Creative Hands - June 2010

In This Issue
  • Welcome Ruby Plaza Handcrafters to Creative Hands!
  • Ruby Plaza Update $49 Set-up Fee Waived Through June
  • Featured Ruby Lane Shop: Deb Scott Designs
  • Featured Ruby Plaza Artisan Shop - Designs by Baerreis
  • Memories of Dad - Constance Corey
  • Artisans Share Special Times with Dad
  • By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea!
  • "Selling sea shells down by the seashore."
  • Join Ruby Lane and Ruby Plaza on Facebook and Twitter
  • Share Creative Hands With A Friend


As many of your may already know, in April of this year, Ruby Lane launched its sister site, Ruby Plaza, hosting online shops specializing in home decor, jewelry, fashion and accessories and handcrafted items of all types. We are pleased to announce that beginning with this issue ofCreative Hands, we will include regular articles and shop showcases of the Ruby Plaza handcrafters as well! We hope you enjoy the newly-expanded Creative Hands. Enjoy!


As you may already know, in April we launched Ruby Plaza, an exciting new home to individually-owned shops offering Home Decor, Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories, and Handcrafted items, powered by Ruby Lane.

Currently in Beta mode, Ruby Plaza is designed to offer a wider selection of items than does our flagship sister site, Ruby Lane. Unlike Ruby Lane, new items in all categories, as well as reproductions, and handcrafted items of all types are welcomed. Ruby Plaza's selling guidelines are different than those of Ruby Lane, in order to reach a different audience of both buyers and sellers.

Ruby Plaza continues to offer exciting promotions for sellers who want to join this amazing new site. Now that the popular Ruby Plaza Flagship promotion has come to a close, we continue to make it affordable to sellers who want to join us, with a brand new promotion: We are waiving the one-time shop set-up fee during the month of June for shops who do not also sell on Ruby Lane. Now sellers who choose to open only on Ruby Plaza can save $49 when they set-up a Portico or Galleria shop on Ruby Plaza. You must request to open your new shop by June 30th. For shops who already sell on Ruby Lane, the set-up fee is automatically waived.

How it Works...You will receive a $49 credit toward your Ruby Plaza shop once you have opened. This credit can be used toward your second monthly fee, search clicks, or featuring - it is up to you.

With more than 600
shops, and over 117,000 items already on Ruby Plaza, this new online mall is reaching new buyers all around the world. Check us out at

For more information visit, then under SELL, choose Open A Shop.

Click here to see a special video introducing Ruby Plaza, powered by Ruby Lane or go to:

Click here to Take A Video Tour of Ruby Plaza or go to:

For more information visit, then under SELL, choose Open A Shop. We hope you'll join us!


Rock Crystal Nuggets   Gorgeous Artisan Sterling Silver Clasp Bracelet

I am most fortunate to have grown up near the seashore. Starting with my birth town of San Diego which sports gorgeous beaches, a fabulous sunny/mild climate, to the rugged beauty of Oregon beaches of which I have lived nearby for the majority of my life. My body and soul literally craves the rhythmic sound of the ocean waves crashing onto the beach, the smell of salty air and the squawking sound of seagulls in flight.

As a jewelry artist I intuitively incorporate my love for the seashore into my designs, whether it's a Beach Themed Charm Bracelet, a Gemstone necklace accented with silver seashells or drop earrings sporting a simple spiral seashell, I know these designs stem from my love of the beach.

Mermaid, Starfish   Swarovski Crystal Silver Charm Necklace

As a young woman I read a beautifully written book by Anne Morrow Lindbergh called "Gift from the Sea", it moved me deeply – I have never forgotten her messages. I believe it was written as a deep introspective of the phases of life and it's relation to the life cycles of the ocean. Written while visiting Florida's Captiva Island, using the shells on the beach for inspiration, Anne Morrow Lindbergh reflected on the life of the American woman in the middle of the 20th century. An excerpt from Gift from the Sea:

"So beautiful is the still hour of the sea's withdrawal, as beautiful as the sea's return when the encroaching waves pound up the beach, pressing to reach those dark rumpled chains of seaweed which mark the last high tide.

40 9 ct Stunning AAA Flawless London Blue Topaz Gem 14kt Gold Earrings

Perhaps this is the most important thing for me to take back from beach-living: simply the memory that each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid; each cycle of a relationship is valid. And my shells? I can sweep them all into my pocket. They are only there to remind me that the sea recedes and returns eternally."

Lovely. I highly recommend this book; it's a delightful read, a book for reflection.

At this time I live an hour's drive to the beach. Soon I'll be packing my bag, gathering together a jewelry project and head west with my family for a long week-end at my beloved beach. A time for relaxation, visiting with loved ones and long leisurely walks on the beach. Ahhhhhhhh!

Deb Scott of Deb Scott Designs Jewelry


Sculpted Art Box -   Owen Style - Natural Cherry, Ebony Pulls

I live and create in the southern Appalachian Mountains in the Eastern Forests of North America. I live in an area that births great rivers which begin as fresh water trickling from springs into rivulets, streams, then creeks, rivers, all compelling towards the ultimate – the sea.

Inspiration comes from many sources – Nature, Emotions, Connections, Disconnects... It also comes from the depths of consciousness – that vast abyss that is our often misunderstood artist's perspective. As a life long artist-designer-craftswoman who has worked for many years beside and with her artist partner and who has managed to somehow raise three wonderful human beings who are also artists, I have had some time to reflect on inspiration.

I love words, their connotations and implications.. When working out a new design, it often begins with the love of something natural.

Hand Crafted Artisan Fused Art Glass Earrings - Sparkling Dichroic Glass, Hand Wrought Copper -  925 Sterling Silver

The sea is a great pool of inspiration. From the tiniest protozoan to the great whales; from the birds that feed on the fishes and nest in the estuaries to the wefts of humidity evaporating into beautiful clouds... storms.. waves.. the elements of rain and wind making patterns on the sand. Patterns that have meaning or not – patterns that are content to just be.

My personal medium is often wood. In a single piece of wood, sliced with the grain 100 times, there will be 100 different images in the grain all cosmic, like waves on the sand, like clouds in the sky, ever changing – always telling the story of an
instant in time and the ravages of the physical world.

 Changes  - Toned Black and White Photo Print 16 x 20 - unframed

I see the expression of inspiration manifest in the symbols and colors of my daughter's art glass jewelry, in my sons' photography, music; in their paintings and writings, in my husband's sculptural boxes and in my hair accessories..

We as a family of artisans are somewhat unique. Phil and I have been working collaboratively and independently as artists for almost 40 years and our family is carrying the torch forward. The art of the Baerreis family is cycling into the future Like the sea, a great chaotic foment we continue to create – we do not have to have a reason – it is who we are and it is what we do.

Martha Baerreis Designs by Baerreis


Man's Shark's Tooth Choker, 17-1 2 Inches: Auraeana Originals

My father wasn't my idol. He was my father—a hard-working, poetry-spouting, no-non-nonsense sort of man who loved his family and remained married to his first and only wife for more than fifty-eight years.

He couldn't carry a tune in a basket, but he sang, anyway. One of his favorite songs was "Hut-Sut" and it made us laugh, because the words were so silly. ("Hut-Sut Rawlson on the rillerah and a brawla, brawla sooit.") He was no Fred Astaire, but he loved to dance. When I was little, he had me step on top of his shoes, facing him, and then he would dance me around the living room. He couldn't cook, but he made popcorn the old-fashioned way every Sunday night, and at Christmas time, oh, my! This man who "couldn't cook" created the most delicious candy in the world (fudge, toffee, even divinity!), using recipes handed down from his mother. And although "eating out" was almost never an option for my budget-minded parents, my father would take me out to eat on my birthday—just the two of us.

Man's Serpentine   Bloodstone Necklace (Choker)

About that poetry-spouting, he had obviously memorized lots of verses in his youth, and we were always amazed at his recall. One quotation that drove me to distraction, however, was this one: "Let us then be up and doing, with a heart for any fate" (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), because that is what he would say as he burst cheerfully into the bedroom I shared with my sister. In those days, all we girls wanted to do was "sleep in." Now that I am older, I probably get up earlier than my father ever did, except when he was growing up on a farm.

It's funny how things change, isn't it? Well, not really funny. Perhaps interesting is a better word. Many years later, my father became old and feeble and unwell, and we underwent the proverbial role-reversal. My parents were resentful at first but finally accepted it, for there was no other choice. One morning at 5:30, as I drove my dad to his thrice-weekly dialysis treatment, he teared up in trying to thank me for what my husband and I were doing for him and Mother.

Man's Thunderbird Earring (One): Noonurite Jasper   Sterling Silver, 1-1 4 Inches: Auraeana Originals

His last year was bittersweet, but there is one particular memory that stands out. When I was twelve years old, my parents had taken my siblings and me on a five-week road trip through Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. One night, as we were staying in a cabin on a lake shore, my three-year-old brother locked himself in the bathroom because my parents wouldn't buy him an ice cream cone. I'll spare you the details, but it was hysterically funny.. I had kept a diary of that entire trip and, at dinner one night, a few months before my dad crossed over, I dug out that diary and read it aloud to him. He laughed so hard, the tears kept rolling down his cheeks.

I have had the privilege of seeing my father, and speaking with him, since he died, and I am happy to tell you that he looks young and well and couldn't be happier. I love you, Dad.

So here's to my father and all the other wonderful fathers out there. I
create men's jewelry as well as women's, so it's quite possible that your gift is waiting to be found in my shop, where every piece is made with love and arrives bearing a channeled message specifically for the recipient.. Happy Father's Day, everyone!

Constance Covey Auraeana Originals


Chain maille Bracelet - Byzantine Weave - Antiqued Sterling Silver Jane Hash of Lone Rock Creations

Father's Day holds good memories growing up. I count that as a blessing from God because I know it is not that way for everyone. I discovered oceans and beaches when my father took us along to a convention he attended in Miami Beach way back in the late 60's. I grew up swimming in lakes, and discovered an entire new world of fun could be had in the big waves. I've been in love with the ocean ever since. My dad worked while we played, then the family did more fun things after dinner. This went on for a whole week and it felt like heaven. I didn't quite grasp it back then, but it was my dad's dedication to his work that made it possible for the rest of us to play. My dad is no longer living, but I wish he was. I wish he could have gone with me to art fairs. He would have loved setting up, gabbing with the neighbors, and wandering about to see all the things everyone else made. I don't think it would have taken him long to decide to make his own goodies to take to fairs.

I enjoy making jewelry for men; my male customers frequently choose a chainmaille piece. Chainmaille is ideal because it is so easily tailored to a myriad of tastes - it appeals to men because it can be made substantial enough and in weaves that in larger sizes are very much unisex, or at least not overtly feminine. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Sea Luster Necklace with Porcelain, Peru Amazonite and Sterling Sharon Harris of Gypsy Jewels

Gypsy Jewels creations are almost always inspired by something I've been drawn to in the natural world. When I was a little girl, I had collections of pebbles, wave washed glass bits, snail shells, fish bones and lots of other interesting things found near the water. It drove my Mom crazy when these treasures were forgotten in my pockets, only to be remembered again when they clogged up her washing machine.

Having lived in Minnesota all of my life, I've always had a great inland sea nearby that fills me with creative spirit and ideas every time I go to its vast blue waters. Lake Superior has the largest surface of any fresh water lake in the world. It's a pleasure and an adventure to be consumed by its many moods, unpredictable weather, and magnificent colors that change with the whims of the lake and each season.

From the earth comes the great gift of many gemstones that I use in my jewelry. One of my favorites is the Lake Superior Agate, found in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Once you develop an eye for these lovely stones, they can be picked up during a casual walk along the Lake Superior shore. Finding them has been an obsession for me since I was seven or eight and my Dad pointed one out among the shore rocks. Holding the tiny agate in my hand, I felt the magic of the "big water" named "Gichigami" by the Ojibwe tribes.

As Father's Day approaches, I'm reminded how much my Dad loved Lake Superior and even though he's gone, I continue to share his reverence for all its mysteries. Creating
jewelry with stones is a way for me to express this lifelong connection with the beauty and enchantment of nature.

Emerald City ~ Vibrant Emerald Green Sea Glass Necklace Alison Mitchell of Alicats

As a child, one of my favorite memories was the annual vacation to the San Juan Islands in Washington State. I remember the long drive to Anacortes to catch the Washington state ferry, (Ok, in reality it wasn't that long - a drive of maybe 2 hours but to an impatient 7 year old, minutes seemed like hours and hours seemed like days =)

After waiting in line for what seemed like an eternity (especially if we had a one or more "boat" wait), the adventure started the minute our car had made the "bum-pity bump" of crossing from the paved concrete on to the steel grated dock, and the final "bump - thud" onto the deck of the ferry.

Arriving at Orcas Island, we would stay right on the beach, in a beautiful rustic old cabin in a resort called "Beach Haven" - no TVs, and no phones and at that time, all heating and cooking was done on old wood stoves, a world away from our normal everyday existence.

Our days were long and lazy, filled with walks on the beach, my father teaching us how to row out on the calm waters of the sheltered bay, exploring tide pools at low tide, skipping rocks (flat rocks were highly prized and only found at the far end of the beach) and if we were lucky, we would also find a small brightly colored treasure - a piece of sea glass sparkling among the rocks.

Now that I am grown and have a family of my own, I take my own kids up to Orcas Island, and every time I find a piece of sea glass, I remember those long carefree sunny summer days of long ago with my parents and brothers.

My sea glass jewelry is inspired by those long ago days, spent among the beautiful waters of the Puget Sound.

Swarovski Indicolite Crystal Starfish Earrings - Seaside Jewels Suzanne Cameron of The Bead Hive

Although my father's military duties took him away from home quite often, Dad made sure that his family spent good, quality time together, and that included camping near the seashore, specifically the Chesapeake Bay.

Those early memories bring to my mind's eye: tents and sleeping bags, sand-filled sneakers, campfires, toasted marshmallows, insect repellent, thirsty mosquitoes and biting deerflies, stinging jellyfish (the unpleasant experiences force a person to appreciate the pleasant), swimming, hiking, and of course catching and eating Maryland Blue Crabs! Eating those tasty crustaceans was the easy part of the crabbing process, but catching them was an entirely different story.

My brother, sister and I would head to the shoreline with our crab bait (raw chicken parts wrapped in string), toss them into the bay, and then...wait. Eventually we would feel a slight tugging on the end of the string we were holding, at which point we would wade slowly into the water with the hopes of finding a crab feeding on the other end. With a crab net in one hand and the string in the other, we would carefully guide and scoop that little fellow into the net. The excitement and thrill we got from catching a single crab! If we were lucky, we would carry dozens of crabs back to the campsite where we would steam them up for dinner. Life was good!

That was a long time ago, but I can say from experience that the crabs from the Chesapeake Bay are still just as tasty as they ever were. But more importantly I can say that my father and mother instilled in us a sense of respect towards each other, our environment, and the creatures that share it with us.

To celebrate the creatures that live within the Chesapeake Bay and our oceans, I have created my lines of Chesapeake Bay Charms, and Seaside Jewels, and I warmly invite you in to my shop to take a look.

To celebrate Father's Day, I will call my Dad and tell him how much I love him and how much I appreciate all that he has done for me, and continues to do for me. Happy Father's Day to all fathers on this very special day!


 Grecian Waters  Bracelet Heidi Marschall Earth stone Jewelry

Have you ever been to Greece? Close your eyes and imagine the following. You are in Greece overlooking the beach with white sugary sand and calm deep sapphire blue water and the fresh salty air blowing in your face. The houses are so white and the sun is so bright that the reflection almost hurt your eyes. The only thing on your mind is to enjoy this moment and hope this wonderful feeling lasts forever.

I can't be in Greece all the time to experience this. But every time I wear my bracelet - Grecian Waters - with these stunning Borocilicate beads in hues of blue, it reminds me of Greece with its crystal clear deep blue sea.

 Sea Goddess  Earrings

I like to design jewelry with a mix of materials that match perfectly together, like the "Sea Goddess" necklace and stunning earrings, which are made with Boro beads, Apatite and Amazonite. At Earth Stone Jewelry you always find beautiful pieces in a timeless style. They are all designed and handcrafted by myself. Just recently we started to offer some Vintage jewelry to complement my already beautiful line of artisan jewelry. Please feel free to check them out.

Each piece of my jewelry has story telling names emphasizing the way I felt creating this piece of beauty. Stop by today and check them out. You might purchase a piece and find yourself dreaming about beautiful beaches and water so blue you just want to dive in.

We invite you to stop by at Earth Stone Jewelry. Mention June 2010 Newsletter and receive a 10% discount. Have a great summer!

Coastal Sunset ~ Silk Maxi Dress or Beach Cover Up, Scarf Heather Llewellyn of By the Sea at Ruby Plaza

The Seashore....there's no place on earth I'd rather be. Being at the beach is an experience like no other. I am in awe of the majesty and beauty I find there. Looking out at the vast ocean, with its changing shades of blue as it glistens with white foamy breakers, I feel the power of nature. Then, looking up at the expanse of blue sky with puffy white clouds and to feel the cooling breeze on a hot summer day, I know I am closer to heaven. It began with my grandfather of Welsh descent. I know that love of the sea is in my genes! He and my grandmother lived for 40 years in a cottage he built near the ocean and I have wonderful memories of my visits there.

~ Artisan Necklace ~ Re-purposed Vintage Pin, Coral, Cultured Freshwater Pearl

I love the soft colors at the beach...the tan sand, so warm under our feet, and the heavenly blues of the sea and sky. I love to see children playing so joyfully with their colorful buckets and floaties. The squawking sea gulls. And the fantastic shells of many shapes and hues, some with a glossy shine. I love them all...broken or not, they are beautiful to me. I said years ago that someday I would string shells together to create jewelry, and viola' here I am -- By the Sea Designs at Ruby Plaza -- creating jewelry, many designed with sea shells, Mother of Pearl, cultured freshwater pearls, to remind us of the beautiful beach. My heart goes out to those people on the Gulf Coast who have sustained such a great loss, and I pray for their recovery.

Men's woven kumihimo fiber necklace with turquoise Cheryl O'Malley of FANCY THAT! artisan jewelry designs

The feeling of creating something beautiful to wear is its own reward, but yet I am always excited when someone else sees the beauty of one of my creations for themselves. Jewelry is not just adornment, but a way to set ourselves apart and show our own glorious uniqueness to all.

I love designing and creating unique beaded jewelry using semi-precious gemstones, vintage beads and components, cultured freshwater pearls, shells, crystals, glass, various metals and anything else that catches my eye, and have been doing so since I was a little girl when my mother helped me gather beading supplies in an old jewelry box. Little seed beads, shells and small rocks were completely fascinating to me and I loved making little creations out of them. I'm inspired by just about everything I see and I'm constantly trying a new technique or idea that pops into my head. Some work, some don't.

This particular necklace was designed with a man in mind out of 16 strands of fiber and braided on a kumihimo loom. Kumihimo is a Japanese art and is thousands of years old. It was used to make cords and braids for personal adornment such as making ties for kimonos, for lacing up Samurai armor, tying up bundles and many more practical and decorative uses.


Ocean Fantasy~Triple Strand Charm and Shell Gemstone Necklace Set Julie's Vintage Jewels

Ocean Fantasy~Triple Strand Charm and Shell Gemstone Necklace Set

Large shell pendant necklace with matching earrings. The main strand of the necklace is made-up of faceted, irregular shaped lemon yellow topaz ...

'Vintage Relic' Genuine Abalone Steampunk Cuff Links RiverCat Designs

'Vintage Relic' Genuine Abalone Steampunk Cuff Links

Oh so alluring vintage abalone cabochons set in vintage brass steampunk settings mounted to silver plated metal cuff link bases.Your guy will love ...

Handcrafted Southwestern Pot  'Papaya Bear Paws Collectibles

Handcrafted Southwestern Pot 'Papaya

Cute little southwestern pot in creamy goldenrod colors with matte terra cotta bottom band, gold trim. Great for candies, pine cones, potpourri, even ...

Red Enamel Lobster, Aqua   Ruby Red Bead Glass Necklace - Mmmm    Seafood Pretty Vintage

Red Enamel Lobster, Aqua Ruby Red Bead Glass Necklace - Mmmm Seafood

This is a one of a kind necklace that I've made using both vintage and contemporary components. The necklace has as its centerpiece a pendant that has...

Azurite-Malachite, Mother-of-Pearl Shell and Freshwater Pearl Earrings Witch Doc Creations

Azurite-Malachite, Mother-of-Pearl Shell and Freshwater Pearl Earrings

From our Mother Ocean collection, this is a striking pair of earrings that starts with a square of seafoam green color-enhanced Mother-of-Pearl shell....

Photo Greeting Card - Daisy Gerlinda Studios

Photo Greeting Card - Daisy

Premium quality materials have been used to create my original photo print that is mounted on 5x7 acid-free greeting card stock. Blank inside. ...

 Ocean Life  Quartz, Sodalite and Tiger Eye Natural Stone Beads, Silver Dolphin, Fish and Crab Necklace Mary Ann, Mary Ann Designs

Ocean Life Quartz, Sodalite and Tiger Eye Natural Stone Beads, Silver Dolphin, Fish and Crab Necklace

Ocean Life Quartz, Sodalite and Tiger Eye Natural Stone Beads, Silver Dolphin, Fish and Crab Necklace - Artisan hand-made necklace forms a seascape ...

 Oceans  - Abalone Shell Necklace   Earring Set with beautiful crystals   pearl accents Napa Valley Jewels

Oceans - Abalone Shell Necklace Earring Set with beautiful crystals pearl accents

The is a beautiful necklace created with a pretty Abalone Pendant with matching Abalone colored spacers - I've surrounded the pendant with Swarovski ...

Starfish and recycled beach glass necklace Suzanne Way Studio

Starfish and recycled beach glass necklace

Cool as dipping your toes in the Big Blue, this necklace has the feel of being there. Made from recycled glass, crystals, bone, stabilized ...

Mystical Mermaid Magic ~ Out of My Mind Asymmetrical Earrings Out of My Mind

Mystical Mermaid Magic ~ Out of My Mind Asymmetrical Earrings

These magical earrings are brilliant and sparkling with lots of Swarovski crystals and seashell beads....plated seashells....and tons ...


Ruby Lane and Ruby Plaza are now active on both Twitter and Facebook, and we invite you to join us. Both services are free to join and participate.

Follow Ruby Lane on Twitter: Twitter

Become a Fan of Ruby Lane on Facebook

Follow Ruby Plaza on Twitter: Twitter

Become a Fan of Ruby Lane on Facebook


Did you enjoy this issue of Creative Hands? Do you know others who would enjoy receiving it? We invite you to forward this issue on to others. Happy reading!