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Tag Archives: handcrafted

I love using natural elements in my jewelry designs. This fall, I could not go anywhere without stepping on acorns from all the oak trees around Savannah. Upon closer inspection, I noticed they were different shapes and sizes.  I knew I needed to make them into jewelry. The colors varied from light brown to rust but I wanted to make them look more like metal so I coated them with metallic paint and then sprayed on a protective coating. This added an extra layer of hardness to the acorn tops. I used a bead reamer to make a whole in the top of the cap and then added beads to represent the acorn bottom. Pearls and round beads in fall colors worked well. My favorite designs are these lariats using two jasper stones with metal leaf drop and tourmaline as accents.

Acorn lariat short

Acorn lariat close up

Acorn lariat

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As a jewelry designer, the necklaces I create alternate between bold and colorful to more dainty and simple. Here are some of my more DELICATE creations.

Sapphire Necklace

Sapphire Necklace

Sea Grass Necklace

Sea Grass Necklace

Cloud Necklace

Cloud Necklace

Sage Brush Necklace

Sage Brush Necklace

At First Blush Necklace

At First Blush Necklace

 

Although the nights have been much warmer lately, the sunsets have been even more beautiful. As I was viewing one of those colorful sunsets the other evening, I could not help but think about beads that reflect these same colors…blue, red, orange, yellow, purple, coral.

CLEMENTINE EARRINGS

ORANGE CRUSH NECKLACE

DOUBLE COPPER EARRINGS

TYGER LILY EARRINGS

BERMUDA NECKLACE

TROPICS NECKLACE

If you are looking for unique, handcrafted jewelry gifts for Christmas, come and see Archipelago Jewelry by Liz Juneau at the Second Saturday Market at the Alexandria Museum of Art (AMoA) on December 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The AMoA is located at 933 Main Street,  Alexandria, LA

This monthly market features local farmer’s produce, specialty foods and products, local food vendors, and, of course, original local art. Support your neighbors–and remember that one-of-a-kind works of art sold in the downtown Cultural Arts District are tax-free!  Enjoy children’s art activity booth, live local music, and more. While you’re here, be sure to visit our rotating art exhibits and AMoA’s Gift Shop. 

Admission to the museum is FREE during market hours.

 See photos of jewelry at : www.flick.com/photos/archipelagojewelry and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Archipelago-Jewelry-by-Liz-Juneau/175396942516173

Jade is an ornamental stone. The term jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals.Jadeite is composed of tightly packed microscopic crystals, and Nephrite is composed of extremely dense mineral fibers that are interlocked and very tough. Of the two jade forms, Nephrite is more softer and more prone to scratches, and Jadeite is not as dense and is more prone to chipping.

The English word ‘jade’ is derived from the Spanish term piedra de ijada or ‘loin stone’, from its reputed efficacy in curing ailments of the loins and kidneys. ‘Nephrite’ is derived from lapis nephriticus, the Latin version of the Spanish piedra de ijada.

Nephrite and Jadeite were used by people from the prehistoric for similar purposes. Both are about the same hardness as quartz, and they are exceptionally tough. They are beautifully coloured and can be delicately shaped. Thus it was not until the 19th century that a French mineralogist determined that “jade” was in fact two different materials.

 Nephrite can be found in a creamy white form as well as in a variety of green colors, whereas jadeite shows more color variations, including blue, lavender-mauve, pink, and emerald-green colours. Of the two, Jadeite is extremely rare and thus more valuable.

Jade is said to be a symbol of purity and serenity. Also, it is believed to radiate divine unconditional love and balance emotions.

I can’t verify these stones are jade, since they were salvaged from vintage jewelry parts, but I can attest to their beauty. The stones are smooth and a vivid green color.

Corset Necklace

Bohemian Rhapsody Necklace

Green Goddess Earrings

Ultimate Green Goddess Earrings

A good gift symbolizes something of the relationship between the giver and the recipient. Jewelry is not the gift that you would give to all the persons on your Christmas list this year, but for those friends and family members that you want to make feel special, jewelry can be the perfect choice. Jewelry is the gift that appeals to persons that appreciate innovation and creativity.

Handcrafted jewelry is a gift that recognizes the recipient as being unique.  Each one of my designs is made with an eye for detail and one-of-a-kind quality.  It is a gift that retains its attractiveness for a long time because it is not just the current trend.  When choosing a gift of jewelry, keep in mind the recipients personality, style, skin and eye coloring.

Some of my jewelry designs are very casual, others are very sophisticated with a vintage edge. And don’t think it is just for the women on your list, I have some new designs for men as well.

Also, wrapping shows that you cared enough about person to take care of the presentation details. I do all of that for you. Each one of my jewelry designs is packaged in a lovely turquoise blue satin bag and inserted into a fun package – a white take-out box with handle and topped off with a turquoise blue ribbon.

Archipelago Jewelry Gift Packaging

And last but not least, don’t forget yourself. If handcrafted jewelry is the gift you would like to receive, it is perfectly acceptable to drop hints to a gift giver that would be so grateful to know what you really want this year.

To view jewelry designs:  www.flickr.com/photos/archipelagojewelry

Whenever I first started making “memory” or “microscope” slide pendants, the first items I put in between the pieces of glass (microscope slides) were found butterfly wings. I have lost count on how many pendants I have made from moths and various butterfly specimens. On a recent trip to Arizona, I came home with quite a few. I have asked others to save any deceased butterflies they may come across for use in my slides. Recently a couple came to my jewelry booth at an outdoor show and told me about a B&B not too far away that had a butterfly garden and where is was located. So on a recent motorcycle ride, we headed in that direction. Unfortunately, no butterfly wings were to be found, but fortunately there were lots and lots of beautiful butterflies flying around in and around the garden. I hope the lady that purchased her butterfly slide necklace is enjoying it and I enjoyed our ride and the garden.

By the way, a fact from Wikipedia:  butterflies in their adult stage can live from a week to nearly a year depending on the species.

Butterfly Wing Necklace

Collection of Butterfly Wings on Vintage Paper Necklaces

Collection of Three Butterfly Wing Pendants

Beautiful Orange Butterfly

Liz in the Butterfly Garden

“Gimme back my bullets
Put ’em back where they belong
Ain’t foolin’ around ’cause I done had my fun
Ain’t gonna see no more damage done
Gimme back, gimme back my bullets
Oh, put ’em back… where they belong”

While making my latest jewelry creations, I could not get this song from Lynyrd Skynyrd out of my head. For music fans, the song and the title of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s fourth album, Gimme Back My Bullets, was released in 1976.
For jewelry fans, these pendants are made from spent 45 caliber brass bullet casings with various raw uncut stones such as quartz.  These are unisex pendants and hang from a simple silver metal ball chains or vintage gold metal chains.

Shell casing with quartz stone

Shell casing with pink stone

Shell casing wtih stone necklace

Shell casing with green stone

Statement Ring Collection

Statement rings, bold rings, cocktail rings, chunky rings, funky rings…whatever you want to call them, just wear them. Think of them as a guilty little pleasure, aka “finger candy”. Not everyone can pull off wearing a big, bold necklace or oversize earrings but almost anyone can wear these rings. You can wear them on almost any finger or wear multiple rings if you want to be really bold. You can wear them with you favorite LBD or just put on for that “this is going to be a fun day/night” kind of mood. The bling from the ones I designed come from natural rough stones and are embellished with cut stones, pearls, etc. and sterling silver wire. They are mounted on a metal adjustable ring shank to ease in the wearing on different fingers.

It took some prompting from my boyfriend and an idea from a men’s magazine to design men’s jewelry. Men’s jewelry requires more rugged materials such as leather and metal. What could be more “manlier” than simple hex nuts from the local hardware store and woven leather or cording. What words desribe these bracelets? Simple, straightforward, rough, sexy, old, new, basic, clean, fun, cool!!

Single Silver Hex Nuts on Green Cord Bracelet

Single Square/Round Hardware on Leather Bracelet

Brass Hex Nut Single Leather Bracelet

Triple Silver Hex Nuts on Leather Bracelet

But then I thought, what woman would not want one of these bracelets. Because we like simple, straightforward, rough, sexy, old, new, basic, clean, fun, and cool too!