The Back Story

artisan jewelry, Dead & Company, Grateful Dead, handmade jewelry, Michelle Vidro Graphic Design, On The Bench, Tell Me A Story, turtle

Once upon a time in Brooklyn, New York…
… a baby was born.
I thought you might like to learn a few things about me. I was chatting with a new jeweler friend the other day and telling her the story about how I got “here”. I realized you may like to know these things, too.

  • As a young child, I learned to draw by sketching cartoons while watching TV. I had a thing for The Flintstones.
  • When I was around 7 years old I sent in the Draw Winky drawing from the TV Guide. They accepted me into their art school. My parents were shocked! No, I didn’t go.
  • Was VERY fortunate to go to a high school with a big art department. I practically lived there. That is where I learned metalsmithing, but I practically lived in the ceramics studio.
  • Attended my first Grateful Dead concert at the Hollywood Bowl in 1974. #mindblown Maria Muldaur opened the show.
  • Went to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena to study graphic design and illustration.
  • Lived in Manhattan on the Upper West Side. Started and grew my art career on Madison Avenue; ad agencies, publishing companies, New York Times.
  • Moved to San Francisco (I’m a California girl at heart). I moved around a lot in my lifetime, actually. Lived on a kibbutz in Israel, Eugene Oregon, and Kauai, to name a few.
  • Learned Desktop Publishing (among the first) on a Mac and worked for MacWorld, PC World, and Publish magazines (IDG) in San Francisco.
  • Made a baby!
  • News Artist on the Marin Independent Journal in San Rafael, CA.
  • Rediscovered my passion for making jewelry in 2000. Took a few refresher courses and built out my home studio. Made a website, did retail and wholesale shows. Landed in museum gift shops and galleries.
  • Co-owned the Marin Jewelers Guild in San Rafael, CA for around 12 years.
  • Covid. Changed everything. Need I say more?
  • Currently I’m the webmaster and on the Board of Directors at the  Metal Arts Guild of San Francisco.
  • Still selling online at meeshka.net and various retail locations.
  • Now I continue learning, playing, and exploring the edges of my creativity. See below.
  • Constantly looking for joy.
  • Still dancing to Dead & Company.

Sterling silver and amethyst pendant. Coral reef.

Following my creative heart, these remind me of a coral reef. Sterling silver and Amethyst pendants in progress.

Etchings from drawings and an agate pendant

Experimenting with etching some of my drawings to turn into jewelry. Also a sterling silver  Agate pendant in the works.

 

Gift Cards Now Available Online

Gift Cards Available
You asked, we delivered. Any denomination available.

Happy Accidents

artisan jewelry, Cuff, Custom, Doodle, gemstone, gold, handmade jewelry, jewelry, On The Bench, Ring, sterling silver

Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned in the studio.
Lately I’ve been concentrating more on creating and less on marketing, and on having more fun in general! I have a lot of ideas and inspiration in my head and in sketchbooks, but sometimes the outcome is another story altogether. After a frustrating day of melting gold bezels for a stone on a cuff I decided to go pyromaniac (which all jewelers secretly are), blast my torch, and melt some sterling silver on purpose.

This ring is the happy outcome of recklessly melting sterling silver. The stone was supposed to be a beautiful tourmaline, but that broke (another heartache), so I set the sterling cabochon from another melting episode that just so happened to fit. End of story, the cuff never got a stone.

This is the etched cuff without a turquoise gemstone and gold bezel.

And Speaking Of Flames
Isn’t this flaming bezel too cool?!?

Rough cut Amethyst and sterling silver earrings

On to the next creations! 

Sterling silver braided ring with keum boo gold accents.

These started out as a ring then devolved into sterling silver, gold keum boo and a square rough cut diamond pair of earrings.

And when all else fails, bake your dog a cake!
Peace & Love,
~meeshka

2023 or 1953?

artisan jewelry, bronze, Cuff, Custom, handmade jewelry, Peace, Tell Me A Story

My intention is to always stay positive. These are trying times.
Warning: brief rant ahead.
Scroll down to THROWBACK SALE if you want to bypass the rant.

What year is this? I wish I could stop reading the news. The headlines are a throwback to a different time and I wonder to myself, WTF is going on?!

• Abortion is illegal in 13 states as of this writing. (10 more to surely follow.)
• There have been 38 mass shootings so far this year (3 months).
• Banks have failed. Recession? Inflation? Depression? Pick a financial crisis.
• People in Israel are protesting to save their democracy.
• The rhetorical threats of nuclear war are dangled before us as if it’s no big deal.
• Bigotry, racism, hatred and intolerance are being normalized and on the rise.

And this is just to name a few!!!
I’m sorry if this is all just too much, but this is my point! It totally is!

What’s an artist hippy chick to do?
I keep creating, meditating, and manifesting to try to tip the scales towards a critical mass of positivity, love, and light. Is it futile? Am I crazy? Please tell me I’m not. Ok, maybe I’m a little bit crazy but I’m okay with that. I think you are, too.
Peace Sign NecklacePeace

THROWBACK SALE!
Here is the silver lining to my disbelief at the state of the world. In order to remain positive I want to spread a little sunshine your way. In honor of a throw back to what seemed to me like simpler times I’m having a FLASH SALE from April 18 to 20. Enter THROWBACK40 at check out and receive 40% OFF your entire order.

(And don’t forget, Mother’s Day is coming May 14th. Call your Mom!)

Shop Meeshka’s Throwback Sale

On Another Note… The Rain
One nice thing about all the rain we’ve been having, besides reducing fire danger and making everything super green, is the cozy time I get to spend in my studio. Here’s a sneak peek at a couple of things I’m working on… etching and improvising.

Collaborate with Meeshka on a custom jewelry design.

The breathtaking beauty of Sonoma after the rain.
Love,
~meeshka

14 Cows Jewelry

International Women’s Day

14 Cows, artisan jewelry, handmade jewelry, promoting others, sterling silver, Story Art

March 8th is International Women’s Day
The IWD 2023 campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity

“Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA. It’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.

It’s not just something we say. It’s not just something we write about. It’s something we need to think about, know, value and embrace. It’s what we believe in, unconditionally. Equity means creating an inclusive world.

Each one of us can actively support and embrace equity within our own sphere of influence. We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. Collective activism is what drives change. From grassroots action to wide-scale momentum, we can all embrace equity. Collectively, we can all forge positive change.” ~extracted from the IWD website


“Give Back” stud earrings by Half United

Half United: Siblings, Christian and Carmin Black founded Half United in 2009 as a way to merge their passion for fashion and philanthropy. Using recycled bullet castings, Half United’s unique jewelry designs empower consumers to fight against hunger. Each product purchased creates seven meals for a child in need. At the end of each month, Half United divides the number of meals raised equally between their local and global partners.

On Giving: It’s not what you give or how much you give… just give.
It seems like such a long time ago, 21 years, but we shall never forget. After learning of the devastation the United States suffered on September 11, 2001 the Masai of Kenya donated fourteen sacred cows to the US as a gesture of goodwill and healing. In honor of this generosity, Meeshka created the 14 Cows jewelry line as a way to give back. Proceeds are donated to benefit women and children in Kenya.


Signature 14 Cows jewelry set


Beautifully written and illustrated 14 Cows for America children’s book


Artwork for the 14 Cows jewelry line

“Be Love Now”

artisan jewelry, handmade jewelry, heart, Love, sterling silver

“If I go into the place in myself that is love and you go into the place in yourself that is love, we are together in love.”
~Ram Dass

Love and jewelry always go hand in hand this time of year and so here is my Valentine’s Day newsletter complete with heart jewelry that I create. But for me love goes far beyond February 14th and materialistic tokens of affection. Love is the essence of life and within us all, quietly waiting to see and be seen. Some days I see love everywhere I go and in everyone I meet. Other days, not so much. Live from a loving place and the rest will follow.

White Hearts
There is a beautiful bead called a “white heart” that has a white porcelain center surrounded by glass that seems to glow from the inside out. They are found in Africa but originate from Italy. “Trade beads” were used as ballast in slave/trade ships for the outbound trip and were exchanged for human cargo as well as ivory, gold, and other goods. In Africa, beads are a symbol and celebration of womanhood, femininity, fertility, healing, spirituality, protection, and wealth, among other things.

Sterling silver heart necklace, vintage red “white hearts” and Hill Tribe Thai silver

Mended Heart

Mended Hearts

“Hearts can break
hearts can mend
love is stronger
in the end.”
~meeshka

Sterling silver Mended Heart necklace

“Love”
~meeshka

Looking Back ~ Looking Forward

artisan jewelry, Custom, gemstone, handmade jewelry, Love, painting, Peace, sterling silver, sun, turtle, UFO, watercolor

January is always a time of hibernation for me. In the midst of all the rain we are having, it’s a good time to get cozy and reflect.

2022 brought another year of dealing with Covid, and the way people and our government, deal or not deal, with it. As an artist working from home I don’t mind the isolation all that much and it’s been a long time since I’ve felt FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). But I’m so tired of constantly thinking about what activities are worth the risk of infection and how to navigate them, if at all. I am grateful I always have my art to keep me amused.

I sure hope 2023 finally brings Covid to the real endemic stage that we have all been waiting for. In the meantime I will continue to make art, take lovely walks, bake and cook, read and nap, and dance around my house and studio. I will probably mask forever to keep others safe, as well as myself.

Happy New Year from my studio in Sonoma, California! and thank you for being on this journey with me. I appreciate you!

Note: The above photo is not my studio. Just a groovy barn on the road to and from my studio.

January/February 2022
This year I focused on Pinterest, growing my following and traffic there, as well as on my website. SUCCESS! It worked! I also became a Verified Merchant on Pinterest.

2022 monthly visits to meeshka.net

2022 annual Pinterest activity

 


March/April 2022
With Spring in the air along with longer days, there is plenty of time for brainstorming, sketching ideas and purchasing new gemstones for future creations.

This is a custom sterling silver piece I created for a clients’ daughter. Cows and obsidian are meaningful to her and we worked together to create this pendant.

 

May/June 2022
In May I lost a dear lifelong sister-friend, Carole, who will forever be in my heart and by my side. I have a wonderful group of lifelong friends, including my Mom, and we chat daily in “LoveFest”. Together we try to keep each other sane and laughing. Carole was part of that group and is missed every day.

 

Below is the pendant-necklace I created for my dear MamaLuv. Sterling silver and carnelian with a peek-a-boo heart on the back the allows the stone to glow, like my Mama. We are so so so fortunate to live close and be able to spend time together. This is the sweetness of life.

July/August 2022
We sure had some hot days this past summer, but no fires here and that was fantastic! These creations reflect my longing for the tradewinds and ocean swimming on Kauai. Sterling silver with faceted labradorite and peridot.

                         

September/October 2022
Ahhh cooler weather and a rainbow outside my studio… what could be more delicious? Oh wait! A Swiss roll!

Below is a small plein air watercolor painting of “The Cherry Tree” juice stand, long closed but still standing. I love seeing it every time I drive along the country road I use to go visit my MamaLuv.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November/December 2022
The holidays can be challenging. Life has changed so much. I don’t go in for the madness of holiday shopping and it’s supposed to be a busy time for jewelers to market and sell. That is always awkward for me as I don’t like to be pushy so I try to keep it mellow. At the same time I start to feel the pull of hibernation and slowing down, which usually wins. I love that!

Here are two more 2022 creations. On the left a UFO pendant-necklace of sterling silver with tiny shells and beach glass collected on Kauai, encased in a vintage watch crystal. The other is a sterling silver heart strung on vintage “white hearts” (glass beads with white porcelain center) from Africa and Hill Tribe Thai silver.

 

 

2023
Looking ahead at what I imagine for this year is the work of every January’s hibernation. As I become more clear I plan on sharing that journey with you. Once again, thank you for coming along for the ride. I hope I can bring a little beauty to your world, some light, and always a lot of laughter.

 

Happy New Year!
With Love, Grace & Gratitude,
meeshka

 

Sharing The Love … Promoting Others

artisan jewelry, ceramics, classes, comedy, food, jewelry, painting, promoting others, sewing

During this time of shameless self promotion I decided to take a break from it all and share some of the amazingly talented people I know with you. Presented here are a few whom I have had the great pleasure of knowing for a long time, and some I have become acquainted with in 2022.

Bell Pine Art Farm: goddess sculptures
bellpineartfarm.com
I have known Debbie since I lived in Oregon back in the late 70’s. We met in college in art class. She is still a dear friend, has a deep creative soul, and creates these amazing little goddess sculptures with her husband, Reed.

“Each of our deeply inspired clay designs is hand-detailed and finished by the two of us with seasonal help from local artists. Our rural Oregon home studio is situated between the Cascade Mountains and the Oregon Coast Range in a forest on the edge of a small valley.”

 

 

Cathy Trachok: painter
cathrynetrachok.com
Cathy and I went to Art Center College of Design together in the 80’s and remain good friends. I just can’t get enough of her sunflower paintings!

“The amazing thing to me about art is in the idea of the visual as a shared experience. It is communication across cultures, time and experiences. There is magic in art, inviting all to look, and yet allowing each individual to interpret that image in their mind’s eye. Both the artist and the viewer can learn from each other, and that sharing leads to discovery on both sides. It is that communication that inspires me to keep painting and sharing my work.”

 

Liz Lauter: ceramics
lizlauter.com
I have never met Liz but I am completely mesmerized by her candelabras.

“My artwork is about the celebrity of ornament: its design elements, patterns, material forms and expression of the Feminine. I straddle the worlds of “decoration”, “craft”, “folkart”, “functional”, “feminism” as my work pulls from historical decorative design, nature and my own experiences as a woman.”

 

Sweet Pea Paris: food and Paris
sweet-pea-paris.com
I can’t recall if we met in middle school or high school but I’m so proud of Alisa and all she has accomplished. I long to visit Paris and take one of her food tours, probably the chocolate one. I know we will laugh a lot!

“I launched Sweet Pea Baking & Catering in September 2006 (at the beginning of the American food trend in Paris), based on amazing American flavors, tweaked and twisted here and there, all of my recipes are made with the finest ingredients. The problem? You just want to keep eating it. So there I was, Event Catering, giving Gastronomic Food Tours, Cooking Classes, Pastry Cheffing, Food Styling for other cookbooks and, poof! I was recruited by French publishing house Marabout. I’ve written three cookbooks so far, published in 5 languages and over 10 countries.”

 

Irmgard Geul: embroidery paintings
irmgardgeul.com
I met Irmgard in an online workshop years ago about promoting our artwork. Since then I have watched her artwork blossom and evolve. I love this new direction.

“My most recent work I like to be known as “Embroidery Paintings” a self explored technique where I apply embroidery and stitching over acrylic paintings on paper, to create depth and a visual perspective. Although I still have a continuous love for abstraction, for now I have been challenging myself in creating the stories and adventures on and around my daily surroundings.”

 

 

 

Silvera Jewelry School: jewelry classes
silverajewelry.com
I started taking classes from Joe during the pandemic to keep my sanity, stay busy and learn new skills to add to my jewelry designs and creations. He is a kind and patient teacher who offers so many interesting classes online and in their studios.

“Silvera Jewelry School began in Berkeley, CA in 2010 and was started by Anat and Joe Silvera, both professional jewelers and artists. From the start, Anat and Joe dreamed of having their own space to teach, to create a clean, well organized, and welcoming school for their students. Over a decade later, the school has grown into a well known hub for the jewelry community, with veteran instructors, a classroom full of benches and jewelry tools, and a schedule bursting with workshops, including classes taught by visiting master jewelers from around the world.” Silvera recently added a new partner and co-owner, Jenn Parnell Kirkpatrick.

 

Camp Fashionista: sewing school
campfashionista.net
Dori and I became friends in middle school. It’s a pleasure to still be friends to this day and exciting to watch her business grow.

“Dori Gladden is a fashion designer, entrepreneur, teacher, and mother, who has traveled the world designing for over 30 years. Originally from Los Angeles, Dori now calls the Bay Area home and has worn many hats in the fashion industry, from corporate environments to running her own label. Her launch of Camp Fashionista, a design school located in San Jose, CA, for both children and adults, allows her to share her passion and inspire the next generation of designers.”

 


Robert Barber: painter
robertbarber.com
Another Art Center College of Design friend, Rob was an amazing painter then, and is even more so now. His passion is undeniable.

“Painting has been a lifelong passion for Rob and he paints as faithfully to life as he possibly can. He is fascinated with why things appear the way they do, and this inspires him to paint realistically. At the same time, our world is an active and continually changing place, and Rob seeks to reflect this sensation by also painting with energy and movement.”

 

 

 

Jenny Reeves: jewelry
jennyreeves.com

I don’t know Jenny personally but we are online friends. Her jewelry always takes my breath away. She is an inspiration to me.

“The unique textures in Jenny’s jewelry are created by the ancient process of fusing, or joining metal using only heat.”

 

 

 

Also, a couple of things kept me laughing this year, thank gawd!!! 

Ayo cheetah… wussup?!
instagram.com/goodboy.noah/

Making us laugh and teaching us how to cook at the same time. Brilliant!

 

 

 

Backpack Backpack
instagram.com/nicktrawick13/

Funny stuff with a catchy tune that I absentmindedly sing to myself every now and then.

New Designs Sneak Peek

artisan jewelry, Dead & Company, gemstone, Grateful Dead, handmade jewelry, honu, ocean, On The Bench, PITS, Playin' In The Sand, sterling silver, sugar skull, sun, turtle, Under The Sea, water

I’ve been working on some new pieces that aren’t up in the Shop yet and I wanted to share them with you! I’m super excited about this new direction.

They are available so let me know if you are interested. These beauties are perfect for your favorite Deadhead friend or for yourself if you are going to PITS* in Mexico next year. Or just because you love this look!

Also, as always, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Much Love,
~meeshka

 

Sterling silver sun with a faceted labradorite gemstone in the center. Pendant is approximately a 1.125″ diameter circle. Strung on a sterling silver beaded “ball” chain.

This labradorite has a beautiful blue flash!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sterling silver turtle (honu, terrapin) with a faceted peridot gemstone on the turtle’s back. Pendant is approximately 1.5″ x 1.5″ at it’s widest points. Strung on a sterling silver beaded “ball” chain.

Notice how the shell pattern shows through the peridot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sterling silver sugar skull (Stealie) with two jumping fishies and a faceted citrine gemstone. Pendant is approximately 1.75″ x 1.” at it’s widest points. Strung on a sterling silver faceted beaded “ball” chain.

All pieces are handmade and one-of-a-kind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*PITS is Playin’ In The Sand: Dead & Company at Riviera Cancun, Mexico; January 14-17, 2023

Easy Giving Gift Guide 2022

artisan jewelry, bronze, gemstone, Gingko, gold, gold fill, handmade jewelry, Love, ocean, Ring, sterling silver, Story Art, Under The Sea

I hate being pushy and salesy but I do want to offer you some ideas for giving this year to make your holidays easier. Every item comes wrapped in a velvet gift bag with a free polishing cloth and, as always, free shipping in the US. I hope you have a stress free season!

Something for everyone.
Items under $100
Here are a few items under $100. Pick up a few special pieces for friends, family, and absolutely for yourself! More items available in ShopTake a moment and browse.

Bangle bracelets

Bangles!!!

Ginkgo earrings

Bronze Ginkgo Earrings

Stacking rings

Stacking rings

Something a little more special, perhaps?
Items from $100 – $500
Sometimes you are looking for something a little more special for that certain someone or for yourself. Here are a few items from $100 to $500 that are sure to please and delight! More items available in Shop.

Gemstone and flame UFO necklace

Gemstones and flame UFO necklace

Bronze ginkgo ring

Bronze ginkgo ring

Sterling silver and lapis lazuli earrings

Sterling silver and lapis lazuli earrings

Top of the line!
Items over $500
There are times when you know you need something just as special as it can get. Maybe it’s a special occasion or you want a bespoke piece of jewelry to hand down through the years. Here are a few items over $500 that are sure to be keepsakes for a lifetime! More items available in Shop.

Sterling silver, gold and Amazonite necklace

Sterling silver, gold and Amazonite necklace

Sterling silver, NuGold and Lapis lazuli bracelet

Sterling silver, bronze, aquamarine and pearl necklace

Sterling silver, bronze, aquamarine and pearl necklace

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New jewelry and blog posts are added to the website regularly so please visit often.
Follow me on Pinterest… there is a lot of great jewelry inspiration there!

Work In Progress… Interrupted

Custom, gemstone, Love, On The Bench, UFO

Work In Progress

It seems like lately I’ve been preparing to make new jewelry, starting something, then moving on to something else. This isn’t my typical process so I’m a little befuddled.

Usually I have an image of what I want to create in my mind, I do a quick sketch, and then let the piece evolve on the bench as I go. It’s fun exploring “happy accidents” and  exciting to see the creation unfold.

I have managed to finish a couple of pieces recently, though. Here are a few pics.

Mother’s Day Necklace: sterling silver, calcydony, pearl, and oxidation

Mother’s Day Necklace: back of pendant with peek-a-boo heart cut out

UFO Pendant With Gemstones: sterling silver, rubies, tanzanites, sapphires, amethyst, pearls, peridot, aquamarine, and other gemstones

Circle Earrings: sterling silver and cubic zirconia

More new pieces coming soon!
Much Love,
Meeshka