40 Shades of Green

Quarried only in Western Ireland, Connemara marble is considered the national gem of Ireland and boasts 40 shades of green running through the stone.  Cynthia Machata, of Antiquity Travelers, brought some beautiful Connemara marble pendants back with her from a recent trip to the Emerald Isle, and gifted one to me.

As soon as I saw the stone, I knew it would be perfect for a tutorial I had just purchased, and it would give me a chance to learn a new technique! I began by bezeling the marble in black and silver, and, since the stone was already very large, I finished it with a simple, clean edge in various shades of green.

This is the first time I’ve added a pin back. Since the stone is rather heavy, I  used Jamie Cloud Eakin’s technique and cut a piece of metal flashing (found in the roofing section of any hardware store) to insert between the under- and outer-backing. Epoxy-fortified, it gave the pin back some much-needed extra strength.

With its myriad greens, tiny shamrock and emerald drop, it was the perfect St. Patrick’s Day accessory. I wore it last week, pinned to the shoulder of my raincoat, and it really brightened up a drizzly, gloomy day running errands! (And garnered lots of second glances and compliments!)

But I wasn’t finished with my project yet! I created the pin to use as the focal for a Sherri Stokey micro-macramé necklace. I had wanted to try my hand at micro-macramé forever and Sherri’s Multi-Strand Necklace tutorial on craftedu.com seemed a great place to start.

I had made a flock of those big-eyed owls of the eighties (one of which my mother actually hung in the family room!) But it had been decades since I’d engaged in hand-knotting and I loved every minute working with Sherri’s modern, minimal design. Micro-macramé is a technique I will definitely return to again.

No two pieces of Connemara marble are identical, and mine shows tones of grey, brown-green, olive and a nearly black, forest green. After adding stones, crystals and seed beads from my stash, I’m pretty sure my finished piece celebrates at least 40 shades of green!

Much thanks go out to Cynthia, for gifting me with such a unique piece of Irish history!


Playing Catch Up with Hoops

Yikes!! I am a couple of weeks behind in the 100 Pairs in 100 Days Challenge hosted by Copper Diem. Starting tomorrow, it will be two pairs a day until I'm fully caught up. Meanwhile, there are some fabulous designs being posted over on the Pinterest page, where I'll be adding the following seven pair, all in one of my favorite fashion statements: mixed metal hoops.

Shibuichi (copper/silver alloy) earring findings by Saki Silver, bronze seed beads,
brass earwires

Sterling hoops, copper and sterling accent beads, copper earwires

Sterling silver hoops are ringed by matte and honey gold seed beads;
faceted firepolish beads are captured in antique copper

Titanium, sterling and copper wires complement dazzling orbs.

Gold plated marquis links combined with sterling and antique copper.

Blue pewter charlottes ring sterling hoops. Brass and kyanite accents.
Super light and oh-so-fun to wear!

Sterling earwires and teardrop links. London Blue quartz and copper.