Jan 26, 2016

Returning to the familiar,...

Quiet for quite some time now to work on 'work', I've been asked recently if I will be returning to jewelry making and designing with pearls and to updating the blog with pearl and jewelry information any time soon.

The answer to these questions are, "Yes". 

In response to the above, I've been asked a few times lately about pearls and the 'do's and don'ts' of designing with them and thought I'd reach back in the archives and give you one of the 'good ones'.

The original blog post is 'here', with even more Q and A's, but here's the answer to one of the most frequent questions I receive in regards to designing with pearls.

Q: Can I 'liver of sulfur' my finished wire work piece with my pearls, or do I have to oxidize my metal first and then create my piece?" 

Great question!  And, safety first here, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on any solution(s) you are using whether it’s Liver of Sulfur, Silver Black, etc. and always wear protective eye gear.  
 

Here’s my answer:  You should not place your pearls or other porous gemstones (such as turquoise, etc.) or fragile beads (painted, AB coated crystals, etc.) into a solution of Liver of Sulfur.  
 
Technically, you should oxidize your metal (silver, copper, etc.) prior to working with or assembling your piece.
  
Now, have I ever placed my finished piece along with my pearls into a solution of Liver of Sulfur – yes.  
 
Should I have? No, not really.  
 
Why did I do it? Because I was lazy (just stating the truth here folks!) and I wanted to see what would happen to my pearls. 
(Granted, I didn’t do this with my ‘super-good’ pearls!!)
 
So, what happened? 
 
Well, my pearls came out just fine after about a 30 second dip in some LOS. Absolutely perfect. Not a problem at all. 
 
See?
 
Pearl, Turquoise and Sterling Silver Wire
Wrapped Pendant "Freya"
Before and After an LOS Solution Dip

Although, another time, when I left my pearls in some LOS solution for a couple of minutes, one of them had a dullness to their nacre that wasn’t there prior to the LOS dip and one time it even turned a white pearl a rather dull, gray color. 
It was hard to see right off the bat, but in certain lights you could tell it had lost its original white color and that something was a bit ‘off’. 



It's a bit hard to see here in this photo, but the pearl on the right has lost
a bit of it's beautiful luster. If I had a before and after pic, it would
probably be a lot easier to tell the difference.
 
So, if you have poor quality pearls with extremely thin nacre or chipped nacre (think large hole pearls that have chips around their holes, etc.) you will want to LOS your metal prior to assembling your jewelry if at all possible. If not, then a quick ‘dunk’ might be okay – but then it might not. So, ‘dunk’ at your own risk,…or well, at your pearl’s risk! 
 
A great alternative if you cannot oxidize your piece until it’s finished and you have stones in your design that you are afraid may be affected by a Liver of Sulfur solution is the eco-friendly, boiled egg method
Yes, you can boil an egg, peel it, cut it in half and pop it in a seal-able plastic bag or plastic Tupperware type bowl, seal it up, and the sulfur in the egg yolks will eventually oxidize/blacken your piece without harming your stones/beads.  Now, this does take time,…20 minutes to 2 hours or more, it just depends on the eggs.  So, this is not for the impatient crafter, but it is a great alternative that doesn’t harm your beads/stones (at least none that I know of so far anyway). 
 
*One word of caution if you use Silver Black to blacken your work: don’t let it touch any of your pearls/beads/stones.  Or anything else for that matter – clothes, fingers, your desk, etc. - I’ve had it turn mine black,….well, dark gray/brownish. It wasn’t pretty. So if you’re just using a dab of Silver Black to blacken some stampings you’ve done on metal and you’re just touching it to one small area, that’s fine, just make sure you avoid all of your pearls, stones, beads, etc. 

Okay, so now you're ready to go and have a little 'blackening' fun with your silver and pearl designs, right?! 



Go ahead - be brave and have fun! 

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Playing with Pearls!!  
Cheers,
~Shel~



 


Sep 28, 2015

Knotty Board Fun!

I'm sure you've all heard me mention how I absolutely LOVE the waxed jewelry cord Sandra over at The Knotty-Do-It-All carries (it's great for knotting gemstones and some of my large hole pearls!) and how I love both my large and small Knotty-Do-It-All boards

So, last year when I saw Sandra was carrying some great 'Tassel Cord', well, of course I had to place an order and try it out. 

Here's a photo of two tassels I completed with the Knotty-Do-It-All board using Sandra's instructions.


I haven't yet completed necklaces to go with these - bad me!!


 The cord feels great and it works up perfectly into tassels which have that 'swing' you want a tassel to have. (yes!)

Tassel Cord from The Knotty-Do-It-All

I got quite a few colors, but I might have to go back for more - they're all so yummy!! 

So, if you're making tassel necklaces (like, who isn't these days?!) and stocking up on supplies you'll need for the 'holiday times' then you're gonna want to grab up some of these spools of tassel cord. 

I use my Knotty-Do-It-All boards quite frequently while making knotted jewelry. It's easy, fun and the quality of these boards and the accessories which accompany them are really great.




Here's some pieces of jewelry I've created with the help of The Knotty-Do-It-All Boards.

Also, most of these designs were created using either the waxed jewelry cord or the nylon cord Sandra has over in her shop.














Oh, and here's my little 'disclaimer'.  
"I did this review of my own free will and spoke completely freely 
about my feelings regarding the product(s) I mentioned here today, because yes, I really use them
and yes, I absolutely love them!



Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and KNOTTY Beads and Pearls, Baby!
~Shel~

Aug 27, 2015

Pearl Knotting without Tools - Tutorial

Hello There ~ 

Hope this post finds you all well! 

I've recently had a few people ask me if I could re-show them how to knot pearls (or any beads, really) with out any tools so I wanted to bring out this video again and show everyone.

I have this video up on my 'Tutorials and Fun Stuff' page here on the blog, so anytime you feel like getting a little 'refresher' course, just hop on over to that page and watch it again.

I first posted this video after I hosted The 2nd "Pearls, Pearls, Pearls" Blog Hop I did back in June of 2014. 

During the blog hop, I posted a link to a video by the folks over at Pearl Paradise showing how to knot pearls with out the use of tools.  I mentioned that I did it just slightly different and a little backwards compared to what is shown in the video and so when people asked me what I meant, I thought it would be easier to show you than to tell you.

 

Here's my video above. 

If you have any questions, please shoot me an email over at Shel@asicj.com
and I'll be happy to help you out!

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Pearls, Baby!!

Cheers,
~Shel~

Feb 4, 2015

Playing A Bit





Silence is golden. 

That's what they say anyway. 




Probably not such a good idea for a blog though, right?  

My apologies for the silence here lately. 





There's been a lot of things going on work wise and personally and blogging 
took a back seat for awhile.


 



I was able to create a few things these last couple of weeks and so I wanted to pop in and give you some jewelry eye-candy.


Sterling Silver Dragonfly Button from Kim over at Untamed Spirit Studios on Etsy


 
You know me, 

It's All About The Pearls!!



 
 Thanks to everyone who's messaged me and/or left comments via email or on Facebook and Instagram,
I appreciate them! 





Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Pearls, Baby!!
Cheers,
~Shel~

 




 The cord I used in the knotted pearl necklaces is waxed jewelry cord from Sandra over at  
The Knotty Do-It-All.

It's pretty awesome stuff!!


Dec 10, 2014

Handcrafted for the Holidays

My closing sale has been extended over on my Etsy shop and I wanted to send out a little reminder.



Receive 45% off your total order now through December 20th by using coupon code DEC45 upon check out on Etsy.




Click HERE to start shopping.


 

Also, if you're creating jewelry for your friends and family this gift giving season, here's the link to the tutorials I have up here on my blog




If you have any questions about the tutorials, just ask.



Happy Shopping and Happy Creating!




Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Handcrafted Goodness!

Cheers,





Nov 12, 2014

3 Day Blow Out Sale and Time To Say Farewell,...

Well, it's time to pack it in and call it a day! 

I'm closing my Etsy store on November 30th.




Most of you who follow along with me here know that I have been doing a lot less, jewelry-wise, this year because I've been immersed in the business I co-own and run with the hubs.

And, since things are continuing full-force, I decided it was best to close up shop and let the jewelry business simmer for awhile. 
  


I think I'd stop breathing if I had to quit creating all together, so I will be doing things here and there, and I'll be putting designs up over on Facebook (I honestly get more inquiries via FB than anywhere else!) or here on the blog every once in a while.  

If you see something you want, just message me to ask about it and if it's available, I'll 'ring it up' for you!

And Here's The Good, Juicy Stuff,...

 
This Sunday from 10:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. my sister and I are having our annual Fall Boutique at her house. It's going to be my last show for a while too, so if you're here in central AZ, stop by and join us. We'll have all kinds of fun jewelry designs, plus, my sister will have many of her fantastic paintings  and note cards she's been doing recently (did I mention she's an amazing artist??) for sale as well.  

Here's some of her work she's posted over on facebook recently.



Incredible, right?! 

In the meantime, before I put my jewelry making tools away, I'm having a huge Jewelry Blow Out SALE over in my MiShel Designs Etsy Shop.  



For the next 3 days, 
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 
November 15th, 16th and 17th, receive  
40% OFF Your TOTAL ORDER

Yep, that's right - 40% OFF! 

Just use coupon code BLOWOUT when you check out through Etsy.  

Then, starting the 17th of November all items will be offered at 35% off by using code SAVE35 upon check out until I close my shop the last day of November.


 

Thanks for all your support, I can't tell you what it's meant and how much I appreciate it!


And, please come back here to the blog to catch up on things or follow along on the MiShel Designs Facebook page - I'll still be around every once in a while!


 

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Transitions in Business!
Cheers,
~Shel~


 


Nov 8, 2014

Week 45 - Grateful

November's Topic for the Focus on Life:2014 weekly photography challenge is,...ful

Here's what Sally prompted us with for week 45:

 Week 45: Grateful

"For the month of November there will be WORD PROMPTS to look deep into your being and reflect on being positive!" 

Grateful:filled to the brim with feeling the appreciation of kindness;
                
Right now I am loving the 'kindness' of our wonderful Arizona weather. 


 

I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds me every day.


Please click on the links below to see what everyone else is grateful for today.

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Life!
Cheers,
~Shel~


Nov 1, 2014

Focus On Life - Weeks 43 and Week 44

I missed a week of the FOL:14 photography challenge while I was back home visiting family, but Sally had a little 'oops' moment and so this week's prompts are 'Two For One' - Week 43 and Week 44.


Week 43: Your favorite color 

  I'm not sure what my favorite color is - kinda depends on my mood and my surroundings, or where I'm at, at the time.

When I think of my favorite color(s), images of Sunrises, Sunsets, the Ocean and beautiful fall trees come to mind. 

 

 

So that's basically all colors, wouldn't you say?!!


And now,....

Week 44: An ordinary photo of the extraordinary everyday,...aka take a photo of what ever you would like and post it!

 

 

 This photo was taken on an extraordinary day spent with one my nieces. 

  We had the most lovely time and the beauty around us was anything but ordinary!

Let's see what everyone else captured this week, shall we?

 

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Extraordinary Beauty!

Cheers,

~Shel~


 

 


Oct 17, 2014

Radio Silence

When this post goes live, I'll be jetting off to see family and there will be 'radio silence' here on the blog for a week. 

I wanted to leave you with this wonderful sunrise photo.




I am just amazed at the lovely art that decorates the sky each morning and evening here in the desert. 

I always love it!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Beautiful Skies!
Cheers,
~Shel~


Oct 16, 2014

Waxed Jewelry Cord Love!

Hey all - I just wanted to give a quick shout out. 

I recently got some new colors of the Waxed Jewelry Cord from Sandra, over at The Knotty Do It All.




I just LOVE this waxed cord and here's why:

  • You can twist it so that it separates and use smaller holed beads with it.
  • It's synthetic (not silk, linen or cotton) so you can melt the ends with your thread zapper (or the flame from a lighter if you're that brave and coordinated!) - No Need For Glue!! 
  • The colors are pretty steadfast,....no running, fading, etc. that I've encountered.
  • It doesn't stretch with wear the way waxed linen, silk or waxed cotton seems to stretch.
  • The color choices are awesome!  Check out the link here to Sandra's shop to see for yourself!
  • It's sturdy. I mean really sturdy. (Pile on those heavy, glass designer beads and see!!)
  • It works up wonderfully whether you're knotting it, doing macrame or simply stringing with it - it has this 'drape' to it that is just super!
  • It's not too 'waxy', but enough that it does exactly what you want a waxed cord to do.
  • Did I mention the colors,....and that it's really sturdy?
  • Quality cord. Simple as that!

Here's the colors I have on hand at the moment. 


Vino is my favorite. I use it all the time, but I think that Med. Brown and Java may have a new place in my heart this fall season!! And that Agave - swoon!!


I keep joking with Sandra that I'm eventually going to add some additional 'color' to my life and order some reds or something else!!  

Seriously,...how much more 'neutral-black, gray, brown-ish' could I get? LOL!

I created this knotted, large hole pearl necklace and bracelet set using the Waxed Jewelry Cord I purchased from Sandra's Knotty-Do-It-All shop.  




It's a fun, versatile and excellent quality cord.

If you have any questions about this cord, shoot me an email, leave a comment here on the blog or hop on over to The Knotty-Do-It-All website and ask Sandra herself! 

She's super nice and is just a wealth of information!


Sandra Younger at the Tucson Gem Show




Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Waxed Jewelry Cord Fun!
Cheers, 
~Shel~