Category Archives: Seasonal

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.”

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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.

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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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Sea Life Pendants

Blue Dot Jewelry Sea Inspired Jewelry

After an inspiring Fourth of July trip to the beach, I’ve become lost in making sea life pendants.

A small part of me hopes that summer will never end.

Above are a few of the final silver pieces — the tiniest crab claw and tiniest sea horse. Below they are pictured as unfired clay awaiting the kiln.

I hope summer has found its way to you, wherever you may be!

Sea Horse design by Blue Dot Jewely

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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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One-of-a-Kind Leaves

Long Leaf Pendant by Blue Dot JewelryAlthough these were made for the craft fair last weekend, I wanted to photograph them for my records, and to share with you.

They were made from different leaves than I’d ever used before, and I sure wish I could say what species they are, but they were so varied that I had an overwhelming appreciation – again! – for how diverse the creations of nature are.

These were all collected on one walk!

Pear Shaped Leaf by Blue Dot Jewelry

Leaf Pendant by Blue Dot Jewelry

Tiny Leaf, Sparky Chain by Blue Dot Jewelry

Tiny Leaf Posts by Blue Dot Jewelry

Lined Leaf by Blue Dot Jewelry

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Nature Gives the Best Gifts

Blue Dot Helicopter Pendant

Wearing these together makes me feel like nature woman!

May has been my busiest month ever for filling orders, including for two new boutiques. One is in Greenport, on the North Fork of Long Island, which I love because it’s an excuse to visit this lovely beach town. Woowee! (Although it will be a little while.)

But I am always recharged by making new nature-inspired pieces. The maple helicopter was a find in Central Park. The twig stacking rings are new additions I’ve been wearing most every day! The detail goes all the way around the bands.

Thank you, mother nature. It’s a great pleasure working with you.

Blue Dot Jewelry Twig Rings.

Twig Rings_Blue Dot Jewelry

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Earth Day is Every Day! And Spring is Here.

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“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

How happy that the trees are starting to bloom! We recently went for a jaunt in the park, and despite a persistent chilly breeze (be gone already, s’il vous plait) the direct sunlight was warm enough to bring us back to life.

Sun! Finally!

This time we walked up a path in the northwest corner of Prospect Park. We found this great fallen tree with green and purple slate-like rocks among its roots. I collected twigs for creating stacked rings. I considered the fractal symmetry of this lichen. And we counted the rings of a tree. I guessed 105 years. It was 145  – almost exactly the amount of time since the park opened. There were some lean years in there. So many things this tree would have seen, since the days of horse drawn carriages!
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And my favorite magnificent tree. Happy Earth Day!

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Lights, Camera, Illustration!

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This post is a little premature, but I’m excited to see something special coming to life.

My sister is a talented illustrator. (I’m not biased! I swear!) She has been drawing since she could properly manage a pen, and her style has evolved so sweetly – she makes prints and card sets with endless personality.

She is now preparing to open a shop – in pursuit of the work-art-life balance, the creative sustainability we all hope to achieve. (I know you know what I mean!) I’m proud of her.

We used yesterday’s perfect afternoon light to photograph her illustrations. It was much different photographing paper goods than reflective silver jewelry – fewer variables by far. We made good time, and were quickly rewarding ourselves with a pint!

This is a funny piece of Maura’s from December.

I’ll share again when the shop has come into being.

I hope you had a festive St. Patrick’s Day!

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A Sweet Deer in the Woods… For Spring!

I revisited an old design this weekend… a quiet deer among the leaves. For this piece, the deer is always the centerpiece, but I like to change the scenery from piece to piece. I have also given this a wood-grained surface texture, which feels more organic than a high shine.

I know talking about spring won’t make it come any faster, but doggonit, I’m trying!

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Sparkle and Crunch

Prospect Park snow day, NemoWe took a late afternoon stroll through Prospect Park yesterday. The snow was mostly all trampled in the Long Meadow, which tells you just how many people had been out for a romp yesterday, but it was still a beautiful scene. Some sledders had figured out how to go SO FAST. There were tiny munchkins experiencing their first snow, nearly unable to move in their in puffy snowsuits, and adults zipping down hills (barely in control) on anything from food trays and inner tubes to good old fashioned toboggans. It was all a funny sight.

There was even a larger than life snowman dedicated to Ed Koch in the center of the meadow, which had a steady cluster of fans in attendance. There were snowpeople sneaking up on snowpeople. And the snow bear was my favorite sighting!

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snowmenphoto (17)sled trackProspect Park snow day, Nemo

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Valentine’s Day! Are You Ready?

Silver robot necklace handmade by Blue Dot Jewelry.We’ve been busy! It’s almost painful to go outside these days, so I’ve been hunkering down alternately over my desk and computer. The results are our SPARKLING NEW WEBSITE and these heart pieces — two more ways to say to your special someone, “Hey, I like you. I really do!”  Just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Silver heart post earrings by Blue Dot Jewelry.

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