Have Beads Will Travel

Posted by Rebecca Stone on June 23, 2010
Jun 232010

Bits of fluff from cottonwood trees drift on the breeze in between cloudbursts as I trudge up the gravel drive from the barn. I am at my sister’s house in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, horse sitting and looking after cats (both tame and wild), while she and her husband are in Washington, D.C. (the jetsetters!). They just bought this house, and, thanks to a few upgrades, the place — though built in the ’20s — seems quite new. Heck, it’s almost like staying at a fancy country vacation rental. A nice escape from L.A. for me.

I'm loving composing smaller crystals and stones (like the tourmalinated quartz on the top tier) into dangly pendants. It's fun to layer them and wear three — or more — at a time.

I'm loving composing smaller crystals and stones (like the tourmalinated quartz on the top tier above and the aragonite and amazonite rounds to the right) into dangly pendants. It's fun to layer them and wear three — or more — at a time.

It’s also a great place to make jewelry. I must have hauled about 20 pounds of beads along with me. With the house to myself, I can spread out all my beads, wire and findings, and not have to put anything away. Of course, I cover everything at night to keep curious cats from using the rondelles as hockey pucks, but aside from that it’s fairly turnkey. I come down in the morning, pour a cup of coffee and pick right up where I left off the night before. So handy. Not only that, but walks in the woods (aside from providing much needed exercise) yield all kinds of design ideas in the form of assorted wildflowers, weeds, butterflies and dragonflies. The lavender farms that seem to blanket the landscape around this area are another source of inspiration (and they just smell so damn good).

While I work, I have a great view of the valley as a backdrop for the horses grazing in the daisy-dotted pasture, and the neighbors’ two peacocks pay frequent visits to the back deck. It’s a little startling as I’m bending wire to look up and find them staring at me through the glass door (or are they looking at their reflections?). At any rate, they’re fun to watch, especially when they spread their tail feathers. Impressive. Added bonus: My sister left me a stash of movies, which I’ve started to look forward to later in the day while bending wire and sipping local wine. It’s just all so civilized!

A mix of Chinese and Swarovski crystals coexist peacefully with sterling silver.

A mix of Chinese and Swarovski crystals coexist peacefully with sterling silver.

I’m expanding on my “Gardenware” (working title) designs. Little sparklies that I’m creating. I have them hanging all over my jade bushes at home and here they are now decorating my sister’s maple tree. Not much sun to set off the sparkle and rainbows I get in L.A., but they still twinkle in the lower light.

I’m also expanding on my latest obession involving crystals. More on this next time.

By then I hope to unravel the mysteries of the various types of crystals that are out on the market. Stay tuned.crystals6p

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