I took a day off from making jewelry today to go on a mountain bike ride with my husband. We rode up Democrat Gulch, a canyon a couple of miles down the road from our house. There are tons of old mining roads that wind through the hills around here. Silver and lead mining brought the first major settlement to the valley, and though most of the mines are long since defunct, you can still find the remains scattered throughout the surrounding hills in the form of the old two-track roads, slag heaps dotting the hills, abandoned mine shaft, and the occasional old piece of equipment.
We stopped near the top of the road, to take in the view and snap a few pictures. The aspen tress are all turning glorious gold, and the cooler fall temps make the climbs a bit less sweaty. All in all, it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. Thanks for stopping in! ~Pippi
I have had an idea of making one of these little guys floating around in my head for a while now, and after watching a movie about the Galapagos Islands last night (so many lizards!) I decided to have a go at it. I sat in a sunny chair in the living room all afternoon, carefully coiling away!
I have two particular memories of lizards that went through my head as I created this little jeweled replica:
The first was when I was 11 years old. My family was driving to Wyoming to visit my grandmother, and we stopped by the Platte river in Ogalla, Nebraska for a lunch break. My oldest brother caught a tiny little lizard along the banks of the river. It was the most incredible thing I'd ever seen! It was smaller than the one I made.
The second was when I was in high school. I had worked after school for over a year to save the money so I could go on the school trip to France. We were touring the gardens at Villandry, in the Loire Valley, and I spotted a little lizard perched on a sunny wall in the garden. I managed to snap a picture of it. Lovely!
This lizard is a kind of 3-D snapshot. He is made of several meters of fine silver wire wrapped with hundreds of Thai silver, tourmaline and ruby faceted beads over an aperture of hammered sterling silver wire. His eyes are tiny faceted rubies, and he has spots of multi-colored tourmalines on his back. I used Thai silver cube beads for his belly, to give it that smooth scaly look like a real lizard. He has a wire loop tongue, so he can be worn as a pendant.
He turned out better than I had hoped, and now I want to make more! So fun!
I have been making a lot of new pieces lately. I try to make at least one thing each day. I figure, this is my job, I should go to work every day. (I'm SO lucky!) Each piece I make seems to be more and more intricate. I have been trying out a new technique coiling rolo chain into my designs, and have been really pleased with what I can do with it. I made the band for this ring last night, not sure where it was going, but really liking the look! I wanted to keep the clean lines, and needed a small, simple but striking, cabochon stone to set against the smooth part of the band. I bought this 2.1 carat black star sapphire a while ago, not knowing where it would be used, but it was too cool to pass up! Instead of the usual 6-pointed star that most star sapphires show, this one has a twelve-ray star! I set the stone in a coiled basket bezel, and continued the top of the bezel into two tightly coiled spirals along each side of the setting. There are 12 feet of fine silver wire coiled around the ring's sterling frame! I'm so pleased with the way it turned out! I oxidized the ring, then polished it to bring out the intricate wire work, and to give it the feel of an ancient treasure. The ring is a size 7-1/4.
As always, thanks for dropping in! All the best, ~Pippi
I found these old Tibetan coins, and was drawn to their interesting shape and the designs stamped in them, thinking they would make a neat pair of earrings. I used turquoise and coral with the coins, these being popular stones in Tibetan jewelry, and wrapped them with sterling silver wire. I didn't want to cash in on the Tibetan culture by using their media popularity to sell my work, though, and came up with this solution. I am donating half of the proceeds to the Tibetan Healing Fund (the other half covers materials). They have a childrens fund, which helps supply books written in the Tibetan language, school improvements and health and maternal wellness care for rural Tibetans.
If you are interested in these earrings, you can find them on my Etsy shop. Just click on the link at the bottom of this page. Thanks for stopping by! ~Pippi
I bought a couple of 1918 2 Annas coins from India on ebay, with the thought of making them into jewelry. I was looking through the pictures in my book of Croatian national jewelry, noticing how turning coins into jewelry has been a common idea in many ancient cultures through to modern times. I have always had a fascination with coins from other countries. I love the different shapes and the history behind the coins. These coins bear the image of King George V of England, Emperor of India on the reverse side. I chose to highlight the twos, as they play such a common theme in my life. (My birthday is 2 February, and if you add up the numbers in the year I was born, they also add up to 2.)
I used tourmalines to make this TWO bracelet. There are 4 (2x2) chains of faceted tourmaline beads in blues, greens, and golden browns (with one or two watermelon tourmalines thrown in for good measure). Each chain is 8 (2x2x2) stones long. There are two coiled and beaded hearts linking the body of the bracelet to the clasp. Each heart is joined to the bracelet by two linked tourmalines. A 2.5 carat green tourmaline briolette hangs from the chain. I love the way this one turned out! It is by far the most comfortable bracelet I've made yet!
After finishing this bracelet, my husband and I went out to eat, and on the way home, the (almost) full moon rising over the snow-dusted hills was beautiful! I ran inside to get my camera, so I could snap this shot. Lovely! Thanks for visiting! ~Pippi
Today was our first snow of the season (just a dusting), and the days are going to be cold here from now until spring. I can hardly wait for ski season to start! I love the snow!
I went to bed the night before last after reading the weather report saying it was going to get down to the low 20's (F), and just as I was almost asleep, I realized that if it got that cold, all the pears still on my pear trees would be ruined! I hopped out of bed, pulled on my fluffy robe, and went out and shook the pear trees, collecting as much of the fruit as I could. I saved four big bowls plus two grocery bags full of pears, and I am now in the process of preserving them. I have the food dryer going, and I'm making pear pie today. I plan to can a bunch, too. Somehow, though, I will still find time to make some jewelry today, too! :D
I am so pleased with the way my Day of the Dead bracelet turned out yesterday! I took it with me to the bead store to show the owner what I'd done with the bead. She said she got more of these turquoise skull beads at the last gem show she went to, and will just sell them to me! I can hardly wait to start making more pieces with them!
I have always loved making things with my hands. It has always amazed me that I am able to take an image in my mind and make it come into form. Like magic!
I will never have enough time to create all the wonderful things waiting to come to life from my imagination, but you can see a few of the lucky ones that actually get made here.
I hope they bring a bit of joy to your day!
Thanks for looking!