Friday, January 29, 2010

a love of all things austen

I love Jane Austen... I mean I LOVE her! I have multiple copies of all of her novels (I really don't know how it happened but before I knew it I managed to have 3 copies of Pride and Prejudice on my bookshelves) and I have started a collection of her novels' movie adaptations, from my all time favorite, BBC miniseries version of P&P starring Colin Firth, to the more liberal adaptations and modern takes on Jane Austen, like Bride & Prejudice and Clueless. So OF COURSE I am totally psyched about the new Emma miniseries on PBS. I can't wait for the next installment this Sunday!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

first class

My first day of class was wonderful! I got to see some old friends and make some new ones. Of course, I was the teacher's pet that stayed late on the first day just because I HAD TO GET STUFF DONE!!! If only the class was twice as long... But I am challenging myself this semester to take my time with projects to make sure my craft is impeccable AND that if I try something and it doesn't work initially, to start over again to get it exactly the way I want it instead of forcing my project through to completion just so I can get as many pieces done as possible throughout the semester. Pretty good goals, huh?!

So here's where I am at on my first project:I rolled out some thick sheet metal to 19 gauge and punched out 2 13mm circles. I hammered one circle and left the other smooth. Then I created two bezel rings, sanded them down to the appropriate height for the stone and soldered them to the circles. I finished with drilling top holes for the bails. Of course my desire to rush home and set the stones without polishing the pieces (so I could wear them that very instant!) was hard to resist, but I am holding out until my next class to polish the pieces and set the stones. I decided I want a high polish to these pendants rather than leaving them a satin finish so I am trying to be patient and complete them perfectly. I'll post pictures next week when I am done!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

back to school day!

Yay! Today is my first day back to school! I start my 5th jewelry studio course at Moore tonight. I am so excited to get back in the studio and start on the many projects that have been piling up lately. My inspiration notebook is spilling over yet I have been having a hard time wrapping my brain around what projects I should tackle and in what order. After a long deliberation though, I think I am going to start with this sweet little number I found on Sundance's website:I love the contrast between these 2 pendants and I love the idea of them clinking together and covering one another at different times when I move. I purchased one aqua cabachon at Shivan and have another iolite at home to use and will set them in sterling silver. I plan to take pictures of my process along the way. Here's to sticking to resolutions!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

vintage jewelry ads

I absolutely love vintage jewelry ads! They are so inspiring and I essentially want every piece of jewelry featured on the page. How did women resist from running out and buying everything?! I especially love the advertisements with illustrations of these spectacular pieces, like the one below:
This ad is so beautiful I feel like I want to buy an original and frame it to hang in my studio one day:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I "heart" inspiration board

My last post inspired me to create an inspiration board. These are some timeless favorites of mine that consistently inspire me:(from right to left, top to bottom) PERSUASION by JANE AUSTEN- my favorite book, a story of second chance and timeless love/ ORANGE POMPOM DAHLIAS- my newly discovered favorite flower/ ANTIQUE CAMEOS- I love the classic ones with a profile of a beautiful woman/ BUTTERFLIES- the colors and patterns are magnificently beautiful, nature at it's perfection/ GRACE KELLY in REAR WINDOW- this movie is steadily creeping up to be one of my all time favorites, Lisa shows she is more than just a pretty face and fashionable attire/ VINTAGE PHOTOS- especially ones with women that really reflect fashion of the time, I absolutely love sepia tone/ TOURMALINATED QUARTZ and LONDON BLUE TOPAZ- 2 of my favorite stones to use, I love that the inclusions make every piece of quartz unique and I love the color saturation of the topaz/ ALFRED CHENEY JOHNSTON- I love the sexy poses and the fashion in his photography/ A HUMUMENT- both beautiful and poetic, I adore Tom Phillips' work/ VIOLETS- my grandmother's namesake and her favorite flower, she continuously inspires me long after she has gone/ THE NUMBER 3- there is something about the balance of 3 that comforts me and is often present in my work/ STEEL BLUE- my favorite color, I gravitate towards it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

school supplies

Went school supply shopping on Friday at my 2 favorite places on Jewelers Row in Philadelphia: Hagstoz and Shivan. First stop: Hagstoz... my go-to shop for all of my metal supply needs. Second stop: Shivan... I love, love, LOVE this store! It is the tiniest little nook of a store, crammed full of gems to drool over, and I am totally enamoured with the family that owns it. When you walk in, the L shaped counter that forms the store is full of a spectrum of faceted gems, and although this seems like quite a selection, they have boxes and boxes filled with other stones behind the counter that you can't even see at first glance... every stone you could desire, and if they don't have it there, they will gladly find the stone for you and cut it down to the shape and size you want. As soon as I walk in, they know I want to go straight to the aquas, topazes, and tourmalines.

I love tourmalines! I love the color range and the saturation of the color in these stones. I specifically love the blue tourmaline called indicolite which I often substitute with a london blue topaz to reduce cost. It is so hard to resist just indulging in so many different stones at Shivan, but I walked out with only 4 small ones this time (a smoky quartz, a cubic zirconia, an aqua, and a london blue topaz) and I cannot wait to start working on the settings next week!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I have been making my watch necklaces for some time now and accumulated all of these unused watch cases. I finally had the idea to turn them into lockets! The cases looked so sad left unfilled, but I didn't want to fill them with decorative items myself; I wanted to leave it up to the owner. Instead I made little handwritten notes sealed with wax, that lets the owner know that it should be used for their most treasured possessions... ...and just in case there isn't somethng to fill the locket quite yet, I added an old vintage photo that can easily be removed...
I have always been a lover of lockets. I love the idea of carrying around with you items that signify something really important to you. There is just something special about an object that triggers a memory for the owner that is a mystery to an outside observer... a scrap of fabric from your favorite dress, a dried rose petal from the first flower you received from a boy, a folded note with words no one else will ever see... a little piece of happiness. There is just something so utterly romantic about lockets!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

gearing up for class

Hey folks! Sorry it has been so long since my last post! I was working in Chevy Chase, opening up our new Anthropologie store there. If you live in the DC area, stop by and check it out...

I just registered for my next class at Moore and the list of projects has already begun... My dear friend Alexis needs me to replace a thin gold ring she lost and I am excited that one of my creations will adorn her thumb every day in the foreseeable future! And for purely selfish reasons, I want to make a large box set cocktail ring to act as a show stopping piece to dress up even my most casual outfits.

I am very excited to be able to include my class experience here on this blog; to walk you through my work from inspiration to completion. Class begins January 26th! Stay tuned!