Friday, June 18, 2010


Hi there! Lots more posts on my new blog since I posted here last...

Friday, June 4, 2010

More posts!

Still here?! Check out my new posts on

Don't forget to subscribe to the new RSS Feed! Just copy and paste this URL into your reader:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Working with Gold

New post!

pretty fun stuff... :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New post over on the new site! I forgot to tell you about it!

Don't forget to switch your feed if you are a subscriber to this blog! :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Posts on the New Blog!

Hi there! Check out the 2 new posts on my new website! Don't forget to subscribe to the new RSS Feed! I'll keep updating this blog for a while, but would love to see you over at the new one! Just copy and paste this URL into your reader:

Here are the links to the new posts:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My New Website is LIVE!

Oh, it's here! Yay! - go ahead and check it out and ubscribe to the RSS feed! I'll keep checking in with you here to gently remind you to go to the new site. I'm DYING to hear what you think....please stop by and let me know! Thanks to ALL of you!! Looking forward to more!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How do you label yourself?

It's We Scout Wednesday at Scoutie Girl and today's question is "What's your label?"

I have struggled with this questions for several years. And, not just because I don't know how to answer it, but I just don't like what's behind the question. When someone asks you "What do you do?" they mean for a living...but that's not always what defines us. When I was in the corporate world, it was even harder for me. I hated when people asked what I did. I was a marketer for a high tech company. Couldn't define me as a person any less - but that's the answer people are looking for. So, although I will still struggle with this question, at least the answer now is more "me"!

Am I an artist? A jewelry designer? Maybe I'm a metalsmith! I recently was "labeled" a metalsmith (something I've thought about, but never called myself) and I really didn't know what to think! I felt like I was tricking someone into thinking I had been schooled in the art of metalsmithing. So self deprecating! From today forward I will do my very best to start using labels that I aspire to...what's wrong with that?

What's your label? Do you struggle too?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jewelry Making - Start to Finish

This post title may be a bit misleading...I really love reading tutorials and how to's by other artists - jewelry, of course, but especially from other crafts that I don't understand. It fascinates me to see others in their element creating their art. I've tried a few times showing some process photos. I often forget to take photos during several steps.. :( Kind of ruins it...but, I just get so in to what I'm doing my little brain can only handle so much. Anyway, I still want to show some process photos of the rings I worked on last week...

Once my bezels are made, it's time to solder the bezel on to a backplate...

Once the bezels are successfully soldered on and the pieces pickled, I saw away the excess metal and then file, sand and polish the setting until no seams show. Then it's time to solder the ring on to the setting (oops, forgot to photograph that part).

Once the piece is all together, pickled and's off to the tumbler.

Tumbling the rings cleans them so beautifully and also hardens the metal. I love tumbling.

Next, it's time to set the stones. I use a bezel pusher and a curved burnisher to set the stones. I position my ring in a vice that is lined with a chamoise to protect the metal and push and burnish away! I finished with a quick polish and...

Voila! Rings!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Show and Tell Time + Next Week's News

Well, finally! I can show you my new gift from myself to myself! She came the other day and I still haven't attached the handle, but soon... It's a bench shear! So excited! I can't tell you how long my money clips take me...saw a crooked line, then sand and sand and sand...and sand some more to make it perfect. But, now, this little shear will help me make perfectly straight lines and cut down on my sanding time by 80%, at least. Obviously not just saving time on money clips, but so many other things. I have a hand shear and the serrated edge it makes, also takes tons of time to sand down, so YAY!

I also got this Key Holder as a free Thanks. I will literally never use this - ever. How random.

And, last, but not least, here's what I've been working on. Lots of these little guys are ready to list! So, I will be posting photos and links soon. I have some process photos that I will also share next week. Lots coming up! I am still waiting on my website completion, but I did update all my other branding (except on my blog...which will be moving anyway). So, check out my Facebook page and My Etsy Shop and let me know how they look!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm back! + Quick Blog Feature Mention

Well, I'm back from our glorious long weekend in the bay area. I. Love. California. So sunny and warm...we had a great time and I came back to a vegie garden FULL of spinach and arugula and all my herbs are growing like crazy...potatoes coming up, peas all over...I love this time of year.

I have a lot of catching up still to do, but wanted to share this blog mention real quick this morning. Beth from The Ruby Blog featured my Pink Tourmaline Ring in her blog today. Her blog is just gorgeous. She picks gorgeous photos and items and pairs them lovely and inspiring.

I should get my birthday gift to myself tomorrow and will post photos soon :). Can't wait.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How could I forget + Birthday gift

I don't know how I let this lovely slip through when I posted all my new goodies the other day...well, yes, I do. I was wearing it :). Well, here is a GORGEOUS yellow quartz pendant that I'm totally in love with. I will add one of my "blur the edges" photos for you too... :). And, thanks again to all of you for your further editing tips! I'm so very excited - I really think my photos are going to be much improved from now on!

I will be posting this and others in my shop next week. Next week you ask? Why, yes, I will be out of town for a nice long weekend to San Francisco. My husband's birthday is Saturday and mine is on Monday, so we are making a birthday weekend out of it. AND, I got myself a gift will arrive when I get back. It's exciting, trust me...I'll post photos for you once I get it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More work + iPhoto trick

I have a few quick things to show you! And, one that I need an opinion on...I'm opening a can of worms, maybe :). I'm still in a crazy ring phase, but I thought I would do some bezel set necklaces this week (plus one random wire wrapped one)...Here's the newest batch...

Whiskey Quartz and Oxidized Sterling Necklace...will list soon...

Labradorite and Sterling Necklace - simple design, but this stone is a real stunner, so simple is all it needs - check it out

White Chalcedony and Oxidized Sterling Oval Necklace - will list soon

This is the one I'm not sure about. I like this photo best, because you can really see the scallops. I normally don't use the scalloped bezel wire unless I have a really simple or rustic stone to use - then I like the scallop to give it some cuteness juxtaposed with rustic. So, what do you think? Meh? Cool? Pretty?...

Aqua Chalcedony and Sterling Ring - this stone makes me swoon. Love, love, love the

So, the iPhoto trick. I'm a little slow on the uptake for the most part. But, today I finally discovered the "Blur the Edges" tool in iPhoto. Anyone know what that is? You can essentially airbrush your photos! I've always been too shy to take photos of my jewelry on me. I think it's so helpful for customers to see the scale though! Such a dilemma...So, I started with rings - fine, no big deal...then I tried earrings and NO WAY! Far too close up. So, I tried necklaces and I was not happy...until I started editing and found the "Blur the Edges" options in iPhoto in the "Effects". Ah, now I can just blur myself out and leave the pretty jewelry in the middle...what a relief. I guess I have to try earrings again. Ugh.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Front Page of Etsy...again!

Oh, my title sounds so cocky..."again"...I love it. Anyway, I was lucky enough to snag another spot on the front page of Etsy yesterday - the upper left corner again! Seriously - this doesn't happen to me...and probably won't again! I may as well enjoy it! Sooo happy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More branding elements + RINGS!

I have more branding elements to share! This is all coming together so fast...I'm so happy! These are my new earring cards! Quite happy with them.

I still have to figure out some other packaging changes - but it should be fun and easy. Did I already say I can't believe how fast this is all happening? :) I can hardly wait to wrap it all up - I'm so ready for my new look and to share it with everyone!

I spent a nice long day in the studio yesterday making made to order items, but I'm hoping to get back in later this week and work on some new things that are cooking in my brain.

Last, but not least, I'm still on a big ring are some newly listed items...and one that will be listed later today...

Prehnite and Oxidized Sterling Ring - yeah...I'm in LOVE with this one...

Black Agate Druzy Ring

Amazonite Ring...look for me soon!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Front Page of Etsy!

Yesterday I had a lovely surprise - my Chalcedony and Oxidized Sterling Ring was on the front page of Etsy! See the screenshot below - the top left item. This is my third time on the front page and it is just as exciting as the first and second! It's so fun to watch your shop and items get so much love. Lots of fun. I'm a pretty happy girl :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Branding off and running!

It's been a big day today already! I just sent files to get my new business cards printed. I should get them next week. They turned out so cute. I'm totally in love.

AND, I sent off my requirements and files for my website update! Phew! It feels great to have everything moving. My brain is still churning as far as how this new website structure is going to change things and how exactly I'm going to manage it. Exciting stuff though. The biggest change is that I will no longer have a shopping cart. My Etsy shop will be the retail engine. I think this is a great change - but also risky to rely on a different website for a shopping experience - but I get so many more eyeballs with Etsy and the inventory management really works for me.

My blog will also be on the new site - so I will eventually have to deal with getting YOU over to the new site. :) Hopefully an easy task! My current website is so static...I never update it and I never add new items - it's terribly neglected. I think this change is going to be so helpful in creating a more interactive and fun web experience for visitors. I'm awfully excited! Can't wait to show a mock up to you.

Eventually I will be working on a separate line for wholesale and get back to knocking on retail outlet doors. Not my favorite thing, but necessary. So, anyway, those are the crazy thoughts inside my head today. Sorry to be so wordy. I'll at least leave you with some new items that are up in my shop...

Aqua Chalcedony and Oxidized Sterling Necklace

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Favorite...

Again, I was inspired by Tara at Scoutie Girl...this time she has asked for readers to share a favorite shop, artist, or blog. Oooooo, fun! But, just one? This one is so hard. There are loads of blogs I read and artists I follow and am in awe of. But, there is one artist whose work always makes my heart skip a beat when I look at it. Her name is Anika Easter and I could cover my house with these beauties...check out her shop.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Our Wedding...

OK, I know we just had our 2 year anniversary and I posted some photos last month, but I saw this post on Scoutie Girl today and just had to participate. How sweet! I love Tara's story and with every wedding there is a story...

I was a bit stressed the year we planned our wedding. I, like so many brides, wanted it to be perfect. There are so many people to please, so many decisions to make...and at times, it felt impossible. But, also lots of fun :). Invite designing, dress shopping, photographer picking, menu making, decorating...oh, the fun girly stuff!! You might think I spent time thinking about what jewelry I would make for myself...but you would be wrong. I spent time designing my mom's and my sister's jewelry and ended up making mine just a few days before we left. Now when I work with brides, I have so many ideas and so much excitement to make something perfect for them. Something I wasn't able to do for myself.

We decided to get married in Maui. I really wanted a small wedding and we had a hard time getting the guest list as short as we wanted, but getting married so far away definitely helped :). Don't get me wrong, I wanted all my friends and family there - but I also wanted it intimate.

It ended up being the absolute best time of our lives. That sounds so obvious - but it was perfection. Most of our 50 guests had never met before and a few days before the wedding, we snorkeled, whale watched, golfed, ate and of course drank lots of fruity drinks together and everyone became best of friends. That was definitely one of my very favorite parts was seeing all the people I love together and having so much fun.

It was simply a beautiful day and now I have the best husband a girl could ask for to show for it.

Can't wait for wedding season... :).

Feature Designer on Indie Design Studio

What an honor to be a featured artist on this cute blog!

I had a quick little interview with Indie Design Studio yesterday. They are a website design company for indie designers and also have a great blog - which the feature is on. Check it out.

Thanks so much for the feature!

Monday, March 29, 2010


I spent most of the week and weekend the yard, in the garden and in the kitchen...anywhere but my studio! It's been awfully quiet in my Etsy shop the last couple weeks which makes it difficult to feel very motivated to create. I won't feel too sorry for myself or complain for too long...don't worry, but so slow! Sales just came to a screeching halt after a pretty good February. Anyway, I will always keep on keeping on.

We made insanely yummy pizza this weekend - eggplant, mushroom, mozzarella, goat cheese, roasted garlic and caramelized onion. Good god it was delicious. I also made a fantastic cocktail to go with it. I don't have a name for it, but it's sort of an herbed lemonade with good - watch out!

2 oranges
2 lemons
2 limes
4-5 good sized sprigs of rosemary
1 bottle of lemonade

Cut the fruit up in chunks and drop in the bottom of a pitcher. Add in the rosemary and muddle all together. Add lemonade and stir. If you are patient, let it sit for 30 minutes or so. Put ice and however much vodka you like in your glasses and add top with the lemonade mixture. Drink up!

I've also used lemonade concentrate and only added part of the water, then topped the drink with some soda water for a little fuzz. Super fun and yummy.

Cross your fingers for me for some sales this week!

Monday, March 22, 2010

What a weekend!

I wish the weekend wasn't over! It went so fast and so much happened. I'll just dive right in...the hubby finally found a car. He's literally been car shopping for months (and just kinda looking for years...3 to be exact) and FINALLY bit the bullet. It's a much longer story than just this, but I won't bore you with the details. All that matters is that his new car is adorable...I mean totally bad ass. I don't think men want adorable cars. Anyway, it's a huge relief and I'm glad it's over. Buying a car is one of the grossest experiences I can think of. Hate it.

Sunday I ran the Mercer Island Rotary Half Marathon. I shaved about 18 minutes off my time from November. Good, but not great, especially since I stopped the first time for what seemed like 20 minutes. So, I probably didn't run any faster, but my official time was much better :).

It was a hard run, even harder because my running partner had to drop out of the race due to an injury - so I did it all by myself! But, it was great to see a smiling husband at the finish line.

The rest of the day I ate and drank champagne. That's right. Celebration time. Oh, and built another 8x4 garden bed. I can't wait to get my garden going. It's going to be twice as big and I have lots of plans for planting. I'm going to get my herbs and some hardy greens in this weekend. A little early, but the hardy stuff can handle it.

That's all for now. I'll be in the studio this week too, so will hopefully have some new works to show soon too!

Friday, March 19, 2010

New works - only for you!

I finished taking photos of a bunch of new work yesterday. I'm trying to stagger my uploading of new goodies to my shop - but I couldn't wait to share photos! I had been neglecting necklaces for a long time...I was on such a ring kick for a while...well, still am. So, I went nuts with a bunch of new necklaces. I find them extremely difficult to photograph. Sigh. Rings are my favorite - or studs. Anything teeny tiny I have a much easier time photographing. Earrings I still need work, but they are OK. Necklaces - so hard.

First, are the 3 items that I did end up listing last night - so go check them out!

Rutilated Quartz coins in Gold Filled Chandeliers

Here are the rest of the bunch from this week. They will all be listed in the next few days!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Update + Rings

My blog posts have been pretty far and few between lately. I've been working on my websiteupdate a bit and can hardly wait for it. The designer is going to start on it April 8th and we hope to have it done in about 3-4 weeks. Needless to say, I've been neglecting this blog while thinking about, and planning my website. It's going to change A LOT! The branding, the layout, well, everything. It's where I will end up doing my blog postings and I will be more focused on my jewelry, inspiration, process, etc...than personal stuff.

Although my current site was built for me to be able to upload new products, make copy edits,'s just so darn static. I rarely update it and I end up directing people to my Etsy shop to see my work. Well, that's just dumb. I have my own website! I should be excited to share it! So, I decided to have my Etsy shop be the shopping part of My Etsy shop has become so easy to manage and it's where I add all my new products anyway. OK, I'm going on and on...there is so much to tell! However, I think I will wait to spill too many beans until I have something visual to share. It will make things much more clear.

In the meantime, enjoy some photos of new goodies. I am loving rings lately. They are so fun to make...and wear. Here are a few new ones.

Chrysoprase Ring

Monday, March 8, 2010

Crooked Trails Trunk Show

What a nice weekend! It's been awfully nice in Seattle and I've gotten so much yard work done just in the last 2 weeks. I'm so ready to plant my garden and just can't wait for spring and summer. Sit on the deck, grill, drink vodka tonics...oh, I cannot wait.

Besides my warm weather dreaming, I had a trunk show at a great customer and friend's house. 25% of the sales went to Crooked Trails. Crooked Trails is a non-profit community-based travel organization helping people broadening their understanding of the planet and it's diverse cultures through education, community development and responsible travel. Yes, I took that straight from their website... :). Check out the website though. I think it's hard to sum up all that they do with just that little blurb. It's a great organization and I especially love their focus on responsible travel. I feel so fortunate to have been included in such a great group. It was a great event.

Plus, it just made me feel good. For some reason, I never really knew how exactly I would want to go about donating (besides the obvious donating items for auction). But, I loved having a portion of the trunk show sales be donated. I got to meet the people, everyone was terribly enthusiastic and I just felt so much more a part of it and connected that just writing a check or mailing off a piece of jewelry. A great experience and I intend to do it again...and again :).

I also have just 13 days until my half marathon, so I had to get a 10 mile run in yesterday. It was hard, but I was still able to do yard work afterwards and I'm not too sore today, so I know I can at least be able to cross the finish line. I'll hopefully get in one more long run before the 21st. Can't wait!

I have a few pieces to share...even some that already sold, but I want to share anyway. And, off to finish some rings, cuff links and more!

This lovely herkimer diamond necklace is snatched up already...

And this gorgeous White Druzy necklace has also already found a home...

So had this Green Amethyst necklace...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Custom work + works in progress

I've been neglecting my Etsy shop ever since we got back from our anniversary trip to Vegas - I know, the most romantic place :). For the last week or so I've mostly been working on custom orders that sort of all came at once for some reason. I just finished up an order for a bride and her bridesmaids yesterday and have one more custom order (cuff links for a wedding!) that I will get to next week. Check out a few favorite custom pieces from the week...

But, that's not all I've been doing! I do have some new designs in the works! I usually only work on a few new things at once, but I was feeling like my shop was stale and I have so many new stones that I'm dying to work with, so I started a whole bunch of new work at once. I'm not sure if it's the amount, or just that I'm trying to work faster and trying things I haven't done before, but I've had a few super annoying moments of bezel melting, the bezel not fully soldering to the backplate, hard to set stones (oh, that one was bad - my arms were sore the next day), and things like that. Not that those things never happen, but they feel like they have been happening way more this week and sucking my time away...right when I'm dying to finish some things so I can get them photographed and up in my shop.

I WILL share new goodies soon! In the meantime, here's my pile of stones right after making all the bezels the other day. My bench is a disaster now - glad I took this photo before it got out of control...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Early Morning Front Page...

I slept through my Ruffle Ring being on the Front Page of Etsy this morning! It's more fun to be awake when it's happening, but I'm grateful either way!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Running Playlist Help

I'm running my second half marathon in a few weeks. I could REALLY use some help with my playlist! I've added a few new things since my last half marathon, but 13.1 miles is a long ways and stale music makes it feel even more ridiculously long. Even though this changes almost everyday, here are my current running favorites...what are yours?? please??

2. 11th Dimension - Julian Casablancas
3. Salute Your Solution - The Raconteurs
4. Crying Lightning - Arctic Monkeys
5. Kiss with a Fist - Florence + The Machine
6. No You Girls - Franz Ferdinand
8. Bad Romance - Lady Gaga (I know, I know...I can't help it...I love it)

Monday, February 22, 2010

2 years ago today...

was the best day of our lives...
and it's only gotten better each day since...

Happy 2 year Anniversary to us!

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Jewelry + Eggplant "caviar" recipe

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! Ours was adorable. Nothing fancy, just an overall great day. Well, the Eggplant Caviar I mentioned last week, but hadn't tried yet - turned out great. It's soooo good. So, here's the recipe and below it, a couple notes about my small adaptations:

Eggplant Caviar
2 medium eggplants
2 large cloves of garlic
1 medium onion, outer skin removed, but left whole
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Assorted vegies and bread for dipping

Preheat oven to 400. Cut a slit into the fattest part of each eggplant and stick in a clove of garlic in each. Rub the eggplant and onion with 1 TBSP of the olive oil. Roast the eggplants and onion on a baking sheet for about 40 minutes, rotating frequently, until the eggplants are collapsed and the onion brown. When done, cut the eggplants lengthwise and lay cut side down on several layers of paper towels to drain. When cooled enough to touch, peel the skin off and cut in quarters. Cut the onion in quarters too. Puree the onion and eggplant in a food processor. Add the rest of the olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, cayenne, salt and pepper and puree until very smooth. Check for seasoning and serve with bread and/or vegies. It's good warm or cold.

**I didn't have tomato paste, so I added about 1.5 TBSP of balsamic instead of just 1 tsp. I also added a bit more lemon juice and a little more olive oil since it was lacking depth without the tomato paste. But, it turned out wonderfully! YUM! Next time, I will add a couple more garlic cloves in the eggplants - the roasted garlic was outstanding!!

And, last but not least, a few more pieces of jewelry to share. The first 2 are already in My Etsy Shop, the other 2 should be listed today or tomorrow.