Showing posts with label Pearls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pearls. Show all posts
June is the Month of the Pearl!


I love the month of June. 

First and foremost because my son was born this month and second, because June's birthstone is the Pearl

Since pearls are my favorite gemstone, 
what more could I ask for, right? 



Let's cover a little Pearl-Ground shall we?


The Colosseum in Rome has this beautiful cross, which was challenging to photograph, but the ancient, rustic ruins inspired me to create jewelry that reminded me how I felt when I was there. This was the start of my 'Old World, Roman Empire' Cross obsession. And then of course, it would have to have pearls!  

One of the first gems to be valued by people, their history is rich.  So rich that at one point the Roman Empire's financial security was in jeopardy for paying out so much gold to India in exchange for this beautiful and mysterious gem; which people draped themselves in, coated objects with and even sought to walk upon. 



I'm not sure exactly why but when I think of Pearls, especially large, beautiful, baroque ones, I think of Ancient Empires, such as the Roman and Persian Empires.  



I believe this is why I like to see pearls used in interesting, some-what rustic looking ways. 



To me, textured metals or chunky, knotted silk or leather mixed with ancient coins, crosses and other relics which nod to these eras always seem so fitting for the pearl, which has undoubtedly stood the test of (Fashion) time. 




Pearls on Trend

Here's a few things which are hot and happening 
in the pearl-world right now. 

Hoops. 


Although some may argue with me here, Hoops, just like Pearls, are always on trend! Right now though, hoops with pearls are beautifully showing their trendy luster these days. 




Everybody Gets the Blues! 
(And Greys/Grays!)




Blues and Grays are the new black.  Yes, I know neither of these were included in Pantone's Spring/Summer 2019 colors, but trust me, Blue and Greys, especially in reference to Pearl colors, are ALWAYS spot on. Especially when mixed with new and creative materials. 



Baroque Shapes.


Jewelry featuring baroque shaped pearls is one trend which seems to be growing in popularity and doesn't show signs of slowing down.  

Possibly because, (again my opinion) they're the most interesting, beautiful pearls around!



So tell me, 

What's your favorite color of pearl?

Your favorite piece of pearl jewelry?

Share in the fun and leave a comment below!

And, check out the links I provided below for you.

I hope you've enjoyed our little Pearl-Time.




Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Pearls, Baby!!

Cheers,


For your futher Pearl enjoyment,
I've included a few links to some fabulous resources such as:







Michelle Ludlam-Buettner (Shel) holds a Graduate Pearls Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and is a Certified Pearl Specialist through the Cultured Pearl Association of American (CPAA).  In addition to creating her own jewelry line, she is also a freelance e-commerce copywriter specializing in the jewelry and travel industries who can often be found fawning over pearls in her spare time.  Follow Shel’s blog at MiShelDesigns.net or see what she’s snapping over on Instagram @pearlgeek.




Let’s Talk Earring Wires,…Shall We?



The unsung heroes of earrings, ear-wires are what most people think of as ‘just hardware’ for their beautiful earrings.  Alas,…they are not.  At least not in my opinion. And, once you read this article and start noticing earring wires, you might change your mind and quite possibly your ‘ear-wire’ opinion (or form your own).

For starters, although I prefer to start with a positive instead of a negative comment, I’m going to share with you my dislike of ‘store-bought’ (i.e. traditional/manufactured) earring wires. 

(Manufactured Earring Wires - Compliments of Pinterest)

They are, to me, the bane of practically all earrings; distracting from the most beautiful designs and, for lack of a better term, ‘trashing’ them.    

(Oohhh,….I’m feeling the flack from this sentence already!)

Have you ever seen a pair of the most beautiful earrings with your favorite gemstone or the most unique and intriguing design that stopped you in your tracks only to see them hanging from a pair of sterile, manufactured, cheap-looking earring wires, thus mucking up their astonishing beauty?

Admit it.  You've noticed.   

They distract from the designer’s beautiful work of art which takes hours of intricate work, skill and education. Not to mention patience – some of these beauties take days or weeks to create, start to finish!   And, if you’re the kind who notices, they completely take away from the overall beauty of the finished piece of jewelry.

It’s as if you’re viewing this gorgeous painting in the Louvre and then you happen to notice the frame and it’s some slick, manufactured looking, no character square piece of #*@!$ engulfing this fine work of art.  

Yes, I probably should have used my inside voice there, but seriously folks,….I’m calling ‘foul’!!



Here’s a solution:  

If you’re a jewelry designer, create your own.  




I’d wager to bet that if you are capable of creating beautiful works of jewelry art, a simple earring wire design is going to be a breeze for you.  

Or, if you feel you don’t have the time for this, as time is money and the most efficient way of doing things saves money, purchase some well-crafted, quality, hand-made ear wires from another designer or someone who does this on a regular basis (No, I no longer do this).  




Another thought is to make a few different ear-wire designs on your own, consistent with your style of jewelry / earrings and have them cast in bulk, thus ensuring the same outcome time after time.  
They're bound to become a ‘signature’ piece in your designs, just as your clasps or your logo tags may have become and will help set your designs apart from others’ and make your jewelry distinguishable.

Having clients who mentioned how they prefer my simple ear wire designs over ‘store-bought’ ones; sayingthey add a touch of class to the design and feel stronger and of better quality, makes me feel I am delivering the best over all product and design to my customers.


 I’m quite curious to know how many people really do notice the ear-wires of earrings.

Whether you’re someone who loves wearing earrings, a seasoned jewelry designer, or a retail or boutique establishment, please jump in and leave a comment below telling me what you think.  

Who knows,…maybe it’s just me.

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, Pearls and “Great Earring-Wires”, Baby!!


Cheers,

~Shel~


Please join our fun community of jewelry lovers by signing up for our monthly 
Pearls! Newsletter.
 (trust me, we talk about more than just pearls!)

It's packed with all sorts of 'Pearl-Fect' goodies each month, from the latest jewelry news and fashion trends, to exclusive online products, events and promotions.

And, receive Our Free, Pearl-Facts Info Sheet when you sign up HERE.



Michelle Ludlam-Buettner (Shel) holds a Graduate Pearls Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and is a Certified Pearl Specialist through the Cultured Pearl Association of American (CPAA).  In addition to creating her own jewelry line, she is also a freelance e-commerce copywriter specializing in the jewelry and travel industries who can often be found fawning over pearls in her spare time.  Follow Shel’s blog at MiShelDesigns.net or see what she’s snapping over on Instagram @pearlgeek

Questions and inquiries welcome at Shel@MiShelDesigns.net

Wholesale Inquiries please list "wholesale" in the subject line.



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~



 


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@MiShelDesigns.net
and I'll be happy to help you out!

 
Please join our fun community of jewelry lovers by signing up for our monthly 
Pearls! Newslette
(trust me, we talk about more than just pearls!)

It's packed with all sorts of 'Pearl-Fect' goodies each month, from the latest jewelry news and fashion trends, to exclusive online products, events and promotions.

and, receive Our Free Pearl-Facts Info Sheet when you sign up HERE.

Thanks!! 


Michelle Ludlam-Buettner (Shel) holds a Graduate Pearls Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and is a Certified Pearl Specialist through the Cultured Pearl Association of American (CPAA).  In addition to creating her own jewelry line, she is also a freelance writer specializing in jewelry editorial, copy, line and manuscript editing who can often be found fawning over pearls in her spare time.  Follow Shel’s blog at MiShelDesigns.net or see what she’s snapping over on Instagram @pearlgeek.  

Questions and inquiries welcome at Shel@MiShelDesigns.net

Wholesale Inquiries please list "wholesale" in the subject line.
 
Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Pearls, Baby!!

Cheers,
~Shel~

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!!


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,