Robin Miller is all litigation by day and all freshwater pearls and aquamarine by night. The Northwest Washington jewelry designer matches cameos, pendants and beautiful vintage pins with freshwater pearls, amethyst and black onyx -- to name a few -- twisting them into chokers and bracelets.

Stephanie Fornash was laid off from her telecom job. Now she makes purses and hand-paints glassware and gourds and takes them to her itty-bitty pretty shop in Georgetown.

Howard Luck balances his life as a Defense Department employee by spending his evenings in Fairfax poring over fine fabrics for the handmade scarves and shawls he creates for Howard Carlysle Designs.

And Tania Lee, a recovering art historian, realized she'd rather make the art than study it. So now the Adams Morgan freelance illustrator dabbles in watercolor, gouache and pen-and-ink and creates fabulous handmade invitations, note cards and bookplates.

Passion will not be squelched.

-- Janelle Erlichman

Designer Stephanie Fornash's handmade purses -- her blueprint or create your own -- include a small clutch with black and off-white dots and a small striped handbag with a monkey print interior. $133 each at Fornash Designs in Georgetown Park, or visit www.fornashdesigns.com.Howard Carlysle Designs hand-sewn, one-of-a-kind drape is sheer velvet on one side and burnout velvet on the reverse. It also features a satin lining in the middle and is trimmed with fringe. $250 at An American in Paris, Old Town Alexandria.Tania Lee's locally designed and produced acid-free bookplates come in various designs, including those for wine lovers and green-thumbers. $18 per box at Pulp on 14th Street NW.Robin Miller's Robin M. jewelry includes (at left, from top) a green jade and rhodochrosite bracelet ($85), a green aventurine bracelet with vintage faux coral flower ($345) and, below, a 19-strand turquoise necklace with vintage ivory rose on sterling silver ($1,450), at Dalton Brody, Idaho Avenue NW.