Thursday, June 27, 2013

Are Diamonds Really a Girl's Best Friend?

What would you say if I told you there was a gemstone that was proven to be more beautiful than diamonds? You'd probably say, "Why, that is not possible! Ones estimation of beauty cannot be proven to be more or less correct than the varying opinions of others! It is unaccountable!" (Because in my head you speak like a character in a Jane Austen novel.) And you would be right. Sort of.

While it's true that opinions of beauty vastly vary from person to person, there are scientific measurements for things like brilliance (refractive index), fire (dispersion), and luster index. If that data defines beauty, then there is a stone more beautiful, as well as being almost as hard, and a fraction of the cost of diamonds.

Does that excite you as much as it does me?! I doubt it, but we can compare scientifically if you'd like. What's your heart rate, temperature, pupil size, etc?

This stone is called moissanite, named after Dr. Henri Moissan, who discovered it in 1893. Hang in there, this is kind of interesting. He was studying a crater created by a meteorite that hit the earth thousands of years ago, when he found small traces of an unknown mineral.... Unknown because it's from outer space! It is made of silicon and carbon, both of which are found on Earth, but the combination of the two doesn't naturally occur here.

Obviously, natural moissanite is very rare. Only traces of it have been found, certainly not enough to be used in jewelry. But some brilliant scientists came up with a method for creating it in a lab. They produced it because it's physical and electronic properties make it the foremost semiconductor material for.... some things I know nothing about, and in the interest of staying on topic, I'm going to move on. In 1995 a master diamond cutter suggested that if it were cut it would make a beautiful jewel. He was right!

Moissanite can be compared to, and in fact surpasses diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds in brilliance, fire, and luster, and is only slightly below diamonds in hardness.

But wait, there's more! Moissanite is considerably less expensive than diamonds. I'm talking in the $100's rather than in the $1000's. That's a smokin' deal for a stone that is proven to be more beautiful, right?

Are you sold yet? What do you think, should I make some moissanite jewelry?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Stamp Your Way Into Her Heart

Are you a mom? Do you have a mom? Do you know a mom? Then you might have started thinking about Mother's Day. It's a little ways off still (May 12), but I've started brainstorming about what kind of mother's jewelry I want to make.

I made a "Secret Message" ring, that can have almost countless variations.

As you can see, the outside is very simple. It could be a plain band, or an initial, or any of 100's of design stamps that are available, and the inside has the secret message; which could also be anything that fits on the ring.

I made some of these rings for a boutique I am going to be at, so I made them in a one-size-fits-all cuff style. It could just as easily be made into a full ring though.

I also came up with this mother's necklace. Another simple piece (I'm kind of leaning towards more minimalistic styles lately. Just cuz.) that allows for 1,2,3, or 4 birthstone beads.

This one could also be easily customized. It could have a heart instead of the word "mom," or a name, or whatever. The beads could also just be decorative instead of birthstones. I just had a thought... A star with a red, a white, and a blue bead. Patriotic, right?

Endless possibilities! That's what I love so much about making jewelry. Especially when it's hand stamped, because it can have personalized meaning. I recently became a distributor of ImpressArt Metal Stamps. They have such a huge variety of design stamps, and alphabet fonts - I'm really having fun with them! You can check out some of the stamps here if you're interested. (I've just set this up, so I'll be adding lots more in the coming weeks!) Even if you've never done any stamping, jewelry like this ring and necklace are so easy and fun to make! Think of the fun you'll have whipping out Mother's Day gifts, birthday gifts, YOU gifts! :)

Mother's Day is in just over a month. Better get started!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Finds

Are you an April Fooler or an April Foolee? Well, it's coming up soon, and you'd better get prepared if you want to fool more than you want to be fooled! I found an imaginative list of pranks here if you'd like to peruse through them to get your prank juice flowing.

I also found some fun ideas from the handmade arena. This one made me smile... A Boyfriend in a Bottle at Sparkly Pony on Etsy. Hmmmm, not a bad idea.

And a baby with a mustache! This baby is cute no matter what it has on its face. :) You can find your mustache at Wee Hilarity.

For this, I have only one word. Gross. But, gross and April Fool's Day go hand in hand, right? Find these matchboxes and other fun gag gifts at Dippy Lulu.

And of course, I found a plethora of fake spills; from baby bottles and melted ice cream to fingernail polish and paint. I even found a vial of fake spilled blood. I chose the picture of spilled Diet Coke, because that would be totally believable anywhere in my vicinity. You can find all this and more at Fake Food Decor.

Do you have any favorite April Fool's Day pranks? Comment and let us know!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Beautiful Bullets

This is not a political blog. But there are some things I just have an opinion on, and this opinion happens to lend itself well to jewelry. :)

Gun control. This idea scares me. Even if you don't own a gun, and have no desire to ever own a gun, and even if you're afraid of guns; this idea should scare you. Self defense, hunting, and target shooting aside, this is a human right we are talking about - a right specifically outlined in the constitution! Allowing the government to take away any of our rights is so out of our American Character, that I find it appalling that it's even being considered. The governmental snowball is rolling, and if we don't stop it, it will become an avalanche. 

I watched a video recently where a man was talking about Congressman Giffords being shot at a supermarket during a rally. He said that nearby people stopped the attack using a ball point pen when the shooter stopped to reload. I am proud of them for stepping up and using whatever means necessary to protect themselves, their leaders, and their friends and neighbors. But... If I'm ever in a situation where I, my family, my home, or other innocent people are being threatened, I don't want to stand there and wait until the shooter has emptied his gun, while I hope no one gets hurt. And I'd prefer to have a gun over a ball point pen. And if others would prefer to stand there and hope they don't die, then that's just fine, but don't take my right to protect me and mine away. 

I don't carry a gun, actually, but my husband does. He has hunted all of his life, and he knows how to safely handle a gun to protect himself and others from accidental harm. That's key, I think. I'm scared to see the general public waving guns around willy-nilly! My husband recently bought a new gun, and some of the other customers buying guns obviously had no idea how to use one. Maybe people should have to take a gun safety class when they buy their first gun, I don't think that's unreasonable. 

Anyway, that went on much longer than I thought it would! You're probably wondering how this has anything to jewelry...

I think these are awesome! You can find them in an Etsy shop called Trash and Trinkets. She has recycled, upcycled, repurposed and uppurposed (if that's not a word now, it soon will be) used shell casings from different sized bullets. She uses silver, brass, and copper embellishments and lots of different colored stones or crystals to make each one unique.

I had to try to make one myself! I looked online for some pretty embellishments... for about 10 minutes, then I got too impatient and just made one with things I had on hand. :) Mine is not as pretty as hers, but it satisfied my itch to make one, and I kind of like it. I want to be clear, though, that I won't sell these; it's obviously not my design. But I'm happy to send you to Trash and Trinkets to buy one of your own!

I do have a bullet tie tack that I'll sell you though! It's a nice statement piece. I can make you one out of a mold I already have, or I can make one for you with your bullet of choice if you'd like to send it to me.

In the second picture, the tie tack on the left is made from a bullet that hasn't been shot, and the tie tack on the right is made from the shell of a used bullet. It's kind of cool to make one from a significant shell of your own (from a successful hunt, bulls-eye shot from a tournament, etc). Feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss the possibilities!