Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Jewelry Partnership! Jennifer Valentine and Creative Co-op

I received the samples of the New Jennifer Valentine Jewelry line for Creative co-op recently and I've been having so much fun photographing and picking out my most favorites from over 40 pieces! So many pieces, it will take me awhile to stock my online shop with goodies! I have looked very closely at each and every piece and I can tell you that these are superbly crafted and very well made. I am proud to have them bear my name, and more proud to partner with such an incredible company as Creative Co-op. When I think of all of the obstacles I faced to get all of the pieces ready, I wonder how I pulled it off. I know God's unending grace was with me the whole way.
Here are just a few pieces from the collection~
geisha cuff
long and lustrous! SUPER sparkle.

Glenwood Cuff
reproduction antique assemblage earrings

Jeweled bracelets come in SIX gorgeous colors!
amazing royal sapphire blue sparkle, necklaces, lockets and earrings
And these are just a few gorgeous things going into the shop soon. It was hard to decide what to stock first! Stay close by, ok? I'll be having a giveaway very soon of some of my favorite pieces. You won't want to miss it!
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Assemblage Jewelry in Dreamy Sapphire Blues

Really loving the assemblage jewelry pieces in the shop that would transcend well from the workday to a holiday party or a special date. This blue really pops and would be great if you are like me and wear a lot of pretty basic colors and styles to stretch your wardrobe.
sapphire and cobalt blue necklace
The antique cobalt blue colored rhinestone is fairly noticeable, about the size of a quarter...and it's paired with vintage french pressed glass givre rosary beads in a monochromatic look.

blue french rhinestones and flourishes of gold

I do enjoy using vintage and antique props...the above photo was shot with my good 'ol canon point and shoot using very old little peach lusterware tea pot and a tiny creamer that depicts birds and flowers. I am noticing more and more on Etsy that most of the items that get noticed and included in the front page collections are ones that use a white background. To me, it just doesn't look right and its not especially creative or fun, so I'm sticking to using the old props for now.

sapphire collet using vintage rhinestones
This sapphire collet was shot using an old ledger paper and some dried peonies from KW's spring garden. My favorite window for light is the bedroom window at about 10ish, so i have a little photoshoot area set up there. I makes it easier to shoot the jewelry if everything is right there on hand. I have my props in a basket and a stool and my favorite antique mannequin right by the window. I try to get new jewelry made the night before, shoot it the net morning, then edit and post.

sapphire assemblage earrings with vintage pressed glass cabochons

These earrings are made with gorgeous vintage pressed glass cabochons that look like you could just eat them... lots of light through the vintage crystals on the bottom. The shabby silver beadcaps and rondelles are from an antique necklace that came apart. This photo was made using a letter written to my great-grandfather, Harriman Simmons. He was a business man who at one time, had his own tea company in New York, partnered with a man with the last name of Bleeker.
Some of us in the family collect the "Bleeker & Simmons" tea tins that are still out there floating around the country.
These earrings are a one of a kind pair. My favorite thing to make. A one of a kind piece is a bit like making art that cannot be replicated. I like that. a lot.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Heartfelt Thank You

I was going to begin this with a story about the adversity I faced going into this new wholesale jewelry partnership with the wonderful company Creative Co-op... I was going to go into more detail about the things going on in my life that made this dream of mine almost become just a memory...I almost completely gave up on it...perhaps I'll talk about it another day.
Today I want to thank you for helping to make my dream a reality...for fostering my hopes and urging me onward...telling me that my journey was  worthwhile. Calming the demons that haunted me and told me that what I was doing was never going to be worth it all...the hours at my desk, working until my head drooped from exhaustion. I put myself "out there" here, on this blog, on facebook, and in my shop. And what I got back was positive energy, uplifting comments about how lovely my work was, and even glorious photos of you wearing the work of my heart.

You have made me feel so blessed that my hearts work has been there during your most special moments...soaking in the spirit of the extraordinary person that you are.

     My prayer is that somehow I have touched your life. Even in the tiniest way...made you feel as special as you are, by adding something that connects us somehow. Because each thing I create is a prayer...a message of love and hope.
That is what you gave me. That is what I want to give to you.
I didn't give up...against all odds...against the deadlines and the illness and the life altering things. I kept on believing in my dream and my prayer, which was always something like this~

Dear God, bless the wearer of this work of my hands and of my heart...beauty that can only come from you, the source of all beauty. God, may I someday be able to bless others lives far beyond making something pretty for them to wear. Far beyond the confines of this desk and this body. I want my work to be meaningful, so that someday it will make the world a better place in the making of it. Amen

my table for making vintage jeweled collets

My focus was never really on me. It was on you. Not on my wallet, but on the world. Not on the physical but spiritual, and how I could make this gift of mine something that would become eternal. I didn't know how I was going to do that making jewelry. I just knew that something propelled me forward. I dug deep and found the strength to keep going against everything that was thrown into my path.
I want the same for you. I want my journey to give you hope and belief in your dreams. If you follow spirit; follow hope,  your life will become enriched and so will the lives of those around you because of it.
If you don't shine your light, you cannot lead others out of their darkness. So I decided to shine as bright as I could one small step at a time.

This new partnership with an amazing company, Creative Co-op, means more to me than a paycheck. Anything make will be a blessing to this family, but more importantly to others out in the world that are less fortunate. That is all I ever prayed for. My husband and I would lay in bed together at night and dream about Opening soup kitchens, and building wells in Africa, and free art classes and after school activities for local teens.
Creative Co-op did a beautiful job re-creating the work of my heart...beautiful collets and bracelets and earrings that made me breathless to see them in print~

I never would have guessed that prayer would lead me here. I just kept believing. I kept praying for guidance.
I don't mean to sound hokey, but please, keep your dreams alive. Nourish them every day. However you can. One small step at a time.Whatever they are. Keep moving. Keep swimming. Keep hoping.
I cannot wait to tell you where this takes us.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

A Saturday Morning "Hope Note"

     I guess I feel like I have to have something monumental and incredibly spiritual to say in order to come here to write. I was inspired by this post from my dear friend from afar, Sherry, who has the ability to convey the most soothing message in a paragraph or two.
     This Saturday morning, as she prepares for Thanksgiving in Canada, I am here, blogging from bed, noticing the tinge of color on the leaves of a neighboring tree...lucky enough to have a room witha view from this old iron bed.
     The sounds of Saturday morning fill the air...cartoons mixed with something frying in the kitchen...oh and then something glass falling heavily to the floor in the living room...I'm afraid to look....
I'm thinking about the orders to finish, which bills to pay and how I will loose this extra weight...
the cat wants to get in, mewing at the window and my mind fills up like a stopped up sink with the faucet running full on. I am sliding into overwhelm.
     I guess my morning is not as peaceful as Sherry's, but it is mine nonetheless to do with what I choose. Therein lies the beauty of it. This morning is mine...I am free to choose what to focus on. Lack or abundance. Forgiveness or regret. Worry or peace of mind. My weight or the fact that I am still on this earth, alive and reasonably healthy.
Today, I invite you to focus with me, on the abundances. Let the struggles of life and living slip away for a bit. Take a deep breath with me and focus on your breath. As long as you can hear it, there is hope. Some of you this moment are experiencing loss and sadness, despair and regrets; to-do lists without end. This makes it harder, I know.
But there is light somewhere in the darkness, always.
Though it may not be apparent this moment. Know that there is goodness at work in the world and there is light inside of you...inside of others that seem so lost and so dark.
This is my raw, unedited message today.
As I hear the leaves rustle in the Autumn breeze, I know that there is always change coming. Always hope. Always death and then renewal.
     Today my to do list includes posting these lovely earrings in the shop designed in collaboration with my youngest daughter, which in itself is the embodiment of hope; for private reasons I cannot express here. Just know that I never thought I'd see it.
red, ruby, vintage assemblage, assemblage earrings
vintage assemblage earrings, ruby red

Monday, September 03, 2012

Measuring Up

self portrait: late nights at Sacred Cake
 I want so much to measure up...be that amazing blog writer, that spectacular jewelry designer, the amazing mother, the saintly peace keeper.. the word DYNAMIC always comes to mind...and I always seem to fall so short of what I want so much to be.
It is humbling. I reach, reach, reeeeaach...and pull back only a fistful of air...but it is in this fist full of air that I remember that the air is a gift.

A reminder to breathe deeply and remember God's grace...
I am limited. I am human. My body limits my life and my wants and it is frustrating.
I find myself scrambling to matter before I leave this world...to be like the poet's or artists' name that everyone remembers...
but the truth is that if only one of you remembers my kindness...if my children remember the laughter and the generosity long after I've gone, then I have mattered more than the poet that everyone knows; more than the song that everyone can sing. It is in the little things that Grace resides...that memory serves...
The fist full of air is a gift in itself that I must not forget. It means that I have the gift of another day to spread the word about God's grace, in the smallest ways that matter most...the only word that really needs to live on in the hearts and minds of mankind, Grace. Gods promise of eternal life, after this world is not just about being in his presence after we die, but in living our lives to the best of our ability to show to others, the grace he has given us...in words and actions and in forgiveness and in the little kindnesses. That is the way we live on. That is the way we matter. That is the way we become famous. That is the way we are dynamic and amazing.
That is the way we become eternal.

Love and Light to you all today,
IN other news, I have drawn the winners of the Raffle for Jenny Wenworth's Trip to Paint with Misty Mawn! and here they are~
GLENDA, YOU are the winner of the Assemblage Bee Necklace!
SUSAN, YOU are the winner of the Pink Collet!
JOAN, YOU are the winner of the Yellow Collet!
Earring Winners are:


Friday, August 10, 2012

Antique Oriental Designs for Free Friday!

Antique geisha coffee card
antique sewing, thread collectors card
I have always been infatuated with the orient, since the rare visits to my great-grandfather's house as a child. It was filled with extraordinary things that he brought back with him from Japan when he was stationed there after the war. He had the most amazing Geisha dolls encased in huge glass boxes..tall black lacquer screens with mother of pearl inlay scenes played out in intricate detail. And always, he sent me home with some little thing I coveted, mostly some of the favorite porcelain chop stick rests I'd run my fingers over, from his burgeoning collection. He kept them all in a large, square low-walled wooden box on a stand; just kind of jumbled up like a heaping miniature treasure hunt...and I was always amused as I dug through them...nimble little fingers rummaging through them to find the oddest shapes and funniest things like chickens and curved up fish and strange vegetables. My fave was the deep purple eggplant one...I was so proud of my treasures when I got home to Florida to show them to my friends. I've been enamored with Oriental/ Asian themed things ever since. I feel strangely like it is a part of me somehow. I am so irresistibly  drawn to the culture and the beauty of Japan.

This assemblage necklace I made is in my Etsy shop. I created it with a gorgeous medallion made from the impression of a very large (very coveted) antique metal Geisha button from myown collection. The original antique button was later made into a special cuff bracelet for a up and coming project. This particular necklace I've named "Her Ghost".
oriental vintage assemblage Geisha necklace
My pottery artist friend Michelle Stambaugh used the button stamp she made to create a gorgeous pottery stamp, and in turn she made the most beautiful cobalt blue washed medallion...I just could not resist its ethereal beauty.
"Her Ghost" ,a geisha necklace, vintage brass fan, vintage glass bead chain

and this Lovely Geisha cuff bracelet that I made for a very special project...
antique geisha button cuff
Thank you for being here! Hope you can us the vintage Oriental/Asian ephemera for a nifty project.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

White Picket Fences

There is no cure for Fabry's disease or the issues I have with the resulting nerve damage. There is only wishing it didn't exist, and dealing with all the "stuff" that comes along with it. But then there is this~
queen anne's lace growing wildly right by the front step
That is when I do my "noticing" photographing exercise, that I have spoken of here before.

A lot of it centers around our home. I think because home is so important to me. It is a safe place. A constant that I can count on. A cocoon of comfort. I spend most of my time here, since I work at home, trying to make a living by doing what I love...making new things out of old things.

art nouveau, bridal, earrings, clear, antiqued, handmade
authentic art nouveau findings and french rhinestones
the lovely texture of milk glass creamer and sugar with embossed leaves
 I've opened a new little shop recently called "White Picket Fences", just for earrings like the handmade assemblage art nouveau earrings above...it's for all the things I adore and love to be surrounded with. Like shades of white, pale pale pinks, all things shabby chic, old and sparkly~
vintage chandelier sparkles and shabby tin tiles (even during renovation!)(and complimentary spiderwebs too
The new shop has vintage jewelry, antique linens and the recent addition of lovely handmade shabby chic lavender sachets that I have made from linens and vintage millinery flowers I loved creating them...thought they would make nice gifts.
french, lavender, sachets, etsy, white picket fences, millinery
french lavender sachets decorated with vintage millinery
I've always wanted to run a little "real" shop, but this online one will have to serve that purpose...

...you know, I still believe in happily ever after. I still believe in the sacredness of marriage and the promise of growing old with the one you love. I want my home and your home to be a sacred sanctuary, filled with the things and the people you most love.
I want to believe that when I'm gone, I've made a difference in this world.
I want my breaths to have mattered. Even after all this time, I still want the white picket fences.

There are good days when I feel strong and energetic and invincible...but I know that my "quality of life" is not going to get better. I am not the type to feel sorry for myself, but I do now and then because I'm not superwoman. I try to use my sense of humor on the really hard days and ask myself, "Are you above ground?" "Yes,?" "Then it's a good day." And then I chuckle to myself because I know it is true.
Truly, I only have today.  This day. This moment.
If you are anything at all like me, you forget on a daily basis that this could be your very. last. day.
So, I find my joy, wherever it is that day. In a dancing shadow on the wall...or a favorite song...spending time with the ones I love, or even ironing vintage linens...or in the joy of creating just a little something every day.
This poem by Mary Oliver deeply resonates with me. Especially the very last line. forgive the morbid title, but if you haven't read it, I wanted to share it with you today~
When Death Comes
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

me and "Birdie" June 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vintage Georgian Collet Raffle and Assemblage Earring Giveaway!

I really want Jenny to make it to Italy. She has worked so hard to get half way there. She has been working hard and adding her own money, and painting these lovely things to auction off to make more. Jenny says, " Painting is my passion. The magical Misty Mawn is teaching a class in Italy at the end of September and I have been dreaming about going for a long time. I tucked the dream away thinking that is just wasn't possible on my salary. It was always there in the back of my mind prodding at me. I decided I didn't want my dream to dwindle away so I'm asking for your help to make it a reality."

georgian collets by Sacred Cake (value: 110.00)

Like I said in this last post  helping others foster their dreams somehow helps us to foster our own. It keeps us focused on what is real. What is good. What is relevant.
Love for humanity. For eachother.
At a time when the news is full of negativity and despair, there is always a flicker of light.
The God given goodness that resides deep within each of us, in this moment.
I am offering your choice of three of my best selling necklaces in a donations raffle! Entering the raffle is easy. Just choose the necklace you'd like to win, press the donate button at the bottom of this post, donate 5.00 or more, and specify which necklace you'd like to win! Each 5.00 increment counts as one entry.
You will also be entered in an earring raffle just for donating any amount! So, you have two chances to win.
Each 5.00 increment you donate will be entered in the drawing for the necklace you specify. This is HUGE!
Your choices~
vintage pale pink rosaline collet

vintage pink rosaline collet by Sacred Cake
A gorgeous pale pink jeweled collet that would make Marie Antoinette SWOON. Trust me, you won't want to take it off! Just type the word "pink" when you enter.
collet, citrine, giveaway, jenny wentworth
my daughter, Rebecca, modeling my necklaces
chunky pale yellow collet by Sacred Cake on Etsy
This lovely chunky pale yellow collet  will steal your breath when you see it in person. Trust me when I tell you that it is worth a five dollar donation to enter to WIN IT! Just type "yellow" in the text box when you enter.
and last, but definitely not least, this lovely assemblage piece~
"In Memory of Bees"
Bee and rhinestone assemblage necklace by Sacred Cake
This gorgeous vintage and antique assemblage bee necklace will become a favorite! Just write "bee" when you enter your donation.
Now for the extra special part! Even if you don't win a necklace, you will STILL be in the drawing for a pair of these~
vintage aqua assemblage earrings by Sacred Cake
and  these~
vintage rosaline earrings by Sacred Cake
and these~
orchid earrings by Sacred Cake

This donate button will take you to the safe and secure Paypal. Don't forget to specify which necklace you'd love to win. AND remember that EVERYONE who donates will get a chance to win earrings too!

Thank you for being here today.
Blessings and light to You and Yours,
Jennifer Valentine of Sacred Cake

painting by Jenny Wentworth

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Georgian Collets, Inspired by Anna Wintour

etsy, vintage rose, jewel necklace, statment, sacred cake, jennifer valentine
collet in deep pink and gold
I've got new Georgian styled collets in the shop! These go beyond the Anna Wintour inspired collet necklaces that I have previously done. They are entirely my creations! and they are quite lovely.
hand antiqued jeweled collet in rosaline
collet in Montana Sapphire

The stones lay like little jeweled flags around your neck, and I have made them in many colors! You can see them in my Etsy Shop. Unlike the other jeweled collets that are worn short, these can be worn at varying lengths, so they are wonderful for layering!
layered collets in Peridot, Montana sapphire, and clear antique rhinestones with gold plating
I have gotten the sweetest compliments on these new "like little jeweled flags" collet styled necklaces...little labors of love, they are, but one that the brings satisfaction of creating something lovely. Something to be enjoyed and treasured. I've also been working on a few historical reproduction type pieces that I have seriously enjoyed creating...such a luxury to create these gorgeous and decadent jewels. I think custom orders are my favorite for this very reason!
sacred cake, emerald collet, jennifer valentine, etsy, vintage collet
Royal Emerald Collet with beautiful crown settings
sacred cake, jennifer valentine, collet, anna wintour, costume reproduction, ruby
Royal Ruby Collet
 Here is one I created out of a stunning vintage brooch sent to me by a sweet customer...a wonderful collaboration between she and I, that turned out swimmingly~
custom created collet in pale amethyst with vintage brooch
Did I already say how much I love doing custom work?

I'll be back very soon with a funny little bird story...
me and "birdie"
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