Sunday, September 18, 2011

I have caught the treasury bug, big time!! I have been making treasuries about 5 a week ... I would be honored if you would have a look and comment. Click here...

I have just discovered a new Etsy "non team". It's wonderful ... Every week there is an "Inspiration item" and you create a treasury using that piece. The winner of the challenge has one of their pieces chosen as the next inspiration piece. It's a lot of fun and great exposure. The non team treasury challenge inspiration this week is

To play or to read more check this out!!

Etsy Treasury NonTeam

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Again, I have dedicated my time this week to making listings and promoting on ETSY, and what has happened, really, is more of an embrace of ETSY as a selling venue than ever. I have spent some time in the forums and learned a bit about promoting. I have learned that my tagging has been so wrong as to leaving me invisible and unfindable to people looking for what I have. Re-tagging everything is a big process, so i am doing it bit by bit. AND, I have started doing treasuries, which is not only fun, but also has introduced me to a whole world of sellers who are doing great things. So far I have curated 7 treasuries:

Take a look if you can and leave comments! Thanks!!

New listings ... Attempted photos (2)

Okay, I have dedicated the week to new listings and biting the bullet with the photography. Taking photographs of gemstone jewelry is tricky. I resist ... because it's so time consuming. And it's so hard to make a sale. But, I cannot afford to pay someone to take all the photos if I am not making good sales. Here are a few of the photos that have evolved. At first I was feeling insecure because the most recent photos were by a professional photographer. But now I feel good because I showed them to my husband and he says he likes mine better! He says they're warmer.
amethyst turquoise earrings

bali sterling silver earrings

labradorite chandelier earrings

aqua chalcedony carnelian earrings

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Listings!

...finally. Same story, of course. LOTS of jewelry ... not so many listings. BUT, I am determined to list 8-10 new items per week. Ahem. I will list a few here but best to just go directly to
the Catalog.

Here is a gorgeous, simple and elegant design of AA grade Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and Sterling Silver. I call it "Sanna" and there is a fantastic little pair of earrings to match on the site.

These little Aqua Chalcedony earrings are perfect for the traditionalist in you -- keeping modern because of the aqua chalcedony gemstones. I call them "Amina". There's a beautiful matching necklace online.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Crazy, I know. I have no time to photograph and list all the new work I've been making yet I learned how to create treasury lists on Etsy and have made two. Go figure. Here is my first attempt, based on my favorite color RED ... then, shortly thereafter, my second more mood enhanced attempt based on SHAPE. Thanks for the love!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Good time to write this post: I am sweating like a dog after a power walk in the DC heat. My studio has had a deep Summer cleaning and reorganization, and I am looking at all to colors and stones with new eyes for fall.

Just marked down everything in the store 25% -- even sale items -- through July 12!! Come and get it! Go to catalog.

Stay cool!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New listings ... Attempted photos

I have listed a few new pieces and ave taken the photos myself. They're not bad. Some are better that others. But my heartfelt thanks and respect go out to Barbara Talbott who has taken the gorgeous shots on my Etsy site. I have tried to copy her lighting and angles ... and there's definitely room for improvement. Here's a sample of mine ... (one of the better):

Love this piece. Gorgeous Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and fabulous pearls that I found at the Tucson show. (Wish I had bought more!!) I have two of these necklaces left. I have sold two at shows.

Still offering free shipping -- coupon code: "GRADS".

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I am offering free shipping on my site. Just use the code "grads".

Jewelry is the PERFECT graduation gift .... something that will last, and something that the graduate will remember.

Personally, I have two grads in my family.Here's my first born, Zoe, very happy to be holding her diploma for her associates degree from Montgomery College here in Takoma Park MD. She is off to Montreal in the fall, to study Psychology at Concordia University.

And here's my daughter, Alessandra at prom a couple weeks ago ... she's graduating from Montgomery Blair High School, and is also heading off to Montreal in the fall to attend Concordia's Design program. I am soo proud!!:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ballston Market this weekend!

Thanks to Tracy at Broad Branch Market, I do believe it was my best day ever at a craft fair! Next up: Ballston Street -- this Saturday May 14 from 10-4. Hope to see you there!! Off to New York for a quick couple days!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Shows Season ... Broad Branch Market, May 7!

Getting ready for shows -- starting this weekend. The first ever Broad Branch Market ArtsMart, in NW Washington DC. Should be a very small show but wonderful items for Mothers Day. I will have all kinds of new handcrafted gemstone jewelry, of course, as well as some older classics. Anita Merina will have her fabulous fused glass. Anne Lindenfeld will have stained glass. Pat Sidman will bring her textiles. Laurie Gonyea will be there with Knit Outta the Box. And Heidi Leech will be bringing her fantastic works on paper. Looks like it will be a great day weather wise so hope to see you there!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mother's Day Sale!

I have decided to run a sale in the Etsy shop so if there's anything you've been holding back on ... use the coupon code Mommy and take an additional 20% off -- yes, even already marked down items. Happy Mothers Day!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WTF is Chalcedony... aside from gorgeous??

Like so many other gemstones and semi-precious stones, the word Chalcedony is more broad than the common usage -- even among jewelry designers. Geologically, it is more of a category than a specific stone. When we talk about Chalcedony as designers, we usually are speaking specifically about a light, translucent, quartzy stone in blues and aquas ... like this:

Hannah Earrings Blue Aqua Chalcedony Oxidized Sterling Silver Chain

But, Agate, Aventurine, Onyx, Chrysoprase, Carnelian ... are all under the umbrella of chalcedony.

From Wikipedia: Chalcedony (play /kælˈsɛdəni/) is a cryptocrystalline form of silica, composed of very fine intergrowths of the minerals quartz and moganite.[2] These are both silica minerals, but they differ in that quartz has a trigonal crystal structure, while moganite is monoclinic. Chalcedony's standard chemical structure (based on the chemical structure of quartz) is SiO2 (Silicon Dioxide).

Chalcedony has a waxy luster, and may be semitransparent or translucent. It can assume a wide range of colors, but those most commonly seen are white to gray, grayish-blue or a shade of brown ranging from pale to nearly black.

The name "chalcedony" comes from the Latin calcedonius, the word used to translate the Greek word khalkedon, found only once, in the Book of Revelation; according to the OED a connection with the town of Chalcedon in Asia Minor is "very doubtful".[3] There is no reason to assume that the precious stone referred to by this name in the Bible is the same as what is now understood by the name.[4]

Just FYI ...

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's about the color!

I have had 3 people in the last 1 1/2 weeks ask me why some of my turquoise jewelry is more expensive than others. It's all about the color and purity!! When you become accustomed to looking at gems, you can start to recognize the differences little by little. After a few years ... you make a b-line for the good stuff!

With turquoise there are several color ranges that come naturally, and in many mines there are several ranges within the mine. Turquoise ranges from almost pure blue, which most famously comes from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in the southwest USA -- to almost neon green, which is also American, and is referred to as "Mojave Turquoise". The most prized Turquoise has always been the bluest, with the least amount of other minerals showing, (that is the black or brown markings, also called matrix). Second are popping colors of what is more traditionally called "turquoise" (which is a softer blue/green color) -- again, less black or matrix is always more prized.

Now ... don't let that be confused with beauty!! There is no doubt that some heavily patterned turquoise is beautiful. Gorgeous even. One of my absolute favorites is leopardskin turquoise -- but it is not considered jewel quality, and if you know what you're looking at, what makes you go "ahhhh" is the pure blue stuff... And no matter what, you want to see vivacious color.

In essence, if you see turquoise with a very moderate to soft coloration, you know it is lesser quality, and might even be "African Turquoise", which is not even turquoise, but a jasper of another type. Buy it and wear it if you like it, but know why is is less expensive than the good stuff!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

More new listings ...

New Spring/Summer work is here!!

Yesterday I spent 6 hours listing ... listed 12 pieces -- 30 pieces over the last 3 weeks.

I feel that my work is starting to really become "my work". Yes, I make things that cross a lot of "styles". But ... I feel that when you see one of my pieces, you can see that it's mine. Of course, mostly, I sell locally -- and so I do see it around and I hear people talking. But, now, I really feel it as well ... and I'm psyched.

I have listed -- in the last month -- lots of black spinel, chalecedony quartz in wondefrful colors and shapes, sleeping beauty turquoise, orange carnelian, stunning AA grade lapis lazuli and more -- necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Be aware ... my studio still looks like a bead store, so if you see something that you like, and want something a little different, let me know!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


As far as jewelry is concerned, there is nothing more summery than Aqua Blue Chalcedony. I have added several pieces to the collection for Spring and Summer. Here are the Courtney Earrings in Aqua Blue Chalcedony Quartz:

Here are the Hannah Earrings in another summery tone -- this years' must have color -- orange carnelian:

I have started to brighten up, have you??

New photos/New listings

I am very excited to have the bulk of the pieces photographed by my fabulous new photographer, Barbara Talbott. Look at this one:

It's like art.

I've uploaded maybe 10 pieces today and have probably that many to do on Thursday. Stones loaded today -- all purchased in Tucson -- are Lapis, Carnelian, Chrysoprase, Tourmilated Quartz, Black Onyx and Garnet

My next phase ... once they're all loaded ... is to contact stores to carry my work. Will begin in DC area if you have any ideas, then will move on to regional areas, so let me know.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lots of new work coming down the pike -- fun and different new designs. I am preparing for Fenton Street Market Spring Bling on April 9. The first EVER Broad Branch Market -- ArtSmart on May 7 in Chevy Chase. The first Ballston Street Market (for me) on May 14. Then my annual Spring Show at Deean's on May 21. It's going to be a fun Spring!! Just a taste; the Karen Necklace:
There's big news in my life. I am resigning my post at ArtSpring. Big time mixed feelings ... but very sure I am doing the right thing. ArtSpring is moving, again, to the old Ceviche space in downtown Silver Spring. (921 Ellsworth Dr., Upper Level). I will still sell my jewelry there, and I think it will be a great space with all the activity that happens on Ellsworth Plaza. Leaving the management of ArtSpring will give me a chance to pursue more avenues for selling my jewelry. I am looking for stores that are a good fit if you know of any ...
Added some beautiful new stones to Etsy shop. Among my favs are these Kyanite earrings:

The richness of the bluie is amazing. And they're very large and dramatic. Sadly, I only bought one strand if these ... already I see the end coming.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Photographer -- New Listings

Several new listing have made their way to Etsy, which is my only online catalog at this point, and all of the new photos are by my friend Barbara Talbott.

Here is an example:

Listing is here:

Another example:


Both of these listings are pieces made from some of the excellent stones I bought in Tucson. I bought a lot of sleeping beauty turquoise this year as the Chinese turquoise was almost the same price, and I just love the blue with the new Spring fashion colors. The orange carnelian also just pops with the Spring 2011 colors.

Let me know what you think about the photos and the pieces. I am planning to list many, many more over the next few weeks!!

Back in the game

Very excited to be back in the online business. I have been soooooo busy with ArtSpring that I have let my jewelry business flow on autopilot. Yes ... the sales have been good at ArtSpring, but I am ready for online sales and new wholesale ventures.

Upcoming events for Linda Blackbourn Jewelry (formerly A-Z Jewelry Design):

April 9th -- on the street at Fenton Street Market for the pre-season opener "Handmade Jewelry Showcase" featuring many local jewelry designers from the DC region.
May 7th -- First annual Broad Branch Market Arts Smart in DC .

May 14th and June 11th -- Ballston Street Market

Hope to see you out and about in the DC region!!

Linda Blackbourn Jewelry

Re-branding A-Z Jewelry Design as Linda Blackbourn Jewelry.