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"Golden Pond"


"Fertile Ground"



The Best of
Stringing 2009



Creative Jewelry 2010



Stringing Spring 2007
See Ruby's creations on pages 36, 47, and 56.


Stringing Magazine
Stringing Fall 2006

See Ruby's creations on pages 17, 32, 60, and 62.



Stringing Spring 2006
See Ruby's creations on pages 17, 26, 42, and 61.



Stringing Fall 2005
See Ruby's creations on pages 19, 24, 60, and 87.


~ Compliments ~
"Congratulations on having such gorgeous work published in Bead Stringing! I really like the cornucopia necklace. The jasper is beautiful! ... great job!" -- Tracy M., Alabama
~ ~ ~

"Just wanted to say how much I love your "smoke on the water" design. Very elegant and simple." -- Nancy L., Morristown, NJ


~ Random Thoughts ~
My brother calls this one "Gothic." I just designed a necklace around a silver heart pendant that I've had for the longest time.
Gothic Necklace
I added black seed beads, silver daisies, and deep red freshwater pearls. I was surprised at how a simple design could look very attractive.

The first day I wore it, I had to stop by a couple of stores for errands. The sales clerk at Barnes and Noble asked if I make my jewelry, adding that it looked "professional." The cashier at Michael's asked the same question and said it looks "very nice." With a broad smile, I nodded, handed out a business card, and said, "There's more at my website." Even if they don't come around at all, I sure had a blast receiving the compliments. Simple joys make my day.

How to Hang a Crystal Heart

I received this email yesterday:

Hello,

Just wanted to drop a note to thank you for the easy instructions on how to hang a crystal heart. Turned out very nicely!!

Denise Polgar / www.vixtria.com

Denise’s words inspired me to post this old tutorial I have at my RubyBayan Jewelry mini-site:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My heart breaks every time I chip a crystal heart. I feel like I killed it. There are those fancy bails specifically used to hang crystals, but sometimes they don’t apply to the design I have in mind. There had to be some way to work with a crystal heart without killing it.

After a few “heartbreaking” attempts, I settled on a couple of very simple and super easy techniques that allowed me to hang several Swarovski AB hearts onto a chain bracelet with no breakage.

Let me share a simple how-to of the first technique (I made a pair of earrings so that I can take photos of the process). It’s followed by the second technique, and photos of the bracelet using both.

[I used 10mm Swarovski AB hearts and 24GA round half-hard 14K gold-filled wire.]

Bend wire.

Bend the wire (as shown) using your flatnose pliers.

Tip: To determine the distance between the two angles on the wire, check the depth of the heart’s hole, so that when you do the next steps, you have enough allowance to let the heart dangle freely. You don’t want to end up squeezing the crystal when you bring the vertical wire sections together.

Slip heart in.

Slip the heart in.
Tip: If the heart won’t slip in easily, don’t force it. Open the wire a little.

Make triangle.

Estimate where the wires will meet in a triangle above the crystal. Then bend the wires (one at a time) at that point.

Slip bead.

A bead holding the wires in place will minimize chipping that can be caused by the wrapping process. If you decide to do a wrap at this point, you will have to be very careful in holding the wires together without crushing the crystal.

Tip: Not all beads will let you thread two wires through, so you may want to take this into consideration before you finalize your design.

Position bead.

Slip the bead to secure the folded wire.
Tip: You may need to trim the short end of the wire so that it doesn’t stick out of the holding bead.

Make wire wrap.

Do the standard wrap.

Done!

And Voila!

My new, no-hearts-broken earrings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The regular bail technique using regular wire is also easy. Shape the wire into an open triangle, slip the heart in, and squeeze gently. Once the wire is in place, the heart won’t easily come off.
Tip: I can vouch only for gauges 24 and thicker for this technique. I haven’t tried it with a 26, which might be too fragile to hold up.

Triangle bail.

Heart on triangle bail.

Heart on triangle bail.

Below is a close-up of the bracelet I created using both techniques.  

Crystal Hearts Bracelet

Crystal Hearts Bracelet

And here’s the whole bracelet:

Crystal Heart Bracelet

Crystal Heart Bracelet

.

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Style and Shoot

I started making jewelry back in 2004. In 2005, using a point-and-shoot digital camera (Fuji Finepix A205), I taught myself how to style and shoot photos of my jewelry. All by trial and error.

My jewelry photography setup back then was very simple. I put a TV tray next to the window and propped up white poster boards as a backdrop and reflector. My main (and only!) light source was the natural light streaming through the window. I used the mini-blinds to control the brightness. Of course, I only shot photos in the daytime.

In styling the shots, I used whatever I could find around our house and garden. So my jewelry would be among ribbons, knick knacks, fresh flowers, potpourri, fruits, even coffee filters. I have a photo of a hematite bracelet on a saucer with peppercorns.

Here are some of the jewelry I styled and shot five years ago.

Blue and White

Blue and White

Colored Beads with Colored Pens

Colored Beads with Colored Pens

Hematite Hearts and Peppercorns

Hematite Hearts and Peppercorns

Millefiore Hearts and Anthurium Bud

Millefiore Hearts and Anthurium Bud

Rainbow Crystals with a Strawberry (bracelet featured in Stringing Mag)

Rainbow Crystals with a Strawberry (bracelet featured in Stringing Mag)

A Hint of Hearts

A Hint of Hearts

Earring on a Halfshell

Earrings on a Halfshell

Earrings on Coffee Filters

Earrings on Coffee Filters

Pink Leaves and Flowers

Pink Leaves and Flowers

Pearls Necklace with Ampalaya Leaves

Pearls Necklace with Ampalaya Leaves

Lately, I’ve been trying to shoot seamless white, or what they call “isolated.” I find it a little boring. I should go back to my style-and-shoot system — a lot more challenging and certainly more creative.

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Spiral Pendant

One fine morning, I was surprised to get a request from my son. He wanted to know how to make a spiral pendant. He said he’d seen it somewhere and is sure I could teach him how to do it. He wanted to encase a game dice in a wire spiral and hang it as a pendant on a leather cord.

It just so happened, I knew how to make a spiral to encase a game dice! Hah! Because my son lives in another hemisphere, the best way I could teach him how it’s done was to share step-by-step photos of the process. So, here are the shots I took of the 10 easy steps:

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Orton Effect on Jewelry Photos

It gets confusing sometimes. On a given day, I jump from beading to writing to photography (between housekeeping, gardening, and other hobbies) and back again… and again.

Over the past few days, I’ve been experimenting with the Orton Effect on my nature and flower photos. Then I wondered how it works on my jewelry shots.

These are some of the photos I processed:

Olea Europea Necklace

Olea Europea Necklace

Luau Bracelet

Luau Bracelet

Favorites Bracelet

Favorites Bracelet

Carnelian and Amethyst Bracelet

Carnelian and Amethyst Bracelet

Ruby Bracelet

Ruby Bracelet

I think they’re cool, looking dreamy like that. But I doubt if the effect is recommended for photos to sell the jewelry. Personally, I want images that show what the piece looks like “in real life” — not in some fairy tale haze. What do you think?

Okay, back to my other hobbies.

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