This weekend, I've been working on two custom orders for my dear friend M. (Also known as the amazing Tia M.) She asked me to make a pair of earrings and a bracelet: Fraternal Earrings with a spade and an acorn, and a gardening theme bracelet.
Other than those broad guidelines, she left the design, stone choices, and color schemes entirely up to me. It was a lot of fun to have such creative freedom -- but also a little more challenging than it would have been if she just said, "Make the earrings green and the bracelet blue." I went through a few different versions before settling on tigers' eye for the earrings and a multicolored palette for the bracelet.
I like how the tigers' eye evokes earthy colors and textures, bringing to mind the dirt in which the acorn would be planted. For the bracelet, I had originally intended to use several large charms, but when I tried that design it was all too heavy and bulky. The bracelet kept getting tangled up with itself. So I ended up using only the watering can (which was my favorite of the gardening charms I'd ordered) and making several flower dangles from flower shaped beads. I also made leaf dangles to add to the gardening theme. In addition to various glass, sterling silver, and silver plated beads, the bracelet includes many semiprecious stones: amethyst, blue agate, yellow agate, and peridot.
In the end, I was very pleased with how they turned out. Both are intended as gifts (for different folks) so I hope both M and the recipients are happy with the results!