Bead Weaving

Over the last fortnight I’ve discovered the joys (and frustrations) of bead weaving, using mostly seed beads.  There are many free patterns on the internet, and Jenny has several books.  In terms of complexity, it’s certainly challenging!  Far more patience is required, too.  Making jewellery with gemstones is a wholly different activity.  There may be areas where you have the choice between man-made or natural, but there are definitely times when man-made is the only option.  If you’re interested, I recommend visiting Sandra Halpenny’s site.

"Elena" necklace

"Elena" necklace

Bracelet - bead weaving

Bracelet - bead weaving

My Favourite Gemstones : Peridot

Peridot was one of the first gemstones that I bought, mainly because of the price-to-quantity ratio. That purchase consisted of a strand of small chips. When they arrived, and I drew the strand out of its rather cloudy zip-lock bag, I was stunned! These tiny chips were amazing. They shone with an inner light, in a way that I’d never seen before, especially in our lounge, which is seldom brightly lit. In fact, I’m happy to describe my reaction as one of awe!

I’ve since learnt that such tiny chips aren’t really that wise a purchase. Peridot is somewhat prone to breakage, and these tiny, jagged shapes are very vulnerable to damage. They are most likely to survive in jewellery that is more protected, such as earrings and necklaces. Bracelets and rings are not recommended, until larger stones are obtained.

Having seen peridot in real life, I now long to get some larger stones, preferably faceted (form is less important). That inner light I witnessed is, apparently, a well known characteristic. In fact, ancient miners are believed to have abstracted it at night!

I can heartily recommend peridot. Just remember that it must be treated gently!

Recently I learnt that peridot is the birthstone of one of my wife’s colleagues.  As I still have some, it seemed to be right to make her a bracelet:

Corinna Bracelet

Corinna Bracelet

The Pleasure of Sharing

For the last few days, Jenny and I have shared our jewellery making hobby.  We’ve both been working on various projects, though for different reasons.  Most of what Jenny has made will be used for Christmas presents.  Mine, however, are simply a result of the pleasure I derive from making things!  It’s been rather magical though, both of us sat here surrounded by beads, findings and such, each enjoying the company of the other and sharing the trials and triumphs.

Obviously, as Jenny’s works are for gifts, I don’t want to risk them being seen so I’ll just display some of the pieces I’ve made:

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