Thanks for reading

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. Here is my jewelry website if you want to check out the goods:
My designs can also be found in my Etsy shop:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Thanksgiving full of joy and remembrance....

Two years ago, my amazing full of life father in law was diagnosed with cancer and we lost him a week after Thanksgiving. I have never met anyone more passionate about life and interested in everything around him. Whenever I would see him he would ask me,"What's your next show?" and this would start off an hour or so of his intent listening to me talk about my business. He would ask questions and give advice. He was a successful, self made business man who was still growing two companies after his "official" retirement and I was always so grateful that he would take the time to talk to me about my dreams and hopes for my future. He never treated my jewelry designing like a "hobby", his believing in me helped me to believe in myself. His passing left our world without his laughter, bear hugs and constant cheerleading in everything we did.

This year we were lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving in a beautiful home at the beach with family and new friends. There was lots of food, laughter, love and even some bear hugs! I am so thankful to have spent 5 days getting to know such a boisterous, life-loving group of people and am blessed to have added some new friends to my life.

Most days we enjoyed bright sunshine and mild beach breezes. One afternoon following a gray, rainy morning, a vibrant rainbow appeared over the ocean. The colors were bright and sharp against a sky fuchsia with the setting sun. We all ran for our phones and cameras to catch the moment and the miracle of it's beauty. None of our pictures captured all the colors or glowing pink sky behind it. In the end, we keep our precious memories most vibrant in our hearts.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I heart you St. Bridget's!

Whenever I go to a show filled with interesting, stylish women who "get" what I am trying to do with my jewelry it fills me with sunshine and rainbows! Seriously, tonight rocked and I appreciate everyone that came out to make it a success not only for me but for St. Bridget's school. I'll be back anytime you'll have me ladies.

These lovely ladies circled around 3 times before landing on the perfect necklaces for them.
Thanks for coming back!
I knew the seaglass belt buckle wasn't long for my table!

Karen has been a longtime visitor to my booth and this cuff had her name ALL over it. Thanks for coming to see me!

Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye to a piece...this was one of them!

Across from me this year was Kim Nix whose dreamy, soulful, beautiful paintings took my breath away. I took some pics but there is no way my blurry camera will do her wonderful artwork justice so check out her website for non blurry renderings. Here are some images I "borrowed" from her site:

It's always great to see Andrea Danner-Schultz and her adorable booth design, fab jewelry and paintings. Notice how her booth coordinates with her recycled cashmere sweater from Imagine That?

She is normally not this blurry.

All in all a fabulous nigh,t and now I will eat something because it is 12:00am and this was dinner:

So don't hate me if I forgot to spell check!

Christmas is coming...the poodle's getting fat!

Christmas is coming and I am having christmas anxiety nightmares. I had a dream last night that there were kids having snowball fights in front of our house at 4am and the whole city was decorated in a Christmas theme. We went outside to ask them to keep it down and then couldn't get back in because our house was covered with a Christmas themed cottage and we couldn't find the entrance. That was after I dreamed that I drove the 8 hours to a Country Living Show and realized I had forgotten my jewelry. Analyze that.

Looking for something to do tonight where you can drink wine AND get some holiday shopping done? Check out St. Bridget's Girls Night Out! This will be there:

...and this will be there:

This treat eating poodle won't:

See you there!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I hear ya Dad!

Every time I let my blog lapse my dad sends me an email. Since I haven't posted since last May you can only imagine how many I've received. So what have I been up to? I spent an amazing 4 days in Stone Mountain Park, GA taking part in Country Living Magazine's awesome show! I met so many cool people who "get" my jewelry and I just had a blast hanging out with my bestie Deanna King owner of Strawberry Fields Flowers and Finds who made my booth look amazing and was in general the best cheerleader a girl could want!
The gorgeous display of gourds on the way into Stone Mountain Park

Our bargain lunch for 2 at Cracker Barrel

Forgot my sunglasses at home but picked up these "bad ass" shades at a gas station!
Nothing says "Country Living" like skulls with fire shooting out of them!

Booth shot, Deanna hung EVERYTHING! Best booth buddy EVER!

I have been trying to figure out a way to make cool leather cuff bracelets and was, until now, intimidated by snaps. I went to The Tandy Factory in Richmond and they should me just how easy it could be. Here are some pieces I made once I stopped swearing and got the hang of it:

The cuff bracelets are made out of recycled leather belts and that got me to thinking about belt buckles. I love them and have collected them for years, why not make some. Here ya have it:
A couple of belts with vintage bits sunk in resin

I have many shows coming up this holiday season and am looking forward to seeing everybody. I promise to try and keep up with my blog a little better....sorry Dad:)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Writers are my rockstars....

I haven't posted in awhile but I have really good excuses:
Collegiate's Village Green Fair
St. Catherine's Daisy Days
Craft Mafia's Spring Bada Bing and the upcoming Strawberry Street Festival.

Thank you to everyone who's been out to the shows and made them such successful and fun events!
I have been a jewelry making fool. I also had a tv appearance which you can watch here:

My friend Jess rocks it and makes me comfortable every time! Even though I have been really busy I made time tonight to see one of my idols of writing Jen Lancaster. Her hilarious memoirs have gotten me through many long haul flights between here and AZ to visit my mom or to CA to take a class. She was just as funny and down to earth in person as she is in her writing and I really enjoyed the event. I even gave her a necklace but wouldn't let her open it while I was standing there because seriously? What if she hated it and had to be all, "Ehhhnnnhhh really pretty," while thinking (I've seen more attractive macaroni lanyards at a 6th grade camp). So Jen? Lie to me, I promise I'll believe:) Hope to see everyone this Saturday at The Strawberry Street Festival, thank you for reading and good night!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Aw Nuts!

So I have been talking about soldering nuts for about a week now and FINALLY took some pictures! Shall I give you the history of the nuts? Why not! While walking through Lowe's with my contractor husband I found myself completely bored. In the interest of turning a negative into a positive I started wandering up and down the isle and found myself in HARDWARE and drawn to the nuts and washers. Industrial + pretty = jewelry. I think the end result is very antique spanish catholic church. No?

New TV Appearance Coming Up and Super Sweet Card....

Being given the chance to appear on TV is great exposure for my jewelry and upcoming shows. It's such an amazing opportunity and I am thrilled to do it anytime I am asked. That being said, and this is not a compliment fishing expedition, I HATE seeing myself of TV. So the fact that I posting this link is crazy.
I tried to watch it again and got a couple of seconds into it before putting my hands over my ears and humming "Mary had a little lamb". I was SO nervous and self conscious that I am determined to enjoy myself next time. As a regular gym routine with yoga usually relaxes me and make me feel like Wonder Woman I will begin today for my next appearance on April 25th. It's ON!!!
Enough about that.
I recieved the sweetest card from my friend Marilyn. She is a fellow jewelry designer
who makes GORGEOUS pieces so I was super flattered when she bought my owl piece.

She is now following me on this blog (not stalking she said....following;) thanks Marilyn!!!!

I will post later with Nuts pictures. Curious?

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Kind of. I woke up this morning to a sifting of snow covering our roof and a smattering falling from the sky. After the past 2 weeks of schizophrenic Virginia weather where we have experienced high 70's this was unexpected. But kinda nice. It's nice to have one last cold snowy day because before you know it we'll be sweating through a sweltering southern July and August!(nice alliteration eh?) I am taking advantage of the chilly weather by staying in my flannel, snowflake printed pj's, enjoying the last fire of the season and of course, making jewelry. I've been a slacker these last few months, churning out some new pieces but not enough for the THREE shows and 3 stores I need to stock in April. I know that may not seem like much, and I have friends that have a billion more stores and show than that, but as I have discussed in prior posts, I don't have people.(yet) Just me. Alas, it's batten down the hatches time, so it will be all jewelry ALL the time for the next 2 weeks. Pictures to come...maybe later today!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rise and Shine!

My most productive days begin when I jump right out of bed and into work. This morning I was awake, coffee-ed up and watching Gilmore Girl reruns while soldering in my attic studio. I soldered chain and brass nuts for 2 hours and will now begin putting it all together. Some mornings it's hard to peel myself out of bed and tackle jewelry making with the degree of enthusiasm needed to sustain a full day. If I sit down at my computer and start reading pop culture blogs, my friend's blogs and checking email I can easily loose an hour or 2 and then I drift into other non-jewelry making things and just get mired down in the molasses swamp of ADD related activities. I thought I would share a photo from the studio this morning:

You may call this lousy house keeping, I call it respect for the creativity of one of God's little creatures. Honestly? I am afraid of retaliation, I have this image of spider's repelling down from the ceiling yelling,"Kamikaze". The wasps don't fair as well as evidenced by the large white bottle in the left hand corner. As much as I hate the wasp-o-cide that takes place in that attic, and I apologize profusely to the wasps as I spray, it's a very survival of the fittest place up there. If it's stung or be stung. I will be the one doing the stinging. Now I have to go soak up all this caffeine with some breakfast! Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's ON....

I am on fire! I don't know if it's the gorgeous sunny weather, my new haircut or the Diet Coke but I am full of inspiration and on a new creation tear today. Sometimes I just have these days filled with ideas and not enough time to get them all out. A "list" you say? Pffftttttt.....for amateurs (and by amateurs I mean highly organized, successful people:)! Although I do love the bird's nests, I was getting tired of the same old/ same old. Inspired by SL (stephanie lee's new moniker in this blog) I sunk the the tired old nest in resin and funked it up by layering it. One necklace is hand chained labordorite with a little bird charm and the other is hand soldered chain and bezel with a hand made bird's nest sunk in it. The little charm says fly! You can wear them as one necklace or detach and wear them separately! As my new friend Stella would say...WHAT?

And now I have to go solder brass nuts. Pictures coming soon:)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Into each life a little rejection must fall...

It's inevitable. You put together your application filled with pretty pictures, witty words, links to your website and blog, tie it up with a big old sparkly bow and it's not accepted. It's going to happen. It's going to suck. It's going to feel as if you're back on the playground and no one wants you on their team. It's especially going to happen if your a jewelry artist vying for the small amount of open spots when there is so much talent out there. In the interest of honesty, here is what I did when I got mine today:

1. I had a teeny, tiny pity party.
2. Then I reminded myself of the shows that I did get into.
3. I thought about all the new skills I have learned and how excited I am about showing all my new stuff
4. Not to be all Oprah, but I counted my blessings
5. I looked again at the number of vendors that would be in the show (small show) and looked at the show's website to see that they already had a bunch of really amazing jewelry people. You can only have so many in one show before people get irritated that a show is "all jewelry".
6. I went and sat with my husband by our peaceful, little koi pond and felt a thousand times better!
7. I wrote them an email thanking them for their consideration and wishing them a great show and sat back down to make more jewelry.

The show must go on!

Father Knows Best.....

Actual email from my dad who maybe looks at my site once a year:

Why isn't your web site updated? You still have November dates. Do you have a new web site?

I have taken actions to prevent further parental chastising by updating the first page today....I will be updating throughout the day so please check the site for new pieces that are actually for sale. (the wonder!) Here is the link to the website just in case you wanted to check it out:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What I did today:

I took a long walk, ate Sticky Rice, made a couple pairs of earrings, visited with friends surfed blogs and went to the bead store. I went grocery shopping to get stuff for dinner (vegetarian chili dogs and bbq potato chips), put flower arrangements together for nursing homes, straightened my hair, made some necklaces, played with my friend's baby and wrote this post.

What I didn't do:

Update my LEKJ)()(*#%LLM!!!!! website. But there is hope! I am getting the software for my laptop tomorrow and so Thursday commences OPERATION WEBSITE UPDATE!!!! Mmmmm.....although I AM supposed to meet my friend Katie and her new baby and there WAS mention of it being St. Paddy's Day and wouldn't it be unpatriotic if not down right dis-respecting my deceased Irish Grandma if I didn't drink green beer?

Just sayin'.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Things I am doing instead of updating my website....

As my only updating software is on my husband's desktop and every single time I get on it to begin the process of updating my website with new pieces he barges through the door Lenny and Squigy style (Laverne and it kids!) I am TOTALLY procrastinating. Today I have run all the little errands that usually claim my procrastination attentions (bank, groceries, etc) swept the kitchen floor, cruised various gossip sites, (who Taylor Swift is now dating is available on a need to know basis. And I? Need to know!)sent out more show applications and am now updating this blog. I will probably put it off further by actually making jewelry, building my budding relationship with solder and bronze and washing my hair. So now you know why my website has had the same leather bracelet on it for 6 months and to actually go to the shows that are listed you would need the Delorean from Back to the Future. Soon. I promise.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Necklace of Endless Possibilities!

Another amazing class with Stephanie Lee this weekend. I swear every time I take a class with her I have about 5 new weapons in my jewelry making arsenal. This time around it was the multi-purpose necklace and how to solder without swearing:) She also taught us how to incorporate mica into a pendant which I have always been curious about (who hasn't?:) and I worked with European bronze wire which is just gorgeous. My husband was sweet enough to go with me and hang out in the hotel room all day and then get dressed up and go to a dinner party that night. He is just SO supportive of all that I do. LOVE him!!!! Without further are the photos of what I made!
Altogether the necklace is a long one....
...and as a chain bracelet with pendant....

...and as an 18 inch necklace and bracelet set. Oh the possibilities!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pick me! Pick me!

I am deep in new show application mode right now and LOVE the shows that you can apply for online. There are SO many amazing jewelry artists out there that competition is FIERCE and I promise not to cry into my keyboard too much if I don't get it. I am very zen about it all this year and trust that the skilled jurers will pick artists who compliment their audience. I fully intend to blog about my awesome experience at An Artful Journey and my class with Stephanie Lee when I have more time. Until then, here are some pics of what I did with my new plaster class skills:

First I hand solder the bezel, I then pour the plaster and begin the process of figuring out what the heck it's gonna be. I then hand paint the scene and then resin over to make it bump resistant. I am kinda in love with this right now, at least until after this weekend's class with Stephanie Lee in D.C. (um....a bit of a stalker are we?) With all this inspirational learning and show applying....who's gonna update my website for me?!????

Monday, February 7, 2011

People who need people....

I hate going to the post office. There is always a long line of unhappy people and it smells like cigarette smoke and impatience. One grumpy employee is allocated to serve the long line of impatient, cigarette smelling people and it takes FOREVER. (at least it feels that way to me)Recently while complaining to some fellow crafty folks, I was surprised (and freaking jealous) to learn that they had "people" to go to the post office for them. I want "people"! By next year this time I WILL HAVE "people". As God as my witness I will never go to the post office again! (after next year.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Duper Bowl Sunday!!!!

WHoooOOOO HoooooOOOO!!!! Super Bowl Sunday is here! Finally the culmination of a million games boils down to this one glorious day when the true victors will be decided. Go TEAM!!!! Honestly? I have no idea who is playing and have not watched an inch of football this season. I will however be taking part of that time honored American tradition: The Super Bowl Party. I will eat a ton of junk food and drink a few too many light beers and enjoy hanging with good friends and socializing. In the spirit of man versus man locked in a brutal competition to the death (or at least till someone wins the Super Bowl Cup ( Bowl?) I'll leave you with one in a series of necklaces that I have worked on today. I call it "Can't we all just get along".

It'd be funnier if you could actually read the charms but when I try to make it bigger it goes all blurry. It's a vintage military jacket button with hand stamped charms that say peace and love. Funny right? Whatever. I am going to drink light beer!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dear Hoarders.....

You know those beautiful shabby chic studios with a place for everything and everything in it's place? Where the walls are painted a pleasing shade and tabletops are cleared, just waiting for new trinkets to be created? Mine is not one of them. Which would suck less if I didn't have the fabulous Sherry and John Petersik from Young House Love (this is the link to the blog where they crashed our house!) actually come in and give amazingly clever ideas to de-clutter and re-design the space. (white washed walls are coming any minute guys I swear!) My friend Maryellen's studio is what my studio wants to be when it grows up:

Maryellen's space is clean, inviting, organized and chock full of beautifully created pieces. Now for my space.....

This here is the room where the pool table lives. Memories of raucous pool games long in the past, it's now the land of the misfit pieces where various necklaces and earrings go to die.
Note the orange sticking out by the bottom right hand corner. It's a bulk box of Ramen noodles. Um...doesn't everybody have a bulk box of Ramen in their studio? My campaign to find the pool table a new home where it's owners will actually use it for it's intended purpose and it can be happy is so far unsuccessful. (we can do this the easy way....or the hard's your choice husband:)
Please come along and visit my quaint little space upstairs or as it's called in every other house...the attic:

Ah yes....this is where the magic happens. This is where I go to torch things because everyone knows that you should keep your torch in a room surround by untreated wood. This room is uninsulated as well so there are about 2 months out of the year that it's comfortable to solder. The other months can find me sitting Rapunzel like in my tower either sweating buckets or bundled up in a winter coat shivering. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, I understand how lucky I am to have any space to work and a husband that doesn't complain about all the crap....I mean gorgeous pieces in the making lying around everywhere. I am just hoping that by sharing these photos with you I will somehow shame myself into cleaning, organizing and making a pretty, pretty grown up studio which I can be proud of.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

These are the people in my neighborhood....

About once a week I get fed up with the hermit-like existence of working at home with only the latest book from to keep me company (right now it's Andrew Morton's biography of Angelina Jolie which is disturbingly addictive). When cabin fever becomes unbearable I make the trek to Strawberry Fields for friendship, laughs and caramel macchiatos. At my great friend Deanna's flower and finds shop I have my own little desk where I can sit and create and visit with all the people that come through the store. It often feels like our own little Mr. Roger's world with people ranging from the editor-in-chief of Richmond Magazine to the man that cleans the windows.
Here are some pictures from yesterday:

This is Wendy Umanoff the rock star merchandiser and design stylist that works with Deanna to make the shop look so gorgeous.

This is the owner (and my friend Deanna), artist and floral designer Theresa Wizard and Maggie the mail lady who's golden doodle often has playdates with my favorite golden doodle Marvin!

This is me faking work while Deanna takes a picture! ( I love having this place to go to when I am fed up with the hours of alone time. I may not get as much jewelry making done as I would like (that caramel macchiato isn't going to drink itself!) but it's a great way to connect with friends and feel like I am part of a community!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Going back to where it all began....

When I first began making jewelry I was a flight attendant in a small town in Wyandotte, Michigan in the Detroit suburbs. There was a lot of sitting around and waiting to get assigned a trip as what the airlines call a "reserve" flight attendant and I was bored. I decided I wanted to try my hand at jewelry and as the only place to get supplies was a local Micheal's with a very teeny jewelry making section, I got the basic tools there and then headed downtown to a couple of antique shops armed with my imagination and a little cash. The first thing I noticed were the rosaries. This being a large Catholic community there were a ton and I figured if I said novena before using them it would be ok to use the beautiful chains of beads to begin learning how to make pretty jewelry. Along the way I would pick up rhinestone pins, old watches, military buttons etc. and add them to the jewelry not really knowing what I was going to do with them. Cut to today. Searching for inspiration I looked at the pile of of odds and ends I have been collecting over the years and decided to make some one of a kind, artsy pieces. This is what I ended up with. It was a blast!