Merry Christmas!!

Well, here we are five days before Christmas 2011. This is our Christmas tree. This year we went out and chopped this tree down in the forest down the road from us. I have to say it is my most favorite tree...since it is tall and wide and well lit..thanks to Chuck. Good job Chuck! As you can see there aren't many presents under the tree. We are still waiting for Santa to come. But, this year..we are keeping the stuff down to a minimum. It feels like we just get more and more stuff that we have to eventually get rid of. I am getting tired of it frankly.

Our stockings are hanging by the chimney with care. And, as you can see the sweet nativity scene on top of the fireplace has so many pretty lights..better in real life I would say.

Sophia my daughter asked me to help her bake some cookies for the neighbors tonight. Even though I am under the weather with a head cold and feeling run down from working long hours at the retail store.....this is what I love most about Christmas. I love making cookies with my little girl. She is just so sweet and happy ..and her cheerful attitude just makes me smile!

It is fun just getting cozy and looking at the tree. This year I have Sophia making more handmade ornaments for the tree. A lot of them have photo's of the kids in the past years. These are the best ornaments to me, the ones that bring all of the wonderful memories back.

Now that the store is slowing down, I am trying to get into the swing of Christmas with the family..and of course get rid of my cold I hope. I really want to enjoy Christmas, but I will tell you working retail can be very very tiring. I was honored with quite a few November jewelry orders which kept me plenty busy well into Dec. I have just one more custom order left, but frankly, I am exhausted with this cold. Although, I am looking forward to making the ring!

14k Gold Filled Stacking Rings, Mother's Ring, Birthstone Ring

Well; my dear blogger friends, I want to wish each and everyone of you a joyous holiday season!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! I wish you all much joy, peace, happiness, and good health in the upcoming year! Enjoy your families, and friends and celebrate the goodness in your life.


We'll see you all soon!

A few things....


Yes, Life is a bit hectic now.. I would say. I can't even sit around much to blog like the good ol' days.

I want to quickly share a new company with you, called "Dwolla". This company is going to change how we spend our money and of course I am sure a lot of you hear about the economy and so on. I never use to be a news kind of gal..but it is hard lately..trying to understand the future of our country.

Being in business for the last 10 years of my life, I realize how difficult it is to run a business and all of the cost it takes just to have an employee. The overhead of retail is extremely costly and many business' in America are starting to look overseas to lower cost.

One cost that is truly expensive and a brutal burden are merchant fees. Did you know that when you go into a store and use a debit or credit card there are all kinds of hidden fees that the merchant has to pay? There is a transaction fee, a merchant fee, and a percentage fee. If you have any type of rewards programs on your credit card, the merchant has to pay higher fees. Essentially, the merchants are paying for your "rewards". All of these fees are adding up...and it makes conducting business that much harder.

A new company called "Dwolla" is now allowing you to pay any merchant immediately with a transfer of cash..and it only cost .25 cents no matter the amount of transfer. So if you pay $1 or $500 it will only cost .25 cents. WOW! This is how it should be. I don't understand why credit card companies feel so entitled to a percentage of your transaction. But, we people don't seem to mind all of this debt and no one has really cared until now,.....when the banks are actually running out of money. I also hear credit card companies are furious about this..and all I can it's about damn time!!

This little company called Dwolla is growing big like crazy. Younger people are realizing that they can not get credit cards so easily anymore and they have to pay "cash" for the things they buy. Frankly, I am glad to pay "cash" myself. The debt problem is seriuosly out of control in our country..and I am happy to support a business who is changing this for our youth especially.

Take a moment to learn about It is easy and simple and it saves business' money. The cool thing is you can also send money to anyone you need to for' extremely simple. Try it !! And, please considering supporting the movement away from credit cards!

Go Dwolla!

Let It Snow..Let it Snow!

Good Morning Snow and Sunshine! I woke up this morning to this beautiful day. Every year when our first snow realize how wonderful and beautiful mother nature is as an artist herself. It's nice for a bit of change. Sometimes it can be cloudy grey skies here for days and days, and I wonder if the sun even exist lately.

Sometimes I will catch glimpse of a buck or some deer hangin around..but not this morning. Maybe it's too cold?

Well, lately I have been crazy busy in my shop. It's funny how Etsy has been lately for me, because about 3 weeks ago..I could hear crickets chirping and I swore my shop no longer existed due to the new "relevancy" search they switched over too.

I have been adding a few new one of a kind pieces. I get cravings to create and design something new more and more. I like making what I do too, but like anything else ..its nice to see a new design. Sometimes, I can't figure myself out. You see, I like it all...shiny silver, dark silver, shiny stones, opaque stones, shiny gold, matte gold..on and on. I can't find my focus. I want to make it all and see it all come true!

I didn't matter. I need to make what I feel like and that will be that. I hope someone stumble upons my work and does not think I am a bit confused with my taste? I truly see beauty in all things...I know I can find it in every single thing!

I am sure hoping to blog before the big Turkey day..but gosh if not...I hope you all have a good holiday season. Enjoy your family and friends and good food. I still believe we have a lot to be thankful for in this country inspite of all the negative news we hear.

Cheers my friends....take it easy!

Trick or Treat?

Chloe compared to a Large Pumpkin!

One of my most favorite things to do in October is to visit this really cool pumpkin patch... or DD Ranch and pick out a pumpkin or two! It really is amazing gorgeous and beautiful and so much fun!

I have this inner desire to be a farmer..or wife of a farmer. I try to talk my husband into it, but he's not buyin it! It's obviously very hard work..but there is just something about being so close to the earth and working outside with animals and plants.

Smith Rock, Terrebonne, Oregon

It gives me a greater appreciation for the food we eat when you visit a farm. Today, we picked our pumpkins out..and went home....

Sorry the lighting inside my house is horrible!

Cleaned them up, baked the seeds..and ....

My Jack O'Lantern!

Carved them out. The one on the bottom is my guy! I can't wait to light him tonight!

Enjoy this season...!

What makes you happy?

As a of my greatest joys in life are my children. I was reminded nine years ago that a sweet little girl entered my life! Miss little Mia turned nine yesterday! Needless to say ..I have been very very busy because we had a birthday slumber party. I will tell you..these are the kind of parties that never seem to end?

Have you heard of the Kinect box? It's a really fun video gamer, because now your body is the remote control and all of us "old" people can dance and play without having to fiddle with the controls. It really makes for a fun evening with your friends and family. Watching them perform a goofy dance or tiff it out in a boxing match can be hysterical when they are in their 70's!!!

Okay..well I am taking the rest of the day to relax..I need it. I pulled a muscle in my back earlier this week and now I know what it means to have a bad back... After this party..I am going to just enjoy a nice cup of hot tea and a movie..or maybe a book!

Enjoy your weekend!

I love being green

vesuvianite gold ringVasonite aka Vesuvianite set in 14k gold filled ring patterned ring band.

Isn't this stone just a beautiful green color? Wow. It's not easy to find an all natural green gemstone like this. I love green tourmaline but it is difficult to find a nice green one sized like this. This is called "Vasonite" or aka "Vesuvianite". I only have a very few of these and probably will not be able to get more.

14k gold filled patterned ring band

I am feeling much more comfortable working with gold filled and solid gold these days. The trick for solid gold is to anneal your metals to soft..or simply just order dead soft. The other thing is learning to use a punch when setting stones. I actually enjoy it..but you do have to have a pretty hard stone in my opinion as a beginner. The only thing that makes me tense is the cost of gold. It can be tense when working with it..because you may make a mistake ...and well you know! But hey! You can recycle it and sell it it's not so bad.

I can also make these rings in solid gold if you would like...just let me know!

So... what do you think?

piratesHunky Pirates

Us jewelry sellers will have discussions in the Etsy forums regarding the use of a mannequin to display our jewelry properly. For the life of me...I have contemplated this issue over and over..and honestly, plastic people are just a turn off to me. EXCEPT...check these guys out, huh? What do you think? Not bad for a "MANnequin"...too bad they are plastic. They are kind of hunky to me. Maybe I would not have a problem displaying my jewelry on one of these guys..ha ha!

newport, oregonNewport, Oregon

Last week we headed on over to the Oregon coast to get away for a few days. After feeling like our summer was such a short slump..with my mom being ill, our family just needed a few real fun days to hang out. So, we decided to visit the coastal towns of Lincoln City, Newport, Netarts, Pacific City and Tillamook.

crabA Big Crab

We did our annual crabbing on a few of the docks. Although we did catch a ton of crab, we only caught four good size edible crabs. I guess we hit the negative tide last week and it really affected the height of the waters in the the bigger crab were not coming near the docks as much. Either that, we are seriously unlucky!! We also went clamming and wow..what luck we had there. The negative tide is ideal for clamming..and for the first time we were able to watch and participate with other clammers. The whole experience was educational and fun too!

sea lionsSea Lions

I think we should have rented a boat to go crabbing, maybe next time. We did get to see lots of sea lions and seals. We also tried to fly a kite on the beach, and just enjoy the mighty Pacific Ocean. We ate a ton of good sea food and just laughed at how we are so unlucky when it comes to fishing. It's a good thing we don't have to fish to eat!!

A couple of new blings....

garnet gemstone ringGarnet Sterling Silver Ring

Just finished up this sweet garnet ring. Damn, it looks red doesn't it? This stone has lot's of color and with the oxidized sterling really stands out well. This ring is ready to go in my shop.

london blue topazRustic London Blue Topaz Sterling Silver Necklace

I found one last square london blue topaz gemstone and I wanted to make something different other then another I came up with this. I purposely and ruggedly set the stone for that rustic weathered look and appeal. I have a difficult time with my styles because I really like the rustic look too, but then sometimes I am in the mood for that shiny bling look. Hmmm? What does that say about me? And then, I also really like gold too! GEEZ!

pink druzy quartzPink Drusy Quartz Pendant Sterling Silver Necklace

I have a few druzy cabs that have been patiently waiting for me to set. I actually started this early summer. I just simply became side tracked and never finished it ...till this weekend. It's a new style for me. I don't normally make larger jewelry..but this is eye catchy and has a pop to it. It has that earthy rustic look..yet catches the eye.

Drusy cabs are unique and each one has it's own two are exactly alike. I just posted all of these rustic jewels in my shop here

Thanks and have a great day everyone!

Just a few sweet things...morganite and aquamarine

morganite ringMorganite Sterling Silver Ring

I made this ring by request for a wonderful customer of mine all the way in Germany! I have never seen morganite until recently and well...I have to say I really really love this stone. This particular stone is not treated..however, a lot of them are. Morganite conveys a pink to peach like hue. The photo really does not capture its beauty. To me it's like a hint of pink apricot.

aquamarine ringAquamarine Sterling Silver Ring

Also, I just received a shipment of more beautiful aquamarine gemstones... This particular ring has sold. I have more ovals and squares for some chunky rings I plan to make very soon. If your interested in a aquamarine ring, necklace or bracelet...let me know! I would love to make a pretty something for you!

It feels nice to be enchanted.

Yesterday, Chuck and I decided to take a nice hike to Proximity Falls in Oregon. It was a wonderful day just getting away from the rift raft of life to be enchanted with this gorgeous forest with many hidden incredible waterfalls.

I felt like I was in fairy land! Sometimes when you have a realize just how truly majestic and incredible the earth is. The life that it springs forth and for every season a new leaf that brings more beauty every single time.

I think I'm gonna miss summer!

I think I'm going to miss summer, even though it was really tough with my mom having the stroke and all. I always enjoy the warm season and a day by the river or a lake fishing hangin out with my daughter and hubby. I am so grateful to be surrounded by a ton of natural beauty.

mother's stacking rings moonstone peridotMother's Birthstone Stacking Rings Peridot and Moonstone- Reminds me of the summer!

I guess, I can say "So long summer.... we'll see you again next year!" Time to look forward to the new Fall season.

Cheers Everyone!

Protect your lungs!

foredom filter hood
My husband said to me ..." you better wear a face mask when your doing this stuff". I admit, I am very bad about it. But, not too long ago I was reading somewhere the effects of the micron dust particles that will most likely stay trapped in your lungs forever. I suppose that it would be similar to smoking or inhaling smoke and chemicals all day. Well, if you make will do this. And it is best to think about setting up a shop that is also safe for you as well. It does take some thought and money too.

foredom filter hood
This is the new Foredom filter hood that my husband broke down and bought me. I am encouraged to wear my mask still to be extra safe. This thing is nice as it has a built in vacuum suction that also can catch fine precious metal particles..which you can send to a refinery too! It also has the light which helps your eyes.

I am trying to reorganize my shop in which I can use this machinery for my bench lathe as well as my hand piece or flex shaft. Sort of tricky as space is always an issue for me. But, I have to do it..because what is your health worth?

The other thing I would like to do someday is install a ventilation hood over my soldering station. This is very expensive to do it seems. Right now I am using a tiny fan that I turn on over me to blow the air away. It seems to work well for the cheap.

If your interested in a Foredom Filter Hood you can check them out at Otto Frei, or Rio Grande I am sure. You can also just google it..too see what comes up!

pink tourmaline october birthstone ringSimple Sterling Silver Stacking Ring - Oct. Birthstone Pink Tourmaline

I have been playing catch up on orders all week long. Today I am sending out 5 orders more..whew! I am tired. But, I will have some pics for you later today or tomorrow.

Thanks all...have a great weekend!

Trying to get back to normal

london blue topaz gold filled stacking ringLondon Blue Topaz set in 14 K Gold Filled Bezel & Ring Band

Well, yes I am trying to get back to normal. My mom is doing better although after returning home with her, she had to be re-admitted back into the hospital once more. A week later, her blood pressure started to shoot way way up and the doctors were very concerned she would have another stroke. She is still in rehab as I write this and overall is doing well. She is expected to come home again on Sept. 5th. I am keeping my fingers crossed and praying greatly for her.

In the meantime, I have been trying to get back into the swing of things. It really isn't easy. It hurts especially to see my dad so very sad too. But, I am busy this month it seems. I feel being busy is good for my heart and mind as I try to think of the positive things in my life right now.

moonstone gold stacking ringBlue Flash Rose Cut Moonstone set in 14 K Gold Filled Bezel and Ring Band

On the bright side, I have been working with more gold and yes, gold -filled metals too! I have noticed that few metal smiths work with gold filled for some reason and it is not easy to get information on it. So I have taken on the adventure myself and decided to pursue it. As you know gold almost hit $2000 per troy ounce this last month. It is very painfully expensive to get started in gold these days and it really saddens me.

Gold is very hard to work with. So, I have learned that setting stones in 14K gold is NOT easy. You have to use a hammer and punch to push the metal around the stone. Hopefully your stone is hard enough to take the punch! I realize now why some smiths use 18K or higher gold stock for bezel's...which of course means more expense. Although, I know there are customers who can pay the price..I will gladly make anything in gold for a customer.

Gold Filled is tricky to work with. The biggest problem is exposing the core layer which is usually brass when you make a custom fit bezel. This usually happens at the bottom of the base of the bezel. But, it shines up very nicely if you go easy on it. Also the bezel wire I am finding at Rio is only 30 g stock you do have to cut out your own bezel strips with 28g metal sheet or so if you want thicker bezels. This area can also expose the brass. But, I have noticed that the gold filled blends very well with the brass and honestly it is just as beautiful as a solid gold piece. There is no visual difference to the eye!! I am sure that the exposed brass may have a tendency to tarnish in time, but a good polishing cloth can solve that problem!!!

14k gold filled stacking rings14k Gold Filled Stacking Rings by Helenes Dreams
Because gold is actually bonded molecularly to the brass, it will not chip or flake off like gold plated. Gold filled is considered lifetime jewelry and overall is a good quality choice if you want something in gold but don't want to spend hundreds and thousands for it. As far I as I hear gold is continuing to go up and up ..which will make gold filled itself become expensive at one point. But also, anything made in gold filled can easily be made in solid gold as well!!

Well enjoy the day! School starts next here we go again! What a whirlwind of a serious short summer it has been. Today is actually 63 degrees...COLD...yes COLD. It's supposed to warm up again..please God..let it warm up..please!

Hello My Friends!

prehnite gemstone necklaceA Natural Prehnite Rose Cut Gemstone in Sterling Silver

Hello my friends...yes it has been awhile! I have not posted for several months now..although I have intended to do so. My blog is being neglected because life has been so very very crazy this summer.

Summer came late to Central Oregon this year. It really did not consistently warm up till mid July it seems. Usually we have gone camping 3 or 4 times by then, but this year, we only went once ..for a week. That was probably the funnest thing we have done this summer so far.

My sad news is that my sweet mom and dad came out to visit on July 26th from Nevada. And on July 27th in the evening at 9 pm I witnessed my mother having a stroke. So for the next 3 weeks my mother has been in the hospital here in my town. I recently just flew her home on the 12th of August. What an experience this has been for myself and my family.

In the last few years my mother's health has been an issue. Last summer she experienced a tumor (non cancer) on her spinal cord and was going to be paralyzed from the chest down. But they were able to remove it and she was slowly rehabilitating from that...and now this stroke. is so painful to watch someone you love so much go through pain.

My mother is amazing however. She is walking and although her left side has been affected, she can talk well and move her left arm up. Her left fingers still need some work..but we believe she may have close to a full recovery.

On the bright side of this story. I am witnessing great love between my parents whom have been together for 42 years now. And even as this is so hard to just write about, I have learned that life is nothing without love. Even when life can be so hard and enduring, your family and friends is what really matters through it all.

I have nothing new or exciting to show you as I have had hardly enough time to keep up with work and my jewelry sales..just this sad story.

But, it is where I am with my life right now and what I am up to. I hope that I will turn the page on this and find my mother much better in the next few months as I try to get back to normal. It's not easy going through each day with a heavy heart.

I hope all of you are well too and that you are enjoying the sun and summer!!

peridot rose cut gemstone ringAugust Peridot Rose Cut Gemstone Ring in Sterling Silver

On top of a Mountain...Literally!!!

mt.bachelor bend oregonMt. Bachelor, Bend, Oregon - Leeway Run

What a great day I had yesterday skiing! This is the best spring skiing I have done in long time with my sweetheart! Chuck took the day off and said "let's go play"...and that is exactly what we did! The snow was perfect..the sky was clear and going downhill was just awesome! I can't wait to go again on Sunday.

I have to share this with you because it's one of those days where you feel like "wow"...I can't believe how beautiful mother nature truly is. For me being on these mountains makes me feel like I am as close to heaven as I can get and I know God is with me this is exactly what he intended for us all. Simple pure beauty and joy.

mt bachelor bend oregonChuck relaxing and enjoying the scenery on the nw side of Mt. Bachelor.

May is a month where new life is springing up and the sun is so full of warmth...I look forward to it. Today we are going to watch our son participate in district finals for track. This race will qualify him for state level which we hope greatly for. He has worked so is great to see him produce his wanted results. He has been eating super healthy ...all raw foods and has learned a great deal about nutrition through his sports. In my mind..what more can you ask for ..right? It's hard to get your kids to eat healthy by all means.

Of course I have to show you my updated summer stacking rings. They are now all made with handcrafted bezels..which is so much nicer to the eye in my opinion. But these are my favorites and I love wearing them. It's like a cool summer drink ..for the eye!

Cheers..have a great weekend my friends!

Happy Mother's Day!

"Cushion cut sapphire in sterling siver patterned ring band"

Hello Everyone! Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful moms out there! I knew I had to at least get this post in for all the moms I know!

It has been a bit of time since my last post here on my blog. I think for the first time I experienced the "Ides of March". March was such a tough month for me..I could not believe all of the horrible things going on in the world...especially with Japan. It seriously made me sad and lately with such dreary cloudy made everything worse!

Lately I have been reading so much negative sad things about our countries financial problems and why so many middle class Americans are being affected by this down turn. Gosh, I am not a dooms dayer by any means, but as I watch the price of silver and gold shoot up..I had to wonder what the heck is going on?

"Mother's birthstone stackable rings in sterling silver"

Well, I finally am snapping out of my bit of depression I think I was experiencing. And, I have been taking the last few months to try to learn more new techniques with my jewelry. I am now making all of my own bezels..instead of using pre-made ones. I also recently learned how to make a box clasp and a key clasp for bracelets or necklaces. I will share this with you in another post..but was so fun and enlightening to me!

For Mother's Day... I hope all of my friends here take a moment to realize the importance of family, love and friendship. As I get older every year...I truly feel so grateful for my life with my children and loving husband.

It is also my birthday this month and my husband and kids purchased the sapphire in the ring above. I was tickled to actually make my very own ring and yes the cushion setting for it. Since I have the ability..I thought why not. I am not yet at the level of sapphires and diamonds..but this is my first "expensive" setting per say..and it sure came out well for me..and I get to keep this!

I am selling this in my store with white topaz instead to keep cost affordable, but if someone wants a sapphire..I can do that too!

We wish all of you a wonderful mother's day weekend. I hope you enjoy your family as much as I do mine.

I am going to be very busy this month as my son will be going to state finals at OSU for track. He also graduates high school this year. My children are ten years apart it makes me realize how crazy fast time goes by. My son has been so athletic and so much fun to watch him play soccer and participate in track and field. I will definitely miss this. He will be leaving us to go to college this were hoping!

My daughter is now 8 years old and what a sweet joy she is! She is very much a girly girl and one day I hope to run and operate a jewelry business with her. I plan on passing on everything I learn to her and far she seems like she is loving it too!

Happy Mother's Day Everyone! Cheers.

Thanks for reading!

Learning to set fancy cut stones!

purple amethyst emerald cut gemstone ring
Purple Amethyst Emerald Cut Gemstone Set In Sterling Silver Ring Band

Learning to make a an emerald cut bezel setting is a new revelation! I see why they call it a "fancy" cut. It sure is a fancy thing if you can make one of these I would say. It really isn't that easy and takes good practice. After taking a few lessons with my instructor Jim Dailing..I have now learned to set stones in a flush setting and tapered heavy bezel settings for the round stones and cushion cut stones. And oh yes..the emerald cut stone..which has 8 cut sides.

fire citrine gemstone cushion cut ringCushion Cut Fire Citrine Gemstone in a tapered tube bezel setting

My all time favorite setting is tapered bezels which has always been so intricately hard to understand and calculate. You see, I am not a math kind of girl..nope hate it. Now it all comes back to me as to why my teacher was trying to teach me all of those formulas in geometery. I now wish I paid attention! I purchased a cushion cut tapered bezel stamp from Italy..NOT CHEAP! I better like using this thing I would say! But, here is one of my pieces from the bezel punch. I used 18g fine silver to make this tapered cushion cut bezel with the punch..and then I hand cut a seat for the stone to sit. FUN!

aquamarine gemstone in a gold bezel ring
Romantic Aquamrine set in 14 solid gold bezel and set on a beautiful flower patterned ring band

Okay so I bit the bullet. I am and have decided that I am going to be offering solid gold pieces. I have been working with gold filled and this has helped me gain confidence in finally feeling like I know what I am doing with gold. I love the look of this metal, but we all know it is at its all time highest and truly very expensive for a small time jeweler like me. But, I really feel that I need to grow in this area. I have had 5 rose cut diamonds setting here waiting for a home. Of course they need that gold home..ha ha! I am going to take some photos of them and post them here on the blog.

Anyone interested in a rose cut diamond ring? Let me know..would be thrilled to make one!

Have a great day everyone and you can see all of my work here in my shop at