Friday, December 31, 2010

But What Decade is this Dress?

As this year comes to a close, I'm heading to a New Year's Party where the theme is "DECADES." Partygoers need to dress in any decade they choose. 

I'm a lucky girl - the host of the party sent me a dress to wear as well! I haven't seen her yet to ask anything about this dress, but she volunteers at a thrift shop, so perhaps it came from there.

Now, here's my question: What Decade is this Dress?

A small tag on the side seam tells me the dress was made in East Germany. Made of a knit fabric with the bold diagonal pattern printed on, the only fitted part is two simple tucks on the bodice. The colorful op-art design might place it in the 60s, but because it's so unstructured, I'm guessing the 70s. What do you think?


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We have a Winner!

{sterling silver Triple Lucy necklace with red, apple green and plum multi, with faceted tourmaline beads}
Congrats and a Happy New Year to the winner of the Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway - Adrienne!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

{Naughty or Nice list? They find out today! Son H, Evie and Rosie}
Merry Christmas!

Hopefully this post will pop up on December 25, but no, I'm not hunched over my laptop today. I've scheduled this post a few days back (thank you Blogger scheduled post feature!) and today I'm by the tree with my family enjoying the day.

Why does December seem to fly by faster and faster each year? And why do I never get tired of all the preparations and fun? I'm counting my blessings (including the three above) and wishing everyone a Joyful and Merry day!

Are you the open-all-the-presents-at-once family, or a take-your-time-and-open-one-at-a-time family? ...and did Santa get you what you wanted?


(p.s. - Don't forget to enter my Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway  this month! Winner drawn on December 28!)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pure Style Home Holiday Inspired Lunch

{the awaited issue!}
Have you seen Lauren Liess's home in the latest Better Homes & Gardens?

Everyone following Lauren's blog Pure Style Home had been waiting patiently for the issue to come out. Her stylish house is featured in "Christmas Present" on page 66, written by Joanna Linberg, produced by Jessica Thomas, and with luminous photography by Helen Norman. Back in February Lauren gave us all a fantastic peek behind the scenes at the photoshoot. Now, we finally see the results!
{Santa, come on over! (photo: Helen Norman)}
Of course, her home looks GORGEOUS decked out for the holidays! Lauren's interior design philosophy of "Pure Style" is based on keeping things simple, happy & beautiful. Her decorations are nature-inspired and kid-friendly - she has two little ones at home!

Lauren's holiday palette inspired a lunch at my home last week... It's not as gorgeous as her home, I know, but I had a great time putting it together:
{My dining room - real snow on the evergreens outside the window!}
I had some friends and a sweet bunch of preschoolers over on a Wednesday. My Pure Style Home inspiration was moss and citron greens, silver and copper, whites, spheres, vintage-look fabrics, warm brown woods, natural objects, and a touch of whimsy.

{my son's toys}
How cute and whimsical are these little wooden toys at the table? Lauren had adorable white polar bears at the holiday place settings in her home.

{A wooden church carved by my great grandfather behind the buffet.}
Pears tied with citron green grosgrain ribbon sit at the buffet. I served kid-friendly food, but I still went with Lauren's colors - coppery brown nuts and pears, bright green grapes and a snowy white coconut cake.

{centerpiece detail - white roses, aloe spears and evergreens}
Pulling off this lunch was so much fun. I started by gathering up all the objects around my house reminding me of Lauren's holiday look. Her style is so natural, effortless and charming, you don't worry about perfection. I know I'm not even close to how stunning Lauren's decorations look - but it was a ball (bad pun- sorry!) trying!
{"...I'm running off to join the others!"}
I never did get the photo of my cute little guests and their parents around the table I envisioned. The kids and my son scarfed down their food then ran off to play with Legos before my camera came out. And they would not come back to pose!

{David, Lauren, and their adorable sons Christian and Justin (photo:Helen Norman)}
A Happy Holidays and huge Thank You to Lauren Liess and her blog Pure Style Home for all the inspiration! In the next few days I'll post on how I pulled everything together: 1.The Table,  2.The Dessert, and 3.The Buffet, so stay tuned!


(p.s. - Don't forget to enter my Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway  this month! Winner drawn on December 28!)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Velvet & Linen Ornament on my tree!

{My new ornament on our blue spruce Christmas Tree}

 I was so excited to get my "Junk Girls" ornament in the mail! It's a giveaway I won from the talented Brooke Giannetti on her lovely blog Velvet & Linen. It traveled from California to New York to find a new home on our Christmas tree. Yes, I squealed when I found out I won! Made from a recycled vintage spoon, I love it!

You can buy these ornaments as well as other gorgeous and unique home goods at Giannetti Home, Brooke's shop in Los Angeles. Brooke and her architect husband Steve also offer Architectural, Interior Design and Landscape services. If you haven't read Brooke's fantastic blog Velvet & Linen, do yourself a favor and try it. Like me, I'm sure you'll have it bookmarked to see what beautiful projects the Giannettis will dream up next!

And if you don't live near Los Angeles? Look here, where you can purchase Giannetti Home furniture (many original Giannetti Home designs) and beautiful home goods online.

Thank you Brooke, and Happy Holidays to you, your husband, and your staff in L.A.! (And if you think the silk roses on my New York Christmas tree look nice, than take a look at the real roses in Brooke's California garden)


(p.s. - Don't forget to enter my Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway  this month! Winner drawn on December 28!)

I know how elves feel

I haven't been very good at showing what I've been working on in the jewelry studio recently. Truth is December is a time to finish up my custom holiday jewelry orders and I can't give anything away! Imagine if someone saw their Christmas gift on my blog before they got it! So like Santa's elves, I have to be very secretive!

After Christmas I hope to post a few pics of my elf work - but I've been so busy I haven't taken many!


(p.s. - Don't forget to enter my Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway  this month! Winner drawn on December 28!)

O Holiday Mantle (Tale of Woe)

So many holiday mantles posted on the web. But aren't they lacking something?

{Glamour and Sophistication from Centsational Girl}
Hmmm, manicured greenery, silvery spheres...

Robyn's sweet take from The Pink Peony of le Jardin}
...the red and white candies everywhere...

{Can you believe Layla MADE the mirror - The Lettered Cottage reflects classic charm!}
...and let's not forget adorable stockings pinned hopefully up...

{O Tale of Woe}
 Nice and all, BUT... How about something, well DIFFERENT. A little more original.
Like our holiday mantle! Luckily, our contractor just couldn't finish the project he promised this October! A touch of rustic - weathered plywood, combined with festive white snowy trash bag and red duct tape...
{Can't you just feel the drafts?}
What, you say? Can you believe this amazing project was DIY? Well, yes it was! My dear husband applied the duct tape ever so artfully.

And the bonus? Don't you love wrapping yourself in a cozy sweater when winter winds blow? Yes - we have those icy drafts right here in our living room! Grab that sweater and hot cocoa!

(A big thank you to Layla's Holiday Home Linky Party at The Lettered Cottage  for the great holiday mantle inspirations - and no, I didn't add our mantle to her Linky Party!)


(p.s. - Don't forget to enter my Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway  this month! Winner drawn on December 28!)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Look who's Five!

{the innocent of the bunch}
Look who's five! It seems like yesterday he was my best present ever - born a week before Christmas!

Happy Birthday Little Guy!

(p.s. - Don't forget to enter my Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway  this month! Winner drawn on December 28!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fantastic Holiday Jewelry GIVEAWAY!

{sterling silver Triple Lucy necklace with red, apple green and plum multi, with faceted tourmaline beads}
I'm in a happy holiday mood and am offering readers of this blog a fantastic Loretta Fontaine Jewelry GIVEAWAY this month! I'll choose the winner on December 28 - you could be wearing this beautiful necklace around your neck in the New Year!

To enter, become a follower of this blog and leave a comment below. For more ten chances to win, post this giveaway on your blog. For even another ten chances to win, post this giveaway on Facebook!
{detail - I chose the tourmaline beads for the rich natural colors}

The necklace features miniature original photographs of my own paintings, and is strung on an absolutely stunning strand of faceted tourmaline beads. (Retail value of this necklace is $240.00) Thank you all for your support this year - I am truly indebted to this wonderful blogging community for inspiration and kindness.

Happy Holidays, and I am so excited to draw a winner for this one!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Real-Deal Vintage Look

{My Rosie - sweet seven years old}
Do you know someone fascinated with vintage clothing patterns? I do! I took these photos of my daughter Rosie for Kayce Hughes, owner of her own women's and children's clothing company. I wanted to show Kayce this top my mother sewed for me when I was a child...
My Mom sewed this up in the mid 70's, look at the two little tucks in the bodice and the adorable gathered sleeves!
Of course, a little red rick rack trim never goes out of style! And did my Mom choose that chicory blue fabric for the sweet floral print or the fact it's an indestructible polyester?

Do you have any real-deal vintage in your closet?

If not, the next best thing is a piece from Kayce's line Kayce Hughes. That love of vintage clothing patterns and a keen eye for classic details make Kayce's clothing stay in style for decades. 

... and Kayce is offering enjoy 35% off any of her items. Enter the code: "thirtyfive" at check out, offer will end tomorrow 9pm central on December 16 on her website!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Where I'd send you to buy jewelry...

Love the aqua letters at the entrance - located in The Shirt Factory
Where would I send you for some holiday jewelry shopping?

How about the oh-so-cool FLUX Silver Gallery, Upstate New York’s Hottest Metals Gallery Featuring High-Quality Art Jewelry in Silver and Gold, in Glens Falls, New York. 

They are the latest gallery carrying my jewelry! My work will be shown in their beautiful display cases alongside jewelry by Anne Havel, Heather Bayless, Sasha Bell, Bijou Graphique, Bound Earth, Sarah Hood, Ann Jenkins, Mark Kaplan, Stephen LeBlanc, Nancy Miller, Carrie Nunes, and Erin Jane Staples. GREAT stuff!

FLUX was started just one year ago by Winnie Chai, Cindy Cook and Mylissa Corlew. Winnie had founded a small all-women art support/critique group called 518Make, and during one of their get-togethers the brainstorming for this gallery began.

...and did I mention that these three owners are also amazing jewelers as well?
That seals the deal - if you are in upstate New York throw your support behind this fabulous new gallery and this terrific threesome!

What is your favorite local jewelry shop?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Favorite Necklace

{reversible sterling silver Theresa necklace with miniature original photograph of Crimson Rose and freshwater pearl}
This Loretta Fontaine Jewelry design is a favorite of mine! The upcoming holidays have me in a "red" mood today!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

High Heeled Feet Out The Door

I'm updating my blog roll today...
Camila Pavone (vacation shot in Valle de Layve}
Because this talented lady...

{she's a DIY queen - look what she did to her stairs!}
who does this...

{the chic black bathroom}
and this... 

{her turquoise and yellow guest room - image} running in her high heels and moving her blog to a NEW site:

All to celebrate the launch of her fabulous full-service interior design firm Effortless Style Interiors!
Congrats Camila!

Two Birds In The Hand - My Liz Vigoda pick

So, what did I choose for myself from Liz Vigoda's pottery at our Holiday Delmar Open Studios?

{Fabulous Liz Vigoda pot with image of John James Audubon's mourning doves}
Isn't this so beautiful? This amazing pot and saucer was fired in her kiln three times - once bisque, once with glaze and a third time for the delicate transfer.
{transfer detail}

I LOVE it! A new house plant will find a fine feathered nest here!
To see some more photographs I took of Liz's work at the Holiday Delmar Open Studios click here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Open Studio - Open Couches

Liz and me holding one of her ceramic plates at the start of our sale
Our Holiday Delmar Open Studios this past weekend exceeded expectations! What a wonderful time! Liz Vigoda's gracious art-filled home was the perfect place to mingle, nibble and browse. Sales were fantastic, and Liz and I are able to make some very nice donations to The Nature Conservancy (from my jewelry sales) and The Schenectady Free Clinic (from Liz's pottery sales).

The timing of our sale seemed perfect - the weekend before all the zaniness of that Black-Friday-Shopping-Craziness-Stuff. When I set up my display is her home I asked Liz:

Let's move it all back four feet.

Why's that?

So everyone can sit on the couches

It was that kind of show.

Friday, November 19, 2010

find me at Delmar Open Studios this weekend!

Getting ready for this show with neighbor and potter Liz Vigoda THIS WEEKEND!

Holiday Delmar Open Studios
November 20 & 21, 2010
10a.m. - 5 p.m.
at Liz's home/studio at 9 Keith Road, Delmar, NY 12054
518- 439-4457
web site:
Share this event on FACEBOOK

This is the second year we are doing this, and it's a lot of fun. Good (free!) food, beautiful work, special sales and 10% of my sales will benefit The Nature Conservancy.

Liz is a wonderful friend and super-talented artist. See more of her beautiful ceramics on her website

The weather forecast this weekend looks great! Come out to Delmar and join us!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Heal a Heart - earrings for Visual Vamp

reversible sterling silver Lucy earrings with plum multi

Dear friends, 
Would you like to help heal a heart? These earrings (reversible - two sides are shown!) are part of Online Auction For Our *Visual*Vamp* organized by Laura Ingalls Gunn of Decor To Adore to raise much-needed funds for medical expenses for Valorie Hart's (aka *visual*vamp*) partner Alberto Paz. 

Our lady in red and in need - Valorie Hart.     photo:Theresa Cassagre
Alberto is Valorie Hart's beloved partner in love and in tango. Their story here. I have long followed Valorie's musings on her stylish blog *Visual*Vamp*. As well as dancing Le Tango, Valorie is a talented stylist, writer, blogger and decorator.
What they do best.  photo from *Visual*Vamp*

Alberto was felled by a heart attach in a Canadian airport while the couple was traveling to teach a tango workshop in Calgary. He is back in New Orleans after a Flying Nurses flight, and recovering from surgery, and the bills will start coming soon...

Want to help? You can bid on my earrings in the comments below. They are valued at $56.00 and bidding will start at $20.00 and I will happily ship them for free in the United States. Bidding will end on Monday, November 15 at 10a.m. 

Go to Decor To Adore to see more auction items, and head to *Visual Vamp* to send Alberto and Valorie well wishes. Our hearts go out to both of them as Alberto's heart heals.

pve - earring giveaway WINNER!

We have a winner for my earrings! Thank you to everyone who entered, and the team at Crafty Life & Style for featuring me as their Artist In The Spotlight. Find my interview here.

A big congrats to our WINNER Patricia van Essche! She is a supremely talented artist and writes the insightful blog pve design. (You will need to check it out!)

My son picking from an MC3 bowl
The winner was picked by an unbiased (and totally uninterested) third party!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jewelry Giveaway!

sterling silver reversible Amy earrings with Stuyvesant Fern and custom gray freshwater pearls
Would you like to win a pair of Loretta Fontaine Jewelry earrings? (They're reversible - hence the two sides!) It's a favorite design that features my own miniature original b&w photography of a fern.

I had the pleasure of being interviewed about my job as a jewelry designer by the team at Crafty Life & Style blog.  To celebrate, were having a jewelry giveaway! The interview should be posted today! (You'll find out how I started - which involves beer, and I was sober!)Here's the link: Crafty Life & Style

Become a follower of my blog, APPLESandRUBIES and leave a comment below for a chance to win. If you put this giveaway on your blog or Facebook just let me know and that will give you 10 additional chances to win.


head over to my  Crafty Life and Style interview and add a comment there for another chance


Give this giveaway a "like" on the Loretta Fontaine Jewelry Facebook page for even another chance!

Winner will be chosen at noon, Wednesday, November 10

This is too much fun! Good luck!
xoxo Loretta

winner shipped free in US

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

why I'm crazy this week - Albany Holiday Crafts on Madison

poster I designed!
If I'm distracted, not returning phone calls and emails, letting the house go to crap and not even cooking (thank you wonderful spouse for making a tray of lasagna to feed the kids) this week it's because...

I volunteer to organize a fundraiser and it's this Friday and Saturday.

I have to say, half the time I wonder why I ever do this. I should be doing other things! But then after all the press releases, booth layouts, graphics for postcards and posters, emails and phone calls and goading people to bake cookies for the cafe... it's all worth it.

It's a local event with top-notch talent, in a GORGEOUS mansion and raises some much needed funds for the programs of The Woman's Club and Double H Ranch.

Volunteering has pushed me in new ways I never knew I could be pushed. The first year I did this (yes, this show is now in the 5th year) I wasn't confident that I was one of "those people" who could get things done. Now, a bit more public confidence. I started blogging a year ago by making a blog for the show because it was an inexpensive way to get the word out about it. I learned the ropes on that blog before I started APPLESandRUBIES, my own blog.

Now, in another move to try and get the word out cheaply (because, sadly, I have no budget for advertising Albany Holiday Crafts on Madison other than money to print postcards) I joined Facebook. Wow, Facebook is powerful. Just on it a few days and most of the traffic going to the Albany Crafts on Madison blog is coming from... Facebook! Would I have joined Facebook if I weren't working on this show? Probably not. Another way volunteering has pushed me.

Enough of my chattering, if you are in the Albany, New York area please come out to the show! Here's the blog I write to promote it:  and Facebook event link:

and here's the event info:

Fri Nov 5, 2010 (5pm-9pm) Sat Nov 6, 2010 (10am-5pm)
725 Madison Ave, Albany NY (near corner of Madison and Lake)

A Splendid Show and Sale of Art & Craft held in a gracious 1895 mansion near Washington Park, The 5th Annual Albany Holiday Crafts on Madison benefits the programs of The Woman's Club of Albany, New York and Double H Ranch, a camp for children with life threatening illnesses. The sale will feature local work by Loretta Fontaine, Cherry Schacher, McGillycuddy’s Naturals, Nancy Noble Gardner, Ben Rauch, Pat Bohrer, Elsa Fletcher, Mary LaFleur and Kathryn Benson, Lisa Phegn, Karen Greendale, Cinderloop and Katie Nare.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

my oldest daughter running in her grandparent's yard
She wanted to be a bat. And made her own costume, too!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"After" - the booth set up

An old theater makes a great backdrop
As promised, here's how the my space at the Proctors Northeast Fine Craft Festival looked after setup! The before is here.

I have a fabric skirt for the jewelry case on the right, but left it off to keep an open look. My favorite part of this space, (which doesn't photograph so well!), was the old beat-up black-painted concrete wall in the back of the booth. This wall was so high, raw, textured and theatrical.

I had a great time at the show and among the lovely folks I met were local bloggers Crafty Cat and Crafty Girl. I'll have an interview on their site soon!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Making Earwires

pile o' silver

This pile of wires will become earwires. I've already balled the ends with a torch and am getting ready to curve and polish them. Yea, I could buy earwires ready-made, but that wouldn't be handcrafted now, would it?

Friday, October 22, 2010

A booth "before" and a Proctors Festival sneak peek...

work in progress...

I was at Proctors today setting up my booth for the Proctors Northeast Fine Craft Festival and wanted to show you a "before" shot. (I'll finish up tomorrow before the show starts and take the "after" shot!)

I love to watch the show floor transform from a barren bunch of marked off spaces to a beautiful collection of colorful artist's booths. It feels like the circus is coming to town!

You never know exactly how you'll set up your booth until you get a look at the space. I took an 8 x 10 booth for this show and I was surprised when I got there this morning that it was 8 feet wide, not deep! So I have to be a bit creative. (And I love that industrial black wall backdrop!)

Here's a sneak peek of some work I'll be bringing to the show:
sterling silver Meredith necklace with freshwater pearls and miniature original photograph - in progress
I finished this necklace for the show. I am really into plum shades lately!
Some other artists you'll see at the show! Look at the detail in this intricate handwoven scarf by Frittelli&Lockwood - Their amazing studio is in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. I saw Richard Lockwood setting up on the lower level earlier. Beautiful work!

I adore the jewelry of Carly Wright. Luminous enamels!

A full list of the exhibiting artists is here. I'm looking forward to finishing up my booth and enjoying the show!,,