Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Foray into Luxury

Usually, I shoot for a balance between cost and splendor.  It's a tough economy, money is tight, and people without large pocketbooks should have fun jewelry, too. Lately, though, I've been dipping my toes into the pool of luxury jewelry. Not AAA-grade faceted rubies embedded in gold, but finer components and pricier stones, and I think the higher quality of the materials shows!

Prehnite and Silver Bracelet

I nabbed these luminous nuggets of prehnite at the bead and gem show I went to in August. I'd never used anything like them, but they were so juicy and delightful to hold and look at that I couldn't resist. I've wrapped them on fine silver ballpins that I made myself and hung them on a sterling cable chain.  To add color and texture, I interspersed the prehnite nuggets with tiny cultured pearls and spheres of azurite-malachite and jade-colored quartz (known as Malaysia Jade), also on handmade fine silver ballpins. The clasp is an ornate pewter S-hook.

Visit my store for more photos!

Amazonite Teardrops

I've been holding onto these amazonite teardrops for months, waiting for the right use to present itself. Here, I've hung them on intricate sterling floral bails threaded on twisted sterling rings. The earrings hang on fine silver earwires accented with tiny cultured pearls on handmade fine silver ballpins.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rockfield Manor Wine Festival

I just spent a long, hot, sticky weekend at the Rockfield Manor Wine Festival in Bel Air, MD. Sales were slow for both artists and wine vendors, but I used the downtime to weave a couple of long byzantine chains. I had purchased some antiqued silver rings, and I combined them with the bright silver rings I usually use for a two-color chain.

New records were set for setup and breakdown! I was able to park the car next to my spot for unloading, and we managed to go from a full car next to an empty patch of grass to ready for business in 50 minutes. Breaking down was even faster -- 30 minutes to pack up all my wares, displays, tablecloths, packaging, and tools; break down the tables and tent; and stack it all back in the car (a process now known as "Tetris").

My new roadie is handy with a camera and took this photo of me weaving a chain, reflected in my booth mirror.

Photo by Thomas McKenzie

A Restaurant to Visit

I had the good fortune to be placed next to the best food vendor at the show -- the Bliss Coffee and Wine Bar. While other vendors offered hamburgers and polish sausage, the Bliss folks had seafood stew, lovely asian pulled pork sandwiches, and pasta salad made with penne and fresh veggies. I took the opportunity to peruse their menu, and they're actually a full restaurant with an awesome-sounding menu. Also, the chef has nice tattoos. If you're near Bel Air, I recommend stopping in for a meal!

Next Show

My next show is in two weeks: Saturday, September 27th at the Crofton Country Club in Crofton, MD. Visit my show list for directions and hours!