Tuesday, April 29, 2008


So the past week has been a great one for custom orders!

My friend Camille has commissioned me to design and create the jewelry her bridesmaids will be wearing for her fall wedding. I am very honored and excited about this opportunity. She gave me ideas of what she had in mind and I am currently researching stones and playing around with designs. Camille commissioned four bracelets and four pairs of earrings.

I think that having handcrafted and original pieces of jewelry worn at your wedding is a beautiful way to add that unique and personal touch to the day.

I hope she'll like the end results!

My other friend Marnie also requested another Astrid necklace with a matching bracelet as a gift for someone for Mother's Day. I didn't think I could find any more of the stones I used for the original piece - they are these beautiful imperial jasper square beads - but as luck would have it, I did find them. It was like a really fun treasure hunt.

And lastly, Angie from The Downtown Boutique and Rio Oso Designs loved the Leslie earrings so much that she has requested a matching necklace to go along with it!

I will be posting pictures here as these pieces are completed.

Thank you so much, ladies!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Play ball!

Over the weekend we used the first of our shared season tickets to watch our baseball team in their brand spanking new ballpark. Our seats were incredible - right on the main level, second row! We were actually eye level with the players on the field and did not need binoculars to see all the action. We were also right behind the ball girl, as you can see from the picture.

It was a blast.

Things around here have been a mite hectic, what with coming down sick as well, so I've had my hands full in the last few days. I also have some very cool developments with the biz, of which I'm in the midst of sorting through the details.

Also, my sister reminded me that I actually did forget a few family members in the naming of the pieces, so I will be remedying that in the near future.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Aqua charm bracelet

It's hard to get back in gear after vacation, but my friend Lisa told me I had to produce this weekend. I managed to get just one piece finished (another one I was working on didn't come out like I had envisioned, so it's back to the drawing board for that one).

As I have also finally ran out of friends and family names for my pieces (I hope I didn't forget anyone), I am now turning to both literature and celebrities for inspiration. Like peas in a pod, right?

Hence, this new bracelet is called "Eloise," after the little girl who lives in the Plaza Hotel. She is made up of aqua chalcedony and aqua quartz in a charm bracelet style, and can be extended from 7" to 9" in length.

The colors remind me of the Caribbean Sea. And I'm not just saying that because I still have the post-vacation blues!

Eloise is now available at the shop!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday kitty blogging

One great thing about coming home after vacation, besides sleeping in my own bed again, was coming home to the kitties. I missed them. Moxie apparently missed us, too, because the night we came home she got all pink in the ears, a sure sign that she was very excited. They both came right to the door to greet us.

Forget spring - today feels like summer! The pollen count is also in the high billions, as evidenced by the burning in my throat and watery eyes. Still, I can't complain!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Post-vacation blues


I have a major case of post-vacation blues. As in, depressed. Soooo sad. I keep looking at the pictures and reading about future cruises on the Royal Caribbean website in an effort to cheer myself up and get out of my post-vacation funk.

The funny thing is I always get like this after vacations, but this time it seems worse because of the fact that yesterday it poured rain all day long - a noisy, fierce spring thunderstorm that normally I would have loved - except not on the day we get back from the Caribbean. And then today the rain continued, and it's the kind that I have grown heartily sick of - drizzly, damp, gray, chilly and overcast. The ironic thing is the week before we left for vacation it rained every day and I could not wait to escape the city...and then what do I come back to? Yes, more rain.

So to cheer up, I will post more pictures. And I'll think of these as I trudge along in my rain boots and coat and long-sleeved sweater this week.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cruising on the Caribbean

I am back after seven wonderful days of sunshine, warm blue waters, yummy food, awesome sights...oh, and drunken evenings.

My incredibly generous in-laws took the whole family on a cruise as their Hanukkah gift to us all. Our route took us to:

1) Tampa, Florida (embarkation port)
2) Cozumel, Mexico
3) George Town, Grand Cayman
4) Oranjestad, Aruba
5) San Juan, Puerto Rico (disembarkation port)

This was my and Mr Hazel's first time cruising and it was a very interesting experience.

Here are a few pictures to start with - our ship, the Grandeur of the Seas. My first up close glimpse of it was awe-inspiring.

This is the atrium in the center of the ship.

The front of the Grandeur as we docked in Cozumel.

Here is the Grandeur anchored off the coast of Grand Cayman along with a Carnival ship.

In Cozumel, we went to see the Mayan ruins at Tulum, which is a pre-Colombian walled city. This is the main temple.

We also walked through the town of Playa Del Carmen, which was charming and reminded me a little of Laoag, Philippines. We sampled some quesadillas, and I bought a corn on the cob rubbed with lime and sprinkled with queso and chili powder from a street vendor.

In Grand Cayman, we visited a turtle farm and the town of Hell, swam with stingrays (or in my case, ran away from them), and sampled rum cake. Mr Hazel fell in love with the rum cake and bought a box to take home with us. They tendered us to shore - here is a picture of the tenders coming towards our ship.

The town of Hell.

The devil hanging out on some hell rock.

Visiting the stingrays!

This is Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman.

In Aruba, we boarded a submarine that took us 130 feet to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea.

We saw a shipwreck, which sank 9 years ago.

And then we saw divers!

One of them came right up to our porthole to say hello.

And finally, here we are docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico on our last morning.

Since I've been away all week and don't have anything in the way of new jewelry to list at my shop, I'll be posting some more pictures throughout the week.

This makes me sad. I wish we were still back there!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring flowers

The tulips have finally bloomed!

After about a couple of weeks, the cherry blossoms start dropping to the ground, which makes me sad because I wish they would stay up in the tree all spring. But the blooms look very pretty slowly making their way down. It makes our yard look like it's covered in pink snow. We track them in all over the house and it gets everywhere, but I love them.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Blue quartz and hoop necklace

Today I have for you the matching "Danielle" necklace, also hand formed from silver artistic wire and then hammered to a cool finish. She is about 16" long.

Danielle is now available at the shop!


I got some wonderful free press! Angie at Rio Oso Designs featured the Leslie earrings in today's blog entry. Yipee!

This type of publicity is priceless - and much, much appreciated!

Monday, April 7, 2008

More owls!

I found these sweet little owls and immediately thought that pairing them with pearls would give them an air of "whimsical with an elegant edge." These earrings are "Lily," named after Mr Hazel's grandmother. She is made of creamy bone owls and freshwater nugget pearls, on French hook earwires.

More pictures and details of Lily are now available at the shop!

Today I had lunch with my friend Ahila, who is in town for a few days (and whose namesake earrings are a Hazel Designs bestseller!). Ahila and I go way back, and there's just really nothing quite like spending time with old friends, catching up while reminiscing about past adventures. It made me miss our whole posse and wished the whole gang was here.

My local paper won a whole bunch of Pulitzers today, beating out the New York Times, which won only two (nyah!). The Times was all congratulatory on the surface, but you know that deep down inside they are all in a jealous rage.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Blue quartz and hoop earrings

I like how these turned out - they are named "Danielle" after my friend's husband Danny, who requested I name a piece after him. I hope he likes his namesake!

I had to practice forming the hoops before I got the look I was going for. The hoops are completely hand formed using artistic wire and then hammered. I added robin's egg blue quartz briolettes and hung everything from French hook earwires.

My plan is to eventually use sterling silver dead soft wire for forming the hoops, now that I've got it working with the artistic wire.

More pictures and details of Danielle are available at the shop.

I can't believe it's Sunday already! It was a pretty busy weekend, mostly filled with food and eating. Saturday night Mr Hazel and I had a lovely and fun dinner out with friends, and then today my family took me out to a wonderful Italian place for my birthday. They had rabbit on the menu, which immediately reminded me of that scene from Lord of the Rings where Sam was cooking rabbit on a campfire and Gollum got really upset because he wanted to eat it raw.

I also ran around with a whole list of errands that I had been putting off, and today I had to prepare a huge order that is to be shipped out tomorrow. I have now sold four pairs of Ahila earrings!

I hope you all had a good weekend too!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Blue crystal earrings

These are "Angela," after a derivative of my grandmother's name. Her real name is actually more complicated and unusual. She features a pair of beautiful blue dyed crystal beads dangling from vermeil earwires, with a matching necklace to be debuted tomorrow.

More pictures and details of Angela are available at the shop!


So Angie from The Downtown Boutique has another blog called Rio Oso Designs, and today she told me that she started a new feature on there called "Thursday Thumbnails" - and that she picked my shop to be one of those featured today! I am the second post on the April 3 blog entry, so please check out her blog!

A huge thanks, Angie!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thai silver necklace

To date, I now have a total of forty-seven (47!!!) hearts on Etsy! I don't quite know how I've managed to amass such a respectable number, but this is exciting. Thank you to all who have hearted my shop!

It appears that yesterday's necklace offering is not going to be a bestseller, so today I'm offering another one. This one is named "Jordan" after my brother-in-law, who is a boy, but since Jordan is also a girls' name I thought it would be cool to keep it as is.

Jordan features a long sterling chain, a Thai silver circle pendant, and a freshwater nugget pearl. I think that this piece is pretty versatile in terms of color and overall length and look; hence it is easy to wear (ie., it can be worn dressed up or down).

More pictures and details of Jordan are available at the shop!


Thank you to all my incredibly wonderful family and friends who have sent birthday wishes my way today. And for the piece of ice cream cake, chocolate chip cookies, Rice Krispies treats, and the glue stick (thanks Greg!) I received from my coworkers.

And lastly, for the pretty amethyst necklace from Mr Hazel!


So I promised my coworker Greg that I would promote his blog. To that end, I urge you all to visit Leggomygreggo - you won't regret it (or maybe you will, in which case I had nothing to do with it!)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New shop item: a necklace

Made of eclectic materials I found here and there, I named this piece "Pete."

Like it?

April Fool's!

This actually came from a site that is having its 6th annual Ugly Necklace Contest.

The best April Fool's joke this year was Google's Virgle.