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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 10:16 PM 0 comments

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Shizuku necklace...

Shizuku is my 2nd necklace from this week. It was also made from recycled Antica Murrina beads, also from a bracelet, as my previous Wagashi. The original bracelet name was called Kiruna, and included light aqua blue Murano beads, very pretty.

I turned the bracelet into a necklace, as before, and it became Shizuku, name which means droplet, a "drop of water" in Japanese. The association with this element is more than obvious, due to the texture of the main beads, their colour and transparency, making them look like real water drops, or splashes, or even ice. Two different aqua tones are present here: a light aquamarine tint similar to the sea in a sunny morning, and a darker, grayish kyanite shade, similar to the sea in the afternoon, after a rain shower.

Or at least, that's how I feel about it, anyway! The name I firstly decided on was Asatsuyu - meaning "morning dew". Then, I changed it to Shizuku, which sounds prettier and easier, and is more generic as well. In my mind, an Asatsuyu necklace would rather be shorter and with more delicate components, in the end!

For Shizuku, I used:

- Six large Antica Murrina glass beads in different aqua shades and irregular shapes, slightly crackled and smooth. One of them however, is round and has a crispy, sugar-coated finish like the beads used in Wagashi;
- Ten small aqua-gray Murrina beads with a smooth surface;
- Seven small Kyanite beads;
- Two faceted Czech Fire beads in silver-gold approaching the clasp;
- Several stardust silver-plated round beads;
- Several flat silver-plated Heishi spacers for the Murrina large beads;
- Several Swarovski elements such as bicones, cubes, small briolettes, stars and an octagonal pendant, all in complimentary shades of light Azore blue, aquamarine and different Sapphire shades and effects;
- One large silver-plated lobster clasp and ring.

Details are shown next. As usual, please click on thumbnails to magnify...

These three pictures show the Antica Murrina irregular glass beads in dark and light shades of blue (aquamarine and grayish), as well as the small round Murrina ones with a smooth surface. Swarovski bicones and cubes can also be seen, in different shades, sizes and shapes, interspersed with the Murrina beads. The sugar-coated dark sapphire blue Murrina is also visible on the 1st shot...

The 1st thumbnail shows the silver-plated lobster clasp and ring. It is a big clasp, since this necklace is quite heavy. It was threaded on sterling silver wire, thus very resistant to breakage. However, it is always safer to use large clasps in the case of a heavy piece. One of the faceted Czech fire beads is also visible. The 2nd picture displays the only sugar-coated Murrina bead, surrounded by some Swarovski bicones and the flat Heishi spacers, used as bead caps. Finally, the remaining shot shows the upper section of the necklace, with the stardust round balls and some of the kyanite beads and, of course, the main Murrina glass beads once again.

I added these screenshots since we can appreciate how beautifully the light is refracted by the Swarovski elements. Cubes, bicones and an octagonal pendant can be seen throughout, especially on the 3rd shot. As for the Murrina beads, with their smooth irregular surfaces, we can also see how the light appears reflected, making them look like pieces of shiny crushed ice.

And to end this post tonight, some more views of Shizuku. I hope you have enjoyed this one!

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 12:34 AM 2 comments

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Wagashi necklace...

This week, I re-started making the jewellery, and it was about time! This first necklace, which I called Wagashi, was pretty much inspired by my friend Sapphire pictures and posts on her fantastic blog, for both Wagashi and mochi . And also, because I love eating them myself!

(Sapphire, I hope you will enjoy this one! The flavours available here today are: plum, green tea and Sakura!)

The main beads are brand new Antica Murrina ones. I bought two bracelets from them some months ago (including the "Sweet" one from the link), and I recycled them to make some necklaces, one of them being Wagashi. You might ask why did I bother buying them in the first place, just to end up by recycling everything? Well, they were elasticated bracelets. The problem with this kind of bracelet is that the beads get to close to my skin, and I dislike that (makes me itchy). I much prefer normal, non-elasticated bracelets where you can adjust the length with extra links, for example. Also, mind you, the beads were too big and I have the clumsy habit of bumping my hands (and myself) into everything, not to mention getting stuck on door knobs, for example. So, even if I decided to use them, it would sooner or later end up in disaster. Really.

The problem is that I fell in love with the beads, so... Murrina says these beads, that have a "crispy" appearance, are like "sugar-coated", and it's true. They look edible. I think I already bought it with Wagashi in mind, adding to the fact that they called it "Sweet", so, just could not avoid it. Sweet, yes, but with a Japanese twist (in my mind at least!). As I said before, the colours are very appropriate: pale pink for Sakura, acid green for matcha (green tea), and purple for plum, all on a delectable yokan base!

Here is Wagashi:

For this piece, I used:

- Nine Antica Murina sugar-coated beads in shades of plum, pale pink and acid green;
- Two rose quartz pebble beads;
- Two Murano-style stripy beads, one cylindrical and one squared;
- Two Czech glass flat swirly flat beads that look like mini-lollipops;
- Small Chinese glass pearls in green;
- Several Swarovski bicones in different sizes and colours;
- Several stardust silver-plated small, round beads;
- Four ornate Tibetan Silver large spacers;
- Tibetan silver S-hook clasp.

Note this is my first asymmetrical necklace. I used different shades, sizes and shapes, and tried to spread them over in a quirky pattern. Well, almost! There is a bit of symmetry there, now that I look at it closely, but not as severe as in my previous pieces. It is also longer and bulkier, pretty much on the current trend of chunky, statement necklaces - although not as much maybe. I've been seeing much bigger pieces around lately.

Some details follow... Please click on the thumbnails for magnified views.

The 1st picture shows some of the Murrina beads in detail, along with Swarovski bicones and Tibetan silver spacers. The 2nd one on the right displays one of the rose quartz pebbles, one Czech glass lentil bead, a small Chinese glass pearl and more of the bicones and stardust round beads.

Here we can see the Murano-style stripy beads, with a lovely layer of silver foil, as well as some Sakura-coloured Murrina and Chinese green glass pearls. A Tibetan silver spacer can also be seen, as well as the stardust beads.

And, finally, some extra pictures showing different views. Enjoy!

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 9:14 AM 2 comments

Monday, October 12, 2009

Of Flowers and Bees Pt. 3 - Farmleigh (again)

Some more pictures taken on a different date in Farmleigh, Pheonix Park (circa 2 weeks ago)... Click on thumbnails to magnify!

(I don't know which species these are, but they certainly look like anemonae, in a deep blue sea, and not something you would usually expect in a garden!)

(There is a rose garden in Farmleigh, and I love their texture and the spiral formed by the petals, like an ephemeral, colourful mandala)

(Once again, my favourites: bergamots and cute bees. I have included magnifications of the bees on each photograph. You can clearly see their shiny coats and beady eyes)

(This is a different, skniier type of bee, working on a yellow flower whose name I ignore. Not as cute as the bergamot ones...)

(Mark certainly took this picture, for I would be unable to focus here. If you magnify it, you will clearly see the spider webs shining at the sunlight. I think it is very pretty...)

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 5:30 PM 2 comments

Of Flowers and Bees Pt. 2 - Farmleigh

I love spending an afternoon in Farmleigh, Phoenix Park. We usually go there in the weekends, looking for lovely flowers, herbs and trees to photograph. I enjoy that a lot.

What I love the most are the bees. They are always flying all over the bergamot flowers, which they seem to especially enjoy. One may even call them nasty bugs, since they sting and so on. But I could not care less, for they are always busy buzzing carelessly away, oblivious to my presence and the camera, with their light little fluffy bodies and delicate wings. At least in those moments they seem absolutely harmless, flying around in their yellow and black stripy furry pyjamas, so focused in their feeding activities that photographing them may even seem like an easy task - as if they were striking a pose just for you! Yes, they are cute. And yes, bergamot flowers smell really, really sweet...

As before, click on thumbnails for a magnified view...

The yellow flower is a begonia...


Lots of pink dahlias...

The one on the left looks like artichoke. Could that be it?

And finally, the bergamots with some of my beloved busy bees!

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 10:41 AM 0 comments