Every so often I list something special, and here is something VERY special in some wonderful 8mm facted Ruby (Yes, real Ruby)--
The color of this Ruby is exceptional, kind of a raspberry/claret, immediately striking and rich and warm. The facets make the beads sparkle, and the bright sterling Bali bead caps bring out the color even more strongly.
There are almost 200 carats of Ruby in this Rosary, and 3 full ounces of Argentium 925 Sterling Silver... heavy Bali bead Paters and substantial and lovely Crucifix and Our Lady of Sallette Center...all combine to make a rare Rosary.
Oh, yes, it is expensive--Ruby does not come cheap--but for the right person this will be the Ultimate Rosary to pass down the generations.
I made it today while the weather outside got more and more cloudy--I think Indian Summer is over. The kitties can't sit in the open window with it being this chilly, so, for a treat, I opened one of those $.99 thin plastic drop cloths and draped it on the floor. This is a toy better than South American Catnip! All three cats spent much of the day diving into the plastic, over, under, rolling in it, dropping their little fake mouses into it and trying to retrieve them again....chasing each other like crazy. The plastic makes lots of noise, which seems to please them to no end....
This is, of course, exhausting to long tailed cats...
All for now--Keep checking the store for new stuff! Thanks for looking!
In an attempt to jumpstart the economy, I have hired a shipping department to help me out! Yes, I am pumping money --well, catnip anyways--into the economy at a rapid pace.
My new employess are working hard to learn their craft!
Here, Maxx vonMeow tests the tensile strength of a mailing bag ....
While Squeaker Fluffytail, not to be outdone, astutely calculates how to pack a size 12 cat into a size 8 box
ON THE BEAD BOARD...
Maxx and Squeak are hoping to pack this new Rosary up soon!
Just listed--one of my 'Ultimate Line' Rosaries in some absolutely top quality Aquamarine.
I've put my best into this design, from the gorgeous Aquamarine to the ornate Bali bead and Apatite Paters to some wonderful Sterling pieces. The Two Angels Crucifix is my alltime best selling Crucifix, offered for the first time in Sterling. The Center is a profile of Our Blessed Mother, and the medal is an unusual and unique medal of the Archangel Michael.
Wire wrapping is a time honored technique of making both jewelry and Rosaries--in fact, spiral wrapped jewelry has been found that dates back 4,000 years to the ancient Sumerians. Recently, artifacts of wire wrapped jewelry have been found in the UK that date back 1,200 years. It seems that where there's metal, there's jewelry...and before soldering was common, wire wrapping was an assured technique for a durable and strong connection.
In fact, wire wrapping is defined as the absence of soldered connections, being made by only mechanical means. And since machines can't do this kind of work, you will see it done now as in the past, by artisans and craftsworkers, one bead at a time....
The swirl of wire over the Mother of Pearl in this Rosary is characteristic of the most common wire wrap technique, the single cage wrap. This style is seen in Rosaries dating as early as the 17th century as Rosaries continued to evolve from the earliest knotted and pebble prayer counters. What better way to honor Our Lady and her Son than with a beautiful, elaborate Rosary? In this technique, the wire is looped, passed through the bead and looped on the other end; then the tail of the wire is wraped snuggly around the loop base and swirled over the surface of the bead to the other side, where it again is wrapped and secured. Talk about durable...there are intact Rosaries from the late 17th century with this technique. When I show my Rosaries to someone who's never seen wire wrapped before, I love to grab a length of the Rosary and give it a very good tug....my audience gasps...and the Rosary is no worse for the wear!
A similar technique is the double cage wrap. In this technique, you would see the swirl of wire across the bead both front and back.
It takes rather a lot of wire to make a wire wrap Rosary...and a lot of time. I estimate it takes 3 times the wire and 4 to 4.5 hours of dedicated work to make a Rosary--and that's not including design time or special touches, like swirling the Pater beads as well:
Because of the time and additional wire involved, you will find wire wrap Rosaries are generally more expensive than traditional, chain Rosaries; and if I'm going to put that much time and effort into a Rosary, I like to use quality stones for the Aves and Paters--it is not worth my time, nor does it honor Mary, to use lesser.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Look for high quality stones and beads--and especially in the high end ranges, check out info on the type of stones and what makes a quality stone. Rating semi precious stones, such as Lapis, or other opaque stones such as agates, onyx, etc, is not a clear cut matter, as there are no standards for A Grade, A/B, B, etc in semi-precious--so be a good shopper. A good website to visit for pictures of high quality gemstones is http://www.semi-precious-stone.com/ once you see the stone in question in a high quality form, you will be better able to judge your potential purchase.
Pay attention to the wrapping itself--do the wraps appear even and tight? Do you note any little 'stickies?' (if not crimped properly you will find rough edges!). Look for consistancy in the loops, in spacing; you should not see any tool marks from the wrapping, either. Also look for the gauge of the wire--I like 20 or 21 gauge, which has a nice presence and thickness, and does not deform easily; but 22 gauge, which is a hair thinner, also makes a nice Rosary. The bigger the number, the smaller the wire diameter--I don't recommend 24 gauge or greater.
ONE FINAL POINT
If wire wrap Rosaries have any downside, it is this--and it is a little one: they are a linked connection, and linked connections can kink. Kinks in wire wrapped connections are minor, and not permanent, but it is a minor irritation to some. There are many different schools of thought on how to wire a Rosary so as to prevent kinking...but no way I have tried is foolproof.
HOWEVER...the good news is, it is simple to rectify! In the event that you find a kink when you take out your Rosary, give it a shake. If that doesn't correct matters, grab the rosary a bit above the kink with one hand, and with the other hand, grab it slightly below the kink and lift and turn slightly. The kink will fall right out. After you've done it once or twice, you will easily be able to see which way to twist.
And remember...a good wire wrapped Rosary will last through your lifetime and into the next generation...and more. Choose carefully and enjoy for a lifetime.
I'm back from a week in rural Wisconsin, home of all my Norwegian Cheesehead family, and it's time to get back to work. Here is an Amethyst and Swarovski Crystal Rosary I worked on in the bright, Mississippi Valley sunshine:
The Paters are from my dwindling supply of Sterling Bali beads with gemstone cabochons on both sides-I scarfed up the remaining supply when they stopped offering them, so if you like them, consider buying sooner rather than later. The Crucifix is of Spanish origin: a Missionary Evangelization Crucifix hand cast in solid Sterling from the 17th cent. original and well worn from loving use.
I wanted a splash of interesting...something...too, so I added connectors of emerald green Swarovski Crystal bicones. Complementary colors, folks, and I like the look and hope you do too.
The bracelets are selling well...and I'm keeping the prices VERY reasonable. Truly, if you don't feel they are worth much more than you paid (they range from $11 to $25)--send them back for full refund. But I think you'll enjoy them, and they make wonderful stocking stuffers or little gifts for special occasions. The basic idea is to entice you with great quality and spunky designs to take an interest in my other works....the collection changes frequently (because I get tired of making the same thing over and over), so keep checking in at HeartFeltRosaries.com (My Ebay store) or HeartFeltRosariesOnline.com (Etsy, a very cool site)
The cats have accepted my return at last, after meowing like crazy when I walked in while turning their tails toward me to show me just what they thought of my week long absence! Maxx has taken up permanent residence in my lap, requiring me to type one handed, while Squeaker Fluffytail found solace in a small cardboard box that apparently feels very comfortable, although I'm not sure why-- visualize a size 12 cat in a size 8 box and you'll get the picture...