Tag Archives: fine jewelry

Some of My Favorite Things – Giving Thanks Edition


Watercolor and gouache rose "brooch" design by Joana Miranda

Watercolor and Gouache Rose Brooch Design by Joana Miranda


Sometimes amid all of the stresses of my life, I forget how truly blessed I am.  I have

  • my health
  • a husband who can’t get out of bed each day unless he “spoons” around me for at least 15 minutes
  • a wonderfully supportive and loving family
  • great friends who cheer me on
  • a drive to create beauty around me


  • a sense of humor

Speaking of sense of humor, even though I’ve often sometimes felt like my NY job search has been an exercise in futility extreme patience, even there I’m grateful for the little gifts that come my way.  Take for example the “bloopers” I’ve come across in job postings.  These have added some much needed levity to my days; in fact, I’ve even started to compile a list of the best ones.  These “gems”, taken from jewelry job, as well as from creative job listings, are among my favorites:


“Newborn Photographer”

“Now Hiring Music Teachers”

(“Teaching experience a HUGE plus!”)

“Jew Administrator”


“A man isn’t poor if he can still laugh.”

(Raymond Hitchcock)

“Laughter is an instant vacation.”

(Milton Berle)

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. “

(e.e. cummings)



Filed under industry news, motivation, New work

A Design a Day – (Day 365! Celebrating One Year of Posting a Design a Day)

Ok, folks…here it is.  My 365th and final design in my Design-a-Day year-long blog project.   Drum roll, applause and…


Watercolor and Gouache "Fireworks" Diamond Brooch Rendering by Joana Miranda

Watercolor and Gouache "Fireworks" Diamond Brooch Rendering by Joana Miranda

The nice thing about being a designer is that I can design my own celebratory brooch.  I can also design my celebration party  – a date out tonight with my husband for pizza and beer. (Unfortunately, riches and fame haven’t come my way yet, so a slice and the paper brooch are the extent of my luxuries right now.)

What HAS come my way as a result of doing this year-long project is…

the joy of meeting and fulfilling a challenge day after day,

the opportunity to go to my own (self-created) school of design in a public and yet immensely gratifying way,

a great way to keep a daily record of my progress,

the desire to learn new techniques,

confidence in the depths of my visual creativity,

a chance to interact with fans as far away as China, Norway and India,

(and as close as my husband, parents and friends),

and the burning desire to create more designs!

So, what’s next?

While I won’t be posting jewelry designs on a regular basis, I will continue posting on a regular basis (most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.)

First, though, I’ll take a DAY OFF (what’s that?),

and then, starting this coming Monday (September 20th), you’ll see a new blog banner, some changes to the blog’s layout, and you’ll meet my latest creation.


Make sure you visit me here on Monday.  Better yet, if you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to my blog.  That way you’ll never miss a post!


Filed under Design A Day, Influences, motivation, New work

A Design a Day – Day 364 (The Penultimate Design…Infinity-Inspired Because the Ideas Are Still Coming)

Watercolor and Gouache Gold and Diamond "Infinity" Brooch Rendering by Joana Miranda

Watercolor and Gouache Gold and Diamond "Infinity" Brooch Rendering by Joana Miranda

“Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal: while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than before.”



Filed under Design A Day, Influences, motivation, New work

A Design a Day – Day 360 (Coming Full Circle – A Modern Brooch Inspired by a Modern Music Concert)

My design for today was inspired by a concert of modern music I heard tonight at the Manhattan School of Music, my husband’s alma mater.  The music was by David Noon, and was a recital of his compositions in celebration of his upcoming retirement after 30 years of dedicated teaching at the school.  The program was as varied as it was long (ok, I’m a little jaded as a professional musician and I only want to hear SO much music…), and the variety spanned everything from solo piano, harp and violin duet, and saxophone quartet, to a sonata for piano and percussion, and a composition for four card players and a card table.

So, without further ado, my design for today:

Pencil sketch of modern diamond and pearl brooch by Joana Miranda

Pencil Sketch of Modern Diamond and Pearl Brooch by Joana Miranda

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Filed under Design A Day, Influences, motivation, New work, support the arts

A Design a Day – Day 359 (The 9:53 Earring Sketch)

I spent a lot of my creative energies today working on a fun design (to debut soon…), so when I realized tonight that I still needed to come up with a design for my Design-A-Day blog project, I checked the clock in a bit of a panic…


Although I don’t usually fixate on the time, I did write it in at the top of  my sketch pad.  Then it occurred to me that I might be able to play with the shapes of the numbers to find some inspiration.  The “3” seemed like a good place to start.  As you can see from my VERY rough sketches below, I hit on the idea of pairing the “3” with its reverse, but was having a bit of a dyslexic moment being able to draw a “3” backwards:

Page from Joana's sketch book

"9:53" Doodles in My Sketch Book

I seemed to be going in a slightly nautical vein at first, but didn’t really want to do an “anchor” charm.  Playing around with the negative space between the back-to-back “3s” led me to this earring design:

Pencil Rendering of "9:53" Earring by Joana Miranda

Pencil Rendering of "9:53" Earring by Joana Miranda

When I finished, I looked at the time…


Not too bad for 26 minutes’ work, and a relief to have met yet another day of  my year-long goal…only 6 more days to go!


Filed under Design A Day, Influences, motivation, New work

A Design a Day – Day 358 (Taking Inspiration From Nature: Gold and Diamond Link Bracelet)

When you design, paint or do anything creative, it sometimes helps to have outside inspiration.  I took this picture in Vermont recently and happened to glance at it when I sat down to do my design for the day:

Photo of buckets of flowers at a Vermont farm stand taken by Joana Miranda

Photo of Buckets of Flowers at a Vermont Farm Stand taken by Joana Miranda

Because I’m learning that it is important to incorporate “play” into your creative work (something I often forget or put off), I then “doodled” this sketch from my memory:

Pencil sketch of flower buckets by window by Joana Miranda

Pencil Sketch of Flower Buckets by Window by Joana Miranda

Even though I love flowers, what I enjoyed the most about doing the sketch above, was drawing in the knots of wood in the wall behind the flowers.  The lines of wood grain splitting and then closing again around the knots led me to isolate that motif; quite quickly, a concept for a bracelet emerged.  Here is the finished bracelet rendering:

Colored pencil and gouache gold circle and diamond bar bracelet rendering by Joana Miranda

Colored Pencil and Gouache Gold Circle and Diamond Bar Bracelet Rendering by Joana Miranda

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Filed under Design A Day, education, Influences, motivation, New work, techniques

A Design a Day – Day 356 (Out and About in NY City – Finding a Seed of Inspiration)

The sights and sounds of NY –

Blinding sun glinting off the Hudson River by Riverside Park yesterday,

a rude heckler yelling “Yah! Go!  Keep it up” as I did my jump-roping and “burpees” in the park,

Jews gathered in groups along the parkway path reading and singing in observance of Rosh Hashanah today,

the “fwap-fwap” of my Nike windbreaker as I braced head-first into the 30 mph wind gusts on my early evening walk,

and this curious seed pod I picked up, put in my pocket, (and only remembered when I laid on my side and thought my hip bone was going bad),

Photo of seed pod found in Riverside Park by Joana Miranda

Photo of seed pod found in Riverside Park, NY by Joana Miranda

all led me to create this pendant rendering tonight:

Watercolor and gouache gold and diamond ball, chain and tassel pendant rendering on black silk cord by Joana Miranda

Watercolor and Gouache Gold and Diamond Ball, Chain, and Tassel Pendant Rendering on Black Silk Cord by Joana Miranda

I’m dedicating this rendering to my parents, who are celebrating their 42nd anniversary tonight.


Filed under Design A Day, Influences, motivation, New work