Orange You Inspired?

July 14, 2016 § 3 Comments

Many years ago, when I first visited Paris, I vowed I would go back and see ALL the art I missed. This year I got to do just that. Well, almost.

It seems water (as in flooding) likes to follow me wherever I go (FYI: I live in New Orleans!) and, so of course a couple of days after I arrived, so did the flood; which in turn closed down The Louvre and some other institutions of art. However, I did manage to tour Musee D’Orsay and L’Orangerie before they had to shut down and move the art. So my dream of seeing Monet’s Lilies did come true! Not to mention all the spots that stayed open throughout the 10 day downpour (Musée Rodin, Musée Picasso, etc). Enough about the art. The real BIG deal of my trip was a visit to a teeny tiny boutique on Rue Saint Honoré, an exquisite jewel box. The shop of one of my idols: Lydia Courteille. Well, let me just say, it was going to be enough for me just to look and swoon, but there SHE was! And so gracious and lovely. I got to touch and pet her work, and talk to the designer herself. Here’s proof:


Lydia (Courteille, classy) & Lydia (me, giddy)

Ms. Courteille’s work is over the top fantasy. I’m not making this up, check out her stuff here:

Well, enough about that Lydia. This Lydia came home inspired by all that pavé, and pulled out a couple of jewel encrusted crystals (pavé created by Mother Nature)!Here’s what they became:


Big_Spessartite_Smokey_Quartz_Necklace_Close 2016

Spessartite Garnet Encrusted Smokey Quartz Crystal Pendant Necklace


Spesartite_Smokey_Quartz_Pyrite_Necklace 2016

Smokey Quartz Crystal Studded With Spessartite Garnet Crystals with a Triple Strand of Pyrite Chain

Since I was on an “Orange You Glad” theme, I made this bracelet with a larger spessartite crystal (and a “bestie”)!

Raw_Spessartite_Garnet_Diamond_Cuff 2016

Raw Spessartite Garnet Crystal Cuff With Diamond

Staying on the “orange” theme: gorgeous Mexican fire opal (love the spots).


Mexican Fire Opal Ring

Clicking on an image will take you to the shop for more info. While you’re at it, you can check out some of the other Beautiful Blondes, including some wonderful “redhead edition” pieces here:

Hope everyone is having fun in the sun and enjoying summer. I am still dreaming of Paris!

A Bientôt.



Redheads And Retakes

August 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Last month my camera broke down and it really put the kibosh on posting photographs of my baubles, not to mention blogging! Presenting pieces online is tough, most people prefer to pick up and touch jewelry before they buy it, so I’m always flattered when people find my work on the web and take a chance. The camera meltdown was a turning point for my little business, and for the last six weeks I have been consumed with learning how to take pictures with a “real” camera (conveniently lent to me by a friend – thanks Jane!) to show off the jewelry a little better.

I used to think that my photographs were pretty good, but like everything else, the  more you learn about something, the more you realize you know nothing. I am now in the process of making myself crazy by retaking photographs of ALL my work. Did you know that jewelry is the most difficult thing to photograph? My life is just one big learning curve after another. Sigh.

This self taught crash course (with the help of a couple of books for “Dummies” has introduced me to f-stops, White Balance, tripods and lighting. Am I getting better? A lot of the shots are still lame, but every now and then I think I’m getting the hang of it! Here’s a before and after:

Before: Imperial Topaz Crystal Ring

Before: Imperial Topaz Crystal Ring

After: Imperial Topaz Crystal Ring

After: Imperial Topaz Crystal Ring

Since I’d been distracted, my time at the bench was kind of suffering. Last week I finally put the camera down, and inspired by this topaz, made a few pieces. Sometimes I design trinkets with rocks and gems that don’t really fit any of my collection categories, thus: sub categories, or editions.

Presenting a “Redhead” edition of Beautiful Blondes, Her Purpleness and Wanga:

Imperial Topaz Crystal & Oregon Sunstone Briolette Earrings

Imperial Topaz Crystal & Oregon Sunstone Briolette Earrings

For the “Beautiful Blondes'” (Redhead Edition): I took a couple of Imperial (redhead) topaz crystals out of hoarding, set them in 22K bezels and paired them with sunstones (which I also consider redheads). Sometimes you wanna hang out with your own kind.

For the “Her Purpleness”. One of my favorite color combinations is lavender and orange. So I made these:

Lavender Chalcedony & Oregon Sunstone Earrings

Lavender Chalcedony & Oregon Sunstone Earrings

For “Wanga”:

Agatized Ammonite Earrings with Oregon Sunstones & Red Rutilated Quarz

Agatized Ammonite Talisman Earrings with Oregon Sunstones & Red Rutilated Quartz

These babies are a little over the top, but I had to make them. The ammonites are “agatized” which means that over time, they turned into agates. Some ammonites turn into pyrite which is also very cool. These in particular were tinted auburn, and really needed to hang with the red rutile quartz stones,  and the sunstones. Unfortunately, one of the fossils was a little too thin and fragile, and cracked 😦

No worries: I took a page from my idol, Judy Geib who often “repairs” opals a la the Japanese art of “Kintsugi” like this:

Judy Geib "Repaired" Opal Bracelet

Judy Geib “Repaired” Opal Bracelet

I used an 18K gold wire to “fix” the crack.

“Of course, part of the problem with redheads is that there aren’t enough of them. They make up just two percent of the population. So they’re pretty extraordinary. Redheads are too numerous to be ignored, too rare to be accepted.” (Grant McCracken, author, lecturer, anthropologist)

Gorgeous & Talented Redhead Bonnie Raitt

Gorgeous & Talented Redhead Bonnie Raitt

Stunning & Talented Redhead Patricia Clarkson (she's from New Orleans!)

Stunning & Talented Redhead Patricia Clarkson (she’s from New Orleans!)

Breathtaking & Talented Redhead Tilda Swinton

Breathtaking & Talented Redhead Tilda Swinton

Just so you know, I love redheads. I’d love to be one. Bonnie Raitt, Patricia Clarkson, Tilda Swinton are flipping gorgeous (not to mention ridiculously talented) and inspiring women. Plus I love the fiery reputation that comes with being one! If the light is just right, I can sometimes make out little auburn highlights in my hair. That usually happens around cocktail hour.








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