Category Archives: travel

Merry Christmas!

drusy cobalt necklace

Drusy Cobaltocalcite Necklace

Amazing Pink!

drusy necklace sterling silver

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/216136930/pink-drusy-cobaltocalcite-stone-sterling?ref=shop_home_active_4

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Azurite and Aquamarine Necklace

One of the most interesting stones I have ever made into a necklace. It is like a miniature landscape of a mountain and a valley.

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Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/216137416/azurite-specimen-stone-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-2DSC_0072

Velvet Malachite…

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Link:https://www.etsy.com/listing/216142103/azurite-malachite-drusy-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_2

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Last minute shopping on the go… Good friend and customer wanted a gift so I brought the store to him on the tailgate of our truck in the parking lot of the mall. Honestly, I have done this a lot. I live in ‘Nowheresville’ so I have often brought the store to the customer especially this time of year. I gift wrapped it and everything for him. No different the mall, right? Talk about low overhead. (Well, I guess pickup trucks are not the cheap these days.)

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Cookie Fest 2014

Every year we decorate cookies with the Aunties… The guys don’t really decorate much they just eat and goof off. Notice the ‘mice’ they were really easy and fun to make. Chocolate covered cherry with the stem as the the tail, white striped Herseys kiss face, almond slice ears, on an oreo cookie. If you google Chocolate Cherry Mice the recipe comes right up…. very simple. I am not really a fan of dessert, lucky thing, I would rather eat a steak or drink a cold beer than waste the calorie on a cookie.

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Clay Mathews Christmas Cookie made by Gabrielle ~ for all of you Green Bay Packers Fans ~ The frosting on this one will put anyone over the edge… Blood sugar 1500….

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My son Wyatt having a good time with some goofy antlers of his Aunts on his head.

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This is Aunt Jenny and Aunt Margo, cousin Gabrielle, the awesome neighbor kid Autumn and Savannah my daughter making, making, making….cookies and a mess.

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This is the only way my husband lets his picture be taken. This is an exact replica of my husband Bill. (Ok, he doesn’t wear shirts like that… his shirts are mostly black and have a Harley Davidson something on them ~ and we forgot the boots.)

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C-Fest 2014 (cookie fest) painted on the snowbank while the guys play football, dog plays too. After the cookies are made we head to the Rockin K Ranch in Greenleaf, Wisconsin. This ranch gives sleigh rides (or wagon rides if there is not enough snow) and drops you off in the woods at a bonfire ~every family has their own bonfire in the woods, privately. They pick you up whenever you say so ~ hour or two. We bring popcorn, hot chocolate and some family trivia the kids make up. It’s really fun and a nice way to spend the evening together being festive and getting in the spirit. The Rockin K Ranch does it right. Thanks for another fun night at your farm. If you have little kids or a company party it’s a really fun time doing something simple and little old fashion.

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Terrible pic… sorry it’s all I have…

off we go out to the woods on our horse ride… That is my brother in law standing next to me with his thumb up.

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope you have a peaceful Christmas with friends and family and are happily looking forward to 2015.

Finalized piece from my last post…  The trillion cut stones I could have never set without Gerry Lewy’s stone setting class. Thanks Gerry. I am sure Gerry, sitting up in Toronto Canada, has no idea I use his teachings almost daily. He will be teaching at Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek Door Co. next summer. If you can possibly take the class ~ take it… It’s amazing. Now I need to learn bright setting and engraving from him. If only I could live longer. http://www.peninsulaschoolofart.com

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18K Gold, Sterling, Vista Jasper, London Blue Topaz, Tourmaline….

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/215635351/18k-gold-sterling-silver-stone-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_3

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Last Show…

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Had my last outdoor show in Door Co. over the weekend. It was at Fineline Design Gallery in Ephraim: Townline Art Fair with 40 plus years running now… It’s a beautiful show with about 75-100 artists. This weekend in Door Co. is the busiest of the year with tourism, fall colors at full peak. I went to the show with my daughter and Kate and two other artists: Tammy Rae Wolter and Lissa Flemming. We had a great time. It made the weekend easier as well with tent help, snoring, and Kate our coffee runner….and don’t forget marketing eagle eye. Glad to be done with outdoor shows. It was 32 degrees each morning when we arrived and all of us had on boots, coats and gloves. Tammy even brought a propane heater for her tent. It was pretty sweet. Earrings Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207157754/calla-lily-earrings-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-3

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Just randomly tossing pics up of things I made for the show. These earrings I made for a good customer. She actually wants a necklace but I wanted to start small and see if she liked these first before we dive into a huge calla lily necklace.  Earrings Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207171871/calla-lily-pearl-earrings-sterling?ref=shop_home_active_3

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This labradorite necklace has one of the prettiest labradorites in it I have ever owned. Wow, full stone color flash! I still have it and just posted it on Etsy if you love it! Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207152182/labradorite-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_9

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Labradorite with more green color flash ~ Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207164817/labradorite-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_10

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Agate and Garnet Necklace ~ One of a Kind~ Simple Beauty

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207165817/hills-agate-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_8

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Crazy Lace Agate Riveted Necklace ~ https://www.etsy.com/listing/207167073/crazy-lace-agate-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_7

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Huge Crazy Lace Agate Necklace : https://www.etsy.com/listing/207165106/crazy-lace-agate-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_1

This crazy lace agate is a amazing and my pics of it are terrible. It’s grey not orange/green and it’s huge. I will see if I can take some better pics outside and on a person.

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Rhodolite Garnet Ring with 18K gold accents

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207155212/rhodolite-garnet-sterling-silver-18k?ref=shop_home_active_7

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Textured Hammered Sterling Band

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207155612/garnet-sterling-silver-ring-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_6

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Pierced Garnet Ring

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207155612/garnet-sterling-silver-ring-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_6

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Here we all are on our way out of town. We stopped at my favorite Mexican Restaurant, ‘Hot Tamales’ in Sturgeon Bay. My daughter is taking the pic. Left to right; Lissa, Me, Tammy and Kate.

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This is Friday evening when we just arrived and were setting up. Thanks Door Co. for another great summer, not just for jewelry but for fun, scenery, parks, water, beaches, sunsets, woods and trails. It is a special place.

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Happy Halloween… I make one of these every October. It sold to a tiny little petite lady with two super cute little kids… go figure… she loved it ~ you just never know?

Next show Nov. 30th 9-3pm RedBird Holly Craft Faire in East Depere High School. Inside ~ nice and warm.


Happy Summer….

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Happy Summer Everyone… It’s coming to an end here in Wisconsin and I can’t even say it was hot yet. Photo above is in Wyoming ~ last summers road trip. Doesn’t it look wonderful. It’s almost fake looking and the photo is completely unedited.

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This is a customer’s painting. They have asked me to make a pendant from this drawing. Hee Hee Funtimes!!!!!!!! I will keep you posted on the progress as the design for it is ready to go and has customer approval. It should be really fun to make. Heart falling from the wave is going to be a garnet gemstone. Painting is titled: Tsunami Love

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And this is what you do when you are 13 after football practice…. Do you remember?????? I can barely remember summertime when I was 12 and 13 years old…. no job yet, great friends, old enough to be left to some of your own resources, no worries. My best friends were Amy and Shannon. We had a few summers that the three of us were inseparable. Great times, truly.

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A stormy Labor Day weekend… this is the Bay of Green Bay almost to the tip of Door Co. (which is the top of the thumb of the mitten in Wisconsin.) It’s beautiful year around and I really find myself fortunate to live so close I can enjoy it anytime I want to. This was on a hike in Peninsula State Park.

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My daughter…same hike… she’s looking more and more like me everyday. What a great kid.

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Labor Day Cookout: These pies are made by one of my sister in laws, Aunt Diane. They tasted even better…. really, awesome. I couldn’t bake to save my life. She brings pie at a moments notice. I don’t know how she does it? It would take me the entire weekend to make a pie.

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This is a terrible picture but these are two little gemstones that I had cut for me for a custom order. Thanks to Jewelry Point in New York… they had these to me in a few days. They are 5mm stones: Amethyst and Aquamarine… they are checker board faceted on both sides. I will set these in a setting that just holds them around the middle in 14k gold. They are for a ‘mother’s necklace’ so a few links will separate them and then a 14k gold chain, 16 inches for the rest of the necklace. Julie, the mom, can add more stones in the future if she has more children and from the sounds of it that could be a good possibility.

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Thanks for the great summer Wisconsin. We are heading into my favorite time of year… Fall. Sweaters ~ blue jeans ~ boots ~ warm sunsets ~ cool nights ~ enjoying the harvest ~  leaves changing ~ calm before the storm ~ winter can’t be as bad as last year, not possible, right?

(I will take a picture of the above trees when they are in full fall color, gorgeous… )


Artstreet Location….

ArtStreet… I will be in the same spot as last year… #143. I love it when they do that because I am easy to find. I am on the corner of Adams and Cherry right at the Art Raffle Tent. See ArtStreet Event link: http://www.mosaicartsinc.org/artstreet/index.php

Artstreet Artist Map 2014

I am cross eyed already from making, making, making but it will all be worth it after the weekend is over (unless it rains like crazy…) I am looking forward to seeing good friends, neighbors, other artists. Katie is helping me pull everything together today and we will probably call it an early day as if you make things in a rush it just does not work out.

Classes at Peninsula School of Art are a go! So I will be teaching “How To Launch An Etsy Shop” and “Telling A Story In Stone’ which is a traditional metalsmithing class. They are both the week of Sept 15th Monday-Friday. If you can go — go! Taking a workshop is always inspiring. Let me know if you need class info or check with PeninsulaSchoolofArt.org.

Earlier this week my family and I traveled to my Dads home in Florida where his wife Terry still lives. (My Dad passed away this spring.) She is moving soon and we went to help her pack and just visit before she moves. It was good to see her and my Dad’s Chocolate Lab, Hank… He eats everything he shouldn’t — like, shoes, toilet paper, boxes, belts, phones… He is only one year old so he is then energizer bunny and weighs 100 lbs. His tail is his smile and could almost knock you down-great to see them both. During our time there we went to Blue Springs State Park in Deland Florida. We had been there before and you can swim/snorkle in a natural spring that flows out into the ocean. It is a manatee refuge. It is like snorkeling in an aquarium. We were told that we would not see any manatees because it’s the wrong time of year. The last time we went we swam with a family of manatees and it was surreal to swim with adults and their babies in the wild.

Well…. my daughter and I were just snorkeling along and a huge shadow cruised beneath us! It was a single manatee and he/she was just gorgeous and huge… about the size of a cow. We slowly swam with he or she for several minutes and even carassed him – he feels like a prickly leather couch–like a wild boar with course hair, tough exterior… Great experience again to be completely in the wild and have a chance encounter with an endangered species – or protected species, not sure which. I chuckled at all the little kids getting on the airplane with their Micky Mouse hats from Disney World… I bet they did not have the amazing time we had — for almost free.

Below picture is 10 feet deep water: half fresh water and half salt… crystal clear to the bottom.

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People in floats, swimming and snorkeling the spring down to the mouth. My son sat on the bottom and saw a 6 foot Gar fish swim over him.

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We also visited the tallest light house in Florida built in late 1800’s. Great history behind this light house still in use, on the end of the strip in Daytona Beach Florida which is called Ponce Inlet. 1.5 million bricks, 8 feet thick walls at the bottom, 208 steps that men carried up gallons of kerosene by hand daily… has with stood a few hurricanes… The light in the lighthouse is now computerized and has an electric light but it use to be a kerosene lamp with a wick (imagine the wick-huge???) with a zillion magnifying lens surrounding it make the light bigger and brighter… That lamp is shown in the second photo. It was huge, made from brass and massive amounts of one inch or more  thick pieces of glass — I’m a museum junky — neat stuff. (I am such a geek, sorry about that.) Three men and their families maned the light house 24/7 for years on end. It took constant maintenance and care.

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This is the lens/lamp — it’s about 2 stories tall.

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Could not walk far enough out into the ocean to get a picture of the entire lighthouse – ocean is behind me and in front of me too  🙂

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New necklaces just finished today…. Both with hand made chains…both agates,  my favorites… The last necklace with amethysts as accents.

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If you are interested in either one of these necklace please send me an email at joykruse@yahoo.com

I won’t have time to post them online before the show starts tomorrow at 4pm. I hope to see you there and hope it doesn’t rain a lot this weekend. Heck of a way to make a living in the rain, outside, with beautiful hand made things… amen to all artists out there doing outdoor shows. It’s an adventure every time. See you soon. Maybe tomorrow? and wish me luck.

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Summer Pics, New Things, ArtStreet… soon….

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This is an old old old post office building near my home. It is on my neighbors property and it’s an interesting place… Once in a while in go here to take pictures. This time my daughter went with her metal detector. We didn’t find much as far as metal goes but it was fun and the it’s the thought that counts! It was an adventure.

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Our big find… Some old square nails and I do love to use these in my work so it was a successful hunt.

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Rhodocrosite Toggle Necklace… This pink stone is a favorite of mine along with Agua Nueva and Laguna Agate. It’s getting really hard to find nice stones though. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/199563146/rhodocrosite-sterling-silver-necklace?

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Took a short trip to Waupaca Wisconsin and stayed on Spencer Lake at The Dragonfly Cottage. Here is the link to the cottage if you want to visit and stay… it was amazing: http://www.vrbo.com/396062

The water is obviously crystal clear and we learned to Kayak which I had never done and I thought I would not like it and I love it!!!!!!!!!!!! On the flip side we learned to mountain bike a beginner trail… I thought I would love it… I hated every minute of it and thought I was going to die smashing my head open on a rock. So, you never know until you try I guess. If you are a mountain biker my hat is off to you…wow, hard. Try out Hartman Creek State Park trails. They made them for mountain bikers and I am diffidently not cut out for the sport.

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This is about the average size fish we caught. Hee Hee… not such great fishing.

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Beautiful simple necklace made today… Roni if you are out there this would be a good one for you 🙂

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/199571069/tee-pee-canyon-agate-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-2

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Old Paddle Boat tour on the ‘Chain of Lakes’ in Waupaca….

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My Grandmother… she came for a day to the cottage and went on a boat ride. I thought she was a goner this spring so it’s nice to see her enjoy summer time with some strength. She will be 91 in a month. She spent the entire day on a pontoon, amazing.

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Our church was featured in this magazine which is pretty neat! I was shocked to see it as I read! I looked at the pictures and could not believe my eyes. What a surprise. Our church makes ‘Booyah’ which is similar to chicken soup and it’s a popular northern Wisconsin tradition.

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Winter is coming….start stacking. Before winter arrives though is ArtStreet in downtown Green Bay Wisconsin. It starts on Friday night Aug 22nd. When I know where my booth will be I will post it next week. They did not have an artist map for me yet. See you there I hope!


Attention Deficit Summer

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Attention Deficit Summer…

It’s been really crazy busy: kids have lives now that they are getting older yet they can’t drive so drive, drive, drive around. My son Wyatt has his first job, sports and has been to two different camps hours away. The calendar looks like a truckers log book.

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Above piece is an Aqua Nueva Agate and Amethyst Necklace. The agate stone swings from curled sterling above it. It sits beautifully on the neck. I regret to say that it is sold. It did not last long online and I will miss this beauty.

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THE SHACK! This is my father-in-laws SHACK….. Everyone calls it ‘THE SHACK’ and for obvious reasons. It is a shack. It has electricity but no running water. It is in northern Wisconsin and we go up here every year and goof off. The guys go fishing (sometimes Savannah and I fish but the boat is getting too small for all of us to fit in) and Savannah and I bum around at the beach or wherever.

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This is the nicer building of the two… yes, it’s the outhouse 🙂 The Danger Keep Out sign is priceless on the outhouse.

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LeLand Blue stone and a piece of Iron I found while taking a walk on my own land… This piece is also already sold. I loved making it, love that a part of my land is incorporated into the piece…  and the patinas turned out just perfectly.

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This is the Jeep that picks ya up after you’re done rafting at Kosir’s Rapids Resort. My husband has been coming to this place his entire life with all of his brothers and sisters, especially as children. ‘THE SHACK’ is right down the road and if you’re a sissy and you HAVE to take a shower you can take a shower here…bring your quarters though.. it costs a few dollars to get the soap outta your hair.

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This is after the rapids and if you’re little (say 5 years old) or just want a tan you can tube down this lazy part of the river and Kosirs will pick you up at the boat landing an hour away.

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My most popular item… a simple, rustic handmade cross with a custom tag… I love to make them and I hope all the people that have one are still loving theirs for years and years. This one is heading out to Albuquerque New Mexico today.

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Landing 11 on the Peshtigo River Flowage (this is by THE SHACK)

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Our third year sponsoring a team… and being a coach. It’s been so fun, again, there is nothing like heading out to practice at 530 at night and you’re kinda tired or ready to let the day come to a close and a bunch of smiling, silly, fun kids all under the age of 12 run around you in circles with boundless energy. It’s great. They are great, really, really, great bunch of kids: all of them. If you ever get the opportunity to do something like this go for it. You don’t have to coach just be a sponsor and go to a few games and hang the team photo in your shop/business/office/building… it’s a great motivator and a very positive thing for your community. The kids just light up over popsicles, Gatorade and maybe even a game that gets won.

I hope you are all having a busy, fun summer… It’s going by way to fast. Art show this Sunday 10-4 Art In Park in Appleton… I am usually on the corner of two streets on an end so see you there. It is fun for all ages like a festival. Berstrom Mahler show was last Sunday and it was the first time I have done that show when it wasn’t 100 degrees. It was a nice turnout so thanks everyone.

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My daughter making lipgloss… messy but fun. We made a coffee lipgloss and it was terrible – we threw it out. Other flavors that are good: Orange Crush, BubbLipcious, Watermelon Crush, Lush Lemon, Coconutty, Raspberry Rush, & Chocolate Kiss

All natural with Bees Wax and Coconut Oil: if you have a young daughter or granddaughter give it a try! Look it up on YouTube or Pinterest ~ funtimes. See you all soon I hope!


Leland Blue and Sapphire

Leland Blue Sapphire Necklace

Fresh today…. Leland Blue Stone and Sapphire Gemstone Necklace…. Leland Blue material is no longer available so it’s getting harder and harder to find. I love it’s rugged look and to put a sapphire with it seemed a little crazy so why not? 3mm Sapphire is set with in a natural hole in the Leland Blue stone. Sterling silver hand made chain as well.

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Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/194217921/leland-blue-sapphire-gemstone-sterling?

Hope you have time to stop in a see me Saturday at The Flying Pig Gallery. Should be fun! I will take some pics and post them. Been a busy busy summer so far I have to remember to take my camera and get some great shots of summer before it’s gone…..


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