Saturday, September 13, 2008

Taking Care of Your Jewellery

As you know jewellery could become easily damaged if we don't take care of it. I know the facts yet I'm guilty of not handling my jewellery properly all the time.

Here's some things to consider:

We should always place our jewellery in a safe place to avoid tangling of necklaces and keep our earrings together. Some of us don't even bother to take it off when we go to bed. I'm guilty of this of this and this is a big NO NO. Leaving jewellery on overnight could lead necklaces, bracelets or even earrings getting broken. Ask my friend, Jane, she gives me beautiful jewellery as gifts and I don't want to take them off, but they end up falling off and disappearing to the unknown world or they simply break because I do not follow the golden rule.

Storing your exquisite pieces of jewellery is something to think about. I'm sure many of you have jewellery boxes, but most jewellery is better off hung, this way all your necklaces cannot get tangled together, and it also means that it is easier for you to look at your jewellery to find the perfect one for your outfit! I do change my jewellery almost every day unless that certain gems cries out for me.

The best way and what I do for my incredible array of jewellery I own (unfortunately some are still in boxes as I needed another place to hand my stash) for the last 15 years is hang them up on a screened picture frame. I purchased a 'raw' picture frame from a frame store, which I varnished with the colour I wanted and let it dry over a few days. I then stapled a screen which was cut to the size of the picture frame which is pliable. I put a picture anchor on the back of the picture frame and hung it up on a nail on the back of my bedroom door. As you can see by the picture as I noted before, I am able to see the selection of my necklaces and earrings without any difficulty (except what's in the plastic bag which is filled with rings ~ what to do with those?).

Sure the jewellery box keeps your jewellery together and protected from dust and little children, but why not enjoy by seeing what you have. Hanging your jewellery is definitely the best way to look after it. I have loads of experience to give it 10 out of 10.

Some jewellery that you own especially which are plated should been worn only on special days as they cannot withstand everyday wear and tear. But then, I also believe that any type of jewellery should be worn to be enjoyed and if they fall apart it could possibly be made cheaply (you hope not) or that you simply wore it so much it was used well.

I do own some plated pieces but a large portion is sterling silver (ss). Jewellery cleaning clothes is an important thing to own. You may not notice your jewellery is looking a bit dirty, but if you rub it with the cloth is restores its beauty and lustre. These jewellery cloths are available at any jewellery store at a reasonable price.

In regards to jewellery cleaner I don't use chemicals except for toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean my jewellery except anything containing pearls. In the past, when I used the cleaner which involved dipping and taking out; well, I must say I dipped but forgot to take it out and the ss was destroyed by the chemicals. So keep in mind when searching for a good one, please speak to a knowledgeable jeweller for advise.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dyeing Your Own Pearls

You are able to dye your own real or fake (not as porous as the real thing) pearls with this recipe. You could even try other dyeable items too.

It truly is easy. You just have to remember you always first do a colour test as you don't want to be disappointed. It's like when you dye or streak your hair; the hairdresser or yourself should always test a swatch first before you do the whole batch. Also keep in mind, when you dye anything it may get lighter gradually because of sunlight. I recommend you dye your MOP or whatever you choose to colour, dry it and leave it out in the sunlight overnight and see if this is the result you want.

You could choose to dye the pearls individually in a dish or on its strand. If you decide to dye the pearls on the strand you will notice that the dye will be more noticeable to the edges.

When using a store brand like Rit dye following the manufactures instructions to a point is important. The dye must be well mixed otherwise your pearls may end up having some spots. I suggest using a sieve of some sort to get all the reminants of the dye out prior to dying your beauties. You may have to adjust a bit to your own taste of the colour desired in the concentration of dye used; how much water did you put in; was the water cold or warm and how long did you leave it in the dye. If you love the results and you want to dye some more in the future consider writing down the porportions of all that was used and keeping it in a safe place.

You could make your own dye if you so wish. Please note that it will almost be impossible to make the dye twice. You must still do a colour test as the store bought dye. Place your pearls in the dye boiling waters and then let it simmer (pearls must be covered at all times) or when the water is cooling down in the pot. A double boiler is totatlly recommended as you don't want your pearls to lose its hardness or being suseptible in being fragile. Allow your pearls to sit in the water until you have achieved the colour wanted. Once when you have achieved the colour desired, you rinse the pearls with distilled water or, if you must, under the water tap until the dye is removed. After you rinse the pearls place them on an absorbent paper towels or hang them up to dry. If you ever boiled and coloured eggs for Easter you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't done such a thing, I know you are missing out on a lot of fun especially with kids.

Now you are asking what do I use to make your own dye. Try onion peel, flowers, herbal teas, spices, canned or fresh vegetables. If you add vinegar to the dye it will deepen the colour (approx. 1 tsp.).

Have fun dying your pearls or what ever you choose to dye.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


White and Peacock Potato Pearls, Cranberry and Spruce Rice Pearls, Agate Flowers, Hemitite Rondelles and MOP Rectangles.
I was interested in doing a bracelet SWAP with a forum that I belong not too long ago. Who doesn't want to own more jewellery?! I continue to buy jewellery from other artisans and make my own jewellery to wear too. My husband rolls his eyes whenever we go on a trip, because I simply must go and purchase a piece or two of jewellery. Of course, you know what my husband is saying under his breath don't you? I appreciate what work goes into the pieces I buy from an artisan and I love supporting the individual. Anyways, back to the bracelet SWAP. In another forum, I signed up to receive pieces of unknown beads for a small amount of funds (was I impressed what I received in the mail and the quantity is unbelievable!) and the challenge was to make anything with it. So the piece of jewellery I was to make was a no brainer. I made this bracelet for a lady named Heather in NFLD and I'm so happy she loves pearls. Also she took this picture of her new bracelet and boy does she know how to utilize her photoshop. I wish I were so good at using photoshop but everything will come in time. One day I'll be as good as others out there. Just you wait and see. If you make your own jewellery and want to participate in SWAPS I highly recommend it as you will not be disappointed. I've heard others parttaking in SWAPS and not receiving their pieces, but luckily I have not been dissatisfied.

Did you know that you are able to dye your own pearls, bone, shells, etc? Tomorrow, I'll give you some information of how to do it yourself guidelines.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wooden Beads

" Native Land" - Real Horn Bead Necklace
(comes with matching earrings).

Working with wooden beads that are unique in colour (I prefer the natural look and not two beads will be the same shade and colour), shape (found it variety shapes: round beads, tube beads, cubed beads, oval beads, etc.), size and texture is interesting especially since it is made from natural material. Many wooden beads found are made from agathis ash, basswood, beech, birch, cedar, cherry, eucalyptus, hickory, maple (hard or soft), marupa, oak (red or white), pine, poplar, ramin, redwood, tauari, walnut, white meranti, etc. An asset with working with wooden beads is that the wholes are larger and someone who has problems seeing the 'hole' will have no difficulty with it whatsoever. Did you know that beads could be natural, varnished, polished, stained, dyed? As I mentioned before, I prefer to work with natural and not dyed as the dye may gradually fade esp. if you get it wet with water. Whew, that is a lot of info. I better not tell you how czech beads are made of or you may be scared away. Also, I may learn a thing or two if I have to do research.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Time Flies . . .

I haven't been on my blog for such a long time I can't believe where the time has gone. I didn't think I left things unsaid for such a long time. I know when I set up this blog in 2007, I was going to be good girl and write things in it all the time. What happened? Hmmm . . . I have two part-time jobs (I'll have a third part-time job starting next week), volunteering at a school and taking care of my family (I hope that doesn't include laundry and cleaning).

I have some photos I have taken since June 2007, but first I must figure out how to work this blog again. Talking about brain dead . . . it is either the time right now or why isn't this user friendly or is it that I can't see properly?!

I have made many pieces of jewellery since June 2007. I have given many pieces as gifts or put my jewellery into my friends shop named "Wow Faktr" for others to purchase. I'm lucky that I have been able to sell my beauties in her shop.

Oh, I found the tab to insert pictures. Let's see how it works and I'll describe what it is if you aren't able to figure it out. ;) It is a bracelet made from copper and czech beads. I thought I took a better picture, but alas I do not know what folder I put it in. It was fun to make but I thought it would have been easier for some reason. It was still fun to create and see the expression from my friend who thought it was cool. I love feedback from friends as it makes one feel awesome at what they have made.

Things I want to accomplish year:
Since I'm a proud member or eSMArts group, I have opened up an Etsy store but I must put some pretties in my store and a personal blog about myself. I love creating jewellery and it would be an incredible thrill to sell it from my own store. I'm hoping I'll have it up and running by September 1, 2008. Wish me luck!

I would love to buy tumbler. It would be sensational to polish my pieces or simply to harden the wire on the jewellery I have made. I hear many advantages of owning one, so why not invest in one esp. if I could find it on sale. I've heard much about that I know anyone would benefit from owning one esp. if you create your own jewellery.

It would be awesome to know how to solder. I have a few items that are made of silver and they have broken as I'm simply rough with my jewellery. Wouldn't that be cool to learn a techniques that benefits me and the jewellery I make?!

Well it is now 3:20 a.m. and I must go to bed and let my mind create beauties in my sleep. I will post more creations in the next few days so you may also enjoy my creations.