Monday, December 28, 2009

Something old, Something new, Something borrowed... and Something blue!

custom bridal jewelry by
This wedding necklace has been my Custom project for December. A custom order won through a bid in Etsy's alchemy section, the task was to recreate the necklace in the low-resolution photo, and turn it into something fabulous for my bride's Vegas-casino/midnight on New Years' Eve wedding. You can view the bid, and the finished photos, here in my shop.

To recreate the necklace, we used oval mother of pearl, glass coin pearl, blue opal, and alexandrite crystal rosebuds with a vitrail finish. The teardrop "leaves" are faceted emerald crystal teardrops. The flower focals were created in polymer clay with swarovski crystal centers by beetreebyme on Etsy. She took our custom requests and turned them into absolutely fabulous focal flowers! What a treat and a pleasure to work with her!
blue opal bridal and bridesmaid jewelry by laurastaley
custom bridal and bridesmaid jewelry by
Custom orders are really high on my list of favorite things to do. Of course I LOVE the free-creating process; I think they're both very fulfilling. My pleasure in the custom creation process lies in taking the customer's need and turning it into
something that is much more than they expected. What fun!

Heartfelt congratulations
to Crystal on her upcoming wedding, this New Years' Eve. Blessings and Best wishes for a long and happy lifetime of love and family.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Caribbean Blue Larimar is an eye-pleasing treat!

I think I fell in love with Larimar the first time that I saw it. My first experience with Larimar was a click on a new listing on Etsy's main page. The listing was for a Larimar and coin pearl necklace that had other beautiful elements, and I was entranced. Since I make jewelry (can you guess?) I didn't automatically purchase it, but I should have. After researching a little about this beautiful stone, I came to like it even more. Mined ONLY in the Dominican Republic, on ONE dormant volcano, Larimar's pure blue tones remind me of the beautiful waters of the Caribbean. I can't get enough of it!

Wikipedia describes Larimar as " rare blue variety of pectolite," which makes it related to other intriguing stones like prehite, serpentine, and calcite, as well as sugilite. They're crystalline, and the splinters of it are brittle. This makes me think that maybe it is also related to Kyanite. I have an intriguing specimin that I plan to use as a pendant very soon.

This two-strand necklace has a sterling silver wire-wrapped bail and mount, with silver spacer beads and smoky quartz to bring out the rich blue color. Matching earrings, as always, round out the set.

Owning a necklace set made with Larimar is like owning a part of the sky. It's easy to catch yourself staring at it, trying to absorb it's cool blue-ness. It's absolutely mesmerizing! See it in person and tell me you don't agree. Larimar just makes you want to drink it in, like a tall glass of ice water on a summer day in Florida. Spectacular!

If you want to read more about Larimar, there's an incredible article from the Lapidary Journal, here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Here comes the bride....

My latest bridal collection was an alchemy bid that I won wayyyyy back in May. I'm so happy when brides plan ahead of time, because then I can make the most of my connections to get just the right materials. I probably went to 4 beads shows to get the elements that I used for this one, plus purchased supplies from Etsy sellers, too. To get closer-up photos of the whole set, you can click this link to go to the "sold" listing in my shop.

The bride was wearing a Maggie Sottero gown, here, in champagne or ecru satin, and was looking for "something like" the model's jewelry in the photo. I picked up some micro-faceted champagne-colored crystal globes, ecru and bronze glass pearls, and some other faceted czech glass beads in an iridescent, not quite AB, finish. Then I fashioned the Japanese lantern-style bead clusters with swarovski crystal, 4mm glass pearls, and AB delicas in addition to the bronze glass pearls. All of the metal, with the exception of the 26G wire used on the clasp and the lantern beads, is sterling silver. The set includes a two-strand necklace, a three-strand bracelet, and matching earrings. These photos are really bad. I had a friend lined up to take some in her studio, but I didn't have time for a break, since my customer was getting married Nov. 7, and I had to get them in the mail.

The flower girls have sets that are similar to the bride's, as they're wearing similar colors. I used the same glass pearls, crystals, and hand-wired segments. the pendant is a link with a perforated bead disc, like the bridesmaids' earrings, but with a flat back. The glass pearl teardrop adds a little drama and glamor. The earrings are teardrops on standard ear wires. Nice and simple, but really dainty and feminine. The clasps have chains that can adjust up to 15 inches or so as the girls grow. Hopefully they can continue to wear them for a long time. I think they'd make great First Communion or Confirmation jewelry, or jewelry for a christening, don't you think?

The attendants' ensembles were fun, too. I've posted previously about the copper-dipped Maple leaves, and here is the result. Aventurine in peach, yellow, red and white was mixed with goldstone and toffee-colored faceted crystal to reflect the glory of fall leaves and color.

The earrings were created with similar materials, in addition to a 6mm goldstone focal bead, and copper foil-lined "e" beads around the outside for sparkle. They're mounted on the same vintage-style elements as the flower girl pendants, this time with ear posts. There's also a tiny copper maple leaf peeking out from under the beads on the earrings. I'm hoping the bridesmaids will get wear out of these necklaces for many different occasions besides the wedding. The bride was careful to make sure that the design we settled on would last for all of her attendants.

There's always a bit of anxiety when your creation leaves your hands. Will the customer be pleased? Is it exactly what she was hoping? Will the item fit? Match? Get there in one piece? All of those questions swirl around in my head while I'm waiting for the customer's feedback. So, when she wrote a couple of days ago, my sigh of relief was heard all over the house. Here's what she wrote:

WOW words can't describe how perfect everything is! Sorry it took me a while to let you know I got them, things have been crazy. The bridal necklace is so perfect. I could never have imagined anything like that. The design and scale are perfect for the dress. The bridesmaids necklaces are so awesome in person! I know the girls will love them. The flower girl necklaces are adorable! They will be so excited to have something pretty like the big girls.

Laura I'm so happy. This is just the perfect touch. I'll have plenty of pictures for you, I know they will be gorgeous! Thank you so much!
I just had to crow about that. Custom work is very rewarding for me. I spend a WHOLE lot of time on it, and nromally for sweatshop-style wages, but it's fun, and I get to be a part of someone's special story. It's like writing a page or a chapter in a book. I like it very much.

Monday, November 2, 2009

And the feathers were flying....

Had some fun recently with some Pheasant feathers! A lovely Etsy customer contacted me to commission a necklace that featured these beautiful orange-tipped feathers. I was intrigued by the design, and set to work. She sent 9-10 feathers for me to work with, and they were all just gorgeous! I chose 7 of them to mount onto the necklace, and she'll have the rest to use as replacements if the original ones are damaged in any way. What a fun project!

The front part of the necklace has a chain that features antique gold finish leaves, and chain. a center piece of chain also runs across the front. The sides of the necklace are hand-wired with round onyx beads and matching chain links. The wire used for mounting the feathers is Artistic wire, in a bronze finish. I completed the set with earrings that are descending clusters of onyx, hung on short pieces of the leaf chain that stretches across the middle of the front of the necklace. Since the necklace is a long 32", I skipped the clasp.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Work in Progress....

I have to replace the previous tree necklace in my inventory, since it sold last weekend, so I've been working on a concept varying from the standard square or round tree of life pendant. This one started out as a long rectangle, and I raised the ceiling on the pendant , sort of like an umbrella, giving the idea of a sheltering tree. Really cool czech glass lentil beads coated with a metallic finish are the "leaves" for the tree, and the wire is bronze, copper and brass. The bails at the top will be attached to links or segments of stone beads wired together. The pendant still needs to be tweeked a little, but, a work in progress is just that. I've got my work cut out for me!

I think I'll find and use some of the newer frosted metallic czech glass beads, along with some vintaj brass findings. I thought I'd made a deal with myself to NOT buy any more beads for a while...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Can't get enough of those fall colors!

tree of life pendant can be custom made on laurastaley.etsy.comThis was a really fun project. Carnelian beads in rounds and ovals accented with tiny Citrine rondelles and bronze seed beads. The frame is anti-tarnish brass, and the beads are wired on with anti-tarnish copper. With a warm metal palette and fiery orange palette, you can tel what's on my mind -- that's right, autumn!! Boy it's soooo good to have a cooling off here in Florida. It's been a scorching hot summer. This "Tree of Life" pendant, though it's done in Fall colors, and, yeah, I know the tree of life is always alive, never loses it's leaves, etc., but I just had to render this one in the beautiful fall colors that the mountains are bathed in this time of year.

When I lived in South Carolina, we would seecustom work and tree of life at the glorious changing of the leaves, and go for day trips into the mountains. I haven't done that in years! Sadly, my oldest has never seen the mountains. I'm going to remedy that, and hopefully soon. Meanwhile, I can make pretty "joolry" to make up for this loss.

This necklace set is gone....picked up first thing at the Mandarin United Methodist Church Fall Festival last weekend. I'll be re-visiting this topic again, as soon as I catch up on my custom work, and finish some sets for a model shoot this weekend here in Jacksonville. It's too hot a combo to let go, at least while I still have the beads!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cloisonne captures the imagination...

Two different strands of cloisonne beads just LEAPED into my hands during a recent trip to my favorite bead shop (River City Beads) here in Jacksonville. They have a whole wall full of them, and I need to go get more. I never stopped to consider the particular beauty that they possess. Sure I knew that wire is soldered onto a metal base, and that enamel is painted into the resulting voids and then fired in a kiln, but I had never really considered the jewelry possibilities beyond a couple pretty beads on a strand, accented by solid-colored beads that would complement their color. I have considered getting a nice selection of these to attach to bookmarks and hair sticks. But Jeude, the owner, had mocked up a few bracelets, and I was just captivated.

You can find these beauties in my shop right now. I'll be adding more in the future. They're just too pretty to not revisit in another color scheme, very soon!

Monday, September 28, 2009

New listings from a frenzied weekend!

I listed 5 items today on Etsy, no thanks to my Slllooowwwwww laptop. It took nearly all day (that, and taking care of my croup-y 3 year old). I'll post them little by little for the rest of the week. I hit a beading frenzy yesterday, and was like a woman on a mission! Now I'm back to custom work. Shows are coming up, so I should continue to create more to fill the new display busts I bought.

First up is a faceted Amazonite and lemon quartz necklace set with gold heishi spacers. I've had the Amazonite for a while, waiting for the right accent beads to come along. If these aren't the ones, I don't know what else! For more photos, check out the listing.

The Amazonite beads are a beautiful sea-foam-green-teal mixture that reminds me of the water in Key West when my husband and I went snorkeling on our honeymoon. The lemon quartz beads are hand-faceted in a free form sort of way, and look like tiny Jolly Ranchers or distilled sunlight. I can't get enough of looking at them! I paired them with Gold-plated heishi wafers, for added sparkle. I don't usually work with gold, so this is a welcome change of pace. I'm going to a show this weekend, so this one might be gone by Saturday evening. That is, of course, if I don't decide to keep it myself!

I'll be back with more tomorrow. Right now I have to cook dinner!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tentative custom bridesmaid necklace

custom red aventurine mix bridesmaids' necklace with copper-dipped maple leaf on Well, the jury of one (my beautiful bridal customer) is out on this one, which is a mockup of a brdesmaids' set for her upcoming November wedding. I posted the materials previously, and here's the next step.

The glorious fall colors make a beautiful statement in white, yellow, peach and red aventurine with the Maple leaf; it's studded with carnelian, and highlighted with sparkly copper spacers and goldstone.

The earrings will be clusters of the aventurine, with tiny copper seed beads and copper maple leaf charms, woven onto perforated bead discs like the Scarlett earrings and the earrings that matched my tulle bridesmaids' sets.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another custom work from my beading table...

Scarlett O'Hara necklace from Gone with the Wind on

A sweet customer commissioned a reproduction of this beautiful necklace from Gone with the Wind. I was able to locate vintage findings, and the perfect coral beads for the necklace. During the antebellum and civil war period, coral was used extensively for jewelry, so choosing it for this necklace, after studying the picture, was a natural thing. The chain is gold-plated. Vivien Leigh was a small lady, so the measurements had to be altered a little for fit, but on the whole it's a fairly faithful reproduction. I looked everywhere to try to find the designer and the possible location of the original necklace so that I could give credit to those who dreamed it up, but I haven't been able to find a clue. I can't even tell if Leigh kept the jewelry after the film, or if it was in her possession before the movie. I'd love it if someone had the information so that I could give credit where it is due.

I managed to get my hands on enough materials to make three more of these, and would love to talk to you if you're interested in acquiring one. I'll make the length to fit to your measurements.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Make a statement in turquoise...

Dyed Howlite and dyed magnesite are fantastic alternatives to expensive turquoise. The veining can be rich and varied, and the coloring almost exactly like it's rarer counterpart, turquoise. Sure, I'd like to own and design with the genuine stone, but when Howlite is as affordable as it is, why not own 3 or 4 pieces to one of genuine turquoise? More is, well, more. More or less. Less costs more, but is not more. Right?

This necklace was finished this evening, and is awaiting approval by my customer. She's looking for a turquoise and silver statement necklace that is elegant and not clunky, and that has a nice silver sparkle without having a chunky chain. I hope I've satisfied her criteria, because I have certainly enjoyed creating this necklace! I can see varying the metals and the gemstones (or their less expensive alternatives), can't you? Copper with Unakite, bronze with white turquoise (magnesite, actually), silver with red coral, lava rocks and any metal, the list goes on and one. Maybe even some labradorite? That would be interesting!

I really like the movement and texture in this piece. It was fun to create, and I'm hoping my customer enjoys wearing it. I love custom work. It's always such an adventure! Next up, a surprise in salmon coral and brass. (hint: it's a reproduction of a famous piece from a very old southern antebellum movie) Can't wait to get that one posted! I have a museum that wants to see it when it's done!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pink Crazy Lace Agate and gifts from the sea

slave chain bracelet on etsy laurastaley.etsy.compink crazy lace agate and shark's teeth Here's my most recent custom set creation. My customer provided the shark's teeth, and specified the pink crazy lace agate, after looking through some of the items in my shop. The chain is sterling silver, and the pink crazy lace agate is wired on with sterling silver as well. The small agate pendants are wired on with fine silver headpins, balled with my torch. The oval agate bead is wirewrapped with tiny sterling silver beads, and the ring is adjustable.
The next couple necklaces carry one the sharks teeth theme, with the addition of coin pearls, and recycled glass beads that look like tumbled sea glass. The chains are also sterling silver.
I guess I should have checked that last necklace before I snapped the picture...the shell turned around backward! oops!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mystery stone and the creative process

Wandering around a bead show recently, I happened upon my favorite vendors and their well-stocked booth. Rows upon rows of semi-precious and other beads beckoned me to browse. Just before I rounded the end of the table to pick through the bargain bin, I spied these treasures. First drawn by their high gloss, I stopped to examine their texture, and scan the tag. Finding none, I asked the owner what she thought they were. Surprisingly, she didn't know, either!

I had to have them. The beads were just too gorgeous to put back. I was already finished purchasing my finds, but the card came back out again, and I bought these, too.

My first opinion was that is was Crazy Horse Jasper. But I had never seen a high gloss like this on that kind of stone. All of mine were rather matte in finish. And there was an interesting mustard yellow that I was not familiar with in Crazy Horse Jasper. I decided to turn to trusted Etsy sellers in the Etsy forums for help.

Etsy is an amazing place. If you are a crafter of any kind, it is worth your while to investigate selling your goods there online. They require a minimal charge of 3.5% only on a sale, and each four-month listing costs $.20. That's twenty cents. Amazing!! Compare that to the big daddy auction house! Etsy is also a great place to meet other craftspeople, and, for the most part, is a very cooperative environment where mutual promotion and cooperation is the norm rather than the exception. I've been very happy as an Etsy buyer AND seller.

After posting a query about this "mystery stone," other bead-holics and lapidarists weighed in with their opinions. Crazy Horse Jasper seemed to be the consensus, with one particular jewelry artisan explaining her position that it is Apache Dendritic Jasper, which is mines not far from her house. After Google-searching both terms, I've decided that both are right. They seem to be the same kind of stone. Crazy Horse, the real-life man, was not an Apache. The Apache tribe originated in the area now known as New Mexico, where this stone is mined. Because of this, I'm calling it Apache Dendritic Jasper. Crazy Horse is secure in his place in history, and doesn't need this particular semi-precious stone to protect this legacy.

I paired these luscious beads with Rhodolite Garnet, a perfect match for the raspberry highlights, and tiny citrine button rondelles. The beauty of the mustard color in the beads was just too juicy to ignore. Fastening the back is a hand made copper S-clasp. Mexico is the largest producer of copper in the world, and the United States is second. Currently our most productive copper mining is done in Utah and Arizona. Copper was just perfect for this color combination. What do you think?

I might have to keep this necklace set. Rarely do I take one for myself, since I want to list everything that I make, "just in case." But these beads are just too beautiful to pass up. I'll use perforated beading discs to make some vintage-inspired earrings to complete this set. Encrusted with 8mm Apache Dendritic Jasper, and the rest of the Rhodolite garnet and citrine, along with copper beads and wire. Dangles of the last two beads from the jasper strand will finish the pair.

Monday, August 17, 2009

On my Beading Table Today....

Continuing on the theme of fall colors, I hit my local bead show really hard yesterday, and came home with this juicy combination, among other treasures. Yellow jaspers and red and orange aventurine reflect the glorious fall colors reminiscent of the Blue Ridge mountains in the fall. Paired with copper spacers and the extraordinary copper-dipped Maple leaf I'd already purchased from Etsy sellers, my next project will be a 3 strand collar, similar to the previous carnelian one I posted. I think I will also add some brown goldstone, which should pick up and carry the sparkle from the leaf all the way around the necklace. Time to get the Round Tuit out again, and get this thing assembled!!

My favorite bead show sellers were these, with their fabulous selection, as usual, and I picked up some lava rock rounds and barrels, some blister pearls, pink and red coral buttons and rounds, and some larger red coral nuggets. I also found some carnelian rondelles and barrels. I could have broken the bank with all of the beautiful beads I found yesterday! This time, though, I was able to control myself. Maybe having my three-year-old there with me was a good thing, because by the time I got my treasures purchased I'd only hit two tables and he was ready to go. Next time he'll stay home!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

You CAN get it done, when you have a Round TUIT charm or pendant

This 16mm fine silver charm has a long history, even though it was just finished today. When I was little, my dad carried around a wooden nickel in his pocket with the word "TUIT" stamped on it in red ink. When I'd say I'd get around to cleaning my room, he'd pull it out. "Now you have one, go ahead and do it, " he'd say, laughing. I miss his smile and the twinkle in his eyes when he was pulling my leg.

The highest-hitting post on my blog is about having a round TUIT. I posted the graphic, and people hit on it off of Google like crazy. So I figured that people everywhere are looking for a round TUIT, and I thought I'd make one available in fine silver. This charm is fashioned from PMC silver, which starts as recycled silver in an organic clay binder. When fired in a kiln, it becomes pure silver metal. This one has a particularly rustic finish, and is oxidized with liver of sulfur. I can remake it with a brushed or shiny silver finish, with or without oxidation. This one will be an open edition, as everyone needs a ROUND TUIT.

I can create a bracelet or a necklace, or even mount this to a bookmark, so you can read that book you've been putting off, or a hair stick. The sky's the limit. If you'd like a custom order, please convo me. I can also make pairs of these into earrings, if you'd like.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

New creations for the day...

I've been so busy promoting my jewelry that I've not been creating much lately. I have a stack of custom orders on my desk, and I couldn't be happier. Beads are in the mail, on the way to my house. Every day the mailman brings new toys to play with. I'm happy as a clam! Creating is very therapeutic for me. Do I need therapy? Maybe -- ask my kids! But as I'm finishing new pretties for my customers, I'm going to post them and tell a little of their story. Otherwise I'll burst. That would not be pretty!

First up is a pair of earrings I created for my mother for her birthday --- which is TODAY! Happy Birthday, Mom! She gets them next week when she comes for a visit. Juicy little faceted Rhodonite rondelles are embraced by copper wire, and are accented by tiny Tierracast hummingbirds. They're my mom's favorite. Hat's off to you, Mom! Just what you needed, more jewelry, right?

Next up are two pendants created for very special people in very special situations. "neveah" is for the mommy of a very special little girl, and "angela" is for a newlywed soldier stationed in Afghanistan until November. Each are fashioned out of PMC silver clay, then fired. The pure silver that results is then polished and oxidized, then buffed for character. I'm hoping to send these out on Monday.

Next? I'm still working on that. I have about 7 custom orders on my desk, and I'll be working my way through it. First up, a bridal order! A multi-strand bridal necklace and bracelet set with glass pearls, crystal, and other sparkles, and bridesmaids' necklace sets with those beautiful copper-dipped Maple leaves in the last post. Also coming soon: Amazonite graduated rounds with hand-knapped red agate and gold heishi; more blue larimar, this time with lava rocks; Apache dendritic jasper with rhodolite garnets and citrine; faceted chunks of amazonite with rough-cut citrine nuggets; Blue Dyed crazy lace agate with silver and teal..something, not sure yet; white turquoise with carnelian and copper; I have a list a mile long and a heap-big-stash of beads. Time to roll up my sleeves and dig out my Round TUIT!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Autumnal Equinox Carnelian and copper necklace with real copper-dipped Maple Leaf

carnelian and copper with real copper-dipped maple leaf necklace at
I like to sit back and admire this necklace. Three strands of carnelian and copper alternate and join at a glorious copper-dipped Maple leaf. Handmade wire clasp is hidden under Maple leaf. The detail and color of this leaf is mesmerizing. Delicate and bold at the same time, a rainbow of irridescence glistens. When you look at it really close, you can see the fibrous detail of the veins and structures in the leaf. Breathtaking! Expect many compliments when you show off this beautiful fall ornament.

The necklace measures 16 inches (40.64 cm); I'm making earrings to match. I'll use a copper leaf charm on each, and more of these lovely carnelian beads.These are available for purchase in quantities, as I can acquire more of these gorgeous leaves. Chunkier beads would produce an equally glorious but different look.
****UPDATE!! Mary, on her blog "Living with Walls: Flourishing behind the Walls of Multiple Sclerosis" has featured my Maple leaf necklace as the illustration for a beautiful poem "What is it About Leaves?" I was moved by her poem, and by the recognition. If you're a fan of autumn, like I am, you might want to go take a look, and contemplate her poem. She has incredible talent!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New treasury!

Another Treasury! Marine Blue! How pretty! Check it out!! Thanks for noticing my earrings!.

<---------They're right here...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Caribbean Blue Larimar will capture you!

caribbean blue Larimar on EtsyLook out, Larimar is on the loose. I was captivated by this stone the first time I saw it, but was not aware of how special it was, so I didn't purchase the set I saw. My mistake. Even though I make jewelry, I'd scoop this stuff up any time the design is right!

From Wikipedia: Larimar (also lorimar) is a rare blue variety of pectolite found only in the Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean. Its coloration varies from white, light-blue, green-blue to deep blue. The deep blue variant is known as volcanic blue.
I've only recently become aware of Larimar, but have developed an intense liking for this gorgeous stone. The higher quality stones are incredibly expensive, so when I saw this strand I knew I had to have it. Baby blue with areas of more intense blue, these stoneBlue Larimar necklace set on Etsys remind me of the sky and water in Key Wesy, Florida. The have a rustic, almost tumbled character, but have a nice gloss at the same time. Very organic look. I've never been to the Dominican Republic, but I know that if I do I'll be bringing back as much as I can carry.

This 18 1/2" (47cm) necklace features rectangular Larinar beads, silver (I don't think Larmiar looks good at all with yellow gold) and heather grey czech glass heishi beads. The earrings are 2.25" (5.72cm) from the top of the ear wire to the bottom of the end bead. The overall efect is a classy, elegant look that brings out the blue in these beautiful beads. I'll be buying more Larimar as my budget permits, but for now, I'm content!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ta-Da!! Wedding jewelry with a garden theme!

bridal jewelry lilac stone wedding set at custom orders welcome
I'm so excited to finish this beautiful Bridal set with a Thai Silver dragonfly, Lilac Stone, Amethyst, Czech glass, florite, and fine silver. It funny to think about how a set comes together on the worktable, and where all the materials come from. Almost like a symphony, every element works together to create a finished piece. They're a fusion of different materials, techniques, and color combinations. Plain, pale lilac stone takes on a new look when paired with amethyst and grape-colored czech glass .

custom wedding jewelry bridal set with lilac stone and Thai silver dragonfly and amethyst at custom orders welcome
In this set, the lilac stone pendant came from an etsy seller in North Carolina, and the 8mm lilac stone beads came from Glen Allen, California. The 10mm lilac stone beads came from Oakland, California, and the Dragonfly cam from Thailand via my favorite bead store here in Jacksonville! The czech glass flowers on the pendant are from a cute little bead store I found in Tallahassee, Florida, last summer when we went to my husband's family reunion. The fine silver wire came from an Etsy seller Texas, was torched by a great find at Lowe's, and hammered by an antique hammer passed down from my husband's grandfather, who is also my son's namesake, Emanuel. The Precious Metal Clay used for the leaf tag, inscribed with her wedding date and hanging on the pendant, is only made in Japan. My rawhide mallet, used in the hand-forged ear wires, belonged to my grandfather, who was a jeweler.
custom wedding jewelry and earrings all custom orders welcome
And the set goes to a lovely lady in Tennessee, getting married outside in a Japanese garden. She'll be wearing a hemp silk dress, and silver flip-flops. She's a beautiful lady who teaches music lessons, and was so great to work with I'd like to consider her as my friend. On July 5th, we'll toast her wedding day from Jacksonville, and pray for a long life of love and laughter for her and her husband.

Sometimes it's fun to stop for a minute and think about the design process from concept to design to finish. So much goes into the creation of a One-of-a-kind set that it's hard to take credit for any of it. I'm pleased to have had one page in the story.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Magnum date

wedding jewelry tulle with pearls and rhinestones at custom orderIt's finished! I finished my first wedding set and the mailman whisked it away over the weekend. I never would have put these materials together myself, but I must say they turned out very nice.

They're constructed on a base of lightest grey tulle, with a hint of a metallic sheen. The wedding colors are grey and canary, and the bride wanted rhinestones, and a vintage look. Each necklace has a set of vintage earrings as anchors to each side of the front swag, and on the fronts of each are strung rows of glass and freshwater pearls, mother of pearl beads, crystal, rhinestone, Swarovski wheel rondelles, silver spacers, and sparkly glass beads. The junior bridesmaid's necklace, the lowest on the right, has a central vintage brooch instead of the earring anchors. The people at my local antique mall (2 miles from my house!) were extremely accommodating to me as I combed all of the displays for materials that would work for my project. I get so many ideas when I look at vintage jewelry that I just have to write them down! You can also find wonderful materials to recycle, especially beads and pearls to re-string. I found a Mother of pearl necklace, hand knotted, with beads shaped like twedding jewelry tulle with rhinestones and pearls and earrings to match custom orders always welcomehe Eclipse mints you get in the grocery store. They're barrel shaped rounded end cylinders, and they're not made any more. They wanted only $45 for about a 22" double strand necklace! I might have to go back and get that one!

The earrings were also a challenge, but I ran across the hardware online after I saw another pair like it in an antique mall, and it clicked. I'll have to do more of those. Even my 17 year old daughter likes them! They are constructed on perforated steel disks that snap into pads that are premade with posts. You can also get them with clips. Basically you wire your beads onto the disks, then attach the disks to the backs. A seamless, flawless finish makes these earrings a super finish for these necklaces, and complements the vintage look perfectly. I'm so happy I found them. The hardware is inexpensive, and though the earrings are time consuming to assemble, the look is well worth it.

Also worth it was the bride for whom I completed the project. She was incredibly easy to work with, and it was a joy bringing these necklace sets to life. Blessings and wishes for a happy wedding day, and a long life of love together!!

wedding jewelry custom made bridesmaid necklace and earrings laurastaley.etsy.comcustom wedding jewelry tulle and rhinestones and vintage elements with earringscustom wedding jewelry for bridesmaids and brides

custom order wedding and bridal jewelry at earrings to match bridesmaids necklace sets wedding jewelry custom made rhinestones pearls and tulle with matching earrings

Monday, June 8, 2009

Busy Busy Busy!!

red picture jasper and lava rocks at I must say, I've been pretty slack about posting on my blog. I've been haunting Etsy's Custom request forum for a while, bidding on and picking up custom work, and I've had little time for anything else! I did pick up some beautiful beads just for fun, recently, and here's the new creation I just listed. This is Red picture Jasper, bottom drilled briolettes drilled so that they overlap the adjacent stones. I found some lava rock lentils that have the same overlapping quality, and they're devastatingly beautiful. Take a look! I have another batch in a different color that came at the same time as these, so I'm working on putting something together with those.

On my beading table this week:

I found some AWESOME magnesite chips (well, they're bigger than chips, more like heishi-type nuggets, with soft edges; they look like toasted marshmellows all squished together on a skewer) at my favorite bead store, River City Beads here in Jacksonville, FL. I've been taking classes there to learn new skills and brush up on old ones, and while I'm there I get whiplash from looking at all of the lovely things hanging there for me to buy! This time was no exception. I also picked up a Hot Pot for firing PMC, solder pickle, thongs, and a bunch of pairs of beads to make some cute earrings. These magnesite yummies will be paired with copper, a large carnelian donut, maybe some fire agate, and I'm going to try some spiny oyster heishi...the colors are out of this WORLD! I might make one long one, about 24-30" and one shorter one, about 18". We'll see what happens.

I have some gorgeous blue faceted agate from and I'm going to pair it with some golden tumbled agate nuggets. Maybe I'll throw in some gold spacers, and maybe a large glass pearl, maybe not. I also bought some leopardskin jasper hexagon brios from her that will be absolutely gorgeous with black onyx and maybe some coral or carnelian.

I have abouty 4 pieces already gathered and waiting to be strung -- a fossilized cocustom beaded pearl and crystal wedding jewelry, bridesmaid/matron of honor necklace on tulleral pendant with attending carnelian, and smaller coral beads; Paintbrush Jasper with beauty the likes that I've NEVER seen, paired with Raspberry Rhodelite Garnet Faceted Rondelles; some chinese unakite donuts and red picture jasper that I'll pair with some other stones I haven't found yet, and I think I'll take some cute little millifiori and make a simple but sweet wire-segmented necklace, the kind my daughter loves.

But those are just my playdates with beads...I have four other custom orders on my table that have to be done before I can start to play. TWO Precious Metal Clay projects, and TWO wedding ensembles that have to be shipped out by the end of the week. The photo to the right is a dreamy pearl and crystal and vintage element trio, the first of six bridesmaids' sets for this week, and the other will be a lilac stone pendant combo with a Thai silver dragonfly as an accent/focal. Can't wait to post that one! I have another that is due in September. I absolutely LOVE to do custom work!!
So stay tuned. More to come! "I've been making custom or-ders, ALL the live-long day!...I've been making perty jewl-ry, just to pass the time a-way....Can't you hear the mailman comin', box 'em up and get 'em out the door! ....Can't you hear the people shoutin', please come make some more!! (to the tune of "I've been working on the railroad")
LOVE IT, Love it, LOVE IT!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Listing, just in time for Mother's Day!

chaistolite and onyx beaded necklace set Large and beautiful Cross of Christ beads, these Andalusian Chiastolite beads come from the Andalusian mountains in Spain. It is the only place it is found and has to be cut very carefully to ensure a complete cross shows. The Cross is formed by carbon inclusions in the stone.

I haven't seen much of this stone at bead shows recently, so when I saw these beautiful beads, I knew I had to have them! The necklace is a succulent combination of sterling silver Bali beads, onyx, silver spacers, and Andelusian Chaistolite. Wavy Onyx beads are the exclamation point. Together these beautiful elements create a stunning and elegant 20" (50.8 cm) necklace set that can be a silent but eloquent testimony and conversation starter. The earrings are just as unique, with 3" (7.62 cm) dangle featuring stchaistolite and onyx earrings with set at laurastaley.etsy.comerling wire, onyx, coordinating Chaistolite and handmade 1" sterling silver ear wires (21G). With a total length of 4" (10.16 cm) these earrings are long and dramatic. I can design smaller less flashy earrings to match, if desired.

What better realization of Luke 19:40 ... “I tell you,” He replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”