Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

February Wrap-up February 26, 2014

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So it’s the end of the month and time to post a little something about my year long Personal Pinterest Challenge…Don’t Just Pin It, Make It.

I made a deal with myself to try one new recipe and one crafty pin each month.

So here it is for February.

Crafty me…I knew this was something I wanted to try the moment I laid eyes one this.  Painted wine glasses.  I pinned so many great tutorials on how to do this, I had to create a new board for them all.

I chose to go the quick, easy, no fail polka-dot route, using some round sponge stamps from Martha Stewart (a deal at Michaels with coupon).

If I had used only basic acrylic paints, it would have been even faster with a low temp heat curing in the oven. However, I loved adding some transparent glitter paint with the turquoise and needed to go the loooooong, 21 day air dry method.

But so worth it, because I looooove them!  I now have a set of four.


Here’s the tutorial.

Now, on to the recipe and it’s a good one!

This was a recipe for Parker House Rolls from an episode on Martha Bakes.

One of the grands, Jenna, had seen it and asked me if we could try it out.

How could I refuse?

Sadly, I did not have the presence of mind to snap photos during the process, but let’s just say there was lots of flour flying around the kitchen.  AND, there is butter in the dough, between the layers, and brushed (we drizzled) over the tops when they came out of the oven. Now, that’s a dinner roll!

Here’s a pic of the finished product and too bad for you that this blog does not have smell-o-vision, because it was divine.

The aroma lingered in the kitchen for days…which was a lot longer than these rolls lasted.  Yum!

Jenna's Rolls

Jenna and the Parker House Rolls

T and J Rolls

Taylor and Jenna patiently waiting for them to cool a bit.

Yes, these were a lot of work and time.

I don’t have a fancy mixer with a dough hook, so lots of kneading by hand.

But, the final result was so satisfying in many ways,

especially the time spent in the kitchen with ones you dearly love.

And because this is after all a jewelry blog, here’s a look at some cool copper buttons made in my adult school metals class this session. Made from 24 g. sheet metal…cut, file, sand, texture, patina, polish, seal, and more polish.

copper buttons

And a bracelet made with one of these guys…

     with chalcedony and two of those gorgeous lamp work beads by Studio Juls.

Meantioned Juli Cannon’s bead work before, but it’s well worth repeating!

Lovely beads to design with for sure.

copper button bracelet 2



And an embossed and bezel set copper pendant…with a t-i-n-y opal.

 Teacher Charlene and I dug through every box and bag of stones in the cupboard to find a stone small enough to fit the bezel cup.  NEXT TIME, I will have the stone first, before I start the project!

Opal set pendant

Next week I hope to share a bit about our metals class challenge project

                                                        …and boy, is it interesting…


Art Bead Scene February Challenge February 15, 2014

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This is one of my favorite on-going jewelry challenges on the web, yet I haven’t participated in quite a while. It’s hosted by Art Bead Scene. The designers offer up a different fine art piece each month as an inspiration for a jewelry design, which must include at least one handmade art bead.  Here is this month’s colorful painting and a little bit about the artist, Paul Klee.

Klee rose-garden-1920Large

The Rose Garden, 1920
by Paul Klee
Oil on cardboard
19 1/4 x 16 3/4 in. (49 x 42.5 cm)

 About the Art

Cubism had a heavy influence on Swiss-born artist and graphic designer Paul Klee, as demonstrated by the flat 2 dimensional planes and geometric shapes in his painting but his ambitions with colour never faltered.
In his painting of The Rose Garden, Klee broke down the scene into well-defined lines and painted with various patches of a single predominant color. Different objects in the picture (such as a church, tower, fish, etc.) were outlined blocks before adding various tones of a single color to create depth and a multi-dimensional picture. The effect is that you see something new each time you look at the picture from a different perspective. The painting looks like a patchwork quilt, but with more dimension.
About the Artist

‘Art does not reproduce the visible but makes visible.’     Paul Klee

 Paul Klee (1879-1940) is one of the 20th century’s most influential and much-loved artists. He is best known for his vibrant colour compositions, cosmic metaphors and fantastic landscapes. Much has been made of their inventiveness and of their humour however Klee’s charm as a storyteller conceals a profound exploration of picture-making which produced one of the most original bodies of work realised by a modern artist.

I was struck by the geometric lines and vibrant colors in this work.

It just so happens that I was also working on an etched copper piece

with similar line designs and decided to use this as a pendant in my Klee inspired

necklace. It was also a perfect opportunity for me to work on asymmetry in

design (always a bugger for me).  I was even able to work in a bit of Pantone’s

Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid,

with two gorgeous lamp work beads by Juli Cannon of StudioJuls.

They’re a glowing addition to this necklace

and a nice compliment to the dark red sari silk.

copper etched bar close up

Final shot of etched copper

Copper etched design with a heat-treated patina

Here’s another etched copper bar that I curved

to created this soft, ethnic wrap bracelet,

this time braiding the sari silk ribbon.

etched bracelet

The etching process is the major technique taught this session

in the Adult School metal’s class. It’s laborious and smelly,

but with interesting and satisfying outcomes.


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!


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 !


EEK! August 26, 2012

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I looked at the calendar the other day and it hit me hard…in the next two months, there are three big jewelry selling opportunities.  La Mesa’s Octoberfest, another South Park Walkabout, and my church’s Holiday Market (expanded to two days).  And I will be traveling over four of the next nine weeks.  EEK!

For the last three months, my workshop has basically been packed away in the garage, gladly making temporary room  for our daughter’s family, as they awaited purchasing their new house. However, I have certainly not kept up very well with my jewelry inventory and production.

So yesterday, I commandeered the kitchen counter and started to work.

Here are a few of the finished pieces.

Oxidized copper, dyed howlite, orange jade

Brass, copper, silk ribbon, glass, and metal charms

I feel like I am getting back into the groove. This is the first of many productive sessions, I hope!


Tassels July 6, 2012

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This Bohemian inspired necklace uses the same knotting technique as in the last post. However, I used a finer waxed linen cord in a turquoise color. And used a large variety of beads to complete this look, starting with another lamp work bead as a focal, working off its beautiful color palette. I gathered some flat oval jade, crystals, ceramic, glass, and stone ,with a few brass beads thrown into the mix. I have to say that the waxed linen cord is a great material to work with. It comes in a  variety of colors and plies, very cheap, and makes a strong durable knot. The thin line of turquoise works to unify all the colors and textures of the beads in this piece.

It’s a bit longer than most necklaces I’ve made, other than the leather charms…

A good 26 inches from the tip of the tassel to the clasp.


Lampwork bead earrings March 24, 2011

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I’ve had these handmade lampwork beads –purchased at last year’s  San Diego Bead Show.  It’s so difficult to show the beautiful blues and greens, in my photography at least.  They called for a sleek, modern earring made from 18 gauge sterling silver.