Friday, March 22, 2013

Adventures, Kinda Sorta

Hello all,

Hope things have been wonderful for all of you. 

Let's see what's been going on in virtual-world since my last post.....There's a new blog for you all to check out...
The lovely Flotsam Kim has a new blog, well worth a looksee.  This one is inspired by her love of the forest and the sea.  Knowing Kim, it will be full of her trademark beautiful photos and inspiring, uplifting thoughts.  Always a pleasure to see what she has to share.  So please pay a visit to Kim at


and if you haven't checked out her Pinterest page yet, you are in for a treat when you do!


I've changed my comment section just a tad.  I've received some wonderful anonymous comments from people such as Anna, to whom this doesn't apply.  For the last few months I've been inundated with spam anonymous comments.  UGH!  While some of them are quite entertaining, most are just plain annoying.  So now "registered ID" users can leave comments.  Which still means everyone can comment, you just have to enter your name and email or url to do so.  Easy peasy. It's either that or making you prove you're not a robot, which face it, no one wants to do or comment moderation, which I don't want to do. Though if this doesn't work, that will be the next thing to try.


Petra of Scorched Earth is coming out with a new line of her amazing work that can be personalized with patinas of choice!  Oh the possibilities!  Can't wait! 


The new issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry is on the newstands and it's a good one!

Melinda from beesonpie has not one but two excellent articles in this issue.  Both featuring how to make her fabulous necklaces.  You can tell how cool they are from the titles;  Hidden Love Poems and the second is Secret Window necklaces.

but we're not done yet....

Lucietales has a great article as well.  Check this guys.... it's entitled Old World Earrings and it's wonderful.  And when you check out her blog you'll see that she's just had a lovely honor in her native France.  Congrats Lucie!

Cat Kerr also has two, count em two articles.  My Home Song Soldered Pendants and this is the one that's especially tempting me to find my soldering iron, Glass Tube Soldered Pendants.  Both are intriguing techniques.

Great job ladies!  I so enjoyed your articles!

I'm in there too with an article titled .......... 

  here's what it's about......

cuffs...out of tin....

Thank you Cynthia and staff
for doing a characteristically amazing job with my article! 
Thrilling each and every time I open this fantastic magazine and see my work.

And last but not least, Marina of fancifuldevices fame
 has been featured in the new mixed media book by Seth Apter. 
How exciting is that?!
You can read all about it on her blog.
Congrats Marina!

I promised you adventures, didn't I?
I did, kinda sorta.  Yeah, these qualify.
Kinda sorta.
We found ourselves downtown with a few hours unspoken for.
Remembering the other Janet's recommendation that the Kimball Art Museum
is not only a wonderful museum but also
a fascinating building, we popped into there.
Didn't hurt that they had a Bernini exhibition going on
that we both wanted to see.
Turns out they wouldn't let me photograph the Bernini's,
but I did get some good shots of the other art.
It was a cold rainy day so no shots of the building. 
That will be another post for another day.
Isn't she fabulous? 
you'll be seeing a postcard of this one as a background for my earrings from time to time.
check out the teeth and eyes on that one.
 just a little bit disturbing?
you can tell that this one is stunning
even though my camera didn't capture the depth and richness of the colors.
Love this one.
The movement and the colors are just dreamy.
I wish you could see how great these really are.
this was our absolute fav.
yes, both of us!
Mr. wonderful was impressed with how realistic the fabric looked,
while I was blown away with the translucency of her skin
and the depth of her eyes.
Stunningingly breathtaking.
So on this picture alone, I recommend you checking out the Kimball if you ever get a chance.
incredible eyes, eh?
If I remember correctly, these set the gold standard for sculpted eyes,
as well they should.
love a good storm painting
I love the draping stone!
 How do they do that?!
and the most unexpected thing was this....
Michaelangelos first painting.
He was 12!
Creepy kid?
Budding genious?
A bit of both?
Now you know that we do in fact, appreciate culture.
Even though you are more familiar with us doing this sort of thing.....
looking in dry riverbeds for these....
well, I see that my hand is in this picture too.
Guess that's cuz my big ole hands get in the way of my little old iphone camera...
but I digress..
an ammonite in Mr. Wonderful's hand!
That one's a keeper.
this next one not so much.
a big one still embedded in the matrix.
how big you ask?
this big...
dry dusty toes for size reference
what you want to know is what we found, right? 
 An almost perfect echinoid!
Happy dance.....
Look at that heart shaped stone with the holes all over it!
That bit of an ammonite to the left of the heart stone may not look like much there....

But see it here.... 
notice the druzy in there?
It's much more sparkly than the picture shows.
Makes me hopeful that there will be druzy in some of the other ammonite bits
we found once I cut them open.
we also found this guy....

which is the single worst picture I have ever asked you to suffer through.
I think, right?  Well, maybe some of my comic relief pictures were worse...
but that was the subject matter not the picture itself..  
What...other people can take good iphone photos?
Well, I know Barry from rustnstuff does whole posts
 using nothing but incredible iphone photos, so it is apparently possible.
But here I ask that you please use your imagination......
it's the bluest bug I've ever seen.
no irredescence, just a nice matte blue.
waiting to be encased in resin.
how's that for adventures?
Yes, that was a serious question.
I can hear you laughing from here!
they were small but we enjoyed them,
no kinda sorta about it.
what else have I been up to?
can you stand a few more pictures?
aww c'mon...sure you can...
I promise, they are in focus.
 Venetian Serenade
Venetian blue combined with delicate filigree.
They need to be in a gondola cruising the waterways, eh?
 Assemblage in Black and White
 M'Lady's Family Crest

I think I like the effect with the postcard.
Dancing in Rio

Love the colorplay going on in these.
 Beloved Aunts
 Significance of the Numbered Starfish

These have teeny tiny little sparkling druzy-filled baby geodes
adorned with the tiniest silver-grey raw diamonds.

 Morning Stroll in The Butterfly Garden
 May Flowers
Yes, another themed pair.  You know how I love a theme.
It all started with the light blueish-white druzy in the perfect shape of a cloud.
Then the bright clear blue beads reminded me of a Colorado sky.
There's no other blue quite like that.
Paired with the vintage flower earrings and the faceted teardrops,
the saying popped into my head
"April showers bring May flowers"
 Dance Marathon

just because these two look to me like they are all about having fun!
And they look like they are all dressed up for a night on the town.
Taken from a vintage necklace, I purchased for this very purpose.
 Starry Night Deux
These were a custom request.
Embellished with faceted rubies and emeralds.

 The faceted teardrops have the slightest hint of aquamarine blue.
He Loves Me...He Loves Me Not

Made this using the same tiered, dimensional technique as described in the
Adventures in Tinland article. 
 Spring's Whisper
 The bane of Mr. Wonderful, dandelions gone to seed.
 I Remember the Treasured Days

this assemblage necklace has a variety of things that speak of the past to me.
A fossil ammonite mounted onto a beautiful filigree shield,
a trilobite that I collected while on a wonderful vacation with very dear friends
that I then cut and shaped myself.
The floral embellished locket to hold precious memories.
A vintage chain with fabulous patina on the round metal beads,
 combined with a lovely stick pearl and handformed clasp.
Collected together on a handformed flame painted copper neckpiece.
 and finally this gorgeous vessel by pipnmolly.
I purchased this for myself forever ago,
 somewhere in the midst of the move and have just now
attched it to the frosted fourite nuggets and heavy, rolled chain.
I wanted to keep the neckchain simple so
that it would complement but not compete with her
beautiful vessel.
So glad that now, I can wear this stunning piece!
That's all folks!
Phew!  You made it through all those pictures!
How about we end on this wonderful note?

Spring is here!
According to the calender at any rate.
Hagoonee (goodbye in Navajo)

Monday, March 4, 2013

The End of an Era

Hello all,

Hope you've all been well and enjoying yourselves.  I actually have quite a lot to share with you today.  Yes, indeed...back to my usual making you look at tons of pictures.  C'mon, you know you like it! 

What era could I possibly be referring to in my post title?  Why, the ear obsession era of course!  Been a long run with earrings, hasn't it?  Well maybe it's not entirely ending, you know better than that, eh?  But just for a short bit, I've focused on other body now, keep it clean.  You know this is a G rated blog.  Here, let me explain

Remember these?

Sparkling Stars in the Midnight Rose Garden
Turns out they are a tad bit too large for the lovely lady I made them for,
so they will be relisted this week.
Exchanged for this smaller version....

What do you think?
Do they still fit the bill minus the roses
 which I just couldn't squeeze into them and keep them the desired size?
That's the very last bit of that turquoise.
The search goes on for more.
This is what I've been working on steadily since my last post.......
A fellow jewelry-making Etsian entrusted me with some of her
beautiful baubles to be made into goodies for her wrists.
here's what I came up with
Bird in Flight
I affixed her carved pre-ban ivory bird to a vintage buckle that looks like 
 wispy clouds in a clear blue sky.
Red roses, pearls that look like fluffy clouds, vintage beads
and a stick pearl and rhinestone wreath for a closure. 

It's a wrap!

A luscious carved red rose- love this piece!
Paired with moss green velvet ribbon, Opalite,
raspberry quartz, rhinestones and twist pearls in a double wrap bracelet.

Love Doves

Carved pre-ban ivory birds with a tiny wire nest cradling
two wee pearl eggs, antique tatted lace,  hand dyed
silk ribbon and a tiny bit of shiny textile...
all the things a bird might gather to feather it's nest.

Vintage red focal, rhinestone, oxidized brass filigree for
a bit of mystery and romance.
Have you guessed the theme I was working on here?
Red hot fiery romance with a touch of sweetness.

How fun is that?!
My objective was to make each bracelet unique enough to be worn alone.
yet complimentary enough to be worn together.
I'm so honored to have been asked to make these for her,
as she certainly could have made them herself. 

To me, this one epitomizes red hot romance with the
mother of pearl heart providing the sweetness.
White and grey freshwater pearls,
translucent red glass beads, a filigree calla lily, rhinestone rondels,
antiqued filigree and a snippet of grey ribbon which in this photo,
 is hiding a bunch of embellishments.

There we go, now you can almost see it.

Moss green freshwater pearls and rhinestone rondels
on a triple-wrapped wire frame,
embellished with a
encased in a resin filled wire frame,
a rhinestone wreath and a snippet of silk ribbon.
Simple Elegance

LOVE this one!
I made her fantastic little micro mosaic stick pin into a clasp.
Kept it simple with the pearl and rhinestone drops adorning
the fleur de lis chain.
I found it a bit challenging to start altering these beautiful pieces she sent.
I wanted to do them justice and hoped that my vision would match hers.
I'm so happy to report that she is very happy with the results.


In the Secret Butterfly Garden
My idea here was a secret garden wherein the
happy couple could stroll hand in hand
amidst the butterflies as they fluttered happily
 under the warm summer sun.
I etched a vine pattern into a brass piece for the closure,
 giving it a subtle verdigris patina.
I did a herringbone wire wrap around a peacock druzy stone
(from numinosity),
wire wrapped a tiny skeleton key to insert as a toggle into the vine clasp
 (to unlock the way into the secret garden).
I adorned the flower connector with a rhinestone bead,
red beads and a deep red rhinestone wreath.
I also added a bit of  hand dyed silk ribbon in blue-green
 after taking the photos.


I received this gorgeous silver filigree from two dear friends who allowed me to
purchase things from their private stash of jewelry components
that they've collected over the years.  What an absolute blast that was!
It was perfect timing for all of us. 
They were ready to pare down and I was wanting to find some quality components.
Bonus that I got to spend a few days with these wonderful ladies before I moved away from them.
I've paired the filigree piece with red rhinestone chain,
grey freshwater pearls, vintage twist pearls,
a black vintage teardrop bead, rhinestone rondels,
raspberry quartz, and a bit of flaming romance ribbon.
almost done, just a couple more.......

velvet ribbon and vintage rhinestone bling.

This one is designed with a hammered brass frame,
adorned with glass beads wired onto it
and embellished with 
brass beads and a carved butterfly dangle.
An entirely different style than the rest.

Creme de la Creme

This one took a bit of figuring out.
The incredible mosaic arc was a bit wider than I would normally use
 for a bracelet so I had to build up the design visually to balance it. 
I used an ornate embossed brass base with a verdigris wash.
A ruffle of reddish ribbon to soften the effect.
A beautiful woman, deep in thought, encased in resin
 to compliment the fine details in the mosaic arc.
The bracelet band is aqua velvet ribbon with fancy
turquoise-aqua-rhinestone chain adorning it.
A faceted amazonite teardrop, a rhinestone embellished antique button
 along with a carved pre-ban ivory butterfly
and a lampworked bead encasing red roses provides the final
well with the bracelets, that is.

I couldn't completely resist the draw of the ear,
which I'm pretty sure comes as no surprise to you, right?

Turquoise nuggets, golden stick coral and hammered copper washers
dangling from roller printed copper, with a verdigris patina.
Here's a close up of the copper....

It's a floral pattern that's been imprinted into the metal.
Must have Spring on the brain
and there's these simple hoops


Swirls with Petra's drops

Did you really think we could get through an entire blog
without me using some of Petra's goodies?
No can do.
Lest you think I've worked my fingers to the bone on jewelry and nothing but jewelry,
This is what else has been happening in the studio,
not that there's a lot to share in that regard, mind you, so please don't be thinking
there's going to be a bunch of great stuff here to wow you...
cuz, sadly,  there's not,
just this.....
this is the marraige of two lamps.
See, I'm keeping that romantic theme through this whole post!
You can see that, right?
hahahhaa... anyway....
I stripped the fabric and trim off of the lampshade
and after dismantling the other lamp, I put it onto the base. part.... it rotates!  Woo-Hoo.
yes, I knew that would be an exciting-not-to-be-missed feature
you all wanted to be aware of.
yup, more stuff on top of stuff.
on top of stuff.
This stuff is all picture taking props stuff.
You might recognize some of it.

Look at our shameless-likes-to-flaunt-her-naked-self-in-front-of-the-window manne
all decked out in
 her new paper party hat and uber cool shake-it-baby necklace. 
Both gifts from dear friends which makes me smile each time I see them.
you see that little manne in the background there?
check out this logo and see if it reminds you of anything......

Remember Victoria Secret in the old days?
When they had the dark rich woods and elegant decor.
I think this is from there and from that era.
Does it look that way to any of you?
I could swear that's the same logo on their current bags.
Which I obviously don't have any lying around to compare it with
or I wouldn't be picking your brains.

It's a mini manne.
This is a kinda big necklace but it looks huge on this manne.
So I'm still trying to figure out if I should age it because as you can see
it's pretty beat up.
If I do, no doubt you'll see her again after the fact. 
 But as I've been trying to decide to age it or not
since well before the move, it might not be done anytime soon.
I'm open to suggestions from you guys.
That is if you're still reading.
This is becoming the War and Peace of blogs, isn't it?
Almost done....
In the last round, and by last, I mean the LAST BOXES...
of studio unpacking, I uncovered these
a storage box with more of my ancient ribbonwork.
Why?  Because you love looking at my non jewelry stuff, right?
That's why you read a jeweler's blog, isn't it?
C'mon, widen your horizons.
Or humor me.  Or make fun of me.  Whatever you choose, we're almost done...
(wow- I can hear the wild celebrating from here)

ribbon fuschias

and a couple of works in progress....


a textile cuff perhaps

it feels so incredibly good to be able to find my supplies
and my tools, and my ribbons, and my beads and my metals
and all the other goodies I like to incorporate into my pieces.
It's actually pleasant rather than frustrating to be working again.
Of course there's a good bit of hunting to find where I put these supplies,
but I can eventually find them!

refining this one a bit

I think I'm almost there.
Since you've stuck with me through all of this,
here's a little something to give you a chuckle......

know what it is?
I mean other than that it's obviously intended to be a bracelet.
Does the design look familiar at all?
still no?
you mean that's not a great clue in this last picture?
hahahahah.  I agree.

it's Girl With a Pearl Earring!
I'm amazed you couldn't tell.
Considering that it's almost an EXACT REPLICA!
yeah, this is what someone does, who has no clue how to use
chasing tools. 
When I ran across this, I wondered if there's anyway
to salvage it.  Not too hopeful about that.
 This illustrates why I keep my early work around.
We all need some comic relief around the studio from time to time.
I have plenty.
in case any of you were wondering about the orange tree...


 The baby oranges are.....

picked and sent off to the orange tree's rightful owner.
we're going to eat the next ones that ripen as a treesitters fee.

we have a theme going here, it seems-
mini manne's, mini oranges tucked into a
ridiculously long blog post.
ok, finally, that's all folks.
I know, I know, it's been quite enough.
Hope all goes well with you till next time.

photo courtesy of Flotsam Tide (thanks Kim)

Thank you guys for stopping by and leaving comments.  I know we all lead hyper-busy lives, and I do appreciate that you take the time to share your thoughts.  I enjoy reading them immensely!

au revoir