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Archive for the ‘Jewelry’ Category

Visited the Gem and Mineral show in Cottonwood, AZ on a whim. I have so many beads and gemstones the last thing I really need is more. You can’t walk in to a show like that and not find even more that you have to have. So I knew I was tempting fate. All things considered, I think I walked out of the show with some unique pieces that will be great additions to my wardrobe.
 I found four pieces to use as pendants and look forward to crafting the necklaces to complete the piece.

Picture Jasper with Lapiz frame

Picture Jasper with Lapiz frame

Ocean Jasper – found only in Madagascar

Ocean Jasper – found only in Madagascar

Copper

Copper

On a side note, these pictures were taken with my newly crafted macro photo studio.  I love my studio, though my masking tape is questioning whether it wants to stick or not. I used the DIY $10 Macro Photo Studio on the Strobist blog to guide me, and I used some shooting tips from my dear friend at Vasara Photography to help me nail the shots.  In my impatience, I didn’t get the best shots here, my depth of field is a little too shallow so there’s more blur than I’d like, but, I can keep playing with the settings to fine tune the results. The best part is that I have the studio for all my future projects, so hopefully my photos will improve dramatically!

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Chakra Chain
Chakra Chain

I’ve been wanting to make a nicer chain for my quartz crystal, but everything I’ve tried that was a true chain always ended up catching and breaking. I finally took inspiration from the rosary I have and combined that with the traditional colors for chakra’s so that I could easily have a way to focus my energies appropriately and came up with this. I threw in some hematite too, I’d heard it was good for healing. It’s more of a rainbow than I expected now that it’s all said and done, but I like it much better than the plain old black cord it was on. Since I just wear this chain at night to absorb the energy of the crystal I think it’ll be okay. I have no true knowledge of this stuff so I’m going on faith that if I believe it, it’ll work for me. And to some extent, it certainly has. I haven’t done much with the chakra’s themselves, but there are meditations in the book I have, and in the old days when I used to have trouble sleeping at night the meditations were extremely helpful to me and allowed to me relax and let go of the all the useless noise in my head that was keeping me awake. My hope is that by having the colors of the chakra’s represented in my necklace I will find a balance that I’m still seeking….

Jewelry Repair

Jewelry Repair

I had some broken jewelry lying around so since   my tools out to make the chakra chain I went ahead and fixed all of them, so I got two of my most favorite necklaces back in action, and wore one of them to work today. 🙂  Two of them we inherited bought pieces and the one in the middle is one of the first necklaces I ever made. I really should do more with the small beads and seed beads, I end up liking those necklaces the most. I haven’t seen a lot of them out there, but then again, I’ve never intentionally looked for them, so maybe I could find a lot of inspiration if I just looked.

Black Bean Couscous Salad

Black Bean Couscous Salad

Last but not least, in any way, is the new Black Bean Couscous salad I made for dinner. Again it comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Desperation Dinners. I have some staple recipes that I always use in the book but I was in the mood for something different so I stumbled across this one. The weather is unseasonably warm, over 80 today, so I was also trying to plan for some easy cooler recipes, as opposed to the warming comfort food I was making two weeks ago. So this one calls for couscous, black beans, corn, evoo, red wine vinegar, cumin, green onions, green bell peppers (I didn’t use them, I substituted extra corn), fresh lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. I had a few issues with the couscous being overly watery, so I’ll have to figure out how to get it to cool down for the salad without soaking up that much water, and my daughter wished it had more flavor, so next time I think I’ll throw in a packet of taco seasoning to the water before I make the couscous. We served it with fresh avocado and pita chips (it called for blue corn chips, but we had the pita chips on hand) and it was a hit. I definitely think I’ll take this to the next potluck instead of the typical pasta salad. This one will be added to our easy summer hot night recipes list for sure. It was delicious and I can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow when I see how well the flavors melded together overnight. Yum!

His and Hers Pendants

His and Hers Pendants

Today was a crazy busy day, turns out there are not enough hours in the evening to tackle everything I’d dreamed of.

I was, fortunately, able to get these two obsidian arrowheads wrapped and turned into pendants so they could be strung onto silk cord and made into matching his and hers necklaces for my daughter and her boyfriend. I’ve used this wrapping technique once before and it turned out better on the other shape I think, but this turned out interesting, especially with the angle of the copper twist on the stone. I really like the copper against the black obsidian.  My picture’s not great, I apologize for that, just used my cell phone to get a quick shot so I could share it here.

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

I got to this jewelry project while watching a recorded episode of Cupcake Wars (Hard Rock) which was funny because I had made a new recipe for banana muffins with crumble topping and  they were cooking while we watched them make banana cupcakes in honor of The King. It smelled SO good, I can’t wait to try them for breakfast tomorrow.
When the episode was over and after the necklaces were ready I made the best Shepherd’s Pie ever. Out local grocery store started carrying a small selection of imported British items, and last time we shopped a picked up a seasoning packet for this Shepard’s Pie which is always one of our favorites. It seemed expensive to me for just a seasoning packet, but I was willing to try it anyway. I am so glad I did, as I stated earlier, this was by far the best Shepherd’s Pie I have ever made…and I have tried a more than a few different recipes. And the best part is that it was the easiest one too. I love it when I find something that tastes good, is home-made and is super easy. I was literally savoring the bites as though they were the best, most decadent chocolate just melting in your mouth, it was literally that good to me!
 
The other thing for the night that I didn’t get to was  to string a seed bead chain to have something nicer to put my crystal on, but after I trimmed my nails because they were driving me crazy I realized I’d cut them too short to allow me to work well with the seed beads. Maybe in a couple of days they’ll have grown out enough to finish that project. I’m sure I’ll get to it one of these days…

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