A Ritual is……. according to Webster

  1. of or relating to rites or a ritual :  ceremonial ritual dance

  2. according to religious law ritual purity

  3. done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol ritual handshakes 


I just finished reading an article in the Arizona Star of a high tech product that I didn’t know about, but now am fixated on buying…. Maybe.  

What is it?  A machine to brew tea.

a picture of a machine to brew tea


Really cool – right? 

Err…. but you might ask – what does that have to do with rituals?



I love tea.

I love to drink hot tea and iced tea.  I even drink hot tea in the summer.  I like to drink my hot tea from a porcelain tea cup that my Mom gave me.  I have had it for 30 years.  Drinking tea relaxes me.  So when I saw this machine that touts it brews the perfect cup of tea I got very interested.  And I started to think about my cup of tea and why it made me feel so good.

tea ritual

On a trip to Japan in the 80’s I attended a tea drinking ceremony, which I realize now is not about drinking the tea, but is a choreographed ritual of preparing the tea and interacting with the host.  It is about the aesthetics of the bowls, the pot and even the utensils.  And it’s about beauty and peace and serenity and reflection.

So, I think it’s more than just the tea that I love.  When I lived in Ohio and it was a rainy cold day (which happened a lot) my mother and I would have tea in the afternoon.  ( my Mom lived with us after my dad died)

She bought me a lovely wood box to hold my teabags.  We would get it down and choose which tea to have.  Then I would put on the kettle and we would sit and chat while the water boiled.  And chat some more while the tea steeped.  And finally, we would sip the tea before going back to real life.

I have liked to drink tea most of my life. I realize that when life dealt me things that were hard to deal with, sitting with a nice cup of tea helped me to sort things out.  Last summer – one year ago in fact, my husband and I went on what was supposed to be a fantastic holiday in Great Britain.  I drank a lot of tea there.


So back to the perfect tea brewing maching….

this high tech product is the Teforia Leaf  

It looks high tech and beautiful and graceful all at once.

It really appeals to me, but…

Do I really need a $400 gadget to brew tea?

Do I really want a whole new ritual for brewing tea?

Probably not…..

  But damn it looks so cool!

creating the desert in glass and metal


Catching My Eye This Week

catching my eye

Gerber Daisys 

eye catching

Yummy cupcake

eye catching

Great dress – and I love the earrings

eye catching

sophisticated cat

eye catching

Feathers…. I need to buy some feathers.

I continue to work on a new collection……

I am also rebranding…..

I am opening a new online shop……

I am going to update the look of the website….

I will host a grand opening preview

So stay tuned

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creating the desert in glass and metal


Ciao (good bye) 2015

ciao 2015 - some photos

2015 in photos

So much to be thankful for in 2015

Good outcome for Jody’s surgery
Shopping the Tucson gem and jewelry shows … with great friends
road trip to Santa Fe … with great friends
Lovely trip to Venice
A tour of the Southwest National Parks…  with great friends
Blooming cacti all spring and summer
Reconnecting with old friends – 50th high school reunion in Amsterdam NY
a trip to Provence
Homer, my furry baby – who turned 12 years old
a Christmas trip on the Danube …  made some new friends
and a lovely quiet Christmas at home …albeit with a cold

It’s good to reflect on the past year and realize how blessed I am

Now I like to take a few days before the new year to contemplate and plan for the next year.

Ciao (hello) 2016

creating the desert in glass and metal


Another Saddle Ring

Saddle Ring for Barb

Saddle Ring – with the help of an online class

If you follow my blog you know that I have been making rings.  So when I saw an online class with Leslie Kail Villareal on making her Boho Ring – I signed up.  And I am so glad I did.  I am mainly a self taught metalsmith.  I see something I like, and I read and try to figure out how to accomplish it.  With Leslie’s class I watched her video which made the whole process seem so simple.  It was very challenging and I learned several techniques and improved on some I already had learned.  The ring above is a simple design commissioned by a friend.  She wanted a hammered ring with minimal embellishments.

Saddle ring - boho style

This ring mimicked Leslie’s design more closely.  The silver was etched.  The stone was set on curve.  Lots of embellishments were added.  It is quite the statement ring.

I also made this ring and the etching is the focal point

Inca saddle ring

I have another in the tumbler right now!

creating the desert in glass and metal


New from the studio

New work from the studio

New Work from the studio

The Painted Desert Bracelet – each one a journey of desert colors and textures.  What’s fun about these bracelets is the copper tubing with a bead that has a large hole. As you wear the bracelet that bead can slide back and forth and that movement just makes me happy.

This particular bracelet has two of my lampworked beads from the “opal’ series.  Perfect for October, as opal is the birthstone for October and the astrological sign Libra.  And  that’s me…. born in October and a true Libra.  The toggle is old world bronze – purchased at a wonderful bead store in Scottsdale, AZ – the Scottsdale Bead Supply.  The pearls have been in my stash for awhile – organic sticks drilled at the top in the most glorious shade of burgundy with flashes of peacock and purple.  Finished with some copper beads, Swarovski crystals, and Swarovski rhinestone rondelle beads.

Just put three of them in my Big Cartel Shop.

new work

creating the desert in glass and metal

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

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

Lariat Necklace

Urban Lariat


the lariat

lariat , also referred to as a lasso, is a loop of rope designed as a restraint to be thrown around a target and tightened when pulled. It is a well-known tool of the American cowboy.

The lariat is used today in rodeos as part of the competitive events, such as calf roping and team roping. It is also still used on working ranches to capture cattle or other livestock when necessary. After catching the cattle, the lariat can be tied or wrapped (dallied) around the horn, a typical feature on the front of a western saddle. With the lariat around the horn, the cowboy can use his horse as the equivalent of a tow truck with a winch.

Part of the historical culture of both the vaqueros of Mexico and the cowboys of the Western United States is a related skill now called “trick roping”, a performance of assorted lasso spinning tricks. Will Rogers was a well-known practitioner of trick roping and the natural horsemanship practitioner Buck Brannaman also got his start as a trick roper when he was a child.

the Urban Lariat

Is my savvy necklace of lampworked beads. Urban chic and cowboy inspired!  No tricky clasps.  Just slip the end in the lasso and you have a chic lariat necklace with a splash of color.  A perfect go to piece to wear every day.  I just listed some new colors that will be perfect for fall.   And I am working on the earrings and bracelets to match.

urban Lariat

I love wearing mine.

wearing an urban lariat

See whats available in my shop.


A New Bracelet Prototype

Moody - new bracelet - prototype

New Designs – Creating the Prototype

So how do I go about designing something new?  Sometimes I sketch.  Sometimes I make a prototype.

For this design I was inspired by a bracelet that I saw in a magazine.  It was simply a metal bracelet that wrapped on the arm 4 – 5 times.  I liked the simplicity, but also wanted to incorporate some lampworked beads.  I have been making these spacer beads; flat wound disks that I finished with some clear raised dots.  What makes them really cool is a layer of a highly reactive glass before I add the dots.  You can see the flash of color from the side.
Moody bracelet


I made this prototype out of copper – because it is cheaper than silver.  I wanted to practice the riveting of the beads and figure out the placement.  I decided to add some sterling disks for contrast.  I’m really happy and will now begin to make them in silver with possibly a gold disk.  But I like wearing copper and my skin does not react adversely to copper; so this piece has found a home in my stash.

Oh yeah – why the name “Moody” – because the glass used is called “Moody Blue”

creating the desert in glass and metal