Ruby Lane's Creative Hands - Happy Holidays 2009

In This Issue
  • YouTube HAPPY HOLIDAY Video from Ruby Lane!
  • WELCOME: Jewelry Artisans
  • Relaxing in a Winter Wonderland!
  • Join Ruby Lane on Twitter and Facebook
  • Ruby Lane Jewelry Artisan & Fine Art Shop Owners - Get Paid to Blog
  • Share Creative Hands With A Friend


Click here to see a special holiday message from Ruby Lane, or go to:


Luxury Line:  Chameleon Flare  Necklace by Jeanne M  Bellone (JMB)I am sure that you have heard this time and again; but it's really true; I have always loved jewelry. Some of my fondest early-childhood memories involve pretty costume jewelry; although, at the time, I thought they were real diamonds and jewels.

Throughout my life, I have been a collector being especially drawn to unique things whether it was jewelry, figural powder boxes, glassware, or any number of pretty items which drew my attention. That is how I first came across Ruby Lane in my searches for unique vintage items.

Opening a shop on Ruby Lane in 2001 was one of the best moves I ever made. Once an artisan jewelry lane was added a couple years later, it was at that moment that I decided to pursue a passion of mine. Although, I had no prior experience in creating artisan jewelry, I had thought about it for years. I started out very simply without much investment. A card table set up in the living room was all I had in the beginning. I searched for a book that would show a simple jewelry making technique that I could try my hand at to see if I would like it or even be good at it. I found the book, bought the recommended pliers, along with a spool of sterling silver wire of the recommended gauge, and gave it a shot. My first piece, a hammered sterling silver spiral bracelet, was a joy to do. It was a huge success with many friends, family, and co-workers asking me to make one for each of them. This first experience gave me the encouragement and confidence to pursue other techniques.

Luxury Line:  Elegance  Necklace by Jeanne M  Bellone (JMB)My love of the unique came into play once I learned how to do a technique by-the-book. Since I am almost entirely self-taught, the true joy and excitement came not during the phase in which I was learning a new technique, but afterwords, when I put a new spin on it to create truly unique one-of-a-kind piece.

Over time, that one card table set up in the living room has grown into a work studio in one room of my home. The lone book has grown into a small library; while the handful of tools needed to make that first by-the-book piece has grown to include dozens of pliers, hammers, saws, and many other tools and equipment including a kiln, soldering and plating equipment and much more. The lone spool of sterling silver wire has grown into a whole bookcase of organizers filled with many gauges of silver and titanium wire, vintage and contemporary beads, gemstones, and much more.

I mainly work with silver and love incorporating unique items, whether vintage, contemporary, or the work of fellow artisans who work in mediums that I do not such as hand-blown glass beads and impasto hand-painted polymer clay beads. All of these one-of-a-kind components inspire me to design in a way that showcases each in a complementary, unique fashion.

Feminine Sterling Silver Double-Twisted Bow Tie Link Necklace by Jeanne M  Bellone (JMB)In working with silver, one of the techniques that I enjoy most is Viking Knitting. This method is so-called because the Vikings used the age-old technique to weave silver using a mandrel into clothing and jewelry. For me, this technique almost has an enchanting or story-book quality to it. Besides being fun and relaxing, it is relatively simply to do. I have incorporated several original variations on the process to include using titanium instead of silver sometimes. In addition, another innovative idea that I have done is to encase silver beads, semi-precious gemstones and other materials within the Viking Knitting as weaving progresses.

The one thing that is constant whether I am selling my vintage collectibles or my artisan line of jewelry is providing good customer service. It is important to make sure that clients feel that they are appreciated and are helped to feel at ease in purchasing something online where they only have descriptions and pictures and cannot physically hold and examine a piece in person.

The continued success of each new technique that I learn inspires me to grow and develop. If I have one hope, it would be that my story of simple starts, without much investment, will inspire even one person who has even been thinking about taking that first step towards creating artisan jewelry to give it a try. You never know where that road will take you once you start down that path; it can open up such wondrous horizons.

Visit Jeanne's shop Vintage Treasures for sparkling artisan jewelry


I have been drawing, painting and "making stuff" my entire life, so becoming an artist was pretty much a no brainer! I was very fortunate to have parents who supported my interests. On Christmas and most birthdays I could count on receiving some new creative medium to explore. Some of you may remember those "Draw Me" correspondence art school ads where you copied a simple line drawing and sent it to them in order to become one of their students. I was so clear about my direction that I actually applied when I was about eight years old. They sent me back a very nice letter, encouraging me to reapply when I was a little older. I was serious about my path. Now, with twenty-five years as a professional fine artist and freelance illustrator behind me, I have been able to "retire" from illustration and focus exclusively on fine art. Here in my shop you will find original paintings in watercolor and oil. My paintings range in size from the very affordable, small format, up to larger, more complex work.

I am most inspired by beauty and specialize in still life, flower "portraits," and bird/nature paintings. I work in both watercolor and oil in a realistic style. As you can see, I never met a detail I did not love! My painting objective is simple and three-fold: Paint what is beautiful, beautifully; share it with others; have fun.

The fun begins when I set up a still life, which can take hours! I love arranging colorful fruits, flowers and vegetables with vintage, everyday objects made by artisans who valued beauty as much as function. I love to shop for them in antique shops and now have a pretty good collection. These mementos are a connection to a simpler time and place, providing a breather from today's hectic pace. The combination of the old with the fresh and new gives a sense of timelessness and continuity that I find very true and comforting.

Born and raised in the beautiful northwest, I have always been a nature girl. I am a novice bird watcher and gardener. I am especially captivated by flowers – their colors, textures and intricate forms – and include them in most of my paintings. I have always thought that flowers are one of the most courageous forms of life on the planet, totally unafraid to be who they are – glorious, fragile, sexy and often over-the-top beautiful!

Original Contemporary Still Life Oil Painting Of Pears and Grapes by Artist and Shop Owner, Judy JonesA consistent theme in my work deals with the harmonious co-existence found in nature. I am continually delighted to see the interdependence of flora and fauna in a landscape which also contains elements of civilization. A sparrow perched on a rusty gate, surrounded by flowers, is a reminder that we are all in this together.

Each element of my paintings – whether a flower, a bird, a plum or a teapot - has its own aura and personality. In fact, I often imagine the objects in my paintings as displaying human behaviors and qualities. I love to watch what kind of feeling or mood the painting's "players" create as they interact with each other. They frequently surprise me and often amuse me, and I may adjust the painting to better express what they are "saying." Painting is a fluid, interactive experience that is exciting, often mysterious, always challenging and, yes, fun!

I hope you enjoy my work and heed the insightful words of the great architect below.

"Invest wisely in beauty; it will serve you all the days of your life." Frank Lloyd Wright

View Judy's wonderful artwork at Retro Deluxe


Young women ruby color Swarovski pendant

AmelieBijoux Unique quality handmade jewelry

Topaz Queen Set

K Brusse Artist ~ Jeweler ~ Bead Specialist

CAT'S EYE - An oval fused glass pendant with a sterling silver inclusion bail...

1460º Handmade, Fused Glass Jewelry Art Pieces

Beautiful bracelet in fine leather and jade   agate beads

Alexandra Jewellery Bespoke Jewellery and Accessories that are works of Art!


NIAGARA ICE - Six Strand Aurora Borealis Crystal   Freshwater Pearl Necklace Crystazzle

NIAGARA ICE - Six Strand Aurora Borealis Crystal Freshwater Pearl Necklace

If you've ever seen a frozen winter waterfall glistening in the sunshine then you know what I meant when I named this necklace. It has six strands of...

Pearls, Crystal, Opal on Gold   Silk Necklace: Gemstone Waterfall  Narcissus FirePearl Artisan Jewelry: Glass, Metal, Gemstones

Pearls, Crystal, Opal on Gold Silk Necklace: Gemstone Waterfall Narcissus

Spectacular, mixed pearl and gemstone necklace features: Baroque Freshwater Pearls, micro-faceted Crystals, Lightning Ridge Australian Opals, faceted ...

Snow White Wedding Karen Sugarman Designs

Snow White Wedding

Actually the inspiration for this pristine necklace was the winter (ice snow) that I used to experience in New England. When it was finished, I ...

 Fresh Snow, Cochetopa, Colorado  by Frederick Hubicki Hubicki's Fine Art Studio

Fresh Snow, Cochetopa, Colorado by Frederick Hubicki

Original signed painting, oil on canvas Image size 16" x 24" Sold oil on stretched canvas without a frame I drove up toward Cochetopa Pass one day ...

ICY FLOWERS Opalite Glass Austrian Crystal Cascade Silver Flower Earrings Strega2

ICY FLOWERS Opalite Glass Austrian Crystal Cascade Silver Flower Earrings

I rarely work in anything but precious and semi-precious gems, but I make an exception for opalite. It a man-made glass that is the modern version of ...

 Winter Sparkle   Aquamarine Crystal, Sterling Silver Five Strand Bracelet Artistic Crystal Jewelry

Winter Sparkle Aquamarine Crystal, Sterling Silver Five Strand Bracelet

Five luscious strands of sterling silver and Aquamarine crystal adorn this sparkling bracelet. The strands include hand wrapped Swarovski Aquamarine ...

Aurora Borealis-- Labradorite, Imperial Topaz, Oregon Sunstone, Silver Necklace Lydia's Lodge

Aurora Borealis-- Labradorite, Imperial Topaz, Oregon Sunstone, Silver Necklace

I decide to name this necklace Aurora Borealis as the truly amazing fire in this Labradorite focal stone reminds me of the northern lights dancing ...

Apple Cider and Wine K Brusse

Apple Cider and Wine

A Double Strand of Cultured Pearls, Organic, Bold, Rich. Iridescent Wine and Gold Toned Cream wrapped with Copper and Garnet mixed in. 18 inches, I ...

 Envy  : Lamp Work Beads, Swarovski Crystal Sterling Silver Earrings HLO Creations

Envy : Lamp Work Beads, Swarovski Crystal Sterling Silver Earrings

Green with envy!!! The prettiest green earrings, just perfect for the fall and winter months ahead... Ingredients: 2 bumpy tab Lampwork Beads made ...


We want to let all shops know that Ruby Lane is now active on both Twitter and Facebook, and we invite you to join us. Both services are free to join and participate.

Follow us on Twitter: Twitter

Become a Fan on Facebook


Jewelry Artisans and Fine Artists of Ruby Lane we invite you to express your creative writing 'side' and submit topic ideas to be considered for publication in the Ruby Lane blog, Notes from the Lane..

The Ruby Lane, Get Paid to Blog program, is a fantastic program where shop owners receive a fee payment for approved articles that are published in Notes from the Lane. In addition, all of our articles are posted to Twitter and Facebook for added shop exposure.Notes from the Lane

Need topic ideas? Here are a few to consider:

* Topics relating to artisan jewelry and contemporary fine art

* Your personal stories (not self-promoting infomercials)

* Your selling or show adventures

* Your observations on the state of the marketplace

* Your artisan jewelry or fine art craft and how you do it

* Your artisan jewelry or fine art studio set up

* Opinion pieces relative to Fine Art & Artisan Jewelry

* How to succeed as a seller in the online marketplace

* Best and Worst shows for your medium

* What's hot, what's not

* What is a "Call for Entry"

* What you are doing to go 'Green'

* Any other suggested topics are welcomed for consideration

* (Video submissions are also welcomed)

Before submitting a topic idea for consideration, please read the guidelines for submission in the Shop Owners Blog section of the Knowledge Base FAQ. What is the Ruby Lane Get Paid to Blog Program?


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!