Fall, Winter annnndddd here come the holidays!!

Hey there ho there! Happy October!

I’ve been super busy with custom “I am enough” rings as well as the Salem Saturday Market. Somewhere in there, I threw out my back. And, somewhere else, I got to see my awesome grandson, daughter and son-in-law.

Now that my back is better and my family is back home…it’s time to focus on the last few weeks of the Salem Saturday Market and upcoming Christmas gifts!!

If you sell on Etsy, there’s a slowdown that drives us crazy the first few years it happens. People don’t generally buy much in the summer or after the holidays. They’re traveling in May-Sept or for whatever reason, just don’t seem to buy. My views on Etsy (there’s a behind the scenes panel that Etsy sellers see, called “Stats” and I can see my “views” are still up but, no sales. That’s okay because …it’s okay. And, after the holidays, people are just “done done done” shopping and not in the mood to shop anymore. After all, Christmas is over!

Fall here in Oregon is amazing. It happens FAST though. I’m snapping up scarves for my neck. Having super short hair makes my neck cold and I love scarves! Totally warm merino wool and cashmere, yummy! I love fall. I love winter.

With that being said, people have been asking me about “finishes, antiqued look vs naked shiny look” and stones.

So, go get your coffee, hit the loo, let the dog out… heck, make some popcorn ..I’ll wait.

Done? M’kay, let’s get started.

First off, when you’re ordering  a custom ring I have a TON of questions.


“What kind of ring style?”

How wide

What metal choice?

Do you want stamping? If so, where? On the inside of the ring? Outside of the ring? On the spinner or the ring next to your finger? (if you’re ordering a spinner ring that is!)

And which alphabet font or design font? (design fonts are tiny hearts, butterflies, stars, flowers… almost anything) I have over a dozen letter fonts now and I’m loving the variety!

Then the tough part that seems to confuse people.

The finish…and the color.

The finish comes down to two choices… “Shiny like a mirror” or “matte” where it’s….not shiny but still cool looking.

If you google “shiny vs matte” jewelry, you can come up with waaay more photos than I have here.

The color refers to “Antiqued” or “naked”

Do you want it colored/darker or do you want me to not do anything to it, and leave it naked? Nah, I’m not a pervy sort of person but when I think about NOT putting something on the metal, I hate the word “plain” because it denotes “ugly, simple and …plain” and that’s not the wording I want for my jewelry. No.

Here’s shiny vs matte marrymenewmainpic

Shiny “marry me” ring.

Matte guitar pick…  IMG_1240

See the difference? One is like a mirror, very reflective and the other has, well, it’s not reflective.

Now, I’ll show you the “naked” and “antiqued. These are easier to see


On the left is “antiqued” or “oxidized” and this really shows off all the highlights and crevices really well. It’s wonderful for any textures and is especially cool when there’s mixed metals. It adds weight and dimension as well. It gives it a classic, earthy vibe.

On the right is, shiny and naked. You can see reflections in the sterling silver and it’s really nice as well.

So there you have it.

Now, onto the stones. 🙂

Are you needing a bathroom break, because um…there are lots of pics coming up and I want you to be comfortable.

Oh, give the dog a bone, because…we’re dog lovers here, right? 😉


All of my cabochons come from Gem Resources or Rio Grande or Otto Frei or my fellow Etsy sellers or Fire Mountain gems or …gosh…I can’t think of who else. But those are my “go-to’s”

For the purpose of this post, however… I’m going to refer to my 2mm and 3mm cabochons.

A cabochon (or “cab”) is a domed ANYTHING. It can be natural stone, a gemstone, resin with a bug in it, etc etc etc. It just has to have a flat back so it sits inside a bezel cup.

A bezel cup is the tiny “cup” that holds the cab. Like this, see? These are “serrated” bezel cups. I get these at RioGrande dot com. <shout out to their fabulous customer service!!!>

If you can solder on a bezel cup somewhere, then you can set a cabochon in the bezel cup!

IMG_1894(example of shiny and naked stacker ring)

Now the stones. All of these are either 2mm or 3 mm. They’re cute aren’t they?


From left to right on black background there’s Carnelian, Orange CZ, Sunstone, white moonstone, peach moonstone, citrine,  light opal, lab created pink opal.

Row 2, labradorite, pearl, blue sky turquoise, ant hill garnet, ruby, pink cz, pink sapphire, red spinel, amethyst. I’m going off the labels in my containers. Like a dummy, I just grouped the colors together when I received the orders into the containers. So, that being said, the pink color group *might* be mixed, just sayin.

Row 3, Iolite (pronounced “Eye-O-light” …the first letter is an “I” ..not an “L” (aren’t you glad I’m OCD with this stuff?) light blue swiss topaz, pink sapphire, dark blue zircon (again I just lumped all the gemstones from the package into my organizer so the names might be wonky) green peridot (it’s green, trust me), yellow cz, clear cz, onyx.

Row 4, these are the 2mm… amethyst, orissa garnet, cz, pink topaz and blue topaz.


I may or may not have these in the proper order. That’s what happens when you photograph on one day and then a few days later, blog about it.


Instead of labeling and keeping each batch of cabochons in tiny hard to open plastic baggies that are impossible to organize, I found these and this works for me. I have no idea where the little towers are actually from, I got these at a fellow Etsy sellers yard sale. As soon as I saw this, it instantly made sense for my collection of cabs. I’m extremely visual and have “bright shiny things” so this is perfect and I really feel lucky to have found it! Thank you Heidi M!


I was putzing around in the studio a few days ago and got burned out on making stackers so I made up a few swirly adjustable rings with some thicker gauge sterling silver. The ring on the left is sunstone and the ring on the right is peach moonstone. Perfect for halloweenie, don’tcha think? (this is shiny/naked metal by the way!)

I’ll put the individual photos of each stone next.

You might want to refill that coffee 😉

IMG_1892 IMG_1890

Amethyst and Red ant hill garnet

IMG_1888 IMG_1886

Pink Cubic Zirconia and pink topaz

IMG_1884 IMG_1882

Blue topaz/sapphire? and… I’ll have to get back to you on that pink stone. See kids? Learn from me, organize your stones as you get them in!!

IMG_1880 IMG_1878

Moonstone  and blue topaz or aquamarine (well this is embarrassing)

IMG_1876 IMG_1874

Pearl and sunstone

IMG_1872 IMG_1870

Dark citrine and IOLITE

IMG_1868 IMG_1866

Blue sky turquoise and blue sapphire

IMG_1864 IMG_1862

Labradorite and ruby

IMG_1860 IMG_1858

Pink is possibly pink ziconia (okay okay, lesson learned!) and Peridot

IMG_1856 IMG_1854

Carnelian and

IMG_1852 IMG_1850

Peach moonstone and light citrine

IMG_1846 IMG_1844

Opal and lab created pink opal.

IMG_1842 IMG_1840

Amethyst and purple cz

IMG_1836 IMG_1834

Onyx and Black star diopside


clear cz or quartz

I inherited this huge pile of baby photos that have a big question mark on the back of them. My mom, dad, aunties and uncles all contributed to the baby photo “mystery” pile…for this list of stones though, I have nobody to blame but myself.

It doesn’t help that they shipped all the CZ, spinels, topaz and sapphire in one tiny envelope. It didn’t help that I didn’t think to organize all these gemstones better the day I opened the packages… so, forgive the human-ness 🙂

I believe when you know better, you do better. I also believe in doing your best, and like Don Miguel Ruiz points out, “our best changes from day to day” and honestly, today I don’t feel like making it perfect.

I hope this makes it easier for you to pick out the “naked or oxidized” color and the finishes “matte or shiny” easier. I know it’s overwhelming to order one of my rings but it’s so worth it in the end, right? 🙂


Matte and naked, tiny 3 mm garnet in a fine silver bezel cup.

VP Boyle

another example of matte and oxidized/antiqued


Shiny and naked wiiiiidddeee band cow spots spinner ring with naked/shiny sterling spinner rings.




What a sterling silver ring looks like with antiquing on the outside and a matte finish on the inside. I take a fine polishing cloth and hand rub the antiquing solution until I get that luscious brushed/matte finish. This is matte and super antiqued sterling silver.


This is copper, heavily antiqued and just the words “I love you” rubbed naked. It gives a great contrast of colors, don’t you think?

So, the look is all up to you. My jewelry is highly flexible and custom/personalized are the words of the day when it comes to a custom order.

By the way, when you antique a ring, the color won’t stay forever. Over time, just like a bright red shirt, time and washing will fade the colors. It will still look cool but it won’t be exactly what you got the day you got your jewelry.

Oh yeah, when I antique using stuff called “Liver of sulpher” I can get rainbow effects!


Happy accidents, everywhere! 😀

IMG_7444 - Copy

Here’s a better view!

Okay, that’s it for now. I’m not going to promise to keep up on my blog posts. I’m a Gemini with bright shiny things who isn’t disciplined so …there ya go.

It’s hard to come up with blog post ideas, I make jewelry so I’d like to share that process, then there’s ordering my jewelry and I’d like to make that process easier for you to understand, then there’s being a farmers/art show vendor and all the fun that goes with THAT! Then there’s …gosh…all the other yummy stuff life has to offer.

So, if there’s something that you would like me to post about, put it in the comments. I’ll do my best 🙂

I’m heading into the studio to replenish my stock for the Saturday Salem Market and get ready to stock up for some Christmas shows. I’ll be at the Charbonneau Art Festival on October 11, I’ll try to post pics of that when I get a chance. I’m waitlisted for the Salem Holiday market and I’ll be in the Dallas (Oregon) school district annual holiday bazaar in December. Other holiday shows I’m still thinking about.

One last thought…

buy local handmade

No, I’m not talking about buying any of my stuff…just go load up some kids and your mom and head out to your local holiday craft and art shows. People have been working hard all year long to make something …some of it’s pretty awesome and one of a kind. I wish I could photograph and show you all the fantastic art and aprons and giftie ideas for yourself or others from the Salem Saturday Market. I don’t get a chance to just walk around and check out the other vendors but what I DO see… I sometimes buy it, because it’s cool and I know I’m supporting a local artist.

Enjoy the fall, it’s going to be a beautiful one!!



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