Thursday, December 30, 2010


Pantones color of the year for 2011, named honeysuckle, even though I can't figure out why since the color is really more of a pink.

Anyway, I bought these for my husbands niece and then realized that they are the color of the new year!

Also, I've been using this app on my phone to blog and that's why my pictures are so gigantic. I need to figure out how to make them smaller when I have time.
**edited to add:

In person these were more of a pinky orangy...this picture really makes them look hot pink!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oh no.

It's actually not as much as I thought. Hmmmmmm.....

Torch fired enamelling

I've been experimenting with torch firing enamels.

I read somewhere that enamelling takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.

So far I'm having a lot of fun, but am quickly realizing that I would probably get better results with a kiln. And that my friends is a big expense!

Back to my experiments! :)

Torch fired enamelling

I've been experimenting with torch firing enamels.

I read somewhere that enamelling takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.

So far I'm having a lot of fun, but am quickly realizing that I would probably get better results with a kiln. And that my friends is a big expense!

Back to my experiments! :)

Friday, December 24, 2010


Santa gets sopapillas when he comes to our house!

Santa Fe

                                  Just listed Santa Fe!  You can find them in my Etsy shop!  :)

Guideposts and Trifles



Trifle earrings are a little not a lot, but still worth more than a jot.  Perfectly petite pops of color for your lobes...

I have been on a bead and wire wrapping kick. I have all these really lovely beads, and they've just been sitting in their boxes.

So, I combined larger gemstone beads with smaller beads on top. Just a little something. You know...a trifle.

The first two pair I made have reddish "berries" on top. I love that deep red color in the wintertime especially. I'm not sure why. I guess it just goes with the season.




Then 4 pair of Guidepost earrings. The sterling silver had been acid etched with a random dot pattern, and then I sawed them into different shapes. Such small beacons of light need a riot of color I felt.

I have one more pair coming.  Sometime today.  Maybe.  It's stormy, and I don't know if I'll be able to get good pictures.

I have had a lot of fun with these earrings, but I've wire wrapped so  many beads, that when I close my eyes.  I still see little wire wrapped beads.  And my carpal tunnel is all flared up too.

I think it will be back to smithing for the next shop update!  ;)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A sneak peak!

Listings and more pictures to come later!  I've had so much fun exploring color combinations, and have found joy in the repetitive action of wrapping teeny tiny little natural and gemstone beads with wire.

I'll be back....eventually ;)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Last night precisely at midnight, the chance to win this beauty ended.  

This morning, I included every entry on my blog, every person on facebook, and everyone who purchased something from my shop in the months of November and December...

Cut them all up,

put them into a box,

and asked my youngest daughter to pull a name out of the box...

(I thought it was more fun, but just as fair as the random generator)

and so, 

without further ado,

the winner of my Holiday giveaway, 


Diana Young!!!

I will be contacting you Diana to get your address!

Thank you all so much for playing along and for all of your continued support.  I hope you all have a very Merry Holiday Season!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A digital Nativity...

I'm not sure if it's a good idea, or a bad idea to post this. 
There is a part of me that finds it a little sacrilegious.
But another part of me that was quite amused.  
It blows my mind how times change. 
But the feeling stays the same....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Concha Earrings

Teacher gifts!  :)

I really hadn't given much of a thought to teacher gifts this year.  Last year I gave bars of handmade soap from DeShawn Marie. 

This year I wasn't sure what I was going to do. 

Then I started getting some orders for some really nice teachers gifts.  Nicer than anything I've given teachers in the past. 

And I started thinking.  And then I started feeling like a cheapskate.  I mean, these ladies give a lot to my children.  I really wanted to do something special to show my appreciation for everything they do throughout the year.

Rounds of sterling silver, richly textured by a hand stamped pattern.  Stone beads securely wire wrapped to each.  Brushed by hand for a matte finish.  
About that hand stamped pattern....I sat down with my metal stamps and a piece of copper.  I began stamping, and this pattern is the first that came out.  I tried some other things, but nothing came as quickly or as easily as this one did.  

So I went with it.
A distinct Mexican, Southwest American vibe.  And as I sat sanding each patterned round, I realized that they reminded me of something.  

Conchos?  So I looked up Concho Jewelry, and sure enough....Very similar concept.  

I know it sounds crazy.  But sometimes a design comes from your soul, and this one came from mine. 

We recently  had a challenge with the Aspiring Metalsmiths.  It was to make something that represented where you came from.  

At the time I read it, I remember wondering what in the heck I was going to make that represented me, and where I had come from.  

My Mother is Mexican.  My Father always called himself a mutt, and my Grandma said, English, Irish, and German Jew.  And I know my Grandpa had a Native American Great Grandmother somewhere in the family tree.  

My people are from California, Nevada and New Mexico.  I am from the American West.  I grew up influenced by the Mexican culture, and it continues to influence my life today.

So when I made these, at a time when I just sat down intending to make some teachers gifts I came out with much more.  

Just sitting down and creating.  No pre planned designs in mind.  I am so satisfied at what I created.  I am really proud to give these gifts to some wonderful ladies this Christmas season.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas cards!

I had the girls design and paint our Christmas cards this year.
By Isabella

By Isabella

By Adriana
I have the cards ordered!  I can't wait to see them.  If you'd like to see one of these cards in your mailbox, send me your address!  I'd love to send you a Christmas card.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Malibu Beach, California...

I love the Pacific Ocean.  My heart belongs to the area around Northern California and Oregon, but I've got love for  the Southern California beach.  This is Malibu Beach.  
This is some kind of cool kelp that was all over the shore.  When you stepped on it, it made a popping noise.  I have plans to figure out what this is exactly.
I could have sat there all day long and watched the girls play had it been just a little less windy.    I still sat there for as long as I could.  Closing my eyes with the wind in my face and the sun on my back.  Breathing in the salty, Ocean air.  Pure Heaven I tell you.  Pure Heaven.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What the?

Seriously?  Less than 4 weeks until Christmas?  When in the heck did that happen?  I don't even have my tree up yet!
Christmas 2009

I just got back last night from a week long trip to Southern California and was feeling a bit reflective this morning.  I really enjoyed getting out and taking 100% of my time to enjoy the moment I was in.

Not worrying about anything but what we were doing at the moment.

It's easy to do that while on vacation.  But too easily forgotten when you jump back into your regular schedule.

There isn't a time of year that I love more, or get stressed out about more than Christmas.  So many things going on, so many things you feel obligated to do.

So, I sat myself down this morning and had a stern talk with myself.  I'm not going to try to do everything.  I'm not going to put my girls in matching outfits, curl their hair, beg and plead with them not to get the hair messed up, sit still, don't wrinkle your outfit, on and on... and take them to the Gaylord and take their pictures. And at the end of it all, they hate it, I hate it, my husband and I will be fighting because I was so stressed out I snapped at him.....bah!

I want to keep it simple.  I don't want to feel the anxiety to get my tree up NOW! Rushing the girls along.  Hurry up, let's get this done...


I'm going put the radio on the Christmas station, make hot chocolate, and we're going to take our time pulling each ornament out of it's year long wrappings.  Talk about each ornament, where it came from.

More often than not, it will have a story.  What we were doing at that time in our lives when it was added to our tree.

So we won't have a fancy picture this year.  So what?  I bet I'll be able to catch true joy on their faces by really being in the moment and enjoying an activity together.

Hopefully the memories we create in taking the little things, and enjoying them, really enjoying them will make the best memories of all.

That's the plan anyway...

P.S.  This font is horrible. I thought I'd try something new, but you can hardly read it.  sorry guys.  I can't figure out how to change it.  But I won't be using it again!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giveaway Time!!!!

Her name is Sonora Sunrise.  Named after the stone that is the center of this lacy design.
Rich in shape and texture, a filigree fantasy!  All metal components, save the chain have been hand formed by me.  One at a time.  Formed with patience and joy...
This stone hails from Sonora, Mexico by way of lapidary artist Terry Williams.  It has only a hint of the green typically found mixed with the red of Sonora Sunrise stones.  A beautiful mixture of deep red and orange it is a beautiful stone.
Adjustable from 16" to 22", the sterling textured chain closes with a hand crafted hook clasp.  I have attached faceted cuts of carnelian beads to add a pop of color to the chain as well.
The back features a hand crafted sun, and the name of the piece, along with my initials and a sterling hallmark.  :)

I made this necklace especially for this giveaway.  I wanted it to be something really special, and I think I've succeeded!

I have fabulous fans, followers, friends, and customers.  I appreciate all the support you give me throughout the year.  And I don't just mean when you purchase something from me.  I appreciate the hearts in my Etsy shop, the comments on my blog, when you "like" something I post on FaceBook.  I appreciate the comments on my Flickr photos, and when you come to visit me at my show, even if you just stop by to say Hi.

I appreciate having you all along for the ride as I continue on my path.  So, here are the rules:

1.  If you purchased something from me in the months of November and December, you are automatically entered in the drawing.

2.  If you are a current FaceBook follower, you are automatically entered.

Now here's what you can do to earn extra entries:

3.  Become a follower of this blog.

4.  "Like" my business page on  FaceBook.

5.  Add me as a contact on Flickr.

6.  Add my shop as a favorite on Etsy.

7.  Suggest my page to your friends on FaceBook.  You as well as your friend will receive an extra entry for the drawing.  (email me with the names of your friends so I know to give you the extra entries!)

8. Post this drawing on your blog, twitter, facebook, etc... for extra entries.   (leave a separate comment for each time you post this drawing!)

And...I think that's it!!  Please leave me a separate comment for each action.  This will make it easier to choose the winner by a random generator.

This giveaway will end on December 18 at midnight CST.  This will give me time to get this beauty in the mail to you.  Just in time to receive a wonderful gift for the Holidays!!!

Let the games begin!!!  :) :) :)  I am so excited!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Pre-Holidays!!

I have been going through my shop all morning, and still have more editing to do, but I am so excited I just needed to tell you all now.  I'm having a pre-Holiday sale in my shop!!!  I went through each and every item, and marked a lot of items down by 20%.  If an item is not on sale in my shop, then it is already listed at the best price.

I put up a picture of my Holiday wrap,  and I am also offering direct shipping to your gift recipient.  I've been thinking about this sale for awhile now.  I really wanted to be able to offer a sale that would give my fabulous customers a bit of a break when purchasing Holiday gifts this year.

Some of my best stuff is included in the sale.

I hope you get a chance to drop in and check it out.  You can visit the sale section in my shop by clicking here:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

by the sea

I have dithered long enough. I have let my fear of working with large stones keep me from working with the gorgeous stones I have been collecting for several months I decided to test the waters. Dip my toes in, if you will. And guess what I found? The water is warm, and inviting. The deepest of deep blues. I found my courage, it was waiting for the sea.

Set oh so simply, but this stone doesn't need anything fancy.  It sings loud enough on it's own...It can be found here:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Don Norris

I'm making this ring that I want to put a wide band on. The stone is a whopping beauty. It's gonna need a wide band. So, I made a wide band, and I like it, but I'm thinking it needs to be tapered somehow. Then I remember that I have a "class" on DVD that covers wide bands.

And that got me thinking about the teacher of the only metalsmithing class I have taken. Don Norris, Learn Silver. This guy is a character. I mean, you can see his style, and that's exactly what he taught us to make. I knew when I signed up for the class, that I wasn't really into his style, but I figured I could get the basics down.

And I did. I learned a lot from Don. He also sells these DVDs. They are terrible. They are all shot from dons view while he solders, or works, or whatever. Like he's holding the camera in one hand and filming while working with the other. And no editing. It's ghetto fabulous though. If you can get past all his blabbing, and his taste so not like your own, and just watch the skill he's teaching, well then you can get a basic idea of how things work.

He fancies himself quite the artistic rebel. Uses all kinds of substitutes for proper tools.
Taught us to only use hard solder. And don't be afraid to pile it on.

The truth is, there is no better teacher than trial and error and just getting out there and start trying stuff out.  Some of the things I learned from don work the way he said they would. And some of his ways just don't work for me.

So, I give you the joy that is Don Norris the only teacher I have known. Note what he is using as a bezel pusher....

Friday, November 5, 2010

I just got Lost...

Wanted to embed this one for you, but can't.  So here's a link I can never get enough of ColdPlay, and this version with Jay Z is gave me chills.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Something wicked this way comes|

I love, love, love this version.  I had hoped to embed this in my blog for you, but alas, it is not allowed.  Just the perfect amount of wickedness in honor of the season...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010


My daughters painted these margaritas for their Aunt Diana and Uncle Shane.  Diana and Shane own a restaurant in Hot Springs, AR called Taco Mama where you will find the best Mexican food in the state. And I'm not just saying that because they are family.  On a recent visit we ate there every day, sometimes twice a day!

During one of those fabulous meals I told you about, the girls noticed that there were two paintings of some chili peppers.  They decided they wanted to see if they could make paintings worthy to be hung on the walls of Taco Mama.  I think they achieved it.  ;)  I've had these forever and plan on packing them up this week and sending them to Diana.  I'm going to see if I can get her to send me a picture of them on the wall of the restaurant.  The girls will be all famous and stuff!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Intertwined scrollwork...

One of the things I've always loved most about silver work in jewelry, is the contrast between light and dark.  Dark in all the nooks and crannies, and light on all the surfaces.  The oxidation settles in and when brushed from the surface it remains in the crevices serving to bring distinction in the textures of the silver.
The more textures in a setting the more opportunity there is to see this beauty at work.

I have just begun exploring using intertwined wires to create scrollwork in my designs over the past month or so.  I love the lacy feel it lends to my designs, I definitely plan on exploring this technique more!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We now return to our regularly scheduled program...

Well, maybe not quite back to the regular schedule, but getting closer.  I think....  Anyway, the show is behind me!  I worked non stop to prepare, and I am pretty proud of myself for pulling it off.  It was an enormous challenge to myself to see if I could fill up a six foot table with goods, and I did!!

I really thought that I'd be able to spend this week lounging around in my pj's and getting caught up on my dvr, but I have so many things that I put on the back burner while preparing for this show, that I am just as busy this week as I was last week.

I am making progress on the ole to do list though.  Ever onward....

Here are the first set of photos of some of the left over goodies.  I am hoping to get them listed in my Etsy shop some time this evening or tomorrow morning.  If you see something that strikes your fancy, feel free to email me, or contact me by Etsy convo.

So, without further ado....

That's it for now, more to come!  Have a good evening everyone!  :)