Jewelry Humor

It’s a drizzly day where I am for what I think is the third or fourth day (at least) in a week, so I thought some jewelry humor would be a nice change.
I found this on a local jewelry shop’s Facebook page and I just had to share it with you. I thought this was great.

I hope you have a wonderful day whether you’re in the drizzle like I am or enjoying the sunshine elsewhere.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Dreaming…

I hope you all had a relaxing holiday! I can’t believe we have now passed Labor Day…

 

As I look back over this past summer, I am trying to focus on the things I accomplished and not worry about the things I did not accomplished. That can be a challenge. For those of you who follow me regularly, you know I’m a big fan of learning from events in life. It’s basically the concept of finding something positive in every situation.

 

Something I learned this summer is if you want something badly enough, you can usually accomplish it as long as you are physically able and willing to put a little time, effort, and (possibly) money into it. Oh…and patience. Patience is important.

 

In my business, I have decided to move forward with some things that once seemed like dreams. I was concerned about spending the money, but I believe it will pay off in the long run. I will never know if they will work or not unless I try.

 

I have wanted a white canopy (EZ-UP) for some time now. This is considered a standard for craft shows and is often required for higher-end juried shows. I finally went out and purchased one yesterday. I was going to put it off until this winter or next spring, but my husband reminded me about end-of-season sales and the fact that it will be harder to find a canopy after cookout season is over.

 

Yesterday I also decided to purchase some silver to make the all-silver jewelry I’ve been dreaming about for months. Again, I was concerned about spending the money, but I think the timing was best. I have been watching silver prices very closely for the past few months and I think I’d be investing more money into it if I waited much longer. In July, silver was around $26 per ounce. Last week, it was around $30 per ounce. Yesterday, it was around $32 per ounce. Awhile back it was $40 per ounce and it did come back down, but they don’t think that will happen again for a long time, if ever.

 

Please note, this silver isn’t just any silver. It’s USA-made silver, which goes with another one of my dreams. As I have previously written, I love the idea of USA-made items created with USA-made components. It’s going to be awhile until I get my entire jewelry line to that point, but I have to start somewhere, so why not now?

 

The other dream I started to aim for is the completion of a certification I’m working on. I have been working on achieving my Accredited Jewelry Professional (AJP) certification through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for a little over a year now. It’s a 3-course certification and I finally started the third and final course yesterday. While this certification might not pay off for me right away, I think it will pay off in the long run. If nothing else, it is building my understanding of metals, gemstones, and the jewelry industry.

 

Speaking of my jewelry-making dreams, I felt inspired by an image I saw yesterday and I decided to make a pair of earrings based on that inspiration. I can’t remember what the design I saw was, but I made some changes and this is what I ended up with:

What do you think? I love them! These are created with sterling silver and cultured freshwater pearls. They are not listed on Etsy yet, but they should be up soon. I will let you know when I post them!

 

So with a little bit of patience, a little bit of determination, and a little bit of money I have accomplished one of my business dreams and started on two more. As hard as it is for me to remember, if I get knocked down when I’m in the heat of the fight, I must get up, brush off the dirt, and move forward.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Latest and Greatest in Wire

If you follow my blog regularly, you know I’m aiming toward creating more solid metal jewelry for my collection. Part of this incorporates the use of sterling silver wire. I have felt inspired to play with some wire lately and came up with a few pairs of simply elegant earrings. Please excuse me while I show them off…

 

This pair was created after I created a pair just like them on a whim as a gift. After I gave the first pair away, I realized I had not taken a photo of them! I had to make another pair just so I could get a photo…and also because I think they are really pretty! The thin lines lengthen the face and the delicate design goes perfectly with anything and on anyone!

 

If you are interested in this pair of earrings, they can be found here: Sterling Silver Curved Wire Earrings

 

The next pair I created by accident. I was hoping for a completely different design than what I ended up with and I’m glad they worked out the way they did. The initial creation left me with two earrings that did not look similar enough for my liking, so I cut parts off, hammered other parts for texture, bent and curled and the result is as follows:

I wish I could show these in motion. They move with such grace!  Again, the solid silver design allows these earrings to go anywhere.

 

If you are interested in this pair of earrings, they can be found here: Sterling Silver Semi-Circle Earrings

 

This last pair was just for fun. I had an idea and ran with it; luckily, it turned out nicely. At first glance, these earrings are a bit funky, but I think you could really dress them up or wear them for a day at the mall. The sleek silver lines give them a simple elegance with a modern twist.

If you are interested in this pair of earrings, they can be found here: Sterling Silver Zigzag Earrings

It’s funny how you can take something as simple as a single strand of wire and come up with something that has such a “wow” effect. I really enjoyed making these, and I think I’m on the right track as I am moving forward with doing more solid metal designs.
Have you let your imagination run wild lately? Go ahead, release your creativity. It might give you a boost of confidence or least give you a few moments of fun. Just try something new!

Thanks for stopping by!

Where do my stones come from?

Let’s shift topics a bit here. I am currently working on obtaining a certification through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), who is regarded as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. The certification is titled “Accredited Jewelry Professional (AJP)” and through the courses I’m taking I’m learning a lot about the elements that go into each piece of jewelry. One of the subjects we looked into was the origin of gemstones. I was very fascinated by this and would like to share it with you.

Where I come from (Central Pennsylvania), we are not really known for our jewelry-quality gemstones. However, we do have some supplies of quartz, agate, amethyst, fluorite, magnesite, and corundum (which can appear as sapphire or ruby). Have you ever wondered where your gemstones do come from? It’s an interesting and eye-opening subject to research, that’s for sure.

The most beautiful gems come from some of the farthest reaches of the Earth. In these locations, mining is often done by companies with limited capital and primitive equipment, which can put the workers’ safety in jeopardy. Most of the work is done by hand with picks, shovels, and washing pans (pans with fine screens in them used to separate the other rocks and debris from the gemstones) so it is very labor intensive.

These areas do not have the safety standards we find in America, so the mining operations are not only labor intensive, but they can also be dangerous. Mine floods and collapses are very serious and possible risks. However, because the residents of these countries live in such poverty, they are willing to take the chance and risk their safety in order to make money to support their families.

Gemstones make an interesting journey before they end up in your jewelry box. As I noted above, they start out as rough stones in mines throughout the world. Then they are carefully removed from the mines often through manual labor. They are then shipped to a manufacturer who cuts and polishes the stones. The way a stone is cut is often related to the way it is shaped when it comes out of the mine. This is done to ensure the least amount of stone loss during cutting as possible. After a stone is cut and polished, it is sent to a dealer who will sell it to a retailer. You then purchase the stone from the retailer. Many companies are trying to reduce the middle man in this operation in an attempt to cut costs. They are aiming for the manufacturer and the dealer to be one person or company instead of two.

 

Here is a list of some of the places that are commonly known for their exquisite stones:

Myanmar (Burma) – Rubies

Kashmir (region straddling India and Pakistan) – Sapphires (also called Kashmir Sapphires)

Colombia – Emeralds

Brazil – Emerald, tourmaline, topaz, amethyst, alexandrite, and opal

Tanzania, Africa – Tanzanite

Austrailia – Black opal

 

Are there any gemstones found in the area where you live? What are they?

As always, thank you for stopping by and reading!