Updates on Jewelry Line

Sometimes I go into Sunday and I realize that I have no idea what kind of blog to post for Monday. And there are sometimes when I’m super organized and have blog ideas or even whole blog entries that are ready to be posted a month into the future. I currently have a bunch of informational blogs that are in the works (at least ten?) but I haven’t had time sit down and write, edit and crop pictures to add to them, so I’m just going to write a bit about what I’ve been up to!


I don’t know what is going on, but I’ve hinted around at things a bit on social media. My daughter was going down the stairs earlier this week, when she took a tumble and fell 2/3 of the way down the entire flight. Not to be outdone, my husband tried to jump down the stairs to catch her, and in the process fractured his ankle, while she just has a handful of bruises. So, I have been driving them everywhere and taking care of dogs, cats and the house as well as my usual activities and chores, and my work has been suffering as a result. My husband is finally a bit more mobile, and getting better every day, but most things are still a struggle.

I typically try to avoid working much on weekends, since it’s the only time I really get to hang out with my family, but extenuating circumstances happen from time to time, and you gotta roll with the punches. So, if you have sent me a conversation on etsy or email inquiries, and I am slow to respond, that is why. I will get to everything eventually, it will just take a while longer than normal!


Anyway, I have a necklace design and a ring design that are just about finished and out of production. Not sure if I will put the necklace design up onto the site immediately or wait for a bit, but as soon as that ring prototype is in my hands, and photographed, I will get it up on the site, which should be later this week. It’ll be the Aurore setting if you want to be on the look out for it.  I am waiting for two halo ring prototypes to be completed, and again, as soon as those are complete, they will also go straight up onto the site. I’m super excited to share these with you – they have been in the works for so long! If you want sneak peeks of these upcoming items, the place to go would be Instagram, where I tend to post at least 3 images a day of gems I’m playing with, jewelry items, architecture, my animals or pretty flowers – which will likely soon turn into winter scenes!

I am also working on a custom setting for a gorgeous blue-violet spinel cushion, a setting for a large violet sapphire, and just got word that I will be getting some stones in the not-too-distant future for some more custom projects (sounds like earrings and rings). I also had an idea for two pairs of complementary statement earrings that will be fantastic once I can collect all of the stones for them. Oh, and I received some amazing gray spinel pairs from one of my favorite spinel vendors.

Stay tuned! Fun stuff is on it’s way!



Gem Blast: Green Aquamarine

So it’s March, and that means it’s the month of aquamarines. Birthstones are a widely accepted social concept, but does anyone actually know who decided what stone for what month?

Green Aquamarine is difficult to find. Typically Aquas are heated to give them that blue color that people associate with Aquamarines. I saw this sucker at my most recent visit to the gem store, and it stuck out like a sore thumb among all of the blues. To find an Aqua that is slightly greenish blue is impressive, but to find one that is more mint green than anything else is like finding a needle in a haystack.


Typically unheated aquamarines are a greenish-blue, and they are heated to burn off the green. Seeing this stone makes me so happy that they didn’t with this one!


It can appear pretty pale in some lighting situations. You can see it has a little bit of a window in this picture.



And to give you an idea of just how green it is, here it is pictured with a pretty vibrant blue aquamarine.


I was just thinking that I should really take a picture with the above two stones and that emerald I have floating around! Capture the whole range of blues and greens of Beryl.

This stone is 10×12 and just under 5cts, so I am going to make it into a pendant. The sketch is almost complete, just need to finish that and then hopefully soon it’ll be complete!

Update: My jewelry line

I’ve been working on sketches for quite a while on items for my new line. Of course, this is not the easiest thing since there are so many amazing designs out there, and it’s hard to be innovative when it feels like everything has been done. Some of these are influenced by the custom projects I’m working on with people, and some are just things that I would like to see or wear myself.

Sometimes the stones “speak” to me, and I have to do what they say. Ok, not really, but that’s sort of how it feels sometimes when I’ve had a stone for a long time without any inspiration and suddenly one day I look at the stone and it’s a total Eureka moment. And then I’m scrambling for my sketchbook, which is why I have four located in random areas of my house and one that goes with me in my purse. You never know when inspiration will hit!

Because this is more of a hobby instead of a full time career (for the moment!) I typically wait until the designs find me, rather than trying to wrangle them out of hiding.

Now, having said that, sometimes I will just sit down with a sketchbook and draw whatever comes to mind. Sometimes, that thing ends up being a sketch of my ear. Hah!

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been working on a green garnet mini-parure of sorts, and that has been extremely challenging because of the complexities of the project and using several hundred (not joking!) green garnets and turning them into a cohesive necklace, earring and bracelet set. But it has been great for me because I’ll be thinking about that project, and several ideas that won’t work for the garnets will work for something in my line that I haven’t been able to nail down.

Luckily there are several similarities between the green garnet project, the custom rings project (there are many rings and I’m in the process of trying to build a cohesive collection rather than a gathering of multiple different rings) and where I’d like to go on a few of my pieces for the line.

As of right now I’d like to come up with the following items, and I’m already several in:
1. 3 solitaire type rings
2. 1 halo ring
3. 1 dinner/multi-stone type ring
4. 2 necklaces
5. 1 earring
6. 2 bands

Gosh, writing up that list makes me realize just how much work I have to do! Back to the grind!

In the meantime though, here are a couple pictures of a yellow diamond I’m trying to decide what to do with. Right now I’m leaning towards a milgrain bezel in brushed yellow gold and keeping it for myself!



It reminds me of lemonade!

New Year

So, we’re in the final days of 2014. While I’m sad to say goodbye to an amazing year, I cannot wait to see what 2015 brings. Which brings me to today’s topic: looking forward into the new year.

First, I am planning on making small change to the blog. I will be blogging on Mondays and Thursdays instead of Tuesdays and Fridays. This is just a matter of practicality for me, as getting blogs done over the weekend is easiest.

I got a new iPhone 6, along with a new Olloclip with multiple lenses for Christmas. I’m looking forward to playing with those and seeing if they will help improve my photography quality. I’ve been without a macro lens for a little while now, so I’m looking forward to playing around with various lenses and seeing what they can do for me.

I also got a new laptop – I have a massive amount of photos and am constantly combing the internet for inspiration and taking too many pictures of whatever stones I currently have. My poor current laptop has over 70k pictures on it, and keeps telling me its out of space. Which, of course, is a problem. So I got a new laptop and will be transferring most things over to the new laptop at some point.

-Try to concentrate more on design, color usage.
-Working on putting together my first jewelry line, I am hoping to have 7-8 stock items. I will update as necessary when things start to get finalized.
-I am working on a few custom projects for friends, multiple green garnet pieces with interchangeable parts, and several large gemstone rings.
-I have been considering taking both drawing classes and CAD classes to improve my skills. Hopefully I will figure that out relatively soon.
-Potentially setting up a boutique/shop.
-Somehow add about 5 hours to every day so I can get everything I want to done!

Future blog posts:
-Hoping for more features on more people (lapidaries, jewelry designers, antique jewelry dealers, etc) in the industry.
-Putting together a sort of gemstone/jewelry term dictionary. If you have questions about certain terms you’ve seen on the blog, or elsewhere on the internet, please let me know so I can cover them.
-If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for blog posts, please feel free to contact me.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and looking forward to 2015 as much as I am!

These babies below just went to a new home! (Tsavorite, spessartite, spinel, aquamarine, rubellite, tourmaline and zircon.)


Design: Padparadscha Sapphire Setting

I haven’t had this stone for that long, but it became a quick favorite. I am not a big orange person, but even as a little girl, I was into peach colors. Which is what the padparadscha should have in spades. You might recognize this stone from a previous post.


So, as you can see, this particular sapphire has a bit of a depth issue, which results in a larger window. Because of the wonderful color, I decided I didn’t care about the window, but wanted to preserve the beauty of the stone as much as possible.


This stone seems to possess some smoke like inclusions, which would lead me to think it’s probably Beryllium infused, but I don’t really care because I love the color that much. If I were going to sell it, I’d probably get it tested by AGL.


I could potentially have someone recut it to get rid of the window, but that would probably diminish the stone size to maybe 4mm if I was lucky, and it’s 5x7mm now. I’ve still considered it, but ultimately decided to embrace it as it is, flaws and all.


I love how much the color shifts, depending on the lighting situations.


I tried it against several color of metal, such as 18kt yellow gold:

Pad in YG

14kt rose gold:

Pad rose dining

10kt white gold, which kills the color of the stone:

Pad white bathroom

So, here are a rough few sketches of what I started thinking of for it.

First I wanted to address some of the stone’s issues, for instance disguising the window as much as possible. So I wanted to put a detailed relatively solid gallery. I think that designing for stones that have problems is a lot more fun than perfectly cut stones, if I’m totally honest.



So underneath the stone, I plan to put rose gold since it resembles the color the closest and will disguise the window the most. The shank and the surround/halo (?) will be yellow gold, but I haven’t quite decided what design to go with. This was the most promising idea, but I think I want to go a different direction, so this project is still undergoing revisions and probably will be for a while.


By the way, in case anyone is interested, drawing irregular shapes, especially to scale, is really quite difficult. I should probably use a pencil more often, rather than ink!

Design: New York City Inspired Ring

I figured that it’s the day after Thanksgiving, I might as well post a project that has been in the works for years, because after all of this time, it’s gotten to be pretty special and has some sentimental meaning for me. And my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, so why not?

I went to school up in New York State for almost a year, and spent all of my spending money on traveling to New York City. My favorite place in the entire city is Grand Central Terminal, but I find myself inspired by the city as a whole, especially by the Art Deco designs that are so prevalent throughout. The Empire State building’s interiors, the Chrysler Building’s tower and spire, and of course Grand Central Terminal make me fall in love with the city all over again, every time I am there.

So I’ve been wanting to do a NYC inspired design for some time, and I’ve been tossing around a few ideas using the architecture and interior designs from NYC landmarks as the inspiration for this one, very special piece. Here are some of the sketches of the ideas I’ve played with.

Chrysler Building exterior:


Playing with the star layout of some constellations and looking at the arches from the windows in GCT:


Again, Chrysler Building, GCT, rough sketches of ideas.


Starting to grasp an idea of what I think I like the most, elements from GCT:


Developing the idea in a more comprehensive way, using actual proportions for real stones. You can see the changes to this initial idea I want to make over to the side.


Getting there. Still seeing if this idea is where I really want to go, and seeing if it’s something I can actually make work. I see it in my head, but so far I can’t make it work on paper.


As you can see, I have come up with a pretty complex idea, and it’ll take a long time to put together something that works the right way. There are a lot of elements to fit together and it’s a bit like a puzzle. I think I know where I want to go with the next sketch, but when the sketches are this large (this is 10x the real size of the gems) it tends to take longer to do even a minor revision.

Color is going to come into play in a big way on this piece, but that probably won’t be seen on paper, because I do not feel comfortable at all adding color to my sketches at the moment! Colored gems seem to have a unique and irritating way of making their “look” impossible (or at least pretty difficult) to capture on paper. Must go practice!

Gem Blast: Tiny Diamonds

I recently got 6 small marquise cut diamonds from a good friend of mine. I actually have a small marquise left over from another project, but it’s a little bit bigger than these are. Anyway, I just wanted to post a few pictures I took of these little guys. They look huge in the pictures, but in reality, they are tiny, at less than 2x4mm, and the total weight of the smallest 6 of them is less than .50ctw.


You might notice in the picture above that it shows a little bit of a bowtie. Marquise cuts are pretty notorious for doing this. For this particular project, I don’t mind them, but for others, I probably wouldn’t be so lenient.




You might remember a stone that will be involved in this project from a previous post. Look for a post with a design that might include these stones in a few weeks!

Regrets and General Musings

I’m a little bit sad because I recently let go of two stones that I’ve had for a long time and had previously spent a lot of money to set. However, sometimes things just change and you have to let go. I’ve owned enough gemstones and jewelry items to realize that if you are meant to have it, it’ll probably come back to you. And if it doesn’t come back, odds are pretty dang good that something “better” will pop up later.

To date, I don’t regret passing on most of my gems, although there are some that will stay with me, and I will continue to think about them for a long time. Now that I think about it, there is no one gem that I say, “Man, I regret letting go of that stone!”

If anything, I regret certain settings for some stones, and often take big hits there. I’ve learned over the years to let a gem tell me how it wants to be set, which sounds kind of corny and New-Agey, but I can’t figure out a better way to express how I feel. I have set things before and gone on to regret those decisions mightily when coming to the realization that they just didn’t work together the way I wanted them to.

I’m a big believer in matching the stone to the jewelry item and to the owner, and I am glad that I’ve developed a stronger sense of how I best operate. It has taken many gems to get there, but I think that I, my collection, and my knowledge base really have a strong background for what I want in a piece of custom jewelry now. It has taken a lot of gems to do it, but I think that knowing the gems went to good homes is part of why I have so few regrets.

So, while the stones that I recently parted with are beautiful and I will remember them fondly forever, I am so happy they went on to new homes. I hope that their owners love them just as much, or more than I did, and I hope that they give me updates on what they did with the stones, or even let me help them figure out how to set them.

Say “Adieu!” to these guys:



I’ve been working on designing a lot (with a couple personal projects, a design contest and some other random stuff) and blogging not so much. Between the holidays coming up and all of the craziness that accompanies them, I’ll be slowing down on the blogs a little bit until the first of the year.