Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bear Claw Necklaces

I have a very good customer.  She buys my jewelry regularly for herself and gift giving.  Because she is a good customer I do repair and restringing orders for her.

With her latest request, she handed me three reclosable baggies and ask me to use the beads in each to create three necklaces, one for each of her grown sons.  Not only was there a bear claw(s) in each one, but the closures still clinging to the original wire. She is a widow of what I came to find out was a very 'colorful' character.  He loved horses and obviously enjoyed purchasing and wearing Native American jewelry (he was of Italian descent.)

Necklace #1 Focal, before cleanup

 I was quite surprised and humbled by her latest request.  Reason one, if you have seen my Etsy elsielight shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/elsielight?ref=si_shop), you know I have touched on using turquoise in my bead weaving and done a little southwestern style jewelry.  But masculine it is not.  Reason two, I feel that with this jewelry I should be as authentic in my re-creations as possible - I have an appreciation for but no practical experience with Native American jewelry.

Heishe beads and closure for Necklace #3
One of the necklaces, necklace #2, required the purchase of new beads.  And I could not figure out what the dark flat cut circles were.  A friend who is of Native American heritage and works with leather and beads, told me they were horn beads.  I spent a very long time on the internet before finding horn beads that looked like them.  These 'heishe' beads must be a style of beads because I found coconut heishi beads that looked very similar, but when I saw the buffalo horn heishe beads I knew I had found a match.  Only one website sold them in this form that I could find and I bought the two strands they had left.  A very satisfying search, because it ended successfully!

Necklace #2 two bear claws
This same friend told me you never put two separated bear claws on the same necklace.  But that had been the order for Necklace #2 so I decided to do it anyway - a great decision, because the whole 'authentic recreation' had stopped my forward motion on this project.  I decided to use my instincts and believe my client's faith was well placed in giving me the project!!  Finding the right separator between the two claws has been a challenge.  One silver diamond I found became too much of a focal and drew attention away from the bear claws.  Another 1 1/2 inch long dark polished horn bead made too much of a rope swing look.  So I settled on an oval carved horn bead.  I was concerned about its lack of curve so I tried it on my model (my husband) and it looks great when worn. 

They are not complete but they're ready for the final touches.  I still have a few beads left from the originals so will perhaps rework to get them in.  It would be a shame if they could not all be included for these keepsake necklaces. 

Necklace #1

Necklace #2

Necklace #3 - still on the board!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Green Copper Brown Bugle Bead Accessories

Shopping Etsy for great accompanying jewelry for my Earthtone Green Brown Copper Bead Woven bracelet:

Characteristics of this bracelet are tropical, emphasized by the silver bamboo leaf toggle clasp.   This brings to mind warm mist, waterfalls, tropical bird calls.  Although made with all glass beads it has a natural look about it. The green copper twisted bugle beads have a matte sheen.  Silver would go with it; copper and even gold colors are reflected in the beautiful greenish copper bugle beads.  It is a classy accessory that can go grand or casual.

I took and shopped Etsy for pieces of jewelry that would be beautiful with it.  Following is what I found.

The colors in this lovely pair of earrings from Etsy LeatherWoodsDesignShop are a great match. They emphasize the natural, have great presence and would cover the distance from hand to ear very well. 

Element4you has this beautiful pair or earrings.  The soft green in the pearls is a perfect match to that in the bugle beads.  The brown bicone is a match with the tiny brown luster seed beads that create the scalloped trim on the outer edges of my bracelet.  I like the silver spacer beads and copper earwires.  They seem to be made for this bracelet.


I love this very simple spare pair from Etsy aquashella shop. 'Classy' is the word.   The silver brings an earthy element to the neutral natural colors in the faceted glass bead!


I'm not sure if I know why I believe the next pair work.  They come from the Etsy TesoriTrovati shop.  Perhaps my bracelet looks like part of the belt of a mechanism that would use these to operate.


Another stunning pair of earrings!  These from BodaciousBiddies shop at Etsy.  They are a light hearted pair that look like they were made for my bracelet.

A rave about this lovely necklace!  It has the beautiful rose copper that perfectly matches that in the bugle beads, the mysterious dark green of the Czech fire polish center line of my bracelet and the soft green in the bugle beads.  PamelaCurran's sterling silver seed beads and clasp add the finishing touch to this adorable necklace.


And a sea green, copper and brown gingko necklace with that same beautiful combination of colors that I enjoy so much in this particular bracelet.  The green is brighter but the mottled muted And on a silver chain also!!  See Etsy shop FlightofLight for more information on this lovely necklace!

While looking through my Castteam jewelry I came across this lovely green brown set.  I'm missing the silver in this but love the brown Czech glass beads and brown in the ring's wire.  A beautiful set (also includes a bracelet) in the Etsy mompotter shop!

See http://www.etsy.com/listing/83259078/brown-and-green-beaded-necklace-forest for necklace.  Other set pieces are close by.

If you know of any other suitable options, it would be great to hear from you.

Thank you.