Archives for September 2014

Bohemian Chic

Bohemian Jewelry

The term bohemian or boho is commonly used to describe a particular style of individuality, typically in regards to clothing/accessories, but also in regards to lifestyle and mannerism. Bohemian style having traits of being hippyish, artistic/creative, alternative, minimalist, harmonious, calm and peaceful.

I like to think of Bohemian as an attitude and style that says free-spirited.  So I refer to some of my jewelry designs as slightly boho.  It is jewelry that tends to be a mix of different materials (albeit traditional items like semi precious stones, pearls, metal, and glass beads).  And they have a care free style to them.  While I sometimes work in matching sets, I prefer to create items that coordinate with each other.

Found Objects

I don’t usually add found objects to my jewelry.  I am not into making trendy pieces.  My designs tend to have a cleaner, minimal look.  So I have shied away from the steampunk look and  the vintage romantic look.  But while shopping with Gary Wilson at the Bead and Button Show one year I found a piece of a record label that he had cut – it said “Artista”; so I had to have it.  It’s been sitting in a drawer and I came across it while cleaning up the studio.  So I HAD to stop cleaning and make a piece.   I thought I was going to set it in silver, but decided to drill holes and just use it with other items in a beady creation.  Fall is here and I tend to like longer pieces to wear with sweaters.  So this is what I came up with.  A little different than my normal….  finished off with a lampworked bead of course.bohemian artista necklace

bohemian artista necklace 2

creating the desert in glass and metal

I’m running a contest

contest earrings

Contest on Facebook

A contest to win a pair of my dainty lampwork bead drop earrings.  I am a believer that less is more and these earrings give you a little pop of color.  So I decided in honor of the beginning of fall to give a pair away.  Go here to enter.  Tell your friends.  Contest ends Tuesday September 30, 2014.

creating the desert in glass and metal

Making Jewelry

Making jewelry in 1994

I started out crafting jewelry about 20 years ago.  I would find interesting beads at shows, bead shops and flea markets.  Mainly my jewelry was for me, my family and my friends.  I used high quality components and mastered many techniques.  Took classes, met people and had lots of friends.  But the jewelry, while pleasing, was not so different from other jewelry designers.  Here’s a bracelet I made years ago.  It’s nice, well made and it blends with a lot jewelry that I wear today.  But I felt something was missing.

silver bead bracelet

Then in 1998, I ventured into a trade show in Portland, OR called Embellishment; and I discovered a vendor (Kristen Frantzen Orr) selling her own handmade lampworked beads.  I was fascinated.  So I bought a bead.  Went home and looked up “How to Make Lampworked Beads“.  (Thank you Cindy Jenkins).  Then I ordered a lot of equipment.  And I slowly plunged into the world of making glass beads called lampworking.

Someone asked me once – what do you want to be known for?….  glass beads or jewelry?  I instantly said glass beads.  We lived in Nevada at the time and making glass beads inspired by the desert around me was exhilarating…. and still is.  But I love to learn and try new things and lately my interest in working with metals has really caught my attention.  So my jewelry is changing and I want to chronicle my journey, trials and tribulations here.  I still love to make my beads, but I am exploring how to marry them with metal and am having so mych fun

creating the desert in glass and metal

Desert Trail

Desert Trail Bracelet Desert_Trail2


Studio Time – New Bracelet – Desert Trail

Just like a hike on a desert trail with stops to admire the scenery, this bracelet is a path of luscious lampworked beads.  I like to make beads that are richly saturated with hues of color inspired by the desert.  This is a 2-strand bracelet with each bead capped in sterling silver and separated by tubes of sterling.  It’s adjustable.  It’s classic yet edgy with the use of handmade lampworked beads.  The bracelet shown incorporates the blues and greens found in the desert, but also comes in several colorways.  A selection right now can be seen at Beyond the Torch Gallery and Studio in Phoenix, AZ.  The grand opening will be Saturday September 20, 2014.


the inspiration – the Sonoran Desert………………

Inspiration from desert hilkes


Desert Trails in Tucson

There are numerous trails to hike in Tucson.  There is a wonderful trail near my home on Pusch Ridge called the Linda Vista Loop.  Recently with all the monsoon rains that southern Arizona has been getting, I got to see the waterfall on the Ridge actually flow right from my front porch.  Here’s a photo taken by my neighbor from his telescope.  Waterfall Pusch ridge

creating the desert in glass and metal