Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

From This to That… December 4, 2015

Yesterday morning was spent making a very nice stash of new copper etched components. I’ve had several people request a tutorial for this process. However, I do not feel nearly competent to a) explain it thoroughly enough or b) do an equal or better job that many already out there on the internet.  I searched many jewelry sites, like Rio Grande, for tutorials on the method I wanted to try. And did a search with “etching with ferric chloride tutorial”. You’ll get some for computer uses, but keep digging. And watch as many as you can before trying this…it does use a hazardous waste material…and one needs to be savvy about precautions. That said, it is addictive…No, not to the chemical, silly…the gorgeous things it does to copper.


I thought today I would give you a quick run down of the steps in the process. So you’ll know why my hands and nails are trashed, mostly from all the sanding and filing. Plus, I’ll admit I don’t usually use gloves for the LOS.  I’m too embarrassed to even go get a manicure.  Anyone else know what I’m talking about?? I’m not even going to show you a picture of my hands.

So how do I get from this…

Copper sheet metal I buy by the pound at an industrial metal supply. This is about half of what I purchased. It’s maybe 12×12 inches.




Punch out circles or hand cut shapes.

File, file, file, sand.

Punch and file holes for ear wires or attaching dangles.

Apply stamped design with StazOn ink.

Etch…this is where you might view/read tutorials.

After neutralizing in baking soda solution, clean off ink.

Sand lightly with 0000 steel wool.


Clean and buff with wet/dry sand paper and steel wool.

Use dapping block to create nice curves.

Tumble for two hours.

Apply two coats of Renaissance Wax.

Last buffing.

Then, here is what you get…


etched pendants


etched rounds


etched pieces


I also threw in a couple of pairs of hammered pendants.


Here’s a peek at a few earrings I made with some components

last week for the new shop in Hillcrest.


copper hearts


copper pendants


etched pendulums


So, that’s how I get from this to that.

If you haven’t already given etching metal a try,

I hope you are encouraged to at least add it to your jewelry bucket list!



Switching gears… November 11, 2015

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Setting aside bigger and chunkier pieces to round out my inventory for the Holiday Market with  some sweet sterling silver necklaces. I don’t usually offer gift boxes, but for this market I will.

                             These can be ready to gift…how easy is that!

Mystic Blue Quartz

mystic blue with filigree

Charms with pearls, turquoise, and smokey quartz

silver branch with charms

Love this modern twist on “love”

love charm with three rings

What’s on your holiday list of jewelry to make?

If you have some ‘best sellers’, I’d love to hear what they are !


Quick Post of New Work January 23, 2015

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Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m still getting components and finished jewelry ready for the February 7th event…

With over 60 crafters, really feeling like I really need to bring my A game.

Just finished up this butterfly necklace with some lovely pearls.

Butterfly and pearls

Next are just a few earrings…

abalone pearls

Feather etch

flower etch

Flower etch with turn

 I hope that what sets my jewelry apart is that most all the components,

ear wires and headpins are hand made with lots of love and care.

And finally, a little progress report on my bezel setting work with this lapis agate.  I used a the sweat soldering technique to attach the ball details and bail. Which means melting tiny pieces of solder on the back of each piece first. Then hitting the setting from underneath with the flame to ‘remelt’ the solder to attach these pieces to the backing. Last steps were to set the stone and then a good polish and tumble.  My plan is to make a wire wrapped beaded chain with these beautiful little lapis lazuli stones I purchased at Lost Cities.

lapis agate pendant

Lapis agate with strand

Hope your weekend is a great one !



Pearls, Pearls, Pearls…and Copper Too ! June 29, 2014

Last September, Michelle Buettner hosted a fabulous blog hop all about pearls.

Personally, this was one of my favorite hops of the year,

because I too love pearls and have a somewhat embarrassingly large cache of all kinds

that are used in many of my pieces of jewelry.

For that first hop, I challenged myself in one of my designs to pair pearls

with an unusual metal choice for me… Copper.

 Here’s a look at that piece.

pearls and copper


Copper pearls 2


I was pleasantly surprised by the number of positive comments

about the copper with pearls.

 So this time around for the Second (and hopefully, annual) Pearls, Pearls, Pearls Blog Hop,

I present to you… all copper and pearls!



Rosy pearls and copper discs


Cranberry pearl cluster


copper feathers


The copper components were created by me, either from copper sheet

or thick copper wire from the garage (thank you dear husband).

Ear wires and headpins (some sterling silver) were also made by moi.

Proud to say that all the metal elements were artisan made.

Have to give a shout out to those oysters for their fabulous work on those pearls!

I love the richness that these colored pearls add to the patinaed textured copper.


This last piece was inspired by the work of Shel herself…

Pearls and copper crimp beads on silk cord

with an etched and soldered copper cross.


cross 1


cross 3


If you want to know more, her resource page on all things “Pearls” is a must read,



To see the other lovely, pearly creations of the 2014 Pearls Blog Hop, go HERE.

Thank you, Shel, for inspiring all of us to appreciate

and create with this most lovely of gems.






Gifts for the Grads May 30, 2014

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June is almost here and that means time for graduations and gifts.

Here are a few necklaces I’ve been working on this week.

The first one is a triple charmer in sterling silver, faux beach glass, a freshwater pearl, and grape vine

charm. A friend is giving this one to a young family member graduating with a degree in oenology

the study of wine and winemaking.  Sounds good to me!


grape vine charm


I did an internet search for this sweet charm and was delighted with the quality, price,

and speedy delivery from Silver Messages.

The next two are for two young ladies in my church who were part of our summer team to Ghana.

Amazing people who have such great heart and grace.

Copper pendants


Copper pendants 2




                       Can you tell I’m in love with the bright sterling silver with the etched copper ?


He Loves Me Knot January 27, 2014

Been on a necklace binge for the Big Day coming up in a few weeks. And loving the new chain from Rio Grande!!

This first one had me sweating trying to solder the three silver rings without fusing them together. The title is probably not original…but I got a bit of a giggle…

         I call it He Loves Me Knot…

He Loves Me Knot

A bit of a short post today…just a few more photos of some V DAY necklaces.

Heart Pearl Drop

sterling heart 1

Sterling heart 2

Sterling Oxy Heart


Post a comment here on or before Tuesday, February 4th.  I’ll draw the name of one lucky winner and send this necklace off to you as quick as can be. Be sure that you include your email contact, if not linked to your name.

Sterling silver heart swirl pendant on an 18 inch chain.

Heart Swirl

With warm appreciation for all your kind support,



Variations on a Theme January 22, 2014

As I mentioned in the last post, if it’s January, then I’d better get working on some romantic Valentine’s Day jewelry. For me, that means lots of sweet, delicate necklaces. These four feature the same tri-link sterling component.  Variations embellished with a variety of pearls and gemstones…

pearl pendant

sterling chalcedony pendant

Turq. pendant

Love, love this last one with my favorite gem stone…Labradorites!

Labradorite pendant

Also, worked up some good-sized sterling wire hearts to hang on 20 to 22 inch chains…but I ran out of the chain and had to wait for another order from Rio Grande.

 Yeah! It arrived in the mail today, so I’m good to go on these.

3 hearts

And last, StudioJuls, glass artist Juli Cannon, had a sale on her awesome lamp work beads that I just couldn’t resist. They also arrived in my mailbox recently and are even more gorgeous in person.

This photo comes close to the vibrant colors.

Studiojuls beads

Did you notice that I ordered a strand of Pantone’s Color of the Year??

 I’m excited to see what these will be paired with…I’m thinking some copper!

Do you have special plans for making Valentine’s Day jewelry?

I’d love to hear about your favorites!


Luminaria San Diego…Tonight! December 7, 2013

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Tonight from 6-10 p.m. is the South Park Walkabout!

 The neighborhood and shops will be aglow with holiday charm.

And Food!

And Live Music!!

And Shopping!!!

The theme this year is Luminarias…

I can’t wait to see all the creative ways this plays out!


A new batch of Fresh Baked Designs was delivered yesterday afternoon

to Studio Maureen.   2963 Beech Street.

Maureen’s shop and The Next Door Gallery looks so festive

and brimming with great gift ideas!

silver pendant pearls

garnet rainsticks

silver swirls

There are still two days left for a 20 percent discount on all jewelry in my Etsy Shop.

Through Sunday, Dec. 8th!

Just use the coupon code

MERRY20 at checkout.


Rainy Monday… October 28, 2013

Woke up early, early this morning to the lovely sound of rain.

Here in the very most southern part of California,

this can be a rare occurrence, especially this time of year.

We’re more likely to have a heat wave with the fierce Santa Ana winds,

more scary weather for us, as we remember this past week,

the deadly wild fires of ten years ago.

The refreshing rain outside gave me the needed courage

to do some refreshing inside my studio.

The courage to take out all my jewelry inventory

that has not sold in the last two years.

 A bold, severe look was due.

Some pieces passed my scrutiny to live another day, but many did not.

 A few just needed some sprucing up or re-fashioning.

Many were taken apart to become part of future pieces.

Tiny bits and scraps of sterling silver ended up

in the scrap heap.

Beads had to be sorted and stored away.

Useable pieces of chain, ear wires, components received

a thorough scrubbing in the tumbler.

Hear that??

That’s my sigh of satisfaction.

Nothing like a cleansing rain to help you see new life

and possibilities.

Here are a few new things from my workbench

in preparation for a local Holiday Market mid November.

Not the best photos…did I mention it was raining today ?

p.s. many of these new pieces have bits and pieces

of the rejects here and there.

(click image to enlarge)


flowered paddles

magnesite drops

turquoise donut drops

Rain sticks

colorful hoops

Green copper paddles

copper oval pendant 2

sterling bar necklace

redblue lamp work

Rocky Road

turqoise drops

Burgundy with lamp work

old chinese coin pendant

So, I’m curious…

How do you handle with your past-its-expiration-date inventory ??

I’d love a few new ideas !


Pearls! Pearls!! Pearls!!! Blog Hop September 14, 2013

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Considered by many as the Queen of Gems.

When Michelle Buettner of MiShel Designs issued an invitation to a Pearls Challenge blog hop,

I jumped at the chance.

It was a great opportunity to really dig into my stash of pearls…

Cream, White, Pink, Peacock, Green, Bronze, Gold, Cranberry.

Coin, Baroque, Stick, Rice.

Love them all!

Gem and Bead Mall (San Diego and Las Vegas) is my pearl source of choice locally.

My first design showcases the largest creamy fresh water pearls I own…

I don’t usually use copper with pearls, so I was really excited to see how this developed.

I started with a strip of textured copper made from a piece of 1/4″ copper tubing

that I ran through a rolling mill.

Annealed, then textured on a brass design plate.

Twirling the strip into an elongated bead cap to form the pendant.

Adding wire wrapped pearls to a copper chain with a handcrafted clasp.

Copper pearls 2


pearls and copper

The second design uses the tiniest pale pink pearls in my collection.

 For these sweet pearls, I decided to splurge a little on some 14 k gold filled chain and wire.

Handmade ear wires from 20 gauge wire.

A big, yet light and delicate presence at 3 1/4 inches in length.

pink pearls

And I had so much fun getting reacquainted with my bountiful pearl stash,

that I decided to do a third design…

This one started with a gorgeous lamp work bead by Ikuyo Yamanaka.

Truthfully, I have been hoarding 5 of these beads like a miser for a while now.

I used a mix of moss green and burgundy pearls

with a few crystals sprinkled in for some sparkle.

lampwork bead bracelet 2

Lampwork bead bracelet

The Gem Institute of America (GIA) has a short, but very interesting article

on the History and Lore of pearls.


A huge thank you to Michelle, for not only hosting this challenge,

but also educating us and providing great resources for this most luscious of gems.

 You can access the list of other participants by visiting Michelle’s blog.

Thanks for stopping by today!