Friday, January 16, 2009

Icky, Mean, Nasty, "What, you again??" Cold Hampers Beading Efforts

Yep, fought off one cold, got another one with barely a week of fair health between. That it was annoying, is the understatement of the month. I've been in a congestion related brain fog for several days and not very inspired or motivated on the beading front. Feeling a bit better today, though, and looking forward to a three day weekend.

First off, thank you to Dave (a frequent commenter here) from Rings & Things for mentioning me on the Rings & Things blog! I took a much nicer picture of the gunmetal and gray pearl necklace he features, in my "studio" (situated in my college-attending daughter's bedroom while she's away at school). I hope he'll replace the other one with this:

I love working with the gunmetal chain I got. Not only is the black chain striking all on it's own, so it's great for pendants, but designing around a different color than the standard silver and gold, leads to interesting new ideas. By pairing the gunmetal chain with "antiqued" finished bead caps or spacers, I keep the color scheme complimentary, but can use things I already have in my supplies and not have to go buy more gunmetal bits. This is important right now, as I'm trying to be thrifty about new beading purchases (although I will, eventually, stock up).

I'm currently working on something using garnet beads (the stone, not just the color garnet) and I'm really loving the way it's coming together. I've always liked garnets and the darker, blue-ish shades of red. My birthstone is ruby, but aside from price, ruby is often too pink or too bright red to go with my wardrobe which is based on 'cool' colors that compliment my skin tone.

When I picked out my High School ring, I had a choice of a synthetic ruby (which I recall not liking because it was very pink) or a real garnet, and the dark red, faceted stone was perfect. I still get wistful about that ring, btw, because it was stolen out of my jewelry box many years ago and never recovered. It was 10k white gold, so I assume it was pawned or sold and melted down. If you ever see a ladies size 5 or 6, white gold with faceted garnet stone, Desert High School (Edwards AFB - the ring has the Edwards AFB insignia on one side - scroll down a bit on the linked page to see, and my name engraved in my handwriting inside) class of '75 ring for sale, let me know!

More to the point, and back to the future, I have a number of burgundy shells and sweaters to wear with my suits - and burgundy goes with black, gray, brown or, and really nicely with, navy blue.

At first I thought I'd use eye and head-pin connections for my work-in-progress, then I decided to experiment. For this piece I used black Soft Flex 21 strand .014 beading wire crimped into the chain.

One of the reasons I decided to use the Soft Flex was that I have only a few eye and head pins left in gunmetal. The other is that the diameter of the hole in the smaller garnet beads is very small and the pins I have are too large. Even so, I have to use a bead reamer (very, very carefully so as not to crack the bead) to slightly enlarge the hole, as to finish attaching the set of threaded beads to the chain, I need to double back into the bead before closing the crimp.

Now that I've gotten this far, I'm pondering where I want to go next. Is this going to be a long necklace, will I shorten it and drape multiple chains, is this the start of an eyeglass leash (that's kind of where I was going when I set up the two matching parts where they are, but I'm not sure that's what I really want to do, now)...?

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Blogger Dave Robertson said...

Hi Dawno, I did replace the picture in our blog post. Thanks for it, and for all your good work despite having a cold. Wishing you a cup of hot tea :) ,

at Rings & Things

January 19, 2009 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger Dawno said...

Dave, sorry I didn't respond sooner - thank you for using the nicer picture :-) and I did have that hot tea, and Irish Coffee - not sure which one worked better!

Still sniffly, but definitely on the mend. (Hope that doesn't jinx it!)

January 23, 2009 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Dave Robertson said...

Just glad to hear you're improving. Cheers! :)

at Rings & Things

January 26, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

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