Saturday, December 3, 2011

Check out all of the wonderful handmade art this weekend!

The Holiday Shop Hop is happening now! A group of artists have joined together to host a virtual Holiday Shop Hop today and tomorrow, Dec 3rd and 4th. Most of us are having sales or some other special promotions in our shops, so check out each one and get your holiday shopping done this weekend. The list of participating artists and their links are shown below. Many thanks to Michelle Buettner of MiShelDesigns for planning and coordinating this event!

I'm offering 15% off my entire shop this weekend. Just enter the words SHOPHOP15 in the coupon code area when checking out to receive your discount!

For those of you in the Seattle area this weekend, I'm also hosting a jewelry open house at my home on Sunday. My jewelry, along with fellow etsy jeweler, HalinaB, will be on display for sale. If you'd like to attend, just contact me for details and I'll send you the time/place information!

Here is the list of Holiday Shop Hop participants:

Now, sit back, relax, avoid the crowds and shop away!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Shop Hop! 15% off everything in my etsy shop this weekend!

HOLIDAY SHOP HOP - DEC 3rd and 4th!!!

I'm participating this weekend in a Holiday Shop Hop! Several artisans have teamed together to host a special virtual sale this weekend in our individual shops. So, relax, avoid the crowds and hop from shop to shop, enjoying the special sales each shop will offer!

I will be offering a 15% discount in my shop this weekend. Just enter the coupon code SHOPHOP15. The coupon code will be valid on Saturday and Sunday, Dec 3rd or 4th only.

Here's the list of participating artists and links to their website or blog:

Holiday Shop Hop 2011

Happy Shopping Everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm going through a purple phase...

It seems I'm drawn to work with purple amethyst stones lately. I love the color. It's calming to me. This beautiful pear-shaped African amethyst is one I found at the gem fair last weekend. This is another new setting style for me. I've handmade the setting out of sterling silver (double-half-round wire) and tension secured it with a rivet. High shine polish. You can see more photos and descriptions in my etsy shop here.

I probably won't post anything until after the Thanksgiving holiday. Until then, I'm wishing you a blessed and thankful day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A new type of stone setting for me

I'm continuing my venture into a world of learning different types of stone settings. This amethyst colored cz is back set into a hand constructed setting of sterling silver. While from the front, it may appear similar to my other bezel set stones, the process is quite different. I had to create the outside box, then put a little ledge on the front of the box to "frame" the stone. Then the stone is placed into the setting from the open back and a piece of sterling silver is placed tightly against the back of the stone, giving tension to push the stone tightly into the frame. After everything is perfectly placed, I carve little grooved slivers of silver to hold everything permanently in place. The setting works a lot like a picture frame; the outer edge of the frame holds the picture, the back keeps it forward and the tabs on the outside hold everything in place. Here's a picture of the back side to give you a better idea of how it works:

This little beauty is already spoken for. And to top it off, a past customer contacted me and ordered a couple more! So, supplies to create more of these have been ordered and I'll be busy at my bench the first week of Dec.

I just love the modern look to this little cube of sparkly purple. I'm in purple phase lately and today I'll be working on a pear shaped gem amethyst setting. I'm eager to show you, but will wait until it's finished.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Whew! I'm still busy taking my stone setting classes at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle and learning new techniques every day. Here is my latest success - a labradorite stone set with a sterling silver heavy pedestal base with 6 prongs. I've attached some accent peacock pearls and a really long, trendy sterling silver chain (34") to give this necklace a modern look. Take a further peek at it in my etsy shop here.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My First Turtle Setting

After a couple of months away from my bench this summer, I'm taking a class to learn how to make settings other than bezels. Things like prong settings, tube settings, flush settings... To be honest, I was getting a little bored with bezel settings because I've been yearning to add a little sparkle to some of my work and bezel settings don't work with faceted stones. It's an 8 week class and I'm having a wonderful time learning so many new tricks and techniques.

Here's my very first wire turtle setting. Not perfect by any stretch, but not bad for a first try. I used argentium wire and fused it together to form this setting. A few glitches along the way required that I use a different stone than the one I originally planned to use, but that's the nature of learning something new. This stone is an American golden opal. The setting is about as plain as you can get, but I'm just learning the basics before I add in anything complicated.

After finishing this, I was in the mood to do some polishing, so I spent a few hours polishing my stone setting tools. That's one of the tips I learned (or was reminded of) in this class - dull, scratched tools dull & scratch your jewelry piece. Now that my tools are shiny and better than new, hopefully I'll have less clean-up after stone setting in the future!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Featured Artist of the Week!

Fellow jewelry creator and team etsyrain member, Kristi Bowman, has featured my jewelry creations on her website today!
Be sure to visit Kristi's blog, as well as her etsy and artfire shops. Kristi creates wonderful jewelry components using PMC silver, copper and bronze. I've use some of her components in my jewelry, too! She also creates beautiful finished jewelry and is a master at combining colors and textures in her jewelry.

Many thanks to Kristi for today's blog shout out!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A little re-make for a custom order

Here is one of the custom order rings I've been working on this week. The stone is a wonderful little blue Amazonite. It started out as a pendant that I had made about a year ago with a similar setting (double layer back plate), then a customer saw it and wanted it made into a ring. So I re-made the setting for the stone and attached it to a new ring shank. I think it makes a darling ring. I hope she likes it!

I love being able to custom create jewelry for clients so the piece suites them perfectly!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm back and creating new something new!

I've been off having some summer fun outside of my workshop for a few weeks. I went home to MN to visit some family and friends. While I was there, a couple of friends hosted impromptu jewelry parties for their friends and it was so nice to see several of my bigger, favorite pieces go to their new owners. I love getting together with people and seeing their reactions to my jewelry. It's always so interesting to see which ones appeal to each person. I don't have that advantage when someone purchases my work on-line, but I'm not really complaining. I often get emails or messages from past buyers telling me how much they love the jewelry they purchased from me.

A while back, I wrote a Mother's Day series of blogs, featuring items from my mother's jewelry box. One of the items, a Danish pendant by Bent Larsen, I found particularly inspiring. It was a gift to my Grandmother from my Mother. In my research, I've found Bent Larsen designs to be modern, minimalist, bold designs with interesting, clean cut textures. Here is a photo of my Grandmother's pendant:

This week, I made a new piece with a bit of influence from this pendant. In my Grandmother's pendant, I love how the heavy bezel wire is textured and adds a wonderful outline for the focal center. I wanted to create a similar effect using my own labradorite stone. My new piece is pictured at the top of this blog and here below. It is titled "Love Triangle" and is listed in my etsy shop here:

I've also been working on orders for 3 custom rings and will show you those in the next few days. As summer quickly draws to a close, I hope all of you have enjoyed your summer and are looking forward to a beautiful autumn.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Inspired by Play

The theme this week for the Year of Jewelry Project 2011 is "Play". That word always reminds me of my childhood. What carefree child can resist running through a field of grass or climbing every rock they see? I've created a couple of items inspired by the "Play" theme. The first is a rough cut, maroon quartz stone ring, set in a fine silver bezel with a textured sterling silver back plate and ring shank. I use some recycled sterling silver for the back plate. The stone was given to me by a dear friend who loves her play times; "recess" as she calls it. I made this ring for me to wear as a reminder to stop what I'm doing and take a fun recess occasionally. I call this ring "Rock Climbing". It's shaped a little like the Prudential rock logo, higher on one side than the other and every time I look at the stone, I hear the "Own a piece of the rock" jingle in my mind.

The second item I made is a pair of playful dangle earrings. I used some fiery lush green labradorite stones. I hand wire-wrapped them onto some wonderful, flowery PMC fine silver components that were handmade by Kristi Bowman of I've used some of Kristi's components before and love everything she creates. I love it when earrings sway playfully and these earrings remind me of running through the grassy playground near my childhood home. These earrings are called "Grass Play" and are listed in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Secret Garden - Sterling Silver Rose Pendant

When it comes to gardening, I have to live vicariously. You see, I don't have a green thumb. I must either enjoy the beauty of other people's gardens or simply imagine the perfect garden in my mind. One of the many flowers I would need is beautiful roses with soft, fluttering petals.

Recently, I wandered through the Rose Gardens at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, WA. The roses there were fabulous and inspired me to hand create this rose pendant out of sterling silver. I love the depth that the layers of curved sterling petals gives this little pendant. It's about the size of a US dime. The specific rose that inspired this piece is shown in the main photo on the left.

The weekly theme this week for the Year of Jewelry Project is "My Secret Garden", so I'm using this piece as my weekly entry. I recently created a custom necklace for a client, using hand cut sterling silver and brass lotus leaves. I was quite please with the result and had originally planned to use that piece for my weekly entry to YOJ, but then on Friday, I was inspired to create this rose and have opted to use this instead.

The rose necklace is listed in my etsy shop here: My Secret Garden

Friday, June 10, 2011

Recycled Copper Earrings

This week's Year of Jewelry Project theme is "Recycled (a piece that started life as something else.)"

These earrings began life long ago as a copper cuff bracelet. I made the bracelet in a jewelry class using a rolling mill and a piece of Mylar netting to create the texture. The netting was rolled into the copper twice - in opposite directions - which gave it that wavy texture. After years of never being worn as a bracelet, I decided to cut it up and create 4 pairs of earrings out of it. Two pairs are shown here, but there were 2 more pairs that have already been sent to friends as part of my facebook "Pay it Forward" sign-up last January. The earrings in this photo will soon be mailed as gifts.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A "Beautiful" treasury on etsy

My new necklace, "A Day at the Beach" is featured in a wonderful treasury of beach items! The treasury was curated by prenda and is aptly titled "Beautiful". Take a look at all the wonderful items and give it some etsy love, please.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Day at the Beach - New Work

Here's a peek at my new pendant, titled "A Day at the Beach." A beautiful turquoise, a bronze ammonite shape, a little silver, a little bronze wire all combine into this warm, bright and unique necklace!

You can read more about it and see more photos and even purchase it in my etsy shop here: A Day at the Beach.

The turquoise stone is from the Easter Blue Mine in NV and cut and polished by The bronze ammonite component is handmade by Kristi at . I love shopping handmade and using fellow etsy shop items in my jewelry work.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Seeing Red - A Year of Jewelry Project Theme of the Week

The theme this week for the Year of Jewelry Project was "Seeing Red", challenging the participants to think about what the color red evokes in us. When I see red, I think of fire, fierceness and strength. I decided to use this focal stone, a Cuprite Chrysocolla (Sonora Sunrise or Sonora Sunset as it's also called) that I purchased from cabbingrough on etsy. The shield shape of this stone is perfect for my interpretation of the color red. I see it as protecting the wearer from harm and giving her strength as she goes about her life. I've accented it with a deeply colored Carnelian stone, and added some texture and patina in the sterling silver around it for depth and interest, without overpowering the focal stone.

I made it during a delightful jewelry play date with my fellow etsy friend, Halina B and another dear and creative friend, Caren. The afternoon breezed by so quickly. I created the setting for this piece in the afternoon and then spent the evening sanding, polishing, applying patina and setting the stones.

You can see more photos of this necklace in my etsy shop here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Day Filled With Etsy Treasuries

Today, two of my necklaces were included in etsy treasuries! First, my "Spring Break" chalcedony pendant is in a cute treasury called "My Perfect Dreaming in Color Tea Party Day". Curated by PrettyDuzz, this treasury includes everything you'll need to have the perfect afternoon tea. Take a peek at the wonderful artists featured here.

My new "Serenity" Variscite pendant was included in a treasury titled "Seafoam Frothing in the Spring". This treasury is curated by darlicioushouse and includes gorgeous seafoam colored items! Click on the photos or the links to enjoy all the pretty things!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Serene Necklace!

This Veriscite stone is from the Candelaria Mine in Nevada. It was cut by Out of Our Mines Lapidary and Beadworks. I love all of their stones, but their Candelaria Veriscite stones are my favorite. The soft green color is so calming and serene. This trapezoid shape stone is beautifully cut and polished and was so easy to set. I created a modern, minimalist setting for this stone so the beauty of the stone could speak for itself. I gave the silver a soft, brushed satin finish. After I finished it, the first thing my hubby said was "Wow, what a beautiful stone! The setting is nice too, but what I really notice is the stone." That's exactly the reaction I wanted to hear!

It's available in my etsy shop here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Science of Jewelry

Physics, Chemistry and Math. These aren't subjects one usually associates with jewelry, but they are very real, everyday matters when designing and fabricating a piece of jewelry. Science is not my forte by any means, but I've been fortunate to have always lived with men who love science and math. My dad was a chemical engineer, my late husband was a math & computer science major and my husband is a civil engineer. I've learned a lot from them and I'm always tickled with the everyday applications of these subjects in my jewelry designs.

A friend of mine was in my workshop the other day and asked me about some white powdery residue on a tray that holds my pickle crock pot. Clearly, I don't clean my studio often enough, but her question led to a discussion about chemicals used in jewelry fabrication. How, when sterling silver is heated, copper rises to the surface. Pickle solution (I use phDown), is an acid needed to remove the oxidation. Next to my pickle, I have a water & baking soda solution to neutralize the acid and copper tongs to avoid any contamination of the pickle. There are many other chemicals used in jewelry making; flux, anti-flux, polishing compounds... and the person working with these chemicals needs to fully understand the uses and risks of each.

Physics and spatial relationships also come into play when creating a jewelry piece. I love to have a little movement in my jewelry, but sometimes that movement creates a challenge to make sure the piece functions well even while the wearer is moving. I hate jewelry that twists and ends up being being backwards or upside down while wearing it. If the wearer always has to fiddle with the piece, then it isn't a functional design. When I first started putting multiple stones together in my jewelry, I wanted them to interact with some playful movement in addition to the colorful interaction of the stones. I joined the two pieces together with one simple (jump) ring. After test-driving the first piece for a short while at home, I noticed that it was twisting as I moved. My civil-engineer husband quickly suggested that I use 2 or 3 jump rings to give the connection a broader base, which in turn helps keep the piece from twisting. Ah-ha! There was a light bulb moment for me in his simple, everyday physics application! I had seen this trick in other jewelry work, but I hadn't realized its practical function until my husband suggested it.

I also need to have balance in my jewelry designs. Some people can live with asymmetry, I personally can't. If a piece has more weight on one side, it won't hang straight on the wearer. Adding silver balls or other decorative elements to a piece requires careful consideration of how each element adds weight to the piece and where the connections or bail will need to be placed to maintain the overall balance of the jewelry. In a pendant, the weight of a chain can make or break not only how the piece looks, but also how well it functions and drapes.

Math comes into play all the time in my jewelry fabrication as well. I use a formula based on the depth of the wire to calculate the length of wire I need to size ring shank accurately. I use geometry to find the center of a circle or to measure equal sections of a shape. Then there's the accounting needed to manage the business end of my jewelry. That's where my business administration degree comes in handy.

Science and creativity are both essential ingredients to design and fabricate unique, functional jewelry!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beauty Everywhere I Look - an etsy treasury

My "A New Day" pendant is featured today in this lovely treasury titled "Beauty is Everywhere I Look", created by Mocahete. This treasury is so colorful, featuring items of orange, blue, rust and grey. Take a look here and discover some wonderful artists!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pay It Forward - Celtic Cross

Early in the year on my facebook page, I had a "Pay It Forward" sign-up. The first 5 people that signed up receive a handmade gift from me sometime during the year. The only requirement is that each of those 5 people need to give something to 5 of their friends, and so on...
Today I made this necklace for one of the participants. It's a cross based on a Celtic theme. Originally, I had drawn a more elaborate Celtic cross with several very tiny open spaces, but that design proved to be too difficult for my meager sawing skills. So, I pared the design down to something a little easier for me. It's made of sterling silver, which I cut and hammered, and attached to a sterling silver chain. It's simple, a little rustic and quite pretty. I hope she likes it!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day! My Mother's Jewelry Box - Part 8

Happy Mother's Day! This will be my last post in the "My Mother's Jewelry Box" series. I'll be a little sorry to see the series end. I've had such a wonderful week perusing through my few, but treasured keepsakes!

To the left is a 4 generation picture of my grandmother (left), me holding my daughter, and my mother (right). The event was my daughter's first birthday celebration at my mom's winter home in FL. This is the only time all 4 generations were together. My mom passed away before my daughter's next birthday.

The pendant shown in the top photo is one from my grandmother's jewelry box. It's a Bent Larsen Design (Denmark) piece. My parents purchased it while on a trip to Denmark in the 70's and gave it to Grandma as a gift. I've been doing a little research on Bent Larsen Designs and it appears his mid-century, Danish modernist jewelry was quite popular. Seeing photos of his other pieces has given me a few inspiration ideas of my own. More to come on that later. I really can't tell what kind of metal this piece is made of. Looking at his other pieces on-line indicate it could be tin, pewter or steel. It's a very heavy piece and has never tarnished. I love how the thick bezel is textured on the top.

This last photo is ring that I made last weekend as a Mother's Day gift for my daughter. She's not a mother yet, but I've always given her a little gift on Mother's Day as my "thank-you" to her for being such a wonderful daughter. It's made of sterling silver. I hand cut the two hearts using my new "Knew Concepts" saw, soldered them together and then soldered them to the ring shank. It fits her perfectly - she loves it.

To all the love-filled women (mother's or not) who have brightened the lives of children in some small way, thus spreading a little motherly love around the world, I sincerely wish you a very Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Mother's Jewelry Box - Part 7

Today I'll show you two photos. The first is a photo of my Mom, showing her lovely hands. As I've said in my earlier posts, she had long slender fingers and loved to wear rings to show them off. This picture gives you a glimpse of those lovely hands.

The second photo is a sixpence that my Dad presented to me on my wedding day. The traditional poem "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe." is said to bring good luck to a marriage. In English tradition, the sixpence is placed in the bride's shoe to be worn during the wedding ceremony. The morning of my wedding, my dad taped this sixpence into the lining of my shoe. I thought I had misplaced it and actually feared I had inadvertently donated it, along with the shoes, many years ago. Imagine my delight to discover it this week - it was taped to the inside wall of my mother's little "pearl" jewelry box! I know this was the sixpence my father gave me because the one he presented to me was issued in my birth year (imprinted on the reverse side).

Tomorrow, in my final post in honor of Mother's Day, I'll show you a necklace of my grandmother's and a treasured 4 generation photo.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Mother's Jewelry Box - Part 6

Today's installment of "My Mother's Jewelry Box" includes a tie clasp of my Dad's. Just as I keep my Mom's jewelry in my own box, my Mom kept a little bit of my Dad's in her box. Dad passed away several years before Mom did. This photograph of them was taken about a month before Dad passed away. The tie clasp he's wearing in the photo is the same tie clasp in her box. I can't think of my Mom without thinking of Dad, too. He was quiet, kind and gentle. One of his colleagues described him to me this way "He was truly a gentle-man in every sense of the word."
But that plaid suit? Ugh!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Mother's Jewelry Box - Part 5

Here is another of my Mom's pieces of jewelry. It wasn't always a pendant, though. When Mom passed away, this cluster setting was attached to a ring shank. Mom loved big cocktail rings. As I've told you in previous posts, her long, slender fingers wore them well. About 15 years after she died, I realized that I had never worn this ring and probably never would as I frankly didn't like it. It's too much ring and bling for my hands. So, I gave it to my brother and sister-in-law and suggested they have the stones removed to have two new pieces created for their daughters. That way, the stones would have a useful life and the girls would have something of their grandmother's. My sister-in-law accepted the ring and I never gave it a second thought.

The following Christmas, much to my surprise and delight, my sister-in-law gave me this pendant as a gift. She had a jeweler cut the ring shank off, close up the back of the setting and attach a bail. Needless to say, I was thrilled! I think it makes a stunning necklace and I have worn it often. It is by far my favorite jewelry piece of my Mother's. My sister-in-law is the most thoughtful woman I know; I am so fortunate to have her in my life. I think of her & quietly thank her every time I wear this piece.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Mother's Jewelry Box - Part 4

Today's segment of "My Mother's Jewelry Box" features her baby ring. It's so very tiny - I measured it at a size 1.5. So small that I can only slide it past the first knuckle of my pinkie finger. It has a little diamond chip in the center, with 2 dark blue chips on the sides. I think they're probably sapphire. I love how the metal is delicately engraved with rope-like details along the edges.

The outside back of the ring shank is scratched enough that it makes me believe Mom must have worn this ring at some point in her childhood, perhaps as a pinkie ring. Actually, when I ran across it a few days ago, it was so dirty that I didn't realize there were open spaces between the sapphires and the center stone. The open spaces were filled with dried dirt. Did Mom play in the mud while wearing this ring? I think so! While I thought it was cute when it was dirty, after cleaning it up a bit, I love this ring even more than when I first found it. Here's a picture of it all caked with dirt:

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Mother's Jewelry Box - Part 3

In part 3 of "My Mother's Jewelry Box", I'll show one of my mother's faux pearl necklaces and one of her little jewelry boxes.

The "pearl" necklace is something she wore often when I was a child. I thought the rhinestone clasp was so pretty when I was young. As you can see, a few of the rhinestones are missing now. This isn't something I wear. I just keep it in the jewelry box for sentimental reasons.

The little jewelry box (under the necklace) is one of my favorite remembrances of my mother. She had several little boxes of jewelry and one primary box (which now belongs to my daughter) that I don't have a photo of. This box is just plastic and I'm not sure if it was intended to be a jewelry box, or an evening bag. The brand name painted inside is the name of a suitcase & handbag company originally located in MN. The top lifts up and has a little mirror inside. She always kept her "pearls" in this one. I still keep them there, safe and sound.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Mother's Jewelry Box - Part 2

In keeping with my Mother's Day theme this week, here is a picture of another one of my Mom's rings. It's an amethyst stone. I wore this ring daily for many years after Mom passed away and it remains one of my favorite rings today. I love the swirl in the ring shank and the shape of the stone. I've managed to scratch up the top surface of the stone by wearing it so often. I really should bring it in to a pro to see if the scratches can be polished out, but part of me believes a little wear and tear adds character to jewelry. I recall my mom wearing this ring only a few times. It was one of the newer pieces in her collection.

I'm excited to bring you more of my mother's jewelry box throughout this week. Going through the box is bringing back fond memories for me. Oh, how I loved trying on her jewelry when I was a child!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Mother's Jewelry Box - Part 1

I'm using Mother's Day (May 8th) as my jewelry inspiration for this entire week. I'll take you on a little trip this week through my own mother's jewelry box. My mom passed away more than 20 years ago, but I still have a few of her old pieces of jewelry. I occasionally wear them on days that I want to carry her with me, but some pieces simply sit in my small jewelry collection as a quiet reminder of her.

One of the things I distinctly remember about my mother is that she had beautiful hands. They were petite with long, slender fingers and beautiful nails. She loved rings and wore them well. The picture above is of her high school class ring. I have the same ring size as she did, so I feel privileged to be able to wear her old rings whenever I'm in the mood. Unfortunately, they don't look as nice on my short fingers as they once did on her lovely hands. But, that isn't why I wear her rings.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Water Worn - Sea Urchin Earrings

The theme this week for the Year of Jewelry Project 2011 is 'Water Worn'. Inspired by the theme, I've created these earrings out of red sea coral and natural river rocks. I've added some sterling silver wire decoration as seaweed. I love how playful and organic they look!

They're in my etsy shop now: Sea Urchin Dangle Earrings

Midwestern Love - an etsy treasury

My new turquoise and copper ring is featured today in this "Midwestern Love" treasury! I'm proud to have Midwestern roots and I go back to MN several times a year to renew my spirit.

Take a look at the other lovely items in this treasury and leave a comment on the treasury site! Did you know that clicking on and leaving comments on etsy treasuries helps them rank high enough to be featured on the front page of etsy? Many thanks to the creator of this treasury, botny, for including my turquoise ring in the treasury!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Turquoise Ring with Mixed Metals

New from my bench today, this turquoise ring is set in a fine silver bezel and backed with sterling silver. The ring shank is also sterling silver. I've added a decorative copper plate on top of the sterling back plate. The copper highlights the brown & copper veins in the turquoise quite nicely. The patina adds a little depth and warmth to the copper. I love the look of mixed metals! It's size 7.5. It's listed in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Honeydew & a silly little joke

I've titled this necklace "Honeydew". While I was making it, a little joke from my childhood kept popping into my head. It goes like this: Two melons are sitting side by side in the produce section of the grocery store. One says to the other "But darling, I cantaloupe." The other says "Oh please, honeydew!" Cute pun, right? This was one of my Dads jokes. He loved puns and he was great at telling jokes. I remember laughing so hard when he told this one. Of course, I think I was about 10 years old and "getting" any joke made it hysterical.

The color of this Rhine chrysoprase reminds me of honeydew. I love how the warm yellow in the Oregon sunstone accent brings out the little flecks of golden yellow in the chrysoprase. It's available in my etsy shop now.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Drop of Sunshine - Lemonade Druzy Agate

I live in Seattle, where rain and grey skies prevail from October through May. The other day I was complaining about the rain to a friend and her response was "Just think of it as drops of liquid sunshine!" The comment didn't cheer me up, but it did make me think of this lemonade druzy stone I've had for a few months. It's rain drop shape and sunshine color certainly fits the comment my friend made. The sun even (briefly) came out while I was creating it!

The natural crystals on this agate catch the light from every direction. It's a drop of liquid Sunshine. This happy little necklace is available in my etsy shop now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's all about orientation

This week I set my sights on creating a pendant with this purple Tiffany stone. Originally, I designed it as a vertical pendant, which is my usual pendant orientation. I had it all finished, tried it on to check that it hangs straight, but I just didn't like it. It didn't feel right to me. Too big. Too long. Now, I love bold pendants, but this was beyond my personal comfort zone of big and bold.

I set it down and walked away for a few hours. When I came back, my first glance at it was horizontal and my aha moment came! It looked so much better horizontally than it did vertically. So I added a hole to hang chain from the sides, tried it on and love it as a horizontal pendant. Of course, if someone perfers it vertically, I can always change it back to a vertical orientation.

Ironically, the theme for this week's Year of Jewelry Project is "Double Duty"; create something that can be used more than one way. I couldn't get inspired to use the theme because I wanted to work with this purple Tiffany stone and I already had a design in mind. But by the end of the week, I'd accidentally created something that had a double duty. I had been feeling guilty for not using the theme this week. No more guilt - I just needed to see things from a different orientation.

It's available in my etsy shop here. Don't forget, Mother's Day is May 8th!

If I Were Queen for the Day

My "Heart Full of Love" necklace is featured in this wonderful treasury titled "If I Were Queen for the Day". Curated by CocoChicLLC, she's put together some amazing gifts that would make any mother feel like a queen! Check out all the items today, post a comment or two about your favorites and show this treasury some etsy love. Don't forget Mother's Day is May 8th!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Robin Eggs

My latest creation is a tribute to the robin that built its' nest just outside my kitchen window. The gorgeous Amazonite stones are robin egg blue. I've set them in fine silver bezels and backed them with textured sterling silver. I gave them a light patina to bring out the texture and hung them from handmade sterling silver ear wires. A little bit of springtime to wear!

They are in my etsy shop here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy 80th Birthday!

This weekend marks my mother-in-laws' 80th birthday! She's spry, still goes bowling twice per week and she's having a birthday bash this weekend. Sadly, I won't be able to go to MN to help her celebrate. Today I made this glowing (like she is) moonstone pendant for her. I'll put it in the mail tomorrow so she'll be able to open it on her birthday. I'm not worried about spoiling her surprise gift by showing it to you early - she doesn't "do" computers.

Eighty is wonderful!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Complements, Compliments!

The theme for this week's Year of Jewelry Project is "Complementary Colors" (colors opposite from each other on the color wheel). I chose to make this pendant in a red-green complementary color combination. The main stone is Cuprite Chrysocolla, more commonly called Sonora Sunset or Sonora Sunrise. It's a beautiful rusty red with green veins running through it. I've added an accent stone of green chrysocolla. I've hand made the setting of sterling silver and fine silver and added a rich patina for accent. Hopefully, this pendant with complementary colors will bring compliments to the wearer!

It's available for purchase and more photos are in my etsy shop.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

No Fooling - An April Fool's Day SALE! 25% OFF!

Call me a fool, but I love April Fool's Day and a good a practical joke. Lucky for you, my April Fool's Day SALE isn't a joke. For one day only, April 1, 2011, get 25% OFF your purchase in my etsy shop! Use the discount coupon code: "NOFOOLING2011" during checkout to receive the discount!!!

Have a fun April Fool's Day!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blossom into Spring!

Spring has finally arrived! Buds are forming on branches, the sun is shining and I'm waiting to see the first blossom of spring. Spring brings with it the promise of renewal and good things to come. This necklace represents that wonderful promise of nature.
I've crafted this unique necklace out of sterling silver wire and a single cultured pearl. The sterling silver twigs have been hand formed, heavily textured, given a patina and then sanded to a soft, satin finish. The lone cultured pearl is securely attached to the twig on a soldered sterling post. Sterling silver long-and-short chain is attached giving the necklace a length of 18" and is easily adjustable to be shorter.
You can find more photos and information in my etsy shop here.
Happy Spring!