I am a jewelry designer with a love of all things beautiful. I am drawn to modern handcrafted lovelies. You will see them all as I discover them here on my blog. Enjoy!

psst.. and visit my shop to see these inspirations turned into jewelry.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

and a happy new year....

It kind of cracks me up that my last post was on Black Friday and never to be seen again. What a crazy 6 weeks! I am so happy and feel so lucky that this holiday was busy for Chocolate and Steel. Thanks to you all!

I am really looking forward to this year. We are moving in a couple weeks to a larger apartment - woohoo!!!! For you that really know me (like in person) know how small my apartment has gotten since the arrival of a child and another dog (which makes 2). I'm excited to get my new work space set up too (another factor to my shrinking apartment).

I wish you all much love and happiness in the new year.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

BLACK FRIDAY SALE & FREE SHIPPING

::BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND SALE (11/26-11/30)::
All purchases receive FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE and.....
FREE PAIR of stud earrings ($18 value) with every purchase over $75!
Choose either ::Bird Studs:: or ::Simply Love Studs::

*Remember to leave your earring selection in the notes section during checkout*

Hello friends. Hope you are all enjoying some time off and some good food. My husband and I are not totally fond of the traditional Thanksgiving meal so we are doing an Italian take on it. Listen to this menu that he devised:
starters: sausage stuffed fried green olives
sides: potato gnocchi with turkey bolonese, and sauteed green beans with marcona almonds
main dish: mortadella stuffed pork loin (mmmmmm....)

friends are bringing by some fancy cheese, desert and a lot of booze. Can't wait. It's going to be a great time.

I have much to be thankful for this year. Sometimes I just can't believe this is my life. It is so good. I am thankful for my wonderful family that supports me and believes in me. They make me laugh and love every day (including Roxy and Betty, our chow chows). I am thankful for good health and wonderful friends (and they are so truly wonderful!). I am thankful for the spirit of inspiration flowing in my house. It has been a productive and fulfilling year for both myself and my husband. And I am thankful for my son who loves me, challenges me and totally frustrates me:)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Patchwork tomorrow

Hey guys! I'll be at Patchwork Santa Ana tomorrow from 11a to 5p. You should all come out. This si a great show filled with art, jewelry, clothing, kid's stuff, plush, food, music..... You name it, it's there. Details are on the flyer (click on it for a larger pic).
As a side note, I've watched a couple good movies recently (thanks Netflix). Has anyone seen Elsa and Fred? Oh my gosh! I loved that movie. It's a Spanish flick that has stayed with me all week. Very funny and touching. The acting in it is wonderful.

The second movie that I saw that I really like was "Burn after Reading". A VERY funny performance by Brad Pitt and a good story by the Cohen Brothers.

And a music recommend? Sure! Loving this video by White Stripes. I am a huge Dolly Parton fan (old school Dolly) and they did the best cover of Jolene. Check it out. Have a lovely weekend everyone.


And don't forget to sign up for my email list over there
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I'm sending out a special offer soon. Keep your eyes peeled.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

to be a frog on the wall...

This weekend I helped out my friend Lora (yes, "thee" Lora Hart!) at the Contemporary Crafts Market. What an inspiring bunch of artists. Lora had this fantastic tourmaline ring (which is nowhere online to be seen and sold to a very lucky individual) that I loved. Another piece that I feel in love with was this group of owls by Colpitts.

You should see all of their work in person. The expressions are all so unique and realistic. Another favorite was a frog, but unfortunately I can't get the picture to load. They fire all of the pieces twice and up to a temperature of 2350 degrees. The pieces were like stone, completely non-porous. They could be kept outside with very little signs of wear. I'm so impressed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Giveaway because "It's the most wonderful time of the year...."

Yes, I am singing holiday songs already. I even tuned into the Christmas station on Pandora.

Are you thinking about holiday shopping yet? Well, if so you should check out this cute little website a friend turned me on to. Posh Little has a holiday gift guide that makes finding the perfect gift so easy. Who doesn't need a Password Reminder notebook? I do! With all of the different websites that make you log in it's hard to keep it all straight. How clever indeed!They are also featuring one of my necklaces that can be found at The Kids are Alright.

In case you've been thinking, "Gosh, I'd love to know more about Christine" then go here. Want to know who my biggest inspiration is? I have been stalked and interviewed over at Etsy Stalker. Enter the giveaway to win a tiny heart stacking ring.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Heavy Hitters

Wow, I just noticed that my last post was October 5th. Oh boy does time fly. I've been working on a wedding ring lately that has taken much of my time and energy (and anxiety). I'll post a picture when it's done. Platinum and 4.6 carats of diamonds - oh my....

and I'll be featured in the December issue of Los Angeles Magazine. Very excited about that.

I just updated my show schedule over there. There are some heavy hitters.
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I'll be doing some shows in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco. I've pretty much got California covered. If only I could sneak in a San Diego show. Don't think that will happen. I've got to sneak in my son's birthday party, Thanksgiving with the family, and maybe have some Christmas fun.

ok, back to work. I have a new necklace I'll post next week. It's a sweet one:)

I'll leave you with some Halloween cheer. The Dueling Batmans.....

Monday, October 5, 2009

for the love of photo booths

I love this photo booth that has been made in the spirit of a confessional. Pictures do reveal a lot about us. There is often times an honesty that is captured on film that is not seen by the naked eye.
‘J’adore aglisia’ by architect Rafael Schmidt and Ole Kretschmann
Found via DailyTonic

A little foggy

It's a little foggy today, and I'm not talking about the weather. It's my head. I'm battling a cold, and when I say battling I mean I am on the full offensive. Gargle salt water, grapefruit seed extract, vitamin c, zicam, a tea of cayenne, honey and lemon. This cold will not get the best of me.... but today I am a little foggy. Hopefully it will burn off by the afternoon as fog usually does.

I'm working on getting my inventory built back up. I will be selling at the Rose Bowl Flea Market on Sunday. Anyone in the area? You should totally stop by, pay me a visit, and entertain me:) It is a long day. I could use the company.

I just listed these little studs in my shop this morning. They are really sweet. I made a pair for myself that I haven't taken off in days. I'm like that. I sleep in my jewelry too. Maybe I like a little glamour all the time and maybe I'm just lazy.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Monday!

Monday, September 28, 2009

New stuff listed .... finally!

Yippee, I finally got around to listing 3 new rings in my online shops. It really is time consuming so I keep putting it off but I can't procrastinate any longer. I've got a ton of new stuff and need to get it out there. So all three of these rings are $34 and I'm thinking of offering a deal when you buy 3 or more. I have two more to list that have a heart and a duck on them. Then I'll put up some plain bands to go with it.

Yikes, I finally get these up and here I am making more work for myself already:)


Have I mentioned before that I sell on Dawanda as well? Not sure if it's better for you international folks, but if it is check it out! Prices are in Euros.

And on a total aside check out this beauty. I attempted a souffle about 3 or 4 years ago and failed miserably. This was my second attempt (clearly scared from the first since it took me that long to try again) and it turned out absolutely perfect! I took the picture on my phone so that's a little weird but hopefully you get the idea.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Style :: Substance :: Soul

Good Monday to you! I am making a strong effort to start my weeks off right. Every Monday begins with a good workout at the gym, happy upbeat music, and "Style, Substance, Soul".

Style, Substance, Soul
is a newsletter that I get filled with inspiring stuff. All of the books I read this summer were part of their reading list, I learn about generous charitable works, and even hope to win something from their giveaways. Reading their newsletter or visiting their website is the perfect start to every week. I believe you are what you eat, read, think and the things you throw your energy behind. I am making a concerted effort to keep it positive and productive.

An additional bonus to my Monday was that I listened to some stand up comedy from Ricky Gervais while I was on the eliptical trainer this morning. That guy is hilarious! This clip is about Creation. Even people who believe in Creation will laugh. The clip is about 9 minutes long but worth every second you watch it and not work.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - stunning flowers

I came across a beautiful picture this week while reading The Red Otter Shop's blog. When I went to his flickr page I was stunned. So this week is a HUGE collection of some of the most stunning floral pictures I have ever seen. Go check out Dan's Flickr stream. You will be inspired.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

I've got a new zip code - 90210

My neighbor stopped me in the hall tonight and said, "Did you know that your necklace was on 90210 last night?" Wha????? he must be mistaken! But oh no, he was not. Here is the clip to prove it:
video

I know your first question, "How the heck did you get your necklace on 90210?" I have no idea, but I am so thankful to that person. Whoever you are, thank you! I am so grateful.

And isn't Jessica Stroup just the cutest? In my mind I look just like her. What a coincidence:)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We get along

I have a new weekness (even though the show is over). Design Star on HGTV! I just watched the last 3 episodes over the weekend and I have a very strong desire to paint, redecorate and create! While perusing the Urban Outfitters website for a rug (not for me this time) I came across this chair. I want it!

Another chair that I'm obsessing over (which looks of higher quality) is by Angelo: Home. Angelo is actually a friend from several years ago. We worked together and I always knew he would do something great. He is very talented. Ok, the second best part about these is that they are not expensive. Hmmm, I shall think and dream about these.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Electrical Etched copper disc

I took a class by Sherri and Dan Haab at Kit Kraft yesterday to learn electrical etching. It was such a great class! They are a great pair. Sherri is the art, Dan is the science.

Typically to etch you have to use chemicals that are rather toxic after you have used it. I'm a wuss about chemicals, even more so since I've had a child. This technique is so easy and doesn't use harsh chemicals. It uses electricity instead. I wish I could give you a more thorough description of what happens, but it's all a little over my head (even though it made complete sense to me yesterday). Anyways, I made this disc in class and threw it together for a photo op. I'm sure you will see some more from me in time. Maybe something that reflects my style a little more. I can also use this technique for creating texture plates for metal clay.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - 9/11 memorial edition

As many already know today marks the 8th year since the attack on the World Trade Center. It is still very painful to remember back to that day but I find some comfort in the collective tribute that is paid. Here are some of the memorials that have been dedicated to this event around the country.

The top one (#1) is a fountain that used to be in the plaza of the WTC. And then, of course, #7 is the actual towers before 9/11.

I hope everyone gets a moment today to remember those who lost their lives on this day 8 years ago.

You want more Weekend Eye candy??? ok, visit Such and Such, HammerStitchBurn, and The Ornamentalist

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Charm Swap

The EtsyMetalClay team put on a charm swap. This is my contribution. I made the texture for the back using a photo-polymer plate. I love those things. The design is difficult to see in this picture but I drew all of these different whimsical flowers that play on the poppy on the front. I also used this project as an opportunity to experiment with different finishes. I love buying different attachments for my flex shaft and I never know what they do until I test it out. now I know what everything does. It was fun!

I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas. I will, in return, be sent a package of 27 different charms. I'm so eager to see what everyone else came up with.

We all made one extra charm that will be used to create a charm bracelet that we are donating to a charity. We chose "The Andruzzi Foundation" to donate the bracelet to. They have a live auction to raise money and I hope this brings them a pretty penny to use towards cancer research.

Friday, September 4, 2009

We have a winner!!!

Random.org chose the #13 out of our 41 entries. So congrats to Courtney ~ you win:) Check out Courtney's shop, Courticus, too. Really adorable candles.


Thanks to everyone for playing along and watching my video. I did not make it as one of the finalists though. Oh well. It was fun and I shall pimp the video some more for my own promotion:)

My son goes back to school next week. Whew, I made it. It has been so hard juggling my business and a child that wants me to play Princess Leia all day long. I shall be on my blog a bit more too. Can't wait! You might even get sick of me....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Giveaway... as promised (with a bonus, a really good bonus)

I'm really excited to have another giveaway here on my little blog. The rules for entering are super simple. Just leave a comment and you get a chance to win. Now for the big reveal. The special piece being given away ...... drum roll......



This little nest ring will be made in whatever size you'd like. This is part of my upcoming fall collection. Currently unreleased so you will get first dibs on it. Contest ends on Monday August 31st and winner announced Wednesday, September 2nd.

Ok, for the bonus. The super duper bonus! Dave and I made a little video for Etsy's Handmade Moment contest. I would be so forever grateful if you would check it out.... and rate it! We are totally late to the contest and it ends on Sunday (1 week, yikes).

IF we win I will double the prize for the winner of my giveaway. You will get to choose whatever piece you want from the BOYGIRLPARTY ® collection (see last post)


Don't forget to go and vote. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support. Fingers crossed for a big win all around.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Heads up!!! Giveaway forthcoming.....

I am finally digging myself out of this hole I fell into. Our summer has been so fun and really busy. It went by too fast but I am somewhat looking forward to getting back to a regular work schedule.

So, to kick it all off I am going to be posting a giveaway on my blog next Monday. Stay tuned because it's going to be a doosy. I am going to offer up one of my new pieces with the possibility of doubling your win! Enticing, right? So check back then. Want to see a sneak peek of the new collection?

But, until then.... I am so happy to announce a new collection that I collaborated with Boygirlparty on. Is it possible to look at any of boygirlparty's illustrations and not smile or be filled with a warm happy feeling? I think not. So here is the collection. 5 pieces - 1 year - 100 piece limited edition. They are being listed in the shop as we speak and all will be there by Saturday.

(clockwise) Quail with customizable birthstone - $53.50, Whale - $49.50, Snowy Owls - $49.50
Fawn - $47.50, Birdhouse - $47.50

Friday, August 14, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - the jewelry box

I am part of a team of artists that work with metal clay. These are some of my favorites from my team but I have so many more favorites too. You can see them all at http://etsymetalclay.com

Eager to see some more well curated pics? Visit Lora, Paige and Michelle to see what they drummed up this week.

Have a wonderful weekend!

1. silver and concrete pear, 2. eclipseear1, 3. Wheat Pendant, 4. Waterfall, 5. Summer Leaf, 6. Verde Earrings, 7. Bronzclay & polymer, 8. Copper Hoops, 9. Mech-Chain1-Sm, 10. Bronze Tribal Dome Necklace with fine silver donut, 11. Repose, 12. afternoon sunlight & lens flare

Sunday, August 9, 2009

a good day

I have already slapped my hand for being a bad blogger. Last month I participated in my first wholesale show, The California Gift Show. Then last weekend I did the Buyers Market in Philadelphia. So much fun and SO much work. I finally got a chance to work two full days this weekend on fulfilling some of my orders. I have 250 pieces to make by next Monday. CRAZY!! but I actually have been working quite fast and plan on getting it all together. I had no idea that stores would want product so quick. I thought they would be placing orders for holiday. Not complaining, not complaining at all:) I hope to show off some of the pictures from Philly soon.

But I wanted to share some pics from a lovely day at the Getty before I left on my trip. Gosh I love this place. I typically have to go through the galleries pretty quick because James doesn't last long inside. But this time they had an exhibit all about casting a bronze sculpture. It was so fascinating and because I have some knowledge of the process I was able to get James really interested in it as well. It was a proud moment. And that moment ended quickly and we dashed outside to the gardens, our favorite place.












and my latest custom "peace". Get it:)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Here's one for the ear

I finally made some new earrings. I debuted them at Renegade Los Angeles and were a big hit. Hope you all like them:) They are coming in at a super affordable price too. $18 for the studs and $22 for the hooks. They are, as always, fine silver with sterling silver hooks and studs. They are being listed in my Etsy shop within the next few days.


There are many more new pieces to show you. And I'm so excited to share with everyone my latest collaboration with Boygirlparty. Who doesn't love boygirlparty, and now you can take her illustrations with you everywhere you go.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - Simply Complex

Life.... it's so beautiful isn't it? These images are so sweet and clear and make me want to sigh "Ahhhh".

1. afternoon sunlight & lens flare, 2. lenticulaire, 3. Untitled, 4. You raise me up - necklace, 5. yearnings of the soul, 6. El Corazon, 7. summer berries, 8. thirst, 9. Helicopter!!


Visit Paige, Lora, and Michelle for more great weekend eye candy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I will bask in creative glory

Tomorrow is the first day of the first Renegade Los Angeles. I am really excited about the show. I got to go down to the mart today to start set up and wooooohoooooo! There is so much great stuff there. I am looking forward to a day filled with fun and creative people just enjoying the day.

If you are in Los Angeles, SERIOUSLY! don't miss out. The show is FREE (although stash $6 for parking across the street). If you go please stop by and say hello.

Plus you'll get to see all of the new stuff I've been working on. You know, all of the stuff I keep saying I'm gonna post and then don't. argh! Someday I'll catch up. maybe next week....

Monday, July 6, 2009

Color Changing ring

This is a custom order that I just finished. I had this really beautiful color-changing alexandrite to use as the center stone. I love this stone (and the slightly larger size). I think I will make one for myself without the side poppies. Just to have something simple and somewhat bold.

But then again, I need another ring like I need another set of pliers or fancy paper, or yarn..... I think you get the idea:)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - fireworks

I love, Love, LOVE fireworks. I can't wait to see some tonight and tomorrow night and maybe even the next night! We live in a building that has a rooftop in the middle of Los Angeles and we can see fireworks all around us. The best are the ones at the Hollywood Bowl.

Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July and enjoy some of the freedoms we have:)

Visit Paige, Lora, and Michelle for more great weekend eye candy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A few new characters in my life

I want to introduce to you a few new characters in my life. These 3 little guys will be coming to you soon in the form of a ring, necklace, and earrings (wonder twin powers activate). I hope to have some pictures for you by Wednesday.

"Bird with a Beanie"

"Duck on a cold day" "Knock Knee'd Baby Dear"

By the way, you must check out the most useful giveaway I have seen in a long time. My friend Paige from Hammer, Stitch, Burn is giving away an animated gif for your shop. If you have ever done advertising on a blog you know that a free animated gif is a great value. While you are there, check out Paige's shop. Really beautiful jewelry - and can you believe that she is self taught?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - My fav's faves

I'm a day late - but not a dollar short! These are some of my favorites from my Flickr Faves. Have a wonderful weekend.

1. Custom Wedding Pendant, 2. OAW - FlowerPower, 3. Garden002, 4. Red Bird cameo pin made out of polymer clay, 5. Flowers and Vines Box Bead, 6. IMG_1957, 7. Under The Sea, 8. Untitled, 9. necklace

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tulips - silver and golden


I love flowers - shocking right? If you've read my blog for any amount of time you have probably already figured this out:) I just finished and posted 4 new pieces that are inspired by tulips and a little bit of folk art. While I was researching some reference art for the wedding rings below I came across this great folk art pattern. I'm sorry that I don't have the artist to credit, just the beautiful image. Anyways, I really liked the shapes in the painting. Here is my interpretation of it.

They are $64.50 each