Monday, October 7, 2019

Wild life

Revisiting the asymmetrical earrings. 
Each one boasts all sterling components with pearls and gems. 
Fun to wear!

Price range $30-$50

Monday, September 30, 2019

pearls & gems

Coming back to my beloved pears and gemstones, all on knotted silk cord, 16"-18" long.
Three separate strands, from right to left.
1. white freshwater "potato" pearls with polished and faceted green garnet rondelles
2. freshwater pearls dyed gold, with rough cut green garnet chunks
3. light taupe freshwater peals with faceted prehinte drops

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Vintage Czech Crystal necklace restoration: before/after

A client brought her grandmother's necklace to me for restoration.  
It was a lovely but badly aged Czech piece.

First I removed the black cord that had been used to lengthen the necklace.

I soaked the metal in a vinegar solution then gently scrubbed 
with a soft toothbrush to remove the verdigris and other discoloration. 

I harvested a chain from another vintage Czech necklace to provide the length needed.
Matching/coordinating amber glass beads were used to fill in for those that were long gone.
I am happy with how it tuned out, more importantly, the client was thrilled!

Monday, November 6, 2017


Here is a link to an article that Esthetic Lens Magazine published about my husband and co-conspirator, Jon Langford
There are some pretty paintings to look at like the one below:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Halloween Jewelry!

Here are some new pieces just in time for Halloween,
or any time you want to wear bugs, spiders or bats!
Visit for these and more.

Monday, August 28, 2017


Over the last few months, jewelry-making has taken a backseat to cleaning out my house.
It has been a challenge to declutter - both mentally and physically - but also rewarding.  
This process has turned up many wonderful items that I no longer want or need, but can't bear to throw out.  
The result of all this is a new store called Authentos (a portmanteau of authentic + Tsatsos).

please visit Authentos and look around!

The photos above are part of an image I took at Keough's Hot Springs (Bishop, CA), a primitive resort with lots of character.  It was a  wonderfully surprising place to refresh during a long, arid road trip through Owen Valley, CA. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

December 2016 Rock Candy by Helen Holiday Shows

Saturday December 3, 12pm-5pm at Martyr's 3855 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago

Holiday Bazaar
Tuesday December 6, 6pm-9pm at a private residence in Chicago (email me for details)
Friday December 9, 4pm-6pm at Anna Held Floral Studio 5557 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago
Saturday December 10 & Sunday December 11, 11am-4pm at Alhambra Palace 1240 West Randolph, Chicago
Sunday December 18, 11am–4pm at The Promontory 5311 S Lake Park Ave, Chicago

Jon Langford Studio Sale
Sunday December 18, 5pm-8pm at The Art Colony 2630 W Fletcher St, Chicago

Night Market at Louder than a Mom
Monday December 19, 7pm-9pm at Martyr's 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago

Tuesday December 20, 6pm-9pm at The Hideout 1354 W Wabansia Ave., Chicago

Thursday, October 20, 2016

new display cases

I inaugurated my new travel display cases (courtesy of My Sister's Closet
at the latest Hyde Park Handmade show last Sunday. 
These wonderful wood cases fold up for easy transporting from show to show.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Macabre jewelry

How about these lovelies? 
Bracelet & necklace, available individually or as a set.

Adorn yourself for Halloween or anytime!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Morocco inspirations

My dear friend Shana asked me to do a jewelry making demonstration at a Moroccan-themed event.
Since it's outside my wheelhouse I have been researching Moroccan designs.  So much beauty!  
Here are a few inspiration images:

I got creative with bits & pieces I had on hand. 
Tassels are fun, also an inexpensive and lightweight way to add a dash of color. 
In Morocco you see tassels on clothing, pillows, and keychains, but not so much on jewelry
The round tabs are spray painted museum entrance pins!

Chunky Bakelite-style beads mimic amber.
This style of beads is described as copal, phenolic resin, cast resin, or faux amber.
This style is also known as Bakelite or Catalin.
The term "Bakelite" is sometimes used in the resale market to indicate various types of early synthetic polymers/plastics.

Coins & threads give these necklaces a real desert-feel.  
I wove and knotted colored yarn on old belly dancing chains.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Novena Candles with Jon's artwork

I'm in product development, working on novena candles featuring Jon Langford's artwork.
Here are a couple of the first ones.  

They have little silver charms dangling from leather cord at the neck.
I'll be uploading more designs soon.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

redesigned crystal necklaces

I deconstructed some vintage aurora borealis  necklaces.  
I wanted to modernize them by restringing the beads asymmetrically and using colored silk.

 here they are:

here's the before:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

KrampusFest 2015

This coming weekend, Martyrs' Chicago will be transformed to pagan German village.  
In honor of that celebration, I've created a special set of Krampus jewelry.



Click here to find out more about Krampus.

Monday, November 30, 2015

2015 December show listing


12/4 Friday, 4pm - 8pm: Friends & Family Sale 
          Macy’s State Street 111 N. State Street, 1st floor, Chicago

12/5 Saturday, noon - 5pm: Krampus Fest 
Martyrs’ 3855 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago

12/6 Sunday, 8am – 1pm: Santa Sunday Sale & Pancake Breakfast 
            Saint Margaret Mary Activity Center 7341 N. Claremont, Chicago

12/8 Tuesday, 6pm - 9pm: H/O Holiday Sale 
The Hideout 1354 W Wabansia Ave, Chicago

12/8 Thursday, 6pm - 9pm
private house party

12/11 Friday, 5pm - 9pm: Holiday Popup 
Anna Held Floral Studio, 5557 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago

12/12 Saturday, noon - 6pm: Holiday Popup 
Anna Held Floral Studio, 5557 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago

12/14 Monday, 6pm - 10pm: Night Market at Louder Than a Mom 
Martyrs’ 3855 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago

12/19 Saturday, 11am - 2pm: Macy's State Street 
Macy’s State Street 111 N. State Street, 1st floor, Chicago

12/19 Saturday, 4pm -7pm: Jon Langford open studio show 
(pm me for details)

12/20 Sunday, 11am - 4pm: Hyde Park Handmade Artisan Market & Bazaar 
The Promontory 5311 S Lake Park Ave., Chicago

12/22 Tuesday, 5pm - 9pm: Last Chance Holiday Sale 
The Hideout 1354 W Wabansia Ave, Chicago

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

Etsy Treasury: Aid for Abby

I'm so happy to be included on this Etsy Treasury

Purchase the necklace here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

cute as a button

Sorry for the bad pun.
I've been looking for a way to reuse my collection of mother of pearl buttons & buckles.
Here's my first go at it.  
In addition to the mother of pearl components, I also used sterling ear wires,
matte metal oval jump rings, polished florite drops & faceted green rutilated quarts rondelles.

They're kinda mod & romantic at the same time, don't you think?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine's Day necklaces

gearing up for Valentines Day with these pretty necklaces (available at my Etsy shop)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

inspirational necklaces

clockwise, starting at top 
  • left: dove grey pearl solitaire
  • faceted fluorite with freshwater pearl
  • chocolate freshwater pearl solitaire
  • irregular silver freshwater pearl with aquamarine rondelle.
And here's the packaging: little envelopes, all different, made from recycled paper (thanks Pratt catalog!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Le Cadeau-line sheet

Le Cadeau means "the gift".  
I see each of these pieces in this collection as a little gift
for you or for someone special to you.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm late to post this, but here goes:

Each July I look forward to one of my favorite sales: the Chicago Sidewalk Sale in Daley Plaza.  
It is an honor to sell my work in  one of Chicago's quintessential public spaces, 
on a Mies Van Der Rohe-designed plaza and under the giant Picasso sculpture.
Many returning customers come to say hello, and I meet many more new ones.
Thank you DCASE for your continued support of Chicago fashion & accessory designers!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beautiful Chicago

I'm sad that my summer season of shows at The Patio has ended. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014