Friday, October 11, 2013

I'm still hooked on my "faux druzy" technique, finding new combinations to play with. I love how a bit of golden mica in resin transforms crushed carnelian and citrine into a shimmering tomato chutney color that catches the light. Or being able to combine amethyst and carnelian in one "stone."

Want to make your own rock candy rings? Look back on this blog or see

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pity Party!

 If you're feeling sad about missing Bead Fest this weekend, join me and Erin Prais-Hintz of
Tesori Trovati (, Humblebeads, and more in throwing ourselves 
a pity party. 
We're each offering discounts in our Etsy shops, for the poor souls like us 
who can't be at Bead Fest.

Get 25% off your purchase of $10 or more with the code PITYPARTY25 at

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Broken stones + resin + mica or glitter = a druzy type of cabochon

For a long time, I haven't known what to do with stone beads that break. It seems such a shame to throw them out--yet, what could I do with them? When I saw my team member Karen Mc Govern's gorgeous bracelet in Bead Trends, my wheels started turning. Then I started seeing druzy pendants everywhere, and thought "maybe I could use my broken stones to make that."

A druzy, or drusy, stone exhibits a coating of fine crystals that look like a layer of glitter. They appear when a stone is cracked open, like a geode. A lot of the druzy stones I've come across look simply like a cool rough cut stone, and the sparkle is very minimal. For a great explanation, see

 A true druzy is a hard stone. To make a faux druzy, I've used soft stones that you can smash with a hammer. 

To begin, mix your resin well and set aside. Have extra cups available if you want to use a colorant or add mica to your resin (or both!). Place the stones in a zipper bag and smash with a hammer. I kept the colors separated; you can do that or mix them.

If you want to use a colorant, mix your clear resin with that in another cup. I happened to have a bezel that I had already half-filled with a bright blue colored resin.

(tip: use a bowl or tray of rice when gluing or curing resin in uneven bezels to allow it to sit flat.)

I also mixed mica powder in with resin in a separate cup to add a little color and shine. Mica is, after all, rock, and it gives a lovely pearlescent shine.

Pour resin into your bezel base, filling only about 1/3. Using a tweezer, place your crushed stone pieces into the resin. At this point, if your stone is really light, you may decide you want to add a colorant as the stone seems to disappear into the resin. That's ok. You can stir it all up, stone, resin, and mica or colorant, in the cup and scrape it back into the bezel.

When you have the look that you want, fill with more resin if needed. If you want to add a bit of sparkle, now is the time to sprinkle on a bit of glass or fine glitter. Put a little on a cotton swab and tap gently with your finger for best control. You could use a pearlescent mica powder as well. If it's too much, all is not lost. Scrape it all out into a resin cup again, mix it around until the glitter is more subtle and put it back into the bezel. Have several bezels ready so you can play around with different colors. When you like it, set aside to cure for the recommended time. You may want to wipe around the outside of the bezel to make sure there's nothing stuck to it.

When they are cured, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, file any sharp points off. Don't slice your finger open like I did!

And now you have lovely pendants!

Friday, April 19, 2013

hanging on

It's April 19. It is snowing to beat the band. Not one of those "oh isn't it cute, winter's trying to hang on" spring flurries, but a full-blown, howling wind, get out the snowblower, winter storm. The birds are so confused--where are the worms? Somebody slid off the road in my neighborhood and uprooted a sweet little crab tree. I'm ready to throw in the towel. I'm ready to register a complaint with Mother Nature, God, or whomever's in charge. I'm ready to board a plane to Anywhere But Here. But, truthfully, there's nothing to do but hang on. Hang in there.

So I'm heading back to the studio to try to make some pretty. Got some vintage brass soaking in Swellegant turning a brilliant lime green. Got some ocean-colored Peruvian Opal waiting to be used, and some ocean-inspired resin bezels curing. Spring will come, it always does. What are you doing to stay inspired in this endless winter?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ch ch ch changes...

Can you feel it in the air? This morning the birds were singing their little hearts out, and as I sit here after dinner, the sun is still up. Here in Minnesota, winter lingers on far longer than it is welcome--just as many of you in more temperate climates are seeing buds and grass, we're getting nailed with what are often our biggest snowstorms of the winter. March is tournament time, for hockey and basketball, and tournament time almost ALWAYS brings a major snowfall.
Those of you who know me well know that the Minnesota climate makes me crazy. Practically as soon as the snow melts, we'll be hit with 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity. Spring and fall are brief, and beautiful, as the landscape explodes with color, and we have to enjoy every single minute.

So here we are, the end of March, temps climbing into the 40s--I refused to wear a jacket today--and everywhere I look I see peeks of muddy grass. Let the great melt begin!

This spring, with the change of season comes a big change for me as well. Last year at this time I was moving into my very first studio outside of the house. I loved it, 500 square feet in an old building with charming details, with huge (though foggy) windows that let in morning light. It made me feel like I was very nearly a REAL artist. ;-) However, as the year wore on, I found there were several things I didn't like--having a commute, searching for a parking spot, two long flights of stairs when packing up the car for a show, and most of all, having all my work AT WORK, even when Mommy duties like sick kids and school holidays kept me at home. So when my lease was up, I was done, and now am in the middle of bringing everything back home. How do you fit 500 square feet of stuff into a 10 x 10 spare bedroom? Thank goodness The Hubs is an engineer, and a very patient man. Right now, this is what our entryway looks like:

Well, onto the jewelry, and crafting and fun...I've been going a little flower crazy, as I am so in love with little Czech glass flowers, and can't get enough of them. I brought a whole bunch to Quince (a shop in St. Paul, Minnesota) today. I'll be putting more things onto my Etsy site as well. I'm also experimenting a lot with Swellegant paints and patinas, (amazing) and using mica powder with resin to create the look of enameling without heat. More on that to come! What are you working on? I'd love to see!

PS Got a little press this month--Bead Style and Jewelry Affaire are both running photos of some designs I did for Nunn. If you have any questions about those projects, please email me--I may even be able to put a kit together for you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Naughty Secretary Club: Kitschy Vintage Valentine's Deer a Flocking with Sand Tutorial

Just happened across this adorable project, just in time for Valentine's Day. I know what I'm doing in the studio tomorrow! I have a bag full of kitschy plastic deer in desperate need of flocking. :-)

Naughty Secretary Club: Kitschy Vintage Valentine's Deer a Flocking with Sand Tutorial

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ON SALE, baby!

Keeping it short and sweet! I really need to clear out and make room for some new stuff, and wanted to try out the Etsy on Sale app, so from noon today until midnight Jan. 31, my whole Etsy shop is 40% off.

Shop 'til you drop, chicas!