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'A Heart is a Heart is ... a Bicycle' is a dazzler! The feast of bright sterling silver - in the form the brilliant double-chain, and the charms, beads, spacers, the slender, edgy & rouge heart-connector, I admit that I shy away from designing holiday-themed pieces...I'm stubborn like that. So often, I'm in a Valentines Day frame-of-mind in the very early Fall while dining at Casanova's in Carmel or it is Halloween and yet I am feeling the ghostly vibe in mid-Spring when looking at YouTube videos of famous historic hauntings at the White House or feeling like snowflakes on the 4th of July, if I am sailing in the middle of a snowy fjord up in Glacier Bay National Park. So...this year, I have only one design to offer up: 'A Heart is a Heart is...a Bicycle' - a title that reminds me of a similar discordant title about a fish. Anyway, this is the perfect Valentines Day bracelet for any girl who is also a bike-diva, a gal who takes to the mountains or the hills or to hilltowns of Medieval Italy or France and does so without a second thought. This red bike charming bracelet is just the piece for that girl.
'A Heart is a Heart...' is a 3 strand wrap bracelet and includes loads of sterling silver - three pieces of hand-cast, old-wax studio silver including a fetching 'Love' rectangle tag in the style of 'A Love Story' fame; the edgy studio connector made with 5 hearts, each of them unique in a gorgeous line-up and finally, a hammered heart toggle. There are is also a fantastic real anatomical heart charm with arteries, veins and looking like a V-8 engine, more than a real human heart. But, I think it is the real heart charm that really makes the bracelet in its theme of all things heart - a small, bright silver heart dangles from mid-center of one of the three strands. The companion to the anatomical heart charm is the red & sterling red bicycle charm since there can be no love unless there is a healthy, working heart and aerobic exercise to make it so.
No Valentine theme would be complete without a beautiful deep red heart and on one strand is just that heart - rich, French red glossy heart surrounded by lots of bright sterling and a petite white lentil made by an esteemed glass artist trained in Florence, Italy. Other lampwork includes an elegant white encased bead with sterling droplets fired into the glass, an encased polka dot bead with a red core and white polka dots; a white daisy-on-red round bead and several lampwork disc beads in reds, metallic reds with flashes of iridescent fuschia, white, polka-dot encased discs, etched (like beach glass) discs. Other beads include wavy sterling discs & beadcaps, lush Keishi pearls, a handsome natural Baroque pearl, blue-fire flash faceted rondelles of a few sizes, Swarovski crystals in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, including the sterling & crystal Swarovski rondelle beads. The last elegant touch are a few delicately faceted blue topaz rondelle stones.
An original design - this is surely a Valentine meant to impress, to dazzle and to win a Bike Diva Girl's heart - whether she is a real bike-diva or... just one at heart. 'A Heart is a Heart is ... a Bicycle' measures 8.25" and can be resized at no additional charge.
The seaside town of Sechelt is a traditionally a fuel-stop enroute to Earl's Cove, the second ferrry terminal on Highway 101 North in B.C., Canada. Normally, on our trip north to 'camp' (Savary Island), it is a jam to be first off the first ferry, hitting the road, going to the max allowed speed limit, taking all the old-timer secret short-cuts just to get that much closer to Earl's Cove, an hour away, where we catch the final ferry in our race north, on the Sunshine Coast. We have been making the journey since I was five years old, most every summer, as we drove north from the S.F. Bay Area to our summer cabin in Canada. But Sechelt, aside from being an understated Sausalito, CA or Newport, OR is also a town that opens, exposed, to a wilder stretch of the inland passage (Georgia Strait) between B.C.'s mainland and the length of Vancouver Island. As such, when a southwester blows in, the seas can be especially tempestuous and wild, causing many a small vessel to toss about like a small toy, especially if boats are caught off-guard or if the weather arrives ahead of schedule. Such was the case when my newly married parents took their classic cabin-cruiser, the Graycine out for an overnight trip in the 'honeymoon' years before having children. The storm on this particular weekend was wicked, wild and the boat's engine suddenly quit, its engine engulfed with 'drink' and utterly disengaged from power. There was no fixing it, especially in the dangerous high seas. Even the radio had quit and darkness was upon them. My mother, a city-girl and land-lover, quietly wept in the galley as my strong & able father attached the dingy to the bow and started rowing his new wife and the Graycine through the pouring rain, high winds and the fierce, high waves ... until at last they reached the breakwater at the small marina in Sechelt. It is a story my mom liked to tell every other year as we passed through Sechelt, stopping to gas-up at the only gas station in town. Such, is the muse and backstory to 'Storm at Sechelt.'
'Storm at Sechelt' is a gallery-calibre 3-strand wrap bracelet made entirely of studio lampwork beads, gemstones, Swarovski crystals and sterling silver. Another LUXE design, this is a complex bracelet design in the 'spirit' genre; a complex design invoking the wild moving, alive energy of a wicked-good storm and all that means in terms of life and dancing with death when mariners are caught unprepared. Only those who know how to be one with the sea and weather can hope to ride out such a storm, much less save a damsel in distress.
This piece, as with others of my LUXE collection, is awash in top-flight artisan lampwork beads (by 8 different artists both here and abroad) and components. Starting with the magnificent tidepool-under-tempestuous-waves bead as the focal point around which all the other beads unify to make a piece of living sculptural jewelry. The German artist responsible for the tidepool focal is especially gifted at creating beads as microcosms of a greater whole - whether it is a pond, a meadow, a forest or a tidepool. She is able to capture the spirit of being alive in her work with molten glass and we are all the better for it. Companion beads include the work of another gifted glass artist and her interpretation of stormy seas under a skeleton sun overhead of the storm. Other lampwork of note is a textured round bead with glass portals popping out as pods which is done in a light mint green, cream, light bronze and clear, like an abstract anemone of a tidepool. You will also find several textured, small organic encased rounds, other rounds etched like beach glass and sand-colored beads with dimples and lines of sterling silver. Among my favorite second-string lampwork are the round, smooth white beads with tiny drops of bright sterling silver embedded deep within the still, cold glass. These beautifully created lampwork beads are so elegant that using them in any design automatically sets the whole piece in a league of its own. "Storm at Sechelt" incorporates lots of lovely, sensual and edgy precious and semi-precious gemstones which include: Blue-fire flash moonstone rondelles, chips of aqua colored apatite in two shades, one more transparent and the other, a more milky shade of aqua. Creamy colored keishi pearls and Baroque pearls capped in white sterling beadcaps lend elegance and depth to 'Storm at Sechelt' along with smooth, large faceted nuggets of clear quartz. Blue-fire laboradite flashes in small coin beads, adding the perfect contrasting color to a sea under siege from the winds and storm above. Over 50 sterling silver braided, plain rings & beadcaps, wavy silver discs, daisy spacers pepper the three strands, providing that bright, silver flash in the midst of so much color - much like the silver-on-the-sea on a too sunny day at the sea when the light is almost blinding as it comes off the water. Three solid sterling charms complete 'Storm at Sechelt' and include a detailed lighthouse and its keeper's cottage, a schooner under sail and a wee sea turtle who hangs on a bright sterling chain at the junction of the three strands. 'Storm at Sechelt' is finished with a sterling silver lobster clasp and receptacle set and measures just under 9 inches in length. Because of the dynamics of the 3-strand wrap design, with three strands parallel to each other in close proximity, the measurement must take into account certain bulk of the beads (though not weight, thankfully). My 7 inch wrist fits this 8.75 inch bracelet perfectly without being too tight and with just the right amount of slack to make it comfortable.