Thursday, November 15, 2007

Something New for You


I wanted everyone who has asked the last couple of years to know that we are offering cross jewelry this year; Lisa has a new set with earrings, too.
For the necklace shown, I used a heavy gauge wire, balled on the ends, which were then hammered and hole-punched where Jesus was nailed to the cross. The cord is called Tenara™: if you scroll down the blog to the Country Girl necklace there is a description of this strong thread that's found another home in the jewelry industry. We really like the casual and delicate feel of this slender string; in this necklace the color is brown (apologies for a lousy photo). I first put the pendant on a 1mm, black leather cord, but it overpowered the cross. I love the solution of the Tenara™ which to me is symbolic for this piece: the thread looks as vulnerable as Jesus did when he was dying, but is actually very strong. Its strength won't last as long as His, but for our purposes it certainly has a better chance of that than the leather! See you at the Christmas Bazaar (see previous post)!



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Next Show Looms.....


We are preparing for our third year at the Mary Queen Christmas Bazaar--it's one of the only two shows we are now doing annually, but it's our favorite! If you have never been, I will describe it in short order: WE LOVE CHRISTMAS! :-) :-) The Bazaar suits that attitude because booths are appropriatedly decorated and since many of them sell goods for the holiday, the atmosphere is ripe. Everyone is happy and happy, o'course, and since we are all under the roof weather isn't an issue, and then there's the lifeblood of the show--piles of people trek through. The event always attracts loads of visitors, to which our success last year attests! The Bazaar offers dining, too, with tables set out with coverings and centerpieces--it feels elegant and in turn (conjure Austin Powers if you dare) makes you feel it, baby! And, as ever, that instrumental Christmas music is piped through to buttress the mood.

So come on down! We have new work to Show & Sell--those of you who have been watching the website know that, but some new things will be presented in the next couple of days...one will be my new necklace and earrings set, so I will give you a preview by posting a pic of the necklace. The stone is a fluorite bought last year at the Beadoholique Bead Shop in Copperfield, Houston. I love the subtle color of this particular stone (fluorite comes in many colors). It has nice soft facets and the shape is perfection on the necklace. Are you interested in the powers of fluorite? This stone purportedly promotes calm and mental balance, and an increase in perception of higher reality. WOW! You need to wear this puppy! And the earrings, too!

I made this one by hammering out my frustrations.....16-gauge wire hammered into a circle, riveted, then sawed in half, drilled, wrapped with wire and hammered again...then I began to calm down...especially after I decided to use the fluorite, pulling it out of the gem box, shaking out the gems, pushing them with my fingers to pick the best ones, holding them while they were captured by the wire that would tie them to silver forever....the calm of the stone began to permeate my stressed-out state of mind and.........or was it all that hammering??!! I don't know, but I am not one to cast off the powers of Mother Earth, so don't get me wrong...

Please check the website soon for more on this necklace and the matching earrings. And please come see us at the Mary Queen Christmas Bazaar, November 30 & December 1 at Mary Queen Catholic Church in Friendswood, Texas! Phone is 281-482-1391, and the following link gives driving directions: http://www.maryqueenchurch.org/index_files/Page414.html

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Winter's Come Early to the Coast

Fall's here, winter's comin', and we are gearing up for our favorite seasons at Alone Star with a couple of additions to the collection. Lisa and I both love the cooler temperatures, fall colors, the snow, icicles, even the dicey stuff like sleet and ice--mainly because in our part of Texas the divide between summer-to-fall and winter is so half-hearted, the lackluster seems to spill over into winter and we end up with a season that doesn't really know it's supposed to be cold. Especially in this coastal region you just have to reminisce, and you can if you have good kid memories like we do. Those of foot-long icicles hanging from the eaves when we lived near Ft. Worth, or when snow came there one winter with 2-foot drifts in the front ditch! Man, we haven't seen snow like that since then: moving to Austin was the end of that. I remember one winter in the Cap'tol, though, when there was an ice storm that moved through. I got up with the sun that day to see the uncommon site of every last twig on every tree branch covered with a crystal clear layer of ice. I'd never seen such a crystalline world as that, with the sun making all the scenes sparkle. That reminds me--have you seen our Snow Dreams bracelet and earrings?

While a few years ago the Houston area got, as judged by all, a quality snow storm, since then all we can do is wish for more. We have two new pieces that reflect the current and coming season, and the most recent is a pair of earrings Lisa made just today, seen in the photo above. She calls them Sleeting Earrings and you can read her description of them on the site. They are made with Argentium sterling silver wire. This is a newly developed, improved sterling--improved I say because it resists tarnish to a high degree, a most desirable quality. The magic ingredient is germanium; Lisa provides a link with the earrings' description for further education on the subject. One thing I like about Argentium is clearly seen in the photo: it makes great-looking ball-end wires. Sterling silver wire balls up surely enough, but most of the time irregularly, with wretched little pits, not perfectly round like in these earrings. It's usually a crap shoot for me trying to make nice round bulbs with regular sterling wire, but it looks like Lisa had no trouble t'all using the Argentium. These are some heap gorgeous earrings, and I love the way she dropped a couple of the wires significantly lower than the rest--a very nice touch indeed.

We are slowly transitioning to Argentium. It should be a great fit with PMC, which is very slow to show tarnish, too.

The Fall Triangle Necklace is the other new seasonal piece to which I refer above, and you can see it on the home page. It's the same necklace as the Spring Triangle, new name for the old Flower Patch necklace I worried over some earlier time in this blog journey. The whole thing was revamped, renamed and reconceptualized, then pushed to a reflect an additional season. Now I am thinking of a winter version, but finding the time to put that together before the Bazaar would be like an early Christmas present itself! Oh, well, even if winter is vague in these parts, it is still winter that lasts through February, and of course, there's that miracle of modern living the world wide web, which brings Winter & Those Living in It to us all year round.