Thursday, March 31, 2011

Purple Agate Necklace

Did you know Agate is one of the most abundant gemstones in the US? It is along with Jasper. I bought this beautiful Purple Agate focal bead and then made it into a pendant. Then I made a purple Sugalite necklace to go with it, but was not happy with it, so I took it apart. Now it has found its way onto this simple sterling silver neck wire. I think it is simple yet lovely. This will be available in my Etsy store for purchase. Oh and watch the cool video below about hunting for Agate in AZ.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What I Have Been Working On

A while back I had mentioned I was trying to finish up counted cross stitch projects I had begun some years ago. This is one of them. This will have my daughters name and birthdate cross stitched along the bottom, and then it will be applied to a pillow. It will be a gift to her for her seventh birthday in May. I actually completed a whole bunch of projects, and am ready to start a new Thomas Kinkade one. My mom is being kind enough to back them for me, using her sewing machine. It takes a long time by hand, and I have no interest in buying a sewing machine, or even learning to sew. So what new projects have you completed lately?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shop With Me Saturday: Edible Butterflies

For the last five Saturdays I have been featuring 12 items on Saturdays, well I am going to change that a bit, to featuring just one item on Saturday. The item is either one I am going to buy, or just love and hope to buy LOL!

My daughter was born on Mother's Day. She loves bugs, any bug, with the exception of spiders. I have been teaching myself to make some fancy cakes, and these darling edible spring collection of bees, butterflies, and leaves will work perfectly. Aren't they the sweetest things, no pun intended, LOL! Check them out at SugarRobot, and see if she doesn't have something to help you make an awesome cake. You don't need to spend a fortune on a cake, make your own. Trust me if I can do it, I am baking challenged, you can do it. Happy shopping, everyone.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Learn To Paint The Cabbage Rose

I know this blog is mainly about gemstones and jewelry, but I am expanding it a bit to include other crafts I am learning, or want to learn. I have recently began working on my counted cross stitch works again, and I want to learn to paint so badly. My mom gave me a whole set of Donna Dewberry VHS tapes. Until I can get the very old VHS player hooked up, these short little videos will do. They say the one stroke painting method is the easiest to learn. I just watched this video, and granted I have not tried it yet, it didn't look so easy. Do you paint? Do you use this method?

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Beauty Of Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli, one of the oldest gems known to man. It is actually not a gemstone, or a mineral, but a combination of minerals making it a really beautiful rock. Lapis can be this lovely dark blue, as shown, or a lighter blue. It is always opaque and not translucent. It can be carved into various ornamental carvings, such as the beautiful elephant shown, or the lovely cabachon perfect for jewelry making. The darker blue is more valuable, and as far as value stones without any other minerals seen in it, have a higher value. The gold flecks, or pyrite, seen in the stone shown are valued by many customers, and actually sought after. It's healing powers are to help aid in sore throats, mental clarity, and to help calm the mood. The largest and oldest mine is found in Afghanistan. It is very often confused with Sodalite. A true beauty, Lapis Lazuli.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Custom Made Watches

I have an extremely small wrist, less than six inches, which even six inch watches or bracelets are extremely difficult to find. I have been thinking of something I could make that would be all my own. I think I have found it, watches and bracelets for odd sized wrists. This is the one I just finished for myself. I used the watch face and then used fancy scroll gold plated jump rings, with a magnetic clasp. It fits me perfectly and is just a little fancy, but not so fancy that if I lose it I would be heart broken. I have tons of gemstone beads, and jump rings, that I can make several more of these. I will be doing so after I get more watch faces next week. Then I will be listing them for sale in my Etsy store. I will focus, at first at least, on the smaller sized wrist, or the larger sized wrist, both of which are difficult to find in the retail world. What do you think of my new watch? I love it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Sale In My Etsy Store

You know what they say, out with the old and in with the new. Come help me clean out my Etsy store, so I can make some new inventory. Everything is marked down, some up to 75% off. Don't miss this chance. Simply click one of the images below, to be taken to my full inventory. This sale will run from right now, until Saturday March 19th at 6 PM. I offer combined shipping, and a free layaway service to anyone who wishes to use it. Please ask all questions before you buy. There is something here for everyone, including teens, young ladies, and us ahem older ladies as well.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Green For St Patrick's Day: Team FEST

Green Chrome Diopside Cocktail Ring

Handmade Crystal Green Earrings$25.00

Green Heart and Leaf Necklace $10.00

Green Leaf Bowl On Sale $14.00

Irish Fabric Postcard $7.00

Cool Crazy Dude Tiki Bar Decor $50.00

Another Saturday means another FEST post. All these items are members of Team FEST. I was going to have it be a sale, but it didn't seam to jive correctly. Anyway check out all these awesome items and don't forget to visit their shops, and maybe even buy a little something.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Anniversary To Me

Today is my fifth wedding anniversary. Did you know the gemstone for a fifth wedding anniversary is the Sapphire. The blue stone is not a sapphire. It is a blue with a hint of green. I have not tested it yet, but I think it might be natural Aquamarine. Anyway I set it in this setting with White Sapphires all around it. I like it with my wedding band, and will wear it as such. How many years have you been married? Do you know the gemstone that celebrates that year? You can find them here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hey All You March Babies

You are lucky enough to have Aquamarine as your birth stone. Aquamarine in its unheated variety will show a tint of green to it. Heated or treated Aqua will show no hints of green tint to them. Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl family, and can easily be confused with Blue Topaz, or even Paraiba Tourmaline and Apatite. Aquamarine can be worn as a healing crystal, and the video below explains that. The second video will tell you about the rarity of unheated Aqua. It is short but you get the idea. Most Aqua is heat treated to removed the green undertones as more customers wanted just the pure blue color.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Art Clay Starter Kit

I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago, that I would like to learn how to do the Art Clay. This clay is unique in that after it is finished it will be 925 sterling silver. As you can see it is not cheap, but I am saving my pennies. Does anyone use this particular product? I would love to hear from you and your experience with it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Learn To Make A Swarovski Crystal Cross Necklace

This tutorial I have used, and it is not difficult at all. I had extra bicones from a necklace I repaired for a friend, so I used them to make this cross pendant, and then it became a gift for another friend. The one thing I do not care for is that I find headpins very difficult to work with. They are not all that pliable and it is hard on the hands, even with the tools. If I do this again I want to try to find a more pliable headpin for ease of use. Give this one a try, it is pretty easy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Buying Jewelry Supplies In A Tight Economy

As you know our economy has been in a bit of a slump. Since making jewelry is not really a business for me, but more of a hobby side business, buying supplies can be tricky. I always want great products at an awesome price, as I am sure all jewelry makers do. Since I have been collecting gemstones for some time, I have quite a few of them. I mostly purchase supplies from certain sellers on Ebay, Jewelry Television, Etsy, Fire Mountain Gems, and Rio Grande. I have often wished Etsy sellers would offer some semi mounts and settings for me to buy. I don't do a lot of beading, but I do some.

When looking for settings and semi mounts, of course I prefer them to be the correct measurements the seller says they are. I have bought semi mounts that say they will fit such and such a stone, get it home and it is a mm or so smaller. This is disappointing because then the piece I envisioned is no longer. Some settings are frail with very thin prongs. This goes for both gold and silver, so you have to be extra careful setting the stones. Some settings also bend when you set the stones. You can't always tell from an image whether the setting or semi mount is good quality or not. I never buy from someone who does not offer a return option. Unless it is very affordable, then I don't mind. You can always save the settings if you break a prong or bend the setting, to sell as scrap to buyers who will melt it down.

I personally prefer silver over gold, mainly due to price. A lot of sellers are coming up with beautiful semi mounts in silver, due to the affordability of silver over gold. I also prefer ones that are rhodium plated, just because they shine better. However if you buy a silver ring with rhodium plating, or any plating, you can not have it resized, so be sure it is the size you want when you buy it. I am not sure most people know this.

If you really love a product but it is way too expensive, mark it and hopefully the seller will have a sale. JTV marks down their settings frequently, and if you check often you can get a great deal. Ebay sellers also do this. I have never seen Rio Grande do this. Fire Mountain Gems often has sales on jewelry making supplies, but I have never seen a sale for settings or castings. Etsy sellers also often have sales on jewelry making supplies, but as I stated I can not find a seller on there that sells castings, semi mounts, or settings.

One other option you can consider, and I have personally done, is to shop at online shopping sites such as HSN. If you find a piece on clearance that you love, buy it, pop the stone out and replace it with your stone. I would not recommend re selling these however, because they usually have a designer name associated with them. I keep these for my own personal collection.

Custom Ornamental Gates

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