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New look

I like to keep things fresh (read: I get bored easily) so I had a fellow Etsy-er design a new banner for my shop. Let the record show that she originally had two birds in there and I asked for fewer birds.Speaking of birds, there’s a nest in one of our trees (at least it was there before we had 24 hours of gale-force winds). It’s too high to reach from the ground, so I’m trying to figure out how to get it down without harming myself. I had a beautiful one earlier this year, but I was changing decorations around and left it sitting on the floor. I came back to find only a trace of it on the rug. Riley likes birds, too, but in a different way.

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Spinner rings are listed on the Rings Page and Etsy. Let me know if you’re interested in having one in a larger size.

Still no A/C here and it’s supposed to be 100 tomorrow. Apparently the techs got stuck in Leesburg traffic. I bet they went to Wegmans instead. I may go hang out at the grocery store myself.

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Clover Links

A pendant with the same “Tao” link as the earrings below. I don’t know much about tao so I’m going with “clover link.” This one has a center ring on the front and back to give it more heft, which involved more guess & check with ring sizes.

White freshwater pearl with Bali cap… will be on Etsy soon…

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I’m looking over a four-leaf clover…

I’ve had a these links kicking around in my head for a while now, and today they finally came to fruition because I got tired of zero earrings in my Etsy store. (I’ll work on the earrings page of my website soon, I promise).

Chain-maille involves a delicate balance of aspect ratio (ring diameter : wire thickness), and this pattern has three different sizes of rings. It took me a few tries to find a set that would play well together, but I like the way the twisted ring (the only kind I had in that size) looks in the center. Oh, and for you detail types, it was completely by accident that one link is the mirror image of the other.

Anybody (besides my mother) ever heard that clover song?

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Wire wrapping

Thanks to my rock-hound great-aunt Ruth I used to tumble rocks as a kid. I had the plastic toy-version rock tumbler that was so loud we’d keep it shut away in the netherquarters of my parents’ house for weeks as the grit slowly polished the rocks. Then I’d have a bowl full of semi-precious pebbles and no way to show them off. They were polished so well that my glued-on bails wouldn’t stay, so the alternative was to create some sort of setting. I had a bunch of copper wire and I would borrow my dad’s little pliers he bought for working on model trains. Unfortunately I don’t have examples of my early wirework to show you the progression, but learning on rounded, slippery rocks helped me get a feel for what settings would stay on and which rocks were just better left in the bowl.

When we moved to Delaware, Steve and I let our puppy wade in the Delaware River near our house (and then she got a bath, don’t worry!) Meanwhile we started finding sea glass on the beach and quickly had enough to fill a bowl. I think you have to be part monkey to fully enjoy looking for the stuff; after all it is just shards of glass, someone else’s trash, and it’s not always easy to find. (Bright green is pretty common — think Heineken, partly because it shows up well on the sand and a lot of people party on the beach and then throw the bottles in the river). Most collectors put sea glass in a jar by the window, but I wanted to do something more with it. So I tapped into my tumbled-rock-wrapping skills and made it into jewelry. (That was back before AnneMade, so jewelry wasn’t what I thought of every moment of the day. I collected the stuff for several months before doing anything with it). And now I go in spurts where I make a whole bunch of it, and then set it aside for other things. I just posted some pendants and a bracelet on my website (and another one on Etsy) because I figure people might want a souvenir from their beach vacation, something other than a t-shirt from Wings.
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Beachy neutrals

Mosaic pendants are popular with my customers. A lot of people wearing them have told me that they get compliments. I made a couple in class with this bead mix and then that tray of jewelry got buried during the move to Virginia. I put one on Etsy and the other on my necklaces page, and am hoping to have some sea glass pieces uploaded soon.

Update 7/17: Sheesh – these are gone already. One to a gal in New Zealand and other to my friend from high school.

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Steve said he wants to frame some of the photos from Gothenburg for his office, and suggested I let you know that I did post the rest of my Swedish adventure down below. I love photographing architectural elements, in fact one of my favorite photos from our wedding reception was of the top of a stone column and not of flowers or periwinkle dresses. (Thanks, Nooty). If you’re interested in having 8x10s for yourself, a couple are available in my Etsy shop, but I have others (you can email me or “convo” through Etsy and if you are someone like my highschool English teacher I may not even charge you $7). I have been known to autograph mats before, so these may even have collectible value one day after I’m dead.

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Sweden: Day 2

Trying to fight The Lag, we stayed up as late as we could last night but still managed to wake up completely rested at 3am. Another sleeping pill (I’m not addicted – I’m not!) let me sleep until the breakfast buffet was almost closed this morning – glorious. Just so you know what you’re missing in Sweden, at any given meal there will be some sort of pickled herring. Fortunately there are also items on the breakfast smörgåsbord like soft-boiled eggs, muesli, a selection of cheeses, crispbread, and marmalades.

Steve went to the office after breakfast and I sat in the park and read the rest of Marian Keyes’ Watermelon. I mean Moby Dick. Gothenburg has a series of green spaces which makes it feel friendly and beautiful. It was designed by Dutch architects, so it also has a series of canals that liken it to Copenhagen and Amsterdam. While watching people walk by I noticed the wonderful absence of Crocs, or even sneakers. Women tend to wear ballerina flats and the guys wear leather shoes (often the gorgeous, handstitched variety I thought was only characteristic of Italian shoes).

Another thing I have noticed is the borad use of high-contrast graphics of stylized vines (!), birds (!), and butterflies in advertising and fabrics. Here’s a sample from the Copenhagen airport. Another was the cobalt & white bird/flower print that Lagerhaus is applying to everything from bedsheets to paper napkins. I’ve seen this in the US (esp. Marshalls) and on Etsy so I imagine that a year from now I’m going to hate it.

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Indie = Independent

My jewelry pal who reads this blog wrote to me this morning asking (in reference to my masthead), “what is an indie jeweler? – i have looked it up everywhere i could think of and i finally (yes, almost a year later) have decided to swallow my pride and ask!”

I figured she’s probably not the only one wondering (Hi, Dad!), so I went to my trusty source for pop culture information for a definition:
The term indie is short for “independent” and refers to artistic creations outside the commercial mainstream, without the support of a major record label, major movie studio, or other source of a large budget.

Perhaps you like my jewelry but otherwise shop on Amazon or Red Envelope for unique gifts and cool stuff. There are a host of websites supporting other independent artists like me, like,,,, They have a lot more than hand-screened skull t-shirts, kitschy belts, and knitted napkin rings.