Join the Facebook Fan Page

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Today is Small Business Saturday, use the coupon code "SMBUSINESSsaturday" in my store to receive free shipping in the US. If you are an international customer, I'm happy to offer free first class shipping which is NOT guaranteed in time for Christmas. Just indicate in the notes to seller box during checkout and I will refund your shipping!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy, Happiest Holidays

I'm writing this Thanksgiving morning--the oven is preheating for the pies, the three kids are all home from college, and I'm looking forward to an easy day of chatter, laughter and AMAZING food.
During the busy shopping and gifting days ahead I amp up the effort to get your purchases out the door within one or two days and even the same day when possible. I know how critical it is to have items on the list checked off and whether it's a gift or the perfect pair of earrings for an important holiday party, I aim to do my part to get you your purchase promptly. I truly appreciate it when you've chosen my handiwork as a special gift for yourself or someone else.

If you have specific questions about delivery times, please email wendy [at] and I'll let you know how soon you can expect to receive a particular item.
Express shipping is now available in my etsy shop to all US locations (overnight to most US addresses). When you purchase an item choose standard or express shipping.

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas! Wishing you all peace...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Studio Helper

Mostly in charge of finding odd places to sleep.

Stones I'll be working with this weekend...

Turquoise, various rutilated quartz, chrysoprase, malachite--yum.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Last Minute Annuals, Poison Ivy, Rescued Bunny and Other Goings-On in the Garden...

First of all, I never posted a picture of the living wreath I made a while back. It filled in nicely enough, but I think I much prefer to keep the colors more uniform--either shades of a single color or just two colors..

But a satisfying project nonetheless.

Last week I attacked the gardens in front and back for much needed weeding, cutting back of spent spring plants and choosing a few spots to plant some annuals. I have to say weeding is pure tedium to me and I know I am not alone in this. While some people enjoy weeding as a therapeutic or meditative exercise--this does not describe my outlook. I slogged through and cut back lanky spring bloomers that had long since passed their blooming prime--the poppies, iris, allium, camassia and due to neglect--my peonies.

while a few blooms thrived...

too many others were left to droop and wilt on the ground

Because once again, I neglected to stake them early and each rain shower bowed more and more stems to the ground... such a waste of glorious pink petals. Next year!

It struck me once again while I was cutting and cleaning up, the Darwinian nature of some weeds. I'm always amazed when I find a weedy plant that so closely resembles one of my perennials, that it has grown up through the desirable plant and escaped unnoticed for weeks. I found two shrubs/trees growing within one of my lilacs out back! A more attentive gardener would have shown these party crashers the door weeks earlier... ah, well.

After the work was done and most of the poison ivy scrubbed away with Tecnu, I drove over to the nursery for the fun part. Hollandia Nurseries always has a good selection and is a joy to wander through.

I brought home a dozen perennials and several flats of annuals and set to distributing them around the garden. During the planting I was forced to tie up my Cavalier because she had discovered some baby bunnies in the garden and could not resist hunting them (yikes!). I know it's her natural instinct, and I encourage her to chase them when they are older and faster for exercise, but I can't bear her going after the defenseless young babies. Ironically, she ended up saving one! She was tied up while I planted and suddenly started barking very excitedly. I went over to investigate and saw that she'd spied a little bunny who'd fallen in the pool and was frantically swimming back and forth. I scooped him out and released the poor guy near the wood's edge.

 And back in the studio some jeweled beauties were grown.
Pastel Gemstone Long Clusters

Linked + Dotted Prehnite Pebbles

Rose Quartz Gem Weave Danglers

Wire and Pearl Coiled Blue Lace Agate Necklace

Fringed Laguna Agate

Monday, April 22, 2013

Finally... Signs of Spring!

Well, it wasn't a severe winter here in CT, but it seems to have taken longer than usual for my garden to wake up... All at once, new growth is popping up here and there.

Most notably, the Ballerina Magnolia outside my front door and the circle of grape muscari at it's feet. The daffodils are up as well and a few allium have started to make their way, but I need to replant a new batch as the allium bulbs seem to be spent.

I picked up a couple flats of pansies and decided to make a couple of living wreaths. I haven't done this in several years and decided to try a new technique that I'll document here.


I gathered my supplies: coated wire wreath forms, potting soil, landscape fabric, scissors and garden gloves. Quick note: in the past I have also made wreaths lined with sheet moss instead of landscape fabric but found them a bit messier--though more attractive at the start before the annuals have filled out. I am hanging one of these wreaths on my front door and like the idea of the landscape fabric backing the wreath to keep the door cleaner. And in a couple of weeks, the plants should be so lush and full that the unsightly fabric is not noticeable.

I began by cutting a wide strip of the landscape fabric to fit in the channel of the wreath form and made cuts on either side to create strips that I can weave back and forth in between the plants to hold them in place. I cut shorter strips on one side, longer on the other. (In the past, I have completely wrapped the soil in landscape fabric first, and then cut slits in the fabric and jammed the plants down inside. This was a bit difficult and pretty rough on the plants, though the annuals always seem to bounce back within a couple of weeks despite the rough treatment.)

I then placed the fabric inside the wreath form with the shorted strips in the center of the wreath and filled the channel with moistened potting soil. It is worth it to note that if your strip of landscape fabric is too short to reach around the full circumference of the wreath forms simply cut another piece of fabric to fill the space but be sure to overlap by several inches on either side. I filled the potting soil nearly to the top of the forms, allowing for some displacement as I add the plants.

And now for the fun part--plunking in the pansies!

I dumped the pansies out (quite unceremoniously) and tore them apart so I had a dozen or so individual plants to work with at a time.

Next, I hooked the top of the wreath forms in place and began to place the plants. After placing 2-4 plants at a time, I wove a strip of landscape fabric from either side under the wreath form wires to secure the plants and soil as I went.


In this way, I worked my way around (and yes, it does get a bit tedious) until the wreaths were complete. And that's it! Before hanging--I filled two plastic storage bin covers with water and placed the wreaths in for a couple of hours for a thorough soaking.

In another week or two, I'll take a follow-up picture of the wreaths in place so you can see how they've filled out.

The pansies are definitely a cooler-weather annual so come mid-to-late June the heat will be too much for them and they won't be looking their best. I will likely discard them then and (hopefully!) create new wreaths with more heat hardy summer annuals...

Please note--if you search you'll find other instructions/techniques for creating these wreaths online and may want to follow the direction of those more knowledgeable. Use the method that most appeals to you and have fun--they definitely garner lots of compliments from visitors and are gorgeous when seen from the street on your front door!

Lots of new jewelry coming in the next week!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Time--15% of through December on all jewelry!

In honor of this frenzied shopping season I am offering 15% off in etsy shop as well as my main shop. Simply enter the code HOLIDAYSPARKLE15 in the coupon box during checkout. Here are some new items...