Category Archives: Field Trip

A First: Photoshoot with a Model

I am lucky in that I have two sisters. They are two of the most wonderful people I know. One lives up the street from us in Brooklyn, which, considering the size of this city and the independent routes we took to come to be neighbors, is a bit remarkable. It also makes me trés happy.

Which is all to say, when I landed on the idea of a lifestyle photoshoot to highlight some of my designs, my beautiful sister was my go-to model. By a stroke of luck, I thought of these three colored brick walls on the morning of the shoot, all between our apartments, which I hadn’t noticed until I started looking at the neighborhood through “photoshoot eyes.”

I can say now that my favorite thing about photographing a sister/model is knowing precisely what was making her laugh in each moment. I would love to do another with both of my sisters one day, when the geographic and timing stars align.

The top photo is what I’m calling my favorite of the outtakes.

A fun day, with lovely results, if I may say so. And my goodness, it was actually sunny! More of that please. Hallelujah.

Nature Inspired Jewelry, ModeledNature Inspired Jewelry, ModeledNature Inspired Jewelry, Modeled

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Today at BUST’s Primped: Pamper Yo’ Self!

Charms Ready for BUST Primped

If you are a New Yorker / Brooklynite trying to decide how to best get outside to enjoy what promises to be a beautiful day, consider coming to BUST’s Craftacular event, Primped. From 11am to 6pm in the Brooklyn Night Bazaar space in Williamsburg (165 Banker Street), for the $3 admission, you can partake in the following:

  • Shopping from 90 vendors of vintage, beauty and generally lovely things
  • Flower crowns
  • Bang trims
  • Eco-friendly make up applications
  • Tarot readings!
  • Portrait photobooth!
  • DIY activities (nail art, etc.)
  • Swag bag for first 300 guests
  • Plus, DJing all day and cocktails and snacks available (outdoor beer garden!)

I’ll be there, at a table nearish to the entrance. Hope to see you there!

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Anniversary Escape to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls by Blue Dot Jewelry

My desire to see Niagara Falls came on rather suddenly. For most of my life, I hadn’t given this natural beauty more than a passing thought. Then one day we talked about it, and I decided I really did want to experience the falls in person.

So for our anniversary we road tripped up to the border, on into Ontario, Canada, and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. Like any grand spectacle, there is no substitute for standing there next to Niagara’s Horseshoe Falls. It’s loud and churning and endless.

Everyone was a little wet from the mist but charged enough by some unseen powers that our loose hairs were standing on end, like they’d been rubbed by a balloon. We read that these are the negative ions that are said to alleviate stress and depression. It worked for us… go see for yourself! 😉

It was a broody day and the color of the sky and water changed throughout.

Niagara Falls by Blue Dot Jewelry

This goofball did this. I’m happy to report that we both survived the day. I may worry too much.

Niagara Falls by Blue Dot Jewelry

This was one of my favorite vantage points, seeing the water picking up momentum.

Niagara Falls by Blue Dot Jewelry

After the falls we visited Niagara’s Botanical Gardens. These beds pictured are full of edibles like thyme, mint and lavender. A School of Horticulture building is off to the left, along with beds of kale, artichoke, cabbage and brussels sprouts. I looked for potential jewelry bits and pieces but the end of the growing season is arriving and things were pretty ragged up close. As a garden though, we were so impressed with the care and variety within.

Niagara Falls by Blue Dot Jewelry

On the grounds of the garden is a beautiful Butterfly Conservatory. We settled on this as part of our weekend after reading reviews, and it actually was so fun. There are 45 species of butterflies, clearly well cared for, in a pleasantly landscaped tropical environment with a pond and a waterfall. I chased them with my camera (gracefully and delicately) and managed a few close-ups.

Niagara Falls by Blue Dot Jewelry

Niagara Falls by Blue Dot Jewelry

And I nearly forgot to mention our friend. I’m not sure why I was so excited that this guy wanted to stay and hang out, but I insisted on photos. Must have been the ions.

Niagara Falls by Blue Dot Jewelry

Happy anniversary to my sweet, supportive, kind and generous honey!

Niagara Falls by Blue Dot Jewelry

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Hello Fall. Silver Looks Good on You.

Hello! So many things are new at Blue Dot after a summer of making, planning and growing. (See above: making!) I thought I’d stop for a moment to review and share all the changes.

It’s been a big six months. In that time I’ve partnered with stores in two new states — all of them lovely independent boutiques run by creative, interesting and hard working people. One of these states is my native Oregon — an especially proud development because, well, I love Oregon. Each shop is quite different from the others and working with them has been a learning experience and a joy.

Blue Dot is now also in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s gift store, just up the street from us. That was a wonderful full-circle moment because so many of my designs had their start in the garden. Here are a few of those pieces.

Blue Dot at Brooklyn Botanic Garden gift shop.

Blue Dot at Brooklyn Botanic Garden gift shop.

Currently I am gearing up for the Greenport Maritime Festival this weekend. It’s a three-day outdoor party, so I have an eye on the weather predictions, but I think we’ll be warm and dry enough to enjoy seaside treats (scallops for me please!), North Fork vino, live music and the work by all the arts and crafters who will be there. For some reason, too, I have this idea that sea-themed events are implicitly happy, and knowing that is what’s at the end of this week of prep is making me whistle as I work. And knowing that 40,000 visitors attended this event last year is pumping me up. If you’ll be there, look for the Blue Dot table and say hello!

I’m also looking forward to finally visiting a wonderful store I’ve been working with in Greenport called The White Weathered Barn. The proprietor and her husband make a significant amount of their store’s inventory — that’s kind of a dream for me. And they are rocking it. Here is some of my sea-themed silver in their shop.

Blue Dot at The White Weathered Barn

Blue Dot at The White Weathered Barn

I’m also working with a new online shop that I would like to point you to. Their website is beautiful and their company culture seems really nice. Maybe it’s that famous Canadian love? Meet Fairgoods. They did such a nice write up about Blue Dot Jewelry. It also features my face as big as I’ve ever seen it online. Hello!

My face on Fairgoods.

My face on Fairgoods.

I also love being a part of the very southern-and-loving-it Bourbon & Boots. Here are a few of my pieces, as photographed by their talented selves.

Blue Dot at Bourbon & Boots

Blue Dot at Bourbon & Boots

And for good measure, a bunch of post earrings out in La Crosse, Wisconsin, with the shop owner’s sweet note on her Facebook page.

"A sampling of her earrings. I love them all....I may have to buy all of them!"

“A sampling of her earrings. I love them all….I may have to buy all of them!”

I’m so grateful for all of these opportunities. We know that positivity is contagious, and I think in many ways the same goes for the creativity. The people I’ve been meeting are making this jewelry adventure exponentially more rewarding.

This coming Sunday will find me on Main Street in Greenport, so I’ll say now, happy fall, officially, almost! Time for blankets, tea and sweaters.

Excuse me while I go warm up by the heat of my kiln 🙂

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A Weekend Away in Scituate


One thing I love about using my phone as a camera is that my photos are at my fingertips when I’m in the mood to reminisce. I can quickly escape from the subway back to the middle of our last getaway. With the weather suddenly a good bit cooler, I’m already looking back fondly on our well-enjoyed summer.

These are some moments from our melty-hot, stormy and ultimately restful July weekend in the pretty seaside town of Scituate, MA. As with most good weekends, it was spent with friends, and ended with a new jewelry design 🙂A WEEKEND IN SCITUATE



Before the storm, only a few brave souls were out on the beach. In the distance is the town’s very tall wind turbine.

This is a water tower — can you believe it? You can read here about how a millionaire’s wife asked her husband to “do something about” the view from their estate of a 276,000-gallon water tower, and so in 1902, he revealed its transformation into possibly the prettiest water tower in the world. A WEEKEND IN SCITUATE
A WEEKEND IN SCITUATEThis is The Quarter Deck, a shop I remembered fondly since my last visit (in my teens! oy). Its bright windows are full of baskets of starfish, sand dollars and gemstones, so fun to comb through. It’s a little smaller than I remembered, but that isn’t that how memory sometimes works…


We had a really nice time. We were treated to burgers at the deliciously cheesy Wahlburgers (which has gluten free buns, which will make my day any day) and spent a lot of time catching up with our friends.

Back at home, these are the tiny post earrings I made from my Quarter Deck purchases… fifteen tiny starfish for one dollar, yes please!



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A Summer Visit to Portland

Our week away in Portland has come with the best weather we could have hoped for. Cool mornings give way to 82 degree afternoons, and the plants are happy as always!

We started by stocking up on goodies and groceries at Saturday Market, which seems to have doubled in size since I last was there. It’s full of a delicious assortment of things.

Portland Saturday MarketWhile seeing jazz in the Washington Park Amphitheater we wandered up through the rose garden, a bit stunned to remember that it’s home to 550 different species of the flower. (Some are just numbered but most have entertaining names — Girls Night Out, anyone?)

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose GardenPortland Rose GardenIts full name is the International Test Rose Garden, and it was a great idea implemented in 1917, making it the oldest continuously operated public rose test garden in the US.

I liked this answer to “the most fragrant rose.”


Our climb back to the car turned into more of an adventure than we’d anticipated, but who can be upset by trees and more trees?20130805-233619.jpgMy favorite shopping trip has been to Paxton Gate — “Treasures and Oddities inspired by the Garden and the Natural sciences.” They have all manner of bones, fossils and taxidermy for sale — not for the squeamish, but a fascinating museum-like place. I found exciting tidbits to use in making jewelry, “coming soon” to the line.

Among the lots of taxidermy is this tiny black pig. I do love a little pig.


This Bismuth had us all impressed with its size and color. Did you know it is the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol?

Bismuth at Paxton Gate

A happy week to you!Bird in the firs.

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Hardest Hike I’ve Ever Done

Breakneck RidgeI’m not an avid hiker, for the record. I do like long nature walks, but usually the horizontal variety. This is different. Breakneck Ridge is so steep and rocky in parts that you have to consider the next several spots you’ll place your feet before taking another step. You have to consider your route up, and often it involved, for me, finding handholds, too. But it also means you have route options, so each time we’ve gone up it’s felt like a slightly different hike, and variety helps motivate!

Yesterday was hot — I know some of you felt this, too. But the view there of the Hudson River is spectacular, and that’s the reason to keep climbing.

Cold Spring turquoiseFor those of you in the NYC area, this hike is between Beacon and Cold Spring, lovely towns. We’re especially fond of the latter’s Main Street (and its abundant antique stores).

I only collected a few leaves for making jewelry — I needed my hands for other things! — but afterward I bought a pretty little piece of turquoise at this great Cold Spring bead store.

I hope you had a safe, happy Fourth!

Breakneck Ridge

View from Breakneck Ridge

View from Breakneck Ridge

Breakneck view

I love you to the moon and back, at Breakneck Ridge

We saw this little gem on a table outside an antique store on Main Street, Cold Spring:

Vintage photos for sale in Cold Spring

And this, too:

Flowers in Cold Spring

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Renegade Craft Fair – A Great Weekend in Williamsburg

Renegade Craft Fair 2013This weekend kept us on our toes – eye-crossing heat, sudden rain, a sporadic wind that felt like a gift but had a habit of flipping over anything not pinned down. The many tremendously friendly people we talked to made it all worth while.

This was my first outdoor market and I learned that the experience can be even more enjoyable if one’s booth neighbors are interesting to talk to. We lucked out.

And, as the weekend comes to an end, I love to think of my jewelry going off to be worn around the world!

Renegade Craft Fair 2013

There were many features to this event – 300 vendors, food, DJs, jewelry making workshops with a team from Martha Stewart magazine, and a clear view of the Empire State Building across the East River.

Renegade Craft Fair 2013

There is the food on the right, and the beginning of the vendor tents on the left. (Ours has the blue top and clever shade canopy out the back – a lifesaver that my husband rigged when it became clear we might be lobster-red without a fix. On Sunday, many other tents had grown their own back canopies.)

Renegade Craft Fair 2013

As I said, it was hot. Beyond wanting ice cream hot. Huddle in the shade hot.

Renegade Craft Fair 2013, Blue Dot Jewelry tableThere I am with Ian, on the left, who came from Taiwan with his beautiful, soft Italian leather goods, and Gillian, who makes wood-burned flasks and pocketknives, in town from Providence. When the DJs played Beastie Boys, Ian showed us a photo of his cute 10-month-old son back home in a Beastie Boys t-shirt!

Renegade Craft Fair 2013, Blue Dot JewelryHooray for a well-run, successful event. We loved seeing everyone who came by (especially some familiar faces) and look forward to next year’s Renegade Craft Fair!

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See You at The Renegade Craft Fair!

Blue Dot Jewelry at Renegade Craft Fair

See the Blue Dot nature rings there in the middle? Woo!

I’m thrilled about being a participant in this summer’s Renegade Craft Fair, one week from today on the Williamsburg waterfront. We’re there Saturday and Sunday – I’m going to have to sit on my hands to keep from excessively shopping.

I’ve even had a banner made with the Blue Dot logo. Finally. I feel like it’s the most official business thing I’ve done, because it’s just pretty and vinyl and real. I want to hang it in our living room where I can see it, for the moment anyway. (My husband doesn’t know this yet. Hi honey!)

This weekend there will be 300 vendors, food, music and views of the city. Come out and say hi! Look for our tent and banner!

Renegade Craft Fair Brooklyn Banner

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A Walk in Prospect Park (Never Gets Old!)

The long meadow of Prospect Park Brooklyn by BlueDotJewelry

Sometimes when we are really busy, I need reminders to stop, put down the jewelry and go outside. I’m always glad for these breaks, and today was a perfect 82 degrees – a shame it would have been to voluntarily stay inside all day!

Somehow, we found parts of the park that looked unfamiliar to me. After a two hour walk that included ice cream (< this place is amazing) I found a few leaves that are now in the kiln with the other more urgent work I had. I cannot help but pick up a beautiful grass seed!

The third photo below shows rings in the making. They are also firing tonight.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend!

Prospect Park Brooklyn by BlueDotJewelry Prospect Park Brooklyn by BlueDotJewelry Prospect Park Brooklyn by BlueDotJewelry Prospect Park Brooklyn by BlueDotJewelryProspect Park Brooklyn by BlueDotJewelry Prospect Park Brooklyn by BlueDotJewelry

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