Wednesday, October 26, 2016


I'm sure you've seen those articles about growing new vegetables from their own cuttings. Here's one I saved to my Facebook page --
I didn't see it in this article, but saw another that showed slicing a tomato, then covering the slices lightly with potting mix. New tomato plants should start in a week or so. Well, I had to try this, of course!

The summer heat really fried a few of my tomatoes. They weren't pretty, but tasted wonderful ... so I sliced one to see how easily this would work. This photo shows the little plants after two weeks. I used three slices, but none grew from the third slice on the right. Now I'll have to thin out a few and select two or three plants for winter tomatoes.

The poor plants had to fight their way up through the terrible soil I used! A little Miracle Gro should help them.

Saturday, October 1, 2016


I found two more classes on Skillshare that really excited me ... Weaving pendants on a small loom. I ordered one of the looms instead of making one. You can get a small wooden picture frame and use nails equally spaced 1/4" apart on the top and bottom ... or even use cardboard, create your warp and then tape the ends of your yarn to the back. But this beautiful loom was only $20. It's made by Jim Hokett and measures 4" x 7". Larger ones are also available. I ordered the Cottolin yarn used in one of the classes and the loom from The Woolery. But the possibilities are endless ... using other materials and textures, beads ...

Here are photos of two pendants that are finished with chain.
I added one of my keys to this one.

Here the weaving is attached to a piece of nubby palm flower stem.

Here is a photo of the loom with the warp added and two of my first pendants.

This photo shows the back of one of the pendants ... all those loose ends have to be woven in and snipped.

Weaving is so much fun! When I was very young and we lived on a farm in upper Michigan, my mother had a huge loom in my grandfather's barn where she made rag rugs. Friends and neighbors saved old clothes that she cut into strips and then rolled into balls. I so regret not being older then so I could have joined her.

Friday, September 23, 2016


It's been much cooler the past few days, so have had a chance to work in the garage. I wanted to make a couple more spinner rings ... I love them. These have a scalloped edge and really good great.

And finished another pair of earrings using the laser cut patterns from Rolling Mill Resource. I managed to roll two pair from the same pattern (way to go!). The other pair is in an earlier post.

I've also been slumping wine bottles for the last few days. In the past, I've fired each bottle twice, once flat and then slumped it in the mold. I found a schedule from Creative Paradise for doing the complete firing directly in the mold which saves a lot of time. This mold has raised sides and the bottles have been firing beautifully. I also have four flat decorative molds which will work out great for flat trays.

Just as an interesting side note, I only plan to do a dozen or two of these for my Etsy inventory and for a local craft show in November. My blogging and Facebook friend, Deborah Read, has a goal to fire up to 70 bottles. I think she has already slumped 50 or so! GO, DEBORAH!!

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Yesterday I had the privilege of being invited to a Chinese calligraphy class at the Nan Rae Art Studio .... in the hills high above Burbank. What a view from a beautiful home! It was taught by Chinese Zen Calligrapher, Shantien Tom Chow. He was so kind to me, not too critical. I found this YouTube video of him demonstrating at the Nan Rae Art Studio.

Are you curious to see one of my attempts at Chinese calligraphy yesterday? Is it frameable? Is it upside down? It was so much fun, and I'd certainly want to take a few more classes.


I finally had the time to shape and finish the ear wires on my new earrings. Remember, these were made from my sterling silver "scraps". I love them and the good feeling that I created something out of "nothing"!!

Thursday, September 1, 2016


I have quite a selection of laser cut textures from Rolling Mill Resource on Etsy. This Etsy shop designs low relief laser cut patterns to be used in the rolling mill. The sheets are very inexpensive and are for one-time use. Actually I got a good impression the second time too! They have a wonderful selection of earring shapes ... and I have also ordered textures for ring bands. Can't wait to try them.

Here are two pairs of earrings I recently made.


I recently subscribed to a site called Skillshare to see if I would like it. So far so good. One of the jewelry artists had a couple videos showing how she used her scrap sterling silver to make earrings. I have a lot of scrap, some roll printed, some etched, but really never thought any of the pieces were big enough for earrings. Little did I know! Some people don't like big dangly earrings. The ones I am now making are really cute, so unlike any I've made before. And I love the way the ear wires look.

Here are a couple photos of ones I soldered this morning, just out of the tumbler. The wires still have to be formed and finished.

Here is a photo of one pair with the ear wires bent and finished. I love them!

I'm having a hard time photographing these shiny earrings. Have tried so many settings, changed the white balance. I'd like a whiter background. Anyone have any suggestions?

Sunday, August 14, 2016


I got out my button box and found a combination of matching buttons to make a pair of earrings ... to replace a pair that just sold in my Etsy shop. What fun! Copper disks. Sterling silver wire wrapping and handmade ear wires. They measure 2-1/4" long.

Here are photos of the front and back. Or the back and front. They are reversible!

But it always takes such a long time to find the matching buttons as there are SO MANY sizes and colors to weed through. I need to get them separated into groups. Another project to add to my TO-DO LIST!

Thursday, August 11, 2016


In one of my last posts, I mentioned loving the concho that was on the back of my Boheme ring from Leslie Kail Villarreal's class ... and why didn't I make rings using that concho on the front side? Well, I finally made two rings, and I love them! They both are so comfortable to wear ... 15mm wide, size 8 (in case you are interested!). Maybe I'll part with one and put it in my Etsy shop soon.

And best of all, I textured them with my new Pepetools rolling mill. I didn't really need a new rolling mill, but you have to give yourself a present once in a while for being a good girl, right? Actually, I have given myself too many presents lately and it has to stop! But considering I had a bad start to the year ... tripping over Charlie, spending a month in rehab, shoulder surgery, still in physical therapy ....

The reason for this present is: I have an economy mill that has really been a workhorse for many years. Recently I tried to roll a texture that had a straight edge, not an overall design. The texture curved. It got so frustrating that I decided to start looking at my options for a new mill. Both Melissa Muir and Nancy L.T. Hamilton reviewed the NEW Pepetools rolling mills, and they had very good things to say about them. I decided on the 130mm Ultra Series Combo and found the best price at A&A Jewelry Supply in downtown Los Angeles. When I first started making jewelry, it was my place to go. But this time because I'm older and wiser, instead of driving the 30 minutes and paying for parking, I had them ship it. It arrived at 10:00 a.m. the next day!

Have you ever wanted to try something new ... but kept putting it off? I've had patterns and designs that are laser cut for the rolling mill from Rolling Mill Resources on Etsy and have never tried them. Yesterday was the day. Cooler weather, cooler in the garage. Yay! I was really excited as I tried a couple of the earring designs on sterling silver and got wonderful impressions. I'll show you my new earrings soon!

Monday, July 11, 2016