Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Recycled Glass Joy January 29, 2015

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Could hardly wait to start working with some new recycled glass beads from Lima Beads. This on-line shop has one of the best selections of this type of bead. For these large drop beads, I decided to play with some wire wrapping…mostly on the long brass ear wires I love. Not too much, just enough to play off of the pretty opaque colors of the glass. The hardest part was wrangling the stiff brass wire for the wraps. Oh, my thumbs!

Teal glass drops


sea foam glass drops














Lime Glass drops



Lima calls this last bead ‘vintage turquoise recycled glass’…

Think I might have to order some more. Love!

aqua glass drops 2



End of the Year Tidbits December 15, 2014

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Just a few things before I close up shop until the New Year.

A few pieces of jewelry news…Fresh Baked Designs has made a return to The Upper Hand Salon in the east county town of Jamul. The owner, Lisa, has not only increased the size of this salon, but added a lovely amount of space for a gift boutique. I am very please to offer not only jewelry, but the one-of-a-kind, up cycled dessert pedestals. The Salon also frequently posts about the great gifts that are offered on Facebook, as well.

I just committed to an Artisan Crafters event in the Tierrasanta neighborhood of San Diego on Saturday, February 7th. Very pleased to support Crafting for the Cure that in turn supports the American Cancer Society.  Here’s a link to their event information.



And as per requested by a blogger friend, Cindi, here’s a look at the pearl and leather necklace worn. On me. Very comfortable and goes with so much in my closet. May never take it off. I feel so much more lady-like with it on.

leather and pearls worn


And a few other necklaces I recently made and like.

Brass bird and next














Brass key and heart


Finally, my last Pinterest Challenge post for 2014. I did pretty well on the Foody pin job, but kind of fell off the Crafty pin wagon the last few months. Very glad I challenged myself to actually get up and make some of the stuff that I pin to my boards. Most of the recipes are keepers. Including this last one I’ll share with you…

                                   Lemon Cool Whip Cookies

I chose it because it has only four ingredients and is great for those times you need a fast dessert to take somewhere.

A box of lemon cake mix, carton of Cool Whip, one egg, and one cup powdered sugar. You can use a chocolate cake mix instead of the lemon. That would be tasty, too.  I will say that they took longer to bake than the recipe states. I wanted to make sure that the inside wasn’t like gooey cake batter.  Oh, and I did add some lemon zest for extra flavor.

You’ll find the recipe at Eating on a Dime blog.

                                    Just look at how pretty they are!


Lemon cookies 1



lemon cookies 2


Lemon Cookies 3


lemon cookies 4

  A huge thank you for your kind hearted support of my jewelry adventures this year.

And wishing you all the very best holiday season.

         ”  So the Word became human and made his home among us.

He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.

And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. “

                                                                                           John 1:14  New Living Translation

                      May peace and joy be yours,



Leather Necks December 9, 2014

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I’m going out on a limb with this post title of Leather Necks…living in a city with a substantial military presence, including a huge Marine airbase. As I was making these pieces, this title just kept popping into my head. Having nothing better to take its place, that’s what I’m going with…with all do respect to the Marines.

Love, love this wide suede neck strap on these pieces (close to 1/2 inch width). Love the color, soft texture, and feel of these. Couldn’t find a local source, so I had to go on line. Wishing I could get it in a continuous roll rather than pre-cut lengths. I have all these left over shorter pieces to play with…so I may have to get busy with some bracelets soon.

The first three necklaces have some cute brass pendants and are liberally sprinkled with an eclectic mix of left over beads.  That bumble bee pendant is just too cute!

These are very l-o-n-g. And look great with t-shirts, sweaters, and tunics.

leather necks 1

Leather neck 2

leather neck 3

Leather neck 4

leather neck 5

  This last one is my attempt to ‘marry’ the leather

with some smooth, lustrous, creamy pearls.

I just may need to take this one out for a test drive !


Doesn’t Feel Like Fall… October 4, 2014

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So I’ve been whining a bit that even though the calendar says it’s been officially Fall for several weeks now, the thermometer says otherwise. In the upper nineties again and likely to stay that way for a while. (Beg forgiveness from those who suffered last winter’s severe storms.) Meanwhile the media and internet sites, (cooking, clothing, jewelry) that I follow are chock full of gorgeous Autumn colors and flavors. I want to make big pots of soup, wear thick sweaters, and (pay someone else) to sweep up the giant piles of lovely leaves from our liquid amber trees in the back yard.

Meanwhile, regardless of my personal feelings about the current state in the weather, I need to get moving on some jewelry making. These two Autumn inspired necklaces have been finished recently. The first one sits up high with the copper leaf falling just under the collar bone, using copper chain and waxed linen cord.  The leather strap and brassy chain piece is 35 inches in length, more with the focal piece of Rainbow Agate and Turquoise drops.

copper leaf necklace

copper leaf close up

Leather strap necklace

This one is an add-on today…I’m apparently on a roll! Finally!

chunky citrine 2

Again with a leather strap and brass findings…

stones are rough chunks of citrine, I think. Someone help me out?

Chunky citrine

How is your Autumn going?

Any jewelry inspirations from this season?

Love to hear what you’re up to !


We’re All Ears Challenge March 21, 2014

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Last month, Earrings Everyday started a monthly earring challenge.

The March inspiration is totally adorable…

a pen and watercolor by Beatrix Potter, from her book,

The Tailor of Gloucester.

As a child, I fell in love with all her books,

but my favorite was Mrs. Tiggy Winkles.  Still love hedge hogs.


Today is the big reveal for all those participating this month,

so be sure to go to Earrings Everyday and check them out.

I decided to take a few elements and colors from this piece to create

some simple earrings.

 The nut-brown color of the mouse’s fur and tree stump

and the pretty blue threads that are used in floral stitchery.

Our inspiration!

beatrixpotter-miceatwork-threading the needle

So with small wood beads, dark blue waxed linen cord, some seed beads,

and ear wires made from brass head pins…

Here are the earrings…

Nut brown earrings 2

Interestingly, I hardly ever feature seed beads in my earrings,

and here it’s happened two months in a row with these challenges.

A new trend?  Hmm…


Metamorphosis March 3, 2014

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Last week, I ended with a little tease about a quirky, but interesting challenge in my metal’s class this session. During the first class of a new session, the teacher will give us some odd material and let us go. We have about six sessions to figure it out…cut it, smash it, twist it, bead it, wire it…whatever we can think of.  Just turn it into a piece of jewelry.  Tomorrow night is the show-off.

It feels like Iron Chef, when they lower down the secret ingredient.  This session, Pam brought us a bag of brass bullet casings. Really??  Not too excited about this one.

Have to say it’s been an education. I had no idea that there are people out there who make jewelry out of these. If you haven’t seen what can be created with these, do an internet search sometime. Amazing!

Won’t bore you with the details, but at first I was just going to glue a filigree butterfly to the outside and call it a pendant. But as people started talking about what they were struggling with for this project, I started to take it more seriously. Luckily, my son-in-law, Ron, and grandson, Zach, had bucketfuls of casings in the garage and a willing spirit to give me a hand…helping drill out the tops and making some cuts for experimental workings.

As etching is a focus technique we’re working on, I decided to try it using ferric chloride. Always wanted to try this method using StazOn ink and a stamp pad. Need to pay attention to some serious guidelines for this, but easy to do.

Tutorial here.

LOVE the results, although there was a little misstep on my first one.  I drew a simple design with a sharpie pen, but left it in the acid way too long. Pretty sad-looking.

Acid experiment


The next one was rolled on an inked stamp and left in the acid bath for 20 minutes.  Success!

etching success


So this is the casing I decided to use and discarded my butterfly pendant idea. This etched design was just too pretty to cover up.  The idea of some kind of pin popped into my head last week and I did some reading on a brooch style called a fibula. Originating in the ancient Roman world, it’s based on a coil-spring hinged pin, used as a decorative clasp for clothing, shawls, and cloaks.  When you have time, do a Google image search for some awesome examples…however, search for ‘fibula jewelry’ or you’ll get tons of info about your leg bones!

Since I was using antiqued brass material, I thought this might be an interesting way to go.  Never tried a pin before, so why not!

After some wire bending, hammering. and fiddling, here’s the final piece. And you can see I did keep some semblance of an insect in the design…

Fibula 1


This design used brass wire, a quartzite crystal shard, and some picasso finish Czech glass beads.  Will I use more bullet casings in my jewelry designs…Hmmm, don’t know.              Will I do more etching…Absolutely!!       Will I make more fibulas…You bet!!


More Signs of Spring May 2, 2013

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Mama Hummer’s perseverance has finally paid off!

 We’re pretty sure there are two babies in the nest,

but didn’t want to disturb the nesting site trying to get a better look inside.

It’s much more roomy inside the nest than it appears.

The opening has a visibly smaller diameter.

Fuzzy little heads were tucked down close to the body.

 Must be nap time.

hummer nest 1

  For a better peek, click the photos to enlarge.

hummer nest 2

Another spring day project…

making more earrings for the Tin Botanical collection.

These are from Brighton jewelry box tins.

Fun and a bit flirty.

red coral tin

blue bead tin

pearl tin

Last is a class update…

we’re back to some bezel work, which is fantastic.

Making one ring certainly does not make me proficient at this.

 This time, it’s all earrings.

For this project, I chose two smallish turquoise cabochons

and a fine silver scallop edged bezel strip.

I decided to keep the stone setting simple and forgo adding any trim strip.

turquoise bezel 2

turquoise bezel

However, I’m not a big fan of post earrings myself,

so I began thinking about how to add a piece to the top of the bezel

so they could hang from an ear wire.   Hmmn…just solder on a jump ring??

 After doodling a few wire designs on a post it note

and checking with Pam about the ‘do-ability’ of my plan,

I settled on a simple spiral wire design to solder to the top of each bezel.

Gonna give it my best shot next class.

Stay tuned…


Did I mention there were one dozen keys in the package? January 10, 2013

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I’ve given myself a little personal challenge this week.

Can I make twelve one-of-a-kind key charm necklaces?

Finished up four more today and had to stop.

Not because I’ve run out of ideas…yet…, but because I’ve run out of brass chain.

Obviously, I’ve gone down the vintage, romantic road

with all the crystals, pearls, and old buttons.

key charms 3

key charms 4

This next one is my current favorite.

I had to do a bit of figuring out how to attach the key horizontally, but it worked out just fine in the end.

key charm 5

key charm 6

They will all be off to Handful of Wildflowers in La Mesa tomorrow afternoon

and hopefully enjoyed by some new owners soon.


Peace and Butterflies February 25, 2011

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This brass necklace has a lovely sentiment secured under glass.  It’s accented with a faceted carnelian bead and double chain.  22 inches in length.