Wednesday, January 30, 2008

heading out of town...

Hey All...

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a few days, just trying to get a bunch of waxes carved to send in for casting next week. Gold and platinum prices are through the roof and still rising (gold closed at $919 and platinum at $1690 today... whoa!) And I always give my clients a price at the beginning of the job and I stick to that price... even if it means that I loose money. So, I'm attempting to minimize my losses and get my work done as quickly as possible.

Anyhoo... I'm heading to NYC for a few days! I'll give you all a full update on my little adventure when I return!

Have a great weekend, and check back Sunday or Monday!

Monday, January 28, 2008

worst death scene... ever!

So, on our typical New England winter Sunday, Sal and I decided to spend it in our pajamas watching movies and getting a little work done here and there. As we flipped channels, we came across The Godfather II... a good Sunday movie!

There are so many good lines that come out of the Godfather series...

'Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.'
'In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns.'
'I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse.'
'Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in.'

... and they go on and on and on!

But as that ended, we saw that Godfather III was coming on. I went to change the channel, Sal asked why. I told him it is horrible... with all the sub-par over acting, the painful death scenes and that odd 80's type clothing, etc. I did defend it with the idea that if Winona Ryder got to play the Part of Mary Corleone, who was cast to play that part but got sick and Sofia Coppola had to step in and destroy the entire movie, maybe it wouldn't have sucked so much.

But, we decided that we should watch it... just for poops and giggles. Over an hour into the movie, Sal agreed that it did suck and he wanted to change it... NO! If you make me suffer through such a crappy ass movie, we're going to finish it! And he agreed.

Well, we went off and half paid attention... but 15 minutes till the end of the movie I grabbed him and made him sit on the couch to watch the horrible completion to such a brilliant movie series (sans part III.)

We sat dumbfounded, watching the overacting. Until the death scene of Sophia Coppola... which is so painful, we couldn't help but to burst into laughter!!! The scene when she drops to her knees and squeaks out 'dad' then falls over, and Al Pacino shakes her like a limp Muppet... well, it brought tears to my eyes and convulsions to my body... as I laughed.

At least now-a-days she learned to wax those fuzzy caterpillars for eyebrows. Hehehe.

But it was the most delightful way to spend a Sunday!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

one more fishie...

It's somewhat of a melding of fishie 1 and fishie 2... still plugging along!


A breath of fresh air... my first piece of the year that is not wedding related! It's not that I don't enjoy the wedding jobs, but I enjoy spreading my creative wings every now and again.

So, I'm playing around with designs for a modern fishie pendant. It will be in platinum with diamonds. Once we figure out the basic shape of the fishie... then I can work on the proportions, etc.

They're adorable, aren't they! Yay, fishies!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

wedding bands

One of my new projects are wedding bands to fit around an engagement ring. I did not make the engagement ring, it was purchased last fall at a retail store.

Because of the complexity of the bands (teenie tiny prongs, a scroll pattern relief on the sides, the fit, etc) I decided to have a CAD (Computer Aided Design) made of them instead of fabricating them by hand.

The client does not want to give up her ring quite yet, so I took tons of measurements.

Then the client had a trivet that she loved the pattern on...

and wanted a modified version of it...

And when viewed from the top, it will follow the exterior shape of the engagement ring.

I will keep you posted when I have the CAD files to show!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

our house guest...

Sal and I had a house guest this past week... a little wiener dog named Rufus.

All I can say is thank the gods that he is pretty, because he is a little monster. Can't tell from that innocent look, huh? He's a devil in sheep's clothing! I kept threatening that I would sell him to the gypsies!

Okay, so he wasn't a monster... but it took us a few days to get used to each other. I just expected that because he is the same breed as my boys that I would totally understand him. But he just reminded me that every creature has their own personality.

But he did bite Sal in the ass at 2AM.

new dogwood...

So, still working on getting the new line up on the website. But here is my new dogwood earrings... on the black background (I've shot it on light gray, dark gray and now black.) I still need to play with the color... but I really just want to share!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

wedding jewelry

Last year I had made this engagement ring...

So, I met with this client and her mother recently to discuss matching wedding jewelry. They have a few different family diamond rings that they want to use...

... a grandmothers ring, with approx. 95point (just under a carat) I1 diamond with 6 little single cuts (an old cut that is no longer done.)

... the wedding bands (this is called a jacket, because it fits around the engagement ring) that match the engagement ring (a few stones missing) with SI2 diamonds.

... And another grandmothers band that has SI1/2 diamonds.

We want to match the style of the engagement ring... AND they want to use all the diamonds. This is my solution...

A 16" chain with a pendant matching the setting on the engagement ring... we would bezel set the large diamond in the center surrounding it with the diamonds from the wedding band (the jacket.) Then 1" from either side of the pendant will be a bezel set diamond from the wedding band... then another bezel set diamond around 1.5 inches up the chain.

You following my thoughts?

THEN we'll do a matching pair of earrings. A simple rondel with a bezel set diamond from the wedding band (we'll need to buy 1 to match) and we will flush set the little single cut diamonds around the rondel.

I'll keep you posted on what we come up with for the wedding bands!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Have you ever had a sleepless night... maybe lasted a week or so. Try 4 months. And it just isn't getting better... actually, it's been getting worse.

I'm so annoyed by all of this. I go to bed around 11-11:30PM +/-, then I wake up around 3AM. And lay there. Sometimes till morning. I'm exhausted.

Basically, I've going through periods of insomnia in the past, but it would always correct itself. This time it's not... especially since I got sick for the holidays. So, I finally brought it up to my Dr. I explained that I've always been an anxious person... so that's nothing... but I'm under a big pile of stress at the moment with us entering a recession and keeping my teenie tiny jewelry business from going under.

The first thing she wanted to do was put me on meds. I didn't want to try them... they are addictive and just mask the problem. I have been doing a great deal of reading on practicing good 'sleep hygiene.'

No caffeine, no naps (no matter how exhausted), waking up at the same time every day (no matter how exhausted or how little sleep I get), the bed is only for sleeping and sex, no tv an hour before bed, no computer an hour before bed, no physical activities 4 hours before bed, no alcohol, blah blah blah blah blah. It's not working.

So, I broke down and tried the sleeping pill... Ambien. My Dr. explained it as something to break my bad sleeping cycle... just try it for 2 or 3 nights. Just 5mg. I think it's the smallest dose possible. It worked the first night, but then on the 2nd night I feel asleep for a bit... then was wide awake for hours! I tried it for a 3rd night... and I woke up again. So with that, I decided I'm done with it.

I'm trying to exercise more in hope that it clears my head. I'll keep you posted!

OH! And there will finally be some sketches for new jewelry ASAP... MAYBE TONIGHT! So, keep checking back. Back to work!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

my angry squirrel...

I have an angry squirrel... he lives in the tree in the back of the house.

Now, you may wonder what makes him such an angry squirrel... well, I'll tell you. I had seen him around... he stole a pumpkin off my deck (it was just a little one... but it was amazing to see him run with it sticking out of his mouth!)... or sunning himself on the railing. But one day I pulled into the drive way... and I heard this horrible screeching noise.

I kept looking around to see if there was a cat in heat or something... but what I found was my angry squirrel. He was sitting on the corner of my deck... all 3 flights up... glaring at me... screaming! I don't know why! I didn't know that squirrels made that much noise!

A couple days later, I saw that he shredded our trash bags to get at some nut shells, so I guessed he may be hungry. Well, if I would burn some toast, I'd leave it out on the deck for him (again... it's so funny to see him running with something huge sticking out of his mouth!) or some stale bread, etc. Just thought I was being kind.

Well, I guess not! Because yesterday I was shooting my new line of jewelry in my new photo box (I'll tell you about the new photo box later) on the picnic table out on the back deck... and I heard the screeching again. He was sitting in the tree, glaring at me!

Evil Squirrel!

Saturday, January 05, 2008


I understand money is tight for everybody right now... we are on the verge of an economic slow down. Possibly a recession. Who knows. But why do people want to cheap out on engagement rings? I'm not saying somebody has to spend ten thousand dollars on a ring (I have made them for lots less)... but if the wedding cake costs over $600 and the dress $2k, what is so wrong with spending a few extra bucks on a custom made ring that will last generations? That is my question I pose to you!

I was approached by a potential client who had a $600 budget for an engagement ring... I usually don't take on engagement rings under 1k, but in these times of retail slowdown, beggars cannot be choosers. So, I have spent hours researching trying to find a way to make this work for them.

I came up with a plan... a stock 14K setting (not custom) but with a 4.5mm Square center Moissanite with 3.5 square lab created rubies flaking it. It came to $650. I thought that was pretty damn good! But they found a used setting with drill bit quality diamonds in it for $300. That is fine. I have NO issues with that! As long as each client finds what they are looking for in this world, I can only be happy for them.

BUT (and there always is a but) they wanted to know if I could replace the diamonds with lab rubies and Moissanite and BUY the diamonds off of them. NO! NO NO NO!

I know I sound like a child having a tantrum... but I will tell you why I am saying no.

1. I don't use low quality diamonds... so I would never buy them.
2. I have no clue what this quality this setting is... and to set new stones in there could possibly mean that I will have repair or replace prongs. AND if they have been repaired before... there will be random solder joints in there... so I would be adding in more solder joints. AND the whole things will need to be repolished. AND most likely, it will need to be rhodium plated.
3. They would probably be annoyed because in the end, it would most likely cost over $500 to buy the stones, set them, do any repairs or replacements, AND refinishing!

SO... this is the moral to the story...

Shop around! Get lots of prices for lots of different people! BUT in the end, get some information before you make a quick decision to save money. Because sometimes when you try to save a dollar, it may cost you a great deal more to turn it into what you were originally looking for.

Well... on a lighter note... I have 2 client meetings this coming week... so hopefully there will be sketches posted soon!!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

January Sale!

I have an exciting New Years promotion for you! In the month of January, all custom jewelry orders over $1,500 will receive 10% off the final invoice before taxes.

You need to do the following in the month of January in order to qualify for the discount:

- You need to pick a final design and pick your materials.
- We need to sign a custom work contract and agree on a completion date.
- You need to provide a deposit* for your custom jewelry.

I'm looking forward to working with you to design a beautiful and unique piece. And feel free to pass this off to your family and friends.

*The deposit amount varies depending on the type of custom jewelry ordered. A 50% materials deposit is required on all custom jobs. Diamond and/or
engagement jewelry may require a larger deposit if the cost of the main stone exceeds 50% of the total cost before taxes. Of course, the deposit is required at the signing of the contract.
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