Saturday, April 28, 2012


14k Gold Fill Chain & Parts and 16k Gold Electroplate Calla Lilies
14k Gold Fill jewelry parts are created by heat-and-pressure-bonding several thin layers of REAL 14k gold over another metal such as brass or copper.  It depends upon the manufacturer, but normally the 14k gold is applied in many layers allowing for much slower wear when interacting with the skins natural oils and salts.  For example, the inside shank of a gold fill ring may wear off after about 3 years of constant wear, but will continue to look beautiful with the 14k gold shine on the outside for years.  

Gold-plate is often a thin layer or gold or most often a gold colored metal that has no karat quality at all and will wear off very quickly – sometimes after wearing just a few times.  Gold electroplate will last longer than gold fill, particularly if it is 14k gold electroplate.

Gold Vermeil is normally 18k or 22k real gold chemically electroplated over real sterling silver.  Most gold vermeil made, and that I purchase is made by Bali in Indonesia.  The gold is much thicker than gold plate.  My supplier of gold vermeil in Indonesia describes their gold vermeil as:  “We use the process of electrolysis, electricity and an acid bath, to attach the gold (22K) to sterling. Electrolysis is also called electroplating or just "plating" for short. A layer of approximately .003 inch of 24 karat gold stand up to normal wear.”

14k Gold fill jewelry parts are normally much more expensive to purchase than real sterling silver.  For example a gold or silver plate toggle clasp may cost $2 to purchase, but will be $8 to $10 in sterling silver, $12-$14 in Gold Vermeil and $20 to $25 in 14k gold fill.  For this reason, most 14k gold fill parts are much more dainty and smaller in order to reduce costs down to keeping jewelry made with them more affordable. 

In any case, gold-filled and/or gold vermeil is a much more durable product than gold-plate.  Gold-filled jewelry is economical, and enjoys the rich look of gold at a fraction of the cost.

You will find all types of metals in my store because I think it is important to have all price ranges to accommodate all kinds of pocketbooks and needs, but it is important also to educate yourself on the difference.  The set shown uses 14k gold fill chain, gold vermeil findings and 16k gold electroplate calla lily findings.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Thank you all for a wonderful year!  Looking forward to a great 2012 with new ideas, new designs, and new friends.    

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I am in the process of getting ready for shows we are doing this fall.  It's a rainy, dismal day, so a good day to stay inside and work.  I have not forgotten about my Etsian friends though!  Sales have been so good on both Odyssey Creations and BZ Originals that I have had to quit posting new items or I won't have anything left for shows!  Love you guys!  If you are in the area, shows are:

October 15/16 - Mollie McGees, Boulder County Fairgrounds, Longmont, CO
November 4/5/6 - newly remodeled Lincoln Center at Magnolia and Meldrum, Fort Collins
November 19/29 - - Mollie McGees, Boulder County Fairgrounds, Longmont, CO

See you there if you are local!

Barb Z

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembrance of September 11 - You will not be forgotten

I felt inspired this morning to put together a treasury in remembrance of September 11.  I hope you enjoy it.

You Shall Not be forgotten

While the time was both incredibly sad and most terrible, I will always believe that some good will come from every horrible event.  The artists here have poured out their hearts, and I am sure shed tears, while doing their work.  I have flown a flag in front of my house every day since this event and always will and you see far more flags flying even now that before.  We will not forget them.  Thank you all for sharing and contributing such wonderful works of art for such a remembrance.  While our country may not always be perfect, it is still the best place to live in the world, and our spirit will always hold strong and unbendable.

September 11, 2001

The following is an editorial that I wrote shortly after the event that was published in the Rapid City Journal in South Dakota where I was living at the time.  I thought I would share it.
Today is a day of tremendous, overwhelming sorrow as in several brief moments hundreds and thousands of voices cried out in terrified screams that only God could hear amidst the thunderous rumble of crumbling buildings and terrifying explosions. This is a day that will be long remembered as all of America anxiously awaits forthcoming news in amazement and wonder.  With each minute and hour of time passed, the souls of America unite in a slow, burning anger comparable only to the depth of compassion felt by each and every citizen as we pray in unity for the lives of those lost and the hope of those to be found.

We have walked through this day in a daze, amazed that such acts of terrorism could possibly strike so close to home, amazed that our fellow citizens, friends and family, and loved ones of our own and people we know are lost forever in a silent scream and a cloud of dust. It all seems so senseless, unreal, surrealistic.  Yet it is real, knowing that this day may well change every day for the rest of our lives, perhaps even the rest of many people’s lives in the whole world.

We pray as a nation for God to unite the hearts of our nation and guide our leaders in sound decisions and strong hearts in what we all have to face as a result of this direct terrorism attack. Oddly enough, it is likely our prayers to God and our belief in the Lord Jesus may well be one of predominant reasons America was attacked in the first place.  We can only pray that these people who did this can see that the burning faith the people of America have in God has been unwaivered and we continue to hold our belief strong and close to our hearts in the hope that someday all of the world will come to understand the teachings of our Lord and the strength and power of our God. Yes, Jesus died to save their souls, too, if only they would allow themselves to be saved.

Yet at the end of day, we have much to be thankful for - especially for life itself for those of us who have been allowed that blessing of one more day with our family and loved ones.  In a new day beyond the heartache this terrorism brings, we are each given the chance to once again somehow make a positive difference in this world.  The unity of feelings that has brought this nation together today lends truth to the fact that the thousands that have died today, have not died in vain. We will stand together, and our belief in God shall not be waivered, only made stronger and more united. A terribly sad day, and yet, somehow, so much good shall become of it, as America now united in compassion and  faith will unfold a story in the days to come, a story of unbending unity, courage and determination every bit as glorious as our flag which continues to fly over our lands and seas.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jade and Rose - My Most Recent Color Splurge

Here are some photos of my recent "open and box and go wild" episode.  Shades of Jade and dark green Tourmaline and Serpentine, with pale pink pearls, or light orchids - soothing to the soul colors!  See my website for all listings in these colors at

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What I am working on now

Sometimes I just look at a single item and as I open boxes of beads to look for things to go with it, I get into a color scheme that I don't want to let go of for awhile.  I am currently in that process.  The need to go back to some semiprecious stones and a look inspired by nature starting with a carved light green jade leaf has taken me on a journey of soft greens, dark greens, roses and peachy pink pearls.  I have one entire 3 piece set done, a couple of pairs of earrings, working on a bookmark, and am about to open the super lucious gemstone box and break out some of the expensive faceted tourmaline to go with a Karen Hill Tribe Sterling Silver leaf pendant for what will likely turn into another 3 piece set.  I will be doing at least one super long pair of earrings for my wonder customer Olivia as well.  It often takes 2 to 3 weeks to get things done, photographed and listed, but keep posted!  I hope you are all enjoying your summer!  Try to stay cool!   A rose from my garden to you.

Preview of Pearl Sets to come!

This is a preview of some pearl sets and one super long pair of earrings soon to be posted on Etsy.  I love pearls!  So classic, simple, yet elegant.  Dave says I don't so simple - it's just not in me to not make things elaborate.  However, I really do see the simple beauty of a single pearl.  The Vintage Swarovski pearl bracelet and the set actually has no Swarovski crystals on it.  I love them all.  I hope to get these posted tomorrow!  Going to the mountains today for a day with the dog and the husband - to cool off!