Every so often life gets out of balance and we feel like we’re rolling downhill at a furious pace.

One has lost the fulcrum – the element that plays an essential role in situations, activities, events.  That special something that keeps life balanced.

This brooch is my attempt to capture that feeling.  The cabochon is Apache Gold.  The face carved bone (not ivory) surrounded by a halo of bugle beads.  While this is a departure from my usual bright colors, I find the piece rather haunting.

That face stays with you – perhaps a talisman that all will soon be right.


Smoke and Ash

Sifting through the detritus of a fire. Smoke and ash still swirling in the air.  Looking for the remains of what once was.  Memories.  Mementos.

Inspired by images of the Camp Fire.  Dedicated to it’s survivors.

I want to say the cabochon is snowflake agate, but it’s not.  It’s some other amalgam – obsidian and something, I think.

Accent beads are 15° triangles and antique French nickel charlottes.


Doesn’t this horse look like it’s won the Triple Crown?  I think so.  In record time too!

A lovely ecru and tan cameo brooch embellished with all manner of seed beads.

The teeny tiny gold beads are 24kt charlottes, acquired ages ago from I don’t know where.  Not even sure I could find them again if I wanted to.

Maybe she’ll try a run at Ascot next year?


South Beach Sunrise

Once the neon has been turned off, and the sun has just started to rise above the ocean, could this be what South Beach would look like?

All the colored buildings glowing in the pale light, waiting to awake to the hustle and bustle.  A small moment of reflection; gathering of energy before the start of day.

This brooch is another collaboration with silk painter Louise Noel.I love how the colors of the silk compliment the silver beads.

What’s difficult to see in this photo is that there’s a large clear matte donut bead that the silk is pulled through, then it’s scattered around the rest of the brooch.

Small square silver beads, as well as peach and lavender seeds complete the piece.


While his name is best known for the Ford that flopped, Edsel Bryant Ford was also a major benefactor of the arts in Detroit.

I like to think he would have approved of this brooch.  Perhaps even given it as a gift.  It bears his name as the focal is Fordite, from the assembly plant in Hazelwood, Mo.

Ever wonder what happens to the build-up of paint in the spray booth of an auto manufacturing plant?  Yup!  That’s Fordite, or motor agate or Detroit agate, as it is also know.

Basically the paint has had sufficient time to age, and can be used as a lapidary medium, being carved and polished.

I saw this cabochon and thought what an odd rock, then found out what it was, and thought “How Cool!”  It’s surrounded by hematite and red seed beads.  I have no idea what type of car may have been painted these colors.  Pinto perhaps?

Moon over Oyster Bay

This brooch reminds me of oysters on the half shell.  Or perhaps the clumps of bivalves one sees when diving in a bay.  Then there’s that full moon, so perhaps it’s really one of those magical, metaphysical dreams that opens doors to the new and fantastic.

This is also a collaboration with the wonderful silk artist, L. Noel. I picked up some silk ribbon, which she very graciously agreed to dye.  She uses French silk dyes, so the colors are vibrant and intense.

The full moon cabochon is an antique, made during the US occupation of Japan after World War II.  The whole pin is edged with gold 15° seed beads.  There’s also some square gold beads; moonlight reflected on the bay.

Wagons Ho

Definitely working outside my color comfort zone to create this salmon pink brooch.

I believe the cabochon is from the 40s or possibly earlier.   Black image on glass.  I don’t even recall where I got it.  Probably one of the vendors at the Tucson Gem & Mineral show.

The solid pink beads are antique French 8°s.  A little less uniform in shape that today’s 8° beads, but that’s their appeal.  The color is unlike anything I’ve seen before, not an AB, not a solid but something in between.

The whole is finished with a pin back and faux leather.