Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lost for awhile, but have found my way back ...

No photos today, as I'm seated before a computer with nary a photo. Need to get this new computer geared up and ready to rock and roll.

Which about sums up my jewelry endeavors. I've been so wrapped up with my online vintage shop, that I've neglected my jewelry making. Darn it! I MISS it! So, I'm getting geared up to dive back into the creative waters of working with metal.

"Yay!"I can hear some of you yell. Yes, I'll soon have metal earrings for milady's pleasure!

In fact, I've been reading about metal etching and have some designs for copper and steel baubles. At least I'll have fun trying something new and exciting to get back into the groove!

Thanks, all, for your patience. It's been a while ... too long a while, indeed.

Up, Up and Away!!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The downside of making jewelry ...

There's a downside to making jewelry? How can this be?

Well, let me tell ya!

I shipped off four pairs of earrings to a very nice lady in Florida yesterday. Hooray! BUT, two of the pairs were among my own personal all-time favorites and I'll never see them again. The lady is a stranger to me so we won't travel in the same social circles where I might chance seeing the earrings, and she lives on the other side of the US of A.

Oh, I hear you. Just make another pair for myself, right? Wrong! Some of the components aren't accessible to make the same earrings. And I'm not a precise maker of jewelry and I don't do production pieces. Each pair of my earrings is unique, so even if I start out trying to make the same earring design, they end up different. Different isn't bad. I'm just not precise enough to replicate EXACTLY what I've created before.

I do console my loss by thinking of all those women out there sashaying around wearing my earrings and that is an upside to making jewelry.

All is balance.

Having a busy summer ... you, too?

Just received a convo--Etsy lingo for email--from a previous customer at my West As the Crow Flies shop on Etsy. Back in July Brian purchased two listings I had of Birch Bay driftwood and some faux beach glass. Brian was kind enough to share what he created using some of those components. See photographs below.

Brian, who lives in Florida, started his Etsy shop in 2007. To see his Etsy shop The Glassman or Glassman, go to

Thanks for sharing, Brian!

This is the first piece Brian made with the listing
from West As the Crow Flies, and it
is currently listed for purchase
on his Etsy shop

Created by The Glassman

This is the driftwood listing Brian purchased,
and the faux beach glass listing shown below.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

As featured in an Etsy Treasury ...

Curator Angela, of Angela Design, featured a mix and match set of earrings of mine in her Etsy Treasury. It's always a pleasure to receive a pat on the back in this manner.  Here's the link if you would like to check it out:

Because I make earrings that I would wear, and because I often wear one earring on my right and two or more on the left, I sometimes make a set of three mix and match earrings rather than a more traditional pair. I like giving the buyer the option to wear all three, a pair, or perhaps only one to go with some personal eclectic fashion aesthetic.

Angela has created a shop full of colorful, cheerful polymer clay jewelry.

Thanks, Angela!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tricks with Backgrounds ...

I’ve often thought a solid color background was best to photograph my jewelry to advantage. Under more formal gallery or presentation circumstances a solid background is probably still a good rule to follow. However, I was bored with white today as I photographed some new earrings I had just finished and wanted to upload to Etsy.The white didn't allude well to the rich burnish of the copper. I needed color.

I’ve admired those jewelers who incorporate intriguing backgrounds in photographs of their jewelry. Some go a little overboard and it becomes distracting, but some get it just right. There’s often an ambience created of adventure, romance, or ethnic back story woven around the jewelry. Unfortunately I’m not gifted at creating poetry or a storyline to accompany my jewelry.

However, looking around my digs for something nifty to use, I spied a Cindy Rinne art quilt I purchased years ago. I’ve always loved the colors and textures, and thought it could work without overwhelming the earrings. That was my hope anyway. I liked the fiber and thread stitches contrasting with the metal.

I think the photos of the earrings turned out pretty well. I’ve uploaded them to Etsy. If you want to see more of Cindy Rinne’s art, that she terms, “nature’s edges in stitch and verse,” go to She’s also on Facebook at

"Fire" by Cindy Rinne

I apologize to Cindy about not having THE best photograph of her art quilt, but I wanted you to see the entire thing and not just a detail. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

Sunday morning and I can hear the Indy 500 on the television upstairs. I think of all the noise and hoopla of the racetrack and fans out for the kick-off weekend of summer, all the families heading to parades, picnics and BBQs.

I want to take a moment to remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our Country. If not for them, our present and future freedom and way of life might not exist. Thank you!

OK ... now on to beautiful baubles!

I received a photograph from Mimi Dunski of Milton Ontario Canada. She recently bought some gorgeous red jasper beads from my little Etsy store West As the Crow Flies. Much to my delight, the photograph is of a necklace she has designed using the beads she bought from me.

I absolutely love seeing what other creatives do with the materials I'm selling!

Here is Mimi's necklace, which you can see and read about at You can also learn more about Mimi and her lovelies! Go take a peek!

Thank you, Mimi, for sharing!

For more stones, beads, other jewelry components and vintage pieces click on  I've also uploaded some new earrings incorporating vintage African Trade beads at

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just getting better the older they are ...

In addition to the gorgeous assortment of beads to which I feel privileged to have access, I love their history. Take for example, the African Trade beads I used in a pair of tribal earrings I finished making this morning. As I worked with them, I was deeply moved by the realization that these beads have been in existence for so much longer than I have been, and will be around long after I become dust to dust!

Vintage Bohemian and Czech glass trade beads,
Nigerian brass, old Yemen silver, Ghana metal beads

That's rather a humbling thought. I feel like a facilitator in the ongoing "story" of these beads that were made far away and long ago. I think it's incredible that I can hold these bits of history in my hands and know that other hands made them, sent them off to Africa for trade, other hands received them and sold them or traded them for other goods. They've traveled farther than have I. And they're not done yet!

A number of years ago, I attended a historical bead exhibit at the Bowers Museum. They had a timeline displayed along the walls showing where different beads originated and where they traveled on the various trade routes of the world. Amazing!

These earrings, heady with history, are now available for purchase at