Wednesday, October 31, 2007

quick scan...

Sometimes I do work for a jeweler from my home town. This time I had some coins from 320 BC... one silver, one bronze. The were actually quite amazing looking. I just had to build some bezels around them. The larger one I polished a little more... but the smaller one was sooo badly shaped, that I left it really rough looking (like it was made hundreds of years ago!)

I'll take some photos of them tomorrow, but I had to toss something on the scanner... so I tossed those on there too. They are absolutely horrible looking (the bezel is supposed to be 18KY... but just didn't read that way with the scan.)

I'll show you the final product tomorrow!

Monday, October 29, 2007

wow... people really read my blog!

I was shocked when I found out that people actually read my blog... other than friends and family that I pretty much have to pay to do so :) But I got an email from an absolutely lovely woman in need of wedding jewelry... and she found me through my blog! Insanity, I know!

So, we met up today and discussed the designs. We going to use sterling silver and some beautiful warm colored tourmaline briolette beads.

Basically, we focused on a pattern from her wedding dress... played with it a bit and came up with this design for the chandelier earring...

... and this for the necklace. A choker with a handmade chain... but the large pendent will be removable. For this to work, I will have to make that the clasp. I'm still trying to work out the bugs on that one... I'll keep you posted on what I come up with!

The chain will be forged sections of silver wire, in modified 'C' shaped linked... creating an undulating wave pattern. This will help the necklace have some flexibility while remaining stiff (unlike a neckwire.)

And here are the beautifully warm tourmaline briolette. The didn't scan really well, but they just remind me of the amazing colors of the fall leaves!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

going in for a tune-up

I'll be heading up to Maine this weekend to do fall-like Maine things (I believe a Corn Maze will be involved... maybe some maple syrup eating too!!!) And what a perfect time to drop off my MacBook Pro at the Apple Store for a tune-up!

Ever since I have had my beautiful, wide screened, titanium box (around a year), the power button seemed to be slightly crooked... well, it's now falling into my laptop. And it seems to get oddly warm sometimes. AND it's been making some odd humming noise every once in a while. SOOO... It's time to back her up and hand her off. Hey, I paid for the 3 year extended warranty and I'm going to get every penny out of it!!!

But what does freak me out is who is going to go through all of my stuff. Are they bonded? Have they had a CORI check? Are these dorks going to scour my computer for information to use against me??? Okay, so my life is this dull that I worry about these things! I only wish I had such exciting information on my computer! hehehe

SO... no cranky emails when you see there are no new postings over the weekend. But I expect you all to be back by Monday night!!!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

another teaser...

Okay, okay! Seeing I haven't updated the blog in a couple of days, I'll share another piece for the line.

The Lily Pad Pendant! 18K Palladium White Gold, mat finish with a high polished edge. Very Simple, Very Clean. 3 More to come!

Wouldn't that edge look nice with pave diamonds??? hehehe

Monday, October 22, 2007

Going Postal

Between my mac mail freaking out (Sal can explain it), changing hosting providers, changing home addresses... nobody can get in touch with me! Don't get me wrong, it can be nice sometimes... but we're coming on the holiday season and people need to find me.

So a client sent me a payment... it was right before his wedding, so I wasn't really in a hurry for it and it didn't phase me when I hadn't received it. But just the other day this showed up...

It was about 1/3 of an envelope. No stamp, barely any return address, and my zip code missing. I don't know what kind of machinery ate this, but apparently it only liked to nibble on the edges.

It showed up at my door in a clear plastic baggy with this printed on it...

But the most amazing part is the check was still in there! Folded in half, right in the center, with no signs of damage! Crazy.

So, the moral of the story is if you are sending me a check you should fold it in half and put it in the middle of the envelope! hehehe

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

a sneak peek...

Okay... the new line of jewelry won't be on the website for a few more days... but seeing you all are so devoted, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek!

These are my lily earrings. 18K Red Gold, high polish exterior and a mat interior, and very simple, and made for the more daring earring wearer... because it has to be inserted from the back of the ear.

And don't laugh... but here ya go... here I am, wearing my earrings! You gotta see how they hang! Oh... and this photo won't be on the website next week. Hehehehe.

Now... I love these earrings because I modeled them after the flowers Sal bought me on our 3rd date. When he gave them to me, he said 'Here, I probably won't get a chance to buy you flowers again.' And so far, he's stuck to that promise... those are the only flowers he's ever bought me. Hehehe. I can forgive him, though, seeing he built my website AND moved across the country for me ;) He's a good egg that I'll hold onto.

BUT I do have lots of empty vases in the apartment!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


The time has come! I am proud to announce that version 2.0 of Green Spot Studio website is up! Basically, my adorably handsome and talented cohort Sal spent loads of time building the site (in between moving and his consulting job in Arkansas) along with my beautiful graphics from my delightfully talented buddy Paul O'Hearn. I thank them... and owe both of them piles and bunches!

Green Spot Studio has gone GREEN! We are now using recycled metals and fair trade gemstones... but still making the highest quality possible jewelry possible. As a client said, most eco-friendly jewelry is trash glued to trash... so I dare to challenge that stereotype!

AND on our new web version offers an online store! Currently, there are only a few one of a kind pieces on there... but over the next couple of weeks version 2.1 will be running with a whole new line of jewelry. I'll keep you posted every time something new is added! OH! And currently the site works with Modzilla Firefox... some tweaks need to be made with Internet Explorer and Safari for it to be working 100%... but soon enough all the bugs will be worked out.

So, please visit Green Spot Studio and take a peek around... and maybe, just maybe buy something ;) And tell you friends!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

mmm... beefy!

When Sal and I were together in Belgium, he had gotten Flemish Beef Stew... and it was sooo good! It's thick and dark and sweet... and served with fries. It's basically a heart attack special ;)

Well, last week Sal opened a bottle of Duchesse de Bourgone, which is a 'traditional top fermented reddish-brown ale from the West Flanders region of Belgium. This refined ale also know as 'The Bugundies of Belgium' is a blend of 8 and 18 months old ales following careful maturation in oak casks. 100% natural and unpasteurized.' It was so dense and sweet... but very good. The only problem is that he didn't finish it and had to leave for work for the week. So this meant I had leftover beer for cooking!

And what would I make with left over beer... but Flemish Beef Stew, of course! And it came out pretty damn close to what we had in Belgium. As a general rule, I don't usually cook much meat... and it's not that I have a problem with eating meat, I just like veggies (and sugar... hehehe.) But this was so good, I thought I would share the recipe. I would recommend this for any cold winter day. OH, and make it a couple of days ahead if you can, it helps let all the flavors meld together.

Flemish Beef Stew Cooked in Beer
(Vlaamse Stovery
or Les Carbonades Flamandes)

4 pounds boneless stew meat,
such as chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 large onions (about 2 pounds), thinly sliced
2 bottles (12 ounces each) Belgian beer (Look for a rich, dark, and slightly bitter beer, such as Rodenbach or a dark Abbey beer.)
2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoons red currant jelly (or dark brown sugar)
1 tablespoon cider or red wine vinegar

1. Season the beef cubes with the salt and pepper and dredge with the flour. Shake off any excess.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the beef cubes and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Work in batches so as not to crowd the beef cubes, or they will steam instead of sauté. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, if necessary. Transfer the beef cubes to a heavy Dutch oven.

3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the onions and cook stirring occasionally, until browned, about 15 minutes. If necessary, raise the heat toward the end of the cooking time. It is important to brown the meat and the onions evenly to give the stew its deep brown color. The trick is to stir the onions just enough to avoid burning the but not so often as to interrupt the browning process. Combine the onions with the meat in the Dutch oven.

4. Deglaze the skillet with the beer, scraping with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits, and bring to a boil. Pour the beer over the meant. Add the thyme and bay leaves.

5. Simmer, covered, over low heat until the meat is very tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Before serving, stir in the red currant jelly and vinegar; simmer for 5 minutes. This sweet-and-sour combination will give this hearty stew its sprigs and bay leaves. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.

OH! And one last thing... serve it with fries. I used this recipe tonight for them, and it worked out well.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Okay... so about 2 weeks ago I walked into a jewelery shop on the South Shore. I used to work for this jeweler when I was in school... every Saturday from 10-6 and got paid $25 plus lunch (hahaha... yeah, you really rake in the dough in this industry!)

Anyhoo... when I stopped in the shop to say hello (and to pick up the occasional custom job from him) he got a phone call. It was a client and she wanted to know how her piece was coming along... he answered 'it's being worked on as we speak.' When he hung up, he handed me the envelope and said 'Here, fix this.'

It was HORRIBLE! A 14K Yellow gold cross... with 5 diamonds on it... 5 REALLY BIG DIAMONDS. Seriously, if you put a little pave between the stones, P Diddy would be sporting it. But the stones were set really high in prongs and the cross was really stark and sharp... and the client cried when she saw it! From what I understand, her husband had passed away and she wanted to make a cross out of their wedding bands and set all of the diamonds he had given her. A very sweet idea, if it could have been constructed properly.

So, I dismantled it, carved a new wax to the specified size for the cross, cast it using the metal from her last cross, bezel set the stones (to make them lower and less blingie), and gave it a satin finish (a high polished finish just did not look right.)

It's still not my first choice for a design... but I didn't really have a huge choice in this one. I just like to think that I took something insanely hideous (I wish I had taken pictures of it!) and made it somewhat hip and bohemian.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Whirlwind trip to NYC!

This past weekend Sal and I had a whirlwind trip in and out of NYC for the wedding of dear friends (and clients.) We left early Sunday morning (go grayhound, hehehe), got into Port Authority and walked over to Sal's brother's new apartment to have lunch with the family (mmm... real NY style pizza!) Then we made our way to the Hilton in midtown, got changed and off to the wedding!

It was on the cruise ship Romantica... and what perfect weather we had!!! The ceremony was up top of the ship and was delightful...

What a lovely couple!

Then we had a nice meal with an amazing band (an all girls jazz band... they were wonderful!) But a something stood out at the wedding... the diversity in guests. The guests ranged from the Swami and many other people from the Yoga Institute of NYC to very powerful political figures. We loved it!

Then, near the end of the evening, Sal and I just happened to walk out on the back of the boat to see this...

We were as close as you can get to the Statue of Liberty by boat (we actually just barely squeezed by the 'restricted' buoy in the water. It was absolutely breathtaking at night.

The whole trip was wonderful... imagine being at a wedding and having views like this...

The next day we met up with a large group from the wedding for brunch. Again, a wonderful mix of people. We sat with a jazz singer, a bureaucrat, and a technical writer... all lovely women. (And I got my lox and bagel, so I was in heaven!)

And to finish off the day, Sal and I took about a 2 mile walk along the park back to the hotel. It was sooo lovely! But to top it off... we saw the couple from Little People Big World going into an antique shop and as we were in a cab, we stopped next to the butt of the Naked Cowboy. Hehehe.. what a way to finish off the weekend!

Okay... I must get back to work! More to come soon!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Deck

Okay... so, I have been HORRIBLE about posting entries. I'll admit it.

Well, I have just been swamped with (1) the move (2) switching hosting providers, so I haven't had internet connection (3) fighting with Sal to see who's dishes stay and who's go. Fine... Sal and I haven't been fighting, but he gives me the look every time I open another box and he sees more kitchen stuff... hehehe.

Well, we're still unpacking and I can't show you any photos from inside quite yet. So for now I'll leave you with an image from my deck.

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