September 12, 2017 § 2 Comments
September in New Orleans has brought some unusually cool weather courtesy of the Canadian cold front (which also kept Hurricane Irma away from the Big Easy). No one who has spent any time here is a stranger to hurricanes, but this year they were breeding like rabbits!
My heart goes out to our neighbors in Texas and Florida. Twelve years ago New Orleans was the canary in the coal mine for the flooding to come. Ironically, even though we are below sea level, we are less likely to flood now because of the reinforcements in the levee system that were built after the devastation. Well, that’s what they say anyway!
Some of my clients may know that I have packed up my studio (rocks and tools too) and have placed a “for sale” sign on my house, in the hope of moving back to Canada. Selling a house in New Orleans in the dead heat of summer with hurricanes swirling around is well, um, crappy timing! To make matters worse, the City That Care Forgot, also “forgot” to maintain the pumps. For those of you who don’t know, because we are below sea level AND surrounded by water, we have a sophisticated pumping system that (when it’s operational) keeps the water off the streets. After a lot of finger pointing, the city is on track to get the pumps back in action. One of the things I love about living here is, that even when facing disaster, people have a sense of humor. Below is a sign someone put up next to the pumping station in my neighborhood before the expected deluge of Hurricane Harvey.
So, I am hoping this cool front will bring more beautiful weather AND a “sold” sticker on the house.
In the meantime, the shop is still (maybe) up. If you have read this far, and have a piece you’ve been hankering for, I am offering a 20% discount for those who have the *audacity to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask. I rarely put my stuff on sale because I just put too much of myself into it.
Happy September to all.
Here’s a pretty purple sapphire (September’s birthstone) & amethyst bauble to tempt you to mosey on over to the shop!
FYI: The shop address is boutique.ledajewelco.com
Please be aware that I am unable to create anything new, or repair pieces at this time.
*this is humor! I am really easy to talk to!! Really.
April 2, 2017 § 2 Comments
Pantone named “Flame” as one of the top Spring 2017 colors, and I am happily (accidentally!) obliging. This year I found a handful of perfectly sized aragonite “sputnik” crystals. They were just too cool. Did you know that in addition to being grounding, stress relievers, these clusters encourage conservation and caring for the earth?
I paired them with some lovely rose cut emeralds.
Since I was on an orange roll, here’s a pair of emeralds with sunstones for you more “demure” types.
Not big enough for you? How about some honkin’ big morganite (aka as pink emerald or pink beryl) babies paired with orange kyanite and sapphire briolettes? No wallflowers need apply for these. Just saying.
A couple of BIG rings: Cantera aka Mexican fire opal and a gemmy pink rhodochrosite. Both over 30 carats each.
Clicking on the photographs will take you to the shop for more info and to purchase. Or click here: http://boutique.ledajewelco.com/
Hoppy Flaming Spring!
February 26, 2017 § 2 Comments
Here in the Big Easy it’s the height of Carnival season. I generally try to avoid crowds, but sometimes you get an offer you can’t refuse; this one was “above” the crowds, courtesy of some of my friends in high places. We were invited for dinner at a fancy schmancy restaurant that included a viewing stand. I had a perch to see three parades, including the Krewe of Muses, which is an all female crew. It’s all about shoes and bathtubs, my kind of theme!
Let me use the watery theme to segue into March, which means aquamarines! One of my favorite rocks, from the berylicious (or in boring scientific terms “beryl”) family.
I am always on the hunt for cool specimens, and this year in Tucson I found the coolest aquamarine crystal slices. A matching pair of beautiful cross sections showing different shades of blue in the natural crystal structure. They are now a special pair of earrings, reminiscent of ancient Roman jewels!
I also bought a handful of polished, natural aquamarine crystals, perfect for rings and pendants. This one is especially nice, long and lean with a little curve action!
Adding a little interest to these earrings is one of my other favorite rocks, chrysocolla. I have a nice little collection of this stuff, looks nice with aquamarine too.
My latest pièce de résistance is an emerald cut berylicious with gorgeous inclusions. It’s big and honkin, over 40 carats! You can get lost inside this world for hours.
Last but not least, not a berylicious piece, but still droolworthy in my humble opinion. Natural turquoise with black matrix from exotic Uzbekistan. Perfectly Miss Matched earrings.
You can get more info on all of these pieces by clicking on a photo, and checking out the shop. Or click here: http://boutique.ledajewelco.com/
For those of you who live where Fat Tuesday is just another Tuesday, go ahead and overindulge in your favorite treats and pastimes! You can repent later. That’s what we do in New Orleans!
February 17, 2017 § 5 Comments
Another year, another trip to mecca (aka Tucson Gem Shows). Gem hunting in Tucson this year was just as spectacular as ever, and one could not order up better weather! Warm, sunny and perfect for the outdoor venues. Here’s a wrap up of some of my favorite finds:
I have never scored such beautifully mismatched chrysocolla malachite slices; perfectly sized for earrings!
Can never get enough of these hard to find babies! Love beryl with all that trapped gorgeousness.
These babies are often called Mexican Fire Opals. When they have a host matrix, they are similar to Australian Boulder opals, but are referred to as “Cantera” opals.
Tucson is more than just rocks. There are all kinds of exhibits that can literally take your breath away, or move you to tears. This year I came across an exquisite display of lights by Lawrence Stoller. Here’s a photo I snagged off his website:
I was in tears. The artist himself was so moved, that I was moved, he gave me one of his calendars in appreciation! Note to self, stop hiding tears. Check out his gorgeous stuff at his website: http://crystalworks.com/
On the way back home, I crossed a couple of things off my Texas bucket list. First, I lassoed me a pair of cowboys boots.
Second, I took the long way through Big Bend State and National Parks. I figure, if they’re going to build a wall, I wanna see it before they wreck the view.
While picnicking in Big Bend, I fell in love. This is me with Emmy Lou. I wanted to take her home, but then I’d be wanted for dognapping!
So, there you have it. I’ll be posting some finished pieces soon.
Meanwhile, you can still go shopping for some lovely baubles here:http://boutique.ledajewelco.com/
January 17, 2017 § 6 Comments
To say that we are living in “unusual” times would be an understatement. Thankfully, I can tune out, and touch rocks to keep my sanity. Last week I gathered some of my favorite “ruff” stuff, and worked on this talisman.
The combo of raw spessartite garnet (encrusted with pyrite) and the raw orange kyanite (this piece is encrusted with mica) just seemed to kumbaya together, in an earthy but elegant sort of way. They both help with creativity. Adding the grounding black spinel in a pave diamond setting made me feel better too. Pyrite brings self confidence to the mix. Mica has reflective qualities to see flaws without judgement. Ready to layer, with say a deep orange strand of mandarin garnet?
If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll notice that I often refer to my collecting or um, “hoarding” of rocks. This really beautiful hessonite has been in my stash for awhile. I have loved it and gazed upon it for quite some time. It’s ready to go out in the world as a ring. It’s a very unusual cut called “surface cut”, a gorgeous peachy color, and a nice size; over eight carats. Perfect for artists of all kinds: hessonite garnets inspire and bring out the artist even in the seemingly untalented! Hessonite garnets also remove dark thoughts and intensify one’s life.
My other obsession is opal (OK, I have way more than just ONE other obsession). But, I did free a couple from my stash to make these Miss Matched earrings. FYI: Opals offer inspiration and enhance creativity.
Of course, I am gearing up to go get more rock candy in Tucson at the end of January. I’ll post pics of my finds, you can follow me on my Instagram account here: https://www.instagram.com/ledajewelco/
Clicking on a photo will take you to the shop for more info on these pieces.
Happy 2017 to all. It is garnet groove approved!
December 7, 2016 § 1 Comment
Every now and then, I try to do the “right” thing! Get with the program and make a smart business move: like get timely with birthstones. So this month, I made a couple of things with tanzanite and turquoise (December’s birthstones) and then I just made whatever the heck.
I just love inclusions. Dendritic agate = a whole little miniature world in and unto itself.
Speaking of inclusions, in my stash of goodies, I had a couple of very rare paraiba quartz pieces (aka Medusa quartz). This stone comes from a mine in Brazil, that has since closed. The inclusions are called “gilalite”, which is blah blah blah for the mineral that gives the gorgeous blue/green color inclusions.
Then, since we’re still waiting for a frost down here in the Big Easy, I took a couple of icy Herkimer diamonds out, and paired them with some drop dead gorgeous aquamarines. Very cool (pun intended).
Want more birthstone pieces? Let me present an encore viewing of some rocks that a December baby or pretty much anyone else would love (clicking on any image takes you to the shop).
For many people, holidays really are the “blue” season. This is the time of year that loneliness and depression affect people more than at any other time of year. Be kind, you never know who is suffering. Peace.
October 26, 2016 § Leave a comment
October rocks for a lot of reasons. First, my favorite rocks are October’s birthstone: opals and tourmalines. Second, it starts getting cool here in the steamy south, and third, there’s always a mysterious black magical theme going on. There’s more: like we celebrate our anniversary in October, and well, let me shut up and get to the bijoux!
Let’s start with this drop dead gorgeous Australian boulder opal and Oregon sunstone. Sometimes things just make themselves. One morning a loose sunstone dropped right down on the opal I was working on, and that was it.
Stack ‘o black and orange: representing the end of light and the beginning of darkness. Raw black tourmaline crystal and Oregon sunstone stacking rings.
This necklace is perfect for when you’re feeling black and blue. Black tourmaline (aka shorl) is grounding, protective (especially against negative energy), along with an offset aquamarine for peace and courage.
OK. So these earrings consist of Oregon sunstones and black spinels (which are NOT October rocks) but they are probably my favorite of this batch. They work with the black and orange thing going on.
Clicking on a photo brings you to the shop to purchase, and for more info.