Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Jewelry Trends

This busy bespectacled elf is working on the latest trends for women's jewelry fashion in 2011. I thought some of you would like a preview of what will be hot in 2011.

For a fraction of the cost of high-end designer jewelry in department stores, you can purchase non-sweatshop handmade (by me) jewelry from Heart Space's Etsy Shop. 

Last year's wardrobe, with the addition of affordable jeweled accessories, will not only draw color, light and fancy to your best features, but will automatically update your look.

Here are some up-to-the minute trends:

-Massive, Dramatic and Heavy Metals

Look for contemporary designs, sleek geometric shapes, and large chunky stones. Very big this year in the world of artisan jewelry: COPPER!

- Antique, Vintage, Retro & New Combinations

Delicate vintage beads layered on with chains and pendants - more is better. Tall or large-framed women can wear delicate styles when impact is increased by layering accessories. 

- Dramatic, unique, unusual necklaces

Almost any keepsake or talisman can be put into a locket or designed into jewelry. Contact Claire, the Heart Space artisan for custom jewelry designed to express your unique style, to your exact specifications.

- Eclectic Natural Look
Wooden beads, pressed flowers in lockets or pendants, shells, semi-precious stones, seeds - reflecting the beauty of the earth!

- Crystal, Rhinestone & Venetian Art Glass
Many of these originate from the fine artisans of Czechoslovakia. All create sparkle and dance with the light. Want to light up the night?  Choose rhinestones and crystals in colors that flatter your complexion, hair and eyes.

- Neutrals
Classic creamy pearls, topaz, black onyx, amber, agate, almost every stone comes in a neutral color that you can wear day after day, and wear as your signature jewelry.

 - Real Pearls

Pearls come in colors to flatter every coloring - every size from giant globes, to minute seed pearls. They glow warmly against a woman's skin.  Fresh water pearls are especially affordable now. I love knotting pearls by hand - it's like prayer - very meditative.

- Enormous Hoops and Chandelier Earrings

These are so fun. Watch for an inexpensive line of handmade danglers coming soon to HeartSpace. 

-Green Eco Aware Movement

Look like an earth mother - with new awareness of mother earth.
HeartSpace researches the origin of her materials. I recycle beautiful, old beads and materials I find at estate sales and curio shops.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October Orange

Even those who turn up their noses at this dynamic and joyful color are known to use orange to decorate for Halloween. We gather bright sprays of autumn leaves to celebrate the changing seasons.  The hills and hedgerows seem lit on fire. Orange is not a timid color.  Orange is warmly dynamic.

Yet there is a range of glorious orange, from the soft blush of peach to the bright joy of tomato red-orange.  Almost everyone can find an orange to flatter their coloring, or to brighten up a spot in their home or garden. 

Orange shoes, handbags, and jewelry accents are making a resurgence. They can warm this fall's gray fashions with sophisticated whimsy. A splash of orange highlights your playful side.

The color orange is joyful, creative. In interiors, subtler tones of this color are said to encourage conversation, fellowship, and interaction.  Orange is a great accent when used with complimentary blues and blue-violets. Think of a field of poppies underneath a blue California sky.

Here are some delightful examples of orange in full glory.

Orange just glows! Couldn't have Halloween without it.
Against this drab gray background, these peaches are a study in soft contrast.
Nothing more brilliant than a glistening tomato. . .
. . .unless it's an autumn maple against a blue sky.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Joy of Color

Yes, subtle and neutral is wonderful but in the autumn color is what prepares us for the gray days of winter. I go out and soak up color: mature wheat fields, the deep blue September skies, ripening pumpkins, red-tinged dogwood leaves, the last of the late summer flowers, the dahlias, sunflowers and asters, and trees laden with dusky reddening apples.

Nothing neutral about autumn.

Nothing neutral about my heart space.

Or HeartSpace.

Please click here to see the latest in HeartSpace's Store.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Cosmic Egg Hatched: Altar Assemblage

Over a month ago I promised photos of the completed piece, with the working title: The Cosmic Egg.  A fanciful depiction of Saint Hildegard of Bingen, for a special patron and artist, Melanie Weidner, the piece was completed at the end of July, in time for Melanie's landmark birthday.  The santo is now on it's way to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Melanie has a very good camera, and a skilled artist's eye, so I am posting her photos, which are better than I usually have.  Here you go!

detail: The Cosmic Egg
In this piece I have incorporated several aspects of the spirituality and art of Hildegard and the art and spirituality of Melanie Weidner. See her work

Hildegard's face, the moon and the egg are sculpted with Das Clay, combined with fabric, a wooden bowl, and found objects.

My desire was to incorporate natural objects reflecting Hildergard's work with plants, especially as medicine.  I remembered my stash of dried rose hips, collected on a late autumn.  Likewise, the feathers from goldfinch, raven, bluejay and sparrow.  The shape of the altar, though a octagon, not a hexagon, still evoked the chambers of a bee-hive, a place of mystery, and relating to Melanie's name, derived from the Greek for honey bee.  

The industry of bees reminds me of the industry of an artist, especially Melanie.  She has been pondering her diverse interests as a spiritual director, teacher, artist and contemplative and how to further synchronize them.  The work of the bees, gathering from so many different flowers to make honey, reminded me of all that we draw together in creating our life work.

I have placed a tiny replica of the Labyrinth of Chartres within the golden, sunlike egg. Opposing matrices combine in the creative process, requiring intuition, patience, even hard-scrabble struggle. Within the Cosmic Egg is a labyrinth that can seem endless. In the bee hive of the brain impressions are transformed in the folds and crannies unseen, so much like the twists and turns of a labyrinth.  The brain is somewhat like an egg (intelligent people are teased for being egg-heads), hiding the gestation of ideas.

The moon and the loving old crone, who is part bird, with the feathers of combined birds, is a reminder of the magic that occurs outside the brain in the heart.  It is the mother-love with which we nurture ideas that transform them into art.  Little by little the mother bird feathers her nest, and little by little our creations unfold.

All through the process of making this altar I kept this quote in mind that Melanie shared with me: "The order of the universe is toward compassion." -Dr. Pete Terpenning  Every aspect is designed to curve and meld into the other, just as I imagine the spinning galaxies and the universe unfolding.

This piece can be turned several ways.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

100 Steps Beach: Offering Hope at the Altar

Two heart-shaped rocks left by Heart Space
At the top step, at One Hundred Steps beach, I wondered if my sore legs would carry me all the way down to the seashore and back again.  There may be only one hundred steps but they are steep ones and my knees can play tricks on me.

It is hard to commit to a hike, with rheumatoid arthritis, because I can't predict when or where the flare-ups will appear.  Still, this is my own beach, the one I claim as entirely special.  You never know when you will see a seal, an eagle, or a pelican, which definitely trumps any fear of a little pain.

I decided to make the offering of my strength, such as it is, to the hike.  I could take it slowly, and if any especially speedy types approached me on the trail, move over and let them pass me.  So I made my plodding way with care.

At every turn I appreciated these stairs, the rails constructed of found objects and driftwood, how they offer quirky diversion. Soon, I'd forgotten the swellings and aches that accompanied me, and was able to keep up with my companion.  He made the sacrifice of going slowly, so that I could feel hardy enough, and in the end, probably reaped the benefits of the smaller details.  You just can't see them when you're whizzing past slow people on the trail.

The stairs themselves, constructed lovingly by someone who has made the remote beach accessible to most all who can walk, are a sacrifice, are an offering of compassion. Only the best of climbers could have accessed the beach before there were steps.  And those who climbed must have made a mess of the flora and fauna. Such places give me hope for humanity - both because they were made by good souls, and are respected by humble enjoyers of them.

Some sights, even the speedy can't pass without noticing. The little shelter two-thirds of the way down the trail, appears to be a sort of shrine, or has been made into one by passersby.  It is here, with gratitude for the sunshine, the sea, a pile of tiny agates in my pocket, that I left my one heart-shaped rock, and my love left his, too.  (You can see in the photo, there is a kind of makeshift altar, and an interesting drawing, almost a petroglyph, nailed by someone above the shelf where we put our stones.)

Never do we know, when we begin an undertaking if we will see the end of it.  We must obey our hearts and set out into the unknown with hope.  Hope can be as complicated as one hundred steps down and one hundred up again, or as simple as one step forward into the unknown.  It is hope that carries us to the best places, sites that we can share with loved ones, and all of humanity.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pietopia Entry: My Favorite Blackberry Pie

I entered and did not place in a contest called Pietopia.  Some of you have asked to see the entry, so here it is. It was supposed to be very, very short, but the contest guidelines were unclear as to whether the word limit included the recipe.

I played it safe and kept the whole thing under 300 words, which made it very, very streamlined.

It is my favorite pie recipe which I share with you in this posting. Enjoy!

Claire Germain Nail
Gypsy Blackberry Pie  
Himalayan Blackberries are a nuisance in Oregon. Some summers I feel like that oft-maligned vine: a gypsy imported from a hotter, wealthier land. Yet, I’ve sent down my roots for good. Come rain or shine!
Times have been tough here for me and countless others. The nearby Blockbuster store is gone, but the berry vines behind it prevail.  Damn the economy, the cloudy gloom! I thrive on pie, replete with luscious blackberries: free for the picking, notwithstanding vicious scratches and purpled fingers! Blackberries are tough; so are Oregonians. So am I.
Simple blackberry pie, ingredients available cheaply: tart it up or down, like your little black dress. Necessary tapioca thickener disappears into the berries. Add lemon. If you’re too rich and too thin, use butter instead of oil.  The sweat-earned luxury of wild blackberries: money won’t buy gems more wickedly dark and glistening.   
Gypsy Berry Filling
9 inch pie 
Preheat oven 425 degrees
8 -10 cups juicy blackberries
1/2 cup sugar (or more if you prefer a sweet pie)
1/4 cup instant tapioca 
Ginger to taste
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup lemon juice and peel*
Let sit in warm place and make crust.
Easy Crust
2 cups flour
1/2 mild-flavored oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
up to 1/2 cup milk (water if you are really up against it)
  1. Measure flour into bowl, stir in salt.
  2. Stir in oil with fork, forming pea-size clumps.
  3. Stir in liquid slowly, till dough forms ball (less liquid on wet days).
  4. Divide into two balls.
  5. Roll out crust to about 1/4 inch, between wax paper. Flip dough over into pan and peel off paper. Arrange crust and trim overhanging edges.
  6. Add berries, 6 flecks of butter, cover with top crust, and crimp edges. Slit top crust.
  7. Bake 45-60 minutes, till golden and bubbly.  Cool before eating.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Waiting for the Cosmic Egg to Hatch

I'm working on a new project for an artist friend in exchange for a beautiful painting.  This is a painting which I have permission to use as the cover for my up-coming novel which will publish before Christmas. 

(Watch for information here regarding this novel: Saint Sullivan's Daughter.)

The new project is a secret right now, as it will be a surprise for my friend.  Let us just say these few hints.  It involves the moon, the color blue, stardust, and a bee.

That and the beautiful inspirational image (you'll find below) - an illumination from Hildegarde, who lived from 1098-1179: visionary, writer, artist and composer.  And like so many gifted European women of her time, a Catholic monastic.

Have a great week!  I'll be publishing a photo of the altar sculpture as soon as it's done.

The Cosmic Egg by Hildegarde of Bingen

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some new things for your perusal. Plus a Spanish Recipe.

Here's an idea for a quick, easy and delicious dinner: a great way to use leftovers.

Spanish Tortilla

In Spain a tortilla is an omelet, similar to a frittata.  It's a great way to use up leftover roasted potatoes, or cottage fried potatoes, or even, a pinch, some hash browns.

The main ingredients:
olive oil
sea salt
and ground pimiento (get the good Spanish stuff).

You can add all kinds of delicious things such as olives, green pepper, veggie or meat sausage, cheese, and herbs.  Go crazy!

First cook the potatoes in olive oil, if you have no leftovers.  (Start with olive oil in the pan) Then add onions, etc.  Add egg.  When it starts to coagulate, I usually put my whole cast-iron fry pan in the oven for about 10 minutes or so (depending on how many eggs.)  This is so delicious - even cold.

And easy. . .

This locket reminds me of many I saw in antique shops in Spain, except this one was made by me in Portland, Oregon.

See this and more at HeartSpace on Etsy

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jewels like Water Video

Create your own video slideshow at

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The winner is . . .

To all who entered the contest: Thank you for commenting, following, and trying something new. 

The lucky winner is Kim, who wins her choice of  HeartSpace jewelry, 20 dollars or under.  If you didn't win, please read on - there's something in it for you.

I want to offer a second, consolation prize to whomever commented on this post (original posters in the give-away - I have your names, dearies!).

Anyone who originally posted a comment here is eligible to buy anything in my HeartSpace Etsy store for 25% off the listed price.  

Let me know what you want, BEFORE you order on Etsy, and I will lower the listing price and reserve the item for you.  

To take a look at what's available, click here 

This offer only applies to those who commented on the June 2 blog post.  

Wishing you every happiness,
Love from Heart Space

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Contest Time!

It's raining and gloomy in Portland, Oregon.  Al and Tipper Gore are divorcing after 40 years and I lost a follower.  I was so excited to have reached a 100, but alas, one of the doves has flown!

Never mind, I understand.  Some blogs lose my interest after awhile, too.  Let's see what I can do to spice this one up a little.

How about a contest?

Comment and become a follower and you will be added to a drawing for a free gift of your choice from my Etsy store, valued up to twenty dollars.

Let's begin! Contest ends June, 10, 2010.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ode to Earrings

Oh, tiny pendants, perfect pearls,
glittering gold,
shimmering silver,
beads bobbing bright,
how you dance around my head!

Earrings, you enhance 
with so little effort,
just swing from my ears,
like stars fallen from last night's dream.
I love thee so!

But oft I have lost thee,
only to find another pair,
just as lovely to entrance.
Ears are fickle, as I am.
And earrings are 

Very silly, but sincere. I love earrings.  Come see the new ones in the earrings that sparkle section at my Etsy store.

I just need one more follower to reach 100.

And that would be a milestone, wouldn't it?

Have a great day and take good care of your heart.

You only get one, and even if you receive a transplant - you only get one at a time.


from Clarita

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bruce Lee Said "Be Like Water; See with Your Skin"

"Be like water," Bruce Lee said, "see with your skin."
Be like water, I imagine, flow around obstructions.
Be like water; refresh, then go your way.
Be like water: shimmering, gentle, powerful, awe-inspiring.

Every time I look at this necklace I think of water,
of the sea, of water's ability to move without effort,
of water's ability to change color to mirror the sky.

This abalone pendant catches the dance of water,
it's music, both gentle and strong.

Water has moods, without moodiness.
Water replenishes perfectly.
Water is a treasure we take for granted.

This necklace could be a talisman to remind one of several things:
to protect one's resources, and to protect the Earth,
to flow without effort, without stress around difficulty,
to shine and move as you are intended,
and to be like water.
[Click here to see necklace on Etsy.]

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do You Consider Quality Over Quantity?

When you have to stretch your dollars, it's tempting to choose quantity over quality.  

 Leave a comment below and let me know your answers to one or more of the following questions. 

1. Are you looking for quality materials and craftwork?

2. Are you looking for something totally unique, or do you prefer something that resembles what you've already seen?

3. Do you care where the materials come from and how they were derived? 

4. Is price your primary concern, over everything else?

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Made my first Treasury on Treasury East!

Hi, friends,
It took me forever to figure out how to do this, but I curated my first treasury on Treasury East and I'd love it if you took a look at it and maybe even commented.  Here is the link.  It's a celebration of Cinco de Mayo and all the saturated colors and delight I associate with Latino culture.


Click here to go to the treasury.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Filigree and Fiddle-dee-dee to Fashion

There are lots of blogs telling you what to wear.  I won't do that.  I am going to tell you to have fun with your jewelry.

Why not?  I have fun making it.  I'm always on the look-out for interesting materials and juicy gems.  I love the hunt.

For instance, I recently found these antique brass filigrees that remind me of flowers, and combined them with gorgeous golden freshwater pearls and sundrops of citrine.  And Voila!

They'd be lots of fun, especially on someone with light-colored blonde to red hair, or short hair of any color.  Very feminine and Victorian feeling ~ like one of my favorite flowers, the fuchsia.

I have more citrine, if anyone wants a nice little necklace to go with these earrings.

GEM LORE: Pearls are very fashionable this year, but do you know they have healing properties as well?  Pearls are cooling and soothing, can help balance emotions, and symbolize purity.  They are very absorbent of whatever the wearer feels, but when pared with citrine, which deflects negativity, the energy is very balanced.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

El espíritu de la fiesta. The Spirit of Fiesta

En español or in English, the word fiesta stands on its own these days.  The word fiesta connotes more food, more music, more color than the word party does.  Many parties are joyful, colorful and fun, but not all.  I expect a fiesta to be wonderful.

There are pity-parties and home-shopping parties at which you are enticed to buy Tupperware, and those uncomfortable to escape parties: familial days of guilty obligation. Who among us, not having the proper stylish attire, hasn't tried to fade into the wallpaper at some chi-chi soiré ? Would you long to hide at a real, live fiesta?  Probably not.

You'd show your true self, because that's who was invited.

The espíritu, or spirit of a fiesta, is the festival, or celebration of a feast day.  Originally these were spiritual or religious in nature, and that may be why they're different.  At a true fiesta the host is more concerned with the welfare of the guests, the celebration, than in selling Tupperware, or an idea of oneself as stylish decorator or gourmet cook.  At a true fiesta the hostess splurges on food, music and the children's piñata before her dress and the silverware.

(That's why I designed my Fiesta Collection of celebratory jewelry with affordability and joyful color in mind.)


 Click here to be my guest on Etsy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Love Water

I have just returned from a wonderful weekend trip to one of my favorite places in the world: Silver Falls State Park in Silverton, Oregon.  Inspired by my love of water, I made this necklace before I left.

Here are some photos of the water falls as well.

There are Ten Waterfalls in all at Silver Falls.

One of the  most beautiful places to be in Oregon.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Things to Consider When Shopping

Most manufactured items in the USA are made in China under difficult, even unhealthy conditions.  This includes jewelry available at stores, even high-end department stores.  It is worthwhile to consider, before buying: is this item something that supports unhealthy, unsustainable conditions?

No matter how cheaply one may purchase an item, if it is something that will hurt you, the person making it, or even you (because of unhealthy ingredients like lead paint), it is not really cheap.  In fact, it is very expensive.  It is good to be aware and ask questions of retailers.

It is not always easy to know what is involved in the making of your treasures.  Suffice it to say that here in the Heart Space workshop, I do my best to ascertain the origin of all the stones and materials I use.  I take special care because I care about my own health, your health and the health of the planet.  I may not get rich making my art and jewelry, but I am having a wonderful time.

Here is a beautiful lilac-grey agate pendant on a twisted glass bead necklace.  The agate slice is from inside a geode.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New in Shop for Spring!

Hi Friends,
I hope you are anticipating spring with happy hearts.  At Heartspace at Etsy, I have posted several new jewelry pieces.  I feel very creative right now, just thinking of the garden about to burst into bloom.  Come visit HeartSpace. Here's one photo to whet your appetite.
P.S. - This year I'm donating 10% of what I make on Etsy to World Vision in Haiti. I have a little girl I support there, but I haven't heard how she's doing since the quake.  Please keep Suaveline in your hearts.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Colores de la Primavera

Colores de la Primavera: the colors of spring - how we love the joyfulness of these!  If you are recycling old clothes this spring, think of adding brightly colored accessories to cheer your look.  Two colors that are on the vanguard for spring are turquoise blue and of course, bright green.  I love the numinous quality of light through waxy new leaves.  Today I am featuring new earrings with this color quality in stone and glass.

Spring is coming, yes, she is!  And you have my permission (as if you needed it) to prepare for her with great gusto. What will you do to color your life?

Don't be afraid to splash color around yourself: accessories, flowers, even your walls.  It can be as simple as tucking a sprig of hyacinth into your buttonhole, or as dramatic as painting a whole wall your favorite color (paint is relatively cheap). Color has the ability to renew the spirit.  And what better time to renew than spring?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Something Small with Great Love

This locket hides a mini-shrine and a quote from Mother Teresa:

"We can do no great things,
only small things with great love."

My intention was to create something handsome, that could be worn anywhere, but would hold the secret close to one's heart, ready to be opened in times when extra encouragement or prayer is needed.

The locket closes securely with a magnet and will not pop open.  The beaded rosary chain is sturdy and attractive.  The little sequins are vintage 1940's and the tiny Guadalupe portrait is cut from a photo.

If these mini shrines are popular I will gather lockets to make more.  Let me know if there is a particular quote or image that inspires you.