Who’s Afraid of Quartz? Not me… anymore (facepalm)…

A friend asked me about Herkimer Diamonds – are they actually diamonds? What are they supposed to do? Are they expensive? All good questions. And you know how much I love to talk about gemstones! So I pulled out my strand of Herkimer Diamonds as we talked.   Herkimers are not actually diamonds. They are… Continue reading Who’s Afraid of Quartz? Not me… anymore (facepalm)…

Be random and spontaneous… or I’ll make you

Once you tell yourself to be more spontaneous or random, there is no backing out.

The last few months have been about stepping up and into challenges for me, personally as well as professionally. For instance, I submitted video pitch on Instagram  to compete for a spot on a speaker’s tour, and also to show myself – to stop hiding behind my website. Funny, I wouldn’t have too much of a problem standing up in front of a whole bunch of people to give a talk, but to post a picture of myself or post a video? Not a chance, if I can help it! 

I’ve also challenged myself to be more creatively spontaneous and random, particularly in my color choices. I was chatting with a mentor/friend about ACJ and how I enjoy working on custom pieces as much as I enjoy creating collections, and she asked me, “When was the last time you created a piece of jewelry for yourself?” Umm… way too long. With all of the jewelry I make for others, I hadn’t even thought about making something new and energetic for myself. I wear my bottle pendant a lot, but the truth is that my children picked those gems out for me. I love it, but it’s a piece that represents them more than it reflects me. 


photo courtesy of Erinn Letts Photography


Challenge accepted. It’s time to make my new power piece. In creating this piece I declared that I’m going to create with spontaneous ideas and random choices, and I’m going to put new skills to use!

This may not seem like such a big deal to you, but it’s a shift from how I’ve developed the jewelry you see on my website. In creating energetically intentional pieces I start with intuition. Yes,  there is a bit of spontaneity in going with an intuitive flow, but then, I research and double check my gem choices, and I spend time choosing the right color, shape and placement of each gem. I’ve developed this technique over many years of creating intentional jewelry and I’m proud of the way it works. But I also think there’s also something beautiful about throwing method to the wind going with the flow.

I decided to start with my go-to jewelry piece – earrings. I think like earrings so much because I couldn’t wear them during my children’s baby years for fear of ripped earlobes. Never underestimate the speed and strength of a baby’s grip when they see something sparkly and decide it should be theirs. They can grab your earlobe with startling speed and agility, and because they have noooo clue how strong they are, they will not let go!

Earrings it is. I took out a few strands of multi-gem faceted cubes because – well just look at them! 

cropped-multigem-mix-closeup.jpgI decided my earrings would be three stones in a frame with dangle accents, so I was supposed to just pick a few beads from the lot at random.  My selection produced pink, purple and blue stones. I liked this selection and should have just closed my eyes again to pick 3 more stones for the other earring. Instead, I went for matching beads – sort of. The colors were similar, but the gems were different. I ended up with two Muscovites, a London Blue Topaz, a blue Apatite, an Amethyst and a purple Fluorite.

I guess the Muse of Randomness (is there such a muse?) was less than impressed with my attempt, because when I spontaneously decided to use the opalized glass teardrops I’d just learned how to drill holes into as my accent dangles, lovely Ms. Randomness decided that I should attach them in opposite directions. Score for the Muse for not letting me slide out of a lesson. Score for me and my new favorite earrings.

score for me and my Muse


At first I was kind of embarrassed. I think I’ll celebrate.

Last week I got called out by Halstead Bead, a jewelry supply company that I adore, for being MIA on Instagram. Eek! At first reading, I was embarrassed because, you know, on the surface that’s not exactly the kind of attention I’m trying to generate for ACJ, and because I’d just told my business accountability buddy that I was committed to posting regularly. gulp. well, there goes that.

Before I worked myself into a swirl of “the horror, the horror”, I looked at the situation from another perspective:  Maybe getting called out by Halstead means they like me and my work. Well, that’s cool, because I like them and their awesome jeweler’s aprons too!


Amy ACJ custom designsI also remembered why I’ve been incognito: It’s because I’ve been working on custom pieces like crazy! You know how I always say I have a blast making jewelry? It’s so true – I love it. I’ve been working with some lovely clients on a wide range of jewelry, and I just finished the last one. I wish I could share the pics, but I some of the pieces are gifts, and I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise. I’ll post in a follow up later.


In the meantime, my custom jewelry calendar has openings, and I’d love to create something special for you too. Read my post about custom designs, and then let’s chat.

Anniversary Birthday sale 2016If you like anything on my website, now’s the time to get it because I’m celebrating my birthday and the launch of ACJ with my annual sale – 26% off everything in stock now thru February 29th. Then I’m also going to pull most of those pieces from the site.