Monday, December 17, 2012

Home For Christmas

As many of you know, my husband and I are moving from Las Vegas to our new home in Arizona to be with my family while my father is in the hospital following a massive stroke. Thank you friends for your prayers and well wishes, which I always pass on to him.

Since the move is happening over the holidays, both of my shops are closed until mid-January. I just don't have time to spend in the studio right now. Please check back with me in 2013 as I am planning a big re-opening of my Etsy shops complete with ridiculously great discount codes!

Hug the people you love and have a wonderful holiday season!!!

Melissa xo

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mars Needs Guitars - final edition

The final image from my Guitars for Autism project. I had a blast making this!! Hopefully, it will find a good home at the auction and help fund research for Autism.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mars Needs Guitars - part 2

I've made some progress with my Guitars for Autism guitar!

As most of you know, I am obsessed with Our Lady of Guadalupe. She is the patron saint of the Americas, and having lived in San Antonio, Texas for many years, I feel a real connection with her. The story is beautiful, and the original image is gorgeous. You can check out my use of this wonderful saint in my shop, Crazy Daisy ROCKS!

After deciding on the general design of my guitar, I've disassembled it, taken off the front piece and made a larger version from artist's canvas, which I've spent the last week painting my interpretation of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I plan to do some more painting on the guitar's neck and body, but this is the main design for the body. I'm still deciding what to do with the strings...
Nearly finished - needs a bit more tweaking

close up of her face

Leather on Leather

"Want instant satisfaction, So baby, gimmie leather on leather."

  -- The Donnas

I bought the softest leather cord last week, and I'm having fun playing with it! I'm excited about my Knotty leather rings that I've made with recycled glass beads - the beads are from old glass bottles and then faceted for extra coolness.

Knotty ring in aqua

Bronze and black Knotty rings

Bronze Knotty ring

Seaside necklace

Monday, September 3, 2012

Music In Me

A friend of mine has recently purchased a ukelele and I'm jealous. Each time I go to Hawaii, I fall in love all over again with that island sound, and I want buy one and play. Then I come home and remember why I don't have the time to learn. For anyone else who loves the uke, check out Eddie Vedder's "Without You" on Letterman .

Music In Me adjustable ring from Crazy Daisy ROCKS!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mars Needs Guitars!

The Hoodoo Gurus' sound catapults me right back to my childhood. A guy I was seriously crushing introduced them to me via an extremely eclectic mix tape that I'd give a whole lot to have back right now. It's one of those things that I never threw away, but somehow has vanished. ... or it's choking on dust in my parents' attic in a cardboard box alongside my Backstreet Boys t-shirt and KU Jayhawks baby bottle that I drank Big Red from when I thought I was infinitely cool. Sometimes, that Big Red was spiked from whatever I could find in my daddy's liquor cabinet, which may explain the loss of my beloved mix tape.

But I digress....

I am honored to be one of 101 local artists selected to paint a guitar to benefit Guitars for Autism Charity Drive. I'll be posting photo updates as the project progresses. This evening, I took it apart:

My newest adopted Nellie with the Fender box

Still intact

Ready to begin the transformation

I Just Want to Celebrate

Crazy Daisy Designs is a Las Vegas business, and I am proud to announce that we are one of the vendors on the website where local artists, restaurants and small businesses offer great deals and coupons to shoppers from November 23 through December 27.

I've decided to get a head start by offering 20% off your total purchase at Crazy Daisy Designs or Crazy Daisy ROCKS beginning now through December 27, 2012 if you use the coupon code CELEBRATELV at checkout!

Shop Crazy Daisy Designs
Shop Crazy Daisy ROCKS

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gold Rush

Crazy Daisy Designs' best-selling pieces are consistently the solid 14k gold earrings. Especially now that the price of gold has become so crazy, I'm surprised that people still prefer solid gold, but those sales represent more than 60% of CDD's revenue.

I started my jewelry business in 2005, but really didn't get it going until 2008, so I don't have much in the way of comparison to non-recession years, which made me wonder what it was that kept people purchasing gold when prices have become so high. Interestingly, they have become more popular as the recession has progressed.

Gold has and probably always will be a touchstone of safety and constancy. I love working with it - here are a few of the 14k gold earrings in my CDD Etsy shop
Drops of Sunlight 14k yellow gold earrings

Perfect 14k yellow gold hoops

Sweet Petite 14k rose gold hoops

Sweet Petite 14k white gold slip earrings

Sweet Petite 14k rose gold slip earrings

Fancy A Cuppa 14k yellow gold stud earrings

Brushed Gold Squares 14k yellow gold posts

Simply Imperfect 14k yellow gold studs

Scribble Studs 14k rose gold earrings

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Multiple Piercings

One of the very first skills a metal student learns is the art of saw piercing. This is one of the best things about handmade jewelry - your pieces are lovingly cut by hand instead of mass-produced using a big stamp cutter.

I have a very worn (and well-loved) saw frame, into which I bolt the teeniest, tiniest saw blade - no wider than a millimeter, with teeth so small, I have to feel the blade to know which way they are facing. It is with this that I saw out the intricate, filigreed work that I love to do.

Saw piercing takes hours and hours to do, depending on the size of the project. At first, I was hopeless at it... like a cook who couldn't figure out how to boil water! I can't tell you how many times I threatened to quit my classwork and go back to beading after another broken saw blade.

I find often in my life that the things I really detest early on are the things I can't live without now, and this very much includes saw piercing.

Fuego sterling silver post earrings

Hawaiian Hibiscus sterling silver cuff bracelet

Cherry Blossom large sterling silver earrings

Paisley sterling silver pendant

                                                               My old friend the saw frame

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The girl is crafty like ice is cold

... a lyric from one of my all-time favorite Beastie Boys songs. I have been alternating between rapping and moping the last few weeks after finding out about the death of MCA. Like many children of the '80s, I frightened my parents good and proper by blasting Check Your Head and Licensed to Ill at cataclysmic volumes. 

Oddly, my father, who thought rock-n-roll began and ended with The Doobie Brothers used to assume that anything I listened to had something to do with Twisted Sister. I'm not sure how he knew exactly who Twisted Sister was or why he associated them with me, but no matter... whatever I was listening to in my room had to be the youth-wasting Dee Snyder teaching me to skip school, get a tattoo and smoke in the boys' room. Oh, wait. That's Motley Crue. Well, it is to everyone but my dad. To him, it's got to be Twisted Sister.

I Wanna Rock bracelet in stainless steel and bass guitar string

Side view of I Wanna Rock bangle bracelet

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Feels so good being bad

Barbed Wire Love bracelet in sterling silver
Barbed Wire Love earrings in sterling silver
Barbed Wire Love ring in sterling silver

The Noose earrings in oxidized sterling silver

 Music inspires so much of what I do. This week, I have been working on some edgy but elegant pieces that feature pain as an element. My musical muse is the always provocative Rihanna and her sexy song S&M. These pieces will be available 6/8/12 at Crazy Daisy ROCKS! You know you like it like it, c'mon....!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Let the Music Do the Talking

I was so saddened today when I heard that Queen of Disco Donna Summer died this morning!

As a child, I found her "On the Radio - Greatest Hits" album in my mom's collection, and within a week, I'd played it at least 50 times. I choreographed dances to "Bad Girls", sobbed my way through "MacArthur Park" and did my little-girl best to seem sexy as I imagined my first kiss to "Love to Love you Baby".

Music is and has been one of the most important parts of my life. In my jewelry design, inspiration comes most often from nature, followed closely by music and song lyrics. My pieces began to have a split personality, and I realized that I needed to give the music a little respect, and I opened my newest Etsy shop, Crazy Daisy ROCKS! in 2011. I have to give a shout out to my bff / sister Magic (also named for a song), who came up with the perfect name.

Crazy Daisy ROCKS! lets me tap into my wild side. Where Crazy Daisy Designs is elegant and timeless, Crazy Daisy ROCKS! turns music and rock-n-roll culture into jewelry and personal adornment.

Here is a selection of items from my Crazy Daisy ROCKS! View or purchase HERE
Unchained Melody necklace
Heart Like Fire necklace
I Can See For Miles necklace
I Want To Be Sedated belt buckle
Dust N Bones belt buckle

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

La Luna Sonriente (the smiling moon)

My husband's big, beautiful family believes in making a wish every month when they see the moon "smile". The rules are very specific: it has to be a new moon, only one or two days into the cycle when the moon is just a sliver. 
Last week, I was happy to not only get to make a wish, but also to capture the smiling moon from the upstairs balcony of my home. I shot it through the railing, and I noticed a bonus: that's Jupiter underneath the smiling moon!

In keeping with the lunar theme, here are some of my moon-oriented jewelry, all of which I made by hand in my Las Vegas studio. Click on the captions to go to my Etsy shops for more details or to make a purchase.

The moon from the balcony of my house
Full Moon Fever ring
Promise Me the Moon and Stars bracelet
Moon Drops bracelet
Imagine adjustable ring

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Stormy Weather necklace
I was an only child growing up around very strong women whose median age was somewhere around 60, which gave me a unique perspective of the world in general and of personal adornment and jewelry in particular.

One of my closest friends growing up was my 92-year-old German great grandmother, whom I called "Granny". She never seemed to mind my intrusions on her reading or speaking aloud to God in her old-lady voice in heavily-accented English. Granny seemed to know that I needed a friend, and she was always there. I played with the enormous button collection she had by her bed in an old pretzel tin, constructing necklace after necklace from the buttons' cracked and colorful beauty. Family folklore held that she had been a seamstress for the Vanderbilt children, so the buttons were some of her most prized possessions.

As I grew older, I would examine my mother's jewelry collection, always hoping for a broken chain or missing clasp so I could use my high-tech jewelers' tools (a nail file and a broken pair of tweezers) to repair her treasures. She never minded, even when my breaking them on purpose brought about the need for repairs.

When I reached my preteen years, my grandmother Mama (she refused to be associated with the word "grandmother" or any of it's derivatives) would let me try on her heavy gold, diamonds and colored gemstone baubles. She had the most atrociously loud taste, and most of her jewelry looked like it came from a gumball machine even though the pieces were "the good stuff" as she referred to it. She had solitaire rings with colored stones the size of a Kennedy half-dollar, and I'd imagine that they were miniature skating rinks made for tiny ice skaters to twirl and spin on. Her diamonds, to a girl my age, were those of myth and legend, and only recently have I been able to see them up close as she always kept them in the bank and rarely wore them, which I believe is a true pity.

Now, it is my turn. After a lifetime of pouring through jewelry books and the family collection, I studied the art of metalsmithing  and began Crazy Daisy Designs in 2005. My collection is a good reflection of myself as a person and as a designer. I try to stick to natural stones and metals, and I use recycled and vintage elements where I can. 

My flagship Crazy Daisy Designs line has the inspiration of nature as its cornerstone. The pieces are simple, timeless, easy to wear, and reflective of our beautiful natural world.

Conversely, Crazy Daisy ROCKS! is my alter ego. It's an edgier line that brings together elements of rock-n-roll, punk rock, religious symbolism and a sense of humor. 

I am humbled to my toes that I am able to make my living creating. It's all I've ever wanted to do and all I really felt I was meant to do. Thank you for coming with me on this journey. My hope is that you are inspired, find something you love, and laugh a bit along the way. 

Melissa xo