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.


With the onset of warm weather, I’ve found my color palette has shifted in the same direction.  Orange. Yellow.  Red.  White.  The colors of summer.

The central cabochon of this brooch is dichroic glass.  What doesn’t show in the picture is a sparkle of gold, like marbled veins throughout.

The rest of the brooch is embroidered with various beads – two-holed triangles and diamonds, seed beads of differing sizes, and a few crystals thrown in, just because I could.

The back is as usual, faux leather and a pin finding.

Light Horse Brigade

I don’t know why, this brooch reminds me of something that should be on a uniform.  Perhaps a uniform worn by one of the riders of Lipizzaner dressage horses of Vienna.

It catches the eye.  The druzy stone at the bottom is hollow, with a crystallized center that goes all the way through.  What isn’t visible, is that on the back the encapsulating bezel lets the light through – there’s a beaded frame surrounding the opening.

The horse is a carved bone bead.  The accenting embroidery is a mix of steel crystals and cobalt beads of various shapes and sizes.  I fussed for ages with how to join the two pieces.  In the end, simple is better.

Dancing Madonna



This Madonna is ready to kick up her heels.  In fact, I think she has red nailpolish on her toeses.  She’s a Beatles Madonna!

The cabochon is dichroic glass from Weir Glass Studio The face is carved bone, though not ivory.

The beads are, well, all different sorts.  Seed.  Nugget.  Triangle. Crystal.  Bugle.  Probably something in between too!  I had a lot of fun creating her.  The most I’ve smiled in a long time.

She’s one crazy lady!

Green Man

It’s no secret, I like making pins.  I know not many people wear them today, which is sad.  They can be subtle or bold.  Unobtrusive or a stand out.  Even better, once attached, they don’t get in the way.

I well remember the Madeleine Albright’s phrase: “Read My Pins”.

What would Green Man say about his wearer?  He has a natty strand across his brow, perhaps a tip of the brim to bygone eras when civility was the norm?

Crystals and pearls, likening to both the man-made and natural realm.

A bit of fringe to shake – do they like dancing?


I decided to give myself a challenge on this brooch – that being to use something besides the standard seed and bugle beads.

To that end, once the face was bezeled, I dug through the bead bins and added some lovely red triangles.  These are the two-hole triangle beads, I think Czechmates, rather than the single hole triangles from Miyuki and Toho.  They give a nice aura around the face.

Then it was what to do with the rest.  She was looking a little too monochromatic, and a bit too amusing in a pierrot-esque way.   The twisted bugles and large mustard colored seeds solved that.

The back is finished like all my brooches – pin back and faux suede.