Enjoy this beautiful stone – and ignore my lazy photography. This is a Mexican crazy lace agate cabochon, cut by my grandfather sometime in the 1950s to 1970s. I have several of the cabs he cut, but they’ve always been too special and limited for me to feel I could or should work with them, which is just silly. My grandparents were rockhounds, finding or buying stones, and cutting them into cabs. Grandpa did more of the cutting, and Grandma did more of the silver work. He did very good work, especially considering the tools available at the time. I have round, oval, and various shaped cabs (including a tiny cowboy boot), of all sorts of stone including Washington jade. My grandparents once found a jade boulder in a Washington stream they needed help to lift. Imagine!
I actually can, as I recently visited my grandmother (my grandfather died in 1979), and together with my aunt attended a rock show with several jade boulders on display. I took a closeup picture with my cellphone of one that had been polished, keeping its original shape and contours.
This boulder was probably somewhere in the 400 pound range; the largest one on display was 500 pounds. This is the classic green that you think of jade. I bought a piece that weighs about 1.5 pounds at the rock show, a cut chunk of this green that I may just leave outside with some sandpaper to polish at leisure over the summer. The jade boulder my grandparents found was white. I have a pure white cab from this boulder, that Grandpa cut and has been set into a silver setting. As Grandma says, jade comes in every color.
Grandma started beading after I did, and she’s been beading her way around the cabs in her cache. My aunt does lovely wirework, and captures more of the cabs with wire. And all three of us bought more cabs at the rock show. Here’s my “Grandpa collection”: jade (including one from that boulder), magnetic serpentine, granite, Brazilian agate, dinosaur bone, petrified wood, Montana agate, turquoise, moss agate, jasper, chrysoprase, variscite, rhodonite, rhodochrosite, tiger iron, rhodonite, bloodstone, unakite, mariposite. My just-purchased collection is lapis, jade, larimar, turquoise, jasper, labradorite. I have a lot of beading around rocks to happily do! Grandma is 98, so I hopefully have a lot of beading time ahead of me, if genetics has anything to do with it.
Back to my necklace.
Again, apologies on the photo. Not posting because my current photography is sub-par has been one of my excuses. No longer. I like this simple chain and the visual weight it carries. The main bead is a size 11 cut, a lovely red-brown ab. In the bezel is a tiny bit of French pumpkin, and a nice Japanese matte white ab.
The finishing touch is the clasp.
I really like this. I’ve managed to get a really good circle that is two beads deep on the inner circle, and one bead on the outside. A future possible project is a “simple” linked chain. This may be the starting point for how I accomplish that.
I’ve been back beading regularly since April 22nd. I can be that exact as I’ve got a reminder on my phone set to “stop beading” to get to work; I’ve been getting up at 6am to bead. I start working at different times, depending on the day, so that may mean 45 minutes of beading, or perhaps three hours of beading on a weekday (usually the lesser). I don’t turn on any electronics or music, I just sit down, turn on the lights, blink blearily a couple times, put on my reading glasses, and start beading. I’m only beading during this time, not pulling beads, not planning beadwork, not blogging about beading, nothing else. The benefits of the morning beading time are most importantly more beading, with a bonus of going to bed earlier too.
It feels like a true accomplishment, beading regularly again. Like many beaders, I have UFOs in the wings, and dreams of future projects beyond that (hello, linked chain). This is working for me. I have started sewing again occasionally, and I would like to find time for that as well. Also, weaving and truly learning to knit, and perhaps some odd crochet now and then. When to do these? I do not yet know, but perhaps I can figure that out too.