Sunday Slices: Bruneau Jasper

David created this gorgeous Bruneau Jasper Cab this weekend and inspired me to explore some Bruneau Jasper, from rough rock to finished Cab. Bruneau is a type of Picture Jasper, so we explore a few of those as well. I am always happy to spend a few minutes on a Sunday Morning Exploring some rocks with you.

Comment and let me know what kinds of rocks you are interested in seeing in future episodes of Sunday Slices.

Interested in acquiring some slices for your own lapidary work? We will be selling Slices in a livestream on Sunday Sept 20 from 2-5pm EST as part of the Not Denver Online Rock Show here: Jump over and check out the group and join for the sale.

All slices and cabs you see in our online media are available for custom orders. Contact Us with questions and requests.


Want some Picture Jaspers of your own? Check out these items in the store:

Petrified Wood and Opalized Coral

One of the cool things about the collection we purchased this summer is that we can tie some pieces all the way back to the rough rock it came from.

Interested in learning more about petrified wood or opalized coral? Comment your questions and we will put together a follow up piece.

If you enjoy this type of exploration, be sure to click through and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Love petrified wood and fossils? Check out these jewelry pieces available now in the shop:

New Rock Processing Racks

Thought you might like a peek behind the scenes.

When rocks come off the saw, they are covered in the cutting oil that runs in the slab saw. They get a soak in dishsoap water over night to degrease, but there is often still residue.

It takes a few days of “baking” in the sun and repeated hose washdowns ( and sometimes either a final soapy water scrub or a vinegar rinse) to get all the oil off. Earlier in the summer, when this adventure started, I would use the pond- as it was drained for repairs. But now that we are refilling the pond, I had been testing other spaces. I filled a garden with old bricks and was using that surface to let them lay and cook, but it involved a LOT of bending and being down very low. Some days the bending is fine, but other days this body gets cranky and that was not the best situation. David ( as usual) was brilliant and thought outside of the box and adapted some old fan guards into “basket” shelves and then welded them like a giant pastry dish.. and I can do most of my rock processing without being on the ground! I am so excited and this is an easy hack someone could do, so I wanted to share. You can see in the preview that there are lovely agates, and there is a special surprise appearance by David in this video as well.

A little rock bonding time

It is easiest to get a feel for a rock, slab, or cab if you spend a little time with it. In this age of COVID, that is challenging, so I am going to start doing more short ( 15 min or less) videos of a handful of rocks. This morning, it was slabs on the processing racks that were so interesting. I am also looking forward to doing some themed ( all agate slices, or all Bruneau jasper, the drawer of amethyst, etc..) where we can talk a bit about the rock itself in-depth, and then look at some of the specimens we have. As always, any slice or can you see in a video can become a custom order. if you love a slice, we can create custom cabs. You can stop there and buy the cab for your creative making, or take it a step further and we will design custom jewelry from the cab of the slice you pick out.

Even if you are not in a buying mood, I hope that this video series will give you some new information, or just expose you to some rocks you might not have seen before.

I am glad to entertain requests for certain rock types or themes, if you have something you really want to see- comment away.

Enjoy and be well.

Ancient Ones

There is being grounded and in touch with your history.

And then there is wearing jewelry that is 10s or 100s of millions of years old.

Petrified wood and fossils make stunning show pieces that bring ancient history to your hands.

We have a collection of items we call the Ancient Ones… jewlery that showcases fossils and petrified wood, in raw or polished cabochon form.


The sheer force of the energy of youth makes me hopeful.

The fiddlehead unfurls in the spring, driven by hydraulic pressure. New life unfolding, by sheer force- pushing aside the dead and dying to make room for its own expansion.

 Shattukite Chrysocolla is a stone of sacred truth and of sharing sacred truth with others through actions—not words. Shattuckite is the stone of ‘walking one’s talk. ‘ Fiddlehead is a time of action, of motion, of growth- not pondering.

Apatite is a dual-action stone, known for its positive use of personal power to achieve goals. It clears away confusion, apathy or negativity, then, stimulates the intellect to expand knowledge and truth, which may be used for personal growth or for the collective good. This Blue Apatite Sea Sediment bead is a beautiful balance in this mix, bringing the power of apatite with the grounding of earth itself.

Labradorite is known as a stone of change imparting strength and perseverance.  

The Burning of Righteous Passion

Moonstone, Iolite and lapis lazuli.

The collection this spring is an artistic exploration of the facets of Hope. The first of these I wanted to tackle is the burning of righteous passion.

Righteous Passion causes movement and change. with enough heat to start fires. Although there is sometimes a destructive element in the burning it is often necessary to convert the rot of the status quo to something productive and growing.

People who embody Burning Passion are not just armchair commentators- they are community organizers, educators, and folks who can’t imagine not rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty.

These are the people who face the news not with moaning, but with a counter action plan.

These are the people who know where the pain points and gaps in the community are and work to burn away any blockages that keep people from the things that they need.

This piece of hope means that we are NOT stagnant, not frozen in time and even bad things can get rebooted to start over fresh, although it sometimes takes a bonfire to get us there.

I chose the stones for this face of hope because Iolite, in shifting shades of violet-blue carries the spirit of journey, of dreams and intuition, of exploration and illumination. It is a stone for “new beginnings”. It is the hope of a restart, of change for the better. Moonstone is a stone of inner growth and strength. It soothes emotional instability and stress, and stabilizes the emotions, providing calmness. Change is not effective if it is just rampant chaos, the focus on inner growth and stress reminds us that change should have a vision and the calm and stability of moonstone help with the stress that even good change can bring. Lapis is the universal symbol of wisdom and truth- reflecting the righteous nature of this burning passion.

Hope Springs

Hope burns with righteous passion. 
Springing from rot like a fiddlehead
ever-expanding, full of strength. 
Curious, Creative, persistent
she nurtures our dreams
with contagious laughter
and bountiful grace. 

Traveling the world to gather souls, 
she wraps her arms around us and
gathers us in her garden
Where we can root, 

and spring forth again with righteous passion. 

--nan braun 1/27/2020

The new spring collection, “Hope Springs” will release on March 28.

Stay tuned here as I explore the facets of hope and share sneak peeks as the collection continues to take shape.

Becoming Collected in 2020

The start of any year is a time for introspection and planning, and when the year rounds an entire decade, it feels like an appropriate time to dig deep and reach for big dreams. I have been spending the last week looking at the results we got in 2019 here at Twisted Dreams- what worked and what didn’t. And I am excited about decisions on how to move this business forward and take it to the next level.

  • We are shifting to creating and releasing 3 Major Collections in 2020. What does this mean? The first collection will be released in late March/Early April ( date TBA). The Second is targeted for July, and the third will be in October. Each time a collection is released, the store here online will be reset- items from the old collection will be removed and the new collection will be featured. You will have a limited time to choose and purchase collection items. New items will not be added to the store other than these three times.
  • It is time to clear Backlog. Backlogged items currently listed, in or inventory and not listed will be put on sale. Either they will find their forever home, or they will be broken down and recycled into inventory to go toward building the new collections. Now is your time to grab that piece you have been eyeing. Once the first collection is released, they are gone forever.
  • Not everything will be sold here online. I am in the process of setting up some gallery shows to go with each collection- some of the higher price-point, wearable sculpture pieces will have a subtheme and will only be available at that location for at least the first month of the collection life. Watch here for dates and locations of where those exclusive sales will be. What we do here is a combination of art and product, and I am excited to take the Art side of this more seriously.
  • Not everything for sale will be unique. Well, the designs will all be uniquely mine– but in focusing on the product side of the business, some items will have to have small production runs to generate the profit needed to justify their creation. I am planning on incorporating beads of my own design and creation, as well as 3D printed elements into some of these products in the collections. These will be limited runs- once sold out, it is unlikely that I will do another production run.
  • Earrings will happen. Truth is, designing and making random, unique earrings is a great activity for both warm-ups to the serious design work, and as an evening unwind after work. ( and it is much healthier than a tequila and TV). This means that there will almost always be earrings I need to sell. I want to keep this store collection focused, so I am exploring other outlets for these. I am interested in your thoughts- would you rather have them in physical stores, in a separate Etsy store, or just posted randomly on Facebook and Instagram when they happen?
  • Custom orders will be more limited. At least, I will limit them for a while, as I prep for the first collection and move stock items. If you have a Birthday, Anniversary, Valentine Day request ( or maybe you just have a piece you have been dreaming of to make you smile) please get it in early, or my queue might be filled when you want it.

I am excited about this new direction for 2020, and can’t wait to reveal the first collection this spring! Watch this blog for work in progress, and hints and peeks before the release.

Now go hit the shop, and find that favorite piece on sale and grab it before it is gone forever!

Spring Sale Planning – Help Us Choose!

I cannot wait for spring to come, and with it great outfits that show off the story telling jewelry you love the most.

To help you get in the mood and thinking about warmer days, I am letting all of you readers help us pick items to be included in an upcoming spring sale.

Comments here on the blog with a link to an item sold by Twisted Dreams or Braun Cabochons that you want to be included. +1 to vote on items and the 2 items getting the most votes here will be included in the spring sale launching soon.