Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Long time, no posting… May 28, 2015

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 3:53 pm

I’m back. Did you miss me? Two weeks touring some sights in the South and along the East coast. Been in and out of the Atlanta airport probably 10 times, but never outside the airport until now. Loved seeing another part of our beautiful country.  Ate shrimp and grits for the first time and loved, loved it!  Also, collard greens…a bit too vinegary for my taste. Saw some lovely, historic cities…especially Charleston. Ended our trip with five wonderful days in Washington, DC.  DC always makes me more proud and more humble that I was before.

Also returned to the Adult School jewelry class to try my hand at PMC for the first time. Missed out on a couple of lessons, but as always, the teacher and other students are so generous to help each other catch up. I knew that this product was pricey, but have to say that I was still a bit shocked at the tiny amount in the packet for 33 dollars.

I decided to start very simply with a hand formed cross. Like playdoh, I rolled out a long thin worm, stamped a design into one end and folded it over to form the vertical piece. Rolled and stamped the shorter cross-bar and carefully placed it underneath.  Made a tiny amount of slip with a bit of the clay and distilled water to ‘paint’ all around where the two piece join to secure them. I also used the tiny paintbrush dipped in the water to smooth out any cracks or ragged edges.


After letting the piece dry over night, it was time to torch fire it. I still find myself holding my breath sometimes when I’m soldering…but didn’t think this would work so well after learning the cross would probably take almost 10 minutes of torching.

Ten minutes that seemed like an hour! This is what it looked like when cooled. Notice the nice scorched mark on the firing block.


Next step is cleaning it.  Scrubbed with OOOO steel wool. This is just the initial step in polishing…just removing the thin top layer of white metal.


It’s very shiny…but the shiny white of pure silver.  So it won’t tarnish. I’m stopping here for a bit to decide the next step.  Oxidize or not.

And how to finish the necklace.  Simple silver chain?  Beaded chain?                 With stones? Leather cord? Strand of pearls?  Thinking about who might wear a cross like this. What finishes would they like?

                              I’m open to ideas, people! What do you think?


Winner Times Two! April 21, 2015

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 3:00 pm

Woke up this morning excited for some reason…oh, I know… Today is the giveaway drawing!  And I decided to do it the old fashioned way,too. Putting all 34 names on little slips of paper into a hat.  A San Diego State Aztec’s ball cap. My husband is a season ticket holder for the Aztec’s basketball team and it was the first hat I found in the house to grab.

in the hat

I’ll keep this post short and sweet…the two names that were drawn were…


                                                   Congratulations to Cindy and Barb!

Make sure your fire insurance is paid up.  Just kidding!

   Please email me at with your mailing address

and I’ll get these babies wrapped up and on their way.

                  And thank you to everyone for playing along

and writing such kind remarks in your comments.

And thanks again to the generosity of the Sterno Company!



Sterno Torch Giveaway is Open! April 13, 2015

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 8:52 am

Morning, Blogger Friends!


                                                 Who’s ready for some fun with fire?

Then throw your name into the hat by commenting on this post. Please do leave  contact info so that I can notify you if you are one of the two winners. If you need to review the few caveats for this giveaway, please refer to my previous posting, Fire Power. Comments welcome until Monday, April 20th.

I’ll draw two names on the 21st, then contact the winners by email to get mailing info.

Good luck to you all!


Fire Power April 9, 2015

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 12:09 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Spoiler alert! This is a rather long post…but please stay tuned for the surprise ending!

First up. A milestone reached…  I’ve finally graduated from bezel setting stones in a classroom environment to my own home. This required the purchase of  a couple of helpful tools…a bezel rocker( also known as a bezel pusher) and a burnisher. Both inexpensive, but necessary for this work.  And both were available at a downtown jewelry supply store…San Diego has a historic eight story jewelry building with a couple of supply stores open to the public, watch repair, showrooms of diamond and pearls suppliers, wax casting services…so fun exploring each floor. Very sparkly.


This latest piece went together pretty easily. So excited for find an inexpensive strand of turquoise chunks at a local bead store that went perfectly with this pendant stone.

I was able to solder the three bails quickly with my new Sterno torch.

turquoise necklace2

turquoise necklace 3

And here’s a little side story…I purchased a Sterno Candlelamp culinary torch about a year ago because I wanted something with a little more fire power for copper and larger pieces of metal. It worked great…loved its ease. Then one day it wouldn’t light. After searching the web for troubleshooting ideas, I contacted Sterno directly and  was nicely referred to their company communications manager and executive  chef Thad Smith. What a wonderful experience…not only did he offer to replace my torch, but when he found out I have a jewelry blog, Thad sent two additional torches for me to give away! Wow!

                                                                     Double Wow!

50114-132x132                           50114-132x132

So, blogger friends, here’s the fun for you…I’m giving away two Sterno torches. A few things to consider before you throw your name into the hat…

And I am holding off until Monday, April 13, for the giveaway, so folks have time to do a little research and thinking about it. May or may not be what would fit your needs and desires in a torch. Sadly, due to unruly foreign postage, I am sorry to limit this to U.S. readers.

First this giveaway is just the torch. You will need to purchase a canister of Sterno butane that fits the torch. I’m not brave enough to send this through the mail. There happens to be a Costco in my city that caters to restaurants and cooking needs…amazing, I know…so I was able to purchase a 4 pack. Cheap. This will last me a loooong time. Also saw that it was available at my local Sam’s Club…4 pack for under six dollars.


You might also wish to watch this little video with Thad Smith demoing the torch.

Remember the giveaway of the torches will start with on a new post on Monday. I’ll leave it open for one week and then draw two names on Tuesday, April 21st, so be sure you leave an email contact with your comment. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to answer as best I can.

   Thanks again to Thad Smith and the Sterno company

for this wonderful opportunity to share with you all!



Just as He said He would… April 5, 2015

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 12:08 pm



Darkness Fell April 3, 2015

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 8:44 am

It is written that though it was fully day, a darkness fell over the place when He was crucified.

God had turned his face away from the innocent One who willingly bore the sins of the world upon himself.

My sins.

God turned away from His one and only beloved Son.

A deep darkness over the whole land.

And yes, I know that Sunday is coming.

But for today, I wait in darkness.


At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” —which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

                                                                                                            Mark 15:33-34


This is what I’m talking ’bout ! March 26, 2015

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 2:13 pm

Don’t usually post back to back, but…I made a run to my local bead store for a few more filigree pieces to test out the LOS effect. Just to make sure I wasn’t seeing things yesterday.

And this time I showed amazing restraint!


I still cannot control the outcome. The first pair did the rainbow peacock effect and the second pair became this gorgeous steely blue. I rubbed the centers with a bit of baking soda to bring out some silvery highlights.  Not sure if a spray coating of Permalac is needed, but I might just in case.

So, if you are making earrings, remember to do both pair at the same time.



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