet; which as I mentioned in previous posts I adore. It’s going to a good home, though. Aย  milestone has been reached. I set a couple goals for myself at the beginning of the year. One was to have 20 things sold in my Etsy Shop by the time I have baby #2. As of last night this goal has been reached.ย  It has been a really good month for me, considering how much time I can dedicate per day to jewelry making. Besides the Etsy sales I have had some off-line custom work as well. I am quite blissful with part time jewelry making & it is nice to see money in the bank again.

The second goal, was to have 100 things in my shop before baby arrives. Tonight I am pleased to say, I am 75% of the way there. Here are the three pieces I made today:

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I am hard pressed to choose a favourite today. I so adore tiger eye & its metaphysical properties; yet pearls are always so classic & these are a light shade of violet; plus fluroite, another powerful stone…well, the cuff I am definitely proud of because of the tedious nature of this kind of work. No sore wrists today! Horray! ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, I am very tired and probably incoherently babbling…so I bid you adieu for the evening…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 48

Ow,ย  my wrist. Today’s creation was rather fun & used up a whole lotta agate chip beads. I bought a huge lot of chip beads about 8 years ago from a dude in Newfoundland with a rock hounding shop who was selling them out cheap. And, I have been trying to use them up ever since! I’m a lefty, so my left wrist hurts from holding 5 strands of wire steady while I added the beads…and then finishing it off is a very tedious task. The outer strands are easy to tie off; the inner ones are so tight together it takes a lot of patience & skill to get the wire wrapped.

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I made this one 7 inches so it would be a nice snug cuff for most women’s wrists. It’s about 2 inches high, and priced really cheap considering how much tedious work I put into it this morning…

The second thingย  made today, was a custom order request for a baby’s bracelet. I was really excited to make this since it was yet another bloodstone request (who knew how popular that stone would turn out to be!) and it’s for a baby expected to be arriving in the world around the same time my next little one will. This was my first Alchemy request on Etsy, so I was very pleased to give this a shot. Even though she has not approved the request yet, I went ahead & made it and listed it as a reserved listing. If she decides she doesn’t want it then it counts as one of 100 pieces I want to get showcased in my shop. I also want an example of a bracelet that can be customized for babies for when my website will be up and running, so it’s all win-win for me. I have made a handful of baby bracelets over the years but never got one photographed! Go figure…

So this is a smaller version of my fully adjustable delicate bloodstone bracelet. I have two delicate bracelets in bloodstone currently for sale but I think something fully adjustable would make the most sense for a growing baby…

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I can also customize this piece with a variety of different stones; I bought 4mm beads just for this purpose, and of course never got around to making any. My own baby goes jewelry-less…everyone says, “when are you going to make her something?”ย  You know that old saying, how the cobbler’s children has no shoes…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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More Work In Bloodstone…

As I wrote earlier, a customer on Etsy gobbled up my bloodstone dangle earrings shortly after I posted them. They then requested a bracelet to go along with it. At this stage in my pregnancy I am only taking custom orders that I can fill immediately, & rather than making the client obligated to purchase, it is easier for me to make a few pieces & list them on Etsy for the customer’s approval. If they like what they see, they purchase. If not, then no harm as I can always use more pieces in my Etsy Shop.

So the bloodstone beads I have are quite small, so this is what I came up with:

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The piece directly above, is what sold. It contains 4mm & 6mm bloodstone, sterling silver & pewter accents. The other two, are now off reserve & available for purchase in my Etsy Shop

You can also read the post on the original bloodstone pieces that inspired these by checking out 100 Days of Creativity: Day 41.

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 41

There are three offerings in today’s creative challenge. I had a request to make some March birthstone pieces. Aquamarine is a pricey stone so I don’t stock it. Actually, I consider bloodstone the birthstone for March as it is the traditional choice, & also recognized as such still in many other parts of the world. So I came up with these three bloodstone pieces:

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The dangle earrings (above) sold out in record time. I am now about to embark on a custom bracelet request for the same customer. Because of my limited time these days, I am handling custom orders by seeing what I can come up with, preferable more than one piece, for the customer to choose from, with no obligation on them to buy. I find this is working well, as there is limited expectation & I do not have to be tied into a certain price point. Besides I can always use more pieces in my Etsy shop.

Bloodstone is a very hard stone to come by. It is used in India as a medicine so it is definitely a commodity. Therefore I only have 4mm and a few 6mm in stock at the moment, so the pieces are very delicate & dainty. Still, the earthy & mystical properties of this stone make a bold statement without having to be physically large itself.

Find out more about these pieces in my “birthstone & lore” section of my Etsy Shop. There you will also find some background information on bloodstone, also known as green chalcedony.