Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

My favorite craft event! November 7, 2018

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 10:27 am

This weekend will be the tenth FPC Holiday Market and I remember the first one…I was so nervous. It was the first time I was selling my jewelry to the public. Do you remember your first selling event? I felt like a new mother taking her precious baby out in public for the first time and wondering if people would ooh and aah and love them as much as I did.  Or just stare blankly  and walk on by with no reaction what so ever.

Well, it turned out pretty well and has grown into my favorite market experience. And people have been very generous and kind and encouraging of my work. I am grateful.




Today, I am excited to share this piece with you. The gorgeous sand dollar focal is by a local potter named Miki Yamamoto. I’ve gotten to know her over the past several years at this event. She’s a lovely person and amazing potter.  Miki’s Pottery

I was lucky enough to snag this sand dollar (Uh, that sounds like I pilfered it. I didn’t.) She  told me she thought they’d make good jewelry, but she just didn’t have time to make anything. I told her I’d try out something and have it ready for this event.  


Tidepool Treasures


It just called out for some additional beachy, tide pool treasures to finish a necklace. Luckily, I had all these bits in my stash. Including the thick creamy Irish waxed linen cord. Abalone discs, shell buttons, mother of pearl nuggets. Plus carved stone and matte agate beads. The loose knotted cording just seemed right for this casual design. 


Tidepool 3

Hope Miki likes it and thinks I did her work justice.


Kintsugi… October 30, 2018

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 3:38 pm

The first time I read this word…Kintsugi…was in a jewelry blog a couple of weeks ago.  The woman who was posting shared that the stone she was attempting to bezel set mystifyingly broke in two pieces.  She asked her readers to post suggestions as to how to rectify this seeming tragedy.  One commenter wrote that Kintsugi might just work.  

Kintsugi? What’s that? Okay, it caught my attention! And that began my happy rabbit trail into this fascinating repair technique, that expanded to its own art form, and then blossomed into a philosophy of acceptance. If you are unfamiliar with Kintsugi (also known as Kintsukuroi) I suggest you do your own on line search and see where it leads you. Meanwhile, here’s a few tantalizing tidbits… 





This technique of repairing broken pottery began in the 1500’s in Japan and over time taken on the more personal life philosophy.  Closely related to it’s cousin, Wabi Sabi.




Can you see how this might apply to your jewelry work?  There are many places on the internet to find faux Kintsugi ‘fixes’, using two part epoxy or strong glue and gold mica powder in place of lacquer and real powdered gold or silver. 

I’m inserting a link here to a very entertaining youtube video with some good info about DIY fixes, especially if you are interested in a food safe repair.

I have begun to experiment with this DIY technique.  And while I had no broken pots or vases laying around, I did try to break a couple of small plates from the thrift store to practice on.  Crazy, huh?  Not as easy as it sounds.  Giving just the right amount of whack with a hammer is iffy.  I was trying for 3-4 larger pieces, but got way too many. But plenty to practice with, I guess.

Here’s a couple of early tries…  First, just two pieces and the edges.  The application is a bit sloppy. One blog just used a match stick to apply the colored epoxy.  Messy!  Had to clean up with a fine craft razor blade tool.

Kintsugi 1


Then, this small piece of plate with three sea glass pieces.  Still hard for me to control the application. I glued a pin fastener to the back.

Kintsugi 3


Really liked the sea glass bits outlined in the gold.  This one still needs more ‘clean up’ with the razor blade.


Kintsugi 2


One more experiment yesterday…this time with just sea glass.  While not Kintsugi pottery mending, I do like using the gold epoxy to connect and outline the sea glass. And I used a small paint brush to apply the goop…seemed to have more control.


tri sea glass 3


I really would like to get my hands on some broken cabochons or stones to try this technique of repairing them.  Could be really great looking!  Do any of you have experience with this technique?

Would love to hear from you!




Full Steam Ahead… October 6, 2018

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 2:32 pm
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The first of three holiday markets is coming up next Saturday and I’m working up some pretty jewelry to tempt the customers. Just posting photos of some new makes today.  Bird nests, hoops, leather cuffs, and sterling hearts.  Plus my very popular bracelets made from recycled glass beads I brought home from Ghana this summer.  LOVE!



birdnest 1


four cuffs


cobalt czech


colbalt hoops


3 hearts 2


Ghana bracelets


amethyst heart charm


Now I just have to inventory, price and tag, and store these babies til next weekend!





Cast Aways… September 20, 2018

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 11:52 am

I am five weeks into a lost wax casting class.  This is my third or fourth try at it.  My success rate is hovering about 50 percent in getting useful pieces for jewelry. My technique is pretty simple…stamping a design into a small lump of flattened wax or using die cutters with wax sheet.  Or using plastic/resin buttons.  I would love to have some castings of organic materials, like leaves…but these have been epic fails for me.  Other students have done some really amazing things with bits and pieces of nature and I’m a bit jealous. And also very happy for them.  Lost wax is a hard taskmaster, so we celebrate every success and commiserate each loss.

Here’s a few photos from my most recent foray…

This first one shows the incomplete cast of leaf.  This is the backside where I ‘painted’ a thin coat of wax to add some stability and thickness. Also shows the sprue (base). Fortunately, I can use this solid silver piece in another casting attempt.

casting 3

This small charm is from a stamped lump of sculpting wax.  I realized after finishing it that it was too thick to use small jump rings. So I’m going to grind down the back to reduce the depth of the piece.  I’ll try an recover the silver dust to reuse.

casting 2

The back needs some more work!

casting 1


 Think I like this silver initial charm, but again it is so thick. It’s not only heavy, but kind of a waste of silver.  Then, there is this cute butterfly…I loved it when it came out of the casting plaster.  This is one that I punched out of wax sheet. A butterfly and a tiny flower. I use metal design stamps to decorate before casting and made one hole at the top.

Then, I decided to punch another hole at the bottom for a gem stone dangle and the metal was too thin and broke…  Big time sad!

It’s now scrap metal.

casting 4

Here’s a finished necklace with a textured heart.  Hand formed from sculpting wax and stamped.  Again, it’s pretty thick and weighty, but it looks great.

casting 5


casting 6


So the lesson to learn…not too thick and not too thin.

Just like Goldilocks, I’m searching for “just right”.

 We’ll see if I can pull it off with the next batch.



Easing in… September 6, 2018

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 2:25 pm
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The calendar is staring me in the face these days. I have several Fall craft fairs starting in early October and don’t have much in the jewelry coffers.  Been pretty lazy this summer, so I really, really need to get started.  And it seems to me that the longer I go without creating something, the harder it is to get back into it.  Is that true with you?

Today, I decided to start with something simple that uses up lots of odds and ends that still clutter my work bench.  It was kind of fun picking through the little piles and choose beads and such that might be useful.  The pink buttons were an after thought.

Last year I made a few of these crystal sun catchers right after Christmas and thought these would be a great little addition to my jewelry display tables.  I have a wonderful little tree display that would suit these perfectly and catch the light.  Hoping this will help catch customers’ attention and draw them into my booth.  Like bees to fragrant flowers…


These are last year’s crystal hangers…

crystal hangers


These are today’s makings…


suncatcher 1


suncatcher 2


sun catcher 3


Seven done…well, almost done.  I still need to make the wire loop hangers. While not jewelry, I hope shoppers will be delighted with these one of a kind sparklies for friends and family.  And truth-be-told, there are still piles of orphan beads to use up.  Good thing I purchased a box of 12 crystal chandelier replacement pieces.


Postscript…   Finished two more and now I’m done.  The “beachy” sun catcher is quirky, but I kind of like it!


sun catcher 4



Belt shortage… August 11, 2018

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 4:28 pm
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I need to preface this post by admitting that although there is a small collection of belts on a hook in my closet, I have not worn a belt in a very, very long time.  Just how long you ask?  Well, long enough for fashion to apparently drastically change.

Last week, I did try to find a belt to wear with a new pair of pants (I haven’t tucked in a shirt for eons). I couldn’t figure out why none of the belts fit.  They were all way too short! There may be a few extra inches around my middle, but not that much.  Then, I realized that it was the pants style that had changed.  The belts still buckled nicely around my waist (Thank you, Lord), but the belt loops on today’s pants now reside several inches below my waist. Does anyone still find pants that button at their waist?  I swear zippers are about three inches long!  And my underwear sometimes peeks out over the top of the pants.  Know what I mean?

Okay, now for the bright side.  I am not spending extra money on new belts.  My tops will stay untucked.  And I have a new supply of belts for more bracelets.  Win, Win, Win.

Here’s my makes from one skinny red leather belt that was too short for my hipster pants…

Four cute bracelets with metal connectors by Tim Holtz, available at Michaels in the scrap booking department.  And one just using the shiny gold belt buckle.  I used a curved metal bending plier, leather hole punch, rivet kit, and snap kit.


Red Bracelets 2


Red bracelets 3


Red Bracelet 4


What’s in your closet that has potential for transformation into something new and cool?



Minimilist travel July 19, 2018

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 11:43 am

The first time my husband and I traveled to Europe, back in 1994, we thought we were packing light with our brand-new Eagle Creek back packs.  Well, at the second stop on our four week grand European itinerary, we did a big purge and found the nearest post office.  We tore out only those pages we needed in the many travel guides.  Paper is super heavy to carry.  Also discarded extra pants and shoes we decided we could do with out.  An almost 40 pound package was mailed home.  Back pain relief and expensive first travel lesson.

Over time, we switched to rolling carry-ons, no matter if we were gone for a few days or three to four weeks.  Also, realized that we could buy pretty much anything we needed there…turns out people in Europe also use toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo, just like we do.  So we’ll start out with some small travel sized products and just buy as needed.  Also, makes for a fun, local shopping experience!

Clothing and shoes are by far the heaviest load when packing.  I found that if we were traveling in summer, I would leave space for a summer sandal purchase over there. Also, made use of a thrift store in Interlaken one time when there was an unusual summer cold front. Purchased wool sweaters for a few bucks for our time there, then left them at at the thrift shop when we moved on to Italy and sunshine.

So, here’s my take on a minimalist jewelry travel tip.  I made collection of small dangles in colors that would coordinate with my travel wardrobe. Crystals, pearls, gemstones, glass, and metal… Just make sure the round loop is large enough to easily slip on and off the ear wires/earrings.  Then I gathered three different styles of ear wires…small and large sterling hoops, and a pair of french hooks.  You could even fancy them up a bit by adding multiple dangles to each ear wire. This small collection perfectly suited any occasion for travel needs.  These combined with one or two colorful scarves and I feel well-attired where ever I am.



Ear wires


vacation earrings


Do you have an travel accessory ideas to share?

Please share, if you will…Love to hear about them.

Meanwhile, have some happy, safe travels this summer!