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Monday, May 2nd

2 May

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A busy day with only a meeting in the morning followed by an afternoon of cooking for 19 guests…what to wear? Ahh, my Susan Lenart Kazmer dice-and-lightbulb charm necklace with sterling rolo chain and Kazmerian balled wire bail. Of course.

I love this necklace.

See, my last name is pronounced ‘dice’ even though it’s not spelled that way. Plus I love polka dots. Plus I like black and white.

Ahh…

Saturday, April 23rd

24 Apr

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Today is overcast, gray, warm. I’m wearing a necklace I will really miss this year. Large beads of African green amber are linked together with gold wire in ‘messy’ wraps and doubled jump rings. There is no clasp; the necklace is the perfect length to slip over my head. If I have to take a trip and think I only want to take one necklace, this is the one.

Friday, April 22nd

22 Apr

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This long strand of tiny copper beads has an Elaine Ray handmade ceramic heart tied onto it with mustard-colored silk cording. It’s a really simple design, but this necklace somehow works for so many days. I wore it on Friday, traipsing around New Bern, NC, with my family. We were in and out of several Colonial-era homes and gardens and at least one gift shop. We saw Federal-style windows, Withdrawing Rooms, spinettes, pot hooks, butler’s closets and more bonnet-wearing Interpreters than you can shake a stick at. The day was lovely.

Sunday, April 10th

12 Apr

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This necklace is a simple charm made of Art Clay Silver strung on a length of acid-green silk. I made the charm. It is one of the few metal clay pieces I have made. I really wanted to love that medium, but somehow I realized I’m more of a collage artist and not a sculptor. It just always felt weird and I never loved what I made the way I often love the charms and pendantsĀ  other people make.

Well, except this moon.

It was just a rubber stamp I borrowed and pressed into the clay. I fully intended to give this charm as a gift to someone but then I wore it one day and looked in the mirror. That moon looks like a perfect letter ‘C’ in the mirror. I loved the idea of a secret initial as I’m not exactly the type to wear a monogram most of the time. But secrets, I love secrets.

That acid green silk is just knotted or tied at the neck. No clasp.

I usually wear this necklace daily when I take a summer camping trip. Never take it off. Wonder how I’ll handle that this year.

Saturday, April 9th

12 Apr

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Do I look completely exhausted? I should. This picture was taken at about 2:30 am after hours of a store reset. I was covered in dust and paint. This necklace had been on my neck all day and I really should have been smart enough to take the picture earlier.

I wasn’t.

The necklace consists of a charm that is a hollow glass drop holding watch parts. It looks like a weird old fuse, but it’s really just a new pendant. A Raleigh artist made it (his name escapes me…) and I really wanted to order more for the store but he disappeared. That happens a lot with glassĀ  bead makers, by the way. They are great, talented, fun to talk to…and then they are gone. Off to Boone, or Burning Man, or Boulder.

Anyway, this necklace originally had a pendant down one side that said ‘poseur’ but that broke. I made it for a staff craft challenge at Ornamentea and it was kind of a personal joke. The steampunk-ish pendant, the gunmetal, the vintage button and that word, ‘poseur’ all are a bow to the fact that even though I design jewelry that many think of as Steampunk (whatever that is) I’m not exactly Steampunk. I do like the modded, pre-industrial ray gun now and again but then I don’t own goggles. I guess I’m more goth, but not really. I mean, I love black nail polish and big, thick black shoes but I also own brown clothes. And flowery prints. Maybe I’m more of a hippie except I can only stand the Dead on rare days and I shower even when I’m camping. With my chickens and love of home gardening maybe I’m a country neo-hipster (I do live downtown!) but no, I never wear skinny jeans and I don’t voluntarily drink PBR.

What were we talking about? oh, yeah. Poseurs.

Way back in the day, a black-clad, Souxie-listening me would have defined that as anyone who was not totally INTO whatever they were into. Youth subculture was so rock-solid when I was 19. There was no fluidity, except when there was. A poseur was something you did NOT want to be called. Fake. Faking it. Pretending. Bought your gear at the mall, pre-ripped jeans and pre-pinned tights. Even if I did want to wear a pink flowered dress with my Doc Martens I wouldn’t have. We were years from Courtney Love and besides, I lived in Ohio. After a while I got married and moved to Austin, TX.

Suddenly, I was a married middle-school teacher living in a place where black clothes could KILL you. It was hot. Very hot.

I bought a flowered dress and some love beads and decided to bend genres. Became a post-goth, cowgirl hippie. Grew up.

NOTE: this post and then next few are being published AFTER the date I wore the necklace. I never promised you an up-to-the-minute rose garden. I said I’d wear a different necklace every day for a year. Life has intervened and I didn’t press the button to send these posts into the interwebs. Enjoy them now, all in a row. It’s like skipping the regular broadcast and catching up with Netflix.

AND one other thing, that is possibly the worst photo I have ever taken. It was not the photographer’s fault!

Friday, April 8th

8 Apr

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This necklace is made with 20 feet of 24 gauge sterling silver wire strung with old watermelon-green chevron trade beads. I started by making a hook on one end of the wire and then strung the beads. I created a loop 16″ down the wire and then wrapped, twisted and twined the remaining wire back and forth along the length of the necklace. I didn’t intend to use all 20′ of the wire but I actually feel like the necklace could use more wrapping, not less.

I wear this a lot; it’s simple, comfortable and elegant. I love the idea of creating the entire necklace-clasp too-with a single length of wire.

Thursday, April 7th

7 Apr

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This necklace consists of five strands of a long-link sterling chain hung with charms and beads and pendants. There is one strand with a section made of 4 mm white pearls and vermeil spacers, but the others are just chain. The long links on the chain look like paper clips and many of the charms are attached to the chain with safety pins. It clasps in the back with a large brass spring ring clasp.

This necklace is a work in progress. I wear it a lot and I love the layers that have built up. I have so many charms and special stones on this; a tiny ceramic cup, an articulated Frozen Charlotte charm from Carolyn Taylor Carpin (a button artist I really admire…she’s deceased now but her work was amazing) a glass leaf bead, carved stones, teeny labradorite briolettes, a Bob Burkett sterling crab. I’ve added items occasionally for at least two years. Someday this necklace will be really, really layered but for right now it looks good just like this.

I think of this necklace as a talisman of sorts. I wear it often when I travel because many of the beads remind me of specific places and specific people. The idea of jewelry as a talisman, as a connection to memories is really important to me. I think it is fun to make a piece that matches a new dress but I really like the sense of purpose that I get when I make and wear something that feels more enduring.

Saturday, March 26th

26 Mar

This necklace is made of ceramic ‘fan’ beads and silk cording. The ceramic beads are all by Elaine Ray and the silk cording laces them together. The many dangling silk cords have beads knotted along the ends. The beads chime against each other when I move: the effect is either lovely or annoying, depending on your personal tolerance for noises.

I love that this necklace is both dramatic and simple. The construction is so basic: laced silk holds the pieces together, yet the effect is over-the-top in scale.

Tonight I wore this necklace with a favorite blouse and sweater combo. The necklace is a bit tribal for the floral blouse and cardigan sweater but I like that mix.

Sunday, March 20th

21 Mar


A few years ago I happened upon this orangey-red Zodiac stone at a vintage jewelry sale. The gold-enhanced intaglio design features Cancer, the Crab. While I’m not a believer in Zodiac principles, I do often use the signs of family members as symbols for those individuals. My husband has a June birthday and the color of this vintage stone made me happy so I bought it.

The stone lay on my work table for quite a while until one day I decided to pair it with that wire-wrapped crystal rhinestone. The 20″ brass chain is finished in the back with a spring-ring clasp and I wore this necklace for quite a while with only the Cancerian stone and rhinestone ball. One day I stamped small brass discs with my daughter’s names and added them to the necklace.

I’ll miss this necklace a lot this year. I wore it frequently. The combination of meaningful symbols and favored color (and that bit of sparkle!) made it right with so many outfits.