Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

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 !


October’s We’re All Ears Challenge… October 16, 2015

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Thought I’d start right off with this month’s inspiration photo

from the Earrings Everyday blog …

Some rich, luscious creations from the Monique L’huillier Fall collection.

While I’d like to think I could rock the third look on the right,

I’m sure I’d more likely be wearing the first dress (in my dreams ).

How about you ?  See anything you’d like walk the runway in?

Erin, who hosts this challenge, thinks there is a serious lack of jewelry here.

I agree.

So we were asked to design a pair of earrings for one of these looks… or all of them.

I knew I had just the right colored beads for this and what I wanted to do with them.

Love these flower beads…reminds me of hibiscus blooms maybe?

Added a dash of old gold glass rondelles and faceted glass crystal brios,

all wrapped up in my prepped copper wire.

My biggest problem was in photographing them to show off that gorgeous deep plum

 purple in the Czech glass flower.  I tried several locations in my yard to get the sun to

shine through them. Came close, but just could not capture their real beauty.

So I leave you with all my attempts…

save 2

This next one is probably the closest to their true beauty.


save 3

A fun challenge for sure! Hope you can get over to Earrings Everyday

and see what the other designers have created for these looks.


Trailing Roses February 20, 2015

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This month marks the first anniversary of one of the best monthly jewelry challenges around…WE’RE ALL EARS over at the Earrings Everyday blog.  I’ve missed out the last few months, but am excited to join in today and help celebrate their first year of earring joy. Love that the sponsors come up with such unique inspirations each month…textiles, photos, paintings, architecture… And for busy people, each monthly challenge has a quick turn around time.  The inspiration is posted the first Friday of the month and the blog hop is the third Friday.  And who doesn’t l-o-v-e earrings!

This month is no exception. Lim Zhi Wei combines her lovely paintings with real flowers, especially roses, to create something special. View more of her work here.

You could say that people are waiting impatiently for Spring to arrive!







I decided to create a couple of pairs of Trailing Roses earrings using 24 gauge annealed steel wire and tiny glass pearls in pink and white.

The wire, when cleaned with steel wool, was an antique silver-gray that I thought went well with the pearls. It is also stiff enough to add needed structure to the earrings while maintaining a delicate look.

Finished with oxidized sterling ear wires.

white roses










Pink roses


When you want to give yourself a little treat, hop over to see what other jewelry artists were inspired to create from this lovely inspiration piece.

At Earrings Everyday.  Enjoy!




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


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,



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 !


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.


After Thought Give Away! May 22, 2013

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Haven’t offered a give away in a while…and now’s the perfect time, right?

Since I’ve been yakking about the wonders of wire wrapping,

I thought this long chain necklace would be perfect for a little giftie.  blue velvet necklace

To enter your name for a chance to win this 31 inch gun metal chain

faceted blue glass oxidized copper wrapped briolette necklace (whew!),

just post a comment and be sure to include an email contact.

Open to everyone, near or far!

Give away closes one week from today on May 29th.

After, After Thought…(this is the way my brain works sometimes)

I’m including these faceted glass brios for you to practice your wire wrapping skills on.

6 brios

In appreciation for all your wonderful support,



Tuesday Morning Tutorial and Invitation~ May 21, 2013

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Good morning!

I’m so excited that Love My Art Jewelry just posted the invitation to their 3rd Boot Camp.

I’ve participated in their first two and had a fantastic time of learning and fun.

This one is all about wire work!

If you have never tried this before or even if you are a veteran at working with wire,

do go check it out.

This group of artisans provide inspiration, tutorials and encouragement

to stretch your jewelry making repetoire by adding some new skills

or looking at new ways to apply ones you may have already  mastered.

 Their first post also includes a tutorial on the traditional method of rustic wire wrapped briolettes.

I have posted before my struggles with neatly wire wrapping these types of stones and beads,

so I’m going to post a little tutorial here with an alternative way to do this

that I have found suits me better.

 This is NOT my discovery…but in searching for some help, I came across someone else’s tutorial.

Sadly I don’t know whose, but will continue to search out the original and amend this post.

If you know who might have posted this first, I’d be grateful for a name.

 I am indebted to this creative soul for helping me get more comfortable with wrapping up brios,

because they are beautiful additions to jewelry when done well.

That said, this style of rustic wraps is a favorite of mine for two reasons…

First, they don’t have to be perfect!  In fact, imperfect if perfectly wonderful!

Secondly, I absolutely love the effect of oxidizing both copper and sterling wire

with all the interesting nooks and crannies in the wrapping.

This is only my second photo tutorial, so thanks for bearing with me.

For this tutorial, I used an inexpensive faceted glass briolette and 22 gauge copper wire.

Supplies and tools needed:

large briolette

dead soft wire that comfortable fits through the brio holes


    round nose pliers

   chain nose pliers

step 1

Step One:  Cut an 18 inch piece of wire and make a wrapped loop on one end with only two wire wraps.

(note:  If you are making earrings, I’d highly recommend doing them at the same time,step by step.

I’ve found that I have better luck achieving more similarity in the pair of briolettes when I do this.

Actually, this is great advice when making anything in pairs or multiples.)

step 2

Step Two: Insert the wire into the briolette and

bend the loop to sit just above the very top of the brio.

step 3

Step Three:  With your fingers or pliers bend the loop to ‘sit’ upright on the top of the brio.

step 4

Step Four:  Bend the wire end up to cross the wrapped loop.

(note: you could finish the wrap up here and have a simple wire wrapped briolette)

step 5

Step Five:  Begin wire wrapping down the brio and stop when the wire covers the side holes.

These wraps do not need to be perfect, but serve as an under layer, covering the brio.

step 6

Step Six:  Now, the fun part! Begin loosely wrapping the wire back up the brio,

criss-crossing a few is great. Finish with a tight wrapping up under the top loop.

step 7

Step Seven:  Oxidizing with Liver of Sulphur or some other agent is optional,

but I promise you that it will give an amazing finish to this style of wire wrapped bead.

These are the finished pair of earrings with a dark oxidized finish on the copper wire.

blue wraps


If any of you decide to give this tut a try, I’d love to have some feedback…

was it helpful or not, too much or too little info, something needs more clarity???

 Or anything else you’d like to tell me, I’d be ever so grateful!

Again, I’d love it if you all hopped on over to the Love My Art Jewelry blog

and checked out their post on this great opportunity to learn more about the art of wire work!

They will be posting some great lessons and techniques over the next month or so.