And I'm on Etsy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quote of the Day

"The only place you'll find success before work is in the dictionary."
- May B. Smith

Bored Outside with a Ghastly Creamy Center

This would describe the awkward thoughts that go through my head per a daily basis. I often wish I could release a blood-curdling scream but socialized behavior has "taught" (I say loosely) to control the id/ego/superego in one tightly wrapped package.

I want to be on The Guild. I heart Felicia Day and what she's done for herself. I want to be so extremely nerdy/geeky that I bring a sense of humility to the likes of Wil Wheaton. Unfortunately, I'm lacking enough geek cred to not fit in and too much geek cred to fit in with the settled, boring folk.

A land of betweens. me! Send me Warcraft and X-Box and let me shrivel away to nothing, in my bedroom, gaming myself in 9 hour chunks. See, that, a happy life is I!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bridal Headpiece - She looks mystical!

Recently, I had made this for a customer and she had sent me this image from her bridal photographer. I thought it resonated well with her dark hair and fair skin.

Any insights?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Peridot and what it represents

Peridot Gemstone meaning

A tiny island known as Zabargard (owned by Egypt) is documented as the first source of peridot, dating back as far as four thousand years. Early Crusaders who visited St. John's Island (now called Zabargard) introduced this gem to Europe upon return from battle.

Peridot is mentioned in many ancient references as chrysolite. It is mentioned throughout the Bible, and early Christians considered it sacred. Today still, Catholic Bishops traditionally wear a ring of peridot and amethyst as a symbol of purity and morality. (Morality...chuckle...)

The peridot was believed to be a stone of springtime by ancients who considered it a gift from Mother Nature. Napoleon once made a gift of peridot to Josephine as a symbol of undying love and admiration. In ancient times, it was said that a dream about peridot foretold impending danger.
Healing qualities of peridot

Peridot is a stone of lightness and beauty. Only spiritual or clear-minded persons should use peridot. The person with too many earthly problems will not be able to understand the beauty of the Peridot. The very spiritual can wear peridot in a necklace with the stone at the base of the throat to feel its soothing effect. Used in a necklace, peridot is a protector against negative emotions.

Peridot has been known to have healing effect on the gall bladder and liver.
Sources of peridot

Peridot is a gem variety from the olivine mineral group. The bottle green color is called peridot. Yellowish green is chrysolite. Olive green is olivine. Sources of peridot include: St. John's Island (Egypt), United States (Arizona and Hawaii), Myanmar, Burma, Australia, Norway, South Africa and Brazil.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I'm srrrious!

It just don't get no better 'dan 'dis, sumtimes....

Friday, September 11, 2009

It was not that long ago...

When I awoke for work, similarly as I am now, preparing my homemade espresso mocha drink that I'd take with me (vs. spending it at StarYucks) is when I flipped on the news and saw the devastation unfolding. At the time, I lived in Virginia Beach, near Norfolk, and only 3 1/2 hours from D.C. I saw the planes hit, on live television, and it gave me an unsurreal sense of being there.
I have friends who work near the Pentagon. I called trying to get a hold of them, hoping they were safe. One rolling wave of horror and disbelief after another, coupled with shaky nerves and butterflies. I couldn't move myself to go to work that day. I was glued to the television, watching the telecasts, the national coverage that was on every channel. In disbelief and shock, I felt fear like I hadn't experienced before.
I'm grateful to live in this country where we are usually so protected compared to other nations. In spite of 9/11, the journey of getting through that day has carried on and resonates on each anniversary. I'm quite proud to be an American. I hold the memory so dear to serve a justice, if you will, for those who lost their lives.
In remembrance....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where no dog has gone before....

omg. Seriously, this poor creature had to endure this crap from some sordid human being with too much time on his/her hands. And, yes folks, I did enjoy it anyhow so kudos to the guy who made good use of his beer cans!

A peaceful easy feeling....

I just wanted to send a positive vibe your way...if you're reading this, may you be blessed with fortune and happiness and, if something is wrong in your life, may you be given the sight, wisdom and strength to handle what hurts you.

A Bridge to Somewhere

After visiting Costa Rica last year (mi Madre is a permanent resident now), I decided I was a fan finally but it didn't come to me at first. Perhaps living in Southern Ca., the scenery wasn't all that glamorous in the city of Escazu, right outside San Jose. I've got plenty of palms all around me already! However, it was when I went into the forests, down in Manuel Antonio, on the South Coast, that I fell in love.

This rustic bridge was one of the reasons why. It's a handmade bridge made for the locals, who live in the rain forests, to transport their goods to the local markets. A step back in time yet so enrapturing and beautiful!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Gourmet Pizza Time

A new design I've been working on...:)

Meanwhile, between making jewelry, I've been trying my hand at gourmet pizza! On the grill! This is a capture before it went on the grill...I didn't get a photo of it afterward because it was devoured before I could even *think* about nabbing the camera. It does my heart good!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Diamonds are Forever... and are virtually worthless.

Diamonds Are Forever

"Diamonds are virtually worthless."

Or at least, they are worth a lot less than you might imagine. The story of how the diamond came to be viewed as the rarest and most coveted of gemstones, found on the fingers of married women worldwide, is a story of insatiable greed, ruthless strong-arming, and most of all, brilliant marketing.

Today when a woman gets engaged in most of the developed nations of the world, she expects a diamond engagement ring and most likely will also have some sort of diamond setting on her wedding ring as well. After all, the diamond is the rarest of gems, and what better way to show a women exactly how much you love her than with the gift of a diamond. Right?

But this was not always the case. In fact, as recently as 100 years ago a woman whose husband-to-be could afford one was at least as likely to wear a ruby, sapphire, or emerald on her wedding ring as a diamond. Indeed, in countries as far apart as India and England, it was the ruby, not the diamond, that was exalted as the most beautiful and rarest of gemstones, and thus it is not surprising that in India, the word "lal" means "red," "ruby," and "beloved" as well. Indeed, statistically speaking, the ruby is the rarest of the major gemstones, followed by the emerald.

The Rise of De Beers

Enter a family of South African of Afrikaner heritage who in the early 1900s owned a small but productive diamond mine - The De Beers. Through a combination of business acumen, worker exploitation, and large quantities of luck, the De Beers corporation had become one of the world's biggest producers of diamonds by the 1930s. At first openly in the 1930s and then secretly during World War II, De Beers gained a leg up on the competition by selling industrial diamonds to a desperate Adolph Hitler, with whom other more principled diamond producers refused to deal.

By the 1950s De Beers controlled a majority of the Earth's diamond supply. Over the next three decades, the company went on a massive buying spree, acquiring mines in South America, the United States, India, and the rest of Africa, asserting one of the world's largest and most successful monopolies over one of its most coveted items.

With its monopoly power, De Beers has been able to control diamond prices worldwide by dumping or withholding diamonds in its private stockpile. As a privately owned company not traded on any stock market, De Beers is not required to divulge its assets, profits, or the size of its diamond hoard, although it has been estimated that even if all diamond production were ceased tomorrow, De Beers has enough diamonds secreted away to maintain current rates of diamond consumption for 15-20 years.

This stockpile has been the key to maintaining the De Beers monopoly. Whenever a new mine was discovered or a competitor attempted to undersell De Beers' inflated prices, the company would simply flood the market with diamonds, driving prices so low that its rivals would be brought to their knees, either forced to sell out to De Beers or to sign agreements agreeing to follow De Beers' orders on pricing.

Just remember there are other investments and choices when it comes to laying down huge money for a hard mineral. I, for one, would support my local artisan, pay not nearly the amount a small round rock would cost (just because I'm supposed to and it's operated by a cartel) and give back into my artisan community.

Just think about it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Comic Con

I'm so jealous of everyone who gets to go. I missed the ticket deadline months ago and am tempted to whore myself outside the coliseum just to nab some partly chewed ticket. I had a few friends attend, in 2006, and they dressed as snowtroopers, fresh out of the 501st these guys are hard core but their costumes were stunning and authentic props. That's what I love about these conventions. I love the creativity walking around, hiding in various disguises. They *become* their characters. I think Dragon*Con is the next closest thing (east coast version). Maybe, one of these days, I'll get my femme trooper outfit in gear. For anyone who's curious what that is, it's a near replica outfit of the storm trooper (Star Wars) but with boobs. It don't get any better than that!

Anyone going to Comic Con this year?

Anyone have a spare ticket they want to sell?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The new Harry Potter movie

I went to see it last night. A 10:15 show at the Arclight theaters in Sherman Oaks. Apparently, the jeans, tee-shirt and Chucks outfit of Harry's was displayed in a glass case right outside the theater entrance. Let me say, Daniel Radcliffe is a tiny guy!

I'm still digesting the movie. As far as the way it played out over 2.5 hours, I enjoyed the way it was done, while slow in spots, kept me moving along. No unnecessary wriggling in my seat which tends to happen if a movie doesn't grab me in the first 30 minutes. The imaging, the graphics, the CGI were all stunning. The actual storyline? I'm sure it followed the book well enough but it seemed lackluster compared to the other movies. Perhaps it's the build-up for the last two books...but something seemed missing. I will add that for as long as it was, I didn't necessarily 'feel' that I was in my seat for two and a half hours. Given that I even knew how it ended, I expected it would move me more. Either I'm just a shat with a heart of stone or the ending didn't surprise me enough to tears. I didn't feel that emotional pull. I grew watery-eyed when Cedric bit it in Goblet of Fire, so, for whatever reasons, the film didn't hit that sweet spot.

Anyhow, did you see the movie? Did you like the movie? Any thoughts? Do I just need to sit with it for a few more days and then it will grow more on me? I welcome your thoughts!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The day after vacation -

The day right after vacation is always a difficult one to negotiate. I would prefer doing nothing, or doing nothing especially work related since my brain is still wrapped around the casinos and penny slots. (I did pretty well, by the way.)

Today I need to get back into the studio and crank it into gear. I've got a bit of work to finish so in order for me to be inspired, I am going to post a picture of my shop for all to see. Going to put on some decent music, grab a cold iced coffee, and be on my way!

Anyone recognize the tools of the trade? :)

Everyone have a wonderful day ahead!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Casino. Without Robert Deniro or Joe Pesci.

I'm leaving the blog world for a few days to head to Vegas. I enjoy 'this town' for what it is, but more than two days and it's just too much bright lights, noise, cigarette smoke and obnoxious carpet patterns that make you swoon with nausea.

With that being said, and being the conservative gambler that I am, I'll be sitting my arse at the slot machines trying to enjoy myself. OR...I may just play that roulette thingy too.

Off I go to the baking desert of sin! Wish me luck!

omg omg omg

I just had the best Korean BBQ this side of...the west coast. Let me just sample a delicious photo of what I had to enjoy this evening...let your eyes feast while I slip into a food coma and head to beddie bye...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sent my bow and baby classical poor Celts axe back ~~

Yep, so the fiddle is going back. It's a dud. Of the hundreds of fiddles this company sells a week, I received a throw away, a dud, a spit back, a none too gooder, a financial waste of time but a lesson well learned.

I am happy to report, however, that I am feeling much better than in recent months and I still have all my fingers after having been a jeweler for 15 years. Go me!

A must see!! Trust me....

Yes, for any of you who have been shamefully RickRolled, this one's on me.

I wonder how many other cyber nerds understand the meaning of this? If you don't, let me know and I'll be happy to fill you in.

Real vs. Faux Gemstones: A lesson learned

Call them what you like: faux or fake gemstones, imitations, or simulated gems -- they all have one thing in common, they can look just like the real thing, but they do not have any of the physical characteristics of the natural or synthetic gemstone they are meant to represent.

Faux gems can be a very good option, because they give us an inexpensive way to wear colorful, lush-looking jewelry without the hefty price tag that comes with the real thing. There's no reason to avoid faux gems -- what you do want to avoid is paying too much for misrepresented merchandise.

Materials Used to Make Faux Gemstones

  • Today's imitation stones are often made of glass or plastic. A jeweler can easily detect those materials, so have the jewelry inspected if you think you might have purchased a fake.

  • A real gemstone can be mounted in a solid-back setting, with foil placed underneath the gem to make it look more brilliant or change its color.

Composite Gemstones

Composite gemstones are made from a small piece of a desirable, genuine stone that's combined with an inexpensive or imitation gemstone. Most opal jewelry is often with composites.

Doublets are composite stones made with a large, inexpensive chunk of some kind that's topped by a thin slice of a desirable gemstone. The division usually isn't obvious until you look at the piece under magnification.

One type of doublet is assembled by sandwiching a colored bonding agent between two clear, inexpensive stones -- the added hue makes it look like a colored gemstone. Again opals are usually fabricated this way.

Triplets are composites that are assembled in three parts instead of two.

Creative Gemstone Names Can be a Signal

Descriptive terms are sometimes used before the name of a gemstone, like Oriental emerald (a green sapphire). An American ruby is a garnet. Australian jade is treated quartz. Question the authenticity of any gemstone that's advertised with an extra, descriptive name.

So, just some basic tips for when you're out on the search for something unique and creative, or whether you're just beginning your own line of gemstone work.

I'm working on doing the act of doing. Huh?

It's been a bit slow around these here parts lately. I blame summer. And the economy. And the fact that I'm too chicken to sell myself on the corner for extra cash.

Aside from those little peskery things, I am working on the art of doing and the act of being. I've been reading books on buddhism and trying to follow the simple (yet complicated) mode of thought. Not living past, nor future, but simply living in the now.

"Tomorrow will be better!" I say in the present. (Does that count?)

Until tomorrow, to which I write in the present, knowing I will come back to this soon, and therefore it keeps my thoughts in the now and the near future, I sign off to bed....see how uncomplicated I make things?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Is it a violin or is it a fiddle?

It's both, they say. No difference at all.
So, when I went to the music store (you know, the one that specializes in *only* violins) and I said I was a beginner, I was received with with luke warm reproach. To which I understand amongst these stringed elitists as they are the experts. They are violinists classsically trained and I respect this.
But no.
I then just had to take it one step further and announce that I was learning to play the fiddle. Silence. Eye rolling. Was shown the door.
Okay, I wasn't shown the door exactly but the gentleman, who ran is little studio shop, sorely recommended that I begin with the basics of lessons, to which I agreed. Then he told me my, violin...was a piece of crap. No, seriously, he did. First thing he said to me was, "Did you buy this off the internet?" I said, "yes." He said, "I can tell." I said, "How am I to know what is a superior fidd...violin for a beginner? I made my phone calls, checked on the internet, and was recommended this brand for newbies." He said, "Don't ever buy a new instrument off the internet without coming to a specialty store to try one on, so to speak." He told me that any decent newbie violin will be no less than 250-300. And you know, I get that. I got mine for about half that price and the moment I received it, I knew something was wrong. The E string would never tighten and tune to pitch, and the moment I happened to get it there, a minute later it would fall out of pitch again.
I am off again, on Monday, to that very same violin shop, to purchase a better instrument so that I can learn to fiddle appalachia music like no one else. :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Oh, I've been so terrible-ish at keeping up with this thing. As much as I want to share with the world all my lovely viewpoints and crazy thoughts, I fear that you, meaning everyone that exists outside my head, would find it boring.
What have I been up to....
Starting many journeys lately. I've taken up playing the violin! Actually, more fiddle style as I love Celtic music...and want to annoy everyone with my pre-school knowledge of playing. I'm a success! I've already managed to break the bowstrings so I must be good.
As soon as I can bang out "Old MacDonald", I'll be sure to report.
Hope all is well in the cyberverse and I'll try to keep up with the daily shennanigens of yours truly. Oh, and the jewelry. I have got to whore myself somewhere....

Friday, March 6, 2009

A new day; another one of procrastination

Hello? Blog? Do you remember me? I know it's been a while...I didn't mean to leave you high and dry for all these months. I hope you will forgive me and know that it's not you. It's me.

I'm going to make a concerted effort to be more present in your cyberlife now. I realize how important you are to my little old corner of the land of pixels and shopping carts... and, without you, I wouldn't have some presence on the search engines. Let me buy you a drink, and we can start over again.

Thank you, Blog, for being patient and understanding. Smooches.