History, Beautiful History


How can anything mass produced and cranked out in this day and age begin to compare with the detail, craftsmanship and quality that was used so many years ago?

When I see all these amazing artifacts at once, I think of the possible lives that such medallions existed among.

To whom did they belong?

Certainly they marked milestones and happy times.

And now they can continue on to do the same. For me, for you, for the next generation.

To make these antique element become a piece of jewelry, is to allow them to be appreciated for many, many more years.

How wonderful.

All pieces removable for individual wear.

Signed Kay Adams, A1054
Lore Collection, $215.00, Sold



Quiet now
Still of night
Inside fire burning bright

Right moment
Laying down
Oh, still no sound

It's all automatic
No thought

Golden hair
Skin glisten
Beating heart but don't listen

Angles sharp
Crash together
Time and consciousness sever

Mind in automatic
Time stop

The Go-Go's, 1981.
(click link to hear this awesome song)

Signed Kay Adams, A1364
Toc Collection, $220, Sold

Almond Joy


Sometimes I feel like a nut.

Sometimes I don't.

Almond Joy has nuts.

Mound's don't.

Ok -- so this was an Almond Joy moment.

Mound creation to be posted soon.

Signed Kay Adams, A0163
Strike Collection, Sold

Ohhhhhh!!! . . . Ahhhhhh!!


That's the reaction you'll get when you wear this necklace made of vintage era WWII pearls.

They were imported from Japan in the 1940's and were used by the Queen Mother of jewelry design, Miriam Haskell.

Now they are put together in the mother-of-ALL-pearl necklaces, to form this asymmetrical piece of art.

Hues range from distressed off white, to pale iridescent citrine, to rich bronze.

Stack with other distressed pearl necklaces worn at the same time (as shown) to make an UNBELIEVABLY decadent look.

Signed Kay Adams, A0782
Posh Collection, Sold

Sophisticated Chaos


Chains, pearls, and vintage flower caps cascade in a gorgeous jeweled landslide for your neck.

Chains are securely anchored into position, so as to catch this landslide in a permanently beautiful position.

Adjustable to approximately 19".

Wearing it in Antarctica with my husband and beautiful Audrey Portelli.

If you look closely, you can see an iceberg faintly in the background.

Signed Kay Adams, A1289
Juice Collection, $215, Sold
View another entry on this necklace here.

Forget Me Not . . . Bluebonnet!


UPDATE ON 03/28/09 -- Ok . . . I'm a complete dork, but we all knew that... These are NOT forget-me-nots. They are Bluebonnets. And I knew that and proceeded to blog as if they were forget-me-nots. But, actually, I don't want you to forget them, so in a way, the other name is appropriate too. Ok -- back to our regularly scheduled, previously written blog:

Chains dripping and cascading in beautiful blues and rich golds.

Converging on a glass bouquet of forget-me-nots -- NOT -- bluebonnets! (and noted Texas).

Absolutely striking on . . .

Signed Kay Adams, A1273
Juice Collection, $295, Sold

Good Morning, Gorgeous!


Meet the gorgeous, always laughing, 1000 watt smiling songstress . . . . drum roll please. . . Justine Parker!!

She's a singer in a band here in Richmond called The Escorts.

And she likes to wear pretty stuff on stage, so she comes to see me (for the glitzy part).

God gave her the natural pretty part and I guess Saks and such takes care of the clothes part.

Although she loves her necklaces so much for goin' fancy, she just wears them out and about too.

And see, that's the magic of them. Gorgeous enough to carry off a black tie event, casual enough to go out rompin' for a day of shopping and coffee.

I don't have the original photo of this necklace -- I didn't used to take pictures consistently. So it was wonderful when Justine came into Anthill the other day wearing it.

'Cause I got to see that beauty again.

And the necklace too!

Have a great day everybody! Spring's lovely weather is on the way!!

Signed Kay Adams, A0545
Lux Collection, Sold
* To see another fun blog entry on Justine, "Teen", click here! :)

Great Festivities!


I meant to say, "Grape Festivities!"

Lots of jewelful and joyful colorful baby cabochon "grapes" collage together and become a lei of gorgeous glass around your neck.

Polished and satin cabs and a touch of pearls for added decadence!

Quite attractive, quite unique.

BERRY Happy!

Signed Kay Adams, A1074
Pop Collection, $155.00

Jewelry 101


Subtle tonal variations . . .

Complimentary textures . . .

Compatible theme . . .

Harmonious asymmetry . . .

Quiz tomorrow . . .

Signed KayAdams, A0423
Strike Collection, $195


Missin' My Sisters


All these lovely ladies are from a 1927 high school yearbook.

Perhaps they were sorority sisters.

Each classmate has been lovingly embellished and patina'd and is joyously happy to be back with her fellow classmates.

The handpainted bird hanging from the centerpiece and housed in an antique watch case represents their freedom from the musty yearbook and their re-release into this beautiful artful ephemeral world.

Signed Kay Adams, A1374
Lore Collection, $295




We're officially in spring!

Let's start thinking lively, and color and vibrance!!

This necklace has as its base the most gorgeous and intense faceted jade glass chain.

Texture abounds with the subtle but impactful addition of the top silver cable chain (removable if desired), and then delicious converted earring elements in delightful aquas, turquoise, and seagreen lucites.

All pieces removable for wearing individually or a couple (or three, or four, or five, or six, or seven, or eight . . . you get the picture . . .) at a time.

The lucites are filled with baby shells and just a treasure in their own right!

Makes one realize beach season will be here before we know it!

Now let's just decide whether to wear it or eat it!


Signed Kay Adams, A1358
Joy Collection, $185


Little Mirror On the Wall


Who's the fairest little one of all?

Why, of course, "Little Donna" is!

Is she not the cutest knock out ever?
See, three Koehler brothers all married gorgeous girls named Donna, so we've got Donna Koehler's all over this city. And they are all beautiful and love Kay necklaces!!

My GOD, what an entourage of hot necklace wearin' momma's!!!!

This is Little Donna sportin' one of the "Einstein's Nephew's Brain" necklaces.

She's got so much style and class.

She'll wear this necklace combined with other necklaces and chains and makes art-within-art in her own right.

Heck, she is art --walking art.

Signed Kay Adams, A1277
Strike Collection, Sold

Flutterby Butterfly


Where do the butterflies go at night? What do they do?

Well, some of them come see me up in my workshop and pose for my 3-D butterfly still-life necklaces.

They've not been visiting in a while.

Maybe now that spring is around the bend, they'll come back and model and I can do another necklace in their honor.

Consists of two former barrettes, a vintage white painted enamel Trifari filigree butterfly, and a handmade glass-fired enamel on copper teal swirled beauty.

In a meadow with antique carnival glass beads, golden chains and rich marea vitrial crystals.

Signed Kay Adams, A0187
Strike Collection, $285

So Much Beauty, So Little Surface


Did anyone ever notice I like things a tad on the busy side? aka a wee bit fussy? aka jam packed? aka overloaded?

I don't know why. Maybe just because there are so many gorgeous tidbits in life that need to be brought back into the fold.

So much beauty, so little surface.

So therefore I dazzle with as many delights as a surface can conceivably handle to make full use of all the available beauty.

I think I'm over thinking it.

Anywho -- this smorgasbord of vintage jewels includes Venetian glass, carnival glass, wedding cake beads, milk glass, butterflies, sequins, pearls, flower caps, rhinestones, vintage chains, old pewter stampings and yet again, a kitchen sink. --

BUST -- no sink.

Signed Kay Adams, A0707
Strike Collection, $255, Sold

It's a Girl Thing


Or is it a cameo thing?

Which ever, my passion for cameos will never falter. Especially a captivating blue collection of them.

Seven cameos blend effortlessly next to each other, each with its own scene, its own personality, its own character.

Collectively they are undeniably breathtaking.

Truly worthy of all the attention it is destined to command.

Seven former brooches and earrings, all backs removed, completely ground smooth.

Wear each alone, or all together, as shown.

Signed Kay Adams, A0708
Joy Collection, $245,



A very noticeable and textural piece.

Necklace base is made from pewter figure-8 necklace clasps, from which a very old crucifix taking center stage is hung.

Four other crosses grace the sides and complete the design.

A poignant piece.

Signed Kay Adams, A0948
Lore Collection, $185, Sold

AnthroArtica?? What?


Icy frosty retro lucite, and pale icy blues sprinkled about, double up in a double layered thick and dense STATEMENT.

Sounds as good as it looks, as the lucites rumble and tumble on and around your neck.

Anthropology (the store) and Antarctica (the continent) inspired adornment!!!

Signed Kay Adams, A1104
Blast Collection, $195,

Will It Go Around in Circles?


Indeed it will go around in circles.

I don't think it will fly high like a bird up in the sky.

But it doesn't have to.

It's a grounded wonder. A circuitously circular rounded centrifuge of hoops and loops and rolls and scrolls.

Former everythings -- 1950's circle pins, earrings, keyrings, tee-buckles, keyrings, etc. in dual tones -- silvertones and goldtones to give it irresistible patinated punch!!!

Signed Kay Adams, A0181
Pop Collection, $210


They Say It's Your Birthday




Paul McCartney rocks and so does this necklace.

It's for all of us March birthday peeps!

Happy Birthday to us. The party's on our neck! :)

Signed Kay Adams, A1334
Blast Collection, $255

And Again . . .


Same style, but each has it's own voice . . . it's own unique personality.

Kind of like people. We've all got two eyes, a nose and mouth, but look how different we all look.

Soft, subtle, graceful.

Signed Kay Adams, A1308
Lux Collection, $155




Encore blogentation (like a presentation, blog style).

This one is made of an antique bar pin, vintage rhinestone dangle earrings and old dress clips.

Sumptuous decorating a vase, much less decorating your neck!

Signed Kay Adams, A1304
Lux Collection, $195, Sold

Signature Style


Rhinestone necklaces are by far my best seller.

It's the Kay Adams signature look.

Any picture you will see of me, I am wearing my rhinestone necklace -- I have worn it DAILY for 5 years straight!

That's how versatile it is.

Mind you, I'm a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl. All my style comes from the necklace.

This particular necklace is all former 1920's to 1940's rhinestone dress clips.

How awesome is that?

Signed Kay Adams, A1311
Lux Collection, $220

The Next Best Thing


The next best thing to an actual necklace adoption, ie, when that necklace has spoken to someone and they have claimed it as their very own, to have and to hold forever (oh wait, that's marriage -- but same difference), now I'm off track.

Let me start again.

The next best thing to a necklace sale is a genuine necklace compliment. Compliments and comments, thankfully, are abundant, and they DO MAKE MY DAY.

But sometimes the compliment is so heartfelt, so genuine, you know the person gets what you as the artist feel.

I had a mother and daughter in over the weekend. They were from Charlotte, NC, and were here for the daughter to audition for the Richmond Ballet. Cool.

Mom bought a ballet slipper necklace, and daughter bought a Siam goddess necklace. Neither were Kay pieces, but Anthill is gaboodles more than just my necklaces.

But when the mother was leaving she said, "Your necklaces are fascinating. They literally make me happy to look at them. And the happiness you must feel when you make them translates right through them."

You know, what an awesome compliment. It was just so heartfelt -- what she said touched me and it was just a great ending to a great day.

God love a good customer.

Although sold sometime ago (as with many I write about), I blogged on this baby because I remember distinctly the complete joy I felt while making this one. Cool.


Signed Kay Adams, A0189
Juice Collection, Sold

Jet Black Crystal Rain


Why is it raining jet black crystals?

Because jet black crystal rain makes the pink and green goldfilled flowers grow!

Asymmetrical and awesome-eclectical.

This was the necklace used in Alice in Wonderland (the version in my head).

Signed Kay Adams, A0719
Strike Collection, $115, Sold

Houston, The Eagle HASN'T Landed


This eagle is SOARING.

And he is UNBELIEVABLE in person.

Full of diamond-intensity rhinestones ("paste" as they were know pre-1900's), this eagle is from the mid to late 1800's. He was the showpiece of an extraordinary antique haircomb.

After I released the eagle's rivets from the nearly dryrotted gutta percha comb (petrified rubber -- an early form of "plastic"), I soldered back some broken scrolls and connection points on the wings.

I then added some vintage Hattie Carnegie handblown givre crystals (this is where two colors exist "separately within the same crystal). They are verigated black and clear and striking in their own right.

Old silvered watch chain links interspersed with prong set rhinestone balls then complete this extraordinary antique object d'art.

Extremely intense, large and vibrant in person. Photo DOES NOT do this piece justice.

Houston, this eagle's not landing -- he's flying.

This beautiful bird's journey has only just begun.

Signed Kay Adams, A0197
Strike Collection, $325


More and then some . . .


This piece has it all . . . lockets, watches, keys, cameos, beads, fleur-de-lis', shells, flowers, lanyards, butterflys, rhinestones, necklace clasps, kitchen sinks.

Ok, sorry, not the last item, but the more you look, the more you see.

Fun and frolic will not escape you when you wear this!

Signed Kay Adams, A1082
Lore Collection, $255

I've Got the Blues . . .


And thank goodness I've got them, 'cause somehow I just don't think this'd be as pretty if I had the oranges.

Well maybe it would -- I'll give it a go one day -- but today it's about the blues.

I Love Love Love blue, because I happen to be a jeans freak . . . anything blue is so easy to wear with denim!

And, as usual, obviously you can see it would be easy to dress up and look smashing!!

All pieces removable for individual wear.

Includes a reversible Chinese cloisonne medallion (do the possibilities never end??) :)), a ceramic delft crest, a speckled powder blue fired enamel copper heart, a frosted floral glass transferware pendant, a baby blue moonstone & rhinestone former earring, and two wild and crazy handmade sputnik lampwork beads.

Getting "I've Got the Blues" is guaranteed to chase away a case of the other kind of blues ANYDAY OF THE WEEK!!!!

Stay tuned for "I've Got the Greens!" (that one will chase away motion sickness!) :)

Signed Kay Adams, $195

A1129, Sold

Wa Wa We Wa


Wa -- Amazing vintage collar.

Wa -- Amazing antique steel-cut buckle.

We -- Two Swarovski diamond studs.

Wa -- Flawless combination.

Sometimes . . . just sometimes . . . simplicity rules.

Signed Kay Adams
$195, Sold

Let's Play Childhood


SEEING snow means HEARING kids.

It's a great sound as they laugh and yell. They hoot, they holler -- oh, excuse me, I mean they "Holla!"

You occasionally hear the sound of crying -- at least I did yesterday. I think someone must have fallen off of a sled and probably got a bad case of the ironic "ice burn."

But these children will remember a day like yesterday for the rest of their lives. Snow days, enough snow to close the schools, is one of life's greatest treasures to youth.

Like a bonus day, a guilt-free play-all-day day falls out of the sky and gratuitously lands in the lap of every snow-lucky kid.

So is the necklace -- harkening back to a carefree time we all once got to be a part of.

The "children" are vintage handpainted bisque from the 1960's. I've further embellished each happy kid with a little extra sumpin' sumpin'.

For instance, blondie on the right has an "angel" doll, and dude in the center has a crush (see the heart beating out of his chest?) on blondie on the left, who has a rhinestone flower on her hat . . . you know -- I put a little Fizzel in those kids' Fagizzel.

For the record, dude on the far right has a toy seahorse -- he's a little "odd" and dude on the far left has an apple. He's either hungry or wants to kiss-up to the teacher, but seeing as he already took a bite, I think he was just hungry.

Silly kids.

Signed Kay Adams

Joy Collection, $145

Snow Jo


How about this winter wonderland on March 2nd?

We, in Richmond, VA, have near a foot of snow on the ground, and three days ago we were near 70 degrees. . .

Things are changing like this -- weatherwise, all over the world, so we are all hearing.

Well, at least something stays the same . . . my passion for making something irresistible from the amazing and oft overlooked castaways of life.

When my husband saw this necklace he said, "That's Ode to Antarctica, isn't it?" (which I vow to make). But actually it isn't Ode to Antarctica.

It's Snow Jo.

Snow Jo is a form of mojo that comes out to crea8t when there is snow in the atmosphere.

So it is today.

I'm thrilled with how my Snow Jo played out.

Icy and aqua, glitzy and eclectic.

Dazzle in your Snow Jo!

Signed Kay Adams, A1349
Juice Collection, $385, Sold

Speaking of the House . . .


We have a wonderful customer at Anthill that many people in our city perhaps may know.

None other than polished perfection herself, Mary C. Cox.

Mary is the owner of Jack and Jill School on Michael Road, a respected children's learning center since 1953.

When Mary enters a room, you know it. She is striking and vibrant.

And I couldn't have been happier when she told me about wearing one of her Kay Adams' necklaces in the below picture taken with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

Her necklace is composed of a collection of all rhinestone grape cluster pins. I probably won't be able to ever make another in it's likeness, because I seem to run across grape brooches once every 3 or 4 years.

That's why they're cool though. If the same antique and vintage elements were always available, where would the rarity, the individuality, the treasure be??

Love the necklace, love the picture, love the lady.

Mary Cox . . . (and her necklace),
one in this world.

A1347, Sold

(click photo to enlarge)