We have a winner for my earrings! Thank you to everyone who entered, and the team at Crafty Life & Style for featuring me as their Artist In The Spotlight. Find my interview here.

A big congrats to our WINNER Patricia van Essche! She is a supremely talented artist and writes the insightful blog pve design. (You will need to check it out!)

My son picking from an MC3 bowl

The winner was picked by an unbiased (and totally uninterested) third party!

sterling silver reversible Amy earrings with Stuyvesant Fern and custom gray freshwater pearls

Would you like to win a pair of Loretta Fontaine Jewelry earrings? (They’re reversible – hence the two sides!) It’s a favorite design that features my own miniature original b&w photography of a fern.

I had the pleasure of being interviewed about my job as a jewelry designer by the team at Crafty Life & Style blog.  To celebrate, were having a jewelry giveaway! The interview should be posted today! (You’ll find out how I started – which involves beer, and I was sober!)Here’s the link: Crafty Life & Style

Become a follower of my blog, APPLESandRUBIES and leave a comment below for a chance to win. If you put this giveaway on your blog or Facebook just let me know and that will give you 10 additional chances to win.

and…

head over to my  Crafty Life and Style interview and add a comment there for another chance

and…

Give this giveaway a “like” on the Loretta Fontaine Jewelry Facebook page for even another chance!

Winner will be chosen at noon, Wednesday, November 10

This is too much fun! Good luck!
xoxo Loretta

winner shipped free in US

poster I designed!

If I’m distracted, not returning phone calls and emails, letting the house go to crap and not even cooking (thank you wonderful spouse for making a tray of lasagna to feed the kids) this week it’s because…

I volunteer to organize a fundraiser and it’s this Friday and Saturday.

I have to say, half the time I wonder why I ever do this. I should be doing other things! But then after all the press releases, booth layouts, graphics for postcards and posters, emails and phone calls and goading people to bake cookies for the cafe… it’s all worth it.

It’s a local event with top-notch talent, in a GORGEOUS mansion and raises some much needed funds for the programs of The Woman’s Club and Double H Ranch.

Volunteering has pushed me in new ways I never knew I could be pushed. The first year I did this (yes, this show is now in the 5th year) I wasn’t confident that I was one of “those people” who could get things done. Now, a bit more public confidence. I started blogging a year ago by making a blog for the show because it was an inexpensive way to get the word out about it. I learned the ropes on that blog before I started APPLESandRUBIES, my own blog.

Now, in another move to try and get the word out cheaply (because, sadly, I have no budget for advertising Albany Holiday Crafts on Madison other than money to print postcards) I joined Facebook. Wow, Facebook is powerful. Just on it a few days and most of the traffic going to the Albany Crafts on Madison blog is coming from… Facebook! Would I have joined Facebook if I weren’t working on this show? Probably not. Another way volunteering has pushed me.

Enough of my chattering, if you are in the Albany, New York area please come out to the show! Here’s the blog I write to promote it: http://www.holidaycraftsonmadison.blogspot.com  and Facebook event link: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=108069285924963

and here’s the event info:


5th Annual ALBANY HOLIDAY CRAFTS ON MADISON
Fri Nov 5, 2010 (5pm-9pm) Sat Nov 6, 2010 (10am-5pm)
725 Madison Ave, Albany NY (near corner of Madison and Lake)


A Splendid Show and Sale of Art & Craft held in a gracious 1895 mansion near Washington Park, The 5th Annual Albany Holiday Crafts on Madison benefits the programs of The Woman’s Club of Albany, New York and Double H Ranch, a camp for children with life threatening illnesses. The sale will feature local work by Loretta Fontaine, Cherry Schacher, McGillycuddy’s Naturals, Nancy Noble Gardner, Ben Rauch, Pat Bohrer, Elsa Fletcher, Mary LaFleur and Kathryn Benson, Lisa Phegn, Karen Greendale, Cinderloop and Katie Nare.

my oldest daughter running in her grandparent’s yard

She wanted to be a bat. And made her own costume, too!

Happy Halloween, everyone!
An old theater makes a great backdrop

As promised, here’s how the my space at the Proctors Northeast Fine Craft Festival looked after setup! The before is here.

I have a fabric skirt for the jewelry case on the right, but left it off to keep an open look. My favorite part of this space, (which doesn’t photograph so well!), was the old beat-up black-painted concrete wall in the back of the booth. This wall was so high, raw, textured and theatrical.

I had a great time at the show and among the lovely folks I met were local bloggers Crafty Cat and Crafty Girl. I’ll have an interview on their site soon!

pile o’ silver

This pile of wires will become earwires. I’ve already balled the ends with a torch and am getting ready to curve and polish them. Yea, I could buy earwires ready-made, but that wouldn’t be handcrafted now, would it?

work in progress…

I was at Proctors today setting up my booth for the Proctors Northeast Fine Craft Festival and wanted to show you a “before” shot. (I’ll finish up tomorrow before the show starts and take the “after” shot!)

I love to watch the show floor transform from a barren bunch of marked off spaces to a beautiful collection of colorful artist’s booths. It feels like the circus is coming to town!

You never know exactly how you’ll set up your booth until you get a look at the space. I took an 8 x 10 booth for this show and I was surprised when I got there this morning that it was 8 feet wide, not deep! So I have to be a bit creative. (And I love that industrial black wall backdrop!)

Here’s a sneak peek of some work I’ll be bringing to the show:

sterling silver Meredith necklace with freshwater pearls and miniature original photograph – in progress

I finished this necklace for the show. I am really into plum shades lately!

Some other artists you’ll see at the show! Look at the detail in this intricate handwoven scarf by Frittelli&Lockwood – Their amazing studio is in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. I saw Richard Lockwood setting up on the lower level earlier. Beautiful work!

I adore the jewelry of Carly Wright. Luminous enamels!

A full list of the exhibiting artists is here. I’m looking forward to finishing up my booth and enjoying the show!

images:frittelli-lockwood.com, carlywright.com, ballstonlakepottery.com

I’ll have a booth with my jewelry at the Proctors Northeast Fine Craft Festival this weekend, October 23 & 24, 2010 at Proctors in Schenectady, NY. I’m so excited to be exhibiting at this show because Jackie Davis, who used to help run the amazing Schenectady Museum Show (that is so missed!) is behind the scenes on this show with her friend Judy Decker. This is the Proctors Northeast Fine Craft Festival‘s second year and it is a real winner. The artists are all top-notch and talented and Proctors Theatre is a beautiful setting.

Originally built as a vaudeville house, Proctors has seen its stage graced by such legendary performers as comedians Red Skelton, George Burns and Gracie Allen, magicians Harry Blackstone Sr. & Jr., and bandleaders Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Glenn Miller. (Singer Mariah Carey chose Proctors as the site for her first concert special in 1993, and the theatre is featured prominently in the video for her big hit “Hero”)

Check out the list of 65 outstanding artists and craft designers who will be at the show

An Experience & Creative Design bouquet – how lovely is that!

Rudy and David, the super-talented team behind the amazing shop  Experience and Creative Design in Schenectady, are sponsors of the The Northeast Juried Craft Festival. I’ve heard such great things about this pair, and hope to meet them at the show! David will be selling his metal sculptures on the main level while a sampling of items from the store will be available on the upper level near the food vendors.


Home Style Caterers will offer great refreshments, and enjoy craft demonstrations and music as you linger over a cup of coffee.

The Northeast Juried Craft Festival indoor show is conveniently located within walking distance of hotels, restaurants and free parking. Proctors is handicapped accessible.

For more information contact Judy Decker at (518) 382-3884 x 134 or jdecker@proctors.org

Ticket Prices: $6 Advance, $7 At Door, Children 5 & under are Free
images: proctors.org, experienceandcreativedesign.com

{Can you say “cold chisel”? That’s the tool in my husband’s hand}

We busted out the fireplace bricks in our living room last weekend! A great new project is in the works, and no, it doesn’t involve reconstructing the fireplace…

We’re hired a contractor to build something else there instead! More details to come…

{working hard}

Even my son got in on the action!

Loretta

My favorite elephants are red, and on the dishes my grandmother gave me.

Grandmother Honey, she probably remembers eating her wedding dinner off of them. But for me, I think of Christmases in her brick house full of aunts, uncles and cousins. A triple layer coconut cake in Tupperware on the chilly front porch and extra tables parading down her living room. Only the adults ate off her red dishes.

So I am surprised how Grandma Honey’s red dishes they look under an umbrella in the bright sunshine. Not winter at all, but looking festive in a new way.

Thanks to Camila for inspiring these photos, and Lauren at
Pure Style Home for sharing her table and inspiring this post!

dishes: Reproduction of Rogers 1790 John Steventon & Sons, Ltd Burslem, England is stamped on the back.