Wednesday, May 3, 2017


A very good friend of mine is about to move. And not into any old house, but a >150 year old rehabbed work-of-art house in historic downtown Cincinnati. When they bought the property nearly two years ago it was trashed. Not just trashed, but DECIMATED. A hub for a wide variety of unsavory activities, to put it nicely. Floorboards were rotted out clear through to the basement. Stairs to the second and third floors were missing. No running water, no electricity, no legal occupants for decades. It smelled. I toured the property when they first purchased it and my jaw was on the floor.

My friend's husband is a very talented contractor---some would say he's an artist, although I'm sure he'd balk at that, being the "man's man" that he is. He takes old, dilapidated, historic buildings and materials and gives them new life. Over the past two years, I've been fortunate to witness his work on this house at various stages:

We have a front door!
We can walk to the third floor!
We have working lights! 
We have toilets!

My favorite part of their new home is the plaster walls. These original walls, they're gloriously scratched, coated with layers of layers of paint and wallpaper, stained from years of water and smoke damage. Rather than patch, sand, and paint over all this history, they chose to expose it---strip off the paint in some areas, let a patch of color pop through here, maybe a snippet of brick there. They sealed the walls with quality sealant, not unlike what I use when sealing ceramics, metal, or polymer. And now they are breathtaking. 

The amount of work he put into this place has been dizzying. He has turned it into a glorious, sexy, rustic, urban-industrial piece of art, all while honoring its roots. The time has finally come for them to leave their current home and move into this labor of love, so they've been on my mind this week. 

I tell this story because today's earrings remind me of those plaster walls. The ceramic drops at the bottom are made by the lovely Claire of somethingtodobeads. They have been sawdust fired, giving them that smoky, fumed, earthy look. Some of the outer layers have crackled away, exposing other layers, just like with those walls. I love them and have been saving them for a special pair. I capped them with wee bead caps and hung them from old two-toned striped African glass trade beads and big blobs of blackened silver solder. Delightfully swingy, edgy, and tribal. 

Love you, Susan! 

Happy Wednesday,
LoveRoot on Etsy


  1. I so adore these. Those African beads are just perfect!

  2. You could get lost in these, *sigh....

    psst...can we see photos of the house? O_O

  3. Do share photos of the house, it sounds so fascinating

  4. I love your story about the house of your friends. It must be breathtaking. Your earrings are beautiful as always.

  5. Your making me miss my old Cincy! The house sounds absolutely incredible. Truly a labor of love ......not unlike your wonderful jewelry. LOVE these earrings! I have a special place in my heart for Cincinnati as I was born and spent the first 10 years of my life in there. Love this story Nikki.

  6. Truly gorgeous earrings! I love the beads and your whole design is scrumptious.... and what a wonderful story! I hope we'll get to see pictures of the house one of these days. Cheers, Nat xoxo

  7. As always, spectacular Nikki. Claire's beads are artistically perfect, just like the walls you described so well. I can envision them. Thank you for sharing the story. the African glass are exceptional. Exceptional all the way around. Thank you Nikki!

  8. Oh my! Wonderful story - wonderful earrings x

  9. What a wonderful story... would have loved to see the house as inspiration for the fab earrings.