DoubleWave Pearl Cuff

DoubleWave Pearl Cuff

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tangerine Tango!

In case you didn't know already, the Pantone Color of the Year for 2012 is called Tangerine Tango and is a hot orange.  I don't know about you, but I think the name alone spells fun!  Orange is on the warm side of the color palette and is a what is known as a secondary color.  The two primaries of red and yellow create the secondary color of orange.  Orange is thought to evoke feelings of happiness, creativity, and well-being.  And you know, you can always get that instantly in a tall glass of orange juice....maybe with a little Stoli thrown in for good measure! :)  The cosmetic giant Clinique named one of their signature fragrances "Happy" and all of the packaging and marketing campaigns utilize the color orange.  When fantasizing about my dream studio, I always picture it with orange walls.  Hot orange is found in Coral, Chalcedony, Mexican Fire Opals, Spessartine Garnets, and Carnelian.  In the coming year, you're going to find it in all the trend setting apparel and of course, jewelry.  I for one am looking forward to seeing it.  In the summer, all I have to do is open my back door and look at the spectacular hot orange hibiscus that grows in the garden.  What's your idea of orange?

Monday, December 26, 2011

A "Fearless" Rescue

I have a fun student by the name of Shelli.  She's taken all my classes at Brea Bead Works since I began teaching classes there this year.  She is what I call fearless.  She's got red hair and I swear she was "Ariel" the "Little Mermaid" in another life. :)  Shelli's a free spirit that loves to go off the beaten path and do her own thing.  I just love that quality in a student.  Her cuffs and rings look like they've washed ashore at the beach, and every one of my projects she makes, it takes on a life of it's own and is definitely a "Shelli" piece, not a "Kat" piece.  Her latest project was the Double Wave Pearl Cuff.  She choose to use 14 gauge wire instead of the instruction to use 16 gauge wire, and it posed some challenges.  The 14 gauge produces a "beefier" cuff, which is what she likes, but changing up wire size is risky.  She had to be careful about how much wire the spirals would take up, she was incorporating a large focal piece in the center, and she had to plan for how much wire to weave on each side.  I advised her to use long lengths and to trim the ends to adjust.  She worked very diligently, but she needed to make some adjustments after the fact and her hands were tired and she was just plain frustrated.  Not wanting her to feel like she had put a lot of work into something all for naught, I offered to adjust it so it would fit her wrist and that the focal would be centered.  Voila!  The result is the stunning image above.  So what is the moral of the story?  Take risks, think outside the proverbial box or your comfort zone.  Even if something doesn't turn out the way you thought it would, it might be able to be rescued or even be great as something else.  Bottom line, it's all good and it can yield really amazing things!

Monday, December 19, 2011


Purple makes me feel good.  I don't know why, but it does.  The color always catches my eye.  It soothes and satisfies something in my soul.  Purple, they say is a regal color.  Elizabeth Taylor, the Ultimate Queen of Gems, had lavender eyes.  Caesar's robes were purple. Vin Noble (typically a Cabernet Sauvignon), isn't really red, but deep purple.  Purple is also a wonder color found in nature, such as the Clematis (seen above) that graces my garden every Spring and Summer.  And....purple just happens to be the color of some of my favorite stones.  Amethyst, Tanzanite, Fluorite, and Charoite.  A first time wire working student named Sean came to my class yesterday and used Fluorite in a beautiful cuff he made for his mom.  The color makes for beautiful combinations when brought together with greens for a cool, complimentary palette, or perhaps purple, magenta and red for a warm, analogous palette.  Cool, warm?  Complimentary, analogous?  What am I saying?  These are color theory terms.  If you don't use a CMY color wheel, get one.  It'll expand your color universe.  The first pair of Arabesque Chandeliers seen below that I created were made with Amethyst teardrops and bronze wire.  Amethyst and gold are a classic combination.  This class is being offered at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show from Jan. 12 to the 15th in January.  Come take a class with me.  I'd love to see you there!

Friday, December 16, 2011


This sculpted hand was done at the University of Cincinnati by my mother-in-law in the late 1930s or early 40s.  It's her hand and it graces the entrance to my backyard garden.  She was and still is a huge inspiration to me in so many ways, that it's hard for me to discern when she isn't present in some way.  Her art or the tools of her "trade" is in just about every room in our home.  Virginia was a fabulous artist and I like to think of her as a "Renaissance" woman.  She could do most anything, and if it involved anything creative, it was always a work of art.  As I post images of my work, you'll see the background that supports my pieces is usually her hand.  I look at that hand and it makes me want to create beauty!  So, my parting question for today is "What inspires you"?  I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cocktails at Kat's

Okay, so this isn't really about my jewelry.  But I had a laugh out loud moment today and I had to share!  I went to the mail box and found a package from my dear friend Marilyn.  Her note read ..."I don't know why?...but these napkins just seemed...YOU!"  You must admit they are the purrfect acoutrement for cocktails with style.

A First!

It's a sunny, cold winter morning in So. Cal. and I'm writing my first blog.  I'm just building it, so be patient.  Good things will come, I promise!  This blog will be a place to view my latest jewelry projects, class offerings, and timely tips!  My students are one of my biggest inspirations, so I promised them I would offer insights gleaned from classes and their experiences.  The first one is from Susan.  Susan came to my DoubleWave Pearl cuff class this Fall and made some really terrific cuffs.  She was concerned about using Liver of Sulfur on her projects after she's beaded them, particularly when she's used Swarovski pearls.  I told her to test some pearls and get back to me.  She reported that the pearls survived the antiqueing, so that's great news.  The only trouble I've ever had with antiqueing with LOS, is with the aftermarket coatings on Swarovski.  The LOS solution literally ate the coating off, leaving behind a very unimpressive crystal color and totally ruining the piece. :(  Other than that, I've had no problems, despite using fresh water pearls, stones, etc.  I would NEVER antique or patina something with Opals or porous stones such as coral.  My classes at Brea Bead Works are currently listed in the "Q" on for this quarter and the first quarter in 2012.  My last DoubleWave Pearl Cuff class is on the 18th of this month and the class is sold out.  I will also be at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show in January from the 12th to the 15th with various class offerings.  You can view the classes on line at  I'd love to see you in the new year.  Have a wonderful holiday season and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!