A lenient twist on the "item a day" craft challenge

The "item a day" craft challenge has always intrigued me. But it's a huge commitment! Lots of crafters have work, families, and other obligations that may prevent them from crafting every single day. So I decided to see if I could make 7 things a week. Let's see how long I can keep this up.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Week 20: Gemstone Appreciation Week!

I do so love me some semi-precious gemstones.  One thing about my jewelry-making hobby that I truly enjoy is the ability to get to play with and create jewelry from stones that I'd likely not be able to afford from a high end shop.  One thing I've realized about jewelry making throughout this project is that there can be very little gap between what you can buy and what you can make, price wise.  That is if you aren't careful.  A lot of "cheap" jewelry ingredients aren't that cheap if you buy them from brick-and-mortar retail shops.  That said, I'm an avid clearance cruiser at my local Joanns and Michaels.  However, online shopping is where I get the bulk of my beads, findings, and especially my gemstones.  If you haven't checked out Fire Mountain Beads and Gems yet, I highly recommend that you do.  They have their fair share of expensive elements, but you can usually find something I like to refer to as "hobby grade" (in the B-C range of gemstone grades) on longer strands,  for less money than you could most retail stores.  HOWEVER.  That said, see if you have a local bead shop first.  There's nothing like having a good relationship with a local craft store; they can special order items for you, let you know when new shipments come in, there's no shipping fee and the advice and friendship is priceless.  However, if you are stuck in a place with no local bead store, i recommend going the Fire Mountain route.

Oy.  Now that I've ranted, I'm happy to share what I made this week!  I've been trying to de-stash as I think I'm going to be moving into a new place soon, so I've been hoarding some of these beads for years!  It's nice to finally put them to use; I know that I'll enjoy them far more as earrings than I will just sitting in my bead boxes.  On to the show!

Labradorite Stick Earrings (they're so tiny!)
Tourmalated Quartz Earrings on Kidney Wires
Citrine, Peridot, Iolite, and Garnet Earrings. These are likely my favorite of the whole batch!
Wire Wrapped Amethyst Earrings.  The large medallions are chevron amethyst, and have cool striations when held up to the light.  The smaller ones are very light colored regular amethyst. 
Rainbow Fluorite Earrings
Gorgeous Amethyst Nugget Earrings with Citrine Accents.  I really love the clarity of the stones in this pair.
Faceted Carnelian Earrings
You can tell where I've tried to expand my color palate, but I keep coming back to purple.  No surprise there!  But it's nice to know that I can add several new pairs of handmade semi-precious stone earrings to my wardrobe and not be set back $ wise too badly.  Until next week!

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