Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

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.






Cherry Silk October 12, 2012

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Love the golds, bronzes, and pinks in these faceted oval cherry quartz beads.

They are perfect on a caramel colored silk cord and paired with faceted amber crystal rounds.

I’m closing up the workshop for a while to focus on finishing the gathering of supplies and packing for our trip to Ghana.

Just received an email from one of the teachers at the primary school that there are 4 new teachers assigned,

due to an increase in enrollment, and a new headmaster. Better get busy!

As an aside, the rich color of the wood background is from our first seasonal rain here in Southern California.

I think I like this better and may have to hose down my porch before each photo shoot

or refinish the porch. Nope… too lazy.


Rocks and Pebbles October 10, 2012

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A recent shopping trip to a store that features glass beads turned up some strands of beauties. I was especially taken with the two strands of “rocks and pebbles” that look like they were freshly dug up from an archaeological site. Never seen anything like these before and I just fell in love with them.

Where to begin?

One strand of  autumn hued glass beads begged to be strung on silk cord.

Another found a nice home paired with turquoise on my favorite brass chain, with hints of bright copper.

This last shot is a peek at my overhaul of some tired old black flocked display boards.

I love the au naturale look, even if they are a bit messy despite three coats of a fixative spray.

Thanks so much, Monique, for sending the URL for this easy, cheap makeover idea.

And thanks go to Heather Powers of Humblebeads, the talented creator behind this project.


Boreas by Waterhouse April 10, 2012

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This painting, Boreas, by John William Waterhouse (1903), is the challenge inspiration at the Art Bead Scene blog this month. Boreas was the purple-winged Greek god of the north wind.  I love this idea of using a piece of art to inspire jewelry designs…it could be the mood, colors, setting, subject of the piece.  This one in particular has so many different options beginning with a beautiful color palette, perfect for the steel wire I’m currently using.  The female figure stands firm against the strong wind…her thin inadequate wrap a beautiful blue gray…the small pale gold daffodil tucked into her hair is a hopeful sign of the fullness of Spring approaching.

Here’s my entry, a necklace reworked, with the addition of a beautiful ceramic butterfly, and lamp work bead pendant, mixed with sari silk and wind whipped steel components.

A close up to appreciate the two gorgeous art beads purchased at The Bouncing Bead today.  Thanks, Kristi, for helping in the search for the perfect beads!


Rainy Day Workshop January 23, 2012

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I don’t like the rain, but in my head I know how much we need this rain…so I used this day to get some work done. Here are the results with focus on Valentine’s Day goodies.  I’m taking them to the local shops that carry Fresh Baked in time for gift shopping. The heart pendant was made from heavy sterling wire.  Formed, soldered, hammered, textured, and polished. Wire wrapped with pearls, apatite, crystal, and glass beads. The earrings with the open heart links and red velvet crystal drops started life as base metal chain links. I wanted to see if they would be amenable to hammering.  Yes! I then used pliers to pushed in the bottom V of the heart to make a little trough for the bead dangle to hang in. Happy Heart Day!


Also wanted to get back to knotting on silk cord.  These round Czech glass beads had just a hint of turquoise in them, so I threw in a few howlite heist beads into the mix. It was a very good day in the workshop.  Can I hope that it’ll rain again tomorrow??


On Silk December 8, 2011

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Don’t know which attracted me more to these wonderful stones…their colors or the half price tag!

Cherry quartz on silk cord

with tiger eye, copper,

and Czech glass.

Amazonite on silk cord with button pearls


Beach Treasures April 16, 2011

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This extra long silk cord holds two kinds of fresh water pearls… green and chocolate brown… abalone chunks, and tiny mother of pearl disks.  It can be worn long, doubled and even tripled.  Just in time for spring and summer.