Things That Don’t Suck: Studio 219 and Laurette O’Neil

You have NO idea what to get her for the holidays. Her birthday befuddles you. I understand, dear man. There, there…no need to fret when The Redhead is here.

You see, I am inherently GIRL. I work makeup on the summit of Kilimanjaro. I’d never deign to put lip gloss on at the dinner table, but I will sneak off to the bathroom and check mah haaaaar. I love high heels, sexy boots, skirts and dresses. I own things that are pink.

And I lurv jewelry. Lurvs it, preeeecious.

Funky, eclectic jewelry. Tiny silver studs that come from Target, a chunky necklace I found at Goodwill…it makes no matter. Accessories are an attitude – the rainbow freakin’ sprinkles on my wardrobe’s cupcake.

Neither of these ladies has any idea I’m writing this column today, but it’s designed to do three things:

  • Introduce you to two artisans whose respective talent is mind-boggling
  • Help you get some of that holiday shopping (whether for you or others) done and done
  • Share the financial ruin I frequently endure at said artisan’s hands

Laurette O’Neil – Silver Jewelry Design

I met Laurette back in 2006 at an art show in Mt. Charleston, Nevada. Stunned by her simple lines, each of her pieces combined some rare elements that hinted a little in the “fuck you” direction. I liked it. Since then, my collection has grown to include everything from simple amber stud earrings to multiple rings and countless necklaces.

She has one rule, however: don’t you dare put a ring on your pinkie finger. And she’ll tell ya, too.

She and her husband make every tool that makes every pattern, shape, design and clasp. Each piece is 100% hand-crafted. The craftsmanship is unquestionable and while her designs aren’t for everyone, I have people ask me time and time again: “Excuse me – I love your ring/earrings/necklace. Where did you get that?”

My favorite pieces have to be:

Amber Earrings $110Triple Silver Necklace $270


Whatever your style, visit her online gallery and shop online. For rings, it’s easiest to call her or send an email with the size you need as you can’t select sizes on the website (yet!). Prices range from under $50 to over $500 – there’s something for every budget and if your gal is like me and could care less about sapphires, rubies and crappy chain store adornments – Laurette might be your gal. You can follow Laurette on Twitter. While not as “tweetie” as this redhead, she’s new to the web and social media and I have no doubt she’ll find her sea legs in short order!

Hand-twisted pearl earrings $45Cara Ellison Halbirt – Studio 219

Cara and I figured out that we’ve known each other for (gulp) about thirty years. Not only an incredible woman and mother, she’s come into her own as an artisan of eclectic creations in silver and various beads. I own her delicate and flowing hand-twisted pearl earrings ($45), the yoga earrings ($35) and the Japanese cross earrings ($40). While I’m not an owner yet, her bracelets are in quite high demand as well and on my “for me” list for this holiday season.

You can read the story behind many of her pieces at the Studio 219 blog – a delightful window where Cara lets you into not only her life but her spiritual journey and yoga practice as well. If you love what she does (as I do), look up Studio 219 on Facebook and stay up to date on all of her newest designs. You can also follow my fellow redhead on Twitter @Cara19.

A closing word of thanks to both of these ladies. I’ve received no compensation for posting this entry from either of them other than their friendships. While I adore their work, I’ll take friendship over bling any day.


Hate to admit how true this is, but my doggie lives higher than a lot of people do, thanks to my hard work. George Carlin had a whole schtick about how stupid we must look to aliens. We follow our animals around with bags of steamy shit in our clutches and think that WE are in charge?! Ha!

May King
May King

We *heart* you 'mom'. Signed your dogs and cats. :-)

The Redhead
The Redhead least she's self-cleaning?

Aaron Templer
Aaron Templer

I guess it's better than working for crap, as in a measurement of pay.

Megan Carpenter
Megan Carpenter

My boyfriend and I have had this same conversation. Nice to know we aren't the only ones who have realized this.

Dava Stewart
Dava Stewart

My mom used to say "I hate buying groceries. Might as well just flush my money down the toilet. That's where all this food will end up anyway."


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