Monday, February 18, 2008

Making gifts for friends

I love making jewelry for a friend's birthday. Recently, I had the occasion to make two new designs for two wonderful friends. One of them was a little problemmatic as she is not so much into the habit of putting on a necklace or bracelet, so I had to think hard to come up with the "hook", that would entice her to wear whatever necklace I gave her. The other was problematic in that she already has lots of beautiful necklaces and earrings to wear, so I wanted to make something that both suited her and really stood out.

For friend number 1 -- she of the non-jewelry habit -- I went to one of my favorite jewelry stores to ponder. I looked and looked and then spotted the perfect stone: blue kyanite. I had shopped with her enough in Costa Rica (where we originally met) to remember that she was particularly drawn to blue glazes on pottery, and this kyanite was of a particularly appealing shade of blue. I originally combined it with sterling silver beads, but it just seemed a little lacking in imagination that way. I ended up making two necklaces, one combining amber and kyanite, and the other combining the kyanite with lovely shades of lilac. After making the two, I ended up putting the amber/kyanite combination up for sale in my etsy shop, and putting the blue and lilac in a silver box for my friend.

For friend number 2, whose jewelry collection I had to compete with, I found the perfect Venetian glass beads at another local bead store: copper shading into gold with bold black stripes and a hint of beautiful green at the edges. This friend has gorgeous green eyes and brown hair with a hint of copper, so I knew these beads were a good start. I ended up weaving in multiple strands of bronze and black hex-cut Czech seed beads -- which have such a lovely sparkle -- with green seed beads and beautifully faceted and sparkling rondelles of carnelian and peridot. I made a little pair of earrings to match, using more of the carnelian and peridot.

I hope both of them wear these necklaces in good health, and the knowledge that a lot of thought and love went into the making of them!

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