Saturday, June 25, 2011

HOW it's done.

Fine Silver Imperfect Circle Necklace

Over the next several days, I'll be putting together a tutorial for my Imperfect Ring fine silver necklace. 

If you'd like to create a pendant along with me, here is your tools and materials list:

  1. Fine silver wire, 10 gauge, about 6".
  2. Neckchain of your choice, hand fabricated or conventional.
  3. Small beads, gemstones, or crystals (optional).
  4. 22 gauge Argentium sterling silver wire, about 6".
  5. 2 sturdy Argentium sterling silver headpins, 2" long.
  6. Clasp of your choice, hand fabricated or conventional.

  1. Torch
  2. Heat-proof surface (solderite pad, charcoal brick, etc.)
  3. Cross-lock tweezers
  4. Small quenching bowl
  5. Jeweler's saw with blades
  6. Bench pin (optional)
  7. Wooden dowel (optional)
  8. Steel ring mandrel
  9. Vise
  10. Flush cutters
  11. Planishing or ball pein hammer
  12. Bee's wax or Burr Life
  13. Rotary tumbler with 1LB mixed shot
  14. Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid
  15. Assorted hand files
  16. Center punch
  17. Flexshaft or Dremel-like tool
  18. Texturing wheel (optional)
  19. Assorted drill bits
  20. Steel bench block
  21. Rawhide hammer
  22. Safety glasses

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I haven't shared any new recipes in a ready your apron, mixing bowl, and favorite dinner guests!

This recipe is as delicious to eat as it is to serve. Promise!

Tomato-y Shrimp with Zucchini and Pasta
Serves 4


1 8oz. can tomato sauce (no salt version, if possible)
2 TBS canola oil (divided)
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 medium-sized zucchini
1 medium-sized yellow summer squash
1 pound raw shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails off)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
Cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce (to taste)
8oz pasta (orecchiette, bow-tie or campanelle)
  • Combine tomato sauce, chopped basil, 1 TBS canola oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne. (go light on the cayenne/Tabasco at this point, you can always add more later!)
  • If needed, peel, devein, and remove tails from shrimp. Rinse in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Add shrimp to the tomato-basil sauce and stir well, making sure all shrimp is nicely coated in sauce.  Set aside to marinate.
  • While the shrimp is marinating, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is al dente and set aside for later.
  • While pasta is cooking. wash zucchini and squash. Remove stems. Slice squash lengthwise into quarters. Cut into 1/4" thick slices.
  • In a large skillet or wide-bottom sauce pan, heat the remaining 1TBS canola oil on medium-high heat. 
  • Gently sauté the squash for 1 -2 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp-tomato-basil mixture to the squash. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the pasta to the shrimp-tomato-basil-squash mixture. Stir well to coat the pasta.
  • Cook until all ingredients are hot (1 - 3 minutes more), stirring often.
  • Add more cayenne/Tabasco, if desired.
  • Garnish with whole basil leaf (optional).
Serve with crusty bread and a mixed greens salad.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Variations on a Theme

I know not everyone wants or can afford a necklace dripping with gemstones and precious metal! 

As a jeweler, you have to keep your customers in mind when creating new designs.  Often I'll create variations on a theme.  Similar pieces with varying degrees of extravagance.  Most designs will be quite simple and classic, but a few will kick up the wow factor for those who want something just a little extra special.

A few days ago, I showcased a gorgeous necklace with nearly 140 carats of gemstones.  It definitely has that wow factor!  However, the practical side of me and many of my customers know that it's not something you'd wear everyday while grocery shopping or while lounging at the beach. That's where this piece comes in:

A sleeker version of the "Love Letter" necklace.  It features petite Peridot gemstones and an Argentium Sterling Silver neckchain. Perfect for everyday wear.

Happy Father's Day!

Just wanted to extend a delightful Happy Father's Day to my Dad, Husband, and especially all the other Dad's who are not able to be with their children or families today.

A growing tradition in our family is to celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day as a weekend event.  Gifts are not generally exchanged, but good food and good company are definitely a must!

Last night we went out to a great little German restaurant so my husband could enjoy some German beer and his favorite German meal (Rouladen) complete with Apple Strudel.

This morning, I'll whip up some blueberry pancakes with sausage. Yum!

As for the rest of the will center around relaxation and good 'ol family time....complete with a game of Monopoly or Clue.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


So, what have I been doing for the past few months??  Well, I've purchased a few new and totally cool tools. I went on a gemstone buying trip and bought some amazing stones.  I've been experimenting with my new tools and gemstones to create a few new designs. 

This is a sneak peek at my latest design. 

This design was created with nearly 140 carats of amazingly beautiful rhodolite garnets and a gorgeous fine silver "love letter" pendant. 

The pendant was created by passing a piece of fine silver sheet through my rolling mill with a section of a low-relief paper pattern.  The rolling mill compresses the pattern onto the fine silver, destroying the original paper pattern in the process.  The pendant is then shaped, drilled, filed, buffed, polished and work-hardened* in my rotary tumbler for about 10 hours.

*Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver and is a very soft metal that must be properly work-hardened to make the metal more durable and less prone to bending and warping.

The Poor Deserted Blog

Has it really been over 2 months since I posted.  Well, I guess the Blog doesn't lie.  April was my last entry.

Well, let's get back into the swing of things!