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Bumpy Green Tubes & Strung Drops
Bumpy Green Tubes & Strung Drops 2-3/8"

Long ago I bought some of these cute bumpy lampwork beads at a bead show and made myself a different pair of earrings. Later I bought the same bead again in green and also in red and in topaz when I discovered that an online company had them but was discontinuing the line. Since then they've just been sitting in one of my many bead boxes waiting for something to happen.

Recently someone complimented me on my pair, so I decided to see if I could come up with another appealing design with the same main bead, and this was the result. I was going to put the drops on headpins, but I didn't have enough gold-filled headpins on hand, so I used the stringing wire instead. I usually favor movement in my dangles, which headpins would have provided, but it turns out I like this design too because the slight stiffness of the stringing wire splays out the drops creating a nice shape that couldn't be easily done with headpin drops.

Black & White "Bobbers"
Black & White Bobbers 1-1/2"

These earrings take me back to my very first adventures in jewelry making, in high school. I used to take neon colored jelly fishing worms, the ones with glitter suspended in the jelly, and put earwires on them. Remember, this was the 80's and although I have never been much of a fashion trend follower, I was experimenting with decorative makeup and those worm earrings were part of my own lame version of the punk look. At some point I tried red and white fishing bobbers as earrings; they were lightweight but bold. Just what I was looking for at the time.

In case you were wondering, it's just the half white/half black (instead of red) of these beads that reminds me of the bobbers earrings. The scale is completely different. Each of these earrings has eight 6mm black/white glass beads with AB coating on half of the bead. The beads hang from Argentium silver headpins I balled myself in my silversmithing class. The beads dangle from 4mm niobium jumprings in steel blue and teal, which are connected to a steel blue 3/4" niobium hoop.

Bumpy Blue Cushion Earrings
Bumpy Blue Cushion Earrings 2-1/4"

I am often frustrated by my habit of buying beads on a whim and then taking ages and ages to do anything with them. I've had these beads for well over a year and I've finally forced myself to make a finished pair of earrings with them. The interesting thing is that, from the very beginning, every time I've picked up these beads I've make a design like this, but I kept thinking I should do something more with them. I've tried other things, but I always go back to this, so I decided it must be the right thing to do with them. I think the whimsical look of the bead goes well with the swingy long style. I just wish they showed up better in my dark hair. If they did, I'd be keeping them for myself.

Multi-color "Brick" with Dangles
Multi-color Brick with Dangles 1-5/8"

So what do you call a rectangular tube shape? The only thing I could think of was "brick". Anyway, these gold foil-lined rectangular tubes have interesting swirls of black and splotches of green/blue and pinky-red. I paired them with Swarovski dangles in peridot, Caribbean blue opal, and padparadscha satin. The earwires and headpins are Argentium silver that I balled in my metalsmithing class. The wire through the "brick" is also Argentium.

Lime Bubbles
Lime Bubbles Earrings

These bright lime green lozenges pair nicely with a tiny rondelle and #6 seed bead. It's interesting to see the slightly pink hue on the lower right bead, because I've never noticed it just looking at it, but somehow the camera caught a reflection of the red chair sitting near my photo setup, I guess. The headpins are sterling, while the earwires are hand-made from Argentium silver wire.

I sold this pair, but I've still got some of these beads, so I've got this design listed in the Customize Gallery if you'd like to have a pair made for you.

Silver Foil Rounds with Brown Spots and Drops
Silver Foil Rounds with Brown Spots and Drops 1-1/2"

I like the way the 6 different dangles in shades of brown jumble around the lower bead. I'm generally not into brown much, but I like the way the white spots and silver foil lining brighten these beads up, not to mention the sterling balls on the headpins adding a bit of shine. All of the metal in this one is sterling sliver.

This is another case of me buying beads because they caught my eye, and then not doing anything with them for several years. I've looked at these beads over and over again, but since I hardly have any brown in my own wardrobe, I struggled to find an idea for what to do with them. Then one of my co-workers who has commissioned several pieces mentioned one day that she was looking for something brown, but not too dark because she has dark hair. I went home and made these, but they weren't what she was looking for. Hopefully someone else will take a shine to them and give them a good home. It'll probably be a long, long time before I add something brown to my wardrobe that makes me decide to keep them for myself.

Russian Serpentine and Bicone Necklace

I made this necklace to go with a pair of Russian serpentine earrings I made while back. The front section is serpentine beads wire-wrapped to soldered jump rings. I made the back half with alternating double open jump rings and single soldered jump rings. The bicones are in three colors that I think match nicely with the greens of the serpentine.

This was my first time making a beaded necklace that incorporated making my own chain. I know that my silversmithing instructor would be horrified that I didn't solder all of the jumprings, but soldering such tiny rings separately was bad enough; I couldn't face soldering the rest closed with the chain put together.

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