Play Misty for Me.

This unusual pendant is made from Ocean Jasper, a gemstone found only found off the coastline of Madagascar. Sometimes called “Atlantis Stone” the quarry can only be worked at low tide.   The pendant has spherical markings in creams, grays and pinks and so I have paired it with a necklace made of rose quartz and rhodonite to highlight the pink and grays. If you click on the photo it will take you to my folksy.com shop

When I was 17 I played baritone sax with a big band. The baritone (the largest and deepest of the saxophone family) made my jaw vibrate when I played the lower notes, and was so large that I flirted with the percussionists so my instrument would travel to gigs with the drum kit.

Ella Fitzergerald and Sarah Vaughan were my icons. Secretly I wanted to be the singer at the front,  but it wasn’t to be. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.

Garner / Burke 1959 “Misty”

Look at me, I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree,
And I feel like I’m clinging to a cloud, I can’t understand,
I get misty, just holding your hand.
Walk my way, and a thousand violins begin to play,
Or it might be the sound of your hello, that music I hear,
I get misty, the moment you’re near.
You can say that you’re leading me on,
But it’s just what I want you to do,
Don’t you notice how hopelessly I’m lost,
That’s why I’m following you.
On my own, I would wander through this wonderland alone,
Never knowing my right foot from my left, my hat from my glove,
I’m too misty, and too much in love.
I’m too misty, and too much in love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQouJdvB80U

Black as the night or don’t wander around a jewellery supplier without a list.

I write lists. I take my list to the supermarket and strictly follow the advice not to shop when hungry. I prepare and research and under most circumstances know what I am shopping for before I leave the house.

However, when I began making my own jewellery I found that all my self control was lost and all the lists in the world could not have protected me from myself.

Jewellery suppliers are wonderful. Huge Aladdin’s caves of the most beautiful and sparkly beads. Colours of every shade, stones in tiny perfect sizes or large, statement pieces. These are shops where you are encouraged to touch, pick up and examine, and put into your basket for later.

If you have not prepared (as I found out to my cost on the first few shopping expedition you can be overwhelmed by colour and choice. On my first outing I found myself unable to resist, and that is why came home and discovered that somebody had bought these striped onyx stones.

Now I’m not saying that they aren’t wonderful. I like the markings, white bands against the striking perfect black. I love how large and smooth and tactile these stones are. They make a stunning statement necklace and I have had lots of comments about this piece. But they weren’t on my list and I didn’t know what to make with them.

So, I figured that simple was best. White freshwater pearls to bring out the banding, and leave it at that.

Next time I took a list.    Joanna x

Blue Moon

Only a few nights ago we saw a blue moon here in the Scotland, not a blue coloured moon, but the second full moon in the month of August,  August 31, 2012.

 

I thought I’d show you one of my recent pieces, a blue lace agate pendant with a necklace made of small round lapis lazuli, sodalite and iolite, combined with blue freshwater pearls.

The colours are so beautiful, dark shiny lapis lazuli, paler, grey iolite, the bright blue of the freshwater pearls. The pendant has such lovely banding across to the left with grey blues. Words are difficult to describe this, hopefully the photos can do it some justice.

I wish I could claim my inspiration from something more iconic or fashionable, but I live with two toddlers who are currently addicted to the recent Smurfs movie, where where a “blue moon” is used projected above Central Park as a publicity stunt.

 

I used to have a stylish fashionable life. Maybe when the girls are a little bigger I’ll get my style back. Until then I’ll just pretend I’m Ella Fitzgerald. x

Blue Moon – Rodgers & Hart 1934

You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
Blue Moon
You know just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for

And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will hold
I heard somebody whisper please adore me
And when I looked to the Moon it turned to gold

Blue Moon
Now I’m no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3FFOju3VM0

The most productive and/or creative day of the year…

Wow. Today has been a good day.

Yesterday I spent my morning (the only precious hours I get when the house is empty and I can work in peace) reading blogs, following people on pinterest, writing twitter comments and generally wasted away my time. It was great, and I made some lovely new friends, but today I had to work seriously hard to catch up with my self inflicted deadlines.

So, I ignored the dirty washing, the breakfast dishes are still (at 5pm) sitting in the sink, and when the toddlers returned from nursery told them to go play but not disturb me. I should really be brave and go and see what kind of bomb has exploded in the girls room. But later, just now I wish to share my completed projects and bask in your collective “ahhh’s”.

I made four necklaces today. (Not from complete scratch, that would be impossible – the pendants I make all at one time when I can access a friends metal working shed.)  But not to distract from my achievement, FOUR necklaces. In ONE DAY !!!  So, I present for your approval….

Number 1 – Purple turquoise and lapis lazuli necklace.

Number 2 – Red Jasper Pendant with pearls and red coral necklace.

Number 3 – Amethyst Pendant Necklace.

Number 4 – Unakite Pendant with carnelian and adventurine necklace.

Of course there is still the same matter of naming, photographing in detail, listing on folksy or etsy and spread-sheeting the costs. That will take some hours, later tonight when I have coffee to keep me going.

I feel very clever. Now heading off to find the toddlers and rescue our eldest daughter. I think she is somewhere under the mess.  Joanna x

Autumn Leaves

My birthday is in September so I’ve always loved the autumn.

I know that for some the autumn brings in early dusk and wet days (we live in Glasgow so I’m well versed in wet days all year round) but I adore the smells of decaying leaves in the woods and the frost in the air early in the morning.

The song “Autumn Leaves” plays on my ipod the whole year around, with Nat King Cole serenading me around the park whether it is spring or fall.

I thought I’d design a necklace to feature some beautiful brown agate, to pay tribute to the leaves of the season. http://folksy.com/items/3562714-Adventurine-and-Brown-Agate-Necklace-Autumn-Leaves-

I do hope you sing this great song all afternoon.

“Autumn Leaves” by Johnny Mercer 1947

The falling leaves drift by my window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips the summer kisses
The sunburned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

The follow link will take you to you-tube to hear Nat King Cole sing in all his glory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qOR13-M2rc

I’m off to Handmade Harbour to look at the other lovely blogs by some very clever crafty ladies. http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/handmade-monday-82.html

I curated the homepage for Folksy.com today!

Whoop. Whoop. http://pinterest.com/myturquoiseque/perfect-turquoise-presents-folksy/

My Pinterest board ” Perfect Turquoise” is being featured today as the homepage for Folksy.com today!

Folksy gets 260,000 visitors a day and everyone of those will see my pinterest board of lovely turquoise themed things ready to buy from 24 folksy shops.

 

Of course I listed one of my own items in the collection – a turquoise and haematite necklace. It would have been silly not to. http://folksy.com/items/3561378-Turquoise-and-haematite-necklace-Turquoise-Loves-

 

 

Tutorial – Moss Agate Necklace “Apple Blossom”

I thought that you might be interested to see how a piece of my jewellery is created.

Generally I start with an idea, or a colour combination that pleases me. This mornings project is my “Apple Blossom” necklace and it began with a moss quartz pendant I had in my collection.   (I’ll blog another day about how these pendants are made.)

The first image is the beads from my kit I’m going to use to make up the necklace. Rose Quartz coin beads and small round beads, some adventurine small round beads and some tiny seed beads of dark pink to compliment. The tiny beads need to be in the design to space out the more expensive stones, but I’ve found that your eye doesn’t “see” somehow. A necklace made without these spacing beads looks too cluttered and busy. The seed beads allow the valuable gemstone beads to shine somehow. (Sounds like another blog entry to follow on with and without seed beads… I’m just making myself more work.)

Moss Quartz is wonderful, in this example pale pink quartz with dark green markings. My choice of rose quartz and adventurine simply echos those colours and highlights the beautiful natural markings in the pendant.

Because the pendant is square in design I instinctively want to work with round and coin shaped beads, and to group those in odd numbers. The great thrill of designing jewellery is that I work on a bead board to layout all the stones before I begin to string them, so if something doesn’t look right then I can just start again.

Here is the necklace a third strung. The section you can see will be the top left side of the necklace. The top most section which will take one of the closure findings and because it will be mostly hidden from view tends to be more plain and simple. The pattern between the two coin beads will be repeated around the necklace and will take the pendant attachment when we reach the mid-point. In this necklace the repeat pattern will be 1x rose quartz coin, 3x rose quartz rounds, 3x adventurine rounds, 3x rose quartz rounds, 1x rose quartz coin.

The finished necklace, closed with a silver lobster clasp and extender chain. I disrupted the pattern at the section around the pendant to hold the pendant in place and also to draw attention to the pendant.

I hope that this tutorial has been useful. It’s actually very useful to have to explain this process so carefully, as I normally just trust my instincts and allow the necklace to develop organically. I didn’t realise I put so much thought into balance and colour choices.

I’ll get this necklace up for sale on my etsy page and will attach a link to the blog when I finish.

Joanna x

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries