Posts tagged silversmith
You Are Invited To My Annual Studio Sale

It seems like forever since I have posted on The Pickled Pearl. The summer just got away from me this year. I have been very busy with markets and family for the last few months.

And now my annual studio sale is just a few days away. It is the one day every year that I make a special point of really showing my appreciation for my customers and all those who have helped me believe in myself and my craft.

My studio sale and open house will be this Tuesday, November 24th from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. My entire inventory of handcrafted sterling silver jewelry will be 15% off. I will have some finger food and beverages for all. Even if you don't need to buy a little something as a Christmas gift, stop by to say hello. I would love to see everyone.

For the first time ever, I will be giving away a few door prizes to those who subscribe to The Pickled Pearl. Just to show you how grateful I am for your encouragement.

I hope to see you on Tuesday! 



November 24th
1:00 - 9:00 p.m.

10201 Hollymount Drive
Richmond, BC

Message me on Facebook at The Pickled Pearl if you need directions or have questions.






In The Beginning, or the Zuni Ring
Me at 11 or 12 years old.

Me at 11 or 12 years old.


I have always been a silver girl.

Gold just never did it for me.

I think sterling silver reminded me of the moon. And of the magic and mysteries concealed by the night. It was the feminine counterpart to the masculine sun.

Or maybe I just read too much Greek mythology as a kid.

A Navajo silver and turquoise ring that was given to me by my great aunt. It was most likely made in the 1930's or 40's.

A Navajo silver and turquoise ring that was given to me by my great aunt. It was most likely made in the 1930's or 40's.


One of my earliest jewelry memories is from when I was about 11 years old. We were living in the tiny town of Overgaard, Arizona. Everyone always sees of the arid desert of Pheonix and Tuscon when they imagine Arizona, but a large part of the state is mountainous with a high elevation plateau. 

Overgaard is situated up in the mountains on the Mogollon Rim, 144 miles from Phoenix. It sits in the Eastern part of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. The population at the time was in the neighborhood of 400 people. There wasn’t much to the town. A couple of taverns and a corner store were about all Overgaard had to offer.

Because it was such a small community, we had a lot of freedom. My days were spent exploring the Ponderosa Pine forest, sailing down dirt roads.  My nights were often spent with my sleeping bag at the edge of the forest near our property. 

The elementary school was in the next community, Heber. It was a whole lot bigger with a whopping 2,000 or so people.

A Navajo concho brooch (circa 1930). It was my grandmother's. She gave it to my mother, who later gave it to me. 

A Navajo concho brooch (circa 1930). It was my grandmother's. She gave it to my mother, who later gave it to me. 


I can't remember what the occasion was. Maybe Christmas. Or maybe the end of the school year. Everyone in the class drew another student's name, and we were supposed to give them a gift at the school party. The boy I liked drew my name. I was terribly excited by the prospect of a gift from him.

He was Zuni Indian. I didn't really know him. I had never been to his house and never hung out with him after school. He was kind of shy and didn't say a whole lot. It was a typical early adolescent crush - infatuation without substance.

One of the things I didn't know about him was that he came from a family of silversmiths. Instead of buying me a gift, he made me a diminutive turquoise and silver ring. It was quite simple. A small round piece of aqua colored turquoise, framed in silver, and resting on a silver ring shank,

A ring similar to the one I was given. This one is made by Amy at  Mossy Creek Studio

A ring similar to the one I was given. This one is made by Amy at Mossy Creek Studio


I loved that ring. I was so amazed that he could make something like that. And that he would spend that much time making something for me. It was one of the first pieces of real jewelry I ever owned.

We got to be friends after, that boy and I.  We hung out a little over the summer and had a few adventures in the rural mountains. I have a vague picture of meandering paths and bicycles. Dirt roads and alfalfa fields. There was an old, abandoned travel trailer at the end of one of those dirt roads. It became the summertime hang out for all us kids.

Ponderosa Pine Forest. Photo from

Ponderosa Pine Forest. Photo from

And then one day we had an argument. I am sure it was something trivial. Very juvenile. He demanded that I give the ring back. It had been given as a gift. But that didn't matter. I threw the ring down, and it hit the dusty dirt track with a poof. That was the last time I saw the ring. If he didn't want me to have it, then I didn't want it either.

Dumb me.

Funny. I still think about that ring. But I can't even remember the boy's name. 


Subscribe to get blog posts by email. You will also get special discounts and invitations for my handcrafted jewelry.

Mother's Day
My mother and I when was about 18 months old. See, I told you I was born bossy.

My mother and I when was about 18 months old. See, I told you I was born bossy.


My mother's birthday is soon. You might be wondering why that is important and what it has to do with The Pickled Pearl...

We almost lost her last year. It was Christmas Eve at our house. My husband, Roger, and I were planning our usual feast for Christmas dinner. Turkey, ham, browned butter and garlic mashed potatoes, candied yams, and homemade pies. You get the picture. 




Mom and I spent all day in the kitchen prepping food for the next day. I hadn't seen her in a few months and we had a great time together, like we always do. She is an expert washer and chopper, and I was my usual bossy-pants self. I planned, shopped, and orchestrated the steps that would turn bags full of groceries into a delightful, gut stuffing, gastronomic event.

By dinner time, we were sick of the kitchen. With enough food laid out to feed a small army the next day, we just couldn't face starting all over again to cook that night's dinner. So we did what any self-respecting, food obsessed family would do. We went out for Chinese food.


Silver Heart 2


We ate lemon chicken, minced beef lettuce cups, and whatever else struck our fancy while we gabbed. We just enjoyed being together again.  After dinner, we had a glass of wine at home, and then decided to call it a night.

I had settled into bed with my book, and Roger was watching TV. All of a sudden my dad started screaming bloody murder. As I raced to grab something to put on (standing in front of my dad in my birthday suite wasn't an option), I was thinking that this wasn't going to be good.

I burst out of our bedroom. Roger was right behind me. I ran across the hall, and as soon as I opened the door to my parent's room, I knew my mom was dead. Among other things, I have been an emergency room nurse, and I know dead when I see it. She was a horrific shade of violet blue, indicating that she had been without circulating oxygen for some time.


Sure enough. There was no pulse. I started CPR. Roger, who is a paramedic, called the ambulance, got the oxygen and defibrillator out of his truck, and opened the front door so the ambulance could see which house needed help easily.

By the time he got back to the bedroom a couple of minutes had passed. We stopped CPR to check for a pulse. Unbelievable gratitude and relief washed through me when we felt the bop, bop, bop of a slow but strong heart beat.

I won't bore you with all details of several days in ICU and battery of tests. What I will say is that my mother made a 100% recovery and is now the proud owner of a brand new pacemaker.

So my mother's birthday is soon. And I haven't seen her since she was released from the hospital and drove home to North Idaho. I planned a surprise visit. She is turning 70, and I want to be with her.

I gave her a new sewing machine last fall as an early birthday present. She is crafty still and loves to sew. Her old machine dates back at least to the 1960s. Still, I wanted to give her a gift that she could open on her actual birthday. But what?

I have a new hydraulic press, and am currently fascinated with hollow forms. I also had some acrylic silhouette dies that I purchased on Etsy. And then it struck me. I would make my mom a heart.

 I textured. Then molded it with my hydraulic press. Then soldered and drilled.

Silver Heart 3


Added a bail, and set some stones - a garnet on the front and a white topaz on the back.

 And finally polished.

Silver Heart 4


I hope she loves it.

My mom is such a good friend to me. I am thankful beyond belief that I get to spend more time with her.  Please remember to cherish your mother while you can.

 Happy Mothers Day, Mom.  You are, and always will be, my favourite




Silver Heart 6