Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Finally got around to putting this charm necklace together.  I took the chain from another long necklace I don't really wear anymore, and adapted it slightly to allow additional charms in the future.  Not only do I love the sentimentality of this necklace but also the fact that I am wearing pendants again that were no longer getting a lot of wear.  From left to right: water casting techinique that solidified my true love for metalsmithing, clear crystal to represent my daughter's birth month, cut out coin my father made, a moon I wore all the time when I was younger, a skeleton key which was one of the main elements in one of my most popular necklace designs, and a blue topaz which I gifted to all the important females in my life prior to my wedding.  Already considering adding more, like the black pearl I picked up on my Hawaiian honeymoon (although I am slightly concerned about damage to the pearl against the other metal charms). So excited to wear this piece today and for many days to come!

Friday, December 9, 2016

holiday etsy wishlist 2016

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!! I am so incredibly excited for this holiday season.  My family is coming in from CA and it will be the first time we have all been together in 4 years.  This year I've been trying really hard to cut back on my shopping, so my wishlist is relatively long this year.  And as always, jewelry is the top contender on my list.  So once again, here is my annual holiday etsy wishlist:
1) Antique yellow gold engraved band-  This has been on my wishlist for awhile now, but I think I have finally found the perfect one!
2) Vintage large oval marcasite ring- In my dreams, I have been pining for a large diamond cluster ring but this is my reality option.
3) Art Deco marquise banded agate yellow gold ring- The key to this ring is the extreme marquise shape and the lily setting on the sides of the stone.  I've looked for this setting with other stones, but the banded agate seems to be the most readily available option out there.
4) Small flat yellow gold hoops- I desperately need some good basic yellow gold earrings and I pretty much wear hoops every day.
5) Flat circle yellow gold studs- Would pair perfectly with other gold earrings and are the kind of studs you could wear for eternity.
6) London blue topaz yellow gold studs- These weren't even something I was looking for but ones I stumbled across while looking for my December birthstone post.  I love this stone, it is such an incredible color, and I love the unique shape of these earrings.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

for December babies

Happy birthday December babies!  I know you may have to share your birthday with a whole month of holidays, but at least you have a stunning birthstone to call your own.  Traditionally, blue topaz is a true bright baby blue, but if this were my birthstone (oh, I wish it was!) I would fully embrace the London Blue topaz.  I mean look at the color of these stunning earrings!  And the hexagon cut just puts these over the top.  So beautiful!

Monday, November 28, 2016

gold links

Just a small piece I created for a taste of something new.  I've been going through my old jewelry and started to recycle pieces from ones I no longer wear.  This was made from the chain of another one of my necklaces and gold wire scrap from a few rings I made.  Simple and basic with great layering potential.  Also, I love seeing pictures of other jewelry artist's benches and equipment and am finding the beauty in my own soldering block.  It's an imprinted history of my studio work.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

for November babies

Happy belated (second month in a row!) birthday to all November babies!  Things have been less than cheerful the last week or so, and it's been hard to focus on much else.  But jewelry can always cheer a girl up (at least definitely this girl!).  And who doesn't love a good Melissa Joy Manning piece?!  These stunning earrings, featuring rough cut citrine set in two simple gold bands, keeps all the focus on these beautiful stones.  The rough cut of the stones along with one of the most prominent characteristics of MJM's design aesthetic is all about capturing the one of a kind look.

Monday, October 17, 2016

for October babies

Happy birthday October babies!  Sorry if I am a little belated.  I've been doing these birthstone posts for two years now and I have no intention of stopping!  I am going to shift gears a little this year and not only focus on earrings but modern design.  (I feel like I have been giving antique jewelry an overwhelming share of the attention!)

October babies have the pleasure of having pink tourmaline as their birthstone.  The varying colors and shades of tourmaline are unmatched.  And these pink tourmaline slice earrings by Pamela Dale are a stunning example of tourmaline's wonderful shade of pink!  I have long been a fan of gemstone and diamond slices and their organic nature.  The addition of rose cut and brilliant cut diamonds and peach gold drips is just the icing on the cake!

Monday, September 26, 2016

engagement ring love

When this popped up in my Pinterest feed, I think I literally gasped out loud!  I know absolutely nothing about this ring (my Google search turned up nothing) but it looks like Art Deco or a very well done Art Deco replica.  I love it paired with the simple gold band.  What a stunning pair!  Today is actually my 8th wedding anniversary and as I was fondly admiring my own engagement ring, I realized how much I still whole heartedly love it.  Back story: I actually picked out my own engagement ring from a small antique store online, but my husband duped me into thinking he couldn't afford a ring anytime soon.  The ring sold (yes, I stalked it online) right around Valentine's Day and I was heartbroken that someone else was walking around wearing MY engagement ring.  Two months later, my husband asked me to be his wife with THE ring!  I am still incredibly happy with the choice, and wouldn't change it for the world, even though my jewelry tastes have changed, developed and evolved over those years.  I hope that all the ladies out there have such happiness with their own rings (and partners!).

Friday, September 9, 2016

a sprinkling of newness

I have quite a few lingering projects hanging out in my studio, all planned out and supplies sourced, but I finally got the time to execute some of them last night.  I've been obsessing over oxidized silver and yellow gold for some time now but had the epiphany that this combo I love could also be created with black stones and gold.  Henceforth the onyx bracelet and thread earrings were born!  I've also been craving a pop of blue with my necklaces and whipped up this small wire wrapped blue topaz.  Perfect for layering!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

for September babies

September is the hardest month to narrow down a birthstone selection (my love of sapphires runs deep!).  Throughout my various different searches this beauty kept popping up.  Nothing over-the-top extravagant but still stunning and incredibly wearable.  The filigree is just beautiful on this shield pendant, the pear shaped sapphire is picture perfect and the twinkling diamond accent at the top is just the icing on the cake!  Happy birthday September babies!

Friday, August 12, 2016

for August babies

Happy birthday August babies!  The birthstone for this month, Peridot, has a signature color that is easy to spot.  (I actually think it was one of the first gemstones I was able to identify when I was very young, also being my brother's birthstone.)  The peridot on this Art Nouveau beauty is the quintessential perfect shade of vivid chartreuse.  The emerald cut lends beautiful depth to this light colored gemstone.  And the swirls of gold and tiny diamonds compliment this stone nicely.  Such an enchanting piece!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

birthday wishlist

So it's almost my birthday.  Last night, while putting my daughter to bed, I asked her what we should do for mommy's birthday.  She replied, "give you presents, like jewelry.  Like rings... and necklaces."  I started laughing seeing as how my 4 year old daughter knows this so assuredly about her mama.  She asked, "why are you laughing mommy? You like that stuff!"  And with a chuckle I said, "I do baby, I really do."  So here it is, my annual etsy jewelry wishlist... filled with rings and necklaces:
1) Antique patterned yellow gold band- I am still looking for juuuuuuuust the right one, but this one is lovely and at an exceptional pricepoint.
2) Diamond baguette eternity band- This one is lovely and thin and perfect for stacking!
3) North Star necklace- I am really quite obsessed with North Star or starburst designs right now.  I love the pairing of this North Star necklace with the side set moon.
4) Antique Starburst ring- I love, love, love this ring!  Tiny diamond set in a starburst and a scrolling pattern on the sides.  Absolutely exquisite!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

for July babies

Happy birthday July babies (and happy birthday to me)!  Anyone who regularly reads this blog of mine knows I'm not the biggest fan of my birthstone, Ruby.  But over the last few years, I have started to grow fonder of this stone, especially in antique yellow gold pieces.  I absolutely adore this ruby pendant.  I love the double bail, the lily and scroll details, and how the princess cut ruby is positioned.  All in all a piece I would definitely wear to represent my birth month!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Art Deco lines

Made this necklace this past week, consisting of hammered brass wire and oxidized sterling silver chain inspired by a lot of Art Deco prints I was looking up on Pinterest.  It still needs a few adjustments, like opening the loops on the chain to provide a better slide and possibly shortening the longer piece to accommodate the most common necklines I wear.  I am such a stickler about fit even when it comes to jewelry, something I think many people don't acknowledge often.  (Nothing bothers me more then when a clasp is heavier than the pendant and it pulls at the back of your neck!)  Regardless of the few adjustments needed, I am in love with this piece and am brainstorming different configurations, shapes and patterns.  How stunning would this be translated into another piece:
  (image from Flickr)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

for June babies

Happy birthday June babies!  June babies get to boast about having 3 birthstones to choose from: alexandrite, moonstone and pearl.  As I was looking up options to feature of any of the three, I came across this INCREDIBLE Art Nouveau pearl pendant, and the decision made itself!  Here's the description from Christie's: "BY GEORGES FOUQUET - The fire opal drop, set within an opalescent and blue cloisonné enamel winged cap, to the blue cloisonné enamel and rose-cut diamond scrolled trim, enhanced by a pearl, suspended by a blue enamel bail, mounted in 18k gold, circa 1900."  There are literally no words to describe how I feel about this stunning masterpiece!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


I just love serendipitous moments!  Unfortunately, the ring my husband got me for Mother's Day fell through.  I was so devastated... the ring did seem a little too good to be true at such an incredible price, after all!  I had resolved that there was no way I would be able to find something again within our budget but decided to look around just in case, and lo and behold, I found this ring!  Not only was it EXACTLY what I was looking for and the same price as the original ring but it was my size and I actually like the design a little more than the original (I am much more of a geometric girl than a floral motif girl).  And it felt good for a disappointing moment to turn into a happy one.  Now this mixed white and yellow gold combo is my new favorite ring outfit!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

so much more

Happy Mother's Day everyone!  Just like most holidays, you shouldn't wait for this one day a year to tell your loved ones they are appreciated and loved, but there is something so incredibly wonderful about a designated day to kick your butt into gear to do just that.  Parenthood is hard and the simple accolade of "you're doing a good job, we see it and appreciate what you do" means so much.  So to all the mamas out there, you are incredible... the moms who love their children unconditionally, the women who love fiercely within their hearts as mothers, the soon-to-be mamas, the mothers who have loved and lost in silence, and the mothers who we have loved and lost but will never forget... you are an inspiration to us all!!!
My Mother's Day this year is commemorated by this beautiful Edwardian two tone gold filigree ring.  Nothing means more to me than receiving a piece of jewelry to mark important days throughout my life and to one day pass down to my own daughter.

Friday, May 6, 2016

for May babies

Happy Birthday May babies!  You are so incredibly lucky to have the rich color of emerald as your birthstone.  For my highlighted piece of jewelry this month, I deviated slightly from what I usually select by showcasing an uncut emerald. I usually do prefer faceted gems but just look at that emerald!  Such a lush color even without facets to bring attention to the depth and dimension of the stone!  And the detailed setting pairs nicely with the organic shape of the emerald bead.

Monday, April 11, 2016

for April babies

Happy birthday April babies!  My daughter is an April baby, so lucky mommy gets to have a special connection to this birthstone as well!  This is always a tough month to narrow down to just one selection for my birthstone post, but this Art Deco pendant called out to me.  It combines many of my favorite design elements, including the pear shape of the pendant, the lily shaped bail, the ascending diamond sizes, and the beautiful filigree accents.  Just incredible!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

artist inspiration

Oh how time flies, my lovelies!  While I have been absent from my blog (my apologies!), I have been looking for inspiration, just a little something that could help jump start my design process again.  And then I found Yeesookyung.  I am so incredibly inspired by this artist's work Translated Vase series, from inspiration to execution.  Now I am obsessed with integrating kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending ceramics with gold, into my design.  Although this is certainly not a new idea (check out jewelry artist Jamie Joseph's stunning pieces), I am excited at testing my own take on this beautiful method.

Friday, March 4, 2016

for March babies

Oh you lucky March babies!  Every time I see an aquamarine I want to giggle like a little girl.  I am not sure what elicits this kind of reaction in me.  Maybe it's the enchanting color of this stone and it's pure perfection!  A perfect example is this 15 ct. stunner in a yellow gold milgrain setting with a decorative bail of sterling silver over gold with diamonds.  This pendant hangs so beautifully. And as beautiful as the diamond setting is it perfectly allows the aquamarine to take center stage.

Friday, February 19, 2016

two new aquisitions

Two new pieces of jewelry in the last week!  Just the thing to cheer a gal up (it's been a stressful month).  First up, my Christmas gift from my husband!  After the first Art Nouveau pendant he bought got lost in the mail (tragic to think that pendant is floating around in no man's land!), we found this beauty on Ebay. It's missing its pearl drop but I'm still debating whether I want to replace it or not.  The pendant is so delicate you don't even notice the loop at the bottom and the pendant is already so pretty as is.  I guess if I find the right antique pearl, I might change my mind.  Next up, a star sapphire ring gifted to me from my mother and father.  (You may remember this previous post!) Turns out my father gave my mother this ring shortly after they were married.  So incredibly happy to have a sentimental piece passed down from my parents.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

for February babies

When I conjure an image in my head of an antique amethyst necklace, I envision a festoon necklace dripping with rows and swags of amethysts.  A stunning vision that I obviously appreciate but not one I would purchase and wear myself.  So when I started on my search for this month's birthstone necklace, I searched for simple and understated but quickly realized my vision of amethysts dripping from the neckline could not be squashed.  Then I stumbled upon this beauty! A piece I could certainly love and wear with just the right amount of "drippy-ness" and a perfect balance of statement and wearability.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

for January babies

Happy birthday January babies!  Garnets are such a rich colorful stone and, in my mind, just perfect for the cold winter weather of January.  In my search, I stumbled across this circa late 3rd Century B.C. garnet necklace and was just blown away.  The style of this necklace is exquisite and very much wearable today.  I am so incredibly inspired by the stone settings.  (Click through the link to see the setting in more detail.) Such a remarkable piece of history.