Posted by: alenegeed | March 16, 2014

The Aries Personality and Gemstones for your Sign.


Okay all you Aries babies. Your time is almost upon us.

aries-sign-horoscope

Officially you were born between March 21 (that’s this Friday) and April 20th.

The RAM is your symbol.  A Ram is powerful and will climb to the highest peaks to see what life has to offer. A Ram rarely turns down a challenge. An Aries has difficulty turning down challenges as the desire to go forward and conquer is very strong.

Aries goes through life with confidence and a enthusiastic outlook on everything. IF you are an Aries, you like to lead. After all what fun is following anyway??

And you are in good company too. The following famous people were born under the sign of the ram, too.

  • Johann Sebastian Bach                                                            
  • Charlie Chaplin 
  • Harry Houdini
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Vincent Van Gogh

Just be careful to slow down and not be too aggressive. It can happen to anyone born under this sign.

It’s a good thing you have many friends and LOVE to have fun!!  and FYI, your best partner for marriage is a LIBRA!

So what about gemstones are you attracted to? Well Aries babies tend to love malachite, rose quartz, carnelian and coral

3 Malachite copper

My favorite of this bunch is malachite! It’s rich green and vibrant color is tailormade for your outgoing and take charge personality.

What do you think? I would love to hear from some Aries babies? What is your favorite gemstone?

If you liked this post you may like. The LIBRA personality

Posted by: alenegeed | February 2, 2014

Amethyst; My All-Time Favorite Gemstone


Ever since I can remember, I have been in love with Amethyst. 

Amethyst Geode

Amethyst Geode

Before I began my Jewelry Designer Career, I purchased Amethyst creations from other artisans. I still wear several of the pieces today.
The rich purple in this gem is intoxicating!
This Geode showcases the gem perfectly. ( I have at least 4 Geodes in varying sizes too!!!)
All February Babies share this love with me, right? after all you are the lucky ones to have amethyst as your birthstone. (I am a little jealous).
But the rest of us are allowed to own and savor ‘the purple’ too.
Did you know that amethyst is considered to be the Stone of St Valentine? He is said to have worn an amethyst ring engraved with the image of cupid.
Legend has it that Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, was so angry with mortals that he vowed to feed the next human he saw to the tigers. A maiden named Amethyst was that human. But before Bacchus could incur his wrath, Diana, the goddess of nature, changed Amethyst into a pillar of quartz to save her. Thus was created the first amethyst gemstone!

3 Sacred Spiral Amethyst cholla

Guess What?? The Greeks believed that wearing amethyst prevented drunkeness! Hence the greek name amethustos, meaning ‘not drunk’  Dont try this yourself though. I am PRETTY SURE, this is just fable!!
Amethyst is said to have strong healing powers. Many wear this gem during meditation as it tends to enhance our spiritual connection.

Cold hard facts:

  • Amethyst is a member of the Quartz family
  • Amethyst has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs Scale. This means it is durable enough to  use in almost any setting, including rings. 
  • Amethyst is readily found. There are active mines in Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Uruguay.. to name a few
  • Cleaning is easy. Ultrasonic works as well as plain old soap and water!
Next time spot an artisan Amethyst design… jump at the chance to purchase it
I have several pieces available too. (OK just a tiny sales pitch). Click here to see.
More information on Amethyst can be found in the Illustrated Directory of Healing Crystals

If you enjoyed this post you may like Turquoise Legends and Facts

Posted by: alenegeed | January 20, 2014

Person of Interest: Lucy Brookes; Owner Eternal Tools


Lucy Brookes is next in my series of people who are following their passion and living their dream.

Lucy Brookes

Lucy is the owner of Eternal Tools -based in Oxfordshire, UK.  I met Lucy through one of my LinkedIn discussion groups and was immediately taken with her. She is constantly adding value to many discussions as well as starting some of her own thought provoking and informative discussions.
How did her Business begin?
In 1999 her husband followed his passion in horology and began designing clocks and watch repair tools. From then the business naturally expanded to inventing and creating more tools… not only for clock/watch fanatics, but also for lapidarists and jewelers.  And this year it is celebrating 15 years in business.

And the origin of the name?

Well that was easy! the tools are made of hard, high quality materials that last ‘eternally’!   Perhaps not quite that long, but you get the idea.

What Drives Lucy and her husband to continue in the direction of their dream?

Encouragement of others tops the list. Followed by the close second of the desire to keep learning.

Lucy’s best advice when is comes to building your own business?

  • Never stop listening and learning!!
  • Listen to your customers. Treat them as you wish to be treated
  • Keep up with current trends in technology and marketing.
  • Don’t take short cuts.  The short cut today always turns into more work or unfavorable comments down the road.

What’s next?

Eternal Tools has just launched a new website with lots of new features to make it more user friendly for customers all over the world.  And new tool inventions are being manufactured… stay tuned for more details.

Lucy’s other passions??

Jewelry making… of course!!, sculpting, art, singing, swing dancing, yoga, travel and walking in the mountains!  OK Lucy, WHEN DO YOU HAVE TIME TO SLEEP??

Want to get in touch with Lucy and Eternal Tools? Here are the links.Eternal_Tools_Logo

WEBSITE
BLOG
FACEBOOK
TWITTER

If you enjoyed this blog you may like Calla Gold; Wedding Jeweler

Posted by: alenegeed | January 3, 2014

Colossal Jewelry Closeouts


January is the best time for refocusing, reorganizing and regrouping!

Sterling and Opal Ring

Sterling and Opal Ring $45.00

New design ideas are spinning in my head… even as I write this blog!

That means I really HAVE to reduce my inventory (and get more  dollars to purchase metal)

When originally announced, there were 60 designs reduced by 35% – 50%.
Now there are 40 left and they all want to go to a good home… how about Your Home???
Many of the closeouts are highlighted throughout this blog.

Or click here to see them all.

FYI: If you become a Newsletter subscriber you will receive SUBSCRIBER-ONLY specials every month… not to mention getting the scoop on closeouts and new products before anyone else! 

Tiger Eye Copper Cuff

Copper & Tigers Eye Cuff $50

Last month, my subscribers got the full closeout list (60+ pieces) AND and additional 20% OFF every order.  

Interested in Subscribing   ??

 Just click here.       

Sterling Sacred Spiral Earrings $35

Sterling Sacred Spiral Earrings $35

Here’s to a wonderful 2014 for each and every one of us!

ALL CLOSEOUTS

SUBSCRIBE to my NEWSLETTER

Posted by: alenegeed | December 23, 2013

Exhibiting at Festivals this year.. My thoughts


I had the pleasure to exhibit at two Art Festivals this month. Since this was only my second experience with this type of marketing I knew the learning curve would be immense.

Partial booth shot

Last year I did exhibit at the smaller of the two shows with limited success.  With that experience under my belt I made the plunge this year and applied for a larger show (400+ booths) .. and was accepted!

Tempe Festival of the Arts is one of the largest and most respected shows in the country. They are diligent about accepting only artisans who create their own work. They also keep to a strict ratio of types of artisans.

This makes the show so much more fun for the people attending. They know that they will find a variety of crafted products instead of an overabundance of ceramic artists or jewelers. As an exhibitor this enhances my experience and my sales! (which is after all the ultimate goal, right?)

Mesa Arts Festival is a completely different animal. The number of booths and exhibitors  is limited to 50. Since the event takes place at the arts center, there are many demos and tours also being offered.

Right next to me the Mesa Arts Studio was demonstrating torch fire enameling. In other areas of the venue, there were demos for cutting stones (lapidary) and texturing metal. The Glass and Blacksmithing studios were open for tours, too. This event draws a decent crowd and the energy level is high.

So what did I learn to improve my next show experience?

1) Be prepared for any kind of weather. Bring layers of clothes including hats and gloves. Arizona has a mild climate but the first day of the show it was 30 degrees in the morning!! Bring visors, sunscreen and lip balm

2) Bring a stash of water and energy bars (or other easy to eat foods). When it gets busy you may not have the opportunity to eat otherwise!

3) Open up the tent on at least 2 sides! Mine was closed on 3 sides and even the lighting we used did not help as much as the openness would have.

booth shot 2013 full talbe

 4) Get a corner booth if possible.

5) Exhibit at the same show for several years if possible. The vendors around me that were 5-6 time repeaters had a following of clients that sought them out during the show. How cool is that!!

6) Greet as many people as possible. Make them want to stop by your booth… This can be overdone of course…Just be sincere and all will be well.

7) Study what other vendors around you are doing with their displays. I learned so much just observing how others were utilizing their display space. Many spent years getting to their level. I felt lucky to be able to learn so much so quickly.

Most of all HAVE FUN!!

If you liked this post you may enjoy  Jewelry Design and Social Media tips

Myria Mandell is next in my series of people who are following their passion and living their dream.

myria Mandell

Myria hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico

She started writing poetry at 9 years old. (Yes… NINE years old, really!)  She was encouraged to continue writing early on when one of her poems was published in her Elementary School Literary Journal. What an amazing accomplishment for someone so young!
Her Book of Poems ‘Little Pieces of Me – Poems and Confessions‘ was published at age 22.  In addition to being available on Amazon, Myria also created a custom website for her book. 
Little Pieces of Me

Little Pieces of Me

However, Myria did not stop there! She has also become an accomplished Jewelry Designer.

How did she get started designing?

When Myria was 19 years old, she purchased a batch of turquoise, amethyst and tigers’ eye beads for a whopping $5.00! Her parents supported her by providing gift certificates to a local Jewelry Supply company called Mama’s Minerals

beloved bijou profile image

In 2010 Myria officially launched Beloved Bijou Adornments. She chose the name to help people identify her with beloved sparkly jewelry!

What Drives Myria to continue in the direction of her dream?

Myria is a creative person. Her mother got her interested in sewing and arts/crafts and the age of 3. (just in case you thought that 9 years was young!)
Her motivation comes from the creative drive within that will not be silenced! She also credits her lack of funds at times as a motivation to find a way to make and design what she cannot purchase.  After all Necessity IS the mother of Invention!

Can you share some of your successes and tell us about your Heroes?

Myria is a full-time working mother (in addition to her jewelry design and writing career). Her 3 year old daughter keeps her motivated and energized, too.
Myria’s mother and grandmother stand out as heroes and mentors. They taught her how to create and make things. Both her mother and grandmother were creative out of necessity… inspiring Myria to continue the tradition

Want to know more about Myria? Find out all about her at the following links.

Facebook                                              Twitter                           BLOG                   Poetry

Web Site                                             Etsy Site

If you enjoyed this post you might like Calla Gold-Person of Interest
Posted by: alenegeed | November 19, 2013

Jewelry Design and Social Media: A few tips


I had the pleasure to speak on this topic last Sunday.

The audience was fellow Jewelry Designers who are members of a local group called METALINK.

GM logo 2

Gloria and the Gallery Marsiglia hosted the meeting and provided food too! Who could ask for more? I love connecting with other designers. Common questions asked during this type of an event are: How did you create that design? How much time did it take you? What is your favorite gem? We all just love seeing what creativity emerges from others who are bitten by the same bug.
I am not a professional public speaker nor a social media expert.  However I AM a firm believer in the power of social media to market your business! Social creates online relationships. People buy from people they know and like.
So I offer a few basic facts and tips about Facebook and LinkedIN  in the hopes of getting a few more designers to drink this Koolaid with me!

LinkedIn: the world’s largest professional networking site with over 200 million members

  • Update your profile with as many details as possible. Include everything you do as part of your headline. (search engines love this)
  • List your education including any classes you have taken towards your professional development
  • Connect with everyone you know and have interacted with. And DO NOT connect with people you do not know!
  • Join Groups. Create your own discussions and participate in other peoples discussions. There is a world of information out there. Others want to share their knowledge too.

Facebook: There are over a BILLION Facebook users. In 20 minutes on Facebook there are 1 million links shared.

  • Create a Fan Page and post often
  • Get fans by inviting friends and business associates. Grow your fan base gradually.
  • Make at least half of your posts about something besides your business. Do you love cats? (like me). Post photos of them. Share information on classes you took, other designers you like.. Just make your posts interesting. And YES post items you want to sell… but no more than 40% of your posts should be sales related 

If you do nothing else, take care of these basic steps listed above and I think you will love the results. Most of all HAVE FUN!

If you enjoyed this post you may like  Remember to Look Back   or  I wrote a Book

Posted by: alenegeed | November 8, 2013

Guess the Number of Beads Contest Winners Announced


The last few weeks have been so much fun… watching for replies and seeing all the guesses for the number of beads in the Jar. I agree it was difficult to determine the Exact number of beads.

bead jar executor

All are different shapes and especially different sizes. at least one of the beads was as large as 1 1/2″ x 2″.  There were no seed beads but other tiny sizes were thrown in.

Drumroll Please

Actual number of beads in the jar is 499.

The first prize winner was only 9 numbers away.  Cool!

Several others came within 50 numbers..

We have 7 winners.  CONGRATULATIONS

First Place:  $100 gift certificate goes to:  Jeannie Eichenlaub
Second Place: $75 gift certificate goes to: HeatherGustafson
Third Place:  (2 winners) Free pair of earrings go to Donalie Beltran and Jenifer Adams
Fourth Place: (2 winners) Deluxe Top Grain leather Jewelry Rolls go to: Wanda Hodge and Peg Doerfler
Fifth Place: An autographed copy of ‘Inside the Mind of A Jewelry Designer’ goes to Kristi Williams.

And as promised EVERYONE who entered was sent the 30% off Promo Code for my site. If you did not receive it for some reason please contact me directly. alene@alenesadornments.com

Stayed Tuned for more opportunities to win. This was so much fun. Now I have to think of another great idea!

Posted by: alenegeed | October 29, 2013

Guess the number of BEADS in the Vase!


Time for a little fun and prizes!

I gathered beads of all shapes and size & put them in this crystal vase.  Now it is up to YOU to determine how many BEADS I used!Bead Photo full

Here is the first image. Three  more from different angles.. and a few clues.. are posted below.

So first the payoff to the winners.. After all .. it fun to guess but even more fun to WIN!

The persons that guess the numbers closest to the correct one win

FIRST PRIZE: $100 gift certificate to http://www.alenesadornments.com

2ND PRIZE:  $75.00 gift certificate to http://www.alenesadornments.com

3RD PRIZE: Deluxe Leather Jewelry Roll. Perfect for travel.  $70 Value

4TH PRIZE: Free Pair of Earrings (your choice $50 or under) from .. you guessed it.. http://www.alenesadornments.com

5TH PRIZE:  A signed copy of my book. ‘Inside the Mind of A Jewelry Designer’  $22 value.

AND EVERYONE WHO ENTERS will receive a 30% off PROMO CODE to use for anything on my Web sitel  (remember the Holidays are fast approaching.. Jewelry makes a great gift)

bead jar contest reva

Leave your answer as a comment below and it will be recorded. You may also email me your answer  alene@alenesadornments.com

CLUES:

The Crystal jar has a 4″ diameter at top and bottom.

At the Center  the jar curves and reduces to a 3 1/2″ diameter

bead jar executor

The crystal jar is 6 1/2″ tall from the top of the base.

The number of beads is somewhere between 250 and 1200.bead jar contest 1

Contest ENDS on NOVEMBER 7th.

Winners and promo code will be announced on November 10th.  GOOD LUCK to Everyone! Have Fun with this.

Check out my jewelry designs

You may also enjoy the following post:  Relaxation by Button the Cat.

Posted by: alenegeed | October 16, 2013

Fun With Foldforming… Metal, that is!


A few years ago I took a metals class at the Mesa Arts Center.

cuprinol patina

One of the processes explored at length was fold forming.

I took to this process like icing on cake.  (OK, so I am a little hungry as I write this)

At any rate fold forming is FUN!! I experimented during the classes, on the days between classes and then just kept trying new ideas. The book that helped me the most was Fold Forming by Charles Lewton Brain.   Every page had some new process and idea. Here you can see one of the first pieces I made. Using a thinner gauge copper helped me create folds that look like draped material.

So what IS fold forming you ask?  Here is the official definition from Wikipedia.

Fold-forming is a technique of metalworking whereby metal is folded, repeatedly forged and annealed, and unfolded; at which stage it generally has a dramatic new three-dimensional form.

You can start with thinner gauge metal and create stability and strength in it by using this process.

copper raw for folds

Maybe this image will help.  Here is a flat piece of copper that has been annealed (heated to softness)
Right below it is the first FOLD made. I just folded the piece in half taking care not to flatten it completely.
Now from this starting fold you can create almost anything! The fold can be hammered flat and then reopened to create a hard fold.. or hammered with a mallet for a soft fold…. OR  you can put the copper in a vise and flatten the fold to create a centerpiece. Then there is also the addition of texturing, air chasing, folding perpendicular or angled…   The possibilities are endless.

The main piece of advice here is that you DO need to anneal EACH TIME you create a new fold.

foldforming tools

This re-softens the metal so it is ready for your next flash of inspiration!
If you don’t do this the metal will become brittle and basically unusable for your creation.

Tools that you need?

See image to right for the basics. I use the Delrin hammer to create the soft folds. This material does not re-harden or alter the metal.
I use a standard putty knife to unfold and the Confirming Pliers to open up even more… or to refold smaller surfaces.
So far all the work I have done is with hand tools. The hydraulic press is another tool to take your designs to the next level. I have not made that commitment yet!

Here are a few of the designs I created using Fold Forming.

4CCFPO
The fold in the middle was hammered down on one side and then twisted and hammered the other direction on the other side. One of my favorites!  
The second one (aptly named Saguaro Landscape features diagonal folds with added sterling and gemstone.. OK, I LOVE this one too!

4CSTQ

Hope you have enjoyed this journey into fold forming!

You can see more of my pieces at http://www.alenesadornments.com

If you liked this post you may enjoy   Three Gorgeous Patinas for your copper.
 

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