Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Simplicity… December 14, 2016

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 4:36 pm

So I recently had the great, good fortune to visit a Gem and Mineral Show put on by a local club…not one of those big extravaganzas that travels around the country every year…really local. Put on at the Lakeside Rodeo event space.  A friend, Neda, and I went to check it out to look for stones suitable for wire wrapping and bezel setting for class.  Have to say it was a fun experience.  But a bit disappointing for what we were looking for.  Folks had mostly rock and mineral specimens, fossils, and slabs for sale. Had some interesting conversations with the vendors about identifying their finds and where they came from.

I did pick up a few things, but this one rough, translucent amethyst really caught my eye. Because of its organic shape, I decided to prong set it…in a very simple form of 18 gauge sterling silver round wire.



Here’s a peek at the back. You’ll see that the setting is made from three wires.  The long piece straight down the middle and two C shaped pieces on each side. I used two pieces of solder to hold it together.  The bail is formed by simply bending the long top wire over to the back of the setting and soldering it closed.  The ends of the prongs were trimmed and the ends of each rounded with a cup bur.  I love the setting’s modern simplicity and form, contrasting with the natural uneven form of the stone.




I’ll meet you back here in 2017…Wow, 2017!  

Wishing you all a peace-filled New Year!



Wired… November 30, 2016

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 10:55 am

This Adult School session has focused on wire work.  Something I love.  And while I have added wire wrapped beads as accents in pieces, I’ve never taken it to this extreme…




Before Thanksgiving, we worked on a few bead wrapping techniques…caged beads, croissant beads, and the coiled spiral beads.  To finish this bracelet, I decided to add three simply wrapped clear glass beads to the three wire beads.  I choose the clear color because I thought they would show off the wire to its best advantage.  But using brightly colored beads would also be awesome in a bracelet or necklace.  I keep a stash of inexpensive glass beads from India purchased at Michael’s to play with in designs.  Also known as ‘the tub-o-beads’.  There are a few duds in the mix…chipped or cracked or half formed or the occasional two that got fused together…but still plenty to have fun with.  This bracelet used 16, 18, and 20 gauge copper wire.  Adding the sturdy jump rings between the bead links gives it great movement and flexibility. Love.


After a dip in the hot tub of LOS and an hour in the tumbler, I am pleased with the patina on the darkened copper.










Ooh, I just saw that WordPress turned on the snowfall effect!   I’m so happy!

All wrapped up,





More of this… November 23, 2016

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 8:13 am

When creating jewelry, I am an easily distracted designer.  I’m attracted to the next new thing I see …whether technique, style, metal finish, shapes, and color combos, etc…

Here are a couple of my newest favorites.

Raw brass.  Why didn’t I know just how gorgeous it is when textured and polished?  Love, love the old gold color.


Left over bits turned into earring pendants with abalone chunks.



My first bangle made with 10 gauge wire.




Loved it so much, I made two more!




Then, I got happily sidetracked by admiring the silver work of Cindy Pack of Art and Soul Jewelry.   She’s a contributor over at Earrings Everyday…one of my favorite blogs for inspiration and encouragement.  They have such a wonderfully varied set of people who share their work over there. Mine are accented with a touch of honey chalcedony (again a new color for me) and turquoise.



So my goal is to focus my attention on more brass metal in my work and more of this textured, oxidized silver. And more soldering and hammering. Sweet!

At least for the next week.


What’s caught your attention lately??


And next we have… November 12, 2016

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 7:58 pm

    If you’re anywhere near East County in San Diego….

             Fresh Baked Designs is not list because I signed up after these were printed, but I guarantee you that I’ll be there with all the bells and whistles.



Monday morning quarterbacking… November 7, 2016

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 7:32 am

Anyone out there get this post title?  Pretty funny that it came to my mind as I write this because I don’t follow or watch football.

My thoughts after the Holiday Market this past weekend…First, I am so grateful to be in the company of such incredible, giving women who put on this event for the last eight years.  And the hardworking crew of custodians and men who do the heavy lifting.

Second…so pleased to see old friends, new friends, and total strangers enjoy the warmth and hospitality of this event.  Many  came just to enjoy the holiday spirit, a cup of coffee, and some tasty baked goods.  Our 140 year old congregation is downtown and our neighbors are a rescue mission that houses so many in recovery, several  low income senior apartment buildings, lots of young professionals who walk by us going to and from work every day, and people who claim the sidewalks as their home.  All are welcome.

Third…it’s fun to catch up with fellow vendors and see what they are up too. Some have attended for many years and say how much they look forward to this market in particular because everyone is so helpful and kind. How much they feel appreciated. In our big city, there are probably 5 or 6 markets each weekend this time of year.  Maybe more.  Lots of competition for vendors and customers alike.

Lastly…jewery-wise, a lot of Fresh Baked Designs found new homes. My best event ever with lots of repeat customers. That feels satisfying.

 Here’s a peek at my set up.



These dessert pedestals also sold well.  Not sure if I’ll make anymore however.  They take up so much room to store.



And my space happened to be right in front of that festive market banner…made by Virginia, an eighty plus woman with an amazing artistic talent, who makes all our church event banners. As a mother of six, she was my breast feeding mentor when I was a newbie mom. If there was speed dial available back then, she would have been #1 on my list. In fact her husband, Tom, delivered our first child over 45 years ago.  I am so lucky and humbled to be a part of this household of faith.








Prep Day… November 2, 2016

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 3:10 pm

I spent the morning cleaning up all the leftover bits and pieces from my making frenzy of the last few weeks.  Getting inventory ready for the big Holiday Market this weekend.  This is one of the few I commit to each year.  There is another one at the end of the month and one in December.  But wouldn’t you know it!  In cleaning up all the spaces (I spilled over into the dining room and kitchen, too)  I spied a couple more earring ideas in the mess that just begged to get made.


An experiment… wrapping up a few left over beads onto bits of ball chain.  The ear wires were made from two purchased ball head pins.  Hammered the balls into dots, then shaped and hammered the pins. Voila!


And then this textured copper pendant pair…All handcrafted…pendants, ear wires, and headpins. Made with gorgeous dark honey Chalcedony.  The stones just glow when they are backlit by the light.

                              Tempted to keep these!



Saved my least favorite job til last.  Pricing.  I hate it.  It’s always difficult to put a value on my work.  And yes, I’ve made peace with the reality that I will never get a fair wage for all the time that is put into these pieces of jewelry.  Then there is state sales tax over 8 percent, state and federal income taxes to pay.  Those of you who sell your wares…Do you agonize as much as I do about this?  I really do want people to enjoy and value what I offer as much as I enjoy making it for them.  That’s the bottom line.  So I’ll take a stab at it and let it go.


I might have shared this idea before, but here it is again.  As a blatant incentive to spend money at my booth, I offer a deal…A free pair of cute little ear hugs with a minimum $30 purchase.  These have been very popular in the past.  Some customers even want to buy extra pairs.  They are made from silver plated ball headpins and inexpensive beads, stones, and glass pearls.  I optimistically made about 30 pairs…



Now back to pricing…I think I’ll make a cup of nice, calming Ginger Lemon tea first.  I feel a stomach ache coming on…





Tricks and treats… October 30, 2016

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 7:02 pm

Tomorrow is Halloween.  Truth be told, we don’t get many or any kiddos at our door in the past few years.  And we do keep our porch light on and buy a couple of big bags of candy in preparation.  Just no little ones in our neighborhood and there are no sidewalks either…not very user friendly.  So, we buy the candy we like to eat and enjoy!  Snickers for me, M&Ms for him.

Here’s the treats…It’s been a busy week.  Tomorrow I’ll do a practice set up for the Holiday Market and see what it looks like.  Pretty sure I have enough inventory, but it’s always good to see if there are any holes.  The rest of the post is just photos…enjoy.

First up, Mother of Pearl, Ghana glass beads,

and cute silver sand dollars.




Recycled glass beads from Ghana in vibrant colors.



Lapis Lazuli and Turquoise.


Love these silver leaf components!



Smokey quartz pairs well with bits of turquoise.



A rare for me set of jewelry in 14k gold filled chain and wire with micro faceted ruby quartz.



A pair of hammer sterling silver earrings goes with everything!