Posts filed under ‘Inactive Gallery’

Jewelry for my Aunty

At long last, I have returned. Though I am deep in writing my novel right now, I will emerge once a day to catch up the blog on my jewelry happenings.

Aunty Vern's Necklace

My cousin Sheila asked me to make some jewelry for my Aunt Veronica for Christmas. Sheila picked out the design and colors. I made a matching matinee length necklace and bracelet using white button pearls and Swarovski crystals in light pink, green, blue and aqua. I am especially pleased with the clasps, a dainty swirl with a crystal at the center.

The novel update. 30.5K words. 12 more days to reach 50K. I did it last year, and I’ll do it again. I must say, book 2 is going way better than book one. Yay outline!

Thanks for visiting.


November 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

December and January

Perhaps my constituency is curious about my activities for the last couple months (Hi Doug!). Well, here is the long awaited report.


I made a couple custom pieces for a friend’s wife which I’m very pleased with. I hope to be making some of these in the future. For the necklace, I used two sterling silver chains; one figure-8 and one 3-1 figaro. The aqua Swarovski crystal drops are wire wrapped. On the bracelet, I used figure-8 chain and all the different shapes of aqua Swarvoski crystal I had. The clasp is hand made from sterling silver wire. I’m told Jamie K. likes them and wears them often!

I also remade the necklace I discontinued. San Fran wanted it so much. It made an excellent present for her during the holiday season. I changed the colors to try a gradient and added some gold highlights. Morgan thought it might be over the top, but the necklace needed to POP a little more.

Morgan and I visited the Cartier exhibit at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in SF over the holiday. Wow! Very inspiring stuff.


I meant to make a necklace and a dress, but looks like I just got to the dress. It is a late Victorian style. The bodice and bustle are made of bronze silk brocade with a feather and rose pattern. The skirt is black moleskin with sparkly paisley design, and the attached apron is a blue and orange cross-dyed polyester, which tied in all my peacock feather accessories. I made all the rosettes myself out of silk flowers and feathers I had laying around (check out my shoulder and side of the skirt). I used turkey, guinea fowl, and two types of peacock plumage. I went a little crazy and tried to use up all the feathers. The result was a bunch of hair pins that I’ve been giving away. You can’t see San Fran’s, which is made of a fabric rose and turkey feathers. Red Lip’s boutonnière is guinea fowl plumage with orange-yellow chrysanthemum. Morgan’s is made of turkey feathers and a silk red-orange chrysanthemum. Margaret’s hair pin is red and white silk flowers and leafy background. On the back of my head I’m wearing a pin made of peacock eye and sword feathers.

In preparation for the tailoring of the dress, Morgan was lacing me into my corset and ripped the grommets out! Can you imagine us cringing at the sound of ripping fabric? My denial of the damage even when Morgan offered to replace it? I got this corset from a woman in England made of the traditional corset fabric called coutil. Since it’s an item not easily replaced, I decided to attempt a repair. I had to replace the back panels with a double layer of twill with the grains opposing for extra strength. It looks pretty good.

I wore the dress to the Edwardian Ball on 22 January in San Francisco at the Regency Ballroom (which I would visit anytime, such a beautiful venue). Vagabond Opera was headlining. They are great performers! Talents were also exhibited by acrobats and dancers and jugglers and readers of Edward Gorey poems. I’d say half of the event was advertising at us, but it was very pretty advertising. The obvious example was the Bazaar set up downstairs selling clothing and accessories, all bespoke and one of a kind type items. One of the dance troops wore Dark Garden corsets and costumes for an act of subtle advertisement.

Also during these months I have been working on editing my novel a bit. It’s coming along…

Morgan and I also got a cat! Five month old Baron Krausen von Doppelbach. Krausen or Krau for short. Six pounds of pouncing, silky soft, cuddly, ear-tufted, bushy-tailed monster rescued from Santa Barbara County Animal Services in Santa Maria.

February 8, 2010 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

For Amber’s Mom on her birthday

Good day friends! I’ve been very busy with my novel, but I did find time to fill a special order for Amber, my guitarist’s awesome mom. Her requirements were simple: green, pink, black, mostly green and beautiful. I’m calling it my homage to Alexander Calder (famous for his mobiles and other sculpture, but I like his jewelry best). Found a fantastic book of it at the library. I highly recommend it.

I finally got to use my hammer and tiny anvil on the spirals for the drops, flattening them out. Stones used: teardrops are chrysoprase, flat rounds are malachite, small black stones are black jade, lighter stone beads are rose quartz. You will also see pink pearls and crystal. A couple black crystals in there, too.

Well, I’m terribly pleased with it. Feel free to let me know what you think!

My NaNoWriMo Progress: 41004 words. 5 days to go! What’s next? NaNoFiMo and NaNoEdMo (National Novel Finishing Month if I need it and National Novel Editing Month). I can’t wait!

November 24, 2009 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment

Opening new doors

I have just completed a course in jewelry fabrication techniques at Cuesta College called Jewelry I with Linda Lewis and her competent assistant Lee or Leigh or Li. Click on her name and go to her website, which is just as nice as mine. At first her jewelry wasn’t my cup of tea, but after taking this class I have a real appreciation for her work and I like it very much.

Jewelry I earring projectWhat did I learn? Well, how to solder successfully in several different steps for one and finishing (pickling, rinsing, filing, sanding, polishing) for another. We made a pair of earrings which required soldering joints in two separate steps and texturing with forging and ball peen hammers. Mine turned out to be a little abstract because I wanted to experiment with different shapes. We made a pendant with a bezeled stone and bail soldered on. Carnelian and sterling silver pendant from Jewelry IThe stone in the pendant rattles a little, it’s not quite symmetrical and I could have done a better job polishing around the bezel. On the double shank ring with bezeled stone it is really not symmetrical (I think the bezel moved on me a little while I was soldering it and there is a gap between the bezel and base plate. Jewelry I earring projectJewelry I takes four days to get through three projects, but we were so speedy we had time for a fourth, a sterling silver bead. The designs you see on the pendant and ring are made with stamps, much like stamping on leather if you ever did that at summer camp. I tried to do some texturing on the bead, but it all got pounded out while trying to make the disk round. Carnelian and sterling silver pendant from Jewelry IYou can still kinda see the ghost of the design. As I’ve described, these pieces are still a little rough around the edges, but I’m still pleased with the result. I’m learning from those little flaws. Click on the photo for a more detailed shot.

So now I’m gobbling up all the art jewelry books at my public library. One of my new favorites is the Penland Book of Jewelry (scroll down) published in 2005 (though Linda says there are some earlier iterations). One word: INCREDIBLE. This class and all these new ideas have opened another door for me in jewelry, the brave new world I mentioned earlier. I don’t imagine I’ll ever reach the prestige that Linda and the Penlanders have, but the creation process is so rewarding for me. Check out what I’ve made just in time for Mother’s Day.Carnelian and sterling silver pendant with red agate and periodot beads

I’ve gotten so many books at the library about soldering before, so I had all the concept down. I just needed a guide and some practical, hands on knowledge to actually do it right. Oh, and the right equipment (a torch, solder paste and a block just were not cutting it– or joining it, rather). I’m a little overwhelmed by the amount of equipment needed to complete our projects. Some of it is inexpensive and there are some ways you can cut costs, but it all adds up. If I do decide to go full tilt into fabrication, I’ll have to clear some space in the garage and negotiate space with Morgan. I foresee large credit card bills.

And too conclude, I’m addicted to all this learning stuff and will have to take the Casting and Jewelry II (forging) classes when I can.

May 9, 2009 at 12:39 am Leave a comment

No More Large Copper Pearls

They are so beloved, but so hard to come by. So, say good-bye to these beauties. I just can’t find them in consistent quality; they change so much it’s hard to keep up with it on my website (remember, I have a 40 hour-a-week job in addition to this one-woman operation). 

Guerin of Connecticut and Jessica of California both favored these large dark copper pearls in jewelry as wedding accessories for their bridesmaids. Might have something to do with them both having weddings in autumn. Beautiful time of year for a wedding!

All the necklaces and bracelets you see here are strung on heat treated nylon cord. The pearls are kept in place by clever knots (well, they aren’t all that clever). The pearls are cultured in freshwater and most of them are dyed, including our star in the copper colored variety. The mauve pearls on the front close necklace in the upper right are natural in color. That necklace also incorporates Swarovski crystals to good effect, good being sparkly! All clasps are sterling silver. Though all of these pieces have sold, I do have a few left with large copper pearls of different quality. Please visit the following urls: Copper Freshwater Pearl Bracelet, Copper Freshwater Pearl Necklace and Crystal and Freshwater Pearl Front Close Necklace. If these links fail to open, the product is no longer available.

I have some large rose colored pearls might make a good substitute for the copper ones. I also have some large lavender pearls, but will have to find appropriate accompaniment for those. But before I get to this project I have promised to make some Monty Python style Spanish Inquisition costumes for my brother. No, I’m not planning to make him large rosaries to go with them. I think he can go get some for less trouble at a costume shop (Is that irreverent?).

As you know it is that time of year again to dust off the old costume box and make sure the pumpkin in your garden is not rotting. My next post will be Halloween related, though it will mostly feature an event my posse and I attended in July. Which reminds me; if you want my jewelry to accessorize your costume, you’d better get your order in ASAP. I might be a very busy woman this and next month. You won’t want to miss out on the items featured in my next post!

September 21, 2008 at 7:12 pm Leave a comment

Amethyst and Silver Necklace

Amethyst and Silver NecklaceI like this necklace a lot. If you want it, email me and I’ll make it for you, though I may not have amethyst in stock. I do have a lot of Swarovski crystal in many lovely colors, and pearls. If you do want it in a stone that I don’t have in stock, it will take a little longer.

August 5, 2008 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment

Purple Mountain Jade Gemfly Necklace

Purple Mountain Jade Gemfly NecklaceThis necklace is made with purple mountain jade, green adventurine leaves, Swarovski crystal, seed beads and steel wire in a dragonfly pattern with a sterling silver clasp. When I first got my business started, I was asked by a dear woman and patron, Amber, to make this necklace for a friend who HAD to have it purple. It is very similar to one I made that Amber’s son gave her on a special occasion. Amber and and her friend love the necklaces, and tell me everytime they see me that they get no end of compliments. I must say, I’m so very flattered! If you like you like this necklace, and must have one of your very own, there are a few left in the store. Email me with special requests.

July 30, 2008 at 1:24 am Leave a comment

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