~ Jewelry for All Seasons ~
* One-of-a-Kind *
* Handmade *
* Many Different Styles and Colors *

You're sure to find something you or a friend or family member would enjoy wearing.

Because I love animals, I donate 25% of my proceeds to my favorite animal shelter.

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Other payment options may include check and money order.

Questions? Send me an email at sm_cohn (at) hotmail.com.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cinnabar: Get the Look without the Liability

According to minerals-n-more.com: "The word 'cinnabar' comes from the Persian for 'dragon's blood'. Cinnabar was mined by the Roman Empire for its mercury content and it has been the main ore of mercury throughout the centuries." Pure cinnabar is a gorgeous vermillion red. Even if it is impure -- brownish red, cinnamon, or brick red -- the color is still striking.

Dragon's Blood *
Cool name. Cool color. What's not cool is what happened to the people who mined or worked with cinnabar historically. Notice the words "mercury content" above. Mercury is toxic to human skin. Exposure causes tremors that progress to extreme mood changes, loss of hearing, restricted vision, and severe mental derangement. Damage may also occur to the liver and kidneys.

According to the Dartmouth University Toxic Metals program, "The Romans used their mercury mines as penal institutions for criminals, slaves, and other undesirables. The warders were among the first to recognize that there was a high likelihood that the prisoners would become poisoned and spare the keepers the need for formal executions." Nice.

So while mixing red mercury ore with an equal amount of burning sulphur does create a fabulous shade of red paint, the cinnabar in my jewelry was made a different way (for which you should be grateful)!

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These days what we call cinnabar is actually a heavy molded polymer made to resemble cinnabar beads, or the red lacquered wood from the cinnabar tree which also grows in Southeast Asia.

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Isn't it great to know that when you wear my my cinnabar creations, you'll not only be beautiful -- you'll stay alive! Always a plus in my book.

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* "Dragon's blood (Daemomorops draco)" by Andy Dingley - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dragon%27s_blood_(Daemomorops_draco).jpg#/media/File:Dragon%27s_blood_(Daemomorops_draco).jpg

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mother's Day on the Horizon

Mother's Day in the United States will be here almost before you know it (hint: MAY 10!)

I had Mother's Day in mind when I created this razzle-dazzle purple and pink necklace:

I started with a gorgeous purple pendant from Glass Treasures, handmade by Susan Staley, and two exquisite pink and lavender ceramic beads handmade by Golem Design Studio. The pendant hangs from a silver plated curved tube strung on beading wire between two strands of purple crow beads, Swarovski “Moonlight” XILION bicones, grade A baby pink catseye beads, and clear glass cubes.

The necklace measures 19 inches. The pendant measures about one inch wide and 1.5 inches from top to bottom, including the bail. Silver plated wire guards provide extra security, and the necklace fastens with a silver plated toggle clasp.

The XILION cut, which is patent protected by Swarovski, provides outstanding light reflection and the optimal light distribution. The brilliance, intense sparkle, and fascinating light effects are due to the sophisticated interplay of large and small facets.

Pink is said to be the color of sensuality and emotions. Purple represents spirituality, royalty, and power.

About Glass Treasuries
Susan Staley makes stained glass boxes, whimsical hangings, stars and jewelry using unusual glass textures and bold colors. She has owned and operated her studio, GLASS TREASURES, in Athens, Georgia since 1992. 

Vladislav Ivanov and Kremena Ivanova are an artist family from Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. They incorporate patterns taken from a variety of ancient and contemporary art forms.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Orange and Green Spring Bling

Orange and green are such cheerful colors together. I couldn't resist purchasing a couple of handmade _Golem Design Studio_ ceramic beads featuring those two colors with white in a bright, spring flower design. These rectangular beads are double drilled through the sides, so I had to give some thought to how I might use them in a piece -- or pieces -- of jewelry.

My solution was to create two similar yet different bracelets.

Both bracelets incorporate the Golem Design Studio ceramic bead along with dyed coral disk beads in bright orange and green to accentuate the colors of the focal bead.

For one of the bracelets, I then alternated 4mm green catseye beads with tiny white vintage 1940s pearl beads:

For the other bracelet, I alternated frosted orange Miyuki seeds beads with the vintage pearls.

Because the green catseye beads are slightly larger in diameter than the orange seed beads, the green bracelet is slightly larger than the orange one, but both are adjustable using the extender chain.

It's important to know exactly what size you prefer before ordering a bracelet. Using a flexible measuring tape, measure just above (towards elbow) the wrist bone, then add 1/4" to 1" (1/2" is average) depending on how tight you like your bracelets to fit. That is the size bracelet you would wear. Personally, I like my bracelets to fit fairly snugly. My wrist measures 6 inches, so I usually like a size 6-1/4" or maybe size 6-1/2" bracelet.

These bracelets -- along with lots of other bracelets, necklaces, and earrings -- are available from my