Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Done… February 14, 2015

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This piece has been in process for many weeks…and today, it is finished. Last step was three hours in the tumbler…after oxidizing and hand polishing. My nails are a total mess, but I’m happy-hearted.

This is by far my most challenging piece of jewelry.

lapis agate necklace

lapis agate necklace 2

And on to the next project…another pendant necklace. This time I wanted to use an etched copper back plate. The ocean jasper will first be soldered to a sterling silver back plate. Trimmed to leave a bit of silver edge showing around the stone. I’m going for a layered look. The small green agate will hang below the pendant.

          In my mind at least, this is how it will look.  We shall see…

in process ocean agate

ocean agate pendant


Three in One Postie July 30, 2014

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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.



Creating with Cabochons Challenge REVEAL ! September 17, 2013

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The multi-talented Sally Russick, of The Studio Sublime,

threw down the gauntlet about 6 weeks ago.

 Anyone care to join her in designing jewelry with those sometimes

tricky ‘hole-less’ wonders known as cabochons??

Having some recent, but limited, experience with bezel setting a couple of these stones,

I thought I would love to try some more techniques.

First realization was that there is a huge variety of cab materials…stones, of  course.

 But also metal, poly clay, glass, shell, resin, plastic…you get the idea.

If the piece doesn’t have holes and you can figure out a way

to wrangle it into your jewelry design, then it must be a cabochon.

Next ‘aha’ was all the ways one could ‘attach’ the cab to the design.

There’s glue, wire wrap, beaded bezel, metal bezels,

and tab or prong setting.  And maybe more.

 I decided to try out a few of these, starting with good old hypo cement glue.

First up is a glass pebble cab I made with a piece of scrapbooking paper…

some kind of old postcard stamp design.

I call him “Artie” for his art deco look.

Glued the cab to a filigree component, then glued a ring of seed beads to add some pizzazz.

stamp cabachon

Leaping Man

seed bead cab 2

Next, in keeping with the glue theme, I attached a stone cab

to the center of a brass filigree butterfly and gently folded the wings over to keep it safe.

I was a bit surprised to find that it looked like a scarab,

but the back of the piece gives a hint as to its origins.

cabchon 1

cab 2

cab 3

butterfly cab 2

My final technique was to work with a piece of amber beach glass

that I’d picked up at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA one summer.

Always intended to try my hand at drilling a hole, but never did.

For this cab setting, I textured a piece of brass and made holes with metal punch pliers.

Using 20 gauge gold wire, I cross wrapped the glass to the brass plate.

Wasn’t sure how to finish off the back, but I think this simple, tucked-in twist works.

crossed wires 2


crossed wires

beach glass 1

A side note:  I did try a prong setting with this little copper piece I had,

but there are too many tool marks from my attempts

to wrestle it into place for this to be used.

prong cab

prong cab 2

You may have noticed that seed beading a bezel was not one I attempted.

I tell myself that I just don’t have the patience.

If you are interested in this technique that produces a gorgeous setting for cabs however,

Sally posted a very thorough tutorial on her blog.

And if you are one who either never thought about using cabs in your jewelry work,

or wanted to and didn’t know how to go about it…

I do hope that my few explorations makes you think, “Hey, I could do that!”

I hope you’ll enjoy the many other designers that are participating

in this Creating with Cabochons blog hop. Please go to Sally’s blog for the links.


Last Class June 5, 2013

Last night was the last jewelry class until the fall.

I’m really going to miss this weekly time of learning and working in the lab.

However, the exciting news is that the next session will be devoted to jewelry casting!  Whoot!

There are some in the class who have done this before and shared some really great pieces they made.

I have particularly enjoyed making component pieces from sheet metal…

texturing, doming, and learning(attempting) the skill of bezel setting stones.

Here’s a little gallery of some of the jewelry I completed during this session.


hope and joy

Hand cut, lace textured aluminum components

cherry lace 2




Nov 13


Die cut, textured copper with a wash of emerald alcohol ink


embossed ovals


Copper washers stretched in the rolling mill, then textured


turq. bezel earrings


Bezel set turquoise with textured sterling swirls



bead mix


Hand textured copper disc with glass, bone, and ceramic beads


copper close up


double wrap necklace


Spent some time at the end of class making a small stash of copper discs

and ball head pins to tie me over until the next session in September.

 Hope it’s enough!


Class Week Six February 20, 2013

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So last night, we get to the heart of these classes.

Bezeling a stone cabochon.

After watching a video of the process, I’m crazy jumpy,

waiting for  the instructor to measure and cut the pieces for my project.

I’m only going to note the basic steps…so this is not in any way a tutorial

…but just to give you an idea of the project.

First, I brought a couple of cabochons from my favorite local bead shop.

Each about 12 x 6 mm. Just picked two from a big bowl of $1.00 beads.

Not sure what they are, but maybe a lapis and some kind of pretty agate.

Pam said to just make sure they are flat backed.


I received 3 pieces for the bezel.

A thin strip of fine silver to form the bezel, a strip of decorative beaded wire,

and a flat piece of sterling sheet.

3 pieces

First… fit, trim, file, and solder the bezel strip to fit snugly around the cabochon.

I finally settled on the lapis stone.

Next… fit, trim, file, and solder the beaded trim strip into an oval.

lapis bezel

The last photo shows how they all fit together.

Next week, I’ll solder the bezeled stone piece to sheet metal in four places (sans stone).

Also, have to trim away the extra sheet metal

and more filing and sanding to smooth everything out.

Between now and then, I need to decide if I want to make a ring or a pendant.

And I’m not sure, but I think I’m leaning toward a ring

because it adds another layer of challenge to make a split shank ring.

And when am I ever going to get to try this again?!

I have to say it would make a pretty big beautiful ring, too!

In between all this, I had time to try out an experiment

with my cheapo box of copper washers.

Rolled them in the rolling mill, being very careful of my fingers.

Took a couple of passes…but just look what happened to them!

Big uniformly shaped ovals of copper beauty.

This pair was hit with the torch for a heat patina after texturing with a ball peen hammer.

Rolled copper

And these had a layer of netting placed on top in their last run through the mill.

Pretty darn cool, huh?

rolled copper 2