Labradorite jewelry refashion

In the middle of 2015 I saw an Internet advertisement for a product that "claimed to awake the magical powers in me". Intrigued, I checked out the link only to find it that it was for Labradorite jewelry. I found, many a folklore that spoke about this "magical stone" and how it fell from the skies to transform life on earth and was further enthralled. Some claim that the Labradorescence (the iridescense seen in a labradorite) was created in the mineral by the Aurora Borealis effect. I think that it resembles the eye of a Dragon, okay maybe a Cat, that invites you in making you look at it longingly. But folklore aside, Labradorite is a fascinating stone - mysterious, mystical and intriguing and I fell for it badly. I knew I wanted to buy Labradorite jewelry that was classy and elegant, but I couldn't afford the high-end designer pieces and at the same time, I didn't want the run of mill stuff available in the market.

Then in Novemeber 2015, I was at this artisan market with my mom, who insisted on buying me a gift. We had a good look and went back home empty handed. But I couldnt get the gorgeous finger rings I saw there, out of my mind and reluctantly (swallowing my pride) admitted to my mom that I wouldn't terribly mind if she bought me these. So the very next day, She took me there and asked me to pick anything I wanted (Isn't she the sweetest?) but for some reason I ended up opting for a pair of long and heavy, clear quartz earrings. As I was about to leave the store, a long chain of Labradorite connectors caught my eye and I had a brainwave - It could convert the chain into a three piece set - with a necklace, earrings and a bracelet. Basking in the glory of this brilliant transformation idea, I quickly paid for it before my mom gave me the stink eye for she thought that it would end up as one more of my "UFO's (unfinished objects)
Labradorite bracelet

The very next day I started and 'finished' the project and and truth completing taking my my mom by surprise. However, it is entirely another matter that I only wore it in March this year and I am writing about it in May :P Well that's me!!

This was a very simple project and the majority of the time was spent on pairing stones.  Labradorite is iridescent and one can spot colors like blue, green, yellow, orange  and gray in it. This effect or the Labradorescence is not a surface effect but a twining effect - i.e the display of colors is not reflected from the surface of the stone. Instead, light enters the stone, strikes a twinning surface within the stone, and reflects from it. In my pictures, you can see how different twinning surfaces within the stone reflect different colors of light giving the gemstone connectors a multi-colored appearance.
Labradorite jewelry refashion
I credit this set as one of my, more successful refashions. Apart from the clear quartz tear drop pendant, ear hooks, the filigree balls and the wire used to make loops and jump rings, I only used pieces of the original chain, including the clasp to make a short necklace, chain tassel earrings and a fitted bracelet. This is one of the very few bracelets that I own. This is also the first set that I own that is completely silver (sterling to pure silver).

So how do you like this refashion? Have you had instances of such successful jewelry refashions? If so do share in the comments. 

Photographs shot and edited on ASUS Zenfone 5 
I hope you found it interesting
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DIY Empress Cord necklace

For a while, I was tempted to try my hand at Soutache jewelry. Soutache originated as a flat, narrow braid used to ornament clothing and hide seams. It was also used to indicate ranks and to monogram clothes and accessories. Over the years, it was adapted as a jewelry making technique, as you could form loops, curls and swirls easily, creating excellent ornamental bezels to hold cabochons and beads over a flat base. Though I am not exceptional at embroidery and a mere novice when it comes to beadwork, I can handle embroidery projects like a yoke or even jewelry. But at the same time, I am impatient; I like projects, that can be done in a matter of minutes, or a couple of hours at the most making soutache less than ideal as a technique that I would enjoy pursuing.  

As a mixed media artist, whenever I come across a labor intensive technique exclusive to a particular medium, I look for ways to simplify the process by which I can combine it with another material or technique. I try to come up with alternate methods that might imitate or bring about the concept or simply the look of the piece but from a different perspective. By doing this, I mean no offense to the original craft, artisan or the process. Instead, I try to establish a new, previously unsought route to practicing a familiar craft. In this case, I thought, why not adapt the concept of  'capturing a focal using a cord bezel' from Soutache jewelry and morph it into something modern by using round cords and wire wrapping. Copy and adapt, as they say in Marketing - Simple!
While I was mulling over this idea, I came across these beautiful fine silk twisted cords at Endless Leather and thought that they would be perfect to create quick and easy jewelry that was fit for an Empress. Check the tutorial below to see how I made this beautiful necklace in 10 minutes, excluding drying time.
DIY Empress Cord necklace
1.Silk Cord 4mm - beige
2. Silk Cord 4mm - gray taupe 

3. 1.5" long Maroon Crystal Focal with brass setting
4. Champagne gold rhinestone shank button
5. 26g brass wire
6. Jewelry findings (gold plated) - 6mm End caps - 1 pair,  1 lobster clasp, and 2 jump rings
7. 2 part epoxy resin or any strong glue
 Tools - Nose pliers, wire cutter, scissors and clear tape

1. Cut the cords to size (mine are 25" and 24") leaving 1 cm extra on each end. Tape the end to stop the yarns from untwisting and fraying
2. Bend the cords in half to find the middle point. Make a little loop and place your rhinestone focal in the center to mark the required length. This is the point where you would be wire wrapping the button. Remember to keep both cords, flat and parallel to one another while measuring.
3. Cut about 8" of wire (more or less depending on the no. of wraps that you want) and insert it into the shank of the rhinestone button. Place the button at the marked point.

4. Making sure that the cords are flat, start wrapping by coming to the center and feeding the wire into the loop before coming out the other side. Repeat 2-3 times until secure and do not cut the wire.You can use 28g wire if your shank hole is very small
5. Cut about 10"-12" of wire ( you can take more and cut away the excess), make a "U loop" and insert it at the bottom (center) of the focal*. 
6. Push the focal into the loop pushing the wire behind 
*My focal was back open with gaps all around its circumference making it ideal for this design. You can also pick a focal with multiple holes or channels.

7. Starting from the back, wrap the focal to both cords, keeping them flat, one side at a time.
8. Repeat the wrap on the other side
9. Insert the ends of this wire into the previous (horizontal wrap) and secure
# Optional - Wrap around cords once again before you tuck the ends into the horizontal wrap
10. Finish the ends of the horizontal wrap wire by twisting and tucking them into the center gap. Press all wire ends down to smoothen them and eliminate pokey ends. 

11. Cut away the individual clear tape bindings and carefully wrap both cords together with the same piece of tape. Cut away the excess tape and repeat on the other side. Instead of tape, you can also use sewing thread to bind the cords 
12. Glue the end caps on and let dry (depending on instructions on the glue) and add the clasp and rings once dried. 

#Tip 1 - Wire Wrapping- make a small loop at the end of the wire that you are tucking in. Even if it gets out of the nest it will blunt and will not poke
# Tip 2 While using resin to glue the cords to the caps, apply glue on the inside of the caps, push the cords in and hold. The tape on the cord might make it slippery, so it's necessary to bind the cords until they dry
#Tip 3 For a more Soutache flavour, add seed beads on the outer cord or create beaded wire wraps

Once upon a time, fine jewelry was the prerogative of just the rich and royals folks. Master craftsmen would spend multiple hours, days or sometimes even weeks perfecting a single piece by hand in a manner that would be worth presenting to an emperor or an empress. Any and all surrogate procedures were considered shortcuts and were severely condoned as they brought down the value or the "fineness" of the product. Over a period of time, with fashion as the epicenter of change, costume jewelry came to the forefront and alternate materials were accepted. Now simplification, abstraction, reduction and morphing of procedures are not just allowed, they are in fact encouraged in the same way as fine jewelry practices.
So do not shy away from morphing traditional techniques and ideas to create new forms and if you try my tutorial do share your pictures on my Facebook page or tag my Instagram profile

I hope you found it interesting

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We're All Ears - Floral button earrings

Welcome to the  We're All Ears, May reveal and our inspiration for this month is Tea parties, China patterns, tea stains and more for Ms. Erin has left it pretty open ended. Her inspiration pictures were from Getty images and as I couldn't figure out how to post them for free, I picked some Tea pot/china design from an Amazon store called Gracie China Coastline imports. 
This theme got me really excited for I am an avid tea drinker. My Friend (or rather her mother) making a model of the "I am a little tea pot" rhyme for a school display in kinder garden was how I was introduced to tea and tea pots. I started drinking tea by the time I was nine as it was supposed to help with my frequent colds and lung inflammations. I ended up loving tea, hating coffee and in the process becoming an outcast in my coffee crazy family. 

Indian tea, that is made at home, could be strong or light, bitter or sweet, thick (with more milk) or watery (just a spoon of milk), with or without spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom or even pepper, often with a slightly sour after taste. It could be with milk or black, it could be lemon tea, ice tea, green tea and only occasionally the stereotypical Masala chai It could be served in Stainless tumblers with a deep dish saucer called "Davara" or plastic tea cups, with ceramic cups often reserved for guests.
Here, Tea drinking is a social habit - it is integral to a group conversion. Meeting, discussions, interviews and even dates rely very heavily on countless small paper cups filled to their brims with hot tea. Almost every street, in every state of India will have a "Tea Kadai" (a tea shop), a normal petty box store selling everything from newspapers, weekly magazines, fried snacks, biscuits, fruits like bananas, cigarettes and ofcourse the quintessential strong acidic milk tea. It would be made by the tea master using a milk boiler and served in cut glass tumblers, giving the tea the unique name of "cutting chai". Its a place where men - both young and old gather together to gossip, talk politics, discuss women and everything else under the sun. You would rarely see a group of women there as they would prefer not to stand at a street corner while sipping tea, but I prefer them over restaurants for a quick drink. Take a look at my friend and miniature sculptor Shilpa Mitha's mini Tea Kadai model on her page Sueno Souvenir to  see what I am talking about. 

Floral button earrings

Though I have never had tea in a "fine China cup" I have always been fascinated by China patterns -  landscapes, floral branches, geometric shapes, dots and stripes. Some are reminders of art and design movements of the bygone era. Some are reminiscent of colonial invasion, rule or domination. Whatever be the case, kitchenware and tableware tell stories of the times, the local culture, places, the people who lived there and most importantly how they lived. Of all available patterns I am most drawn to English Floral designs in Fine China. I fell in love with them when I was first exposed to Calico fabrics in the second year of college.
Floral button earrings

Though it was Vasco Da Gama and eventually the Dutch, who created and exported Calico fabric (muslin) from South of India, it was the British who added the floral motifs to them to make them for saleable and attractive to British Citizens. On one hand it plagued the Indian fine muslin industry so much so that it became almost extinct but on the other hand it added another form, motif and aesthetic to the repertoire of the Indian printer/fabric painter.

For this challenge, I picked flower wooden buttons and made them into statement earrings with a simple wire wrap. They are quite big but relatively weightless. As an afterthought, I made a couple of more beaded earrings using ceramic beads with floral patterns. Both the patterns are very different from the usual ones you find in the Indian market as these beads have smudged - water-colorish patterns. They look wet, as would motifs on a real tea cup as you wipe spilled over tea off them.

As opposed to some of the other months of this challenge, this month I focused more on my tea memories and less on my design process. The earrings are very simple, easy to make, and are meant for everyday wear - perhaps exactly like tea.  
Tea rejuvenates me, it helps me think and focus, What about you? Do share your "tea memories" and how the sights, smells, sounds and tastes associated with tea help you design.  Visit the reveal page to see what the other participating artists have come up with
 I hope you found it interesting
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Swap and hop Reveal

 Vanakkam, Vandanam, Namasthe to all the folks visiting JewelsOfSayuri for the Bead peeps swap and hop reveal. Our Hostess Linda had put together a list of 53 magnificent jewelry blogs and bloggers early this year for a bead swap and now its time for the reveal. My Partner is Kelly Hosford Patterson of  Pyxeestyx- The travelling Sideshow and to see what we sent each other, check out the swap intro post here
The beads were all so gorgeous and the colors - green and blue, and fitting perfectly in my comfort zone. I assumed that it would be extremely simple  and I would churn out pieces by the dozen.
Since most of my customers prefer pieces with an Indian traditional look, I hardly get to experiment with very modern, western arrangements. Hence, for this reveal, I decided that I would make a piece that was completely western. After some word association, I settled on the following words - Rustic, frosted, mouldy, dreamlike to guide my design process.

Ceramic and metal necklace by Sayuri

Of the Yore Necklace: The idea here was to use the copper domed disc, the ceramic (?) tube and the bone sort of piece as the focal component(s) by marrying them together with wire. This simple process proved to be extremely frustrating because of the sound that arises when ceramic/frosted glass/natural components/chalk strike metal. Metal on metal is even worse! (You should see me when my colleagues eat lunch with their metal spoons :( ) It was this minuscule sound that drove me absolutely mad and my teeth start grinding even when I just think of it. I somehow powered through it and finished the piece but I did not even want to touch it, so I took it apart and remade it using embroidery thread.To avoid any more friction and the resultant noise I replaced the beads at the neck with a strand of leather cord and cotton cord each - in brown and blue respectively to bring out the colors of the main components.

Ceramic and metal necklace by Sayuri
The bone piece and the sea glass still feels chalky to touch and I am wondering if coating it with some sort of a sealant will help? Any Suggestions? I love how this piece looks and really want ot wear it

Neel - Gulab Earrings (Blue and pink earrings): For my second piece,  I made a quick pair of wire earrings with the carved fan shaped blue sea glass beads and rose quartz beads to match a new printed pink, blue, and beige cotton shirt.  I cheated a bit and wore them both to work on Tuesday :) before the reveal.

sea glass earrings by Sayuri

When I saw Peeps disclosing that they had made 3 -8 pieces for the hop, I made another pair of earrings but gave them away to my cousin without photographing it, so I decided to do one more using the packaging paper.

Misty Moor - I made a recycled paper pendant with foil encasement on the sides and add patina inks for more depth. It started off as shrapnel sort of form, very modern looking. But I wasn't really happy with it, so I added some rhinestone and ball chain to it (Okay, I gave in and Indianised it!). After these pictures were taken, I have poured resin into it. I used the green nuggets and the patterned beads from the beads that Kelly sent me and finished it with organza ribbon. It feels a little imbalanced, ( I am unable to put my finger on what is wrong!). Maybe the pendant is shimmery and the beads look a little dull? I might restring it after the hop - design/color/material suggestions are welcome.

beaded neckalce with paper pendant by Sayuri beaded neckalce with paper pendant by Sayuri

Those are the pieces that I made, I still have lots of goodies left and hopefully you would see them in future designs. Head over to Kelly's blog to see what she made with her goodies. Special thanks to Linda for hosting this hop with amazing artists. Please do take time out to visit blogs of other participants of the Bead peeps swap and hop II. Happy Hopping!

Participant List with blog links

1. Linda Anderson  28.Rosantia Petkova 
2. Natalie Davidson  29. Claire Fabian 
3. Marcy Lamberson  30.Inge von Roos 
4.Kathy Lindemer  31.Rachel Mallis
5.Dita Basu  32.Sam Waghron 
6.Andrea Glick  33.Lori Schneider 
7.Kristina Peck   34.Fay Wolfenden 
8.Shai Williams 
9. Catherine La Vite Seed Beaders
10. Christina Hickman  35.Suse Stelljes 
11. Gloria allen 36.Ginger Bishop 
12. Teresa Schurter  37.Nelly May 
13.Maria Rosa Sharrow  38.Rebecca White 
14. Susan Kelly  39.Sheila Prosterman 
15. Jenny Kyrlach  40.Catherine King
16.Michelle McCarthy  41.Pallavi Asher  
17. Terry Jeanette Carter  42.Krafty Max 
18.Lee Koopman  43.Renetha Stanziano 
19. Laurie Vyselaar  44.Becky Pancake 
20.Marianne Baxter  45.Katy Heider 
21.Divya N (You are here) 46.Deborah Apodaca 
22. Kelly Hosford Patterson  (my partner) 47.Heather Richter 
23.Johana Nunez  48. Tami Norris 
24. Kari Asbury 49. Brandy Scozzari
25.Robin Reed 50. Kathleen Breeding 
26.Kristina Hahn Eleniak  51.Veralynne Malone
27.Robin Lynne Showstack  52.Bobbie Rafferty

53. Lori Blanchard

 I hope you found it interesting
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10 Blogging tips for a successful blog hop

The Bead Peeps Swap and hop is almost here (On sunday) so  I just thought that I'll share some blogging tips for newbie bloggers who will be taking part in the hop so as to enable a smooth and pleasant experience for everyone involved. At my place, we tidy up our house when we know guests are visiting, so it is only right that I extend the same courtesy to my friends who would be visiting my blog too.
Even you are not participating in this particular hop, I feel that the tips would still be useful for you as they can be applied to any blog hop. I maybe be guilty of making some of these mistakes,and at times my blogger goes crazy, however I keep correcting them.
 10 Blogging tips for a successful blog hop
 Before you post - Tidy up your blog
1.  Choose the right Font and Font size: Choose simple readable "Sans Serif"  for your blog (fonts without the projecting little lines at the top and/or bottom) like Calibri, Verdana, Open sans, Franklin Gothic, Helvetica, Trebuchet, etc. for your blog's post body. Change the font size of your blog to 12px - 14px (for the body) and 16px for the heading. Anything smaller is inconvenient to read on mobile phones and anything bigger hurts the eye.
2. Connectivity: Suppose I come to your blog and I want to stay in touch with you, I need to see Social media icons (with working links) or way to subscribe to your blog, otherwise you just lose me there
3. About Me - when I really like a fellow artist or designer's work I really want to know more about them and an "About me" page, with your photograph, doesnt exactly that. Even if you a beading robot, I want to know about you. See my About me page here
4. Composition - Just as you spend time composing a beautiful necklace or earrings, take time to compose blog's various elements. Align them with one another. A blog doesn't need exotic fonts, 10 different colors or complicated layouts to be good. Often, a simple gray text on a white background design is the best. 

When you write the post
5. Post pictures that are big enough - so we can enjoy your beautiful creations. Vertical pics work better for Pinterest, landscape works better for Facebook, twitter and G+ and square is great for Instagram and Linky parties. Put your images in the center of your post instead of Left or right alingment. It makes the post more readable
6. Create a Link list - Instead of writing the blog url as, write the participants name and add the url as a link. Better still, list blog names and add links. This way, Google doesnt think that you are spamming and the participating blog gets a viable link. Always Set the participating blogger links to open as a new tab
7. Schedule your post - Post on time or a hour before time (to check for mistakes and correct them), and share your post's permalink with your partner, so that they can directly link to your post.
8. Post! - Post atleast work in progress pics even if you havent completed a piece.

After you Post
9. Remove captcha - Oh God, This is one of my pet peeves and I just about tolerate it. If you make it hard for me to comment, why should I comment? Keep comment moderation on if you want but remove all and any sort of captcha or word/image verification for atleast for a week following the hop date
10. Change commentators settings to allow non Gmail account users to comment -  I am guilty of this mistake but setting the profile to Gmail users enables me to reply to their comments via mail and its reduces spam. Still, I am changing!

# Extra Tip - share your post on Social Media and promote the hop

Join me on Sunday, Visit all participating blogs, comment and get inspired!!

I hope you found it interesting 
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