Apr 09

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!
I had the luck of two ham dinners, the company of friends and family, and lots of colored eggs! 
How was your day?

{custom sterling silver Loretta Fontaine Jewelry Lucy earrings with Tropical Leaf and freshwater pearl}

I’m so happy to make a custom piece for a gallery. In this case it’s a requested image that I don’t normally use in this style earring. These custom earrings are headed out to Mary Lou Zeek Gallery in Salem, Oregon! (The earrings are reversible – hence the two sides shown!)

One of my FAVORITE galleries, Mary Lou Zeek Gallery is a Pacific Northwest haven for amazing art. Check out the exhibition that opened yesterday:

{from CUBA: Through the Lens, photograph: Herb Bardavid}

The Mary Lou Zeek Gallery will be featuring eleven adventurous photographers from all corners of the U.S. who traveled to Cuba under the guidance off renowned Salem-based photographer-teacher Steve Anchell. The result: an intriguing exhibit of Havana and environs through the collective lens of an intrepid band of Americans. They documented the lives of Cubanos today … their homes and families and life on the streets and countryside. It’s a portrait of a people in transition in a country changing every day. This merry band of photographers were fortunate to be part the Cuban scene as our Caribbean neighbor returns to the limelight.

Featured Photographers: Steve Anchell, Herb Bardavid, Mark Davies, Don Dunn, Rich Harcourt, Susie Morrill, Dorothy Mullinax, John Rudoff, Tim Trapp, Hank Weaver and Mary Lou Zeek.

The show, CUBA: Through The Lens  runs April 3-28, 2012 and the artist reception is TONIGHT, Wednesday April 4 from 5-7 pm.


{photo: G. DiPaola}

It’s my birthday today! 

I love any chance to celebrate, and am looking forward to eating my cake…

This photo was shot on a subway during a recent trip to New York City. Can you see the harpist in the background? Too much fun!


Spring is Sprung, and I’m getting ready to send a fresh, new shipment of jewelry to one of my favorite places: Raiford Gallery in Roswell, Georgia. (Owned by the uber-talented Judie Raiford!)

{matching a color to turquoise beads…}

 I use my own miniature original photographs in many pieces of my jewelry, and sometimes the photographs are color or black and white photographs that I have taken myself, and sometimes the photographs are of my original watercolors. For the new Spring work for Raiford Gallery I’m working on some new watercolors…

{watercolor over pencil}

 A new leaf pattern will look so pretty!

{green leaves, light turquoise background}

 I’m using a heavy architecture drafting pencil to do the final outlines.

 The final watercolors, ready to photograph -in three colorways! I have a small image above to use in my Loretta Fontaine Jewelry sterling silver “Amy” earrings and necklace, and the larger lower paintings will be used for my Loretta Fontaine Jewelry “Lucy and Maria” styles…

{watercolor detail}

Coming soon … the finished jewelry!


It’s sunny outside, and Spring is around the corner, and I cannot wait for our local outdoor farmer’s markets to open here in upstate New York!

Until then, the next best thing are the markets and open air produce stands in New York City. I was lucky enough to be in NYC recently, and got my hands on some beautiful produce, including the most delicious apples from a Farmer’s Market in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Are the farmer’s markets open for business where you live? Or, like here, do you have to wait for warmer weather?


{copyright Juliet Lofaro}
My friend Juliet Lofaro takes amazing photographs. (She also took the portrait I use for this blog!)
Here’s the most recent photograph from Juliet’s Blog. Isn’t it beautiful how the light glances off the stairpost and the moldings?
Juliet’s words: “Sitting on a sofa seeing across the house. Gifts given, dog playing, people laughing and a tea party. A couple of us stop to admire paint on the walls.”


{Deepali, strolling in “The Pearl”}

One of the pleasures of visiting Portland, Oregon last Spring was meeting up with the talented blogger Deepali in the hip Pearl district of downtown.

{Home Furnishings + Filling Spaces + Ready & Custom}

Deepali owns the wonderful and charming shop Filling Spaces, and her passion for beautiful fabric and design comes alive in her space.

{intricate embroidered fabric}

With her family involved in production of beautiful textiles in India, Filling Spaces is a shop where you can design interior

Visit Deepali’s blog here: The Mood Board

Coming Soon … A Filling Spaces giveaway!


Isn’t it fun to get a gift in the mail? I was so happy to win The Black Dress Traveler’s recent giveaway and receive a Sonya Kashuk the Scarlet Starlet Brush Set.

{What I won! Thanks, Wanda!}
{The beautiful Ms. Mann}

Wanda Mann of The Black Dress Traveler got a passport at 15 to study in Spain overseas at 16, and has since lived a life with a love of travel. Wanda’s blog covers “Saucy Snippets about Destinations, Fashion, Beauty, Food & Wine, Events & Everything Fabulous!”

{Adler Thermae Spa & Resort}

Here’s a recent Black Dress Traveler post with a report from Italy. I love to visit Wanda’s blog because I always fell like I’m going on a mini-vacation!

“Located in the heart of Tuscany and surrounded by rolling hills and terraced vineyards, Adler Thermae Spa & Resort was named one of the 10 best wine spas in the world by Gayot. The philosophy at Adler Thermae is “wellness and balance” and the property offers many treatments using the grapes and seeds from the local vintners, including the Bacchus Ritual which is a luxurious massage and wine bath. Wine tasting is also available in the Adler Thermae’s cellars and an outstanding wine menu offered at dinner. Molto bene!”

Thank you, Wanda!


{painted T-111 (“Texture One Eleven”) grooved plywood siding, James Hardie Fiber Cement trim and wood sills}

Finally, some outside shots of the windowseat…

One thing I am SO HAPPY about was to enlarge the overhang on the windowseat, and also thrilled to add the expansion of the roof overhang over the existing deck in a change from the original construction plans.

Do you see in the photo above to the far left what a skimpy overhang the roof on the house has? Yes, only a mere nine inches.

{painted Georgia Pacific Plytanium Ply-bead plywood sheet paneling on the soffit}

Not only did the new windowseat roof get a more substantial overhang then we have on our existing house,  I expanded the overhang over the deck from 9″ to  2′-6″! It’s now the only place in my house where I can walk outside and not get wet when it rains!

The overhang protects the doorway and makes it so easy to shovel the deck when it snows. No longer does snow build up in front of the door.

I have to thank the talented and insightful Kim and Jack Alvarez of Landmark Consulting in Albany, New York for their advice on handling the overhangs for this project. Kim and Jack’s specialty is historic and landmark buildings and interiors, but their knowledge of material and proportion helped guide me on this “young” 1978 house!

See Landmark Consulting’s website here: www.landmarkconsulting.net


p.s. Congrats to the winner of my jewelry and chocolate Valentine’s giveaway, Grace Fecher! Thanks to all who entered!


Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m a romantic, and can’t help but love a holiday filled with handmade cards, kisses and love.

How did you celebrate the day?


p.s. I added 2 1/2 hours to my Valentine’s giveaway – so still time to enter!