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!

Share |

Watercolor pencils plus some arrangements

Watercolor pencils plus some arrangements

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


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

Watercolor pencils out of their box:


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.



Time for another arrangement:

Found shell and pebbles

Sketching and adding color:


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



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!

Share |



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!


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!

Share |

Ring-a-Day Weekly Round Up #2

Ring-a-Day Weekly Round Up #2

It’s time to summarize what I made this week for Ring-a-Day and to show you my favorites from fellow artists!

On Monday, I made the “Caprese” ring, with fresh mozzarella, basil and home-grown cherry tomatoes. The ring was -of course- consumed immediately, after the photograph was taken!

Pretty much the same happened next day, when I made this ring, by cutting a piece of melon in a trillion shape:


A seed of an apricot was used for Wednesday’s ring, tied with a piece of thread around a brass band:


Another fruit forThursday’s…..a piece of nectarine, cut and shaped accordingly:


The last -for now- in the “summer crop” series is the cucumber ring:


What I love about these food rings is that I can eat all the little “scraps” and leftovers. It’s a very “clean” and filling job!

The “Black & White Pebble Ring” was made to celebrate my 200th ring for the Ring-a-Day project:


Finally, on Sunday, I made this copper sample, to test a new band shape that I’m working on:


You want to see what my friends from Ring-a-Day have been making this week? A few of my favorites:


A Bunnycorn by Rachelle Stromberg. Looks cute and threatening at the same time!

Ring a Day 200/365

A ring truly worthy for the occasion, made by Shannon Conrad.

Ring a Day 72/365

A simple and elegant band by Ligia Rocha.

stitch (RAD 195/365 7/14/10)

The red stitching makes the difference, by Kest of Vagabond Jewelry.

RAD #182 & #183 7/19 & 20/10

I recommend reading the full story for this one on Evelyn’s stream. It could be titled “How to overcome a terrible cough and turn it into a piece of art”!

rad # 171 - 7. 21. 10

I love these wedding rings, made by Natalia Gomensoro.

RAD 12/07 & 13/07 - 78 & 79/365 - Wedding rings

Another amazing pair of wedding rings by Marta Sanchez Oms, made of sterling silver, 24kt gold and black diamonds.

All rings can be found in the Ring-a-Day Flickr Pool.

Thanks for reading!

Share |

Studio Updates: Some new work

Studio Updates: Some new work

This is the ring that I had started working a couple of days ago. I’ve been wanting to work on this design for a long time and finally it happened. This is also the 200th ring for the Ring-a-Day Project.

One black and one white pebble are combined and set in sterling silver, which has a satin matte finish.

Now more pebbles are waiting for their settings!

The other plan was to make some new bracelets by combining the macramé knots that I used for this bunch of bracelets with gemstones.

I started by gathering the gemstones:







After testing many color and shape combinations, I decided to go with a purple/orange/green color scheme:


Tiny faceted rondelles of carnelian, amethyst and ametrine are combined with knotted waxed linen cord and a little indian silk sari ribbon embellishment.



The chosen color scheme for the next bracelet was chocolate brown & turquoise:


It is made with smokey quartz and turquoise rondelles, chocolate brown waxed linen cord and a cotton fabric embellishment.

Some close-ups:


Sterling silver toggle clasp detail:


Also, some new photos of the bracelets that I had described in an earlier post:



....both of them, worn together:


Thanks for reading!

Share |

Page 155 of 158 pages