Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Soldered Bottles

There is a restaurant here in Cincinnati called Scotti's and the food is fabulous.  It's a very small, dark cozy place, looks just like something from "The Godfather."  They are famous for these old wine bottles that have YEARS of candle wax that has dripped from the candles stuck in the mouths of the bottles.  It got me thinking about what I could do to some old glass bottles I've had for a couple of years that would be similar to these bottles at Scotti's.  Here's the result:

Each bottle is filled with crushed iridescent shells and sparkly terra-cotta or black sand.

INCREDIBLE chandelier crystals, some vintage Swarovski!

Embellished with old lace, etched brass tags...

...aged rhinestones, vintage brass crosses....

...old keys, crucifixes, hymns...

...Scripture, sheet music, French text...TONS!

These will be at the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair at the end of April.  Hope to see you there!

Enjoy your day,


Monday, February 10, 2014


Some fun 2" solid brass vintage dog tags embellished with filigree and old rhinestone.  Necklace are made from solid brass vintage beads, aged rhinestone, and mercury glass beads end capped with filigree.

Have a great week!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jewelry Storage Idea

Those who know me well know I have a lot of jewelry.  I have almost every piece of jewelry I have ever bought, inherited, been gifted, and made.  Translation:  my collection is HUGE.  I used to sort it, seal the pieces in air tight bags, and then put them in an old dresser I refinished.  My problem was that I wasn't able to see everything that I had, so only the pieces I wore more regularly made the cut when deciding what to wear.

A few years ago an idea came to me to display/store the pieces the same way people store/ their tools:  on pegboard mounted on a wall.  Pegboard is typically mounted on studs so that the hooks have the empty space in between the studs and behind the holes to go into.  You can't just hag a piece of pegboard on a wall and have it work.

Or can you....?

You can if you frame it on the back so that it floats at least an inch away from the wall.  I moved my closet space and had to make another jewelry pegboard, so I thought I'd share the process.

You'll need:
  • Peg board
  • 1" x 2" pieces of wood
  • Peg Board Hooks
  • Drywall screws with anchors (2")
  • Drywall screws 2"
  • Wood screws .75" - 1"
  • Drill, drill bits, and hammer
Measure the space where you want to hang your peg board display.  It can be an entire wall or just a portion.  Pick out your pegboard and get about 2, 1" x 2" long pieces of wood.  I had the hardware store cut everything for me in the dimensions I need. 

 Because the pieces of wood are going to frame the back of the peg board, use the same vertical dimensions, but subtract 4" from each horizontal measurement.  The back will look like this:.  

Put the boards on the floor in the formation it will be behind the peg board.  Place the pegboard on top with the front facing up.  Match up the wood frame with the edges of the peg board.  Screw the peg board into the wood pieces using the .75" wood screws.  

Along each corner and a couple times on each side, pre drill holes all the way through on each edge.  Have someone hold the framed pegboard on the wall exactly where you want it, and mark through these pre drilled holes on the wall.  Remove the pegboard and drill and insert the 2" drywall anchors in those marked spots.

Have someone hold the peg board and match up the holes with the holes in the wall.  Drill the 2" dry wall screws into the anchors on the wall.  It should stay up, so your friend doesn't have to continue holding the board up.  Along the edges, drill in the 2" drywall screws into the wall.  Now your pegboard is mounted sturdily onto the wall and ready to be used!  You can paint it the same color as the wall to make it look more built in.  

If you are unsure about what kind of hooks to buy, Home Depot has pegboard kits that are more cost effective and you'll have everything you need for your project.  The cups can be used to store earrings and there are pegboard baskets that really work well for cuffs.  

I use my pegboard for mostly necklaces and chain bracelets as I was able to repurpose an over-the-door shoe organizer for bangles.  

Hope this is helpful for you!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Stamped Solder

I have been experimenting with stamping solder once it's liquefied and playing with the different patterns and textures that magically appear.  A nod to etching in that the metal gets a big punch of interest, but much different in that the patterns, no matter what stamp I use, have a much more freeform appearance to them.  Often times I will etch some brass with several different patterns to get a collage look, but I'm finding the stamped solder has an organic feel to it.  Also, I want to incorporate more silver tones in my pieces to satisfy those customers who lean in that metal tone direction.

To give you an idea of where I'm going, here are two familiar designs I already have in my inventory, the demi cuff and the wrap bracelet, but I'm using the stamped solder as the focal:


I will use nickel as the foundation so that it looks more finished underneath, but if someone has an allergy to nickel I can easily substitute solid copper or solid brass instead. Check back in the Etsy Shop soon to see these and other stamped soldered pieces.

As always, thank you for your interest!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sacred Hearts

Here are the newest pieces and I really enjoyed making these.  They turned out exactly as I envisioned.  I love it when that happens.

Stained glass hearts wrapped with a soldered bezel...

...washed with antique gold....


....and embellished with aged rhinestones, vintage medals and crosses, petite angel wings, and handmade textured flames.  

Wired into neck chains of vintage solid brass Saturn finish beads and etched bronze tone metal.

I will be listing these Sacred Heart necklaces in the Etsy Shop early this week, so please check back!
I hope you have a wonderful week!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hello 2014!

Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays were a refreshing time, you've thawed out from the crazy cold temperatures that hit the US this week, and you're back to your regular schedule.

One of my goals for the year is to focus on participating in much larger shows that will reach a broader audience.  In preparation for this, I have been increasing my inventory with several new designs in larger quantities.  There will still be the one-of-a-kind and limited edition aspects I've been known for, but I am just making more of them.  I will also continue to list them in the Etsy shop, so you'll still have the opportunity to purchase In Small Spectacles pieces if you can't attend a show.

One of the newest designs I've made this year are vintage hymn titles preserved under panes of glass, embellished with filigree, and hung on necklaces made from vintage brass beads, West German crystals, and of course, the aged rhinestones that always add that patina bling to my pieces. 

I have been enjoying scouting the antique stores for old hymnals and reading the rich text in each song.  Some are new to me, and some are like long lost friends whose melodies are engraved on my heart forever.  How sad that most of the churches today have tossed aside these lovely tunes for watered down and repetitive choruses.  But I digress...

Here is a sample that are currently listed in the Etsy shop:

I've also been working with antique handmade lace resting under panes of filigree-embellished glass.  A very sweet, but eclectic, look. 

Finally, beveled glass in various shapes and sizes also soldered with antiqued filigree finish up the latest pieces I've been working on. I have made TONS of these pendants and will list them as I complete hand wiring them with the vintage goodies and rhinestones.

On another note, I am pleased to report In Small Spectacles has reached the social media milestone of 1,000 likes on Facebook!  Thank you so much for your continued interest in and support of the jewelry I make.   I make every piece with my whole heart, so every like and comment, every purchase means the world to me!