Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ok-- what IS that thing? JLo has a Swarovski

So I am waaay behind in my music these days. I just saw JLo's On The Floor video the other day. At the beginning she is in some dark alley-- in a BMW-- gets out and opens a box that says Swarovski and takes out this -- thing. Pretty thing but I don't know what it is. Is it a big earring? Some sort of weight? A pretty type of hearing aid because she damaged her hearing listening to her husband sing?

Kidding. :)

But really. It doesn't look like it has a regular hook for an earring and that thing was MASSIVE.

So if anyone knows, please comment. Here is a link because I know you are all dying to see it now.


My 5 followers-- I think we are all in the same age group anyway which is too-old-to-be-seen-in-the-club or anywhere "on the floor" (unless taking a break from your daily 5 sit-ups like I do ) and we still think Pitbull is a dog. And we WANT that Swarovski, whatever it is, to make our own thing like a necklace that will actually show up and not be hidden by someone's HUGE HAIR.

Love ya JLo. Seriously. The song is my latest ear worm. :)

TANGENT: Sorry I have been lax blogging, my dear 5 followers, but as many know my work computer blue screened and my kitty is close to kitty heaven. So it's been crazy around here.

I haven't forgotten about the give away. If you bring any new friends it will make it so much more FUN--competition! Ha. You are probably all telling your friends to avoid me so YOU can win, right? That's why I have less than 10 followers. Not because I am boring. Right?

Later ladies!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Using a Rock Tumbler

I don't remember quite how I stumbled on this, but reading through stuff about jewelry and gems and shiny jewelry I saw something that said something about getting out little nicks in wire and shining it up all pretty with a rock tumbler. I knew people polished and used special pliers when working with wire, but I didn't know you could also use this cool machine.

So now, of course, I want one because I always have nicks because I am a bit of a newbie. I tried the coated pliers but I don't like the way they grip. I was going to try the rubber dip stuff that supposedly helps but didn't get around to that yet either.

I guess you put Dawn or some other soap in it along with "sterling shot." This is sort of like pins and other metal stuff and apparently it does not hurt much of anything except a gem or bead that was cracked already. Amazing.

Picture of Sterling Shot

I have read that Michael's sells these rock tumblers for a nice price, at least for my little necklaces--maybe not so much for someone who is doing a big hefty amount. So I am saving up.

Here is a funny blog post about using a jewelry tumbler and shot. http://akacontrariwise.blogspot.com/2008/12/rip-my-faithful-rock-tumbler.html

Here is some more information on how this works!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gemstones: Cat's Eye and link to gemstone guide

I recently turned 40 and I remember way back when we didn't have as many books as people do now. They were sort of a luxury. Lots of kids had story books. My favorite book--A Gemstone and Mineral identification book. I just loved the pictures of all the pretty rocks!

So when starting to work with beads I became very interested in (again) all these neat semi-precious, precious, rocks, what-have-you and trying to see what I could play with next on my limited budget. The most recent fun thing is cat's eye or chrysoberyl. Very cheap ones.  Here is the link to see one and a picture of a really expensive kind. The link also is the gem guide that is my new best friend. Mostly expensive things but it takes the place of the book I lost.


These are fascinating. Here is a necklace/choker and earrings I made with royal blue ones.

Here is another great website with more information than pictures and some great info about Chrysoberyls like this :

"Scientists have discovered that very fine inclusions, deposited in the stone, are responsible for this fascinating phenomenon. The incident light is reflected off them, so that a bright strip of light appears, running perpendicular to the inclusions, similar to the eye of a feline predator. When the stone is turned, this strip seems to glide away across the surface of the stone. In technical terminology this phenomenon is known as 'chatoyancy', which comes from the French 'chat' (for cat) and 'oeil' (for eye). Whilst chrysoberyls lacking the cat's eye effect are mostly faceted, cat's eyes are always cut into cabochons, since only tall, rounded shapes render the line of the eye properly visible."

Happy drooling! 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jewelry Booths and Craft Fairs

So I am thinking of maybe making it to a few craft fairs, one to look and maybe a couple to actually sell. I don't think I would be ready for the first one so I thought the best idea would be to check it out, get ideas, get my act together, get more products to sell ...

I have gotten a few great ideas from just looking at pictures on Flickr and Google images. Here are some cool things I have learned:

1. You don't need to buy those really expensive displays. I saw a great booth that used pretty colorful dishes and large books opened to the middle to display necklaces.  Find some things around the house that will be cohesive so your booth has one basic "look" and try out many different arrangements.

This is the one with the books and plates:


2. You need to have different levels of piles of stuff. Don't just put it all on the table. Have some higher, some lower, some medium.

3. Have a mirror. That kind of goes without saying but I am trying not to forget this one. :)

4. One way to perk up your booth is to get a huge print or 2 of your better pieces. This can be done at Wal-Mart I believe using their online photo studie. Get maybe a frameless frame kind of thing, just so it is protected. I think that would be a nice clean look. Be sure your photo is of good enough quality, though. Those can be a great look for little cost.

5. Take things you wouldn't normally think of like alcohol wipes and polishing stuff to keep it looking great even after being handled (or accidentally spilled on).

Well, that should be good for now. Please share any booth ideas or suggestions!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Vermont Country Store--Summer's Here!

I don't know why this http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/Shop?
store reminds me of summer. It must be some long-lost childhood
memory. I love looking through the website at the summer dresses and wishing I could afford them.

I was never a dress kinda girl, at least after I had a choice of what to wear. And now--I love them! They are so danged comfortable and you can never go wrong with a casual cotton dress.

But I think I have changed my mind this year and want something like this: Not that I can afford that either but at least you get 2 separate pieces ...

Anyone else have a special site/store/anything that reminds you summer is beginning? I can't wait!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Freebie Giveaway -- but what to give?

So I want to do the whole incentive to get followers -- and maybe you'll start to like me. Committment free! You can just click the follow button. I won't have the follow police check up on you to be SURE you are reading-- just pretend.

This will be a give-away contest. I wish I could give these to everyone who follows/comments but I have not won the lottery. Yet.


So all you have to do is comment on any post or follow. I will need an email to contact you if you win. I don't even have TIME to spam so don't worry about that. :0)  Won't sell your email or even make fun of it. I promise.

So what should I give? I make jewelry and would love to give away something related to that but we all have different tastes.

I am thinking the Friendship Flowers I am working on would be good. Little cute bead flowers that have a ring part for attaching to a keychain or something and a clasp to hook onto things like purses ... I would give a bouquet of 6.

I am going to be making different sorts of flowers but the one on the right is basically it. I will post more in the coming month. They will be a little more ornate than the one below.

Don't forget to press the follow button :) It's on your right. No. Your other right.

It's over there ---------->

Shutting up now.


Swarovski Crystals and Lead Content: Will I become a Mutant?

I sell a few pieces that have Swarovski crystals in them. I don't have any children's jewelry at the moment, but we all know how kids like to dress up with mom's things. I only recently noticed the "contains lead" blurb on the tag of some beads I bought. I thought I better check this out just to see if it was safe and if it was, how to be sure my customers did not shy away from these beautiful beads from fear.

This is the basic finding of my research: Per Swarovski and the rulings of many states, the biggest danger from these beads is choking, not lead content. Here's the boring stuff in teeny-tiny print. Go to the bolded, big stuff at the end--easy and official.

Swarovski: Recently, there has been an increased regulatory focus on potential human exposure to lead from various consumer products, including jewellery. Crystal has unique properties. The crystal manufacturing process creates a matrix which inhibits the mobility of lead. In other words, lead is bound into the structure of the crystal. Because of this structure, lead crystal poses no significant risk of excessive lead exposure to human health via surface contact (hand to mouth), mouthing or even ingestion. Indeed, Swarovski crystals have been tested under a variety of test methods for extractable lead. Test conditions and procedures do vary, but lead levels are well below regulatory limits even when the crystal is tested in an acid solution to maximize the release of lead.
Most authorities considering lead in crystal have concluded that limits on total lead should not apply to crystal. In 2006, for example, the California Attorney General settled a lawsuit brought in the state alleging exposure to lead from jewellery. The court-approved settlement agreement, as well as the later legislatively enacted Californian AB 1681, established limits for lead in metals and several other components, with stricter standards for jewellery intended for children 6 and younger. Significantly, in recognition of the limited risk of availability of lead from crystal, the settlement agreement as well as California AB 1681 allows the continued use of crystal without limitation in jewellery not intended for children. For children 6 or younger, up to 1 gram of crystal may be used in such jewellery. These same standards were adopted in the state of Minnesota. Similar bills are pending in other states, but some states are considering or have adopted new limits on lead that do not include an exemption for crystal.
Therefore, you are in no danger in touching crystals. This is also the reason that there are no specific recommendations about touching or using crystal, however, we do not recommend that crystals are put in the mouth, swallowed, choked on or inhaled under any circumstances, or are used as children’s toys due to the small parts hazard.

There. Perfectly safe. But if you still want to tell your daughters/neices/nephews (hey--it's possible) to NOT TOUCH or you will turn into a *mutant--go ahead. I won't tell.

*No offense meant to mutants.

Now get back to beading!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Emerald--May Birthstone and my daughter's middle name

So what if my daughter was born in June? I wanted to give her a really cool middle name. The emerald held special meaning to me at the time, so I went with it. I think these are more beautiful than diamonds, mainly because I love the color. 

Per Gembrokers.org  Roman emperor Nero wore emerald sunglasses to watch the gladiators because he was advised  sight is refreshed and restored by gazing upon this stone. 

So there is the poor gladiator, beat for sport and Nero is watching through emerald glasses. Sort of makes me hate him and want to be him at the same time. 

One reason I love working with glass beads is because I would never be able to work with something like emeralds or diamonds--but these look almost as pretty.

What is your favorite gemstone and why? 

Leave me a comment and I will enter you into a free giveaway--(email needed)--details coming up tonight or at latest tomorrow. :) HINT: It's NOT a free emerald. Sorry. 

I will do nothing else with your email here--not sell, not spam, won't even bug you unless you win, then you will get 1 email with the details. I will post winner here as well. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Freebie

Just a quick note this morning. There is still the free shipping code on my Etsy shop (beadievine) "imworthit" but now some necklaces are coming with the free earrings as well.

So you get both the free earrings (on some listings) and free shipping.
How great is that?


Have a great day! Will post later again today.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shiny things obsession

If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. Isn't that a famous quote somewhere? Excuse me while I dust off my brain ... and skip a Google check for now. But I have always loved the thought, if not the reality of needing money and my LOVE is making jewelry. Here is an example. I like to have fun names too and a theme that goes with each one. This one is called UFO: Unidentified Fashion Object. My main themes right now are Outer Space/the sky and starting on the Ocean line coming up here.

My day job is MT--medical transcriptionist. I bet you were thinking MT: Mouse Trainer right? Nah. I "type" for a living. But don't call me a typist because we hate that. We make doctors look smart. We listen to those same doctors mumble all day (many of them anyway, some are great) and go through a lot of keyboards because we bang our heads on them. a lot.

I do love my day job but not as much as making jewelry. It is an obsession.

So to get my business going I have been told to make a blog. The name Shiny Vine is partly my business name "beadievine" and a shout-out to Firefly, one of my favorite shows EVAH second only to Psych. Shawn and Gus are my one true loves but I couldn't very well name my blog "Whaaaat!!!" or "Lavender Gooms..."

I could, but then I would never achieve my dream of making and selling jewelry full time.

As a gift for following my blog, or heck, even reading it, I will give you the secret code for May to get free shipping. that is-- if my Lyme brain can remember it. Yes, I also have chronic Lyme disease. It's fun when writing a blog, especially the word-finding difficulties. And that is an example of sarcasm! You will also find a lot of that here.

Ok. May Secret Phrase is ... imworthit

Put that in the checkout here when you buy something http://www.etsy.com/people/Beadievine and you will get free shipping.

If you prefer to pay shipping and want a free pair of earrings instead, message me on my shop (the link above and then on the left-hand side there is a button that says "contact."  Check with me to see if I have free earrings. If you are worried someone will buy the item in the meantime, go ahead and buy it and I will either make the free earrings or refund the 2.00 shipping charge if (for whatever reason) I cannot do free earrings for that item.

I will hopefully in the next couple of days here post the free earrings pictures for the items that will have them. They will be wire-type, fish-hooks with a matching bead or 2. You can always choose to see the earrings first before committing :) which is probably best anyway so I will get you a picture so we don't have any disagreements.

I am very grateful to my customers at this point and like to do freebies. Granted, they are not, say, a free puppy but I have some okay freebies stashed around here. ;)

Thanks for reading. Anything you want to see, comment away.