Saturday, December 31, 2011

Here it comes...2012...whether you are ready or not!

I can't believe it is that time of year again...another year has come and gone! It really is true..."the older you get the faster times seems to pass!
I would like to extend sincere wishes for health, happiness, prosperity and peace to my wonderful customers, family and friends in the coming year!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

For you...

I would like to extend warm wishes to all, for a safe, happy, healthy holiday...may you spend it with those you love!

Peace * Love * Hope

Blue Christmas Pictures, Images and Photos


Friday, December 16, 2011

Something different

When I go to shows/markets I try to come up with something for the younger crowd...such as... stretchy ringed bracelets, leather cord bracelets, age appropriate pendants, or earrings... something simple, while in their price range!

This year I chose feathers for my last few shows and the teenagers liked them...the gorgeous rich jewel colors drew attention!

Cobalt blue feathers with pearls dangles...

Gorgeous purple feathers with dyed jade dangle...

I'm not a fan of green but I've been drawn to it more and more recently...nice rich green with dyed turquoise dangle...

These are dyed Guinea feathers ...they have been sanitized and the color is permanent, in case you were wondering!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Circles, folding, different!

Below is a variation of one of my earrings styles that I often make... large, small, medium, with a stone, or without, sideways or facing forward like these! They are an everyday "go to" kind of earring made from fine silver you can see this pair have onyx dangles which jazzes them up a bit!

Two of the fold forming cuffs...

If you are one of those people who prefers consistency these earrings are not for you...I had a number of the turquoise stones that sorta, kinda matched at least in comparison to these two and then there are these two stones, which as hard as I looked I couldn't see them matching in any way. I thought about doing two pendants but then I decide...these would make great earrings because they don't match...I'm a huge fan of the matrix and color difference so I really love these stones.

It was settled, I soldered the bezel to the brushed sterling silver rectangles and set the stones!

Enjoy the day...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Starfish, lapis and scrap!

I managed to take a few photos yesterday on my iPhone...I was at my studio and forgot to bring my was either go home or give the iPhone a try. I'd taken a few photos with it a few weeks ago so I felt it was worth a try.

You know the iPhone actually takes good photos, in fact all I did to these photos below was crop them! That is camera has never taken "great" photos" I always thought it was the operator but now I'm not so sure. With my camera I could take 10 photos, sometimes more, of something before I took a photo I could use...all of these are first shots...while not perfect they are much better than what I usually get from my camera!

My signature starfish...cut out, stamped, brushed finish and tumbled on a sterling silver chain.

As most of you know I'm a fan of cobalt blue...these lapis stones are gorgeous...I only had four stones like this...the first pair of earrings sold so I made these...they could be mine, you just never know? I've always liked this particular style but was a bit unsure of making the ear wires...they actually were not difficult once I sat down and thought about it.

Another "scrap" piece...fine silver fused together.

By the way the starfish came from the east daughter brought them back for me when she visited there last summer with her family!

Have a great day!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Another collage...

I did this collage last week for someone...a bit different from what I usually post. All of these pieces are older and long gone but it is fun sometimes to look back and see how your direction has changed! While silver is the direction I would like to follow, I still work with gemstones, pearls and Swarovski crystals...

My daughter will be arriving shortly to pick me up as we are going to the "23rd Annual Downtown Christmas Walk".
It runs from 6:00pm to 9:00pm on the main street of North Bay, which of course is closed to traffic for the event. There is the lighting of the CIBC Downtown Christmas Tree, Horse & Wagon rides, North Bay Hydro Bucket Rides, the JOY Band, 547 Squadron Cadets, Music throughout downtown, snacks, hot drinks, all the shops decorated for the occasion and best of all friends...hope to see many of you there!
After our walk we are stopping at Cecil's Eatery & Beer Society(corner of Main & Wylde :~)) for dinner...will be great!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I did it again!

Well...what can I say...time flies!!!

I've one more three day show this coming weekend and then I'm done for the year...can you hear me sighing? Well, I am...

I've a few things I want to do for the next little while and if I'm happy with the results I'll do a few posts.

I'm not taken photos for the last few months(which is not a good thing) so I don't have much to show you in the way of new pieces...

This bracelet is one I wear...Just Breathe! Which is how I was feeling this summer... :0)

As many of you know the starfish is part of my logo so I decided to make myself a starfish pendant...this is my first attempt. I wear it all the time and while I've had many compliments I'm looking forward to the day I can use my saw...right now I cut the metal with a pair of shears and that doesn't allow for a great deal of control!

One of my favorite pair of earrings to wear...of course purple, my favorite color! I love the kidney wires as I can wire wrap any color bead I want and I have a new pair of earrings! I made myself a bit longer ones at first but I find I like this length...still a nice dangle but not too long!

Enjoy your day.
See you later...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

For those of my blogging friends who aren't is the Canadian Thanksgiving...

To those celebrating this day...
I hope you have a wonderful day with those special to you!


PS...the final Market day couldn't have been better...more about that later!

Slower pace...

Hey's been awhile!

Life will be slowing down for me now, so I'm hoping to be around more....

Tomorrow is the last North Bay Farmers' Market...I can't believe how fast this season has gone. It seems like yesterday I was preparing for the first day! The weather this year was amazing, couldn't ask for better...with a couple of nasty weather bits, like strong winds or mist but certainly the best year weather wise out of the last five. We were disappointed in the lack crowds though...we didn't have the turn out we generally have, I'm thinking everyone was at home or the cottage enjoying the wonderful weather? Regardless...we had a great's to a great Market tomorrow!

Above is a collage I did for a poster for an event ...I think you've seen the pieces individually but I've been playing with making collages, so thought I'd show you this.

See you again soon...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sticks, Silver & Stones

A "Broken Heart"...I've made many of these, all different sizes and shapes, they are a favorite of mine to make!

Simple stamped rectangles attached to round flat onyx beads...

Beautiful oval apatite spaced with sterling silver beads surrounded by 4 sterling silver chains...

Wavy sterling silver rectangles...

Fine Silver "Sticks"...scrap silver hammered and soldered together...


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Here is something I made a short while ago for a special customer who has became a friend. She wanted a peace sign for her niece, something substantial enough she could wear all her life if she chose to...that would grow with her so to speak.

I made this pendant with 12g fine silver so it is substantial with out being heavy or is the size of a quarter with out the bail...made from 5 pieces of fine silver fused together.

A special pendant for a special niece...

Enjoy the day...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


My goal this winter was to learn how to set stones...beginning with pre-made bezel cups and working towards making my own bezels. It was a long time coming but in the last few weeks I've been experimenting with pre-made bezels and copper...

pendant is hand crafted from Argentium silver, stone is onyx

This is one of my first attempts at soldering a bezel cup to silver...surprisingly it isn't as easy as it sounds or looks, but then I'm learning so it will get easier. It takes a great deal of pressure, working the sides of the bezel to make it tight around the stone. I'm enjoying the process but I'm not at the stage where I'm ready to make my own bezel yet...I've the bezel wire just in case!

Enjoy the day...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June Birthstone...Pearls

The pearl is one of the most romantic, versatile items of the “gemstone” world…while the pearl is organic it is often called a “gemstone” due to the fact it is a huge part of the gemstone industry.

Pearls are, in my opinion a staple in the making of jewelry. They can be worn with your favorite jeans, or your wedding gown and everything in between. A single strand pearl necklace or pair of pearl earrings is a wonderful timeless addition to any jewelry box! For those of you who know me you know this is one of my favorite "beads" to use in making jewelry...

  • It is almost impossible to tell the difference between natural and cultured pearls, one way is the natural pearl will have a low density most pearls over 2.73 in density are cultivated.
  • Pearls should feel gritty/sandy when you gently rub then against the bottom of your front teeth, if they are smooth they may be fake...although this test isn't completely fool proof.
  • Rub two pearls together they will feel gritty, if they are smooth the are not real, often glass or coated plastic.
  • For freshwater pearls only...scrape the surface of the pearl with the end of a pair of scissors, the scrapped area should retain its luster on a real pearl.
  • Here is one that is more reliable as genuine pearls have overtones in their outside in the sun and observe the color...if they are consistently one color they will most likely be fake.
  • Real pearls will have imperfections and variations of shape and size...fake do not.
  • Under an ultraviolet light a cultured pearl has a yellow luminescence and under x rays a green one but these techniques are not dependable...
  • The most reliable method to determine the natural pearl from the cultured pearl is to look inside the pearls. To check the inside structure of the pearl an endoscope is used inside the drilled hole...along with certain types of Xrays. The natural pearl have a concentrically layered structure, while the cultured pearls structure varies depending on the kind of pearl it is.

Pearls come in many sizes and shapes…ranging from the size of a pinhead to the size of a pigeons egg, the largest know being the “Hope Pearl” which is 2inches long and weights 454ct or 90.8grams and is in the South Kensington Museum in London.

Stick pearls paired with swarovski crystals and tiny round pearls

All pearls are valued according to their size, shape, color, luster, and the condition of the surface of each pearl…the most valuable shape is round.

The color of the pearl is determined by the type and varies a great deal ranging from white, cream, pink, bronze, black, with overtones of green, blue, dark gray. There are color-enhanced pearls available as well, but care must be taken with some of these as the colors may run if exposed to water.

The pearl is soft…2.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs’s hardness scale, but due to their shape they are difficult to crush.

Types of Freshwater Pearls

  • Biwa Pearls, Mabe Pearls, Blister Pearls, Seed Pearls, Chinese Freshwater Pearls
Types of Saltwater Pearls
  • Akoya Pearls, South Sea and Tahitian Pearls, Black Pearls, Keshi Pearls, Angel Wings Pearls

Mauve cultured peals paired with swarovski crystals

Shapes of Pearls

Drop Pearls, Potato and Rice Pearls, Full Round and Off-Round Pearls, Blister Pearls, Fancy Pearls, Button Pearls, Drop Pearls, Baroque Pearls, specifically manufactured shapes.

Sources of Pearls

Natural Pearls: Persian Gulf(off Bahrain” Gulf of Manaar, Red Sea

Cultured Pearls: Japan, China, Polynesia, Australia, the Cook Islands

Natural Pearls

Natural pearls are those which are produced without the help of man…these pearls are formed by saltwater oysters and freshwater mussels…created by a living creature, each pearl is uniquely different in shape, sizes, color and luster.

Interestingly enough the pearl is formed due to an irritant that squeezes inside the shell. Mother of pearl (nacre) is secreted inside the oyster/mussels to form the shell and encrusts all irritants; each encrusted irritant becomes a pearl. Nacre is calcium carbonate and an organic horn substance, (conchiolin) which binds around the irritant. This process is a form of defense for the oysters and mussels.

Cultured Pearls

Cul – tured:

2.artificially nurtured or grown: cultured bacteria.

Due to the high demand for pearls, the natural supply has been reduced. This has lead to the “cultivation” of pearls by humans; approximately 90% of the total pearls sold come from cultivation farms.

Contrary to what some people believe these pearls are not “faux” pearls they are real pearls formed the same way as natural pearls with some assistance. Basically the process is …a person inserts something into the mollusk forcing it to cover the foreign substance with nacre…a cultured pearl is born! Now having said that there is more to the process but you get the idea.

Top drilled cultured pearls with a large round faux pearl clasp

Like natural pearls, cultured pearl farms are found in both the ocean and freshwater rivers.

There are also pearls produced by snails, Abalone Pearls, which are irregular in shape and a stunning combination of colors including blue, pink, purple, silver and occasionally white. These stunning pearls are rare, an estimate 1 in 50,000 is ever found in the shells…these are cultivated pearls.

Another rare beauty is the Conch Pearl, they are irregular shaped, pink in color with a porcelain look to the finish. These “gems” are found in the “conch” shell, a large snail found in the Caribbean…one of my favorite places to visit!

Care of your Pearls

The life span of pearls can be estimated at 100 to 150 years depending on the quality of the pearls. They are organic, therefore are soft and will scratch easily, they are susceptible to drying out and can become dull, develop fissures or chips. Limit the contact of your pearls to heat, acids, hairspray, perspiration, makeup anything that may damage the surface including metal or other gemstones. Store in an acid free tissue paper or a soft cloth pouch, do not store in a plastic bag, as this will cause condensation to form.

It was my intention to write an interesting, informative post without getting too technical ...I hope you enjoyed the information!


courtesy of:

Gemstones of the World, Walter Schumann, Third Edition, Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.,

The Jeweler's Directory of Gemstones, Judith Crowe, Firefly Books, 2006

Modern Language Association (MLA): "cultured." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 12 Jun. 2008.>.

All photos with exception of the pearl in a shell are jewelry made by Heather Cote...the pearl in a shell is courtesy of Vladimir on picture to be taken to the Fotolia pictures.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Colors galore...

I made this necklace from glass, quartz and a beautiful citrine wire wrapped pendant back in April, I put it away in my case and waited for my first Market sold early in the day to a very excited lady...

She had me remove the toggle, then add 6 inches of sterling silver chain so the necklace could be worn short or long...a truly versatile necklace to be worn with almost any color/style, dress it up or down!

I'm going to be doing some consignment...I've always stayed away from consignment in the past, there are a couple of reasons but the main reason being, I'm not there to make sure the piece fits properly...or make any necessary adjustments. This necklace is the perfect example...if I wasn't there to adjust the piece the customer would have gone home without her necklace!

I feel things work the way they do for a reason...maybe it is time?

Enjoy the day

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gotta love rings!

I find rings to be very popular...the only problem for me is to have the right sizes! It is not easy to do...the only rings I have a variety of sizes in is the fine silver stacking the one below with out the silver ball fused on top...

Here is another style that people seem to like...the Egyptian least that is what I call it!

These are great as they are somewhat adjustable, and can be designed many different ways, textured, smooth, curled ends, flat hammered ends, flattened balls at the end, etc....I think part of the appeal is they are wide and spread over the finger...I have to say I prefer wide rings myself.

The twisted rings are fun to make as I'm guaranteed no two will be the same...just won't happen!

I could make the two rings like the one below but even then the curves would be a different shape and size...

I'm beginning to experiment with setting stones in my rings and to come soon!
Enjoy the day...

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 21st...first North Bay Farmers' Market for the 2011 season!

Someone was watching over us...we had the most perfect day, great conversation with people, many of whom we'd not see since last fall...a gorgeous, sunny, warm 1st Market day...fabulous entertainment...couldn't have asked for a better day!

Our first entertainer of the morning was 11 year old, Rachel Barber...she did a wonderful job and I heard she had a great time...I'm gong to do my best to have her back again during the season...unfortunately I didn't get a photo, but her mother saved the day..this is one Rachel's mother Amy posted on Facebook!

Next we had the great jazz/blues sounds of Tim Beckett and his niece Paige Cipparone...they are amazing performers...Saturday was their first appearance at the Market...a second date is definitly called for!

Early from Spring Hill Farms! Just beautiful of course as many of you know I'm partial to purple everything...

Crowds beginning...we had a great turnout for the first day!
My good friend JoeAnne Ribout, Mountain View Weaving...showing a customer one of her beautiful hand woven blankets! I couldn't resist I bought two of Joe's hand woven dish cloths...I had to the colors are perfect for my kitchen! :~)

Jamie Board from Board's Honey Farm/Northern Nectars...explaining to the ladies all about her great honey products.
Another friend, Audrey from Matthew's Maple Syrup...doesn't she look comfy! She had surgery last week on her foot, that's why she has it up on her cooler...don't worry, her daughter was there to help her!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Market On helped to make the day a wonderful success!!!

More to come about this Saturday later in the week...
Enjoy the day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

North Bay Farmers' Market begins...

Tomorrow is the opening day for the North Bay Farmers' Market!

For those of you who live in the North Bay and surrounding area here is a bit of information about the Market!

This photo was taken May 2010
North Bay residents of all ages will soon be able to wander through the booths of local growers of bedding plants and vegetables, producers of baked goods, preserves, jams, jellies, wood products, soaps and unique handmade goods. The 2011 season begins Saturday May 21st, with more than 30 LOCAL vendors. Many of your favorites are returning but come out and see who and what’s new at the Market!
  • The North Bay Farmers’ Market, in its ninth year, will be open every Saturday 8:30am to 1:00pm – RAIN or SHINE through to Thanksgiving . Once again the Market will be located in the McIntyre St. Parking Lot #11 – across from City Hall (behind TD CanadaTrust on Main St.). There is NO CHARGE to attend the Market and the live entertainment adds a festive flare to the visit. You never know who you’ll bump into that you haven’t seen in ages!
  • Many exciting things are happening at the North Bay Farmers’ Market this year including the 3rd Annual PANCAKE FESTIVAL which will take place May 28th. Check back for more information next week!
  • Our entertainment for the day will be Rachel Barber-Scarrow from 8:30am to 9:00am...and the jazz/blues sounds of Tim Beckett from 9:00am to 1:00pm...come out and enjoy their performances!
For upcoming Special Event dates & information or to learn more about the Market’s vendors, visit the Market website at: www.northbayfarmersmar​

I'll try to remember to bring my camera and then remember to take photos to post next week!

I look forward to seeing everyone at the Market...


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Birthstone of the Month" Emerald...again

***I've decided to re-publishing my previous "Birthstone of the Month" posts...they were, for the most part well received...I've been contemplating doing a series of post regarding the healing properties of semi-precious stones but thought I would begin by re-publishing these...enjoy! ***

Emerald is the most precious member of the beryl family; the name is derived from the Greek “smaragdos”, which means “green stone”.

The wonderful green color is produced by chromium present in the gemstone. The vibrant color won’t fade, as it is stable regarding light and heat. As with many gemstones the color varies depending on the source or the location the gemstone was found. Apparently the most favorable color is a strong slightly bluish green.

Colombian emeralds are a pure green with a slight tint of blue. There are significant deposits, especially in the Muzo mine northwest of Bogotá.

This magnificent emerald was mined in Colombia, set in white gold, with yellow gold claws, encased in diamonds...what more could you ask for ladies!!!

A 60 carat Colombian emerald set with approximately 25 carats of diamonds on yellow gold. Market value US$240,000

Brazilian emeralds are a slightly lighter color of green with more yellow noticeable, often slightly cloudy, but most often without inclusions. Deposits have been found in Bahia, Goias, and Minas Gerais and while relatively new deposits, discovered since the 1980s, Brazil has become one of the most important suppliers of emeralds!

From Northeast Brazil...A fully terminated, semi-gemmy Emerald crystal...Measures about 1/2" across...semi-gemmy means "clear in spots but not completely"

Zambian emeralds have good clarity are are a deep green.
Other deposits have been found in Russia, Afghanistan, Australia, Ghana, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, Vietnam, China and the United States.
These lovely emerald crystals are from Wenshan, near Kunming, Yunnan Province, China
Here is a natural, grass green Emerald (Beryl) crystal from the Lao Cai Province of Vietnam
Famous Emeralds can be found at the British Museum of Natural History in London, England, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, in the treasury of Russian, in the state treasury of Iran, in the Treasury room in Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey and in the Viennese treasury in a vase is a gem 4 ¾ in (12cm) high, weighing 2205cts, cut from a single emerald crystal.

Most emeralds are not clean, having some imperfections such as cloudy, cracks, inclusions of fiber, tremolite rods, some of which make the emerald sensitive to pressure…hence the emerald cut was designed to maximize the color while the rounded corners help to minimize chipping and breaking of the corners.

These semi-gemmy emerald crystals are from the Jiangsu Prov, in China

It is common for emeralds to be dipped in a specific type of oil or sometimes prepared with an artificial resin in a vacuum if they have hairline fractures or other faults…this is usually done in the country of origin. The FTC in the United
States requires a disclosure of this kind of treatment.

While not my favorite gemstone I have to admit these lovely gems have grown on me…a nice set of emerald earrings or perhaps a bracelet would be nice…what do you think???


Natural gem photos courtesy of "Orbital Joe"

Emerald jewelry courtesy of "Swamibu"

I thank both Orbital Joe and Swamibu for allowing me to use their wonderful photographs! More of their amazing work can be found on

Information courtesy of:

Gemstones of the World, Walter Schumann, Third Edition, Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.,
The Jeweler's Directory of Gemstones, Judith Crowe, Firefly Books, 2006