Wednesday, December 31, 2008


"Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love."

May your New Year be filled with passions fulfilled and dreams realized.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crafting at Quest Montessori

This was a treat...

A few of us parents went into the classroom and did holiday crafting with the children last week.
This was a project I did with them...Winter Fairies.
The children were so engaged and creative and each Fairy was completely unique.
It was fun to see them take a basic idea and make it their own.
Watching children create freely is a great can remind us that we all have a unique voice and something to express.
Also, that there is no right and wrong in is personal and up to each individual to decide what the create.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Green Moss Quartz Handmade Necklace

A Favorite Past Design

These cool, icy green quartz beads remind me of thick water drops.

The beautiful beads are bottom heavy but are still luminous and delicate.
Separated by sparkly, vintage, crystal beads this design reminds me of a regal ruffled collar.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Buddy - Spot Mural

Last Christmas I did a little painting for some dear friends...

The children wanted small portraits of all of their pets scattered in their bed rooms...this was one of them...Buddy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

ASID Casita Showhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona

This was a really interesting job I did back when I lived in Scottsdale.

The ASID created a designer showhouse at a historic hotel...transforming the individual casista into one of a kind showplaces. Designers bid for the opportunity to create a special space.

Three designers that I worked with on a regular basis were chosen to participate and so my handi-work was sprinkled throughout this project.

This was a section of one casita I did some decorative painting in.
For the walls, I aged and washed them with color. I hand cut custom stencils inspired by the fabric choices and used them around the bed room room and in the bath room. Then I painted a mural on wood planks which was used as a headboard.

I also gave the ceiling a splash of color in a cobalt blue and aged the wood beams.

With recent snow storms here in New England...this looks like a cozy place to snuggle up.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bench Mural - Trompe L'oeil Letters and Faux Cushion

Hand Painted Concrete Bench...

This was a fun job...

My client had a long, built in, molded, concrete bench along a bank of windows in their Scottsdale, Arizona bed room.

To soften the look, I hand painted a tromp l'oeil (fool the eye) yellow and white striped cushion directly on the concrete...complete with dark green "piping".

On top of the "cushion" I painted some letters and stamps.

I think the faux cushion really added some interest and whimsy to their bed room and I love that people were really fooled into thinking that it wasn't a hard, solid bench.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Peace & Joy!

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday and a Healthy, Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jewelry Show Display Sample - Single Table

A Jewelry Show for The Make a Wish Foundation of Rhode Island

This was a show I did at an art gallery to benefit The Make a Wish Foundation of Rhode Island.

It was a small table but my display ended up being an effective use of space.

Having displays that gave some height really helped to maximize limited table space and gave people multiple places to look.

It is important to me to have items easily accessible for my customers. I want them to be able to see and try on the pieces.

Keeping the background fabric light helped to show off the jewelry and didn't compete with the variety of colors and textures I use.

Having a couple of busts are great for showcasing a few special pieces.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Custom Silver Giraffe Charm

Giraffe silhouette Charm

Business coach and motivational speaker, Ilene Meckley uses the giraffe symbol to represent her business because giraffes have the biggest heart in the animal kingdom and she believes everyone should be "heart" at work not "hard" at work.

I custom designed and hand sculpted these charms which she sells as key rings and stick pins.
They are available in silver or gold and can be purchased on her website.

Please visit to purchase these cute giraffes and for creative, practical ideas to share your business with others and overcome obstacles in your life.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, find opportunity."

- A. Einstein

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jewelry Display Idea - Antique Store Finds

Shabby chic jewelry displays!

I found this shallow, white, coated metal, scroll, basket at an antique store I enjoy to poking around in. I liked it and it was very inexpensive so I bought it...knowing I would figure some way to utilize it.

Then at another store...a little later on, I found a tall metal candle holder...aha!

I wired the White basket on top of the candle "tower" and interesting, versatile display.

It gives my show display some height and saves valuable table space.

I can put items in the basket, stack another display on top or hang necklaces and bracelets from the scroll hooks. I can layer items in front and sometimes I even put it on a lazy susan so it can spin.

If you see something you can always find a way to incorporate it into your life!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Breakfast Nook Mural

A serene countryside...

This was a job I did for a wonderful client of mine in North Attleboro, MA.
I did a lot of work with this particular client and enjoyed every job.

I was pleased with the peaceful effect of this small spot mural. The subject matter was provided by the client and after researching her requests this is what I designed.

There was real molding attached around my painting and I think it framed the scene nicely.
This painting was a bit softer than what I normally do but it makes me happy when I look at it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bracelet and Necklace Jewelry Display Board Idea

A trip to you local home decor shop can provide numerous jewelry display options!

These bulletin boards...sometimes called French Message Boards....can be purchased at most large art and craft stores or discount department stores. They are available in a wide variety of fabric choices and can cost from $5 to $25.

They generally have a sturdy wood frame and are padded...perfect for using u-pins to securely attach bracelets and necklaces.

You can also easily make your own board or recover pre-made boards when worn or to coordinate with your jewelry style.

The crossed ribbons are the perfect place to tuck small signs or tags.

The boards can be placed on an easel or leaned up against a wall or other display item.

For shows, I load the board with jewelry at home and cover the entire thing with kitchen plastic wrap to protect the jewelry during transport.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Custom Wire Work Necklace

I really enjoy special requests.

A customer saw this green stone and wire necklace in my Etsy shop ( )…named Jade Serpent.

She asked if I could make something similar in shades of white and ivory.

This is the new version.

I think it is amazing what a different effect a simple color change can be on a design.
I liked the outcome of this creative collaboration.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Scrapbook Supplies as Jewelry Photo Props

Craft stores are a great place to find small props to make your jewelry photographs more interesting.

I found these cool little pre-made cards at a national arts and crafts store in their scrapbooking supply section.

At the time, I wasn't sure how they would work but I liked how graphic they were and what they said.

Below are a couple of ways that I decided to use them.

I think they add visual interest and create an eye catching background.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Montessori - The 5 Great Lessons in Ceramics

The Five Great Lessons are detailed in a series of stories and lessons that are designed to provide an understanding of the history of the universe with a focus on humankind's place in that continuing story.

The Lessons are divided into five unique parts:

A. The Story of the Universe;

B. Life Comes to Earth;

C. The Coming of Humans;

D. The Story of Writing (or Language);

E. The Story of Numbers (Mathematics).

I painted these ceramic pieces last spring for a silent auction fundraiser held by my son's school. (Quest Montessori)

The designs were inspired by a wonderful all school project the children worked on based on the The 5 Great Lessons.

Cosmic education in the Montessori curriculum sets the stage to develop more caring and peaceful citizens. Throughout all subjects, the Montessori teacher has the opportunity to instill in her students a sense of being connected to all things in the universe.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Greyhound Adoption Program - Custom Jewelry Donation

Giving back...

This is a donation I made recently to the Greyhound Adoption Program at Lincoln Park in Rhode Island.

It was included in a raffle during their annual dinner and fundraiser at Twin Rivers Casino.

I used photos of some of the dogs that are currently up for adoption and created custom, two sided picture charms. I mixed these with a variety of vintage charms and beads...all dangling from a double chain bracelet.

Mounted on a custom printed card and displayed in a clear top box...this was a very special project for me.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Creative Jewelry Photo Displays - Napkin Rings

Not Just For Napkins!

National import stores can be your best source of inexpensive, interesting, small photo props and jewelry displays.

Be sure to check out the table-top section and napkin ring bins.

Napkin rings are great because they can usually be purchased individually, are not expensive and come in a wide variety of styles and finishes.They are easy to store and transport and can be updated each season.

This is how I have used some of mine!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Faux Handpainted Curtains - Mural

Painted Curtain and Valance Mural

This job had a great effect and solved a problem for my client.

This was a curved end of a master bedroom with windows that had skinny slivers of wall on either side. Too small for real fabric curtains.

Faux, trompe l'oeil, hand painted panels and valance fit the bill.

The photo above is one section of the complete painting.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Custom Silver Women's Youth League Charm

As a very special memento, this oval charm was hand sculpted in fine silver then cast in sterling silver.

They each included the organization's initials and the date it was founded.

I used vintage buttons to create the background patterns and each was attached to a silver stick pin. The pins were tied to custom post cards which included their logo and colors. They were then tucked inside and organza bag and put at each place setting at their luncheon.

It was both a farewell and a celebration of an organization that meant a lot to many people.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Friend in Aruba

This picture just makes me smile.

I took it on a trip to Aruba for my dear friend's wedding.
The black and white was an accident but I think it gives it character!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Creative Jewelry Photo Displays - Votive Candle Holders

Need Props when Photographing Your Hand Made Jewelry?
A votive candle holder can make the perfect display for shows or when photographing your pieces. They are small, inexpensive and easy to store and transport.
Matte finishes like this frosted glass or aged metal serve as a simple, unobtrusive backdrop, they don't compete with the jewelry and resist glare.
See what you might have in your housewares assortment!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Custom Wedding Ring Design

This is a personal piece that has special meaning to me.
It's my wedding ring and my design reminds me of a military medal.

I actually chose a mens ring form for the base because I knew I wanted something big and bold.
The stones fit perfectly, set down flush with the open edge.
The tapered bottom makes it incredibly comfortable to wear.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jewelry Photography Prop Ideas

These are just a few of the items I find useful as props for my jewelry photography.

small glass blocks, feathers, dried flowers, Popsicle sticks, stones, votive candle holders, Cork coasters, bowls, place card holders, small branches, small boxes, leaves...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I LOVE My Light Box!

Purchased at a national electronics store for about $100...this little kit has made photographing my jewelry fun and a lot less painful.
It saves me time and has been instrumental in the improvement of my photo taking skills.
As you can see from these before and after pictures...the light box had captured the detail and helped the color balance.

The set included the colapsible light box, two lights, a small tripod and carriying case.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Creative Jewelry Displays - Home Accesoories

Jewelry Displays in the Housewares Section?
You never know where you will find an interesting display item for jewelry shows or as a prop when photographing your jewelry.

This hand sculpture was an inexpensive little surprise I found at very popular, national, discount department store.

I think it's fun and modern and it has helped me photograph some "hard to photograph" items!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Salvaged Earring Charm

New Life...

Rescued and recreated, this hand made earring charm found new life as a pendant.

I was drawn to the distressed metallic leaf finish and the clean lines.

I wrapped it with wire and chose to suspended it from a periwinkle silk cord...attached with a decorative, sterling silver bail.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Garden Door Mural - Before and After

A past painting job in an Arizona home.
I think this "before and after" an example of how effective a little paint can be.
Inspired by my clients ideas, this trompe l'oeil mural dressed up a bland patio sitting area.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Creative Hand Made Necklace Cords - Exotic Yarns

I had designed a collection of exclusive pendants for a home party company. The pendants showcased photographs taken by the president of the company and myself.

When it came time to decide what to suspend them from, I was so frustrated. I knew I wanted something special and unique but didn't want the the material to add too much to the cost of the piece.

This was my solution...a happy accident.

I had some exotic yarns left over from a knitting project which on their own were too thin and not substantial enough...but...braided, a ha.

I experimented with various textures, strand quantity and colors.

These are the result...
colorful, custom & creative!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pearl Bubble Earrings on Etsy

I love how these pearl earrings came out...they remind me of light, frothy, bubbles.

Fresh water pearls and sterling silver bars dangle from hand crafted sterling silver ear wires to create these unusual earrings.

These one-of-a-kind pair of earrings are available in my online shop...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jewelry Photography - Props

When I opened my jewelry shop on Etsy last year, I had a crash course in photographing jewelry.

This was amongst my first exploration of using props in my photography. Trying to be a little more creative and not so straight forward. I can tend to want to show too an effort to help the person shopping make an educated decision with the most information possible.

The great thing is that Etsy allows you multiple pictures so there can be others that are more technical and obvious...but the aim is to have the first one be eye catching and attracting.

Taking photographs continues to be an education for me. I love trying new materials, angels and backgrounds.

My pictures have improved but I still have a lot to learn about lighting!

You can see more photos of my work at

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hand Painted Ceramisc - Bow Platter

From my first attempt at painting ceramics...I was hooked!

Being able to mix the paints and achieve a wide variety of values by adding water made it feel very close to using water color paints. I guess the biggest difference is that it is a bit of a guess as to the final colors...after firing...kind of an adventure.

I paint in layers building up values slowly.

This platter was from a series of home accessories I designed and made several years ago when I lived in Arizona.

They were sold in boutiques and specialty shops.