Monday, March 31, 2008

let's catch up...

Been running around like a mad woman! But I thought I'd give you a quick catch up...


Met with a client in the morning so I could snag her engagement ring. I am going to be working on her matching wedding band this week... here's a quick sketch...

Sorry... the sketch really bites. But trust me... it will be cool when you see the finished piece.

Then I left my client and hit an informal fashion show / ladies luncheon at Brasserie Jo at the Colonnade Hotel. The fashion show was for Harper at Seams. All of the pieces were beautiful. And I have to give props to the models... they just sauntered around the entire restaurant, explaining the fabrics and style and how the pieces feel on. Very personable.

It was honestly a delightful time... we saw how the women who don't have to work live ;) The only tough part was that I'm a very tactile person, and I wanted to paw at all the clothing... but we were in the middle of lunch, so I restrained myself! Then off to a little sauntering around the Pru/Copley for a bit... followed by a quiet evening in with Sal (we get so very few of those!)


I woke up and realized it was freezing out and would be for the rest of the day, and I knew my strappy satin sandals weren't going to cut it for the wedding that night. So, I dragged Sal's butt from bed (he was very annoyed with me) and ran to the South Shore Plaza. I managed to find a pair of shoes in about 4 minutes flat... damn I'm good!

We squeezed in some more shopping, brunch, and both of us got haircuts. So, when we returned home to get ready for the wedding... the water had been shut off by the landlord! He did run back over to turn it on, and Sal and I made ourselves pretty in about 30 minutes.

The wedding was at the Swedenborg Chapel in Cambridge followed by a reception at the Fogg. I danced all night... if some photos pop up, I'll post them later.


By time Sal got up (yes, I didn't wake him up... I promised he could sleep in as late as he wanted) we had time for eggs, watch some bad tv, a quick walk... then off to the airport!

I decided to have a lazy evening... so ate a bag of chips for dinner and trolled ebay for the evening. I know, I know... sounds lame. But I was happy!


Got up at 5AM and went to the 6AM yoga. Ran to the jewelers building to do my errands (bought some stones, findings, etc.) and got back out of the city before it started pouring. Then I spent the day trying to either call clients, email clients, sketch for clients... and caught up on laundry. Yes, I know... I live the most exciting life! Hehehe.

And now I'm plotting the demise of my down stairs neighbor (yes, the one that snores) because he either has a band practicing in his apartment or they're playing that stupid rock band game. I just pounded on his door... and he still didn't hear me. I am nearing the end of my rope!

And with that... off to sleep! More to come!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

lots of sketching!

here are some sketches from current jobs i'm working on. some are new sketches and some are from pieces i worked on a while ago. but all are super fast quick sketches... just lots of ideas! let's see what they turn into!

Monday, March 24, 2008

tater cat

Back when I lived in Italy, I decided to take some cooking classes. Each week we would make something different... typical Tuscan meals. Well, one day I looked at the menu for that evening's class... and I saw Gatto di Patate. Cat of Potato? I was so confused and scared! We were cooking cat?!?!?

Well, I quickly learned the cat is 'gato' and casserole is 'gatto.' Hehehehe. But I still lovingly call it tater cat or heart attack pie. But either way, it is damn good! And I make it every year for Easter. So, I thought I would share this recipe with all of you!

Gatto di Patate *** Tater Cat

Serves 6

  • 3 lbs floury potatoes
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup provolone cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup mortadella, chopped
  • 1/3 cup salami, chopped
  • 1/4 cup proscuitto, chopped
  • 1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces (set aside 2 tbs, shaved)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ground pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • breadcrumbs (if you don't make your own, try the ones with Italian seasoning)

Peel the potatoes, cut them in large pieces and boil them in salted water till soft; drain and rice (or mash, if no ricer is available.) Mix the potatoes, cheeses, meats, butter, egg yolks and season with sal pepper and nutmeg. Butter a deep oven-proof dish and dust with breadcrumbs. Spread mixture in dish, sprinkle the top with butter shavings, breadcrumbs and a little shaved parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes… or until golden. Serve hot.

Oh... and I'm going to try to hit yoga 4-5 times this week to work this off!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

new jobs

There are a bunch of new jobs that I'm starting! Wedding bands GALORE!

Remember the swirly ring? Of course you do...

Well, we're doing the matching band! Yay! Then we're fabricating the men's band with a very similar pattern, but lightly engraved into the metal. Possibly with a matte finish? But either way, the groom-to-be wants to make sure the ring is not too feminine looking. So I will make this the most masculine swirly possible!

More bands to come! OH... and there will be some jobs finished this week!!! Loads of photos on the way!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


If you live in New England, it doesn't look much like Spring. It's gray... windy... meh. That's exactly the word for it... meh.

BUT today is supposed to be the day that you can balance a raw egg on it's end. It is claimed that because today is the Vernal Equinox (literally meaning Equal Night) that due to the sun's equidistant position between the poles of the earth on the first day of spring, special gravitational forces apply. You see, as the tilt of the earth's axis changes throughout the year, lengthening or shortening the days according to season and hemisphere, there are two times annually when day and night are equal in length. And on those days, everything balances differently (maybe that's why I did so well in yoga this morning!)

Unfortunately, there is no scientific information to back this up. It's believed that the act of balancing an egg came from Chinese culture. The egg, in many cultures, is seen as new life... it signifies rebirth, fertility... spring!

So, just for the hell of it, I thought I'd balance an egg! Celebrate spring! And show off my mad egg balancing skills. And I decided to do it on the windowsill to show the icky gray intro we are having to spring (aka, mud season) in New England.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

the Gods told me so!

Well... the Gods have decided! There will be no Green Spot Studio press kit at this time!

Basically, I was working on the press kits, but the Gods kept interrupting the completion of them! I initially wanted to have them out at the beginning of last summer. And now it's way beyond the point of being at the head of the Green movement in the press... and I would just be riding the tail end of the wave. Not where I want to be.

So, I bit the bullet and posted my 'Green Line' in the store on the website (go ahead... take a peek!) Yes... I know the line (1) deserves it's own page in the store and (2) the images have slightly different backgrounds... but I was going to leave that up to my dear friend and graphic designer Paul. But, alas, my dear friend has had his a$$ kicked by a nasty flu! Feel better, buddy! So, the website will always be a work in progress!

BUT in honor of finally posting this online... for you , my loyal blog readers, I will offer this... Semi Custom.

Semi Custom is exactly what it sounds like! You pick your favorite out of the line of jewelry, pick your metal... but then you contact me! We can take that piece and add diamonds or sapphires or semiprecious stones or estate stones... ANYTHING YOU LIKE. You make it your own!

The reason I'm not yet offering this on the website is because I need to finish my trade mark stuff... and I need to keep the word 'CUSTOM' far away from the line of jewelry. It's what has been holding up the process for the last year.

So, tell me what you think!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Tempest

On this past weekend, Sal and I, along with 2 dear friends, Terry and Hilary, went to see The Tempest at the Cambridge Multicultural Center.

I'm going to be honest, I was a bit hesitant when Terry suggested seeing something Shakespeare... because my experiences with Shakespeare have been limited and, honestly, not that great. Basically, from my introduction to these plays, my feelings were more of pain and anguish than interest.

I just remember standing in front of Ms McGuire's sophomore English class being forced to read the part of Witch #3 in Macbeth...

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

... just saying the lines with annoyance for being forced to wear a witch's hat and stir an imaginary caldron with my imaginary stick. It was not entertaining for me or anybody watching.

But I had no clue that Shakespeare could actually be enjoyable... and humorous! The production we saw was delightful! The characters so animated, the timing was wonderful... and their use of the space (the floor, the stage, the balcony above, etc.) was beautifully choreographed! So, I highly recommend!

Then we retired to our home for a nice dinner and delicious conversation. Just very comfortable. A quiet dinner and good friends... what else could you ask for?

Well... It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown is on. Ahhh.. I love this stuff. The old Charlie Brown holiday shows... the new ones are just wrong. I relate to Snoopy... completely self absorbed in his imaginary world (does that make Sal my Woodstock?) But it is ironic, because my copy of Schulz and Peanuts; A Biography just came in today. I'm only on page 20 or so (started reading it on the train) and I'm already hooked. Maybe I'll give you a book report when I'm done!

Monday, March 17, 2008

lots o lots of diamonds!

Well... the pictures pretty much said it all!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

final tiara design...

Okay! I have finalized the tiara design!

Here is the final sketch...

Then I decided to do a final image in gouache on vellum... which is a fairly traditional way to render jewelry. But because this is so thin and pretty much all gray and white in color, I outlined it in an India Ink pen.

There will be a band across the bottom (the headband) but I did not include it in the illustration.

This piece is designed to be fabricated in Sterling Silver with approximately one carat of Diamond Melee, twenty-two 3.5-4mm round off-white pearls, one pearl drop and one marquis cut white sapphire (or another white semi-precious stone.)

Now, I am not just building this for the client... but also for myself. This will be a great portfolio piece. Let's be serious... how often does somebody want a custom tiara? So, this will probably be the only one I ever make. AND if it comes out as good as I think it will, I may actually borrow it back to enter in a jewelry competition.

For that reason, I'm making this at cost. I'm giving my time (labor) and only charging labor for the stone setting (I probably will leave that up to a master setter because I would like it bead set.)

But even though this is at cost... it's looking like it will cost upwards of a couple thousand dollars. If we leave all the diamonds out, we can drop it by around 1k.

And this is an issue I have been running into... I cannot control the cost of materials. I have said it time and time again... precious metal is at an all time high, and there is no relief in sight. I try my hardest to come up with the lowest prices possible (making the metal thinner, the overall size smaller, offering materials at wholesale pricing plus my labor, etc) but I can only do so much.

I'll keep you posted on the final decisions with this piece.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

swirl... part 2

Okay... here's the elaborated swirl...

The swirl would be in platinum. 4 of the diamonds (from the client's grandmother's nose ring) will be kept in their original 18K yellow gold setting and laser welded into the platinum swirls. The rest of the diamonds will be set directly into the swirls. OH... and just remember, this will be the size of a quarter, so there will be much less open (negative) space than in the sketch... I just wanted to make the pattern clear and understandable.

I'll keep you posted on the final design!


The client loves the design. BUT she had a wonderful idea that I didn't even think of! Basically, the plan for this was to have a slight dome and there would be some loops on the back for the chain to slip through to be a slide pendant. Well, the client asked if I could also make a basic pin... so that it can also double as a broach! What a wonderful idea! I am always so delighted to make a multi purpose piece!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

swirl pendants

Okay... so the 'stained glass window' pendant didn't fly (but maybe I'll keep working on the design and fabricate it down the road!) So, back to the drawing boards!

My client was attracted to the swirls of the engagement ring...

... so I've been working on different swirl patterns for a pendant. The swirls can hold diamonds (from her grandmothers nose ring and a pair of her earrings.) The final pendant will be around the size of a quarter.

The fun thing is in this sketchy state, you can rotate or flip the swirls to orientate it whichever way works best!

I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Last Chance Blog Sale...

Okay... seriously! I can't believe more people haven't inquired about more of the pieces! Gold is nearing $1000.00/oz and platinum is nearly $2300.00/oz.

I really want to avoid scrapping these pieces because of the amount of work/time put into each pieces.

So... last week! Check the pieces (scroll down a bit) and contact me if you have any questions.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

3 stone diamond ring...

A client wanted a traditional 3 stone diamond ring. The main diamond is from her engagement ring (VS1 E colored, 1.01 carat.) I found 2 matching diamonds for the sides (approx 40 point VS2 E colored diamonds.)

This is more traditional than I usually do... but there's a reason why they are called classics.

palladium wedding bands...

Just a quick update!

I finished a few palladium wedding bands and I thought I would share. No, it's not 3 people marrying, I just happened to have 3 at once. There's a wide men's band with 2 engraved lines, a men's band (fairly standard width) with a slight peak to the low dome and a woman's low dome band.

Honestly, I just liked the photo... and I wanted to share. Thanks for the camera, Sal!!!

Monday, March 03, 2008


Sal and I decided that we needed to get away for a weekend... somewhere quiet. Seeing he's lived in MA for approximately 8 years on and off and never crossed the bridge to the Cape, I thought we would start in Provincetown and work our way back.

We stayed at a beautiful B&B / SPA called the Crowne Pointe Inn... and took advantage of all of the spa like amenities (in room jacuzzi, then a sauna, steam room, mineral bath in the spa... ahhhhhhhh.) We just walked around, ate piles and bunches of good food... and were lazy.

But our second day we went in search of seals sunning themselves on the beach. We never found any, but we ended up at Race Point Beach, which is at the tip of the Cape... and found near hurricane force winds! hehehe. Okay, so quite bad, but it was flipping windy and cold!

Overall, a nice relaxing weekend.
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