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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Amber an Organic Gemstone

I love Amber!  I think I have said that about every gemstone I have featured, lol.  Amber is an organic gemstone, because it is formed from once living matter.  It is really an awesome thing.  Amber is formed when a specific kind of tree sap, hardens and once living creatures are trapped in the resin, and then fossilize over many many years.  They say Baltic Amber is the number one source, but actually Russia has the largest source of Amber.  Baltic Amber is favored because of its lovely orange hues.  Amber is very light, and has a very low density.  Because of its low density it can float in salt water, but sink in fresh water.  This is one of the ways to identify Amber.  There is faux Amber in the jewelry market.  Enhancements of Amber, are not common, but do occur.  Watch the very cool video below, to help you identify Amber.  If you do a search on this blog, for the living gemstone, you will see a video series I posted a while ago, that talks a lot about Amber, and why it is the living gemstone.    The ring shown at the bottom, is not Amber, but it is a vintage Amber colored glass bead, with leaf inclusions, that I wire wrapped into a ring. It is a nice piece for anyone who loves unique jewelry.  You can see it by clicking  this link 




Sunday, May 22, 2016

Handmade Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day is the third Sunday in June.  Check out some cool handmade gift ideas for Dad.  Click the link to visit each shop, to check out pricing and other shop details.

First up is this lovely leather wrap bracelet, for men, with Indian head button closure.  Click the link to visit CorvusDesign shop.

Next up from Shelleys Crochet Ole, is this awesome Dad throw pillow. Dad will love this in his man cave.
Third up from, Whitty Wire Jewelry, is this lovely silver wrap ring, for men or women. I think a more modern Dad would be very comfortable wearing this.
Last but least, from my shop, Missy69, is this set of four wood burned fish coasters. Great for a hunting camp, or man cave. 
You can check out all these awesome items by clicking the highlighted links.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Alexandrite Color Change Gemstone

I have probably blogged about Alexandrite before, it is one of my all time favorite gemstones, but it is next in alphabetical order of gemstones, so here we go again. I will try to add something different.  I actually wore an Alexandrite ring for years, that I made, and one day the stone just fell out and I could not find it.  I was heart broken.  I do have another, but it is quite small, and I have not found a setting I like to put it in.

Alexandrite is a color changing gemstone.  What does that mean?  It means in one light it is green, and in another light source it is red to purplish.  The newest location is Africa, but also comes from Brazil, and even USA.   It is amazing.  Alexandrite, is of course more expensive the more color change you get.  It is a naturally occurring gemstone, with no enhancements.  Most famous source is Russia, and was a stone named after Czar Alexander of Russia, hence the name Alexandrite.  It is a very durable gemstone, with a hardness of 8.5 out of 10, on the Moh's Hardness Scale.  If you can get one, and not break the bank, do it.  You won't be sorry.  There is synthetic Alexandrite, and Alexandrite simulated stones.  The best way to tell, if you are not sure, is the fakes are usually very large, with beautiful vibrant color, and 100% color change.  A genuine natural Alexandrite most likey will not be bigger than a carat, unless it came from an estate.  Alexandrite is a member of the Chrysoberyl family of gemstones.

Check out the video below showing the color change.  Please note I am not affiliated with the seller, I am just sharing the video showing the beautiful color change.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

About Agates Chalcedony Family of Gemstones

When I first started this blog, it was meant to be informational to help me, and others learn about gemstones.  I love gemstones, and have been collecting, and making jewelry with them for years.  But, somehow life got busy, and I got away from the more informational type posts.  While I will still share new creations, I make, I will be doing an A-Z listing of gemstones, and info about them.  There are a lot, lol, so mark my blog if you are interested in reading on.

First up are Agates, which actually are a member of the Chalcedony family of gemstones.  Gemstones are kind of like animal classifications.  There are groups, and subgroups, for each gemstone.  It can get confusing.  If I have a jewelry piece created, I will share it, or an image of a loose stone.  If not I will try to find a video.  I love my Gemstones of the World book, and I really need an updated version.

Agates are very common gemstones, found world wide, and are often made into beautiful carvings.  It is very often banded, with curved bands, a distinguishing identifier from other Chalcedony.  They have a hardness of 6.5-7, which means you need to be a little gentle with them, when placing in jewelry, and then wearing.  Agates are also often died, due their porous make up, and they come in some of the most beautiful colors, vivid and bright.  Agates are found close to where volcanic masses are, and if  you get to see petrified agates, that is an awesome process where the agate replaces the petrified wood.  Very cool!  There are varieties of Agates, but most will have the agate name to it.  Like, Dendritic Agate, Crazy Lace Agate, Blue Lace Agate, Fire Agate, etc.

Below are a couple of videos about Agates.  The first one is how to identify Agates, and these are in their rough form, which means no cutting or polishing has taken place.


This second one is even more cool. This last one just shows some beautiful Agates after they have been harvested, cut and polished. I love Agates!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Learn To Make Leather Wrap Bracelets

Just a quick post with a few videos on how to make leather wrap bracelets. I do not follow the technique completely, as there are things I don't particularly like, but it will give you an ideas of how to do it, if you want to try. I definitely want to get good enough to try the bracelet in the second video. It might take a while,  lol. 



 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Learning Some New Techniques

Hello, to all my readers! I know it has been a bit since I posted, again, but life has been crazy these past 10 days. Now my air conditioner is on the fritz. Trust me if you have ever been to Florida, then you know it is already plenty hot in May. I am hoping that is getting fixed today, but we have had so many curve balls, who knows. We have been having fun too, with Mother's Day, my daughter's birthday, and lots of her friends had birthdays all the same week. I have had no time to do anything crafty, until yesterday.

 Yesterday, I had a whole day to catch up on a lot of things, including learning some new jewelry making techniques. Those of you who read regularly know that I am always wanting to learn new techniques, and perfect old ones. I feel pretty comfortable with my wire wrapping rings technique, I could do a little fancier but you know, it is wire. I also know that a lot of people are doing the wrap bracelets, but I always wanted to learn to do them myself, so I did.  There were a couple of things about the technique that I didn't care for, so I am doing my own sort of way.   I love bracelets, and anklets, by far my favorite jewelry choice. I don't care for wire wrapped bracelets, and just beads, not so much either. So, I did some leather wrap bracelets, and a hemp chord braided bracelet. Both are new techniques and ideas. One thing I do like is you use a button for the closure, which makes the bracelet so easy to get on and off, and there are some really awesome buttons out there. My mom collects buttons, and she gave me a few vintage buttons. Now that I sort of know what I am doing I will be on the hunt for buttons. Anyway the leather wrap bracelet below, has a patriotic red white and blue theme, with a very cool resin support our troops cabochon for the button closure. I made the resin piece over a year ago, and could not decide what to do with it. Check this bracelet out, plus my new clearance section, in my Etsy store. 



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Birthstone for May: Emeralds

I love so many gemstones, but I truly love Emeralds. I love the brighter green hues, more than the darker hues. I do not currently have any Emerald left in my loose gemstone collection, but I hope to start accumulating some again, soon. Emerald is the birthstone for May, and my daughter's birthstone. The short video below gives you a small bit of info about Emeralds. I probably have others I have shared over the years. You can just search for Emeralds on my search bar, and they will come up.  The video below was created by Kay Jewelers. 



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