First Saturday, August 6, Greater Ithaca Art Trail

The Green Door Studio will be open for in-person visitors this coming Saturday during the “First Saturday Greater Ithaca Art Trail”, August 6, 11- 4PM. Please click on the link for a list of participating artists and studio tour map.

The landscape around my Ithaca studio and my unusual gemstone collection conspire to inspire my designs. When I complete a new series of work, I delight in watching how my clients respond to it. When a piece of jewelry finds its new home, my creative cycle with it concludes and a new one, with the wearer, begins. I take great joy being a part of and witness to this process.  I hope you have an opportunity this Saturday to come by the Green Door Studio to experience my creative space and the latest collection.


In efforts to continue to sell my designs despite COVID’s clever permutations and to invite my Georgia to Alaska client base into my Green Door Studio, I will a be hosting weekly Zoom shows of select pieces on Mondays from 2 – 3PM, EST. Please contact me if you’re interested and I’ll send you a Zoom link invite or schedule a FaceTime call at your convenience at lp@elainadesigns.com or (678) 662-6156.

In Nature We Trust,


Embody the Light You Cannot See


Stephan’s Quintet within the constellation Pegasus, as captured by infrared camera eyes on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. For more information abut this fascinating telescope, check out this great documentary on YouTube.

The galaxy clusters in Stephan’s Quintet is populated by trillions of stars and untold planets pulled inexorably by massive black holes that do not register light and cannot be seen by the telescope or any existing technology. A black hole is an unseen force pulling on these galactic entities, shaping them, making them collide, spin apart, and coalesce around their own gravitational densities.

I say, BE like the Black Hole and all its light that cannot be seen: your love, your outrage, your compassion may feel inadequate but it nevertheless has tremendous effects. We are the root systems of the soil/soul, supporting, nurturing, protecting all that we cherish and hold dear. I see similarities in human nature as power and greed coalesce to control us with separate countries, states, borders, laws, assault weapons, and bans on 1/2 of the population. The greater force, like the black hole, is love and compassion which cannot always be seen or measured.

In the meantime, immerse yourself in beauty and compassion; wear it, speak it, sing it, plant it, and do good works. Manifest that, which before you, could not be seen.

Larri Richmond commissioned these star-set Ruby and Diamond rings made from repurposed antique button hole covers.  Larri is a retired homeopath and vision therapist, wife, mother, and avid hiker. 

Spiral Orbit Earrings and Orbit Necklace with mixed gems on Yum Arnold. Price upon request. Yum and Ross Arnold are Atlanta art lovers and collectors of Elaina Designs jewelry for over 40 years. 

Lance and Kendra Birdsall work with native plants to promote healing of spirit and planet alike. Their wedding rings feature a vine/root motif that intertwine around orange garnet, a symbol of our radiant sun that nurtures all life, and their love.

Mother’s Hoop Earrings with Birthstones

Kelley Granish envisioned large hoop earrings to feature the birthstones for herself, kids, and husband: Aquamarine, Amethyst, Ruby. Contemplating the best use of gems for this delicate hoop design, I decided to graduate both size and hue intensity for the 28 colored gemstones. In yet another engineering masterpiece, Fareed made the hoop structure using 14K white gold wire — a metal known for its tensile strength. He threaded the wire through precision-placed holes in the 14K rose gold bezel walls, creating a perfect arc of color, lightness, and strength.  Kelley competes in triathalons and the design is made to fit her rugged lifestyle, or a night out with Matt.

Fill your lives with color and celebrate all those spectacular Moms out there!

Our children are the best part of our story,


Bird in Flight Hair Barrette

Mindi is an ocean gal, an avid bird watcher who lives on a saltwater estuary along the South Georgia coast. At her invitation we met at her home, the Moon Dance Studio, to talk about a custom bird-inspired barrette. I had never designed or made a barrette before and neither had Fareed, but it was an inspiration to make it fly.

Mindi wanted to incorporate a precious blue Sapphire, two Amethyst, and a Diamond from rings from a previous life. To create the bird motif,  she selected an intriguing pentagon cut Amethyst, two Boulder Opals, and two Biwa pink pearl wings from my gem trove. This outrageous masterpiece was meticulously hand fabricated in 14K rose gold by Fareed Abdulky. I think you will agree that on Mindi’s head, it soars. To see a video and description of this barrette, please check out the video on my Youtube channel.

Soaring into Spring,


Reliably Sourced Sapphire Wedding Set for Marlene & Zach

Zach had never purchased an important gemstone and wanted to make certain it was a conflict-free stone for his beloved Marlene’s engagement ring. I found this reliably-sourced exquisite oval 2.25ct light blue Sapphire of natural origin. The tiny diamond accents, referred to as “melee” by jewelers, are difficult to trace and difficult to insure that they are conflict-free, so I decided recycled diamonds was the best alternative. I used 18K fair-mined gold from Canada which is a bit more expensive to process but was worth the cost increase to Zach.

It was my honor to work with this remarkable young couple as we all encourage one another to make informed, responsible choices that hopefully make the world a safer place.

In Zach’s own words:
“Lainey helped us to design a beautiful custom engagement ring. She worked with us during the entire process to select a gemstone and figure out the design. She was responsive, knowledgeable, and made us feel like we were her only customers during the process. In the end the ring was exactly what we wanted. It’s a truly special piece that is totally unique. The pricing was also very reasonable and we felt like we got a great value for what was paid. I would recommend Lainey to anyone who is looking for a special piece of custom jewelry.”


Valentines Day Minoan Bulls Eye Earrings

I met Kay Betts and John Sibley at a book club 15 years ago and we had lost touch until, two months ago, John emailed me about diamond earrings for Kay. What ensued was a delightful, creative, collaborative effort between the three of us. John explained that Kay wanted a pair of earrings inspired by the art she saw on her trip to Crete. I instantly recognized the image as a detail from the the 1400 BC bull fresco at the ancient ruins Minoan Palace at Knossos, Crete. (more…)


Diamonds Forever Orbiting Each other

I was delighted to see Chrissie and her husband Jim at my open studio during the Ithaca Art Trail last Fall. Here is Chrissie’s account of our creative collaboration.

“I always intended to have Lainey create something with my mother’s engagement diamond. Yet 5 years after she had died, I still had done nothing. In Fall 2021, my husband, Jim, and I attended Lainey’s open house during the Ithaca Art Trail. She was displaying one of her beautiful, signature orbit bracelets. I knew that I wanted a necklace. Looking at one double orbit in the bracelet, Jim said, ‘You should do this. A double orbit is so appropriate for you and your mother. After all, you had the same birthday (different years, of course), looked very much alike, and were quite close.’ ”

“Of course, the bracelet double orbit had to be adapted to house the diamonds on a pendant, and that’s where Lainey’s skill and creativity came in. Using two colors of 18K yellow and rose gold, she incorporated my mother’s diamond and her mother’s diamond (my grandmother). When I look at it, I can imagine that the diamonds are circling around each other—forever orbiting together.”

“Lainey also made a lovely necklace from a ring belonging to my other grandmother, using a diamond from my father’s ring to secure the chain. My father’s ring was his Scottish Rite Freemasonry ring, which he wore every day of his life. So, I have my mother and her mother in one necklace and my father and his mother in the other. It has been such a pleasure to work with Lainey to create these treasures.”
–Chrissie Schelhas Miller, Ithaca NY

Signature orbit link that caught Jim’s eye. In my design process, I wanted to use rose gold around her mother’s diamond as a symbol of the heart connection and yellow gold around her grandmother’s outer orbit.

Encircling visions of love,


Transformation Ring and my 70th Birthday

If you’re in Ithaca, please visit!
Green Door Open Studio Sale 
Saturday, December 4 from 11AM-4PM
Elaina Designs is part of the Monthly First Saturdays
on the Greater Ithaca Art Trail.

The Greater Ithaca Art Trail is a program of the
Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.
To see a map to other Art Trail studios that are open, visit www.ArtTrail.com

As I turn 70, I feel like I’m changing from an individual droplet, to being a wave on a great ocean, at the same time leaving a current trail of my own.  When I picked up this eroded Knobbed Whelk shell core, I knew it held the possibility for transformation.  It was thick and awkward, just like I felt, yet the meticulous toil of the creature that had formed it, had made it strong enough to withstand decades of jarring chaos on the ocean floor. I figured it was at least as old as me, but with careful attention its ‘current’ core might merge with my own?

To me this ring is a symbol of the opportunities these strange times present; to transform ourselves into an improved form after being battered by forces so much greater than we can fathom. I believe if we can survive, with careful attentiveness, we can emerge clear, authentic, wiser, and full of awesome grace.


What you see here is a sterling casting of the original shell that I found. A silicone mold of the shell was made and once it cured the shell was removed. Wax was then injected into the cavity and once it cooled it was removed from the mold and deftly carved and enlarged into a ring. The rough wax model was then invested into a ceramic casing leaving its imprint when burned out. A centrifuge spun forcing molten silver into the ceramic cavity. The mold was plunged into water, breaking it apart, revealing the rough silver ring inside. The ring was then relentlessly filed, and filed some more to expose its bare bones beauty. I had imagined the final ring shape to be comfy, dramatic, sensuous to the touch, a “current trail of its former self”. And so it is. See this quick video of my filing process.

I invite you to visit the ring in person or online: I can mail it to you to try on, feel it’s power, select one of my gem offerings, or add your own stone(s) to its curvature.  It can be fitted to any finger size, cast in a precious metal of your own choosing. Call or email me for more information. (678) 662-6156 or lp@elainadesignsupdate.mystagingwebsite.com

Sterling ring without stones starting at $300
14K gold ring without stones starting at $2000 (estimate based on $1800/oz gold price)
Added gem cost & setting starting at $150

Caressed by the Currents,




Kitchen Comforts

Marika had just finished her new kitchen with the palest of pink cabinets when she fell in love with this luscious lavender pearl ring I had designed Spring 2021. My inspiration was tender apple blossoms and hers was remodeling and painting her own kitchen cabinets.

Marika wrote me this week and said “Thank you, once again, for such a fun, inspiring collaboration. I can’t wait until the next time I fall in love with one of your creations. I promise, that this is the closest to the sink the ring will ever get. It is too beautiful for daily drudgery.”

When a color beckons to our consciousness, it is always wise to make a place for it in our daily lives. The vibration of a specific hue can attune us to that on which we thrive, thus enlivening the world around us. What color makes you happy?

Happy Thanksgiving Cooking & Eating


Kunzite and rare natural color lavender freshwater Pearl, 14K rose and white gold.


Shop Early with Elaina Designs!

The changing light of Autumn is upon us, and with it daylight savings time arrives on Nov 5th. Rising in the darkness to meet the coming day has the added benefit of watching the night sky fill with light. The ancients dedicated this contemplative time to the “Bringer of Light”, the goddess Eos, whom the Romans later renamed Aurora, the Goddess of Dawn. I love this time of day and the Eos Collection reflects a deep study of light gently spilling into our world from another.

Visit the Elaina Designs website for a beautiful selection of jewels in a variety of price points. Please call or email me (678) 662-6156 or lp@elainadesignsupdate.mystagingwebsite.com to make an in-person or virtual appointment to tour the showroom. I’m ready to help you find the perfect holiday gift!


Click the links below to add items to the Elaina Designs website shopping cart.
Oyster Shell Pendant. Blue flash labradorite, sterling. $195.
Eos Bringer of Light Ring 1.55 ct purple-black spinel, 24k pure gold, size 6.5. $3500.
Eos Blue Earrings. Indicolite tourmaline, kunzite, FWP, sterling. $350.
Eos Rose Earrings. Morganite, kunzite, tourmaline, sapphire, pearl, 14KY. $400
Eos Dawn Breaking Bracelet. Pink & grey spinel, kunzite, abalone pearl, SS,14KP, 7”. $3800

Dawn from our front porch. Photo by David Hudson.

With love and light,

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