Thanksgiving Holiday

    Trees have changed colors from green to yellow, into the reds and browns. Temperatures have dropped with snow and rain moving into many parts of the country. November is that time honored occasion when families and friends gather together for a Thanksgiving Holiday; turkey dinners, football games, pumpkin pie, and shopping. As we at Timeless Designs look back over the past year, we have many things to be thankful for….from family and good friends, to happy times and challenges that helped us grow.

    Warmest Wishes from Timeless Designs for a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Holiday!

Arizona Wild Horse Magnesite

    A Pinto horse has a coat color that consists of large patches of white and another color, usually browns. The color pattern existed in prehistoric times, and has been specifically bred by various cultures throughout history. Although pinto coloration is rare in the wild, people have always had an eye for animals of unusual colors.

    The Pinto horse originated in Spain and was introduced to North America by Spanish and other European explorers. The Spanish explorers brought over Barb horses that had been crossed with other European breeds including Russian and Arabian strains, which are thought to give the horses their color patterns. When the Spanish herds were brought to North America, these horses mixed with the wild horses and were later domesticated by the Native Americans. Later, when the West was being tamed, the pioneers had to cross their refined European horses with the wild herds to develop a stockier and heavier muscled horse that would be more suited to the rugged and arduous conditions. Often referred to as piebald or skewbald horses in literature about the Wild West, the Pinto horse was a favorite among American cowboys and Native Americans. So would it be any different for a miner’s find to be named for the famed wild American horse.
    A miner’s find among pockets of varying types of Turquoise, a new and rare discovery in the Gila Wilderness Area of Southern Arizona is Wild Horse Magnesite (a mixture of Magnesite/Hematite). This exceptional beauty is named for the gemstones resemblance to the Pinto horses with brown on white patches known to roam free in the Southwest and the favorite horse of many Native Americans. Wild Horse is antique white color with rich chocolate brown matrix, with varying degrees of browns, rusts, olives, and some light pinks. It is not a Turquoise, for it does not have the same mineral composite of Turquoise, but is a mix of Magnesite and Hematite or considered an Ivority/Hematite mixture. This is only mined in Arizona and should not be confused with Wild Horse or Appaloosa Jasper which can be found in California and Oregon.
    This rare beauty retains a high value and is becoming remarkably popular in jewelry making. At the Holiday Shopping Extravaganza this weekend in San Antonio, I’ll be premiering this new stone in a design of Wild Horse mixed with Ivoryite, Crystal and gun metal daisy spacers.

    Side note: As a former horsewoman, I know the difference between Pinto and Paint horses. These two breeds look identical in some cases; the difference is in the breeding bloodlines as to whether they are registered as Pinto or Paint horses.

    Some excerpts are from Pinto Horse Association website

Gemstone Pendants

    Gemstone pendants, all natures’ beauties in their own right, in Peruvian Blue or Pink Opal, Red Jasper, Red Quartz/Jasper, and Amazonite.

    Wire work is handcrafted in non-tarnish silver and brass wire of spirals, twists and turns, then hung from multi-colored ribbon cords with silver lobster claw claps.

    Some are listed on my website, while the entire collection will be available at the Holiday Shopping Extravaganza this weekend. A very inexpensive gift or stocking stuffer for anyone this holiday season, and comes complete with a gift box ready for giving!

Fitness & Creativity

    There is nothing like the feel of a good workout. Several times a week for several hours I can be found at the fitness center. Workouts can consist of cardio from the treadmill, elliptical and stairmaster to weight and strength training; these types of activities keep my mind free and my creative juices flowing. I’m not sure what it is about it; maybe it’s the combination of music playing on my MP3 and the rigorous workouts, but it all provides the perfect distraction for my mind to drift from design to design. The payoff at the end is the meditation in the dry and wet steam rooms; it sort of brings everything into harmony.

    Exercising is designed to make a person aware of the way they think and to aid in forming new thinking patterns. Many of us completely ignore this concept and expect to go through periods of very little or no creativity, then be able to create at our peak at a moment's notice. If you keep your creativity flowing by investing time in it each and every day, then to reach peak creativity requires only a small increase in energy and thought process. Whatever your way of finding a creative outlet, try doing it on a daily basis as it helps keep our body and mind toned to meet daily challenges.

Sunstone Another Exotic Beauty

    An exotic beauty all it’s own with copper striations running through it's gemstone skin. As stated by the Wikipedia, “Sunstone is a plagioclase feldspar exhibiting in certain directions a brilliant spangled appearance, which has led to its use as a gemstone. The effect appears to be due to reflections from enclosures of red haematite, in the form of minute scales, which are hexagonal, rhombic or irregular in shape, and are disposed parallel to the principal cleavage-plane. These enclosures give the stone an appearance something like that of aventurine, whence sunstone is known also as "aventurine-feldspar."

    Sunstone is not common, the best-known locality being Tvedestrand, near Arendal, in south Norway, where masses of the sunstone occur embedded in a vein of quartz running through gneiss. It is found also near Lake Baikal, in Siberia, and at several localities in the United States, notably at Middletown Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Lakeview, Oregon and at Statesville, North Carolina.
    The feldspar which usually displays the aventurine appearance is oligoclase, but the effect is sometimes seen also in orthoclase: hence two kinds of sunstone are distinguished as "oligoclase sunstone" and "orthoclase sunstone." The latter has been found near Crown Point and at several other localities in New York, as also at Glen Riddle in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and at Amelia Courthouse, Amelia County, and Virginia. Sunstone is also found in Pleistocene basalt flows at Sunstone Knoll in Millard County, Utah.”

    However, I have Oregon Sunstone a rare beauty in the gemstone world. This unusual gemstone is found in Harney County, Oregon and also in eastern Lake County north of Plush. What make this natural beauty so unusual are the inclusions of coppery crystals, which leads to the varying color of some stones, but turn the stone in the light and the results will be a spectacular array of multi-colors and the more copper, the darker the stone.

    Here is a website that discusses all about the Oregon Sunstone, called ironically ‘Oregon Sunstone’ and the Dust Devil Mine, where Oregon Sunstone is primarily mined. “The Oregon Sunstone is known to occur in only three small deposits in the Central Oregon High Desert, primarily at the Dust Devil Mine. Native Americans in the Northwest once picked up the glittering gems from the ground and traded them to early Western settlers. Oregon Sunstones are often found in sacred bundles and local burial sites. These stones were traded as far east as the Mississippi river, and as far north as Central Alaska.Natural Oregon Sunstones are gem quality. The properties and essence of each gemstone, hue, saturation, gradation, etc., are unique. The copper in Oregon Sunstone, unlike all other sunstone worldwide, gives this gem its unique brightness and vivid range of natural coloring, and the magical coppery reflection known as the Schiller Effect. Most importantly, the Dust Devil Mine Oregon Sunstones are guaranteed all natural and untreated. Don't confuse NATURAL Oregon sunstone with the 'red andesine' on the market. The 'andesine' material is generally heated and diffusion treated to give the color to the stones. Oregon sunstone can also be named 'red labradorite' or 'yellow labradorite'. As no two pieces of fine Black Opal or Pearls are identical, each Oregon Sunstone is unique and glorious.”

    Historic and Healing Powers
    Historically Sunstone is dedicated to the Greek sun-god Helios because of its golden sparkle. The Greeks believed that sunstone protected the earth from disaster and kept the sun on its right course. Its healing powers are to promote self-healing and stimulate vegetative nervous system and ensure harmonious functions of all human organs. It is very helpful to those that have lack of sleep or exhaustion. An added effect is that it is known to have positive effects on the psyche, promoting good humor, cheerfulness and a good temper in the wearer. So if you are in need of self-confidence, self-esteem and a positive attitude to build upon one’s own strengths, then Sunstone would be a gemstone of your choice.

Wooden Holiday Gifts

    Looking for yet another unusual and unique gift for the Holidays? A wine topper and cork screw are just the ticket made from exotic woods is perfect for wine lovers. How about a nice pen or pencil set for that perfect teacher or professor? In need of just a little stocking stuffer, pick a wooden keychain, to hold either toothpicks or little tools.

    An incredible wood craftsman, my dad, makes all things wood and has for many years. He designs and creates some of the most dramatic wood wine toppers and cork screws, pen – pencil sets, and much more.

    He buys some very exotic woods such as Zebra, Brazilian, Hawaiian, Jerusalem, and even your more common varieties such as Cherry, Oak, and Maple. He then handcrafts the wood pieces on a lathe, making intricate cuts, rounding corners, and filing down the wood pieces, into these awesome creations! Once the wood pieces are complete, he then starts the process of putting all the pieces together, kind of like a jig-saw puzzle.

    For more information and how to purchase any of these items and more, please contact him via email.

Affordable Holiday Gifts

    The state of the economy has left many people worried, unsettled or rethinking their financial situation and holiday gift buying; but still many are looking for that unique and affordable holiday gift. That is where we come in; Timeless Designs offers natural gemstone jewelry uniquely handcrafted into one-of-a-kind pieces for the individual and at affordable prices that won’t break the bank.

    Buying exclusive, handcrafted jewelry doesn’t have to be expensive; and by no means does it mean that we have sacrificed the quality of the piece for lower prices. To bring exquisite natural gemstone jewelry designs to you, this year we went direct and traveled to the world’s 2nd largest Gem & Mineral Show in Tucson, Arizona. There we shopped from thousands of vendors at hundreds of shows in the gemstone and jewelry industry. We came across and purchased some of the most unusual cuts and selection of natural gemstones and metal beads ever seen. This allows us to create some fresh, unique and individual design pieces, like no others, at affordable prices to our clients.
    Shop our website and purchase necklaces, necklace sets, earrings, bracelets, and smart pendants. Choose from jewelry designs in an array of coral, turquoise, agate, jasper, and onyx; accented with our trademark wire sculpture links, twists, and spirals; then highlighted with metal spacers in silver, gold, and copper along with Swarvoski crystals, Dichroic pendants, pearls, and glass Czech beads.

    Each purchase comes with a gift box all set for giving; just add your own card or wrap and you’re ready to give a one-of-a-kind jewelry design to anyone.

    So what are you waiting for…visit us at our last show of the season November 22nd – 23rd here in San Antonio and chose from among our collection of distinctively handcrafted jewelry or browse our website and purchse from the comforts of your home or office.

Artistic Wire Used in Jewelry

    There are different wires an Artist can chose from to make links, chains, or jewelry findings. Wires range from sterling silver, 14-18k gold, gold-filled, to copper, brass and now artistic wire in colored or non-tarnish forms. With the price of gold and silver on the rise, I’ve turned to using non-tarnish artistic wire to incorporate into my creations; allowing me to still get that everlasting high gloss of silver, brass or gold without the tarnish.

    Artistic wire is created by Artistic Wire Ltd., offering non-tarnish wire and permanent colored copper wire available in 50 colors and 14 gauges. They also offer silver-plated colored copper wire available in 8 sizes and 13 colors. The wire is either vinyl coated copper or silver-plated and dyed wire, but the shiny silver, gold or brass wires usually have an anti-tarnish coating; allow the wire to resist tarnish as long as the coating is intact. It has a harness of soft in the wire world and generally requires ‘hardening’ to keep its shape. Soft wire bends easier and tends to remain in place once it is bent. Soft wire is perfect for making spirals and other rounded shapes, making it easy to mold the wire into any shape one desires.

    Depending on the design I’ll use different gauges of wire; for links in necklaces and bracelets I use heavy 16-18g wire and for small findings I’ll use a medium-small 20-22gauge. And when making the coils in rings I turn to even smaller gauges of 24-28g wire over 18-20g wire. All of these are done using the non-tarnish or coated colored wire; which allows me to bring designs to my customers at the same quality of sterling silver or gold, but at a much lower cost. I still work with sterling silver and will note the wire used in every design, though the luster will eventually fade with sterling silver, non-tarnish wire requires a lot less cleaning to keep the color and shiny effect.

    Once the jewelry design is complete I need to harden the wire to keep the desired shape. This is done by putting the piece in a tumbler, with water and cleaner for about 15-20 minutes. This hardens the wire and also cleans the jewelry of any grease, minerals or oils that come from naturally working with the wire and stones. The jewelry is then completely ready to be photographed and wrapped for a show or shipped off to a customer.

    You can find artistic wire at any local hobby or craft store, or online at any number of wholesale vendors. Visit my website and browse through the selection of wire sculptured designs using the artistic wire.

Dichroic Glass Designs

    Master artist in Dichroic glass, Anna from Aesthetic Designs, whom I met several years ago at the “Big One Holiday Show” here in San Antonio. The jewelry pieces are so unique I have bought several for my personal jewelry collection. Her glass designs are truly breath-taking and never the same, as she pushes the limits of glass designs! She offers both individual sets with a simple matching chain in silver or gold and also beaded works of art. Visit her website Aesthetic Designs for a look into her world and browse her collection available for purchase.

    So what is dichroic glass exactly? A little insight into fused glass…..Fuse layers of specialty Dichroic glass at high temperatures in a kiln and what do you get. Truly one-of-a-kind glass pieces of jewelry! As defined by Wikipedia, Dichroic glass is glass containing multiple micro-layers of metal oxides which give the glass Dichroic optical properties. A little known fact….It was originally developed by NASA and its contractors for use in satellite optics and spacesuit visors.
    The word Dichroic is derived from two Greek roots; ‘di’ for two and ‘chroma’ for color. So Dichroic really means ‘two-colored’. Looking at the layers and layers of glass, it is hard to tell just how many colors are actually created.

    The fun aspect with Dichroic glass is that it has different color variations depending on the light refraction; creating some of the most intriguing pieces of jewelry.

    This design to the left, I've incorporated several pieces into jewelry designs such as this one with Black Onyx, Swarvoski crystals and brass wire links with matching earrings.

    And this one to the right, has a red pendant hung from Black Onyx, peridot, sterling silver and matching black Onyx earrings.

    Or these jewels of dichroic glass pendants below paired with sterling silver and Swarvoski crystals.

    I have several pendants in my collection that I wear on sterling silver collars, omegas, and black cords. Accented with either matching earrings or a pair of my favorite sterling silver earrings. Add some to your collection for a one-of-a-kind jewelry piece to wear!

    Visit our website as we keep adding more in a selection of dichoric designs in necklaces and bracelets.

Tiger Iron, the Mystery

    Tiger Iron is a misunderstood gemstone and often mistaken for Tiger’s Eye, with it’s hues of blackish blue, golden yellow and deep red. However, Tiger Iron is composed of 2 billon year old sedimentary deposits comprised of three other gemstones; tiger’s eye, red jasper and black hematite. The rippled wavy bands of color often resemble beautiful scenic views, giving luster hue effects in the polished gemstones.

    Tiger Iron in its own right is an actual gemstone with its own properties, but is a combination of other stones as well; ultimately it is a member of the quartz family. It has been mined in such places as England, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, and even the Lake Superior Region of the United States.

    One such form of tiger iron is Marra Mamba, found in one are of Australia near Mount Brockman. It is very rare type of tiger iron and contains shades of red, green, yellow, and blue. The area has been mined out for many years so very little of the ‘true’ Marra Mamba is available today.

    Physical Properties
    As a banded mineral composed of tiger eye, red jasper and hematite, tiger iron stimulates the vitality and enhances the immune systems. It strengthens force of will and courage and can be quickly utilized as a protective shield. This is an especially strong stone, which brings to mind the saying "Be careful what you wish for".

    Healing Properties
    Tiger Iron is considered an important healing gemstone as it combines the healing properties of Hematite (pain), Red Jasper (heart/circulation) and Tiger Eye, which stimulates energy production. In addition, it is considered a stable healing stone, which rarely needs cleansing.

    In this design I have paired the three colors of red, blue, yellow/gold together. I then accented the necklace by wire wrapping each stone in non-tarnish gold wire. The earrings dangle with the same matching pieces and wire wrap.

    Visit our website to see this and many other exotic designs.

Red & Black Mix of Style

    A bold and beautiful mix are the creation of this lovely necklace set. Made from all natural gemstone beads in Black Onyx and Red Coral; mixed with a hint of glass seedbeads and 3 large wired link charms. The red Coral accented by pewter end caps and the necklace has a silver toggle. A matching pair of earrings completes this lovely set.

    It is currently available for purchase in the Necklace Sets section of my website. Please visit us for more custom jewelry designs!