Ring-a-Day Weekly Round Up #3

Ring-a-Day Weekly Round Up #3

R-A-D #201-202 7/26/2010 & 7/27/2010 “Brass Bands”

The rings that I made this week for Ring-a-Day were mostly metal. The two bands above were made for a young couple and fortunately they count for two days! They’re made of brass and the one on the right is hollow form.

On Wednesday and Thursday I tested a couple of ideas for simple bands, by making copper samples:

band1

R-A-D #203 7/28/2010 “Copper Band”

leaf

R-A-D #204 7/29/2010 “Copper Leaf”

I applied a sepia filter to both photos just to make them a little bit more interesting.

On Friday I was running out of time and I decided to post again the White Pebble Ring that I made that day to fill an order. This is the same design as R-A-D #188. Although I have set this rule to myself not to post the same design twice, I had to break it at least once!

pebble

R-A-D #205 7/30/2010 “Another White Pebble Ring”

On Saturday, I incorporated a dried oregano bloom, which is actually a rare species that grows on the nearby mountains. It’s supposed to be red when it’s fresh. Now it has a pale purple color and a delicate structure, which I find very appealing.

oregano

R-A-D #206 7/31/2010 “Red Oregano Flower”

Today, apart from being Sunday, it’s too hot to do anything! This is a leftover piece of thread from the placemats that my mother sewed for me. I like the color a lot!

thread

R-A-D #207 8/1/2010 “Leftover Thread”

Now I’m on ring #207 and number 365 doesn’t look so distant anymore! Since I joined the project on January 6th, I’m always five rings behind. I didn’t think of trying to catch up, not until recently. I had this idea on my mind that the project will end for me on January 5th. Lately, I ‘m thinking that I would like to finish together with the other participants that are still on it…. So maybe I’ll do some extra rings….or maybe not!

Time for this week’s favorites from the Ring-a-Day Flickr Pool. So many wonderful rings are added each day and it’s getting hard to choose only a few!

RAD #198 7/28/10

A ring featuring Evelyn Markasky’s signature techniques of anticlastic forming and enameling.

RAD #68

An origami-inspired ring by Lesley Tinnaro.

Ring a Day 37- a new picture of an 'old' ring

This may be an old ring but the photo is new and gorgeous! A unique design by Colleen Baran.

Ring a Day 208/365

This ring is part of a conceptually strong series by Thomasin Durgin, dealing with “american terror”. More info about this series on Tomi’s blog.

All rings, which are now over 12.000, can be found at Ring-a-Day Flickr Pool.

Also, a very exciting announcement: Ring-a-Day has been accepted as an exhibit for the next SNAG Conference, on May 2011! More details can be found here.

Thanks for reading!

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In a mood for purple

In a mood for purple

lavender

.....but not just any purple.

only the purple of lavender will do!

The first photo was taken last year at Coventry, UK, while visiting my brother. The second is a recent one, taken not at the fields of Provence but at the garden of the place where I’m living.

I started doing a little research about the meaning and symbolism of purple. According to this article, purple is supposed to be “uplifting and calming to the mind and nerves. It offers spirituality and encourages creativity”.

.....not bad at all!!!

I’ve ben stumbling upon some interesting stuff lately:

Thanks for reading!

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How to Clean and Care For Your Jewelry

How to Clean and Care For Your Jewelry

Today I thought I’d share a few basic tips for taking care of your jewelry as well as some easy ways to clean them at home.

But first, some basic facts:

Sterling silver jewelry tend to tarnish over time and this means that they develop an oxidation on the surface. This is a normal process, which relates to the fact that sterling silver is an alloy of 92,5% pure silver and 7,5% copper. Pure silver does not tarnish but is also so soft and difficult to work with. The addition of copper hardens the metal and makes it more easy to work with.

Sterling silver tarnishes by being in contact with the air. A chemical reaction takes place due to sulfur containing compounds in the air. This process can also be accentuated because of the contact with your skin ph or by certain weather conditions e.g. humidity.

This aging patina or an oxidized finish is preferable for many people. But if you like your jewelry clean and shiny, there are a number of things that you could easily try at home:

  1. The most basic thing to do is to delay tarnishing, by keeping your jewelry into their box, when you ‘re not wearing them, or -even better- in ziplock plastic bags. You could also add an anti tarnish strip into the box/bag.
  2. Occasionally, rub your jewelry gently with a soft polishing cloth. You can find these in jewelry supply stores, but also often in big supermarkets. polishing cloth
  3. For a satin matte finish, a surprisingly easy thing to do at home is to rub your jewelry with a scotch brite pad, either dry or wet, or with fine steel wool. scotch brite
  4. Be gentle when polishing chains and avoid touching delicate gemstones with the polishing pads.
  5. Avoid getting your jewelry wet or wear them while bathing or sleeping. I know I have to remind myself of this last one several times as I can’t be apart of my favorite bracelets for long!
  6. Pearls and coral need extra care because they are of organic origin. Avoid contact with perfumes or hairspray as this may damage or discolor them. A simple rubbing with a wet cotton cloth is enough.

Suggestions for further reading:

What’s your favorite way to clean your jewelry? I would love to hear your tips in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

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Watercolor pencils plus some arrangements

Watercolor pencils plus some arrangements

Sitting at the balcony, looks like it’s about to rain.

rain

....and it actually does a few minutes later.

Starting to make some arrangements with leaves that I gathered earlier during a walk. One of my favorite things to do is collect various bits from the streets, usually natural specimens and then arrange them in a pleasing way. Somehow, this activity seems like it brings order and beauty when it’s most needed.

arrangement1

arrangement2
From the garden: dried gloriosa bloom, almost dried hibiscus bloom, coleus.

Watercolor pencils out of their box:

pencil

Starting to sketch and then add water with a paintbrush.

I don’t have a clue what I am doing, just experimenting. All I know is that it feels great playing with colors, pencils and brushes. By sketching, I study their forms closer, which helps me understand them better.

drawing

drawing2

Time for another arrangement:

arrangement3
Found shell and pebbles

Sketching and adding color:

sketch3

Then I wanted to see how it looks if I added a border with the sewing machine:

stitching1

stitching2

Do you prefer the first type of stitching which is more random or the second one which is straight?

Now if you want to see some seriously great, “real” watercolor paintings, visit the website of Heather Smith Jones or her blog, Anika’s blog and Geninne’s blog. Their work really stands out!

Also, check out the Collecting Nature Flickr Pool, maintained by Jan of Poppytalk, for some inspiring collections of natural specimens.

Thanks for reading!

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Baking

Baking

We are enjoying some cooler temperatures and a sudden rain yesterday, which is a nice change after some very hot days in a row.

Drinking coffee and packaging some rings.

...promise of another rain in the air.

Peach tart is baking in the oven. A very simple and delicious recipe from Food Network. It must be a good one because it’s the third time we’re making it in the last couple of weeks!

tart

A couple of links to check-out:

  • Last week to draw your earrings over at Shapeways and have a chance to win one of the prizes.
  • Looking for a new creative project to dive into? Maybe the Sketchbook Project is the right one for you. I’m very much tempted to participate.

Thanks for reading!

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