Thursday, July 30, 2015

What's In A Name - Satin Doll & Co

Hi there! My name is Gaetana, and I'm the owner, CEO and Creative Director of SatinDollCo. You may be wondering how I came up with the name? No, it's not from the Duke Ellington song, "Satin Doll"! Let's give you a lil' back story...

About 10 or 11 years ago, when I graduated college, I knew I wanted to start my own company. So, I started the ground work to achieve my goal. Over the years my older sister and I had toyed with names. The first one she came up with used my nickname, Tana - she suggested "Simply Tana". This was okay, but didn't feel quite right and I couldn't think of anything for the life of me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday Kitchen - Hold the Mayo!

In this edition of Wednesday Kitchen, JET Team member Ida of AdroitJewelers has been experimenting with an alternative to mayonnaise....


Macaroni salad is a staple at summer picnics everywhere. But what’s with the “no mayo” you ask? Well, I’ve been trying to think of a way to make one without using all of the mayonnaise (and still have it taste good, of course.)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Whats on My Bench

Hello and welcome to another edition of Whats on My Bench! Today, JET Team member and new mother Trace of TraceDesigns explains why her bench tools have been replaced with some rather unconventional jewelry-making items!

If you’ve checked out my bench these day’s you’d be a bit surprised about what you see. My trusty Dremel, hammer, and pliers have been replaced with diapers, burp clothes, and well, a little baby.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Repurpose Those Soda Cans!

Don't chuck that can out! Our fabulous JET Team leader "Emo" has a great way to repurpose your used cans!

In search of a project to entertain the kids? The grandkids perhaps? Look no further! This project is simple, fun for all ages, and can easily be completed in an afternoon!

All you need is an old soda can, a can opener, a bit of dirt, and a plant (flower seeds work well, but they don't give the instant satisfaction kids crave!)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Style - Pink

Hello and welcome to another edition of Sunday Style with the JET Team. Pink - sweet or sassy? You choose! Today’s outfits feature pink - one sweet and one sassy.

In the sweet category we start with a pale pink summer dress from garderob. Even though this is a minidress, details like the petal skirt keep it looking elegant. Add CapitalCityCraftsrose quartz flower necklace and LauraStamperDesignsporcelain bracelet made with broken vintage dishes. These flower themed jewelry items keep this look young.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Whats on My Bench

Hello again everyone! This week Whats on My Bench with the JET Team joins Gaetana of SatinDollCo who has once again been busy making more gifts for her family. How does she find the time, I wonder?!

My godmother's birthday is at the end of June. So like always, instead of buying a gift I opted to make her a jewelry set. After searching through my bead selection, I came up with a cool tone mix of beads....

The last piece I made for her, for Mother's Day, was in warm tones - follow this link to see what I made back then. So I wanted this piece to be with more refreshing colors and I decided to feature green agate, smokey gray faceted glass beads, onyx teardrop beads and an kiwi jasper flower pendant - a nice refreshing mix of beads. Now to figure out the configuration....

I noticed when doing the placement that I didn't have enough green agate beads or onyx beads to continue the pattern. And finishing off with the smokey gray faceted glass beads would be boring so I thought some leather was in order. Don't you agree?

I strung the beads onto wire and then cut the leather to the required length and attached the pieces to the necklace, then finished the whole thing off with a lobster clasp and a chain extension.

All done! I think the leather was a nice mix to the necklace if I say so myself! Now, you can't give a necklace with some sort of earrings to match, can you?!

I created a simple pair of earrings featuring the smokey gray faceted glass beads and sesame jade beads. I didn't have any kiwi jasper beads but the sesame jade was a close second and are passable. I think she'll love it, and I can't wait to hear her reaction!

What a beautiful gift, Gaetana - your godmother is very lucky!
Until next time,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Book Review: Glass Bead Workshop

In today's article, our very own JET Team book reviewer, Mollie of RoughMagicCreations, takes a look at a beautifully illustrated book about making glass beads...

Hello again! There's just something so enticing about the idea of learning a new skill at my own pace in my own home workshop!

No critical and demanding instructor peering over my shoulder and making my hands tremble in trepidation. No competitive, querulous co-learners vying for praise and attention - and the spot by the window. No Show & Tell presentations or fearsome critique sessions. No, none of that. Just me and my coffee, my tools and my book.

The book I'm reviewing for you today is Glass Bead Workshop, written by Jeri L. Warhaftig. Now, I'm not a glass artist and probably never will be, but I do know a lovely, well written book when I see one. And Glass Bead Workshop is certainly both.

This colorful hardcover book was presented to me as a gift, and as soon as I opened it and read the first few pages, I gained a deep admiration and respect for the talent, imagination and skill necessary to create beautiful handmade glass beads.

Following an introduction, "Welcome to My Studio," Warhaftig gives us a rundown of The Basics: Tools and Materials, Annealing, Safety, and How to Use This Book.

Then come ten sessions, or lessons, each cogently explained and beautifully illustrated with stunning color photos of the process and finished product.

Aspiring artists who complete the sessions will create a Falling Leaves Bead (think autumn!), a Beach Bead (think summer!), a Geode Bead, an Off-Mandrel Galaxy Pendant, a Blown Hollow Bead and five other designs.

Appendices include Sandblasting, Grinding and Polishing, and - what fun! - Near Misses, bloopers which, to my untrained eye, all look perfectly perfect.

After a brief bio of the author and a list of Contributing Artists, an Index is illustrated with even more photos. The glossy dust jacket matches the front and back covers of the book.

And before you ask, no, I'm not parting with my copy! It makes a spectacular statement on my coffee table, and who knows? I might just change my mind and set the world on fire making my own glass beads. Someday.....!

Glass Bead Workshop is 144 pages long and subtitled "Building Skills, Exploring Techniques, Finding Inspiration,". It was published in 2008 by Lark Books, and is available from The author's website is

Mollie of RoughMagicCreations

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday Kitchen - Zucchini Spaghetti

This week on Wednesday Kitchen, JET Team team member Barbara of CapitalCityCrafts shares one of her favorite recipes for a healthy meal in minutes!

I love eating out so when I am cooking at home I try to eat as heathily as I possibly can. That means lots of vegetables and hardly any processed food.

Some of you may have seen the commercial for the "vegetti" maker. It's a simple cone which shreds zucchini (courgettes) into spaghetti-like strips. It really does work, so this fits right in with my healthy eating tools. The zucchini is so tender you can even eat it raw!

Today I'm feeling more traditional so I'm cooking a tomato sauce. You can open your favorite jar, but I like to cook down low sodium V8 juice and add my own herbs, garlic and sundried tomatoes. It only takes a few minutes to do this - just make sure it is slightly thicker than you normally want it.

Add the zucchini pasta and cook for just a few minutes. The moisture from the zucchini will thin the sauce. Add a few sprinkles of you favorite grated cheese if you like, and voila! A super healthy meal in minutes!

Barbara of CapitalCityCrafts

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Childhood Musings - It's Sure Different Now!

This week JET Team member Nancy, of NancysCrystalFantasy, is in a rather reflective mood. Read on to find out more!

When I go to visit my grandchildren, their parents are so cautious that they don't go out the front door. They even have a special lock installed, that even I have to struggle to open. So many fears of children being abducted from their own front yard!

How different that is from sixty years ago when I was a child! I don't remember our doors ever being locked, except at night or when we left the house, and I certainly was not restricted from going outside. We didn't even have a fence in the front or back yard.

Regal Horned Lizard, aka the Arizona Horned Toad Photo: Creative Commons

There were so many interesting things to do outside - hunting horned toads, digging in the dirt, playing make-believe with the neighborhood children. No TV or video games for most of us. Our imaginations allowed us to make up our own games.

And when I was old enough to ride a bike, I could go just about anywhere in the neighborhood. If we got thirsty while playing, there was always a water hose from which to get a drink. Bottled water? That idea would have been absurd!

Photo: Jim Harmer, sponsored by Hose

My mother had a job in an office downtown, and from the time I was about ten years old I was allowed to walk to the bus stop at the corner of my street and ride downtown by myself. When I got there and reported in, I was allowed to visit the local stores, including my favorite - the five and dime.

Or there were two movie theaters downtown where I could go to watch the latest movie hit, like "The Sound of Music" or "Gone With the Wind." Such fond memories of those days and so many other activities that we were allowed to participate in. 

It's sad that those free times are gone for our children and grandchildren. But the world we live in is such a different place now, and I certainly understand the locked doors and surveillance cameras that now are found on so many houses.

Nancy of NancysCrystalFantasy

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday Kitchen - Rose Petal Jelly

Welcome to another Wednesday Kitchen, featuring favorite recipes from members of the JET Team! This week, team member Carolyn of venusvelvet has been busy making delicious jam from rose petals!

I made this lovely and decadent jelly the other day. It's really easy to make and keeps for up to 2 months in the fridge. The jelly has a delicate rose flavour, but if you want a stronger rose flavour you can substitute a couple of tablespoons of culinary rose water for the plain water. This recipe also works great with violet flowers.


  • 2 cups lightly packed, fragrant and unsprayed rose petals
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon pectin
  • 1½ cups water

To Make

  1. Carefully sift through the rose petals to make sure no little creatures are hiding in them
  2. Put water and roses in a sauce pan and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes
  3. Add 1¾ cups of the sugar and stir to dissolve. The rose petals will lose their lovely colour, but don't worry... when you add the lemon juice the colour magically reappears!
  4. Add the lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes
  5. Mix the remaining ¼ cup sugar and the pectin in a bowl
  6. While stirring the jam, add the pectin mixture sprinkle by sprinkle to ensure the pectin incorporates without clumping
  7. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes
  8. Refrigerate when cool

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Style - Fourth of July Fashion

Our hugely popular Sunday Style feature is back today after a short break! Yesterday was the Fourth of July, Independence Day, as well as my sister’s and brother-in-law’s anniversary, and barbeques and casual outdoor parties have been taking place all across the United States. So this week I have put together two very stylish outfits that are perfect for the weekend's celebrations!

The first look is a gentle version of Americana. First we have stars in the form of iheartfink’s knit shirt (1) with a hand silkscreened starburst pattern in gold. The gold buttons on the shorts (2) from ROSIEretroclothing reference back to the color of the starburst pattern, and also give the shorts the style of Navy uniform trouser. Add Foret’s Boho star earrings (3) with their golden amber.

A handmade clutch (4) from sewgoodandtrendy will hold your essentials without weighing you down. Add some more blues to the outfit with a teal stretch bracelet (5) from cooljewelrydesign and a fluorite pendant (6) from Poshracrafts, which both also feature silver star details.

Mix in a little more gold with fun lace up sandals (7) from GreekChicHandmades. Sport a pair of funky skateboard sunglasses (8) from GoWoodSunglasses, and slick on a light layer of golden shine to your lips with soapopotamus’s sweet golden honey lip butter (9), and you are ready for a day of fun!

My second look is a much more traditional Fourth of July outfit. I describe it as traditional, but it’s really louder Americana - bright red and blue, with stars and sequins, and American flag prints. Start with ICaughtTheSun’s fun 4th of July tank (1) with white stars on a blue background and a bright big shiny sequined red star on the chest. Add white jeans (2) with handpainted red and blue glitter outlined stars from RetOriginals.

Now is the time to adorn yourself with bold red, white, and blue jewelry from the JET Team! Start with cserpent’s pearl and crystal dangle earrings (3). Then pop on a red, white and blue necklace (4) from DesignsbyCher, and finish with a patriotic kumihimo bracelet (5) from NancysCrystalFantasy.

A stars and stripes manicure (6) from SoGloss would look so cute with this outfit! Throw a blanket into a fun RowdyRiver tote (7) and head off to the fireworks. Remember to bring something to keep the chill off your shoulders - like the Americana kimono (8) from AnytimeScarf - or carry something in LiquidCourage’s American flag flask (9) to keep you warm!

Have a fabulous weekend, see you all next week!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Whats On My Bench

In today's edition of Whats on My Bench, Carolyn of VenusVelvet shares what she's been making this month...

Lately, I have been creating a lot of custom necklaces for sweet mamas with little ones that need distraction while nursing or baby-wearing. 40 custom orders over the last month and a half!

The solid links provide comfort and distraction for the wee ones. I'm told they love to play with the links, feel to coolness of the metal in their little hands, watch the sparkle created when the light hits the faceted surface of the links, and listen to the soft jingling sound of the links hitting each other!

The mamas get to look smashingly good with a little bling around their neck... and these necklaces are rugged too.

The custom pieces each have a little personal story - some mama's like to choose to add a little 14k gold accent hoop for each child, some choose a mix of silver and gold to represent each family member, and some include charms for little ones lost but never forgotten. I call them Mother's Little Helpers (or MLH for short).

Thank you Carolyn - your MLH designs are beautiful!

On behalf of the JET Team, I would like to wish all our US readers a very Happy Independence Day. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wednesday Kitchen - Collard Greens with Blackeye Peas

Welcome to another Wednesday Kitchen with the JET Team! Everyone seems to be on the Kale wagon these days, but we really don't care for Kale here. Instead, we like Collard greens. These are Brassica cultivars, from the same family as Brussels sprouts and cabbages - with health benefits reputed to include lowering cholesterol.

I went to the farm the other day and picked some Collard greens, and I have to go back and get more as this dish was delicious! I like to saute the greens with blackeye peas, but you can substitute white beans or leave them out entirely. Either way, this makes a great side dish!

Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times


  • 1 large bunch Collard Greens
  • ½ Pound Blackeye Peas or White Beans
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Small Shallots
  • 1½ Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

To Make

  1. Put a large pan of water on to boil
  2. Roll up the leaves and cut them very thin, up to the stem

  3. Add the greens to boiling water for 3-5 minutes
  4. Drain and rinse the greens quickly with cold water to retain that nice green color

  5. Rinse the blackeye peas

  6. Saute the shallots and garlic in olive oil, with the salt, pepper
  7. Add the greens and blackeye peas, and cook on low light for another 8-10 minutes

  8. Enjoy!

Michele of malves1009