Sunday, July 17, 2016

One of This and One of That Gets You Reproducibles

"Hello out there" to anybody who might still be reading my sorely neglected blog.
A hearty "THANK YOU" for stopping by.

Seriously, every time I post, my intention is to do another post within a couple of weeks.

Life simply has a way of interrupting my best intentions.

This Spring and Summer we've seen more than our fair share of minor catastrophes
and unexpected and unpleasant surprises.
When I start thinking about throwing a stellar pity-party for myself,  
all I have to do is turn on the news for a reality check.

So many people are undergoing difficulties I can only imagine.

My heart goes out to all those worldwide who have been affected by 
the recent tragedies and heartache.


Be forewarned friends..
I have a bad case of "Chatty Cathy" Syndrome today.
Lots of dialogue ensues.
Apologies in advance.

Since my last post, I've realized a few
interesting things that seem to go hand in hand with one another
and that have had an influence on my recent approach to my work.

One thing I've discovered is that rather than focusing solely on one of a kind pieces,
I really enjoy doing collections of work inspired by a singular theme.
You'll be seeing a few new series I'm working on in this post.

 That seems to work out pretty well as 
I frequently have requests to remake previously sold designs.


As promised, I said that I would give you updates about my experience on 
Handmade at Amazon.

As I've contemplated how to proceed with my Handmade at Amazon shop,
I've done quite a bit of research on the whole Handmade marketplace.
Some people have done very well there.
Many have not.

I personally haven't put much effort into my shop there so that might skew my results.
If the experiences shared by other OOAK artists on the AH forums are accurate, 
a lot of effort wouldn't make much of a difference.

It seems apparent that one of a kind work
 isn't going to fly out the doors of the Amazon Handmade marketplace,  
as their business setup is geared towards "reproducibles".
Unless customers specifically look for Handmade, it's hard to be found.

Perhaps doing series will lend itself better to selling on that marketplace.
Perhaps not.

Some people who are currently signed up for selling in the Handmade marketplace
are switching over to the general marketplace because of the lack of traffic
to the Handmade category.  

Will keep you posted!

So what does one have to do with another?
You might begin (begin?) to think I'm losing it,
if I'm showing you the same earrings over and over - nope!
Well, maybe I am losing it, but not entirely sure the photo thing is how you can tell.

You'll see more photos of similar jewelry pieces 
because I have begun adding more limited edition designs to my Etsy shop.
Not duplicates but versions of a similar style.

Possibly some of you may have noticed that I'm even slower about updating my website 
than I am about blogging.
Since my blog serves as my updated online gallery,
(yes, I use the term "updated" loosely)
you'll get er have to see them all!
(insert sinister laugh here)
Many thanks to you all for humoring me
when I write these mega posts!

Shall we move on to what you came to see?.....

In an attempt to reduce the amount of reading you have to do here,
 if you'd like to know who made a particular artisan bead or component,
the artists are credited in the individual listings in my shop.  

First up is one of my all time favorite necklaces...

"Ancient Treasure"

uh yeah, the caption is above the picture.
Cuz when I rearranged the pictures 
(after uploading a ton of them all at once to make it easier-ha!),
I can't seem to add spaces in between them for appropriately placed captions.
Being the tech wiz I am and all.

 Gifts of Time

Fascinating fossil seashells and artisan ceramics.

I haven't had much time for shaping rocks and fossils this summer 
but I've worked on a few.
I prefer to leave fossils in as natural a state as possible,
smoothing them just enough to be comfortable to wear.
You'll see some of these pop up in my new work.

You know I tend to hang onto my supplies for awhile.
Well, I've been hoarding er saving many of these wonders for a while.
This necklace is full of organic beauties!
I really like how the repeated shapes appear in numerous complimentary materials.
Circles, orbs, tubes and spears harmonize in one of 
Tracy's big carved metal beads, Jill's ceramic branch, toggle and leaf beads,
some of Suz's incredible fossil finds,
an ancient Roman ring from Frank tucked in there
 and fossils I've collected and drilled.

Haven't decided if this necklace will be for sale or not.
If so, it will be sold direct as one of the materials is not Etsy friendly.
If you're interested, contact me via email.

I'm still working on displays.
These are a completely different style than the previous necklace displays I've shared.
I've been collecting random antique and unusual hardware for a few years 
with the idea that one day I'll attach all of it to this board 
(that I am somewhat embarrassed to admit) 
that I have carted around through a couple of moves...


Ok so you're not impressed?
C'mon, work with me here - imagine it with beautiful jewels hanging all over it...
eh? eh?

Earrings will hang on the metal banding along the top.
(now you can finally see what my plan was with your banding Tracy!)
Necklaces and bracelets will hang from the assorted hooks and rings.
The off-white multi arm thing spins.
Rings will sit in the upside down drawer pulls at the bottom corners.
The hardware is spaced out so that the displayed jewelry will fill in all of the empty spots.

Of course, no jewelry display of mine would be complete without a hand!

The statue assemblage will hold necklaces and earrings
when its finished.

This display is fairly heavy on its own and will be even heavier
when laden with jewelry.
I think Mr. Wonderful might need to use his technical skills to hang this in such a way to 
successfully manage all that weight.
Because I may have had one or two heavy display fails in my past.
I said that "MAY" have happened, I didn't say it did happen.
No don't go start trouble here.

Moving on.....

I also have some new metal earring displays...

For a few months, I've been working on a design for these displays 
that would combine the historical vibe in the figural pieces
with contemporary styling.
I wanted a unique eclectic look
that wasn't similar to what other people are doing with their handmade displays.
I also wanted them tall enough to accommodate long earrings.
I'm really happy with the results.

They will be listed in the Attic shop soon.

Well, ok, soon is relative.

Back to the jewels...

Shifting Sands

Fabulous rustic ceramics!

The Subtle Sun

More wonderful ceramics which remind me of hypertufa
 paired with copal and landscape jasper.

The Black Pearl

Gorgeous irridescence in these pearls!
With romantic Baroque ceramic chandelier droppers.

We Are All The Same

The interchange of colors reminds me that no matter how we appear on the outside,
we share the same feelings, worries, joys and sorrows.
We are all the same inside.

Cool Waters

Those ceramic connectors look like pools of inviting cool water to me.
possibly that's because we're hovering around the
triple digit temperatures here.


...with sprinkles

As I was working on these earrings, 
I noticed that I had drilled the hole slightly off center in one of the torch fired enamel drops.
So it hung a little wonky.
Can't sell something that I didn't intend to be wonky, now can I?
Had to keep these.

Soaring Scents

Why yes, that is a vintage MOP perfume bottle that the bird is pirating away!

Assemblage necklace of fossils and artisan created
ceramics paired with a mushroom carved from bone.

Crisp black and white hues to enhance the organic components.

It's a bird.. it's a plane..
It's a flock of earrings on the way...


Midnight Bird

I'm continually drawn to anything with a bird theme.

This next bracelet is entitled
"Eye of The Magpie"

Amber nuggets, faceted red garnets, a nugget of green and red garnet,
torch fired enamel and bird bands!

The shop that used to supply the bird bands I use in my jewelry no longer carries them.
So I now have them available here
in sets of 6, 2 each of three different sizes.

Emerging Cicadas

Wonderful new-old-stock carved carnelian insects
emerging from serpentine stone plant pots.

This unruly mess is actually a collection of old metal bobbins.  
Really cool, very old bobbins.
Couldn't pass them up when I saw them at an antique store.
(much to the chagrin of the ladies working there who hadn't seen them before I did!)
They were pricey but I knew they had hidden potential 
so I bit the bullet and went for it.
So glad I did...

They became this!

The Seamstress

Following are a few more pairs of earrings from my
"Ancient Hoard Series"
Some of these might look familiar (I warned you)
as they are remakes, as requested, of previously sold earrings.




The torch fired enamel components remind me of black holes in space.
The wonderful texture on the lampwork headpins put me in mind of
swirling rings around a planet.
The beautiful array of blue and aqua hues in the glass harmonize perfectly with
the subtle grey and blue on vivid deep black enamel
to evoke a sense of wonder and awe of deep space.

Lichen Spikes


Orbiting Lapis

Lapis Lazuli paired with lampwork glass and
hammered brass. 

I've also had some inquiries about making long over-the-head necklaces
for those who prefer not to fiddle with clasps.

Here's one, made with some of the new-old-stock amber
and amazing deep purple old amethyst I told you about in my last post.

The Dancing Beauty

A gorgeous vintage cameo embellished metal dance card, faceted smoky quartz and
faceted old garnets.

 The Peaceful Village

Another 'over-the-head' necklace with
raw aquamarine nuggets, raw ruby crystals, red garnets, bright apatite, pearls and sterling.

 The surprise inside of this vintage sterling locket pays homage to to the intriguing women who have lived in villages just like the one depicted on the front of this locket.

From a vintage carved bone lingerie button, hangs a collection of
 lovely and extravagant gemstones that
 have caught the eyes of women throughout time.

Briolettes of ruby, apatite, black spinel and tourmalinated quartz.  
A single carved bone rose adorned with emerald and tanzanite adds a touch of romance.

This post is going on and on, isn't it?

Did I already thank you for bearing with me?

Well, thanks again!
Because we aren't done quite yet.

Next are a few pairs of earrings from my
"Fragments of Antiquities" series
and why I created them...

Ancient Viking fibula fragments and rings inspired this new collection entitled "Fragments of Antiquities". 

These are fragments of ancient jewelry that were worn and cherished at one time by people whose individual stories we will never know. I find this aspect of antiquities fascinating. I enjoy contemplating who may have created these treasures so long ago. Who wore them? How did they end up abandoned and left behind? I relish giving new life to these pieces so that they may be once again worn and cherished.  

These fibula fragments and rings are "Kievan Rus Viking" from 900-1200 A.D. 

I've applied a light metal sealant to the fragments to protect the ancient patina. Other than the sealant, the ancient metals have been preserved in the condition in which they were found.  

Dance of The Flames

So named because of the stunning play of color in the Raku beads
paired with deep red faceted garnets.

Hands of Time

Ancient rings, garnets, soldered brass charms
and beautiful bronze hands.

Jubilation Dance of Our Ancestors

These earrings remind me of people dancing with wild abandon
expressing pure joy.
The legs are created from ancient fibulas and rings.

The next pair is entitled
"The Artists"

They are composed of ancient metalwork, ancient glass work, modern ceramics
and precious stones all worked by artisan's talented hands.

Drops of Sunshine

Ferns in The Moon Garden

These earrings remind me of the mysterious and inviting
textures and shadowy colors in a night blooming moon garden.

The Space Above Our Sky

This necklace is reversible.
The focal is a silver edged galaxy drusy hanging from a hammered
pewter cone and ceramic cone bead. 

The black streak in this galaxy drusy reminds me of a falling star. 

The other side is heavily textured in hues of grey, white and taupe.

Catch of The Week

Hammer faceted fluorite nuggets represent clear tropical water
in which this amazing segmented ceramic fish swims!
The fish vertebrae add a bit of earthy realism to this
fun assemblage necklace.


What else could I name this necklace with such a wonderful array of organic textures?
These textures represent all this is beautiful on our
incredible earth.
Each item in this necklace has a special meaning as to why it was chosen.
It's currently listed in my Etsy shop if you care to
read the narrative in the listing description. 

Earthen Spikes

The Mystery Garden

Sunset Dewdrop

The Mystery Garden Deux

 Hike in The Desert

The picture in this Chohua jasper is so welcoming.
The black spiky plants in the foreground alongside a dry riverbed remind me of the
dramatic landscapes found in the arid deserts of the US southwest.

White Sand Beckons

I do seem to have sugar sand beaches on my mind, don't I?

Orbiting Rings Above Celestial Lights

These earrings remind me of photos I've seen of deep space.
Dazzling celestial lights beneath planetary rings in orbit that are both
mesmerizing and inspiring.


This brings us to another new series I'm working on...

I'm still deciding on a name for this series of
simple assemblage pendant necklaces...

Hand tinted and black and white vintage scenes that we can glimpse through  
welcoming vintage windows.

Here are some of the charming scenes that I'm embellishing
with chalks.

soft retro colors

Here are just a few of the untinted- black and white

I want to finish up more of them before I begin listing them.

These next two limited edition necklaces are chock full of precious
and semi-precious gemstones.

Resplendent Deux

Raw ruby topped with aquamarine, fluorite, Hubei turquoise,
amazonite, faceted aqua chalcedony, prasiolite and
 rare new-old-stock Italian pink coral.

There are only two of these necklaces...


This necklace is similar to the preceding one but has jade and phrenite 
instead of the pearl and chalcedony.

Earrings that could be worn with these gemstone necklaces...


Splendor Deux

Slightly different earring designs with fancy pearls and the beautiful Italian coral.

 Unusual pearls with vintage lace and crystals wrapped round and round with oxidized sterling.

These long beads are a new material to me.

Eco-friendly and versatile.

The following are also Tyvek.
Great texture and color...  
paired with luminous lampwork glass and ceramic beads.

Baroque Rose

 I realized as I was writing listing descriptions for some of my earrings,
that I seldom put random materials together.
Usually the materials I choose for my jewelry
have meaning and awaken memories or feelings.
Many of my jewelry pieces have a back story.
While they might not look like traditional narrative jewelry,
they do have a story to tell.

Since this blog would be even longer
( you know-that syndrome I warned you about) if I told you each and every one,
I'll resist best as I can....

But then again,
as with the "Resplendent" necklaces,
sometimes I do just put a whole bunch of pretty gemstones together
they look good together.

What can I say?
I've been feeling crummy and running a fever for 4 days-
it's affecting my ability to stop typing words!! 

Fire Blooms

I made a few pairs of earrings with a boho chic vibe. 

Colors of The Shoreline


Boho Garden

Ok finally-that's it!


The End

Well almost,
except for this...

which is specifically for Lucie
for obvious reasons...

I know you don't have spiders bigger than this in your garden!

Looks like a Texas Jumping Spider to me.
Apparently roadkill since it met it's demise on the front of this truck.

Ok, I'm kidding but that picture is just for Lucie because she loves my spider pictures.

This next picture is for no particular reason (well maybe the fever thing?)
other than I wanted to share it with you 
cuz I like it and thought you might too.
I mean who doesn't like dancing octopi and bird girls?

and sadly...

Recent wind damage

And now...
the look you're all wishing you could give me after the length of this post.

How does that saying go...
If looks could ______?

Thanks so much for stopping in!
And for those of you who read through this whole thing-wow!  
You have some crazy stamina.
wink wink.

Hope you and yours are all well and happy till next time!


  1. Dear Janet, I'm particularly touched that you thought of me and by this special picture :-S I can assure you that when I'd see this car in my rearview mirror, I'll stop by the kerb to allow it to go away immediately ;-)
    Thank you for your updates about your experience on Amazon Handmade... I admit I'm actually lost about any strategy to sell, Etsy is dead for me except a few hairpins because even if the flowers changes it is a repeated design so maybe they're found this way otherwise I've become completely invisible, I have my own website on wordpress but it is a lot of hassle and I regularly need to call for help to make the updates and resolve regular bugs and anyway I don't know why because it's bilingual but I only get the odd French customer... well it's a puzzle, I was thinking about moving to shopify...
    and I forget the most important : thank you for this huge post and all the beauties you created and shared here, I must come back to have a slower and closer look at each marvel.

    1. Hi Lucie! Hahaha I thought you would enjoy that picture! You do such beautiful work that I'm dismayed to hear that your sales have slowed down. Please don't think this is a reflection on you. It seems to be this way for many people in many locales. I have noticed that it's been awhile since your blog has appeared on my blog roll. I wondered if you had changed something and I missed it. Please don't lose heart about slow sales. Your work is exceptional!

  2. Thanks for the very enjoyable & entertaining post. Dripping with beautiful work as always. Smart of you to be thinking in series. I always like seeing another ancient hoard piece pop up. That you are always playing with new materials is awesome. Always something fun. Xo

    1. Thank YOU for stopping in to say hello! Your always supportive insight and comments are so very much appreciated. :). Xoxo

  3. I adore the fossil/ammonite necklace. In particular the black ammonite piece sent me scrambling to EBAY/ETSY looking for similar gems. Your work is so inspiring to me!!!

    1. Hi Chris and welcome! It's so nice to hear that you enjoy my work-thank you! I hope you were able to locate some of the black ammonites. Apologies, I'm not able to help you out with that. I found them at a local show where the seller had been through a flood just the weekend before and had no business cards or any contact info that survived. Amazingly, his good humor remained intact!

  4. You've sure made up for any lack of blogging with this post!! I enjoyed it so much!! I love the way you pull together all these assemblages of so many unusual bits and pieces!!

    1. Thanks Kristi! I very much appreciate you taking the time to share your kind thoughts! What a nice spin you put on my procrastination! :)

  5. A beautiful and lavish feast, as always!!
    Hmmmm, I wonder why Amazon decided to call it 'Handmade'? The whole exercise has been a puzzler....
    One of many mind addling events of late......
    Wonderful works as ever, but, I hope I'm not being terribly rude in saying that my VERY most favourite piece here, is your fantastical display!!! That hand - and the spinny bit!! Made me giddy with excitement!!! Make MORE, more, more. I want one wall sized!!! LOVE IT!!!!!
    Of course, it goes without saying, that Ancient Treasures is a masterpiece! WOW!
    Is that spider real or not? You know how easily fooled I am - I believed that picture of one as big as a house! Mind you, I recently saw a video of an Australian Huntsman on someone's ceiling, that was as big as that fender bender! Horrors!
    Thank youuuuu, darling, for such a wonderfully luxurious post! BRAVAAAAA!! XOXOXOOX :O)<3

    1. Thank you Petra, for your wonderfully luxurious comment! Delighted to hear you like the display! Yes yes! A wall sized display like that would be grand! You need one! I'm laughing out loud about the spider. Since you've just confirmed that there are actual spiders of that size in Australia, do you think that just maybe- this one hitched a ride to Texas on a jet? Hahaha. ;)

  6. I am loving your organic pieces. You never cease to amaze me. Your work certainly doesn't look like life has been in the way...but I do know what you mean. I like the idea of doing a series...I've been wanting to do the same. Thank you for sharing all your lovelies.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping in, Lela! Oh yes! Seeing a series of your work would be exciting. Your work is all beautiful but I have to say that I'm really partial to your stone set rings. They're perfection!

  7. PS: Janet! I just read on your Etsy shop that you have jewelry at Blue Fish in Frenchtown, NJ. I love Blue Fish clothing and have several pieces that I need to get out again. I first found it when they had their first shop in Taos. Go you! Your work is perfect for the Blue Fish line!!

    1. Thank you! I've become extremely particular who I collaborate with these days. I'm absolutely thrilled to team with Blue Fish. What a great company!

  8. I loved your lengthy sharing! The insights you have and the inventive ways of using materials has perked my own creative juices to go into the studio and start working wit some of the bits and pieces I have there. Your story has opened those mind doors that were closed and kept me from finishing some pieces that have been cluttering up my bench waiting for just the right touch. Thank you!

    1. Welcome Mardi! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment-how very kind of you! I'm happy to hear that I was able to pay forward a bit of inspiration; thankfully I've recieved more than my fair share from all of my talented colleagues in the artistic community. Thank YOU,

  9. Hi AA - wow!!! is the right comment - I was exhausted by the sheer quantity of work that you have done. Loved the draw panel with the holding hooks. And finding a place that promotes and sells one's stuff is always the big challenge. Continue to enjoy the creation of what you love to make; and may the sales come your way. Go well - peace. B

  10. Hey there Barry,. Thank you for stopping in and for the kind comment. Your continued encouragement, support and inspiration are very much appreciated. Btw, that display panel with the hooks-STILL not hung up. Hahahaha.

    1. Must be having too much fun creating!!!! B

  11. I have just waded through your last two posts for about the 5th time, and was going to leave glowing comments about this and that but I can't. The sheer volume of visual delights just overwhelms me. I do love the fossil and the first necklace is a doozie!!

  12. Aww what a nice thing to say. Thank you, Greer! I've just read your most recent post featuring your newest enameled octopus necklace. Wow! Your endless list of skills is amazing! You do such a beautiful job with each and every technique and medium you work in. Kudos!

  13. At last! Forgive me for taking so long to check you out. This is how I keep tabs on you. Of course there is always the telephone, which you know I am phone phobic. But I do love spiders and snakes. Was that a real spider? Seems to be some confusion. I wanted to cry if it was real. I truly loved the rambling on and on along with all the creativity. You are special. I will contact you otherwise. Love, HOT

    1. Hello there Helen, my long lost fiend. (Autocorrect keeps changing it to "friend". Hahaha). So good to hear from you! Thank you for stopping in and saying hi. You've been on my mind even more than usual recently, which is the signal to me that we are overdue for a chat. Phone phobic or not! ;) Well, since Florida actually has those "good housekeeping" spiders nearly that big, I can understand the confusion! Just thinking about them still makes me shudder! Looking forward to catching up-with you soon. Xoxoxoxo


I love to hear what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.