Sunday, September 30, 2007

On order

One of the many fun things I did when starting this blog, besides taking pictures of my necklaces and coming up with all sorts of yummy descriptions about them, was to peruse the blogs of other artists and craftspeople for inspiration and ideas. I found many lovely blogs with beautiful pictures and whimsical logos, exactly the type of atmosphere I was trying to create with my blog. My favorites are listed on the sidebar to the left.

This is how I stumbled across this publication, which seems like a great reference book for what I'm hoping to achieve with my blog - create a space that is enticing and beautiful enough to showcase my jewelry, and perhaps tempt a reader or two into buying some of them. I'll let you know what I think of this book once I've read through it.

And speaking of marketing, over the weekend I went to this store that sells all manner of collectible things, from purses and totes to figurines and mugs. As I was looking around, I thought the merchandise they carry fits with my designs - whimsical, quirky, colorful, and fun. A little seed of an idea has grown, but I'm not sure if I'm brave enough or ready enough to pursue it at this point in my fledgling business. Since I'm still building inventory, it might be premature, but one can never have too many ideas germinating in one's head, right?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Colorful dinner

The other night I made this easy yet tasty dish for dinner. It was angel hair pasta cooked in chicken broth, and topped with red onions, grape tomatoes, basil, and shrimp (stupidly forgot the garlic). The results were so pretty and colorful that I couldn't resist taking a picture to post. It almost looks like we should have been eating this outdoors on a red checkered tablecloth with a jug of wildflowers and red wine.

I take inspiration in everything around me, but especially in things that I love - like yummy food. In fact, I am so enamored of food that practically everyday I dream about what I'm going to have for lunch, and during lunch, I dream about what I'm going to have for dinner. I wouldn't be surprised if one day a necklace made up of tomatoes and pasta shells makes an appearance on this blog...Hey, that's actually not a bad idea...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Seven random facts about me

My cousin tagged me for my first ever meme and I’m very excited!

The rules:
  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.

  2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.

  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).

  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

For this one, I’m supposed to list 7 random facts about me. Here goes.

1. When I lived in Paris, I used to eat spaghetti practically every night for dinner to stretch my meager student budget, and because I was too intimidated to cook anything more elaborate in my landlady’s kitchen.

2. I once played my violin on a street corner downtown. I made $24 in two hours and a group of tourists took my picture.

3. In graduate school I rarely read any of the books or articles we were assigned.

4. I once went out with a French sommelier from the Loire who smoked Marlboro Reds. We met at Pere-Lachaise cemetery when we were both there looking for Jim Morrison's grave.

5. I get really worried when the mailman is late in delivering my copy of US Weekly.

6. I am in love with toile. I fought long and hard with Mr. Hazel Designs to put black and white toile curtains in our kitchen. It was a bloody battle, but in the end, I prevailed. And his scars don’t even look that bad.

7. I was recently challenged to eat a foot-long pastrami and onion sub from Subway in 52 ½ minutes, which I would have won if the person who challenged me did not cheat by asking the sub guy to double the meat.

Now I’m supposed to tag seven other people, but none of my friends blog and my family members who do have already been tagged except for Jordan. Yes, my first meme and I am already breaking the rules. I hope I don’t get banned!

And lastly, here is a picture of my kitchen, showing the results of the bloody battle I fought and won.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Aquamarines and a butterfly

I finally finished this piece and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Made up of aquamarine nuggets and a painted bone pendant, the strand is approximately 18" long (without the pendant) and the pendant itself is 1.5" x 1" decorated with a picture of a delicate butterfly.

As I mentioned before, the aquamarine nuggets were really tricky to work with because of how they are all shaped so organically, sloping on one side and angling on the other. The stones themselves are interesting because of their wide range of colors, from blue to green to brown.

Aquamarines originally got their name from the Latin words meaning "water of the sea", which I think is a wonderful derivation. It is a variety of the stone beryl, and it usually has a delicate blue or turquoise color that is suggestive of seawater. The colors of the stones I have in this necklace could probably range from the color of seawater to the color of a river after it rains. Aquamarine is also the birthstone of the March babies, including that of my cousin.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Spa in the mountains

I spent the weekend at a spa resort with five of my girlfriends, a combination annual reunion (we are all good friends from high school) and celebration of a milestone birthday for all of us.

The resort was nestled in the mountains surrounded by woods and wildlife, and was almost too posh for words.

I have never tried a hot stone massage before, but after this weekend I don't know how I've lived this long without experiencing one. It was amazing. I also had a facial and a manicure complete with a salt scrub and paraffin wax wrap, and afterwards we tried out both the wet and dry saunas (good for the pores), the whirlpool, and my favorite - the salt water mineral pool. My skin has never felt so clear or soft.

The drive up the mountain roads was pretty (except for a couple of sketchy motels I passed that looked like they came straight out of that horror movie Vacancy), and I was hoping that the trees had already turned because I wanted to take a few pictures back with me for inspiration on new bead and gemstone colors. Alas, it was still too early in the season. However, there were a few things I saw that provided me with ideas, so I will be trying some of them out in the coming months.

The combination of old friends, good food, too much wine, and spa goodies sure made for a pretty memorable time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Losing my head on 6th Avenue

Last year I attended the Big Apple Glass Art & Bead Festival in New York City and, since the hotel was in Midtown, I took advantage of the location. After soaking up the classes and selecting an assortment of gemstones, beads, findings, and other supplies, I set off to explore the offerings of the stores on 6th and 7th Avenues.

I promptly ran headlong into a treasure trove of bead, fabric, and craft stores all along 6th Avenue. The bead shops stood one after the other displaying hundreds and hundreds of gemstones, strung together in an explosion of color and texture and shape. They were practically begging me to make them into necklaces.

I completely lost my head.

At each store I visited I found even more beautiful stuff than the last, and my head almost exploded from the burst of ideas that came crowding in, fresh designs made up of gorgeous citrine, aquamarine, jasper, carnelian, sunstone, and turquoise, among others. I could see them all in my mind's eye.

The whole experience was heady indeed, and even more fun than shoe shopping.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gerber daisies

I am simultaneously working on two different pieces right now, and the one made up of aquamarines is giving me a little bit of a problem because the gemstones are shaped very organically - not perfect rounds or squares like some stones. Because of this organic unevenness, it has been a little tricky making my wrapped loops, so I am going at it more slowly than usual. Coupled with other things going on, the end result is that I am a bit behind on completing these two pieces and updating here.

So I thought I would post a picture of these pretty Gerber daisies that I received today to tide you over until I get my new stuff completed. Aren't they lovely?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Imperial jasper

This necklace is made up of gorgeous gemstones called imperial jasper. Each stone has a unique pattern and color, and here you can see shades of pink, brown, and green. The necklace is approximately 16" in length - technically a choker - and each imperial jasper is approximately 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm.

I haven't put in the clasp yet, but it will be in sterling silver.

Here you can see a close-up of the unique swirls and patterns of the stones:

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Dragonfly in the garden

My fresh supply of sterling silver wire finally made it into my hot little hands, so I was able to finish this piece that I was working on. The pendant is made of bone, shaped into a charming dragonfly, and the strand is made of jasper beads in swirls of reds, greens, and browns.

Here is a close-up.

The necklace is approximately 18" long, with a sterling silver clasp, and the dragonfly spans 2" long and 2" across its wings.

I have to admit I'm really pleased with how it turned out!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Design A.D.D.

I know, I know...

If you've been a regular peruser of this blog, you've most likely noticed that it has gone through four or five iterations of re-design. As with all things creative, I love experimenting with different elements as I strive to produce the right look and feel of something - be it this blog or my jewelry designs.

Experimenting with different combinations of colors and textures, of materials and atmosphere, are all part of the fun of creating. I'm hoping this new re-design will be the final one, but since I can't sit still and love changing things around, I wouldn't count on it too much.

At any rate...I hope you like this new look!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


So there I was, toiling away in the middle of a project, when I abruptly ran out of sterling silver wire - leaving me with a necklace only half a strand completed.

It's a very frustrating feeling when you're on a productive roll and then have to come to a screeching halt because of lack of both foresight and planning on your part! So I'm impatiently waiting for my fresh supply of wire...I hope it gets here soon.

The necklace I'm working on right now has an adorable dragonfly bone pendant. Pictures will be up as soon as it's finished!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Here you can see the full picture of the wire-wrapped Burmese chrysoprase choker I talked about in my first post. The choker is approximately 18" in length, on sterling silver wire.

I love the green of these stones!

I am also currently working on several new pieces, so stay tuned for those.