Friday, December 28, 2007

Sal must actually like me...

Sal and I decided to go light on gifts for each other this year for Christmas, because we have too many things we need to purchase for the apartment. So we set a limit of $25.00. I had bought him a few song books and dvd's for his ukulele... he bought me something from Arkansas.

All I could guess was that it came from Wal-Mart. But Sal completely surprised me. If you don't know him, he's a minimalist. He doesn't like clutter and doesn't buy what he doesn't need... he hates nicknacks. So, how surprised was I when I saw that he bought me not one, but TWO teapots and a sugar bowl from an antique shop. He must actually like me to buy a gift like this ;)

The Japanese teapot and sugar bowl was made my a company called Takito (the mark is "T T" in two rectangles.)

"The Takito company 1880-1948, is mostly known as one of those
specializing on the Lustreware type of decoration originally
developed by the Noritake company but pieces with moriage decoration
in Moriage a'la Kyoto Satsuma on porcelain, are also common.
Between 1891 to 1921 the products should be marked 'Nippon'.
Marks later than 1945 usually comes with the addition of
"Made in Occupied Japan ."

My teapot is marked only with 'Made in Japan' so have been made between 1922 - 1944.

The simple white teapot was manufactured by Arzberg, a German porcelain company. The name of the teapot is called 'Form 1382.' It was based on Bauhaus design principles. The teapot is still manufactured today (and can actually be bought from Crate and Barrel on line.)

BUT inside the teapot was a folded piece of note book paper... with a high school style poem on it! Sal left it in there because he knew I'd get a kick out of it ;)

To sum it up, it's about death (aren't all bad high school poems about death... or getting your heart broken.) It didn't scan too well... but I'll give you the opening stance...

What..... (by Anonymous)
He is making us suffer,

from where he can see.
Doing to us all,
You and Me.
Death is so tragic,
yet we know it's in store,
stronger than weak,
but poorer than poor.

... it just keeps going on and on. Hehehe.

So, overall, I was thrilled with my Christmas gifts. Thanks Sal!!!

Oh... and if you do like Bauhaus design or teapots or both, read this article. It's really interesting... seriously!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We just wanted to wish you all a wonderful holiday season! We hope this finds you and yours healthy and safe. And we wish you all the most prosperous of New Years!

xoxo... tracey, scooter & whoopi

Friday, December 21, 2007


Oh itis... I've got all kinds of 'em! Laryngitis, Sinusitis, Bronchitis... you name it, I've got it!

It's pretty common for me to get sick this time of the year... and usually it's for lack of caring for myself. Even though the number of jobs that came through were less than last year (pretty slow holiday season for all retail), I still found myself running around to finish everything... and ignored the case of the sniffles and post nasal drip (I know... uber attractive) that has lingered for weeks now.

Now, usually I would have just let this slide and sleep it off... but seeing it is the holidays I thought I should make sure to spread Christmas Cheer, sans germs. So, when I went to the dr's today I actually saw 3 people! A nurse, a grad student and a Dr. And all of them seemed confused by my symptoms.

My blood pressure was high (and I am one of those people that have insanely low blood pressure where they think I'm actually the walking dead), my ears feel like there is cotton balls crammed in them, my nose is runny, I have no voice what so ever (I sound like Stevie Nicks that has been smoking for about 40 years), this flipping post nasal drip that just won't quit, a cough that would put most 90 year old smokers to shame, my energy level is low and I get winded pretty easily. Oh yeah, and I had a migraine and vertigo the past couple days to boot.

BUT the crazy part is that I don't feel that badly! I know it sounds odd, but I just feel like I have a crappy head cold... I have NO clue that I am so sick! I honestly thought it would be gone in a day or two.

So, they were so confused by my symptoms. They aren't sure... but think it all started by not taking care of what seems to be allergies (my new health insurance was denying my Allegra D, which is the ONLY allergy formula that seems to work for me... they finally approved it today.) And it just seems that it finally caught up to me! They don't think I'm catchy, but after 24 hours on my antibiotics and the steroids and cough meds and allergy meds will make sure that I'm not catchy anymore.

But they seemed very worried about me... which kinda worries me... and said if I develop any more symptoms (chills, high temp, etc.) I have to get to the dr's or the emergency room ASAP. I think they're worried that I will develop pneumonia... which would suck.

So, that means no trip down to DC to see Sal and his family right after Christmas. And now we'll be ringing in the New Year in a fairly quiet fashion.

BUT everything happens for a reason... so I will use this time. I will do those things that I either put off or take advantage of, for example...

1. Sort out my receipts (been avoiding this one... like the plague!)
2. General correspondence of family, friends, clients and associates (I'm bad at this one... that's why I have the blog!)
3. Finish pulling together the info for my writer so we can actually get the press kits out in January.
4. Curling up with my dogs to lazily drift in and out of my heavily medicated sleep while watching the 24hours of A Christmas Story on TBS (ooo... is anything sweeter?)

... and so on.

So, for now, I must shut my eyes! But I'll be back as soon as I can.

Monday, December 17, 2007

finished projects (part 3)


Another Replica on my bench. The client described earrings that she had for many years... then over time lost one... then the other. So she shared her 4th grade class photo with me (showing the way the hoops hung), explained how they worked, etc. So, I took all this information and did my best to replicate them.

There is still one last detail to work out. If there are any changes, I'll keep you posted!

finished projects (part 2)

The Corgi!

My sister has a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Lucy. Here she is with my two boys...

Now, she wanted a tie tack featuring her little monster...

This was cast in Palladium 950. Another holiday job down!

Maybe I'll make Sal some wiener dog cuff links one of these days! Make something featuring my monsters!

finished projects (part 1)

Well, I took advantage of the snow storm(s) and just hid in my shop for a few days to finish projects for the holidays.

The first finished project is an itty-bitty size 4 ring in Palladium 950. It was modeled after the Organic Starfish Ring...

... but the client wanted the same style, but showcasing alternating hearts and infinity signs...

One custom job down!

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's the most grumpiest time of the year...

I love this time of year. The snow (and we have tons of it right now... I actually ran out of space to put the snow, so I was tossing it over the fence into the neighbors yard... hopefully they didn't see me, and they will think it was just a snow drift... hehehehe), Vince Guaraldi Trio, bad Christmas decorations (especially the lawn ornaments that have been around since the 1970's that are now just undistinguishable blobs of frosted plastic and faded colors), good Christmas decorations (good store windows... lights twinkling off the snow), hot chocolate, warm wine, wrapping gifts, Christmas cookies, the smell of a pine tree, the Elvis Christmas Album... the list goes on and on and on!

BUT this time of the year also brings the ugly side out in most of us. Crowded stores, getting angry at the lurkers in parking lots following you from the store to your car so they can snag your parking spot, cursing under your breath in checkout lines, flipping off the moron drivers that are speeding in shopping mall parking lots, annoyance at lack of money, annoyance with debt that's being racked up holiday shopping, annoyance with most people in general... you get the idea.

Well, I noticed that whenever I start getting grumbly, something will always manage to make me smile. Like when I was fighting my way through Downtown Crossing into the T station and some random punk pushed me out of their way, I started to get pissy... but then there was a man playing 'Smoke on the Water' on the bongos singing the guitar part. hehehe. Or when I was fighting my way through the grocery store yesterday before the snow storm, I saw this tiny (I mean like 4'8") little old lady that couldn't find the pickles she was looking for (and let's admit it, there are like 50 different kinds in the grocery store... dill, kosher dill, polish dill, zesty dill... and it keeps going on and on) so I decided to help her. And even tho we couldn't find her pickles, she said thank you and patted me on the ass. HA!

And even this morning, as I hid under my covers dreading even more shoveling, I woke up to find that my neighbor shoveled a path to my back porch. How nice!

So... just remember, no matter how grumbly we all get during the holidays... there is something just around the corner to make you smile.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


well, because the stock market is down... everybody keeps putting their money into precious metals... which mean that the price of gold is uber high! so, what do i do in these times of insanely high metal prices... I REFINE!

it all goes along with being green. every little scrap and pile of dust is melted down, separated and made into new stock. from there you can either get new material OR a check... i choose a check.

but this is what i sent out to my refiner in NC...

... scraps of gold and silver and plat, etc, failed experiments, poor castings, remnants from building pieces, spru's, etc.. just all kinds of stuff!

then there was this...

... 11 lbs of bench, floor and polish sweeps. basically, it's all the dust from when i'm fabricating, the grime from the polishing buffs, air filters, and all the dust that gets everywhere.

in total, the final box weighted 16 lbs. we'll see what i get out of it... but whatever i get will just go back into the business!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Okay... so I finished the replica of the initial pin. And it is pretty damn close... and once it's 18K plated, it will be really really damn close.

The only differences on the front are the following:

-The triangular stone has sharper corners on the new one (it's very difficult to match odd or older cut stones)
-The bezels are slightly thicker on the new one

The back has the main difference:

-Because the original was so thin (because it was machine bent) I had to add wax to the back to make sure it would cast completely. So, the original one, has a pattern on the back... the new one is smooth on the back. But it's the back, so hopefully not a huge issue.

Sorry for the crappy pix... just quick photos! But when the new one is plated, I will take some good photos.

Okay... back to work!!!

exhausted and moody, but still working...

Well, even tho I got a crappy nights sleep (after I finally did fall asleep, Sal's alarm clock went off at 4:30... the time he has to get up to catch his early plane on Monday mornings) I am still back to work.

Today I'm going to be working on finishing and setting stones on a broach that is an initial M. It is to replace a lost broach that was a gift from a relative that had passed away. So the pressure is on to get it to match as closely as possible.

It is amazing, though. The original broach probably cost about $50, if that. It is VERY VERY thin extruded 18K gold machine bent with synthetic stones. The new version is about 3 times thicker (I can't do the machine bending), the shapes of the main stone is an unusual one, so I had to search the earth to find something similar. And with the cost of gold, I'm making this one in Sterling Silver and 18K plating over it. And to reproduce it is costing about 10 times the original. Ugh.

But I finished some waxes yesterday for clients. The first piece is for a client who likes the starfish ring...

But he had a design in mind with alternating hearts and infinity signs. So, here is the wax...

Then I have a custom Pembroke Welsh Corgi tie-tack that I carved...

So, back to my bench. More work to do!

oh dear god, WHY?

it's past midnight. i have so much work for tomorrow and all i want to be doing is sleeping. BUT NO! you want to know why???


i kid you not, it is so loud that it sounds like he's on my floor. honestly, usually i can kinda hear him... but tonight it is soooooo loud! chainsaw loud.

i've been laying here for an hour. first i thought it would stop or he would roll over... nope. so, i finally got annoyed, so i dropped a pile of books (it sounded like a .22 went off)... nothing. so then i started hitting a broom handle into the floor... still nothing. then, and i knew it wouldn't work, i just started jumping up and down like a child having a temper tantrum yelling and screaming... nope, nothing.

once i did mention it up to him and his roommate... and they just started laughing. i guess this is a common complaint. these are the things you can't find out till you move in.

all i know is i want to sleep... and even with my wave machine and the tv on, i can hear him clear as day. i am so tempted to go into my shop and start forging a bracelet or something... the sound of metal hitting metal could wake the dead.

so, i will lay here and pray to the gods that he will roll over.

i need to sell more jewelry so i can buy a house... or at least a pair of tap shoes to annoy him all night.

Monday, December 10, 2007

uggg... sappy!

I mean sappy in the context of a Christmas tree, not mushy. With the joy of a Christmas tree comes the annoyance of pine pitch. But it smells oh so good... so I deal.

Last night Sal and I picked up a little 4 foot tree... it's too full to be a technical 'Charlie Brown' tree, but it's a funny little one at that. So, I decided to decorate it like my the tree that my grammy Angie (aka, Jelly.) A few of the ornaments were from her tree (and straight out of the 50's)...

... but the main part in common are the Bubble Lights. Sure, mine are newer... with more plastic and less of a chance of catching on fire... but it has the same feeling...

Overall, I'm not too sure of what Sal will think of my little piece of holiday joy... but it makes me happy! So, hopefully he'll just humor me and keep his Grinch like comments to himself ;)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Yesterday was my first full day in Bentonville, Arkansas. Bentonville is Wal-Mart. There are 3 Super Wal-Marts in this county, the corporate headquarters, technical headquarters, and many other smaller offices, warehouses, etc. It's insanity. I can only imagine that most people that work here are Wal-Mart employees. It's quite amazing! So, I decided that since I may never have a reason to return to NW Arkansas, I would enjoy it for all of it's Wal-Mart glory!

So, Sal and I went to the Wal-Mart Visitors Center and Museum. They had EVERYTHING you can imagine Wal-Mart! Memorabilia from their original store, Walton's, graced the first few cases... then the rest of the cases showed the expansion throughout the years. Also, Sam Walton's original office was shown, which was so minimalist that he had a pickle barrel for visitors to sit on, his 1979 Ford pickup that he drove till he passed away, and things of the like.

Later on in the evening, we headed back down town to see what I lovingly refer to as 'LIGHTED LAWN DANDRUFF!' Honestly, this is my favorite holiday sight is lighted yard decorations. It reminds me of my childhood and when Christmas was the highlight of my year. Sal doesn't quite understand my affinity for lighted lawn dandruff, but he at least humors me by driving me around to take photos.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

turbulence... lots and lots of it!

Yesterday, I flew from Boston to NW Arkansas (Fayetteville), with a layover in Detroit. Well, while sitting on the plane, I started typing out some random diatribe to post. BUT then it all changed about half way through the flight. We hit some turbulence... actually, a feeking load of turbulence. Not the nice little bouncing around... noooo... there was 50 mph winds. It was the kind where the plane drops out from below you, and your stomach goes into your throat then hits your a$$. The kind of turbulence that made the middle aged man next to me start praying.

Well, I knew we'd land just fine... I was just worried that I was going to be air sick. I get motion sickness really badly! Anything from carnival rides (I can handle the Merry-go-Round... which I love!), crappy cabbies, long car rides in stop and go traffic, and things of the like. So, I looked around for the air sick bag in all the seat pockets around me... NONE! So, I just curled up in a ball, turned the air on so it would blow in my face, clenched my eyes as tight as I could, and tried to breath slowly. The funniest part was I believe the guy next to me thought I was praying along with me. hahahaha. Yeah, praying to the Gods that I didn't barf all over myself... and my seatmates!

So, I was hoping that I could get some nice bland food (ie, crackers) during my layover. Nope. We landed in terminal A gate 3... I had to get to terminal C gate 7. HAHAHA! So, there I was... completely nauseous, running with my heavy coat and laptop bag, pushing people out of my way. When I got to they were just starting to board (no time for crackers for Tracey!) We got on the little commuter jet and then sat on the tarmac for an hour and a half. Ugh! So, when we took off, the wind was 38 mhp, significantly less than when we landed, but now we're on a little commuter jet. So, there I was, bouncing around another plane. Yup... thought I was going to toss again! And still... no barf bags!

The rest of the flight was okay. But I begged the flight attendant for crackers and gingerale... and she only had Pringles. Fine! Whatever! I just needed food.

But when it was all over... I was just thrilled that I was on the ground and off to see Sal.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

ooo... diamonds!

Well... the dogwood earrings are now gone! But, out of the ashes, a new pair of earrings are born. Diamond earrings!

I removed the diamond centers from the flowers and turned them into a new pair of earrings. Each is an 18K palladium white gold rondel with a 40 point pink-champagne and approximately 40 points of mixed champagne, chocolate and orange pave set melee diamonds with a French wire. OOOOO. You like em? You want em? They're for sale!

greenward, ho!

I have some clients / friends that own delightful eco shop in Cambridge called Greenward. And I don't usually do Sterling Silver... but for them, I will!

So, if you are looking for a piece from the new line (which isn't even on the website yet!) in Sterling Silver, go visit Scott and Simone at Greenward! And tell 'em Tracey sent ya.

Friday, November 30, 2007

not quite fine art...

When I was moving I came across all kinds of stuff I completely forgot about... crappy college decorative stuff, junk that belonged to old boyfriends, boxes of papers, ugly dishes (and I've recently put some of it on ebay... and yay, people are buying it! hehehe.) Well, in the throws of going through piles and bunches of crap, I came across this...

I know it's hard to tell... but I'm in that picture! Ugh! Before I became a jeweler, I was a Corporate Art Consultant for a company to remain nameless. But every year for the holiday card, the owner like to recreate a piece of art or copy an artist's style. Any guess who this is? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

No... not Cynthia the Plaster Caster! I'm sorry, the answer is George Segal. (If you don't know who Cynthia is... I will give you a link. BUT it is not PG13 by any means... so be aware before you open it. Here... don't blame me if you blush!)

Now... to make this card, FIRST we had to be covered in paster till it hardened. They did section by section... and the Italian artisans giggled when they covered my chest, and made a few crude comments in Italian, not knowing that I could understand them. Then they had to cut us not only out of the plaster, but out of our clothing too. So, here we are, a bunch of coworkers pretty much standing around in our knickers.

But, honestly, this wasn't the worst part. The worst part was, well, a toss up between 2 things. (1.) Having my face covered in plaster with 2 straws shoved up my nose to breath OR (2.) Having to sit with my legs crossed till the plaster hardened, leaving my legs to fall asleep and go from the prickley feeling to completely numb and cold. Lovely.

So, then we brought the life sized versions of us to a T yard to photograph them on the Green Line. E Voila... a crappy looking holiday card to send to all of the clients.

Oh... and if you can't seem to find me... I'm in the first row on seats, on the isle, with my legs crossed. Pretty!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

worth more dead than alive...

well... say goodbye to the ginormous dogwood earrings! they are worth more in the scrap pile than just sitting in the safe. the gold market is nearing an all time high, and it's much higher than when i made these earrings. it's sad to say, but i haven't seen one bit of interest in them. AND most of the time people just say 'they're beautiful, but i couldn't wear them.'

it took me about 2 weeks to finally come to the decision. but just like they teach you in art school, you have to disconnect yourself from your work... and they are just metal. so... that about says it all!

but i'll give it till friday. if ANYBODY knows somebody that would be interested in my monsters, here's where to buy them. and after friday, they will be dismantled and sent to the refiner along with all kinda of other scrap and sweeps (from old jewelry, filings, polishing materials, etc) and bring it all back to life as newly refined (aka RECYCLED) stock!

and if this occurs, the diamond centers will make lovely diamond studs :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I bet you've been wondering where I've been hiding!!! Well, here I am!!!

I finished the wedding jewelry for my client that found me through the Blog. Hehehe. I'm still amazed that people really do read this!!!

The design for her jewelry was to match her wedding outfit, which was a beautiful red-orange color with beading. If you want to see the sketches, click here.

The pieces are fabricated from Sterling Silver with Tourmaline briolette. The necklace is convertible... where the main pendant is located on the choker is also the clasp, sooooo... when she doesn't want to wear the large pendant... she can put on a simple 'S' hook.

The design and finish of this piece is a little more 'hand made' looking... which is what the client had expressed to me in our meeting. So, I made each link of the chain by hand... starting with cutting each piece of 14 guage round wire about 20mm, filing it to the shape of a tooth pick (tapered at the ends), bending it into a 'u' shape and forging the bottom of the 'u' to make it flat and wide (leaving the hammer marks on it.) From there, half of them were bent into a loop on each end, the other half of them I melted the ends of the 'u' to create a ball. Then I polished and assembled it. By doing this, each of the links are slightly a different size and shape.

I was thrilled when she tried it on and it fit perfectly at the base of her neck. I can't wait to see the wedding photos!!!

Back to work!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Okay... this is a one time event!

I had built a bunch of beady-beady jewelry for a jewelry party over a year ago... and I'm not a beady beady kind of jeweler. I still had a bunch, and it's just been sitting in a box. So, here it is, offered to you at bargain-basement prices!!!

EVERYTHING is $35 (plus ground shipping to where you are.) I'm basically selling everything for materials cost!!! It's BELOW wholesale pricing!!!

Just think... for you it's an inexpensive holiday gift... for me, it's cleaning house!

1. SOLD 15" Sterling Silver Choker with toggle SOLD
2. Sterling Silver and White Mother of Pearl Earrings

3. SOLD 17" Sterling Silver Choker with S hook SOLD
4. Sterling Silver Dangle Earrings with all kinds of stuff...
Moonstone, Peridot, Citrine, Black Pearls and Silver Beads

5. SOLD Sterling Silver Doughnut Pendant... I'll toss in a rubber cord necklace SOLD
6. SOLD Sterling Silver and Sunstone Bead Dangle Earrings SOLD

7. SOLD 15" Sunstone Choker SOLD
8. Sterling Silver, Moonstone, Garnet, Iolite Concave Dome Ring... fits size 5-6.
Ring shape is a soft square.

9. Sterling Silver and Black Mother of Pearl Earrings
10. Sterling Silver and Black Mother of Pearl DANGLE Earrings

11. SOLD Sterling Silver and Czech Glass Dangle Earrings SOLD
12. Sterling Silver and Moonstone Bead Dangle Earrings

If you are interested, just drop me an email through the website and tell me who and where you and I'll send you an invoice through PayPal.



Monday, November 19, 2007

the baby version...

Okay... by now you all know my dogwood earrings...

Well, this is the little baby version. 18K gold, no diamonds... and a hell of a lot lighter ;)

This diameter of the hoop is the same in both earrings, but much thinner in the new version. Also the flower is about 1/3rd of the size of the original. The finish is a combination of high polish and a mat corundum finish. I just wanted to make very organic to celebrate going green ;)

Keep checking back... much more to come this week!!!
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