Distinctive Style & Design

I design and make rosaries and jewelry. Check here for new designs and ideas, sometimes before they make it to my web site. For more of my products see my web site: www.RosariesAndJewelryByLaura.com

Location: Aurora, Colorado, United States

I have been making rosaries for about 29 years, and jewelry for almost as long. I enjoy the whole process from beginning to end, and can usually be found to have a pair of pliers, wire and maybe some kind of beads in my hands, except possibly when I'm sleeping.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The year that was!

Last year at this time I started on a year of ups and downs that I am very glad is finally getting back to "normal" whatever that is! Because of a lung condition I had to take some medication that I absolutely hate, and along the way ended up with a broken pelvis and fractured vertebrae as side effects of the meds. Thank heavens those have mostly healed. Now, however, I'd embarked on another journey with my teeth. They are having to pull all the teeth I have left and eventually make me dentures. Since I have so little bone in my lower jaw, they had to do a graft this last week when they pulled all the lower teeth. Next week they pull all the top teeth. After another 6 weeks I may have some upper teeth, but it will be at least another 3 months before I have any lower teeth. Did I ever mention that nothing is easy when it comes to dealing with my body and it's health?

On a more positive note, my good friend and "sister" is redoing my web site into one that is more professional. (For some strange reason I have yet to fathom, she actually LIKES to do this!). For my part, I'm working on some new and exciting designs to put up when it's done. I'm having a lot of fun working up new ways to use wire and gemstones as well as having bought some really neat gemstones to make into rosaries.

Along with all of the above, I hope to be able to put some more time into learning new techniques. Last year wasn't too conducive to doing that because moving around physically was hard most of the time. Since that has gotten easier, I'm looking forward to trying my hand at some of the new stuff. It's exciting and scary all at the same time. There are a couple of technical things I need to work out, then I can get started working.

I'm hoping to get some pictures of what I'm working on up soon. My computer crashed and I've been working with a newer one and putting in all the information I lost from the other one. None of it was able to be recovered from my old one, so this is just stuff that has to be done before I can play. Hopefully most of it will be done soon and I can get back to doing what I love--playing with wire, metal and gemstones!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The trials of the web...

I just found out that my domain had expired and someone bought it. My hosting company didn't let me know that it was up for renewal as they did last year, so I got caught with it expiring and of course, someone else bought it, probably with the thought of asking me to pay more for it to get it back.

Fortunately, a very good friend of mine has been working on my site to update it for me and she caught it. So, we're going for another version of my name and get it on another host and back up again. I am so blessed to have her helping me, since most of this still goes over my head. I'm not sure why, but learning all of this web stuff just makes my head go in circles and I only seem to be able to digest it a little at a time. Once I finally learn something, it seems to stick, it just takes me forever to learn it!

I'll let you know when the new one is back up again. We think it's going to be about the same http://www.rosariesjewelrybylaura.com/ just without the "and".

On another subject, I've only got one more month of taking the prednisone and then we'll see if I go into remission and can get rid of some of these side effects and actually feel like a human being again! To the pelvic fractures I've added 2 compression fractures in my thoracic spine which took some getting used to, but I can still work on making my rosaries and jewelry. Hopefully I can get through this without any more bones breaking. Since they do this spontaneously there isn't much I can do about it, but hope that once I'm done with the prednisone they will eventually heal.

At least it's never dull around here! To add to the fun, my car needs a completely new power steering system. Today it got new hoses. Next is the pump and last will be the rack and pinion. That's when I can save up enough money. Hopefully, when I get this car in good running condition, it won't end up being totalled like the last 2 were. Having someone run into me and total my car every fall is getting monotonous. At least this car is heavy enough that hopefully if it happens again next fall, no one will be hurt.

Well, back to work on my studies so I can work on my jewelry and get new things posted on my new website.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Curve Balls

There are very few things in life that are certain, and this summer and fall has proven that every adage is based on truth.
After numerous tests, plenty of docs and people including myself being thoroughly frustrated, and spending 10 days in the hospital we finally found out what's wrong with my lungs. However, the treatment is almost worse than the disease and that's being hard to me to wrap my head around, along with all the weird side effects that come from taking this particular drug. At least I'm breathing fairly well most of the time now, but it's going to be a long time before I even resemble the person I was before I got to where I am now. The meds I'm taking have put about 70 pounds on me and it's mostly from extra fluids and fatty deposits in all the wrong places.

While I was working on trying to come to terms with my health and what needs to be done to make it better, my car was totaled in a parking lot by a lady who tried to go from a parking lot of one store to the parking lot of another through the back door of my car on the driver side. This is almost a year to the week of when it happen last year. Hopefully I'm now in the car that is going to last for more than a year this time!

The keyboard on my computer died, so I'm borrowing my roommates until tomorrow when I can go pick up a used one so we can both use our computers at the same time.

She got a call from Mexico that her grandkids needed winter clothes so last weekend she took the bus to El Paso to take them some clothes and got back Mon morning dead tired and with a migraine. I was able to fill in for her on Fri night after we dropped her off at the bus station and again Mon morning while she got some sleep to get rid of the migraine.

Since the problem with my lungs surfaced, the docs said no working with chemicals or fire in my jewelry making, I've been working on my wire skills and stamping things on metal to personalize things to make them special. I've also been working on making necklaces on satin cord or velvet cord to make them easier to afford this year for Christmas. I found some glass picture frames that can be put on cord for Christmas ornaments, or for rear view mirror of the car for pictures of loved ones, and making family necklaces and bracelets with stamps of initials of first names alternating with the birthstones of the family members as unique jewelry. The new designs are done for the fund raiser for the Catholic Biblical School this year and now I just have to get them on the flier and my blog for people so see and decided what they want to order. I've also found some wonderful wings and beads to put together for angel earrings that I need to get started on. Just need a whole lot more energy and someone who could add a few more hours in the day!

One thing I'm looking forward to is making a wire wrapped lariat or lasso rosary for a 50th wedding anniversary for some in-laws of the man we take care of. I've ordered the material and can hardly wait for it to get here so I can start working on it! I"m also got a couple of orders for personalized bracelets and zipper pulls for kids.

Well, time for bed so I can try to get my body working better than it has been lately, or at least some much needed rest so I can get started on all my new projects!
Hope to have some pictures posted soon of some of my finished items. Until then, I hope everyone is having a great fall and is planning for a holiday season filled with family and friends.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Ever feel like your life turned into a circus when you weren't looking? It seems like I woke up one day, had these really strange clothes on, a whip in one hand and a whistle in the other and was told, "OK, now it's your turn to make things run, and Oh, by the way, we've added another ring just for you!"

While it's been hectic, there have been some fun times along the way. My roommates daughter and grandkids came for a visit, which was an unexpected happy event! She didn't think she'd get to see them this year, and her daughter called one night and said she and the kids were offered a ride to Colorado from California and were coming. We scrambled to make adjustments in her working schedule, so she could spend as much time as possible with them, and it really worked out well in the end.
When Teresa's daughter's family goes on a vacation in California, they try to take the kids to the beach. When they got here, the youngest kept asking me when we were going to run into the beach so she could play in the ocean. She had a very hard time understanding that we didn't have any oceans in Colorado!
One thing that made up for it though, was the swimming pool in the motel. They would have loved to spend the whole vacation in that swimming pool if we'd let them. They are both at the age where they seem to be part fish.

I finally got all the rosaries for our parish finished, as well as the ones for the priest who took them with him on his vacation to give out. I designed a line of jewelry for a general store here that carries my stuff. The teenagers were asking for some necklaces, bracelets and earrings they could buy that would fit into their budgets. With the price of gas and food these, days, that's something I can identify with! I'm taking them in tomorrow so we'll see what they think of them.

I've been dealing with a health problem that has even my doc stumped. I'm hoping to at least get some of the symptoms under control when I see him this week so I can enjoy what's left of the summer! The most frustrating part right now is that I can't seem to breathe and walk at the same time. Well, actually I can't seem to do much of anything and breathe at the same time. Kind of cramps my style! While we may never know what causes my body to do this, if we could at least get the symptoms under control, I could hopefully get back to my somewhat normal life.

I've got some jewelry designs running around in my head, and I'm hoping that when they get a couple of things fixed and working on my body I'll be able to get back to designing again! The silver and stones are calling me again, so it's time to answer the call of the powers above and get cracking again!

I hope that all of you who live in places that Mother Nature has taken aim at are slowly recovering! This has certainly been an active spring with all the tornado's, floods, fires, and now hurricane season upon us! I pray that all of you affected are getting the help you need to put your lives back together! Please know that there are many of us who've gone through either the same thing, or close to it who are pulling for you and thinking of you every day as you try to get some normalcy back into your life!

I'm going to try for a couple of pictures next time. I've got some stones that I haven't had him to use and I need to see what they want to become! Hopefully I'll talk to you again soon! At least sooner than it's been lately!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Not a post I wanted to write

This isn't exactly a post I wanted to write, but I need to let you know what's going on, or at least the little I now know about it. It seems my web site, as well as my hosting company's web site are missing in action. So far I haven't received any responses to my calls or emails so I have no idea what the heck is going on. I've been with them for a couple of years and never had a problem so I'm hoping this will be resolved soon! Or at least they'll let me know what's going on and what to expect. Kind of hard to sell rosaries and jewelry when people can't see anything on your web site!!

In the meantime, while I'm working to find out what's going on, where to move my site if I have to, or just generally try to untangle this mess, if you need any special rosaries, or jewelry, please feel free to email me at RnJbyLaura@aol.com and I'll be sure to get back with you to help you get what you need.

I regret this inconvenience! This isn't something I would have put on my top 10 list of things I wanted to happen today! Kind of matches the downward spiral that has been my day today. Here's hoping that if tomorrow can't go up, it will at least go sideways!

I appreciate your patience while I try to get this resolved as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year, already!

My roommate went to El Paso to spend Christmas with her mom, daughter, and grandkids. Before she left, I gave her a bag with presents in it for everyone, except we forgot that her niece would also be there. Fortunately, her niece has the same name as she does so when the package for "Tere" came out of the bag, her niece thought it was for her. She was very flattered to get a very "grown-up" necklace and earring set.
When I called them to wish them "Feliz Navidad" Tere told me what happened, so that meant that she was without a present from me for Christmas. So, since I had made both of her daughters a bracelet like the one above, but with heart charms on it, I decided I'd make her one to match. Naturally, I didn't have any of the heart charms left, so I decided to include some of my heritage on it with the Claddagh. It's the Irish symbol of love, loyalty and friendship. The bracelet is made from 16 gauge wire, which I handcrafted into a double chain. The center piece has double hearts on it on both sides. The chain is argentium sterling silver, and all the components are regular sterling silver. It feels both heavy and silky. Teresa is coming home tomorrow, so maybe this will be a "Prospero Ano nuevo" present instead of a Christmas one.

Now that Christmas is past, it's time for me to start getting the rosaries made for my parish. First up is the 100 for the Confirmation kids, after that is the 50 for the RCIA class, and finally are the 200 for the kids who are making their First Communion this year. Since Easter comes very early this year, I need to get them all done as soon as possible. I've been working on them since last summer, but somehow, other things get in the way and it always seems like I have more time than I actually do! Now, there's no excuse for not getting on the ball and getting them all made. My Catechism class doesn't get back in session until February, so I'm going to be concentrating on making rosaries for the rest of this month.

Along with the above ones, I also need to get rosaries made for silent auction benefits this spring. There is one for the Biblical School, one for our Parish school, one for Colfax Community Network, and one for Alley Cat Alliance. I also need to get some bracelets and earrings made for ARAS, a no kill shelter for cats that helps me out when I need it with mine. I try to get them jewelry to sell to make money for operating expenses. I've got some made to take down this week, but I've also got more beads ordered for all of the above so when they get here I can get started on everything else.

This is the first New Year's I've spent alone since my husband died. While I miss him and thought of him often, it was really a nice one. I spent a quiet day, with the cats, getting some last minute work done on my web site for an article this week, and generally just being OK with still being here while he's gone. I know having a roommate is a Godsend, and one that I thank Him for everyday, but I'm also glad she could spend the holidays with her family. It will be nice to have things "back to normal" (whatever that is) but for now, it's OK to be alone.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year, full of blessings and very few problems! To quote an old Irish saying:
"May you be in heaven, a half an hour before the devil knows you're dead!"

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


This is the fourth Christmas without my husband. It's also the first that I've been by myself on Christmas without him. My roommate is in El Paso with her daughter, mom, and sister staying with them while her sister goes through surgery. Teresa will be back after the new year. I'm filling in for her at her job until then, helping care for an elderly parishioner from our Church. I had today off for Christmas because his family was with him.

We lost my husband's favorite cat last Tues to Chronic Renal Failure. He had adopted Teresa after she moved in and it was really hard for both of us to let him go. Even though I'd had him for 18 years it didn't seem that long and he absolutely adored Teresa.

I didn't know how I'd do this year alone, but I've been remarkably at peace today. I got a chance to get some extra sleep, (always a bonus around here!), work on some jewelry, and play with the cats. It snowed all day and I didn't even have to go out to clean the car off!! I watched some lovely programs on the TV about Christmas, and just basically had a day of rest. With the schedules Teresa and I have had this past 6 months, that in itself is a luxury! I went to Mass last night since I knew I'd never get up in time today. It's been lovely to just take time for the cats and me for a change and not having to rush to meet a deadline.

My husband is where he belongs, even if it's lonely here without him. My roommate is a real blessing and we get along great and complement each other well. I'm learning Spanish better, she's doing the same with English, I get to vicariously share her family, and we both get to have someone to live with and depend on. She called tonight and I got to talk with her, her daughter, her sister, and her grandchildren. It's nice having a family, even if it's a second hand one.

My business has done a little better this year than last, and I think I'm finally starting to see that it's going to work. I got some great custom orders this year that I really enjoyed working on. I'm able to learn more skills as a jewelry designer and maker and I'm also looking to broaden my work into another medium as soon as I have more than 1 day at a time to work on it.

We have a great group of people in our RCIA class again this year, and the program that Jay and I worked on over the summer seems to be going well. Since Easter is early this year, I'm also up by my eye balls in making rosaries for Confirmation, First Communion, and RCIA for the Easter Vigil. Also coming up quickly is the silent auction for the Biblical School, St. Pius X parish school fund raiser, the silent auction for Colfax Community Network, and the Alley Cat Alliance fund raiser. All of these I donate to so I need to get that stuff made too. It's all planned out, I just need to make it.

The orders for the Graduation Remembrances for the Biblical school are slowly coming in. Not too many, but at least I'll have something to contribute to the senior class gift this year. I was hoping for more, but maybe this too needs to build a little at a time throughout the years.

I am very, very blessed! I have wonderful people in my life, I have a wonderful parish that has become my family, I have a great roommate who generously lets me share her family, and I have great kids, even if they all do have 4 legs each and talk in meow.

God has been very, very good to me. I hope you have been equally blessed, and that your Christmas was full of joy as mine was. It's hard to believe that it's almost 2008, isn't it?!?

Merry Christmas!