Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

I Love Schmuck !! September 30, 2014

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 8:59 pm

It’s true…I am a schmuck lover.

Germany, Austria, and Prague are filled with schmuck.

And no, these countries are NOT full of idiots.

Despite the American take on this word (and there’s lots of debate on the history and meaning of American, German, and Yiddish versions),

the German noun, Schmuck, simply means Jewelry or Adornments.

In preparation for our recent travels, I did some internet searching for some good bead store options in places we’d be visiting…

especially interested in finding Czech glass beads and buttons in Prague.

Bead hunting was not a focus of this trip and this would be the only planned stop.

Despite locating the most promising bead shop in Prague

and having an agreeable husband help navigate to its doorstep,

I was very disappointed to find very limited stock.

The tiny shop was loaded with packages of seed beads

and nothing much that I could easily find here or on the internet.

And not one pretty pressed glass button. Sigh…

Maybe that’s it…so much IS available on-line now.

But you know me, I never leave a bead shop empty-handed.

czech glass beads chain

They did have this cool display of very thin leather in great colors.

leather thongs

I did read that there is some great bead shopping further north in the Czech Republic,

in Jablonec Nad Nisou, home of the famous Jablonex company.

Now for some real SCHMUCK!

Loads of crystals

Prague Crystal

Tons of garnet jewelry !

Prague Garnets

Prague glass store

Prague glass 2

While cut glass and crystal chandeliers are technically not Schmuck,

Prague was bursting with shops that practically blinded you with their sparkle.


And then there was The Antique Castle Schmuck…

including this extensive set of convertible stone rings.

convertible rings

Eltz 1

Eltz 3

Sorry about this poor photos, everything is under glass.

So temptingly close and just out of  reach.


And lastly, I did purchase two pair of earrings. One from a vendor on the Charles Bridge in Prague…

I thought the jewelry from pieces of slate were a cool reminder of all the slate roofs I admired on this trip.

slate earrings

And the other, a very small pair of lovely garnet earrings.

Czech or Bohemian garnet jewelry is historic and world renown. A perfect souvenir, don’t you think?



Hello, Hello….is this thing still on ? September 25, 2014

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 5:08 pm

You may (or maybe not) have noticed a lack of communication

from me for a while.

Just returned from a three-week trip to Germany, Austria, and Prague.

While most of me is back home in Southern California,

part of me is still hovering somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.

International travel can be very intense living and I need to be patient with myself

as I make adjustments and get back to normal routines of home.

While I do have some things to share about some of the pretty, sparkly baubles

and beads I found in these travels,  more photo editing is needed.

The name of this trip could be Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and Bikes,

as we made good use of all these modes of transportation.

I’m most proud of the fact that I finished two 12 mile bike rides

with my bum in pretty good shape…

one along the beautiful vineyards and small towns of the Danube.

And the other along the gorgeous Mosel River.

Glenn was in hot pursuit of the best pastries and beer,

while I enjoyed the many great Rieslings and tasty brots.

Leaving on a train

Leaving Vienna. Next stop Prague.

Pretty cool how I matched my jacket to our train, huh?




One of many great meals. Mind boggling how many ways they can prepare PORK.

Pretzels, Beer, and Wine


Reichstag Roof and Dome


Top of the Reichstag in Berlin.  Loved Berlin!




View from our room in Cochem on the Mosel.

I emailed our kids this photo and told them that we’d just bought a house in Germany

and to sell our cars, home and all our belongings and forward our mail, the cash, and the dog.


biker chick


Despite what this photo implies, I did actually ride this bike !



Dutch Baby Breakfast ! August 30, 2014

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 9:11 am

Since I did not post a Crafty Pinterest Pin this month,

I’m doing a very quick second Foody Me, just because it’s so good and so easy.

And so spectacular when it comes out of the oven !

We just finished enjoying this treat for breakfast this morning.

Just 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup flour, pinch of salt, a bit of grated nutmeg.

Butter for the oven safe skillet.

I add some fresh raspberries today because they were in the frig.

Added a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar before serving.

Dutch Baby


The great thing is you can adjust the amount of ingredients to feed more people

by just keeping the proportions…feed three people with 3 eggs, 2/3 cup milk and flour…

feed four with 4 eggs, 1 cup milk and flour.

One caveat is to be sure everyone is at the table and ready to eat

when you take this puffy delight out of the oven.

In this case, first impressions are important.

It starts to deflate pretty quickly, yet still beautiful and very tasty.

There are many different variations of this recipe on Pinterest,

but this is the one I used, adjusting the proportions for two people. Dutch Baby !

I’m definitely keeping this one handy for a quick weekend breakfast or  brunch…

and a great treat for guests.

I promise that my next post will be back to more jewelry adventures!



Cupcake Surprise ! August 25, 2014

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 5:27 pm

Last week of August and it’s time for me to step up

and post about my Personal Pinterest Challenge.

Confession…I only have a Foody Me this month.

I leave on a three week trip next Tuesday and Crafty Me must have

packed her bags and left early, because she’s got nuttin’ to share.

So…have you ever been in a pinch

to produce something yummy to serve to someone else

and whipped out a recipe you’ve never tried before?

Not always the best choice, I admit,

but last night was one of those times to live dangerously.

These just looked so good in the Pin that I just had to give it a shot.

Plus it looked way easy and fast.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes…

a real mouthful to say and, luckily for me, a tasty mouthful to eat!

Oreo cookie 2

I know it doesn’t look like much,

but just flip it over for the OREO cookie surprise!


oreo cookie


Oreo platter

I filled tiny cupcake tins with just the left over filling.

Next time, I think a dollop of whipped cream of top would be lovely.

Thank you Handle the Heat blog for getting me out of a tight spot last

night and providing this little taste of heaven for my guests to enjoy.


Tiny Totems August 19, 2014

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 12:46 pm
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If you’re looking for the artisan-look ear wire tutorial, go HERE.


As I sat this morning looking at the total mess of seed beads

strewn all over the work bench…

(I am definitely not a neat-nik when it comes to making jewelry)

My eyes spied those silver plated ball head pins I used in yesterday’s tutorial.

Inspiration hit!

What a lovely time I had stacking beads to create these mini-totem earrings.

Looking at the gorgeous pile of beady sticks is mesmerizing…

matte, iridescent, bright, subtle, faceted, smooth…

I could hardly go wrong with the mix and matching.

I mostly stacked up one earring, then flipped it upside down

to follow the pattern for the second earring.   Easy random designing !


Totems 1


Totems 2


Totems 3


Now I just need to go make a bucket full of those handcrafted ear wires !


Make Your Own Artisan-look Ear Wires ! August 18, 2014

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 1:25 pm
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These are easy-squeezy, with just a few basic jewelry tools

and purchased ball head pins.

 I started making these pretty early in my jewelry making life, mainly to save $$$.

For work in sterling silver, I work the same process,

but with my own torch made ball head pins.

You’ll need:  20 – 22 gauge ball head pins. I used brass and silver plated for these.

Chain-nosed pliers, round-nosed pliers, nippers (wire cutters),

round stick pen or pencil, file or cup bur.

Optional: bench block and hammer


For simplicity and because none these steps is particularly difficult,

this is another pictorial tutorial.


ear wires 2


Ear wires 1


Ear wires 3


Ear wires 4


Ear wires 5


Ear wires 6


Ear wires 7


Ear wires 8


****This hammering step also work hardens the wire and adds stability to the shape****


Ear wires 9


Source for 21 gauge silver plated ball head pins: Goody Beads

Under 3 dollars a package.  A bargain on any planet !


Three in One Postie July 30, 2014

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 4:55 pm
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July is winding down, so it’s time to do a little finishing up on a couple of things.

First, the Art Bead Scene challenge.

I haven’t participated in several months, maybe more…

either the art didn’t particularly inspire me or a time crunch.

This month, I was determined to push through this challenge.

That’s what makes it a challenge, right?  Here is the inspiration painting.



The Little Mermaid, 1911 by Edmund Delac

Pencil, pen, black ink, and watercolor with scratching out on paper

And here’s my necklace,  with a poly clay pendant with a glass cabochon

I had made for a Sally Russick cab challenge that I never used.

The glass pebble is backed with a scrap of Japanese rice paper.

I then encased the pebble in textured polymer clay.

After the first baking, the piece was painted with a mixture of alcohol inks and glaze.

Baked again, and varnished.

Mermaid's Tale close up

Mermaid's Tale


Next two quickies are for my monthly Pinterest Pin challenge…

I’m trying to go ahead and make some of the things that I pin, for heaven’s sake!

Crafty Me made this hanging tea light/ flower vase

from a too-cute mason jar with handle…Dollar Store score!!

(Think I heading back there tomorrow, because I decided I really, really need

more of these for summer drinks. Don’t you?)

Some beads, 18 gauge aluminum wire from the hardware store,

and baker’s twine is all I needed.

hanging flower vase

hanging glass jar



And the Foodie Me…made this fancy looking appetizer last week.

Well, not these particular ones, because I forgot to take photos.

However, I can attest to the fact that they were easy and delicious…

and impressive to guests.


Cut thick slices of a French baguette, straight across on end, slanted on the other.

Pull about some of the soft innards.

Spoon in whatever tasty dip and top with whatever veggies you like.

I made some with spicy red pepper hummus and some with a cream cheese Ranch dip.




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