Archive for December, 2009

layers: not just for cold weather

want to get more mileage out of jewelry you already have?  maybe you’re the proud owner of a new necklace or bracelet that you think would look great with a few others you’ve got.  consider wearing multiple necklaces and bracelets together to get more bang for your buck.

no rules, just pair up what you think looks good together.  consider teaming up necklaces of the same color or a few bracelets that have the same feel: think earthy wood, turquoise, and jade.  i really like to pair chains of different lengths to make a simple t-shirt look put together.  i also love these two: a simple citrine strand with a delicate necklace that has a pendant (pictured right); the same citrine necklace takes on a whole new look when paired with something chunkier (left).  your look can be cool, chic, classic, sporty, or bohemian.  play around with your collection and see what fun combos you can come up with!

December 27, 2009 at 1:18 am Leave a comment

red rock bracelet

a one-of-a-kind solid bracelet made of red agate nuggets encircle your wrist, secured with a handmade sterling silver clasp.

bracelet measures 7.5 inches.

it’s available at my etsy store for $28 USD plus shipping and handling.

December 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

winter blues necklace

the good kind of winter blues. shimmering frost, dangling icicles, a crisp blue sky. remind yourself of the breathtaking side of winter with this sterling silver and quartz necklace. faceted quartz in multiple hues are wire-wrapped onto sterling silver chain and secured with a sterling silver lobster clasp.

necklace is 18 inches long; stones drop 2 inches.

it’s availabe at  my etsy store for $38 USD plus shipping and handling.

December 23, 2009 at 1:53 pm 1 comment

pure warmth necklace

fragile but fiery: faceted carnelian rondelles in deepening shades of orange culminate in a faceted carnelian center stone. each stone has its own sparkle that dazzles in the light. the sterling silver lobster clasp secures it on your neck.

necklace is 19 inches long.

it’s available at my etsy store for $108 USD plus shipping and handling.

December 21, 2009 at 12:45 am Leave a comment

turquoise trend

this pair of turquoise necklaces show off december’s birthstone.

i chose turquoise, bright green jade and faceted deep blue sodalite for this one-of-a-kind necklace. the center stone is a beautifully striated turquoise drop. thai silver spacer beads and a sterling silver lobster clasp complete the necklace.

necklace is 19 inches long.

it’s available at  my etsy store for $46 USD plus shipping and handling.

coral and turquoise encircle your neck in this necklace inspired by the sea and all its secrets. tiny glass drops peek out from between the turquoise nuggets. beautifully hammered sterling silver toggle clasp pulls it all together.

necklace is 17.5 inches long.

it’s available at my etsy store for $46 USD plus shipping and handling.

December 19, 2009 at 9:29 pm Leave a comment

smolder and sparkle

paired with a white t-shirt or rocking the sparkle at night with that little black dress, this duo is ready for anything.

the bracelet has glass beads, swarovski crystals, and freshwater pearls in earthy browns and smoky grays clustered together around a gun metal chain. each cluster is wire-wrapped with sterling silver wire. bracelet measures 7.5 inches long and finishes with a gun metal lobster clasp.  it’s available at my etsy store for $52 USD plus shipping and handling.

the earrings are made from cut swarovski crystals, facted glass, and thai silver spacers.  ear wires are sterling silver and earrings are 1.5 inches in total.  they’re available at my etsy store for $36 USD plus shipping and handling.

December 18, 2009 at 9:35 pm Leave a comment

Oh oh it’s magic!

KEEP STERLING SILVER JEWELRY CLEAN AND SHINY

STOP IT IN IT’S TRACKS: The best way to keep sterling silver jewelry shiny is to prevent tarnish in the first place.  Tarnish is caused by sulfur dioxide from the air reacting with silver, and the best way to prevent it is to keep your jewelry out of the air.  Try sealing your items in a zip top bag; there are specially made bags and anti-tarnish strips you can buy, but this is by far the cheapest.

GREEN IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE: Tarnish is natural and totally normal, so when the inevitable happens, clean your sterling silver with baking soda.  There are a couple of ways to do this, but the simplest is just to make a paste with baking soda and water and use a clean toothbrush (not one that has ever had abrasives or chemicals on it as this could damage your jewelry) to gently scrub the tarnish away.  Then rinse your jewelry thoroughly and blot it dry.  I like to do this over a bowl, but if you do it over a sink, be sure to put something in the drain so you don’t lose anything.

YAY CHEMISTRY!: The baking soda acts as a super gentle scrubber, but it also oxidizes the sulfur that causes tarnish, releasing small amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas.  A quicker way to deal with really tarnished sterling is to put jewelry into a bowl with about 2 Tbsp. baking soda, a pinch of salt, and a crumpled up piece of aluminum foil.  After a few minutes, your sterling will look like new.  How does this work?  Again, the baking soda oxidizes, the salt helps transport the tarnish through the water, and the aluminum foil traps the tarnish, while the gas is released into the air.

SMALL PRINT: Of course you have to be gentle if you opt for the toothbrush method.  DON’T leave your jewelry in the mix forever.  DON’T dunk things with silk cord or pearls or water soluble crystals like flourite, as none of these stay the same when you add water.  GOOD RULE OF THUMB: if you are worried about using this on porous stones, don’t.  Just use it on the sterling silver.  Use a little paste for any tight spots and carefully wipe away with a cotton swab or tissue.  DON’T use this method on silver plated items; they are not actually sterling silver and the coating will come off.  DON’T worry too much; I use this method all the time and don’t have any problems.  I have heard people say that this method degrades sterling silver, but the reality is the degradation has already happened from the tarnish.  When you remove the tarnish, you are removing something that USED TO BE sterling, but is now just the dark grey stuff covering up your pretty shiny piece underneath.

BONUS POINTS: For super shine, buff your jewelry with a soft cloth, like microfiber or chamois.  It’s not environmentally friendly, but in a pinch I use a ‘sunshine cloth’, which is a soft cloth embedded with polishers (wash your hands afterwards!).  You can find them online or at most jewelry and bead stores.  They seem to run about $5 and I use mine a lot.  It lasts a long time (I store mine in a plastic bag in between uses).

December 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm Leave a comment

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