Pin worthy news “From Barbara’s Studio”
Pin worthy news “From Barbara’s Studio”
Hello friends … I’m new to the Bixby team, my name is Maria and I have always been fascinated by jewelry. I owe this interest to my dear Aunt Joan with her big trendy hair styles, draped in ornamental regalia and always exposing me to the latest in fashion. The interest turned to love and I’ve collected vintage jewelry (much like my aunt wore) for most of my life. I’ve merchandised and been a buyer on a wholesale level for many years never intending to work for a designer of fine jewelry but, it’s funny where life leads you and how the dots always seem to be connecting. I now find myself over the moon to be working closely with not only a designer of this caliber but a genuine, authentic, beautiful person who is very aware of the spiritual vibrations and forces that co-exist within our physical plane. I hope you enjoy my blogs and that I can bring you into and illuminate the world “From Barbara’s Studio”.
In fashion, everything old is new again and again and again. When the Japanese participated in the 1862 International Exhibition in London, their simple yet elegant interpretation of nature would have a profound influence on those looking for a new aesthetic. Jewelers soaked up the Japanese bond between nature and design, giving birth to an entirely new decorative style.
The designer’s inclusion of art into everyday objects provided a place for art in all our daily lives, these ingredients would blend together and become Art Nouveau.
The Art Nouveau movement, which made brooches widely popular, drew to a close and was not picked up again until breakthroughs in 1930’s pop culture. Brooches became trendy again in the 1950′s & 60′s and most of us can’t forget brooches on big shouldered blazers in the 80’s.
Barbara’s clear love of nature, her gardens and all creatures induced her to create pins and brooches inspired by her many different collections over the years. She forecasted the return of the brooch more than two years ago and introduced us to her interpretation of dragonflies, spiders, butterflies and bees. The charismatic charm of her Zen Garden grasshopper pin is the embodiment of this nature inspired craftsmanship.
“The brooch is having something of a renaissance on the runways with designers picking up on it’s classic appeal.”
“Kate Middleton brings back this elegant old- world accessory”
~Be on the lookout for more pin-worthy fashion from Barbara Bixby
Last Train to Kashmir

Zen Garden was originally inspired by gardens I visited in Asia along with my husband, Frank. As some of you know, Frank is a musician, so I asked him to compose something inspired by our memories of our travels, and my collection it eventually inspired—Zen Garden.

You can listen to the song here:

Combining Eastern and Western instruments, Frank incorporated slide guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, tamboura, dilruba, tabla drums and Indian harmonium. Similarly to my own process, Frank—along with his friend and collaborator, Paul Orofino—used these elements in a non-traditional way, adding their own aesthetic to create something very unique.

When I close my eyes it brings me right back to those beautiful gardens where I started to visualize the Zen Garden Collection. We hope you enjoy the song and the collection as much as we’ve enjoyed working on them!


Fairy Key Pendant – Diamond, Blue Sapphire, Pink Sapphire, London Blue Topaz & Mother of Pearl

Visit the Zen Garden Collection →


Amazing Grace – A Special Collaboration With My Husband

To celebrate the launch of BarbaraBixby.com, I called on some of the artists around me to collaborate on the experience. My husband‘s band, Frank Carillo and the Bandoleros, along with a very special guest – Augie Myers from the Sir Douglas Quintet and Bob Dylan’s band – recorded a very unique version of Amazing Grace. This song inspired the beautiful crosses of the same name that are now offer on the Amazing Grace Page.

Both Barbara and I love the song Amazing Grace, so she asked if I’d be up for recording a version for the launch of her cross collection.

I initially recorded piano and Hammond organ with a basic arrangement. Then a few weeks later I called in my band – The Bandoleros. We passed around ideas as to what instruments to use. After adding dobro, lapsteel, acoustic and electric guitars, acoustic bass, drums and percussion, Eddie Seville and I did the vocals. When we were done, we sent the tracks to San Antonio to Augie Meyer, who played some haunting accordion to really finish it off.

For the middle bit I used some lyrics that I wrote for a special version of the old Robert Burns song, Auld Lang Syne. The sentiment and feeling seemed to play well with Amazing Grace.

I wanted a real rootsy sound, but it turned out to have almost a Civil War feeling to it. This was the first time Barbara and I merged my music and her designs, and I’m really happy with the result.

– Frank Carillo


Song Credits:
The Bandoleros are Karl Allweier, Eddie Seville, Norman DelTufo, Andrew Carillo
The engineer/producer on this record was long-time collaborator, Paul Orofino.