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Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I designed this necklace just before my trip to Bead Fest Santa Fe in March of 2009.
I mostly solder in a "rustic" style.  This necklace was no different.
I wire wrapped a rhinestone bracelet onto one side of the soldered pendant.
 On the opposite, I added a thick rhinestone necklace...one with beautiful clear rhinestones that were prong set.  It was well made and one I did not want to part with.
Below the focal, I hung a couple of my "rustic" soldered charms.  One was a square of my favorite little muse, who wiggled her way into my heart, what seems like ages ago.
The other,
a small circle one with a favorite word
a bird's nest,
which dangles freely from a mother of pearl dove.
Nestled inside are three vintage baroque pearls.
I made many of these nests WAY back then. You can get an easy tutorial from my friend,
Deryn Mentock here.  It is her sweet design.
Today I look at
I think of who I was then, and who I am now.
I am retired.
Yesterday was my last full day at work.
It feels great.  It feels different.
It feels wonderful.....I do  "believe".
"If I don't remember where I've been, I won't appreciate where I am."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Night Before Christmas

 For the last 25+ years we have had the family Christmas Eve's party at our home.
It is always FULL of family.
Full of fun.
Full of food.
We laugh a lot.
 We love much.
 It was a beautiful Christmas Eve.  
Filled with enough to keep me satisfied, 
well, until next year =)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

with the faith of a child

A "Words of Inspiration" cuff, 
made just in the nick of time
for the class I taught last Saturday, in College Station, 
for the Brazos Valley Jewelry Artists' Guild.
This is how it's done ~
Take one very special etched brass cuff (etched by you).
Add another etched layer of textured goodness (made by you).
Top it off with an etched word of "inspiration" (yes, ALSO made by YOU).
That is the recipe for a class I will be teaching at
But, for now let me share how full of
my heart is feeling,
as I reveal the artwork of eight
most enthusiastic and incredibly talented students from the 
class last Saturday!
Here are their pieces, one by one.....
Yes, they traveled from near and far.  Sort of like the wise men.
Well, not really like THE wise men, 
but Rita did come from Kerrville, while Esther came in from Rosenberg, 
to be with her friend Joanne, from Brenham.
Carrie drove Hwy-290 in from Houston, and Sue came all the way from Seadrift, Texas, 
while the others came from nearby Bryan.
I would love it if you could join me in Phoenix next August 7th for 
While there, I will also be teaching another class, Rhinestones & Rosaries, 
which I will be teaching at Adorn Me! 2011 in Houston. 
But if you can't get to Houston, I will be teaching this class in Phoenix, Friday, August 5th,
so go here to find out more about it.
As I reflect upon all the blessings I have received this past year, 
I want to thank each and every one of you who so faithfully came here to read my little bits of this and that.
I know that I have much to be thankful for....and one is YOU ♥
I wish each and every one a safe Christmas.  One filled with love overflowing.
One filled with the love of Jesus Christ.
And, even though Charlie Brown has nothing to do with the birth of our Savior, I will always hear Linus speak the very words that make me remember 
just what Christmas is REALLY ALL 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I sighed

Two vintage hair combs were sent to me from 
a new blog friend, Connie, of She Dreams Big!
"Please transform these into two bracelets", she requested.
I had never seen such divine combs as these,
reminiscent of the Miriam Haskell style.
I began with this one.
The one with brilliant green rhinestones
and luscious mint green pearls.
I admit,
I am drawn to the color green like a moth to light.
I didn't even tremble,
as I gingerly cut the slightly yellowed combs away from the
pearl and rhinestone center pieces.
Maybe I should have, as I have never worked on pieces so divine,
that were not mine.
Yes, I've re-strung vintage pearl necklaces that were not mine.
But, usually I have been the one to purchase the vintage rhinestone pieces to alter.
Vintage ear bobs, pins, brooches and chain.
I buy them all the time to use in my designs.
But, this was different, they were not mine.
I didn't blink an eye!
It is now that I blink.
What if I had made a mistake?
If something broke, as it does and will.  It is vintage and sometimes often brittle.
But, it didn't.  I sigh.
Here is how they looked, just before I put them in a box.
A tiny box that will travel all the way to Nebraska.
"The Goddess"
Attached to an etched cuff, layered with a favorite piece of Brass Bouquet filigree.
As requested, the creamy baroque pearl and rhinestone comb
was fashioned after "The Wedding" bracelet shown in my previous post
and is in the Winter issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry.
"Baroque Bracelet"
This time I used four 10mm creamy baroque pearls I had bought from an Etsy dealer.
They matched the focal baroque pearl perfectly!
Thanks Connie for trusting me,
and for giving me the opportunity to transform your vintage combs into new pieces.
Just in time for Christmas!
Once again....I sigh.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Art of Presentation

"The Wedding"
Thank you Christen for including me in the newest issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry!
I am always amazed when I open up one of the most beautiful magazines
on the newsstands and see my jewelry.
It is truly humbling.
Even today, as I sit here, less than one month three weeks away from retirement from a full time job in finance, I find myself in awe of it all!
I have been working on this line, called Cabinet Card Jewelry, since last June, after finally having the opportunity to take a class with Deryn Mentock to learn more about Ice Resin.
I am smitten with resin,
and designed many pieces just before Marburger Farm.
I think Christen did a marvelous job in writing the article, which included pictures of my bracelet and earrings.  But, the main piece, the necklace which actually has the picture of my grandmother wearing her wedding veil (which you see in my blog header), did not appear in the article.
So, here it is.
"My Grandmother's Veil"
Made with layers of vintage rhinestones, various vintage brass chains, as well as chain I design using vintage baroque pearls and one of my favorite Brass Bouquet findings,
the very vintage connectors.
I had been saving two identical rhinestone clasps I bought in Warrenton, which doubled as great connectors as well as clasps.
"Baroque Dangles"
The earrings are dainty.  
I loved them so much, I made a pair for myself, just a tad different, 
and wear them almost every day.
The issue hit the stands December 1st!
It has super how-to articles written by my friends 
And, congratulations to my friends Cindy Wimmer, Esther Ramos,
for their Around the World: A Necklace Round-Robin article.
It was great to finally see their designs.
They really did so much more than what was revealed in the article, so if you have the time to jump over to their blogs, you'll be able to read about their experiences, see their beautiful jewelry journals, 
and find out all about their round robin trip!
Plus, the Designer Collection in this article is none other than the talented 
She is an extremely talented jewelry designer and artist!
And, there's one more.  
In the back of the magazine, is a beautiful boutique of jewelry, where my friend  
Stephani Gorman has a beautiful piece of jewelry, 
called Dancing in the Moonlight!
So, you can see, I am not alone.  There is a wealth of goodies and friends in this issue.
You will love it all.  I promise =)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Roses and Rustics

 Last week I was contacted by Jane Zavala, 
proprietress for a shop called Roses and Rustics in Nolensville, Tennessee.
First of all, the name of her shop alone caught my attention.
Then, as I perused her blog, I saw things I love.
Long story short, I will definitely find my way to her shop one day, 
but in the meantime a few of my Crystal Princess Drop necklaces are now for sale there!
The ones below are still with me,
and are for sale at $42, 
which includes one of my gift boxes.

are also at her shop.
Two on the right below are the ones I still have 
and did not make the trip to Tennessee =)
They have vintage text with a dash of German glitter.  
The girl at the top right has a piece of vintage rhinestone,
while the girl on the bottom right has a 
simple ♥ inside....for a bit of movement!
They are $46.
And, I also have these....
"Nature Watchfulls"
Little bees live inside 
(from Brass Bouquet).
They are $44.
The shipping is on me....this holiday season =)
Wishing you a blessed Friday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


:adolph & josie:
This is a picture that includes my mother's father and mother.
They stand together on the right side of this photo.
Before two weeks ago, I had never even seen this picture.
I absolutely love it.
The only picture I have of my grandmother when she was young, is the one you see up on  the right top corner of my blog header.
This picture is an example of everything I love about old pictures and cabinet cards.
It has that look that only vintage pictures have about them.
That eerie dark pearly glow.  
Yes, this picture fits the bill perfectly.
It is not faded, but is still crisp and clear.
But, I am the one who always wants to know more.   More about the details.
Like, how old are my grandparents here?
I e-mailed back, asking my second cousin who shared it with me, 
"Do you know any details about this photo?"
"Sorry"...she said.  
The only thing her mother told her, is that it was the other couple's wedding day. 
Oh, well...it really doesn't matter.
What does matter, is that I now have it in my possession.
I am so thankful. 
So as I begin to take a closer look at the photo.  I stare at their feet.   
I look at their shoes. 
They look like they have walked a many a mile don't they?  
All except my grandmother's.
Did you notice how two of the four are curling their feet?
I notice things like that.
Always have.
My cousin sent one more picture.
The description:  
"Josie on Grandpa Charlie's buggy".
I have no clue who Grandpa Charlie might be, as he is not my Grandpa...
or my Great-Grandpa.
Thankfulness floods my soul.  
My eyes begin to burn, and I try not to cry.
My Grandmother has been gone for over 23 years.
I don't think I ever heard her complain.  If she did, I do not remember.
I miss her.  
I am thankful ....
I have these pictures.
Thankful I had a Grandmother who loved me, and I her.  
Yes, thankful.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a class with mary hetts

I had the privilege of taking a class with Mary Hettmansperger about a week ago at Wired Designs Studio in San Antonio.
It could not have been more convenient, or more FUN!
It was one very full day, learning her method of working with 
metal & wire.  
I decided I did not have to finish the project, 
but instead focus on the process of:
:wire weaving:
When I signed up for class, I also asked my great friend Charlene to join me, knowing she would love be exposed to the torch!  Right Charlene??  LOL.
Mary was so patient, and really took so much time with each and everyone of us.
That's the beauty of a small class, as we had less than ten that particular day.
After it was all said and done, Charlene left class as a master with fire!
"two peas in a pod"
Lookie what Charlene designed with us in mind, 
using the techniques Mary taught in class.
While in San Antonio, Mary taught four days of classes~two mixed metal (which we took) and two mixed metal and clay~all were FULL.
She has a great new book, which was released earlier this year.
Charlene and I had a great time together, staying with my daughter while in San Antonio.
The next day we traveled to a restaurant that Charlene loves and had suggested.
If you ever have the opportunity, you really should try it, as it is just gorgeous and full of San Antonio history, great food and MORE!
This was the home of C.H.Guenther, the founder of 
Pioneer Flour Mills, built in 1860.
And, where you can find goodies such as these!
Pecan Nut Rolls
Which sold out way before we even ate breakfast that morning. 
What fun we had!
I was go glad Melanie came along with us.
It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend =)
 BTW....just in case you didn't know, this is how snowmen look in Texas!