Modern Sage Designs: Designer Interview

Semi precious stones have always caught my eye: Jade, Jasper, Agate, Chalcendony–I could go on.  However, Bumblebee Jasper completely escaped my radar.

That was until Laura of Modern Sage Designs created a pair of earrings from Bumblebee Jasper and Black Tourmaline.  I was smitten. The mixture of yellow, grey and black has to be one of the most beautiful combinations I’ve encountered. I pretty much knew they would end up heading my way.

And they did, along with a Y-Necklace that Laura designed using silver, Yellow Agate and  Black Tourmaline.

These two pieces called for styles to be created just for them! Rummaging my closet, I created a nine piece capsule wardrobe for this jewelry. Yellow and grey, with its fresh and modern vibe has always been one of my favorite combos and it was fun putting together nine pieces for the three styles I’m showing (below).

Interview with Creator of Handcrafted Jewelry

Knowing that Laura is a commercial airline pilot, I was intrigued about her background, her design aesthetic and what drew her into wanting to create jewelry. Laura was a sweetheart and agreed to an interview. So here we go…

Five pieces of my grey/white/yellow capsule wardrobe: Hi-Low DKNY cardigan from TJ Maxx, thrifted white knitted shell from Goodwill, Skinny Skinny Madewell jeans preloved from eBay, Rebecca Minkoff suede and stud smoking flats (RM online site), and Coach bag (online Coach outlet).

Please tell me a bit about yourself: what you do professionally, where you grew up, schooling, interests?

Although jewelry design is a passion for me, I’m a professional pilot full time. Aviation has burned deep for me since I was a girl, and I’m grateful to have been able to follow my dream of flight. Although none of my formal schooling prepared me for what I’m doing today, I attended college in Illinois and studied Nursing. (I did practice as an RN for 13 years but let my certifications go when I went into aviation full time.) I’m a self taught metal smith and jewelry designer. I’ve lived all around the USA, but the West is where I call home and feel most comfortable. I am now 51 years “bold”, an avid gardener, hiker, and a new bee keeper living in Northern Colorado.


When did you first realize you wanted to become a jewelry designer and where do you draw your inspiration?

When I was 25, I was wandering through a shop looking at some of their more unique and handmade jewelry. I still remember the beautiful necklace that caught my eye… and I thought to myself: “I bet I could make something just like that!” I immediately bought a jewelry making book, a few basic tools and supplies and just dove into creating. I draw inspiration from nature, hiking in the Southwest, aviation, and architecture! I am frequently awed by what I see in the sky, and patterns on the ground when viewed from the air.


Please elaborate on your design style. What makes your jewelry unique?

Handcrafted modern with the flair of nature. Clean lines, angles, and symbology are present in most of my pieces. For example, I frequently use groupings of three to symbolize past, present, and future with the intent of reminding the wearer to be present! Since I began designing, I’ve used asymmetric and off center elements in my designs for extra interest. I prefer clean and uncluttered looks, and envision designs to accent and highlight without being “too busy”. On the other hand, I’m also drawn to vintage Southwest style (typically a “busier” style), but have yet to incorporate that into my work. It appeals to me primarily because of it’s the vintage vibe and symbolism. 

Pieces six and seven of the capsule wardrobe: yellow cashmere sweater from TJ Maxx and cross-body bag from Project Lydia

Do you have a favorite medium to work with?

 Sterling silver and semiprecious stones are my favorite mediums so far. Nothing compares to the natural beauty of semiprecious stones in my opinion.

Pieces eight and nine of the capsule wardrobe: Ralph Lauren grey suede pumps -TJ Maxx and grey silk lined Charter Club trousers-pre-loved from eBay. The poufs do not come with the pumps. They are from Heartware Magnetic’s Frilly Feet

Do you have a favorite piece that you created?

The first ring I ever made using metal smith techniques has great sentimental value! It was sterling silver and pyrite, with imperfect stamp work. Also, I cherish a piece I made for myself as a memorial to my father who passed away last year. It’s a stylized compass rose with a Carnelian stone. (Carnelian is considered a stone of motivation, endurance, leadership, courage and stimulating life force and circulation to all organs.)

       Just a few designs to be found at Modern Sage Designs

What kind of woman wears your jewelry?

An on-the-go woman whose style is balanced between modern and classic, who appreciates nature’s beauty and is always chic, even at her most casual. She knows that a thoughtfully selected piece of jewelry can elevate even a T-shirt & jeans and wants to “add a little sparkle to her journey”. Some days, all she’s wearing is a pair of earrings, but she’s complimented her outfit with just the right elevation of style.


Where do you see Modern Sage Designs going?

I see MSD evolving as I refine my style and add new skills, but grounded in natural elements and always handcrafted. I love to try new techniques and designs, and add them to the collection whenever possible. My business will stay exclusive and small, and continue developing my reputation for unique pieces that appeal to a few chic, modern-casual women. Follow Modern Sage Designs on Facebook and Instagram for current happenings, videos, and new designs.


Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of blogging has been getting to know and share with readers a little information on bright creative designers.

Loving her jewelry as I do, I encourage you to check out Laura’s shop Modern Sage Designs on ETSY and consider a piece of her clean, modern (and may I say thoughtful) jewelry for yourself.

Extra Credit

These two pieces of jewelry peaked my interest in Bumblebee Jasper and Black Tourmaline. I’ve added a few links I found informative.

Bumblebee Jasper

Black Tourmaline (possible healing properties of the stone

Great Places to Visit from Today’s Post

Modern Sage Design

Project Lydia

Frilly Feet Shoe Ornaments

I link up with some great blogs every week. To see who they are go HERE.

Michael gets credit for the photos of me and does a bit of editing from time to time.

Again, thanks for stopping by. Take care……..


Time for my 1st Friday 2nd Loved blurb.

The linkup stays open until April 30th.

Any post on a blog, Instagram, Facebook or the like can linkup to this style celebration. If you can copy and paste the URL in the Linky box, you are good to go!

One item is quite OK—a hat, skirt, pants, shoes, purse, or a piece of jewelry.  That item (or items) can be from a thrift shop, eBay, consignment shop, vintage boutique, one of the online consignment shops such as The RealReal–or even something a friend gave you because they didn’t want it anymore.

When you do post, I would appreciate a description about your 2nd Loved item (or items), what type of shop you found it and what drew you to it. Tell as much or as little as you want. To be featured in my collage, which I will put on Instagram along with your links, you have to say what item is second loved. That is a “have to”.


If you have never participated in a linkup before, no fear. Go to Linkup 101 guide that is found on my 2 nd Loved 1st Friday linkup page (also found at the top in the tab section).

Just click the frog below to link up and join the fun!

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30 thoughts on “Modern Sage Designs: Designer Interview

    1. Isn’t she? I was wondering if you two was ever going to get together. I realize Colorado is a big state but still. Laura puts such thought into her pieces, which is something I really appreciate.


  1. Oh, and I added 2 more additions to your party!!! My blue dress is a recent find from thredUp, and my mom bought that straw purse at an anitque shop (along with the fact that her blouse is thrifted!!)


  2. I have never thought of combining yellow with grey. It looks fantastic. Thanks for the tip. Happy Earth Day – you certainly do your part with buying gently used clothing and featuring it in such an attractive manner.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Haddon Musings and commented:
    I thought it appropriate to reblog Terri’s post, even though this isn’t technically an Earth Day post. She always features gently used clothing in a very stylish manner in her post and then tell us where she purchased them.


  4. Loved the jewelry and capsule wardrobe(s) that went with. Also, what a lovely color on you. It’s fun to see a color I don’t wear turn up on someone else and look fabulous.

    I generally start with outfit first and then followup with jewelry. I like the idea of reversing things so thanks for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t Laura’s jewelry wonderful? I design around my jewelry quite a bit and I think I’ve done that my whole life. Some pieces just require it. I don’t really wear bright yellow, but love the butter color!


  5. I love the colour combinations of the jewellery. I also loved the long lemon yellow cardigan. I love high low hems and coat cardigans always dress up an outfit but yours is one of the nicest I’ve seen.
    You have once again put together some eye catching, flattering and individual outfits. The jewellery goes perfectly with them. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sally
      I’ve had both of those yellow sweaters long before I retired which will be six year this May. They were from the days when I basically only shopped at TJ Maxx. I haven’t worn the long cardi much. I’m going to have to just throw it on over jeans more.


    1. Thank you Brigid- yellow and grey is another one of my favorite combination. I don’t know where I first saw it but my feeling it might have been in some vintage textile. And I’ve always thought butter yellow was easy on the eyes- happy but not overwhelming.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That bumblebees stone is so pretty as are you in those complementary summer colours. Yellow, grey,and white are perfect for you and I like tithe way you’ve styled your hair too, my pretty. Great post. Hugs, Lmx.


    1. Thank you Mary-Ah, my hair-Most of the time I am, and probably on purpose, trying to underplay the roundness of my face-but that means I never get to wear earrings. These earrings in particular made me just not worry about it. I even wore my hair like on Sunday with another pair of long beaded earrings. I guess this is my “I want to wear earrings” hair. Hope you having a good week and the weather is treating Guernsey well. Terri xox


  7. I’m a little late catching up with my blog reading, but so glad I finally caught up with you!
    Laura’s jewelry is absolutely amazing! I just love natural stone pieces! There is something so special about them! I love her philosophy for making her pieces and the idea of “past, present and future” but being in the present! How gloriously wonderful! I will definitely be taking time to check out her Etsy page!
    And, you, Terri look fabulous in your capsule pieces! So many women say they find yellow hard to wear, but this shade on you truly makes you glow! And, that long cardi is beautiful!


    1. I know what it’s like to get behind on the blogs. I worked at school all last week and didn’t catch up with them until this week. Laura does have something special. Do you remember when she was the sponsor last December for the Thrifted Chic Challenge? That’s when I started seriously looking at her ETSY store.

      Thanks about the yellow-its a butter yellow and i think much easier on the eyes and complexion. I think it all depends on the yellow you pick. There are a few yellows out there that i wouldn’t wear, but butter is high on my wear-ability list.

      Both sweaters are pretty old. I got both long before I retired (going on 6 years now) so yellow has been in my life for a while.


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