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Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Cherry Blossom


Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry issued a challenge to make something in this palette:


If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know I love a challenge.

I mixed up a translucent silver and three shades of translucent pink from the palette and made the lush, mature, gorgeous female figures for the earrings. I added silver-plated beads, wires and lever backs.

I HAD to photograph the earrings in my ice cream scoop!

Aren’t they beautiful!

They are available in my Etsy shop:


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I started doing photography as a girl. Dad was a medical photographer at George Washington University Medical School in DC. We had a darkroom in our basement. Every third week, I’d get to go to work with him on Saturdays and I had access to his lab at the med school.

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Here I am with my grandfather and my b’uncle Joe. You can see one of my first cameras around my neck.

In high school I was Photography Editor of the yearbook. I shot and printed half of the photos. I was a great photo processor. I could make my negatives sing.

Tragically, my dad got very sick when I was a junior in high school. He never was able to work again. Somehow the loss of my dad as I knew him got all mixed up with photography and I laid down my camera for decades.

When I got an iPhone in 2005 I began to take photos with it. I didn’t photo finish them at all. I didn’t even crop them.

These last few months I have begun to photo finish my iPhone photos. I have used iPhoto to work on several hundred of my photos. I have been most interested in adjusting photos that I might use to illustrate my haiku. I am an active participant in 3 Facebook forums that have daily prompts for haiku (2) or tanka (1). Tanka are five line poems.

Something clicked in me yesterday. I suddenly had the knowing and body feel that my photofinishing was just what I had been doing from age 7 to age 17. It all clicked.

I still have a lot to learn. And I must learn to use the new camera I bought a month ago. I pulled out the manual for it today. (No one ever accused me of rushing into things!)

I went to the Dallas Arboretum today and took a hundred photos. And photo finished them after I got home.

I still have a lot to learn.

A lot.


All of my previous work was with black and white photos….

Here are a few of the photos I made today:


This one is a star magnolia. I am crazy about “tulip magnolias”.


This one is a Professor Einstein daffodil.


This one is a beautiful silvery-blue foliage plant spilling over the edge of a container.

I’ve started and ended this post with cherry blossoms, two kinds.


I hope you like my photos!

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Three of my Blossom Necklaces have been featured in Etsy Treasuries.

The first is my Pear Blossom Necklace. It is made of translucent polymer clays and evokes pear blossoms blown by March winds.

You can see Line Lebrecque’s “A Winter’s Tale” Treasury here:

Line is a fine polymer clay artist. Visit her Etsy shop at:


My Plum Blossom Necklace was featured in a second Treasury. It is also made of translucent polymer clays. I’ve filled the middle of the beads with rosy plum clay, which shines through the lenses in the surface clay.

The second treasury, “Pink Meets Gold”, was created by the talented polymer clay artist, Lisa Rapp. It can be viewed at:

Lisa’s Etsy shop is at:


You won’t have any trouble seeing why I call “Caribbean Dive” a Blossom Necklace. It is created with translucent polymer clays.

“Caribbean Dive” was featured in Beth Petricoin’s Treasury, “Going Green for the Holidays”. Beth is a polymer clay artist with astonishing creativity.

See her work at:

I am so honored that these amazing artist’s chose my work to feature in their Treasuries.

You can see my items on my Etsy shop, LadyFlowersbySusan at:


This weekend I gave a talk to my haiku friends about my jewelry making design process. I compared the moment when I “see” (feel) a haiku moment to the moment when I KNOW that I am going to make a piece of polymer clay jewelry. As I prepared for the talk I realized that the moments were essentially similar.

In both Haiku Moments and Design Moments I have a deep visceral sensation. I connect with a reality outside of time. I am flooded with a pervasive sense of calm. I sense the presence of the numinous, the sacred. I am in a reverberating silence. The spiritual restlessness that called me is stilled. The splits that plague ordinary time are stilled. Thought, feeling and body sensation are one.

I showed about 40 pieces of my Polymer Clay Jewelry and shared a haiku that “went” with the jewelry, in one of its dimensions.

Traditionally, a Haiga is a photo or a painting which is presented with a haiku. In this case the haiku is presented with a piece of jewelry which was inspired by the same sort of process as the haiku moment was.

I was sitting next to the current Haiku Society of America President, an old friend. When I finished my presentation he said that he wished I had gone on for another hour, talking about my pieces and passing them around.

Today I learned that a former President of HSA, who was sitting across the wide table from me, had turned to his left and said to another haiku friend, “She should do a book of these”.

I am not ready to write another book, but I did create a Pinterest board with about 40 of my jewelry pieces paired with haiku.

I hope you will visit:

It will probably only take 3-5 minutes to see them all.

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I just received an email from my favorite jewelry supply vendor, Fire Mountain Gems, that my profile is live in the Jewelry Artist Success Stories section of their website.

Here’s the link:

The pendant that you see above was made from the trimmings from creating my Cherry Blossom necklace. The pendant is composed primarily of translucent polymer clay made into a Stroppel Cane.

Both the Cherry Blossom necklace and the pendant above are available on my Etsy shop LadyFlowersbySusan. It comes with matching earrings.

I also learned that the pendants I donated to Fire Mountain Gems to sell to raise money for Breast Cancer Research will go live on the website October 1. Every bit of the money they receive from the sales will go to Breast Cancer Research.

Watch this space.

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Intrepid readers will remember this pendant from a previous post.

I made it from the trimmings of the Cherry Blossom necklace that was featured on Craft Gossip last week. I used a technique called the Stroppel cane, a wonderful technique invented by Alice Stroppel to recycle beautiful clay. Most people lay their beautiful scraps on sheets of black clay, but since my scraps were all translucent clay, I used a very thin layer of “18K Gold” Premo clay for my base.

I posted this to the Stroppel Cane Group on Flickr. This morning Alice Stroppel stopped by and said this: “Wow, I’ve never seen a Stroppel cane like this. It is really special, so light and pretty”. Then she favorited it!

Blushing and smiling.

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In a recent post I mentioned studying Alice Stroppel’s innovative technique for using scrap clay, cane ends and old canes to build beautiful new canes.

I harvested the trimmings from my Cherry Blossom necklace to make the pink necklace and earrings, above. I used pale Premo “18K Gold” sheets to put my scraps on, instead of the black that Alice uses. The clay trimmings were all translucent and I wanted this pendant and earrings to pass light freely. I used some apricot freshwater pearls to push the pinky-orange theme. I built a tiny armature inside of the pendant to hold the pearls.

I made the blue necklace from the trimmings of my barflies, using blue clay sheets. The wing cane put bubbles of white-rimmed translucent clay all through the new cane. That inspired me to use oval pearls to echo the translucent ovals in the cane.

I am tickled at how they turned out.

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