Unique Original Handmade Jewelry

UNIQUE ORIGINAL HANDMADE JEWELRY

Blithe's unique jewelry pieces are thoughfully and lovingly designed and created with generous splashes of Swarovski crystals, semi-precious stones, vintage jewelry pieces, glass and art glass beads, unusual clasps and lots more. 

My design inspiration comes from nature, particularly the sun and the sea, places I have visited, people I have met, emotions, and sensitivity to my surroundings and inner experiences.  

I hand-pick beads for their beauty and the impression that they bring. I make only one of every piece and then I set them free. 

Browse my ever changing collection of handcrafted necklaces, bracelets and earrings. My jewelry arrives in its own little gift box or pouch ready to present as a gift or a present to yourself.

Feel free to contact me to find out how I can develop a unique, customized design for you and when you like what I am doing, spread the word!

Enjoy browsing!

Choosing a Bracelet Size

Measure your wrist at the wrist bone and add about half an inch to allow for movement.  I like to wear my bracelets loosely on my wrist but some people like their bracelets to fit snugly.  A bracelet should be comfortable and allow ease of movement.  If a beaded bracelet is too small or too large it can usually be adjusted by restringing the beads, adding or subtracting a bead or two, or maybe even changing the clasp.

Of course, sometimes a design doesn’t allow for flexibility but when a bracelet is Blithe it can be adjusted  just a bit just for you. Don’t be afraid to choose a bracelet with a box clasp, although the toggle clasps are so much easier to put on without asking someone for help.   A box clasp is just as snug and secure as a toggle clasp and you will quickly and easily get used to clasping it. If there is a bracelet in the collection that you like but are unsure of the size drop me a line on the contact page. I am happy to help.

Precious and Semi-Precious Stones

Precious and semi precious stones

To be regarded as a jewel a gemstone must be rare and beautiful and durable enough to withstand handling and use. Not only diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds can be classified as gemstones, aquamarine, peridot, amethyst and pearls are also gemstones. Rocks such as lapis lazuli and organic substances such as amber are considered to be semi-precious stones.  

In its natural state a mineral gemstone is referred to as a rough stone. Some gemstones are made from minerals found in rocks or gravels and other gemstones such as amber, pearl and coral are organic in nature. Organic gems are usually polished, carved, or drilled as beads. Crystals are beautiful in their natural state and they too are polished and faceted to show off their beauty.

There are more than three thousands natural minerals, but less than a hundred are commonly used as gemstones. Some gemstones are manufactured as imitations of other gemstones. For example, cubic zirconia is an imitation of diamond. It copies the look of the diamond but does not possess its makeup.  

A simple cut for a stone is cabochon which has a polished domed-shaped top and a flat or rounded base. Cabochon stones are often centrepieces in antique jewelry. Today most gemstones are cut to create a number of flat surfaces called facets. Faceting helps to reflect light by throwing flashes of colour in a play of brilliant light which enhances the sparkle of the stone.

There is a fine and often overlapping line that divides precious and semi-precious gemstones. An example of a blurred line would be amethyst which was once considered a precious stone but today although still a beautiful jewel, amethyst is considered semi-precious because its rarity has been decreased due to the large amounts of deposits of amethyst discovered in Brazil and Uraguay in the 19th century. 

Today, due to their exquisite sought after appeal and rarity diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, opals and pearls are still classified as precious although these precious gems have different grades. For example, machine cut diamonds with little visual appeal can be purchased at low end prices but are still sought after because they are diamonds. Semi-precious stones and crystals with grade A value are made into high end jewellery with high end prices. Gem prices can fluctuate or as in the case of diamonds, be quite stable. Generally, larger gemstones have a higher carat price than smaller stones but the demand for certain sizes can also affect prices.

The appeal of gemstones, their beautiful colours and textures, their rarity and durability, have made them precious collectable objects throughout history. They have been seen as symbols of wealth and beauty and are offered as prestigious gifts but today gemstones are not just for the wealthy, they can be appreciated by anyone. There is a wide range of natural gemstones from all over the world. Even if a stone is not of the highest quality it can still be beautiful and well worth collecting. A collector can always find a stone or a handmade beaded necklace, bracelette or earring that fits the budget which will bring continued fascination and enjoyment.

Precious and semi-precious gem stones are also used in luxury art forms apart from jewelry.

Caring For Beaded Jewelry

Caring for beaded jewelry

A good tip that is easy to remember in caring for and storing your handmade jewellery is to remove your jewellery before swimming or bathing as water will weaken the stringing material and cause it to deterioate and the beaded jewellery will start to break apart or sag. Soap and chemicals such as hair spray and perfume can damage beads and crystals. Try not to play sports or do household or outdoor chores while wearing your beaded jewellery 

Pearls should never be exposed to harsh abrasive substances as they will become scratched and chipped and lose their beautiful lustre. Gently wipe your pearls with a soft slightly damp cloth, checking for fraying or stretching of the stringing material. Handmade crystal jewellery and handmade gemstone jewellery can be dusted with a soft lint free cloth or by spraying a wisp of window cleaner on a lint free cloth and gently wiping the beads making sure not to get the stringing material wet. 

Sterling silver clasps can become tarnished. Tarnished silver looks great on vintage style pieces but if you prefer the look of shiny new silver try cleaning your silver clasps with a silver polish to remove the tarnish carefully avoiding any crystals or gemstones on the piece. 

Your beaded jewlrey should be carefully stored. Store each piece separately in a cloth pouch or lay flat in your jewellery box so that pieces don't become tangled together. Unnecessary twisting can cause beaded jewllery to stretch, break or lose its shape. 

Feel free to enjoy wearing your handmade beaded jewellery but take care in handling and storage so that your treasured items will last for many years. 

About Swarovski Crystals

About Swarovski Crystals

Swarovski crystals are simply the best crystals, due to their clarity, color and variety. Swarovski crystals are referred to as crystals, stones, or brilliants, in reference to their similarity with diamonds. The cutting and polishing processes set Swarovski crystals apart from imitations and those produced by other manufacturers. The distinctive excellence of the crystals comes from Daniel Swarovski's esoteric recipe for crystal glass and is what makes a Swarovski crystal so distinctive.