Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rusticana Bracelet

Rusticana Bracelet

  What's in a name?
I've mentioned before that I have trouble naming my pieces. Lately, some names have just been "popping" in my head,  for no specific reason, it seems.
I've had a run on my 3 row Leather bracelets lately (nice problem, no?) So, I've been busy making more. A couple of the variations are only one or two of a kind as I no longer have more of the beads to make them.
So, planning to make a new version,  I scouted out one of my favorite bead stores. (pflora beads) and found some great Fire Polish beads in a Dark Bronze color. To go with the Brown Greek leather and Dark Bronze beads, I chose some Smokey Topaz seed beads. (You can see the results in the picture)
Now, for some reason, the name "Rusticana" came into my mind for a name for the bracelet. No reason that I can think of. So, I did a Google search to see if I could place the music or something that might explain what made me think of the name. I didn't find anything  but I found a great video of  "Cavalleria Rusticana - Intermezzo".
I also found that some of the Cavalleria Rusticana opera music was in the various Godfather movies. Now, since I have never seen any Godfather movies that was not where the idea came from. (Just as an aside - I haven't seen ET either)
Click on the picture at the right  to listen to a You Tube Video of "Cavalleria Rusticana - Intermezzo"
It is very nice. Always learning something new. Sometime, I'll figure out where the idea came from. Anyhow, I do like it for the name of the bracelet.
You can see the new bracelet on my website: Rusticana Bracelet
Do you have any more information on the name "Rusticana"? Is it a good name for this bracelet? or any other suggestions? I'm always open to suggestions. Email me at or
Until next week,

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Making a new Bracelet, Funny Story

Our family has one of those "family jokes" most people have. I was quite young when it happened so I don't remember the specifics but most of it.

The first part of the story is the name of the store where it occurred.  Weed and Company. Anyhow, my Grandfather went into Weed's to purchase something (part of what I do not remember). He saw just one on the shelf and took it over to buy it. He was then told (and this is the funny part) he could not buy it.
"Why?" my Grandfather asked. The reply: "Because we wouldn't have any left in stock"

Well, it isn't a thigh slapper story but you have to admit it is funny.

I was reminded of the story today when I started making a new bracelet today. (The one half way finished in the above picture). I was fortunate to sell four last week and this was one of the replacements. I was making the first section which determines the length. I do have a list of materials for the bracelet. Twenty-six 6 mm beads. Now that sounds like enough information but 6 mm beads do vary in actual length. Enough so that if you have 26 beads the total length can be significant.

Usually, I have one on hand to use as a guide for the length. But remember, I told you I had sold 4 last week. Yikes, my total inventory. Now what? I had sold the last one in stock!  Oh, no!

Well, fortunately, as you can see by the picture, I found one to use as a measure. It is mine. I had forgotten about it.

It really isn't that critical since people have different sized wrists. But why spoil a good story with the lack of a few facts??  - Another "family joke"


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jewelry Colors

Jewelry Colors

  What are your favorites?

A long time ago, I had "my colors done". That means someone put colored drapes around my neck and determined which "season" I am. Turns out I'm a "winter". Skin color: pinkish, whitish and that means true reds look good on me but  not orange-reds.

It also means that blues and purples and certain color greens (again not orange-green or olive greens) are in my color pallet. It really explained a phenomenon that I saw with a good friend when I was in high school. She loved anything brown, I didn't. I loved anything green, she did not. One day when I was picking out a blouse as a gift for her, I saw a great looking blouse in green. Fortunately, it also came in brown. She loved it!

Well, this extends to your choices of color in jewelry. You may notice, I use a lot of blue in my designs. The above bracelet is perfect for my "winter" season.

However, what about my friend from high school? Unfortunately, she is still in Rochester, NY and I don't see her anymore. If I did, I'd ask her about this bracelet. I don't even have her email address to check.

So, that brings me to all of you. Surely, at least one of you has similar coloring or preferences as my friend did. Do you prefer gold jewelry or silver jewelry? Do you like yellow or orange or olive green instead of blues, purples or forest green?

Here is an example of a piece made for someone who ask me to make a bracelet in different colors than I am used to making.
I like it, as do many others but I probably wouldn't  wear it. (For one thing none of my clothes go with it)  However, it looks great on my friend's tan skin.

A specific advantage of knowing the Jewelry Designer, is being able to ask for (and get) different colors, a slightly different design or a different size. I make things to fit me. (In case they don't sell) but I know that some of you have smaller/larger wrists or prefer shorter/longer necklaces as well as different colors.  Just ask....

Here is my favorite "color change" request.  This design lends itself to many different colors. Here are some, cobalt, sapphire, emerald and red.
Then there is yellow, orange and olive green too.  ;-)
The cobalt version is available on my website. Of course, you can have it in different colors, just by asking

When I first started making "videos", I made this one showing how you could choose a different color to make it special for you.  I'm hoping that you will take advantage of this "perk" for knowing the Jewelry Designer. (There is no sound and some of the pictures are not very good, but I think you can get the idea.)

I hope to hear from you this week with your favorite colors for jewelry or special requests.
If you let me know your favorite colors, I can then get out of my "winter" rut and make some new pieces in your "season".

Thursday, August 11, 2011

30th Annual Balloon Rally Pittsfield, NH

30th Annual Balloon Rally

  Pittsfield, NH
Not sure if any of you would notice but this post is late. (I usually have the post sent at 5:00 AM on Tuesday morning. It is now past 10 AM and I'm just starting.)
We were away this past weekend. Some of you know that the first weekend in August is the Pittsfield, NH Balloon Rally. We go up on Thursday and come back Monday so we miss the the weekend traffic. Several of you have even flown with us.
Anyhow, being away for an extended weekend has put me behind in both making new designs and writing my weekly post. But we had lots of fun and enjoyed our 16th Rally (out of 30) It is tradition in the Carlson Family. The sponsorship has extended to be Carlson Family and Friends. Everyone helps "crew" and "chase".  That is almost as much fun as flying. Lots of stories ....
The balloon we have sponsored for the last 10 years is the Irish Rover. Flights are dependent on the weather. One year, no one when up at all. Not fun. This year it was 50 %. We went up Friday night and then Saturday morning. (It was too windy Saturday night and it rained Sunday morning) The Saturday morning flight was great. Went up and landed, swapped passengers and went up again. We had several "first timers" who always get special treatment. (Baptized with champagne after the flight) No one seems to mind after the experience of flying in a balloon!
I did not take many pictures this year since I left my camera where we were staying but last year I made a little Power Point video and you can watch it here.
It shows the whole procedure of inflating the balloon up until it gets packed up, ready for the next flight.
I hope you enjoy it. 

Until next week,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Twist and Curve Pendant

Twist and Curve Pendant

Several years ago, I tried various ways to make something similar to this pendant. I took a class in PMC (precious metal clay) and tried to make something like this. You can make many different styles of items just by molding the PMC just as with regular clay. Then you need to fire the pieces in a kiln. I have several friends with kilns and I could use them but it still could come up with a pleasing design.
Then last week, I featured some of the new Twist and Curve earrings and mentioned how I love it when designs just seem to "come together". If you look at the way the wires lay in relation to each other, you can see the Fish design. Just sitting in my chair (I should call it my thinking chair) the Fish appeared in my mind. Then I figured how to easily add the loop and voila here is the design I'd been working on for a long time. (Just like an "overnight success")

I twisted a piece of wire, made the loop and bent it around the round tin I use as a mold and hammered it to harden the wire and get the pieces to stay put.
It still needs some tweeking and I'll probably need to make several more before I'm happy with this design. But I really love it. Just add a nice silver chain and wear. I wore it to a Birthday party on Saturday and got some nice compliments.
Until next week,
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