Dragon Flies on Tila Beads Cuff

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dragonfly amethyst daggers

I love dragon flies.  They appear on most of my Crazy Quilt work and in my world frequently.  Watching them is always a little thrilling.  The way they zip around on those delicate wings and then stop and hover fascinates me.  I can relate to that in my busy life.  Rushing to and from destinations…sometimes known…sometimes a surprise, pausing to observe, maybe create…then on to the next.

This concept evolved from my love of embroidery.  It’s something that I missed in making jewelry and I longed to somehow bring the two together in a unique way.  The dragon flies and flower sprays on this cuff are embroidered on a bed of woven crystal tila beads which are supported on a memory wire frame.  The original design was a bracelet.  Here are photos of the earlier designs:

braceletslillies bracelet

These were popular with my Crazy Quilting friends and friends at work.  I sold several of them which spurred me to scour the shops for suitable beads.  Of course my stash increased considerably as a result of this search.  The earlier version used rice shaped crystals.  I’ve only been able to find these small enough at Michaels. Unfortunately they only come in 3 colors.  My search finally lead me to two-hole daggers.  The issue is the stability of the wings.  Single hole daggers tend to loosen over time and flop around.  Some people like this as the wings change positions giving the slight illusion that the dragon flies are alive while being worn.  My concern was that over time this movement would eventually compromise the integrity of the thread, leading to breakage.  No complaints yet, but I don’t like having that possibility out there.  Two hole daggers solve that problem.  They aren’t as dainty as the rice shaped beads, but they are more elegant and make a more significant statement.

There are a few things I don’t like about how the memory wire ends, so I’ll perfect the two-hole memory wire version in time and then post again with a tutorial.  I had a rotator cuff injury and have recently had surgery to correct it.  Of course it’s on my dominant arm, so no creative work at all for a couple of months.  It’s a miserable thing to have for a creative person.

On a side note, this post is only possible due to Dragon voice recognition software.  A dear friend gifted it to me on my birthday in anticipation of the surgery.  (Thank you Stephanie!)  I highly recommend this software.  It’s much more effective than the software that came with my computer.  It’s made my life bearable while sitting home in recovery.

So, until next time, I wish you peace and freedom through creativity…


For Wisdom and Compassion

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Sort of slid this one in sideways, didn’t I?  This is a bracelet and matching earrings I made this weekend.

The links are endless knots, representing the union of wisdom and compassion, or so I’m told.  I just think they are pretty and the meaning just adds to that.  The brass goes well, I think, with the rust and brown colored discs and Blue Jasper looking rounds.  There are a few small crystal rondells in there, too, to add a little sparkle between the beads and the links.  The eye pins and earring wires are hand formed from 20-ga. Artisitc Wire in their bronze color.  I added a simple lobster clasp and jump ring for closure.  All together I think it turned out nice.  I do see one link in there I have to close better.  That’s the nice part about taking photos before you let go of a piece.  The obvious errors stand out for you to see and fix.

I made these for one of my daughters.  She’s the mother of the Sweet 16 grand daughter.  She is wise and compassionate.  Her favorite color is rust.  The blue will remind her of the ocean near where she grew up and spent many a spring and summer day.  Not expensive, but I think she’ll like it.  I hope so.  It’s not for any occasion except that I love her.

Sweet 16 – Emerald Crystals

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I’ve been making jewelry, on and off, for just over a year.  I realized that I didn’t really have a record of the things I’d made.  I’ve learned  allot in the short time I’ve been playing with it.  The other day my grandson asked me how I knew how to do it.  I told him that I just figured it out.  That got me thinking how far I’ve come and all the techniques I’ve learned.  There are many, but I don’t have anything to show for it, because I mostly give the things I make away.  I’ve decided to blog about my journey, and this is my first post.  I intend to write a post for every piece I make, as well as the trials and failures.  Hopefully in a year I’ll look back and realize I not only have a record of my jewelry journey, but also become better at blogging.

I finished this necklace and bracelet this weekend.  It’s made with gun-metal finish wire, Swarovski crystals in emerald in size 5 mm and 6 mm, a few elongated Czech faceted, fire polished crystals and a heart-shaped finding I had on hand.  Oh, also some angel wings I had, too.  I made it for one of my grand daughters in celebration of her 16th birthday.  Her favorite color is emerald green.  Some of the jump rings I had in my stash.  Others I made myself.  I also made the clasps myself, since I didn’t have anything appropriate on hand.

The rosary style construction, the heart and the angels are special for her.  The heart is because I love her so much.  The rosary style is for all the prayers I say for her and the angels are the one’s I’ve asked to watch over her.  One for her heart and one for her mind.  She lives far away from me and has for quite some time.  I’ve watched her grow up in photographs her mom has taken.  It’s funny, but I feel I know a lot about her, even though I only talk to her occasionally.

I hope she likes it.  I still have to mail it out.  Her birthday was in January and I feel a bit guilty about taking so long getting it to her.  Part of the time I was waiting for someone to measure her wrist for me.  That was just a week, though.  No excuse…