Monday, June 24, 2013

The Germiest Thing

Germiest Thing?
Got a guess?
Sometimes I get upset when news articles try to scare you with stories of germs everywhere. Now, I know they are everywhere but I don't want to be scared all the time and get a little paranoid.
Having said that, do you know one of the germiest things you handle every day? It is your purse. Now I know there are other things like the bathroom, floors etc.but the bottom of your purse has lots of germs.
Anyone remember plastic rain hats we used to have? You know the ones that you would snap closed to 1 inch wide, fold and slip into your purse.
I know I'm older than many of you, but maybe not.
Well, I found another nostalgic item recently that fits the title of this post.

A purse holder. Not only does it keep your purse off the floor in a restaurant but keeps it close to you at the table. Plus putting your purse on the back of your chair leaves it "available" for passers by.


These holders slip in your purse and open ready to be placed on the table next to  you and safely hold your purse off the floor or table.
Here is a view of the purse holder on a table.
I should have put a purse on it but you get the idea. I purchased some blanks and have been having fun making some.
These are available with almost any picture you can think of. For example, the same pictures used in my Glass Dome Pendants, work here. Flowers, Japanese characters, etc.

The size is larger ( 1 1/4 inches) so pictures of people, your pets and almost anything will work. I will make one for me with my initial "B". They make great gifts.
I've added some of the purse holders to my website.
If you don't see what you like, just ask. There is a video on the right side of this post for the Glass Dome Pendants for more ideas. (See the Video)
Let me know what you think of the idea. Have you seen them before?
Until next time,


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


We often watch "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" while we eat lunch. Well, really almost everyday. Today one of the questions was very interesting. Paraphrased  -
Given these choices,  which one means "Complicated"
1) Macedonian, 2) Assyrian, 3) Byzantine, or 4) Caledonian ?
I suppose because I'm the one asking, the answer is easy.
It is 3) Byzantine.
I checked with a dictionary and found, though it was the 3rd meaning:
Byzantine - highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious... complicated in structure; consisting of interconnected parts;
Byzantine is one of my favorite patterns of Chain Maille. It looks complicated but it really isn't (when you know how). I have a book that has lots of variations of Byzantine and I was asked to teach one of them. It is called "Side Knot Design" by Scott David Plumlee.

So, I ordered the appropriate rings and started to make a bracelet. New designs usually present a problem getting started but this one ... The easy part was the Byzantine sections. The complicated part was the Side Knot. Byzantine, indeed!
I even asked for help from by buddy Scott at pflora beads. It was just trying to understand the instructions while holding what I had put together already without the rungs falling out of order or dropping rings etc. Many times just another pair of eyes helps and it did.
Now, I understand and it is not as Byzantine as it seemed in the beginning.
Here is a close up picture of the Side Knot.
All of which proves how hard it is to get a good picture of shiny silver rings. The paper clips are just aids to keep the pattern together until more rings can be added. It does lend a bit of size comparison though.
The finished bracelet really looks nice.
What do you think of the new design? I think I should add it to my website. This one is made with Argentium sterling Silver (as I usually do - for tarnish resistance)


Monday, June 10, 2013

Four Things About Me

Four Things about me
(that you may not know)
Since I personally know many of you, these things may not be new to you. But I'll bet I can come up with something that you may not know.
1) When I was a senior in high school, I jumped into the deep end of the swimming pool and swam (on my back) to the middle, turned and swam back to the end of the pool. I haven't been in deep water since. I spent 4 years of high school (red cap and all) in the shallow end. My teacher decided I was a vertical floater but I needed to do that to graduate.
I was not allowed to go swimming in Lake Ontario (our only place to swim then) when I was young because of the Polio scare. However, I made sure my kids learned to swim. OK, I know one of you knows this story ;-)
2) Until we moved to North Easton, MA, I'd never lived any where longer than 13 years and most only 7-9. We have been here in MA for almost 32 years now.

We have lived in NY State (Rochester, Buffalo) Pennsylvania (Blue Bell, Downingtown) NY State again (Hemlock) and now Massachusetts. Now, many of you do know that.

3) My Mother made jewelry during the war to earn money for a vacuum cleaner. Her cousin sold them for her at Kodak Park where she worked. They were made from shells that she ordered from Florida. Here is a picture of a few I have. I know several of you know this, too.
4) My Mother and my Dad made jewelry in the 70's. My Mother used pearls to crochet necklaces and ropes.
Here is one of her pieces.
Dad made pearl pieces with one or two needles by stringing. One pattern is what I have learned is called RAW or right angle weave now. He kept on making jewelry even after he lost the sight in one eye due to diabetes.

Until next time,

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cleaning Silver Jewelry

Cleaning Silver Jewelry

How to:  
Jewelry care for Silver Jewelry starts with protecting your pieces from things that will harm.
You should protect your jewelry from scratching, chemicals, extreme temperatures, swimming pools and intense sunlight.
Sounds sensible, right?
You can clean silver jewelry regularly with warm soapy water. Rinse the piece well, pat dry with a soft cloth and polish gently with a jewelry polishing cloth. Making sure your piece is dry, you can store your pieces in zip-lock bags. There are even some zip-lock bags now with tarnish resistant properties and some jewelry boxes with tarnish resistant inserts. Just make sure the specific piece will not be harmed by water. (Leather, for example.)
Silver Jewelry presents special problems at times. Weather, especially high humidity, can make pieces tarnish quicker.
The atmosphere in beauty salons will quickly tarnish silver. Best to leave good silver pieces at home when going to a beauty salon.
In most all of my silver pieces, I use Argentium Sterling Silver. Argentium Silver tarnishes very, very slowly. All Sterling Silver must contain 92.5% silver. Refined 99.99% silver or Fine Silver, is very soft and not used in pieces that get a lot of wear. (Fine Silver does not tarnish) Regular sterling silver has copper added to make it harder, which is the reason for the tarnishing. Germanium to replaces some of the copper in Argentium Sterling Silver.  This addition slows down the tarnishing. 
In addition to using Argentium Sterling Silver, all my silver pieces are tumbled for several hours to make each piece shine brilliantly.
Then washing with soapy water if the piece gets sticky or with just general wearing usually will keep your piece shining nicely for a long time. Remember to store properly.
You can read more about  Argentium Silver  on my website.
If your pieces get tarnished such that washing will not work any more, I'll be happy to tumble them for you. The difference is really amazing.
There are many "dips" available, also,  to remove tarnish. I have a jar and use it occasionally.  The thing to remember about dips is that they remove the tarnish chemically and thus take away some of the silver. Other methods should be tried first. Sometimes just polishing with a silver cleaning cloth will be sufficient after soap and water. Never use dips on silver plate jewelry. There is not enough silver to withstand the removal of any silver. I do dip my thin silver chains as they can get tangled when being tumbled. Running silver chain through a polishing cloth should be the first thing to try.
Also, on mixed pieces - silver with pearls for example shouldn't be dipped. Crystals are usually OK. Soft gemstones - no.
I hope this information was helpful. If you have any questions about cleaning jewelry be sure to ask.
Time to start shopping for graduation gifts?  Check out the silver jewelry on Ring by Ring Designs website.  (I have many more silver pieces that are not on the website so contact me if you want to see more.)