Monday, December 28, 2009

Our Ladybug and Ladybug Picnic

A ladybug lives in our home. She's 5 and her name is Jaymee. What a delight! The day she was born, our daughter Leanne and I both nicknamed her "Ladybug" without the other knowing. When I held this little six pounder in the hospital room and called her "Mommy's Little Ladybug", I thought Leanne was going to jump off the bed. It was a cute moment which cemented the nickname forever.

Do you know how many things are available with ladybugs on them? Jayee has a pillow, tiny earrings, an itty bitty bracelet for a tiny wrist, shirts, pants, buttons, stuffed bugs, and even a tea set with ladybugs on the handles of the spoons. Jaymee points them out when she thinks we might have missed one in a store. We even point them out to each other when she's not with us.

When Leanne decided to get her own jewelry business up and running, she chose Silver Bug as the name of the ready-made line we also carry at Juni G. You don't have to guess what's on the Silver Bug business cards.

Bless Laura Tidey. When I asked her to make ladybug lampwork beads, she spent time looking at options and waited until the creative juices were at their best...then she made the most adorable ladybugs! The center bead is a triangle with red bugs on the three points. Laura amazes me!

Ladybug Picnic can be remade if someone wants a similar bracelet. There will be enough differences to make them one of a kind. With facetted, banded onyx beads, tagua rondelles, and sterling silver beads plus a ladybug toggle, it's priced in the $90 range.

Email me at with any questions.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Carole Powell & California Sushi

My wonderful Sister, Carole Powell, is the best sister ever! You can't imagine the ability she has to multi-task. When they passed out the do-it-all-at-once gene, she received hers AND what didn't get delivered to me in the gene pool four years before! Being able to focus on more than one thing at a time takes incredible talent and energy which I do NOT have. Any attempt to do what she accomplishes daily puts me in a meltdown situation rather quickly. Her Facebook posts make me tired just reading them and begs the question, "Woman, when do you sleep?" Carole exemplifies the Scripture, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might."...on steroids.

Carole owns the original California Sushi bracelet, earrings, and slide which are one of a kind. The Laura Tidey lampworks in California Sushi 2 are the same color, but each bead is different. This bracelet is chunky and as much fun as the first. It has a matching slide and earrings can be made to match without being heavy. The bracelet and slide are available for $109 and the earrings are free. Email me for more information.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

DC & Cinnabar Bouquet

It's been a while since I posted a blog, but here we are in November headed for Thanksgiving already and it's amazing how fast time has flown. Making jewelry, doing shows, teaching art, spending time with family here and in Maryland, have all sped up the clock.

Two Sundays ago, Jay and his family took me to Washington, DC, where we spent the day on a walking tour. I'd forgotten how small the area is and how easy it is to see a lot in a short span of time. The weather was perfect and the trees were dressed in the most vivid colors I've seen in a while. My camera was full of wonderful pictures by the end of the day. This is just one example of the Washington Monument surrounded by fantastic leaves and sky. The delightful day made a memory for me. I'd like to do it again, next time seeing the buildings and landmarks we missed for lack of time. Something to look forward to.

The rest of the trip to MD was spent decorating Jay and Michelle's lovely new home. We managed to finish four rooms. The three of us worked steadily for several days to get the rooms completed before I headed back to Florida. My favorite vignette is the diningroom wall with words saying, "The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table." Click on the picture to see the words closely.

Returned Tuesday night, spent Wednesday preparing for school Thursday. With an Open House scheduled for today and two shows next Friday and Saturday, there was the need for more production, so I pulled out the stops and have been cranking out serious jewelry. This next week is going to be busy as well. Since the set below was sold within two days, I decided that it was worth making again. The second set is similar, but, as always, I change it enough to make each piece one of a kind. This three piece set sells for $90. Earrings, bracelet and necklace contain tan cinnabar flowers, acid etched onyx lentils, leopard skin jasper, Swarovski crystals, and black lava. For more information, email me at

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tribute to my Grandmother

Bracelet $59.oo Matching pink earrings available

email for info:

Profit from the sale of this piece goes to the

Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I decided to post a second pink bracelet in memory of my grandmother, Irene Marguerite Bridges who had breast cancer late in life.

Gram was quite the woman. She was not too tall, a lot less than 5', and a woman to be reckoned with. I affectionately called her a banty rooster. Don't take me wrong, she was always lady-like, but her strengths were evident. I don't ever remember her strolling. She walked with determined purpose, head held high. It seemed to me that she had something to do, even if she didn't. There was always a project in some stage of completion. Among other things, she made dolls, braided rugs, blankets, and sewed every dress she wore out of the same pattern but with different materials, buttons or lace accents.

Her cooking was simple and without fanfare, but her baking was amazing. I still have her recipes for molasses cookies, gingersnaps, and peanutbutter fudge. She once helped me win a fudge making contest by talking me through the steps. I was some proud! You could invariably count on cookies, separated by wax paper, being in her "tin". She hardly ever let the tin get empty and knew which ones were from the latest batch because the freshest ones were always saved for "the menfolk".

Over the years, there was little deviation from her routine. If I slept in their guest room, it was a given that they'd be up at the same time each morning, first reading their Bibles out loud, repeating the 23rd Psalm and praying together. Then my grandfather would hold her feet as she did a few situps. He did an impressive amount every morning himself, then they'd go downstairs to freshen up and eat breakfast. Before they ate together, my grandparents held hands, prayed over the food and ended with the Lord's Prayer. You could bank on the routine.

Gram never wore makeup, but her skin, no matter how wrinkled it became, was soft. To this day I can't smell Noxema without seeing her face. It served her well.

When my grandfather died of cancer, we were concerned because Gram had heavily relied on him. She was from a generation of women who never wrote a check, got a driver's license, or went far from home unless she sat in the passenger seat. Still, she had a strength which proved itself when she had to function alone at 80. I think she did more things for the first time AFTER my grandfather passed than she'd ever done before. She became independent, began doing things with "the Girls", took trips, and kept busy until a while before her death just before her 93rd birthday.

I remember taking her to several radiation treatments which burned her breast and caused tremendous discomfort. She was a trooper through the treatments anyway, complaining little. She fussed more about being a burden to people who drove her for radiation. All the same, it became another opportunity to declare out loud once again how much I loved her. We all need to say it often while there's still an ear to hear and a heart to receive it.

The day Gram died, two of her sons, their wives, and a few grandchildren and great grands held hands around her bed as she took her last struggling breaths. We sang, "When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory." It was a fitting send-off for a wonderful woman who loved her family.

I wonder if I'll smell Noxema on her face as I kiss her hello when my time comes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Marguerite Weimer & My Pink Poodle Skirt

It's a relief to be able to talk about Pink Poodle Skirts and have more than one generation know that I don't mean a poodle wearing a ballerina tutu. Granddaughter Morgan has seen the fad come around one more time, albeit briefly, and wasn't puzzled when I made this piece.
Fads come and go, but sentimental is forever. Wearing this bracelet is like owning a piece of history. I remember my babysitter Marguerite dressing in the uniform of the day which included white collared shirts with rolled up sleeves, a small scarf tied around her neck, white bucks and short sox. She was always so fashionable and my admiration for her knew no bounds. She had a poodle skirt.
Marguerite was the also the gal who got me to quit biting my fingernails. Hers were amazing in a day WAY before acrylics and nail wraps were heard of. She promised that if I quit biting my nails, she would buy me my first manicure kit. I got the best end of the bargain...lovely nails AND a new manicure kit.
Marguerite is a lot like my wonderful sister, Carole. Both are elegant in every way right down to their pedicured toenails, and they are fun to be with as well. It's no coincidence that they are friends.
As I was making this bracelet, Marguerite came to mind several times. I wondered how she is doing and what's going on in her life these days, and appreciated her for the thousandth time for throwing me a wedding shower back in the day when most people would have rather talked than helped. She is one special woman.
Thank you Marguerite Weimer for being someone an insecure kid in her early teens could look up to. We all have people watching us when we often don't know it. Look around a little.
My Pink Poodle Skirt is THE cutest bracelet! There are five of Laura Tidey's lampworks in it, and I saved three more to make earrings and a slide for the gal who buys this. Buy the bracelet & earrings, get the slide for free! Notice the Sterling Silver poodle charm. Pearls, Tagua from Ecuador, Thai & Bali Sterling, cat's eye beads, and pink Swarovski finish this gorgeous conversation piece.
One of a kind.
Bracelet $89.oo
Earrings (not posted yet) $20.oo

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Caramel Macchiato

Coffee's a big thing in our house. The hands down favorite is Green Mountain, a tasty coffee from Vermont. When we travel to Maine, the carry on contains at least 6 bags of it on the return flight. There are most always remarks from flight crew and fellow passengers about the smell of our luggage. It's easy to pick out Caramel Vanilla Cream or Pumpkin Spice scent over the French Vanilla. One day soon, I'd enjoy having a Keurig so we can buy Green Mountain K cups at our local bed & bath store.

Leigh's sister Val sends goodies from Green Mountain at Christmastime, and we love opening the box. Trying to save the coffee 'til Christmas Day can be a challenge.

Another enjoyable coffee is Starbucks Caramel Macchiato. We make jokes about how awesome it tastes and how much it costs, but, at the end of the day, it's a delicious treat.

Caramel Macchiato, the bracelet, is so much fun! All the colors in my favorite Starbucks coffee complete with heart shaped cream on top of the cup. Laura Tidey did a delectable job on lampworks for this set. Tagua from Ecuador, Carnelian, Bali and Thai sterling silver all blend to make this yummy combination. To top it off, there's an adorable sterling JAVA charm with a tiny cup of coffee in the middle of the V. Delicious!

One of a kind.

Bracelet $89.oo comes with a free pair of earrings which are shown in the picture above.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Finally Fall

I'm not trying to rush the seasons here, but, once the kids are back in school, fall seems more around the corner than it did last week when we were swimming in the pool or going to the beach. It certainly isn't because the weather is different. It's only August.

When we lived in Maine, it seemed like there were only ten perfect days in summer, and Heaven forbid we had to work on one of them. There was a sense of urgency to savor them all. Cancel everything! Sun's out and the temp's going up to 78 today!

I didn't like the end of August, because there were already red and yellow maple leaves showing themselves off. Evenings turned into sweatshirt time, and shorts went back to the top shelf in my closet except for those few warm afternoons which I clung to as if they were treasures. The growing season was coming to an end and my vegetable garden had given us the best of itself by Labor Day. It was easy to feel cheated since Maine's summer is so short. I never got my fill of flowers, heat, late sunsets, or the color green. For me, August was always sad.

Except for occasional hurricanes, I love Florida. We're spoiled with greenery and flowers year round. Heat we have in abundance. Beautiful days seem endless, no matter which season we're in. Leigh and I sit on the lanai sipping coffee in the AM, and after almost 15 years here, we still pinch each other.

I'll always be a Mainah at heart, but the trade-off for warm sunshine and sense of well-being is worth doing it long-distance. There's no place I'd rather be than Maine...for those ten good days.

Finally Fall has smooth, shiny jade flowers linked with silver to Czech facetted crystal. The slide is gorgeous on an omega chain. It calls attention to itself with it's warm marbled browns and greens. Fall, we're ready for ya!

One of a kind.

Bracelet $49.oo
Slide $24.oo
Sold as set for $69.oo
For purchase or questions email

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kitching Cove & Seaside

When we first moved to Florida, we rented a condo on the corner of a canal and Kitching Cove on the St. Lucie River. There couldn't have been a finer place for an introduction to the Florida lifestyle. Even though it's in the heart of Port St Lucie, it felt like living on a tropical island because of the protected environment across the cove.

Beautiful sunsets were delightfully normal. We never got tired of painted evening skies or watching dolphins playing in the cove. Mullet jumped out of glassy morning water and alligators sunned themselves daily on the bankings of the canal or grumbled to each other in the dark. Wildlife surprised us so much in our walkway that we began looking out the window before we opened the door. Snakes and skinks didn't seem to be afraid enough of humans.

For me, the most impressive creatures to come near our bankings were manatees. Slow-moving and curious, they regularly headed for the seagrape trees which grew at the water's edge just a few feet from our front door. They'd hang out for a while and then quietly lumber away to their next destination. Maybe because of their size, I felt blessed to be close to them in their own habitat.

After moving from the peaceful condo and settling into another home, I found myself really missing the "extras". Now, when we drive by seagrapes, I think of those days and my insides smile.

Seaside is one of my favorite bracelets since the sterling silver bead caps look like seagrape leaves. Laura Tidey's denim blue lampwork beads are perfect with the simply structured blend of sea opal and Hill Tribe silver. This bracelet is one-of-a-kind.

Email me for purchase or questions.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Laura Tidey & African Violets

I wish you could meet my friend Laura Tidey, the gal who makes lampwork beads for me and other jewelry artists. Even her studio is inspiring and she makes her craft look effortless. Anyone who's tried knows it takes hours and hours of tedious practice to be a good lampwork artist. She has a great imagination and it shows in her creations.

In Laura's kitchen window are african violets thriving in just the right amount of sun. The day I first saw these lampworks, she held them up to show that they matched the colors in one of those plants. Before the jewelry was made, it had a name. African Violets.

Light and dark lavender-to-mauve shades blend beautifully with leafy and bright green. One bead in the bracelet even has transparent green on one side and lavender on the other. Laura's experiments reflect her love for vivid colors. This set is made to be enjoyed.

Bali Sterling Silver, Swarovskis, and Cat's Eyes finish these pieces.

Bracelet $79.oo
Earrings $22.oo
Slide for omega chain $23.oo

Sold as a set $116.oo

For purchases or questions email

You can see Laura Tidey's lampworks at

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Comfort over style please. Or, as my Sister would say, Comfort over style? PLEASE!

Since I was a kid, I've had tactile issues. If I admitted to wearing a Giorgio Armani blouse, there would be no proof because the tag would be missing. My sister Carole, on the other hand, might "accidentally" wear the blouse inside out, and not because she was irritated by the tag. (She gave me permission to tell you that.) They made Fruit of the Loom tagless T-shirts and underwear JUST for me. My sox are worn inside out so I can't feel the line across the top of my toes. Shoes have to fit just so, and, ask my sister, I sacrifice style for comfort most of the time. The best outfit is one that I don't have to fuss with, adjust, pull up or down, or away from my body just to breathe. It's gotta be "set it and forget it!"

While making jewelry, comfort is always in the back of my mind. Even as the last bead is put on the strand, I "try on" the necklace or bracelet before crimping it and calling it done. It HAS to feel right. Much to my delight, the first time I tried on Filigree for Me, it was like putting on jammies after a long day. This is an easy to wear bracelet, light and soft enough not to irritate, but intricately detailed enough to call attention to itself.
Hill Tribe & Bali Sterling Silver with gold-filled components.

Bracelet $59.oo
Earrings $23.oo
Sold as a set $75.oo
For purchases or questions contact me by

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rest & Amazing Grace

We are enjoying the challenge of organizing, editing, and publishing this blog as well as posting jewelry pictures & linking the primary sites. A few times, I have found myself bogged down (or 'blogged' down) in computer details and taking a break to clear my mind. Housework is a great 'mind clearer', but, more than anything, sitting quietly with God makes for the BEST rest. Psalms 16:11 says, "You have made known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, and at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." No other presence gives that kind of joy. All other pursuits look to me like a dog chasing its tail. It's the difference between a circle and a short straight line. The circle of busyness and living becomes a treadmill with no end in sight and only hollow reward. The short straight line takes me quickly into the presence of my Father. Rest and joy are only a short sigh away. I find myself ceasing my own movement and waiting to hear His heartbeat. Then it's easier to acknowledge who's in control. The Faithful One. The Almighty. I appreciate what God is teaching me in this journey. It's always BEEN, always IS, and always WILL BE about Him. When you see me doing something different, and I will, please love me enough to remind me.

Amazing Grace combines Laura Tidey's gorgeous lampwork beads with turquoise, wood rondelles, Bali and Thai sterling silver. Brown and turquoise are great in any season.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

From the Heart

Vivid colors are exciting to me. Colors that blend like they do in these beads draw my eyes and I find myself staring at them even if I'm thinking about something else.

From the Heart is an enticing combination of Lavender, Lime, Periwinkle, and Aqua. The Sterling Silver Bali heart has purple and aqua Swarovskis inside. This bracelet beats everything! Thank you again, Laura Tidey for your beautiful lampworks. As you can see, they are an inspiration.

This piece is one of a kind.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stepping Forward

This is an exciting day for me, because, in keeping with today's technology, I have purposed to learn new techniques and ways to promote business.

For a while now, I've thought about presenting Juni G Jewelry in blog form. Life is a journey of growth, always stretching us and taking us out of our comfort zone into what will strengthen us for all that's ahead. My heart is to share my jewelry in combination with the journey. Today I hope to put a foot in what is, for me, untried water. It's part of personal and business growth.

Thank you for friendship and encouragement. You are a delight!