Sneak Peek :: Statements in Stone


My absolute favorite thing about jewelry making is working with natural gemstones. I love them all...from rough and raw, to polished and refined. It's so true that they carry their own unique energies. I can't explain it, but something about stones just draws me in. I often hoard them, not having a real clear vision of what I will make with the stones I buy {the stones used in the necklaces above I've had for at least 3 years}. If they call my name, I buy them. I usually store them in various places around my studio, just so I can soak up their energy and admire them each time I pass by. Eventually, they make their way onto my workbench and I stare at them until something happens. I work with them, arrange and rearrange, combine them with a mixture of metals and materials, step back, undo, redo, add more, subtract, revise, and repeat. Often, it's a frustrating process. But in the end, the piece created seems {to me} to take on whatever form it was meant to be. I especially love that each final piece is one of a kind and as unique as the stones themselves.

Some more lovelies I made over the past week. I've been busy this month, digging through my supply of gemstones to make all one of a kind pieces. It had been far too long since I had done that and my creative side was screaming for attention. The result--statement pieces in stone and mixed metals. I can't wait to share more with you!

If you're in the Kansas City area, you can come see them in person next weekend! I'll debut these babies and other lovelies at the Handmade & Vintage Chick Event. It's a pop up marketplace for all things handmade and vintage by local artists and artisans, complete with good eats by local restaurants and good beats by local musicians.

I'm really looking forward to it and hope to see you there!


In the Studio :: Metalsmith 101 with dad

One year, ten months, and nineteen days--the amount of time it takes for a lot of stuff to happen.. and I have zero blog posts to show for it. What can I say, life happens much faster than my speed of blogging! But one of the highlights of recent months is finally getting metalsmith lessons from my dad. For many years during my childhood, my father worked as a goldsmith. He did not immigrate to the states with this trade, but somehow taught himself soon after settling here. And all the equipment that I'm now using to learn this trade are the same pieces of equipment that my father worked on decades before. Rusty, dusty, and so full of history.

There is something very meditative about playing with a torch and some metal. I'm not sure what it is about it that I'm drawn to, but I'm enjoying every minute of it. And it is much harder than it looks. Good thing practicing is fun...and I have so much to learn!

Here are just a few preliminary pieces I made while practicing my soldering techniques. I've been using a lot of copper to practice with because it's more affordable than sterling silver and I have to say, I really love the look of it! Not so much a fan of the shiny copper look, but when oxidized and textured, copper really adds a nice rustic quality and dimension to jewelry. I've worked with copper in the past, but haven't used it much until recently and I've already incorporated copper into a lot of new jewelry pieces. They're not listed online yet and I'll probably debut them at my upcoming show next month!  Details soon.

It feels great to be blogging again. I'd love to hear what you think of my new layout and look!


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In the Studio :: almost finished

Has it seriously been 2 months since I last posted???  Just thought I'd pop in with a quick update.  Here are a few bits and pieces laying around my work table.. just waiting for some finishing touches.

Tiny tourmaline leaves wire wrapped to a sterling silver oval.  I love tourmaline!  I don't work with it often because frankly, it is so expensive!!!  I purchased a strand of these tourmaline leaves last year at a gem show and have only made one completed necklace using these beauties.  It was purchased before I had the chance to list it online.  Now I've started this focal piece... and can't decide whether to wire-wrap the leaves all the way around, or do something asymmetrical.  What do you think? 

Some oxidized sterling and gemstone pendants (top to bottom: phrenite, lepidochrosite, amethyst)

Glass droplets in a new design.  I'll probably make this available in several different color combinations.  What color combos are you partial to??

Gold plated pavĂ© beads in crystal and sapphire blue.. and a beautiful vintage brass bead with Austrian opalite crystals.  These will probably be necklaces.

Simple and elegant gold plated twig earrings with stick pearls.  I think these would be perfect for a candlelit dinner.  :)

So what are you working on at the moment?

I know I mentioned a giveaway.  I actually had one on Sandy a la Mode a week or so ago, but didn't have a chance to blog about it.  But if you follow me on twitter or facebook, you knew.  ;)  If you missed out on that one, don't fret, I'm planning on another one, right here on my blog.  I'll make it special since you've been so patient with me. :)


Looking Up

Things have been looking up around here... at least I've been looking up.  How could I not, with skies like this??

I see a sky-diving bunny, what do you see?
 I don't know what weather patterns (besides insane heat) have contributed to such gorgeous clouds in the sky lately, but the skies have been incredible to look at every day!

The clouds have been massive, voluminous, fluffy, pure white entities you wish you could jump into.

...it's the stuff that daydreams are made of...

My kids call them Toy Story clouds (like the ones on the wall in Andy's room).  And speaking of kids, they are keeping me worn, I tell you!  If you are a work at home mom and juggling motherhood and keeping on target with running your own business, while maintaining sanity, please share your secrets.  I'd love to feel like I'm doing things right at least one day a week.  Xp (that is me looking pooped)

But I feel positive.  Being a mom is the toughest job, ever.  Ever ever.  But it's one I wouldn't trade for the world, and would probably do all over again if I could (don't ask me that on a bad day though).  And I can't help but think that..

...if parenting didn't feel like the toughest job in the world, then I must not be doing it right.

So I am celebrating today!  I'm celebrating the fact that my back is in knots, my hair is a mess, and I'm still in my pajamas on a Friday afternoon, still trying to enjoy my morning coffee (one sip at a time).  It is Friday, right?

And I'm celebrating my kids..and motherhood... stressful moments and all!  All the craziness just makes the calm moments that much sweeter. 

 I hope you'll find something to celebrate today too.  *cheers!*  :)  Here's to a lovely weekend!

PS.  These sky photos were taken with my phone camera and posted via Instagram. If you instagram, you can see more of my daily photos at "envedesigns"...please come and say hi! :)