Friday, December 17, 2010


There is nothing quite like the feeling of being creative!!!  One of the reasons that I make, do, and create stems from a long-standing family Tradition.

My father's family decided about 10+ years ago that instead of drawing names and buying gifts we would MAKE our gifts.  This has been an amazing journey for what is already an amazing family.  One of my counsins put it perfectly when she said that it is really incredible to see what each individual comes up with.   Not to toot our own horns, but we are a pretty "crafty" bunch.  We have seen many different handmade gifts given and received through the years, there have been group favorites, repeat items and planned exchanges to get a favorite handmade item made by that one individual.  The gifts range from bird houses, blankets, pillows, clocks, shelves, shoe racks, oil paintings, pencil drawings, decorative tiles, cookies, tables, chalkboards, clipboards, baseball bats, wall hangings, quilt racks, candles, aprons, duct tape wallets and potatoe canons to name just a few.

This year I have my Uncle Lee and I will not reveal the gift that I have made for him, but I will say that this wonderful tradition makes each of us require the need to know our family members even better to get the creative edge in order that our gift will be something they will treasure forever.

Thank you to Nancy for suggesting this idea so many many years ago!  You are a gem!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Charm Bracelets with Special Meaning!

As I mentioned in a past blog post, my mother-in-law Nancy is a romance novelist.  As with most writers, she has a close group of "writer-friends" that she uses as editors and/or critics and vice versa.  This Christmas season, she asked me to help her find special charms for each of her writer friends specific genres to incorporate into a bracelet for each.  She also wanted to use charms that represented her own recent set of books.  We used several different colors of beads, some found from my bead-stash and others purchased, and used a stretchy, fits-most wrists easily, thread for stringing.  Some of the charms were Werewolf paw prints, handcuffs, handguns, hearts, books titled "romance novels", typewriters, Egyptian themed charms, horses, horseshoes, fairies, dragons, and almost anything else you could imagine.  Many of the charms Nancy was able to special order from Chubby Chico Charms!

The gifts were presented to each friend and were much loved!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finished Product

So, I have finally finished the project for Danielle.  I had a specific look in mind for what I wanted this to end up as.  If you want to wear it as a long can do that, or you can double it up with the s-hook clasp and turn it into a three strand necklace.  The beads in this necklace are from two separate necklaces that were not getting worn.  However, the chain, links and square link chain are new purchases.  The links are antiqued copper and hand made by an artisan.  I am hoping that Danielle will like her new necklace...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Business Cards

It is a mad house around here!  I find myself daydreaming about all of the projects, crafts, jewelry and odds-and-ends that I would rather be working on than my actual job or housework.  Why is it that time goes by too fast and we never have enough energy or time to do what we REALLY want to do?  That is the eternal question...right? 

This evening I am attending a networking gathering here in Downtown Kalamazoo and I was busily working on making business cards to take.  I like to make my own cards out of recycled paper/cardboard boxes...It just makes sense that if I make my jewelry out off repurposed items that I would make my marketting materials out of recycled materials as well.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Romancing the Stone

I am in the process of making several beaded charm bracelet's for a friend as Christmas gifts for a close knit group of friends.  My customer has picked out a heart prism charm with a different hue for each individual.  From there, I have come up with a color scheme for each bracelet.  I will post progress as we move along...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Su's Necklace

Su handed me a little plastic baggie filled with old mismatched earrings, broken necklaces among other odds and ends that she had from her mother's and possible her grandmother's estates.  Mixed in with all of this was the most lovely gold plated women's belt buckle.  We both agreed that it was one of the neatest pieces in the bag and that little buckle and I had a long relationship.

I had that on my work bench for months.  I would sit and look at it...even attempt to create something to fit inside the buckle out of clay, but nothing clicked.  It was at that time that I discovered an old scarf that was a part of MY grandmother's estate and the connection was immediate.  I used a small portion of the scarf, backed it with muslin and quilting material and secured it to the middle of the buckle.  I knew that the focal part of the necklace was ornate enough that the chain couldn't out do the buckle.  I used a simple piece of leather with two small gold filigree beads to complete the look.  It was a hit. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall Afternoon

I had a few moments to create a necklace for one of my good friends' upcoming Novmeber birthday.  Otherwise, raking leaves is a good way to do some manual labor.  Manual labor always makes me feel good and gives me a clear mind.  Making that necklace for Leila helped me work through the beading block I was experiencing recenlty.  I have attached a picture of a necklace that I have listed on called "Queen Mary".  This necklace's focal point is an repurposed gold tone earring with a pink stone set in the middle.  Enjoy the rest of your fall weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jewelry Block...Grrrr.

Okay.  So. I know writers get "writers block" and artists are always plagued by their need to perfect their art, but whatever it was that I was going through last evening has presented itself as "jewelers-block".  I am working on a piece that I have created in my mind to be this miraculous necklace and whenever I sit down to work on just doesn't come together.  Aggravating!!!  I have already established a workable resolution to my frustration, but it will require some extra work and additional components.  I will keep the world posted.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Friends and Family

I work with my mother-in-law.  I know, I know...people are thinking how weird and uncomfortable that would be, but overall, it is good fun.  I introduced her to my new blog yesterday and she was as excited about it as I was.  But, she also has quite an incredible talent, she is a published author.  I remember that that was one of the first things I learned about Nancy Gideon and I remember being really impressed at such an amazing accomplishment.  Just recently she published the first three books in a series through Pocket Book Publishers.  Creativity comes in all shapes, forms and sizes and I feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by those people everyday.
I wish that I could say that I made the necklace that she is wearing in this picture, but I did is a great piece nonetheless!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jewelry Therapy

This necklace was made for my boss for a holiday or a birthday celebration.  The focal piece was a broken brooch from an online auction and part of the necklace above the brooch are links from a broken bracelet.  Making this necklace made me realize how lovely a broken brooch or bracelet can make a newer work of jewelry. 

When I don't have time to sit down and work on something crafty or jewelry related, I tend to get a little cranky.  I find that I will have bursts of creative energy to really be productive on jewelry projects.  Those times are what my friend Mary calls "jewelry therapy".  For some reason working with my hands is cathartic and helps me cope.  I also just like to make pretty stuff!!  My goal is to have some jewelry therapy today, but we will see what the day holds.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The process

As I mentioned in my earlier blog, I am recreating a necklace for a friend.  I have attached a picture of the beads and some of the components that I am going to be using.  Although, the process changes a lot of the time.  I may start with one idea in mind and when I begin to put things together, it does not feel or look right.  I am actually going to use a website to see what others think of my start on the necklace.  The website is and can be helpful for fashion concious.  If you sign up, you can post questions about fashion or if an outfit would look good together or what others that are posting think of a particular shirt, skirt or necklace.  I am hoping to get some good feedback! 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last Sunday in October

I LOVE HALLOWEEN!  Fall is my favorite season.  There is something in the air that just makes me feel more creative.

Although, there will be trick-or-treating this evening, I will save some energy for time in my "studio" for creation on a new piece of jewelry.   My boss has given me two lovely necklaces that use several large agates in a repetitive  pattern.  She doesn't wear them any longer and wants to have them incorporated into a much different set up.  She wants chain and some irregularity to the piece.  I ordered a handmade chain, matching clasp and some metal beads to accent the beads from a really phenomenal metal artist on Etsy called Higher Chakra Supply.  Now, I just need to sit down with it all and look at different options.  Should be fun!

Keep watching for updates on the progress of the process!!  Happy Halloween! 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Donation of Jewelry

Today is the day before Halloween, but I am already focusing on the Holdays.  The holiday season is all about giving and I have started early.  I was asked by Attorney Matthew Yokom to donate an item for a silent auction at a non-profit event that he is involved with.  Open Doors is a local Kalamazoo non-profit that will hopefully benefit from the sale of the necklace that I am donating. 

By donating the necklace, I am hoping to do two things.  First, the necklace will hopefully find a good home with someone and the auction will fetch a decent amount of money for the non-profit.  Second, I would love to get my name out and under people's noses.  A free form of advertising and for the greater good.  Please see the picture of the necklace in my Welcoming blog.  The name of the piece is "Tis' the Season".  Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010 my new blog

As a close friend says, I "marry the old with the new". A "ReMaryd" original piece of jewelry is literally one-of-a-kind. I like to think of myself as resourceful. The jewelry that I create is not only "original", but each item is built on the idea of recycling the old into something NEW. I pride myself on making a new creation out of items that have a rich history; an old brooch from an estate sale, beads from a broken necklace or an earring without a mate. "These are a few of my FAVORITE things". I love a piece of jewelry with a story. In fact, my most loved souvenirs from past trips are pieces of jewelry or lovely scarves.

When trying to establish when or where my creativity and knack for crafting was sparked, I realized that I had to think back quite a few years to a former coworker who introduced me to the art of wire bending. It was also the introduction to a local bead store that really made my juices start to boil. But, when I think back to my childhood, I have to give my mom and my dad a big pat on the back for making me a "do more with what you have" kind of girl. They instilled the importance and basics of vegetable gardening, hunting for your own food, recycling, composting and helping your family and neighbors and most importantly they lived by example. It is in this that I attribute the need to create out of what is broken. If a piece of jewelry still has some life in it I stare at it, sometimes for days, weeks, or months trying to establish what form it’s new life will take.

I want the jewelry that I create to have a happy home with the person who wears it from this point forward. I am hopeful that the person that acquires my jewelry will see and feel the history, the past, and the resurrection of a beautiful piece of art to wear. However, although the design is new, the parts and pieces are they may have a vintage look.