New website (not yet active) and official email address  

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I got myself a domain name today, http://marikajewelry.com/, which will be used - eventually - for an online e-commerce website. Right now it's parked until I will get to it, most probably early next year.
With it I also have now an email specifically for jewelry inquiries at marika at marikajewelry.com

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Pink rhodonite set  

I found the earrings I made today a bit lonely by themselves, so I granted them the wish to have some friends around. Thus the rhodonite set was born.
I really love this deep interesting pink, which turns almost into mauve at times. Unfortunately there were the only stones I bought from the Etsy seller, will have to go back and buy some more if she still has some...

Update: I've redesigned both the earrings and the bracelet as I didn't find them very comfortable when I tried them on. I think now they are perfect :)

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My first netted bezel  

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I've practiced the netting some more and as I couldn't find a neat way to make the coil secure, I tackled Delia's second tutorial, the netted bezel. I recognise that it's not something to be proud about, I need a lot of work to get it right, but I'm excited as I've actually finished it and the stone is sitting safely and secure in the netting. I see nice potential here, I will practice more, as I have some nice stones at home that I can use for it.
Here are the front and the back of the bezel.


So to reward myself for finishing off my first piece, I made this pink pair of rhodonite earrings with bali and sterling. The color of the stones is really gorgeous, I bought them from somebody on Etsy.

Wow I just realised while writing this last paragraph how lucky I am that I know to make jewelry. Other times I would reward myself with a chocolate cake or a pat on the back...now I reward myself with a piece of semiprecious jewelry *grins*.

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The need to grow  

Sunday, October 28, 2007

As I've become rather proficient in doing basic wraped pendants and typical earrings, I feel I need to do something else, something more. I need to learn more. Else I'll be always your neighbour 25 Euros pendant gal, lol. And that will definitely not help my dream of becoming a jewelry designer. And famous at that! (a bit of tongue in cheek here with a degree of seriousness attached to it).
So I've decided to tackle something more difficult, something I've never tried before. I have two tutorials on netting (and I don't mean here beading netting, which I love so much and know so well), one from Eni Oken and one from Delia, second which I purchased just days ago and I wanted to give them a try. Combining techniques from both tutorials, I've started on my journey of learning something completely new to me.
Here are my first (ok my second and third, as the first was not something anyone would want to see) two attempts with a gorgeous rhodonite stone and some 0.5 mm coated copper wire. Rather unsuccessful first attempts I might say, but I actually found myself enjoying the process.
One of my main problems here was how to add the bail. The bead holes are at the top side and Delia's tutorial doesn't solve it. When I tried her way, the stone fell out of the netting straight away. Eni's solution is gorgeous, but I wanted to focus on the netting rather than coiling around the stone. So it took me a few tried until I found a sort of solution, which I need to work on more, so it is stable, secure and nice looking too.

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Princess set  

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I saw today a project on one of the beading sites and I gave it a go. This was the result and I quite like it. Spring opalite, with a dash of hematite and sterling silver. The bracelet looks so dainty and delicate on my wrist that I decided to name the combo Princes set, for the princess in all of us.







As I had the opalite beads here next to me, I felt like making a second pair of earrings, just for the fun of it, so here they are. Opalite with bali silver spacers and rest is all sterling.
These beads are so interesting, because they are translucent but also shimmering somehow, they take nicely the color of what is near or under them.
Hm, now that I'm looking at all pieces at the same time, both earrings go extremely well with the bracelet :)

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Desert flower SOLD  

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I bought this gorgeous shell here in Nicosia and I was wracking my brains what to do with it. It's just too beautiful to overwrap it with silver, so I decided to add just a touch of it here and there. The final output reminds me of the desert in the heat, and a delicate single flower standing up against all odds. Hence I named the pendant Desert Flower.

And sold it this morning to a colleague at work, she loved it, took it off my neck :)

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Two pendants - which one?  

My colleague who already bought a few things from me, wanted me to bring her one of the purple bracelets I made a while ago and also asked me to make something for her from the autumn jasper stone I showed her once. I have two of these stones so I made two pendants to chose whichever she prefers. I'm curious which one will go - if she likes them at all, LOL!
The small greenish beads are unakite, surrounded by tiny silver beads. It was a weird one (or two) to make, due to the way the holes are placed. It was an interesting experience, to say the least.

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Colors of Dawanda prize  

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A bunch of us from the Dawanda Indiepublic group decided to make some advertising to Dawanda shops. We all take part in a competition, called Colors of Dawanda, for which the details will be posted soon on the Dawanda forums. We will each make a prize, and the winning person on the Dawanda forums can chose from the available prizes. I decided to make this pair of earrings, nicely matching for winter. Hope they will like it :)

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Why I hate having a daytime job  

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

During weekend my creative juices are flowing so nicely, I make things that I enjoy and I know others will too. However during weekdays, nothing really works. I'm dead tired from work (stress, etc), and when I get home I just want to sit on the couch (aka couch potato) and read and watch tv. I don't feel the energy to make any jewelry at all. However if I continue like this, with 'weekend crafting', I'll see my dream of becoming a jewelry designer come true in my next life *grins*.
I really need to push myself to work during weekday evenings as well.
So pushing myself I did today.
I made this pair of chandelier earrings, but they just wouldn't sit right. Something was missing, so eventually I figured there is too much silver and too little (and small) Swarowskis. Unfortunately I don't have bigger ones right now, so I added an additional row of Swaros attached to the first row.
They do look better but I'm still not pleased with them. They just tangle all over the place and don't sit 'tight' as they should.
I just can't create something really special unless it's weekend when I know I am not rushed, no stress from work, just take my time, and go with the flow...

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Fun chainmail  

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Today I was in the mood to make some chainmail , so I opened my little sterling silver rings stash I bought a while ago at TLR. Never used silver for chainmail until now, so I had fun making this shaggy loops set. I called it Autumn grapes as the earrings look just like a bunch of ripe grapes when dangling from the ear, lol.




The second pair of earrings is called fuchsia, I've already made a pair before with copper. In silver they look so much better though :)

I only have two small packages of sterling silver rings, so once these are gone, I won't be able to make any more silver chainmail...so I guess it's time I learned how to use the Koil Kutter...

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To oxidize or not?  

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Well, I must be the only one in jewelry-towne who hasn't yet oxidized their silver jewelry *chuckles*.
So I gave the boiled egg technique a go. I've left it for about 2 hours or so, and here is the result. First picture is 'naked' silver, second is oxidized. Not sure how I feel about it. On some pieces I see around I like it very much. On others, not that much. I guess oxidized silver is an aquired taste...
If I decide to oxidize, I can only use the natural, egg technique, because I don't have access to LOS around here and buying it over the internet should be a no-no for this kind of product...

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Victorian earrings  

I've pulled out my wig-jig tool since it was gathering dust only since I bought it, and I made this pair of Victorian chandelier earrings. All silver, and stones are some beautiful soo-chow and brown agate. They are really light to wear, I have very basic earrings which are way heavier than this pair. I quite like them, I think I will make more in this style with variations, of course.






I also made this purple jasper pendant. It has really interesting colours bled through each other. Was quite difficult to take picture of, the camera just wouldn't capture the true colours of this stone. It's either too light, or too purple. Go figure.

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Two more pendants SOLD  

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I got a nice surprise email today while at work from an old acquaintance from Bookcrossing, who wanted to buy the olive jade pendant shown here (the silver one), and asked me if I had a second one the same or similar. It so happened that I had this (the last in the picture) so I added it for her to my Dawanda shop to buy.
It looks like these types of pendants and the heart pendants are a success, so I will have to buy and make more in this style.

I got a few older Wire Artist Jeweller magazines in the post today, and there was this cute earrings project, which I had to make. I've just finished it now and I sort of like it. I think I will experiment more with this style during the upcoming weekend.

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Carnelian earrings  

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I was feeling restless tonight and reading a good book was not enough, so I decided to make some jewelry. I found two carnelian stones I bought off Ebay and I made this pair. Sadly only after I made them I noticed that one stone is badly chipped at the bottom. I can't sell these, so they will remain in my collection. Pity as the stones were really nice without this major fault.

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Mediterranean blues  

Monday, October 15, 2007

Here is another set I made yesterday using turquoise, amazonite and silver. I've worn this today at work and it's nice and comfortable. Big and chunky, I know turquoise is a major preference for many people. Not that much mine though, I prefer more Earthy tones to clear, crisp blue.
The colour of this necklace reminds me strongly of the sea around the island I am now on, Cyprus.

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Autumn adventure  

This is how this new set of aventurine, silver and opal looks to me :)
It is an adventure for me, not only because of the name of the stones are so close to 'adventure', but also because it was my first adventure in bead stringing. Once I figured out how it works, I realised I enjoy it a lot. It works up relatively fast, and here is not that much technique, but style that can be played with.
The necklace is really elegant, almost classic in appearance. The earrings give it though a more whimsical and less serious look. And I'd say it's perfect for autumn :)

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Some updates from me  

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mary, a good friend of mine from Bookmooch.com is regularly organizing for me mbags of books from people who do not ship their books outside of the US. Each time as a thank you, I let Mary select some books from my Bookmooch inventory and send them to her for free. This time Mary wanted a bracelet in spiral pattern, so here it is. Hope you like it :) I chose this big clasp as it's nice enough that it can be worn as the focal piece instead of just being a clasp at the back of the wrist.
Bronze and copper tarnishes and quite fast, so you will need to clean it regularly.

On another note, since this month, Cyprus is 'almost' a full member of Paypal, which means sellers from Cyprus can now also receive payments with Paypal, yayy! I've already tried it out and it works perfectly :)

And now on a sort of sad note, I had a rather major car crash two days ago - thank God both me and the other driver are ok, no injuries, besides my psychological trauma due to this being my first car accident ever - so right now I don't have a car to move around in Nicosia *sniff*. At least my current workplace is only 10 minutes away walking, but if I wanted to go any further, it's quite difficult, as the only means of transportation in Cyprus are cars (no wonders the taxi drivers earn so much *grins*). So now I have to wait until either my car will be repaired or the insurance decides that it's best I buy a new car as this one's totalled...

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Testimony of my first two happy customers  

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Here is the feedback of the first two customers I sold jewelry to.

The first feedback is from my very first customer. She is in Austria and she purchased these earrings at my Dawanda shop for her daughter as a birthday gift.

"Jacky hat gestern die Ohrringe bekommen, sie gefallen ihr besonders gut und sie lässt sich herzlich bedanken, dass sie so ein tolles unikat bekommen hat, wir kaufen bald wieder bei dir ein!

Ganz liebe Grüße
Alex"

And the second feedback is from a fellow bookmoocher in the US, who wanted a set of copper bracelet and earrings similar to one set I have shown a few months back. Here is the set I made for her.
And here is her feedback:

"I just recd the jewelry....it's beautiful!!!! much better in person. and the gifts...they're great!!! thank you sooo very much!...
thank you again Marika! cant wait to wear them and to tell anyone who asks: "my FRIEND made them for me & she's from Cyprus!." lol.
I feel like a little kid at christmas!
Kat/Jamie"

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Heart pendant/necklace - SOLD  

Friday, October 5, 2007


I made this a few days ago for Dawanda, but today a co-worker (who bought also the other pendant for her friend) wanted it for herself. Gotta take it off Dawanda now...now I'm glad there are no listing fees at Dawanda, lol.

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My new best friend, the file  

Thursday, October 4, 2007

It seems that the more and more I'm working with wire, the more sensitive I become to each flaw, things that I might not have noticed earlier.
I started with a pair of earrings today (similar to a previous one that I sold on Dawanda), and upon finishing them off, I noticed the little wire ends sharp against my fingers. So I took out a file and started filing away the wire edges until they became nice and blunt. Then I had some more free time and decided to also make a matching bracelet. And of course I took out my new best friend and started filing away at every wire end (i..e both ends of each bead). Took me a while, but now I don't feel any sharp edges anywhere on the earrings or bracelet.

I'm wondering what else will I be able to notice later on when I will become better at jewelry making, that I have no idea about just now that I could improve upon...

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I love autumn  

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

This is how I named my latest pair of earrings. Bronze shell, murano heart glass and sterling silver are what these earrings are made of. They do remind me of falling leaves in autumn. Add to it the heart = I love autumn :)
For me this is something new as I've never used silver chain for earrings, only to string pendants on it. It was quite fun, I'm sure I"ll be making more such chain earrings.

I came home from work and we decided with hubby to go out for dinner as we didn't have lunch together today. We ate souvlaki and then came back home. And then my fingers were itching to create something, anything, just to have the pliers in my fingers and work with. Which I did.
An now I can go to sleep :-)

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Featured at Dawanda Shop Directory  

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I have been featured at the new Dawanda Shop Directory blog. To see the actual directory, click here.
I love the way Dawanda gets a lot of support from users who create blogs, directories, advertisements for it. I hope it will become and remain the most important artisan's site for European crafters and artists who want to sell their work online.

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Pendant took me half day  

Monday, October 1, 2007

We had a public holiday today (no work, yeah!), so during the afternoon I worked on this pendant. Just finished it, and it's 8.30 pm already.
Not sure how I feel about it, I like it, but there is a 'but' as well. Will wear it tomorrow at work and see how it feels.
Silver wire, silver chain, and all (almost all) semiprecious stones: garnet, Soo Chow lade, carnelian, jasper, agate and iolite.
The pendant is based on a tutorial by Eni Oken, and all the semiprecious stones from the pendant (which is 90% of the stones in it) have been purchased from Szarka.

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