Friday, January 30, 2009

Layering Adds Interest, Wouldn't You Agree?

I've been playing around with the idea of making larger stacking rings. I originally was only bezel setting this pearl onto the patterned band, but then decided to have it rest inside a dark sterling cup instead, I find the contrast of the rich, heavy patina and the luminous white pearl so appealing. It seemed a little bare so made things more cozy by wrapping the pearl with a twisted of sterling. What started off as a simple ring has benefited from layers of added interest.
Here it is at another angle...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Jewelry Packaging

This sterling necklace expresses a hopeful sentiment...wish for peace.

I'm trying out some new packaging for my jewelry. During the recent holidays my 15 year-old niece recommended that I include a message with my pieces. She feels that is makes each one more meaningful, elevating a simple necklace to a thoughtful piece that communicates something about the wearer. I think she's right! Let me know what YOU think of it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just in Time for Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I wanted to create some heart-themed jewelry, but wanted something different than the mass produced heart stamping blanks out there. So I decided to make my own organic, perfectly imperfect versions. I came up with this pendant and deliberately didn't want the X and O to line up. For me, things that are too precise, too measured or too perfect simply lose their appeal. Asymmetry, texture and patina add personality to a piece, like it has it's own history.

Here's a ring that I just finished. I will be logging both on my etsy site soon. I think I'll keep by hand saw ready to see what other imperfect shapes I come up with.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Aim and Dream Without Limits

A reminder for all of us to dream without limits. I wanted the pendant to be an imperfect organic star, in keeping with the stamped message, because striving for perfection is so limiting.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm More Productive When it's Dreary Out

It's been raining all day, making everything seem so dreary, but I do like the fact that I don't have to water outside. Staying in gives me the chance to be more creative. Here are some of the items I finished today.

This set is a reminder to aim high, reach for the stars, the sky (blue topaz) and the moon (golden citrine).

Stacking rings are some of my favorite pieces to make. I love their flexibility in giving you many options depening on your mood.

Personalized name necklaces are a wonderful expression of your love for your kids and give you a way to keep them close to your heart for always.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Helloooo Out There, Anybody There?

I finished a 5-ring stacking set today. Yay!!! I'm sending them off to Japan in the morning. I love sending my creations off to far away places.

Now, for things closer to home. Okay, I have to admit that I'm so new at this blogging stuff that I obsessively check throughout the day to see if anyone has left comments for me. It's so sad that I always see 0 comments. Just one comment, is that too much to ask??? My blog manager, aka my tech-savvy, hip daughter tells me I have to spice things up a bit, but I'm not quite sure how. I need to start thinking hip, I guess. I've gleaned some terrific advice from a fellow etsyan's blog at He seems to have a whirlwind of activity on his blog and on his etsy site. He definitely knows what he's doing. I have much to learn. I'll keep going, one luddite step after another.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where did the day go?

Well it got cold again so I'm back indoors pounding my metal. I have a couple of ring sets to make and decided to make one for myself. Here's a set of stacking can never have too many.
Also got a chance to finish this family charm bracelet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Day, Hope for Peace

What an amazing day! Time seemed to stand still during the inauguration, at least for me because I was glued to the TV and didn't budge for the a couple of hours. Let us all pray for peace and a new beginning.

I was inspired to create this PEACE bracelet. A simple, but strong statement.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Day With the Kids

What a gorgeously sunny day we're having in Northern California! The kids have the day off so we're off to spend it outdoors to enjoy the sunshine before the rain comes. I love this unseasonable weather, but we do need more rain.

I just missed the mailman on Saturday...I'm in desperate need of some supplies to arrive in the mail and wouldn't you know it that the post office is closed today...uuuugh! I'll be there first thing tomorrow morning, but I don't want to be gone too long away from my TV; I don't want to miss the inauguration! It's wonderful to honor Martin Luther King today and come tomorrow to have renewed hope for a better future.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ahimsa is Good for Your Marriage

After being out all day, I couldn't wait to get back to my workshop. I have some Etsy orders to fill and am eager to get to work. After looking at my freshly cut pendant I felt it appeared a tad plain and needed something more, a little embellishment. So with tools in hand I started pounding away. I like the way it turned out...more paisley like, don't you think? I also decided to stamp AHIMSA on it. It's a reminder to live life by doing no harm, whether it's with your thoughts, words or actions. It is reminiscent of the Buddhist teachings that urge us to try to think pure and beautiful thoughts, to say pure and beautiful words, and to do pure and beautiful deeds.

When I showed it to my husband he seemed a bit confused and asked why it said "Amnesia"? Funny how I was presented with a perfect opportunity to practice ahimsa. I had to remind myself, only pure and beautiful thoughts.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hello from DonnaO Designs,

I'm really new to blogging so I'll be learning as I go. So here goes...

I have a shop on Etsy,, where I sell my handmade jewelry and accessories. I'd like to use this space to kick around ideas and possibly find inspiration for new ideas along the way.

I set up shop there a couple of years back, and had an unexpectedly great year last year. I was expecting a pretty grim holiday season, but it was everything but that. I love filling orders and am grateful for any and all, large and small.

I'm currently branching out and moving away from strictly beading and doing more metalsmithing. I really enjoy pounding metal and using my hand saw. I love different shaped pendants as a backdrop for hand stamping names, inspirational words or phrases. I'm working on a paisley-shaped one at the moment. I love the organic feel of the swirly nature of paisley. Now to try to find the perfect word to stamp on it, hmmm. I'm always drawn to sanskrit words like satya, ahimsa, tapas. They're short, discreet and loaded with meaning.