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.

Friday, November 28, 2008

PawsWatch Fundraiser Handmade Jewelry Donation

"Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Monitor..."

These are a couple of pieces of my handmade jewelry that I donated recently to a deserving organization for their silent auction fundraiser...

PawsWatch is a volunteer network, spread throughout Rhode Island.

PawsWatch is Rhode Island's branch of a large and growing grassroots effort to transform the population of "street cats" into healthy, managed colonies, which will then decline through attrition instead of killing.

Please visit for more informaiton and to help their cause!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Creative Bracelet Display Idea

On a recent trip to Columbia I was impressed by this clever, colorful, portable, handmade bracelet display.
I think a smaller version of this would work wonderfully for holiday fairs and craft shows.
Very eye catching and adaptable for many styles of jewelry.
Jewelry could be stored and transported on the "rolls" too. Then slipped into sleeves for protection between shows.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Infant and Child Loss Memorial Jewelry

A loving Memory

It is my honor and privilege to provide a special keepsake designed to help parents heal whose live are touched by the devastating loss of a child through early pregnancy loss , stillbirth or in the first few months of life.

These are three examples of how my fine silver fingerprint charms have been used to help heal grief and honor a lost loved one.

They represent a precious life that has meaning and purpose but that ended too soon.

This work is sacred to me and a very personal outlet for my artwork.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Creative Jewelry Displays for Earrings Series - Double Wood Frame Idea

Creative Hand Made Open Frame Earring Displays

This is the fourth and last post in my series of four different ways to display your hand made earrings for shows and fairs.

This one is similar in thought to the last one (post number three) but is larger and more open...making it ideal to be viewed from multiple sides.

For this display I bought two large wood framed cork boards at a discount store. I popped out the center so that I was left with the frames. I painted them black and attached small hinges along one side.

I screwed small eye hooks at regular intervals along the sides and attached picture wire from hook to hook on each frame...making sure to keep the wires as tight as possible.

Really that's it like a book and load it up with your creations!

I have also used this idea with frames in varying heights and in a group of three...a big one in the center and two smaller ones on each side. Just be sure when you attach the hinges that the frames open like a "Z".

* Note:
This display can be too light for outdoor shows...even when there appears to be no wind...believe me, I learned the hard way that it only takes one gust to have flying earrings!

Hanging Earring Card Tip:

I use business cards to display and package most of my earrings.
Sometimes I fold them in half like a tent…that way the can stand up on a table or hang over one of my displays.

Another option is to apply sticky back plastic hangers/earring card adapters to the cards…that way they hang neatly on the wire rails. The earring card adapters can be found at jewelry packaging supply shops and by searching online.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Creative Jewelry Displays for Earrings Series - Double Wood Tray Idea

A portable, easy set up Hand Made Jewelry Show Display for Earrings...Wood Trays.

Ok, this is the third post in my series of four about finding creative ways to display earrings.

This one takes a little work...but only a very little!

I went to a national unfinished wood super store and purchased two small unfinished wood trays. The top rim of the trays were straight and not arched...that was important. At the same shop I purchased 3 small hinges which came with screws.

When I got home I placed the trays on top of each other inside to inside...and laid the hinges along one of the long sides. I marked where the holes were and drilled a tiny pilot hole. Then I screwed the hinges onto the trays one at a time.
This made it possible for the two trays to stand up and be sturdy when opened like a book.

Inside I attached thin wood strips from the craft store (model building section) with small pieces of wood behind them so that they were raised from the back. You could also use some wire strung side to side with small eye hooks.

...and Voila!

Your earrings hang on the rails and the whole display can be loaded before your show at home. Transport your items to the show with the trays closed together for protection and then opened like a book at your show. These trays had cut-out handles on the short sides which made carrying easy.

These could also be decoupaged or painted to match your jewelry style!

Hanging Earring Card Tip:

I use business cards to display and package most of my earrings.
Sometimes I fold them in half like a tent…that way the can stand up on a table or hang over one of my displays.

Another option is to apply sticky back plastic hangers/earring card adapters to the cards…that way they hang neatly on the wire rails. The earring card adapters can be found at jewelry packaging supply shops and by searching online.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Creative Jewelry Displays for Earrings Series - Metal Basket Idea

Creative Earring Displays for Jewelry Shows

There are so many interesting options out there for unusual jewelry displays. This is the second in my series of four posts on using everyday items for your show displays.

This top picture is a tall chrome wire basket that I think had some kind of sleeve and is supposed to be used as a wine cooler.
For shows, I put it on a small lazy susan and hung my earring cards on it. It gives me the ability to highlight a few pair and makes them easily accessible to customers.
The best part is that it is light and doesn't take up a lot of room in transport.
Above is another wire basket that I found at a discount department store. It served the same purpose but held a ton of merchandise!
For storage and transport I used plastic wrap (that you use for food storage) and wrapped the displayed earrings right on the wire basket.
The handle made it easy to carry and the plastic wrap protected the earrings. I was able to store small items including baggies and a folded table cloth in the center for transport which made it multi functional.
Depending on my show set up it was great that I could put this on a lazy susan as well and customers could have access to all sides.

* Hanging Earring Card Tip:
I use business cards to display and package most of my earrings.
Sometimes I fold them in half like a tent...that way they can stand up on a table or can hang over one of my displays.
Another option is to apply sticky back plastic hangers/earring card adapters to the cards...that way they hang neatly on the wire rails. The earring card adapters can be found at Jewelry packaging supply shops and by searching online.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Creative Jewelry Displays for Earrings Series - Basket Tray Idea

Hanging Earring Display For Jewelry Shows

This is the first in a series of four consecutive posts on creative ideas for displaying your earrings at shows. My hope with these four posts is to help open your mind to unexpected options and materials. There will be more jewelry show, display, photography ideas in the weeks and months to come!

I found a couple of these flat, woven basket trays at a discount department store and knew I could find a use for them as a jewelry display.

I have since used them in many ways but this was particularly effective. Some of my earring cards fold over and the basket tray was able to stand on it's! A small, compact display.

I slipped the earring cards (business cards folded in half with two holes punched with a straight pin) through the slots and tied a small sign to the top. The earrings were easily removable for customers to take a closer look and I think had a nice, clean appearance.

My show displays have always been sort of eclectic but this idea would also work well with a single theme.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Handmade Jewelry Trunk Show at Papermoon Invitations

About two weeks ago I did an impromptu jewelry show at Papermoon Invitations in Cranston, Rhode Island.
It featured a selection of my handmade jewelry with vintage and new materials.
My new fingerprint charm designs were highlighted as well.

Thank you to all that stopped by!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A New Location for my Fingerprint Charms

Savannah Filmore

19257 Conifer Ln
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
(712) 388-0010

"Savannah Filmore is a wonderful little store where you can find the perfect gift for your girlfriends, a wedding, a birthday or for yourself!! The owner is extremely friendly and remembers everyone. Savannah Filmore has new home decor, jewelry, wine accessories and much more almost every time you stop by!..."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Taking the Right Promotion Photos

A Happy Accident...
Feeling the pressure of a printing deadline, I was having a hard time taking a photo to use on my marketing materials.
I knew I wanted something personal...something artsy...and something that said something about me.
All I can say is thank goodness for digital cameras. I can't imagine how much money I would have wasted in bad film trying to get the right shot.
After struggling most of the day and night I finally gave up. Nothing felt right.
I went to bed well after midnight and as I was laying there I had a sudden urge to jump out of my PJ's and run up to my studio.
I didn't really have a plan but just started putting on lots of my handmade rhyme or reason...necklaces and bracelets.
I set my camera up...moved my pajama straps out of view and started black and white.
It was fun. I started to think about how lucky I am to be doing something I love for work and how grateful I am to have the freedom to create...even in the middle of the night in my PJ's!

These two pictures (one vertical, one horizontal) are from that "session" and I have used them many times.
They felt like "me" and the best part is that I took them.
When I decided to just let was effortless.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Star and Moon Earrings

The day, water, sun, moon, night -
I do not have to purchase these things with money.

- Plautis

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hand Made Semi-Precious Stone Bangle Bracelet

Hand Crafted Bangle Bracelet

This was part of a series of experiments I made using wire and stones.

I wanted to create bangle bracelets that would be bold and striking but easy and comfortable to wear.
This one is called Peaceful Earth and combines Jasper, wire and vintage beads.

I was really happy with the mix of the smooth carved stones and the raw look of the wrapped wire. It has some give and is very easy to wear.

Please visit to see more.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hand Painted Dining Room Garden Mural

Trompe L'oeil Full Room Mural

This was a fun job and it has pleasant memories for me.
I was happy with how it turned out and really enjoyed working with these clients.
This view is a section of one wall in their dining room.
All walls and the ceiling were included in the Italian Garden Themed design.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nature and Imagination

It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination.

- Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Hand Dyed Eggs

This was such a treat!
At the silent auction fundraiser for my son’s school, I won an opportunity to learn how to dye Ukrainian Easter Eggs.
I don’t think I really knew what that meant exactly…but it sounded different and interesting.
We learned how to use the tools, wax and dyes. I thought the handmade tool that held the wax was beautiful itself...I forget what it's called.

The evening was a relaxing mix of good company and creative inspiration. The finished products were impressive…even for our first try!
It definitely made me want to embark on a new craft.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Columbian Gold "Butterflies"

On a recent trip which included a day stop in Cartagena, Colombia, we had the unexpected pleasure of touring the Museo de Oroa or Gold Museum in the "old city".

The small rooms were filled with valuable pre-Colombian gold artifacts and some of the oldest ceramics in the Americas.

This particular exhibit caught my eye...not only for the the actual jewelry but also for the display design. They reminded me of floating butterflies!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pokemon Invitations - Handmade

Hand Crafted Poke-ball Invitations for my Son's Birthday Party
This year, when my son requested a Pokemon themed 9th Birthday...the pressure was on.
Pokemon was completely foreign to me and as I soon discovered, Pokemon is a world all it's own!
This is the simple invitation design I came up with.
Using pre-cut white paper circles that I purchased at a craft store I colored half red with a sharpie marker.
I printed the invitation details on a piece of vellum and secured all of the layers to colorful card stock with a large black brad. That became the poke ball center.
I slipped them into envelopes I already had and voila' Pokemon themed invitations!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Handmade Recycled Silver Jewelry - Amoeba

Silver Earrings and Pendants – Amoeba Collection

Fluid, textural pendants and earrings created from fine silver dust rescued from my line of silver fingerprint charms. The Amoeba Collection has an organic feel all it’s own.

Each piece is hand built and sculpted with many featuring brilliant cubic zerconias in a variety of shapes and colors.

All are one-of-a-kind and signed.
Please visit to view current Amoeba pieces available!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hand Made Silver "Leaf" Earrings

Fine Silver Hand Crafted Earrings - Relic Collection

Each piece is hand sculpted in fine silver and features organic impressions found in nature.
They are signed and hang from hand crafted sterling silver ear wires.

Please visit to purchase

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Custom Silver Logo Charm - Quest Montessori

Hand Sculpted Fine Silver Quest Montessori Charm

I love my son’s school and I am so grateful for his amazing educational experiences.
Last school year, when I was trying to think of something meaningful I could make as a thank you gift for his teachers, I turned to the school logo.
The design is so simple and yet represents the curriculum of Montessori elementary education.
I hand sculpted the charm in fine silver metal clay and then had them cast in sterling silver. These petite charms were mounted on colorful cards with inspirational quotes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Healing Through the Arts - Cat Mural

Heal Grief Through Creative Expression and Art

I have been investigating the many ways art can effect healing both as a creative outlet and as a way of exploring unexpressed feelings.
I have personally experienced arts healing power.
My hope is to help others navigate grief and express feelings with creative freedom.
I hand painted this cat on a wall for a client of mine in Arizona.

It was the same day that I had to unexpectedly put my beloved Himalayan cat (Nutmeg) to sleep.
While it was my client’s cat and not mine that I painted, it was cathartic and therapeutic.
When I look at this photo of my mural, I see my cat’s soul and it makes me feel good.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Photo Jewelry – Handmade

Earrings and Necklaces with Photographs – Reflections Collection
Inspired by a dear friend’s beautiful photographs, this collection of pendants, necklaces and earrings was designed for and sold exclusively through her direct sales company.
I knew I wanted to create something featuring photographs taken by her and myself and this is what I designed.

Each is one-of-a-kind and completely handcrafted.
The pendants hang from custom cords that I made by hand braiding exotic yarns, fastened with a vintage button closure.
The earring charms dangle from hand made sterling silver ear wires.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Custom Quartz Crystal & Vintage Bead Jewlery

A custom designed necklace featuring quartz crystals and vintage glass beads.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Jerry Vale Signature Necklace

Custom Designed Silver & Gold Necklace
I designed these special pieces of wearable art to honor my dad...singer Jerry Vale.
Each sterling silver and 14K gold piece incorporates my dad's fingerprint and is signed by me.
Proceeds from the sale of these benefit The City Finds Jerry Vale Scholarship for the Arts, an endowment at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School, to help less fortunate children learn the wonderful art of music.
The design was inspired by the 45 records my dad recorded and the paper sleeves they slid into.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hand Made Butterfly Jewelry Featuring Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper and More…

Mixing Metals

I’ve never felt restricted about combining different metal finishes. I know that many people prefer to wear just one at a time but I think that often it makes for a more interesting pallet to mingle a variety of finishes and tones.
It feels like real life to me for them to live together.
Here is an example of recent work mixing metals.