Posted by: alenegeed | March 29, 2015

The Nitty Gritty on Jewelry Patinas


Patina is a term widely used by jewelers who work with metals.

pendant sprinkled silver turquoise red After reading the real definition, I see that I was loosely defining this word to include colors other than the natural color that comes from oxidation. patina toolbox

So perhaps I need to re-title this blog as ‘The Nitty Gritty of coloring metals’ 

I LOVE seeing the different ways I can make the metal colors shine and ‘pop’. This design to the left is copper that I dipped in sesame oil (when it was still hot). It created this RED finish. So vibrant, don’t you agree? To the right (NOT my cleaning supplies) are the natural household products I use to create these gorgeous colors.  (Vinegar, Ammonia, sesame oil and peanut oil to name a few)

Did you know that copper, when coated with vinegar and exposed to Ammonia (in a closed c3 MIxed Metal blue smallontainer) will create a natural blue color?  like this?

FYI, these earrings are on closeout right now for $30.00

 

My favorite though is still the heat patina. Once you heat the copper and plunge it into water, amazing things tend to happen. And the best part is that each time you get a different effect. I have experimented with this so much trying to get the same colors each time.. but the copper has a mind of its own. That is what makes designing with copper so much more fun.

4 Gentle Wave Sprinkled Silver VIG

I hope you enjoyed this peek at how metals can be colored. 

Check out my current closeouts today. Great values and most ONE OF A KIND.

 For alerts from Alene  (first look at new designs, closeouts and Subscriber-ONLY discounts,

sign up here.

 

Posted by: alenegeed | March 13, 2015

7 Ways to Recharge and Energize


Did you have one of those kind of weeks? I did!  Lots of projects needed reason someone smilesto be addressed and I had so little time .  It happens to all of us. We reach the point when we just need to ‘chill’ and re-energize.

Here are a few tips that help me. Give them a try.

1) Compliment a stranger. Do you like what they are wearing? Or perhaps you like their haircut.. Doesn’t matter. Just take the plunge and do it. Not only will you make that person feel special, but this simple act will boost you as well.

2) Write a love letter to your significant other, your parent, or your child. Take the time to express how feel about this person. Your whole outlook will shift. You don’t even have to give them the letter (although I recommend it). Your energy will lift.

3) Do jumping jacks. Go outside, even if it is cold out. Find a dry area and do 3 jumping jacks. (OK you can do modified ones if necessary) What a rush!

4) Pay it forward.  The person in front of you at the supermarket .. buy their groceries for them. Or the one in line at your favorite coffee or donut shop.  Make their day.

5) Finish that personal project you have been putting off. Gardening, fixing the dripping faucet, scrubbing the kitchen floor. Hard work always takes our mind off the hassles of the week. And you get something accomplished!

6) Make a netake time to explorew friend. Knock on the door of your new neighbor and introduce yourself. Or talk to someone in line at the grocery store. Make a true connection. It doesnt have to be a life long relationship. the few minutes in a conversation is enough to re-adjust your priorities

7) Take $20 and shop at the Dollar Store.  Sounds silly I know but this works. First of all it is amazing what you can still buy for $1 these days.

Have  Some Fun!

 I challenge you to try some of these tips. And let me know how you fared… You do feel better  don’t you?

If you liked this post you may enjoy Remember to Look Back

Interested in Copper and Sterling Jewelry Designs?  Join my Newsletter for SUBSCRIBER-ONLY discounts and first looks.

 

 

 

Posted by: alenegeed | February 26, 2015

Person of Interest; Jewelry Designer Sandy Schenkat


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

Where do you call home?  Scottsdale Arizona sandy-schenkat

How did your business begin?

Sandy retired from a 30 year Real Estate career when she decided to help jewelry artists market their work. From this beginning, Sandy determined that she really wanted to create the jewelry designs too! She began with training from Luxe Jewels and eventually created jewelry with beads from Kenya. This line is called Kenya Kasuals.   Two years later Sandy found her passion while working with Swarovski crystals! Her new designs are marketed as Heart and Soul Gems.

How did you come up with your business name?

Sandy was making lots of heart designs as well as using many of the chakra colors. Heart and Soul Gems was the natural outcome!

sandy logo

How do you market your business?

Galleries, stores and Etsy

What drives you to continue in the direction of your dream?

Sandy LOVES jewelry and loves learning new techniques. The whole process from design to sales is so much fun!

What successes would you like to share?

Do you have any mentors?

Julie Harmon, Harmon Studios has taught me many great techniques

What are your passions not related to your business?

  • On the Board of Directors for Coalition of Greater Scottsdale
  • Recently graduated from Citizens Police Academy
  • Appointed to the Judicial Appointments Advisory board for Scottsdale Court

(busy lady!)

Links to share:

http://www.kenyakasuals.com

http://www.heartandsoulgems.com

Facebook

 If you enjoyed this post you may like  Lucy Brookes

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: alenegeed | February 17, 2015

Do you love Copper Cuffs? See my newest collection.


new cuff 2nd batchI have been playing around with a new technique I learned from a recent class with cuff process conversationEva Sherman. (instructor extraordinaire).    Once we had learned this process of crimping the metal, I put my own spin on it.. Because that’s the way creative people think. 
So I combined the crimping with corrugation, forging, mixed metals and different patinas.

Voila! A collection is born.

I will be photographing and listing the first 5 designs (each one is limited edition of one) on my web site. alenesadornments
If you want to have first dibs on purchasing one of these, please join my mailing list. My subscribers will get first notice AND their subscriber only discount!  

please Share the blog. Thanks!

Posted by: alenegeed | February 12, 2015

CZ: Do you LOVE IT and WEAR IT?


Cubic Zirconia that is!  This stone is often used as an alternative to diamonds. The price range is less but the quality is top knotch! All the gems in this collection are cubic zirconia.CZmulticolor

A few facts:
  • Cubic zirconia was discovered as a natural mineral from in 1937
  • The form you see today is a synthetic (man-made) version
  • Cubic Zirconia is an 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Diamonds are a 10
  • CZ can be cut differently. Faceted edges can be rounded or smooth
  • Experts can tell the difference between the two because of the difference in their thermal conductivity.
  • That being said, the average person cannot tell the difference!
What do I love about it?  I can add these gems to my designs to provide sparkle and pizazz.. at a fraction of the cost of diamonds. Here are a few examples of how I use them:
2 Dare to Dream Amethyst VIG

2 Picture Jasper CZ closeup

I used 3 CZ stones here to bring out the colors of the jasper stone.

Amethyst gem is highlighted when I add a purple CZ gem.

What are your thoughts? do you love the versatility of these beautiful stones?? 

If you enjoyed this post you may like Rhodochrosite: good for the Heart

Posted by: alenegeed | January 23, 2015

5 Friday Inspirations


Time again for inspirations to kick start your day and your weekend.  Enjoy!dont quit

Wherever you go…. Go with all your heart.  Confucius

Trust that an ending is followed by a beginning

A person who never made a mistake never tried something new.  Albert Einstein

Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin. Grace Hansen

It is better to wear out than to rust out.. Francis E. WIllard

if you enjoyed this post you might like  Oh the Places You’ll go

Posted by: alenegeed | January 21, 2015

4 Ways to “Coffee” Your Customers


I worked as a waitress during my college years. The tips went a long way towards paying my tuition!Do YouCoffeeYour clients- 3

The first thing we were taught was  ‘Once a customer sits down.. Provide them with Coffee and water immediately’.  We called it coffee-ing our customer. Our patrons were fine then to wait until we could get back to them to take their order.

So how does that apply to our businesses today?

Making our customers and clients feel noticed and appreciated is always in fashion. A satisfied and happy client will reward us with loyalty and referrals. They will sing our praises. Seriously, I mean this!

Here are 4 ways to Coffee your Customers.

1) Email. Answer emails as soon as possible. If you dont have the details needed to complete the answer, just let the sender know you received the email and will be getting back to them. That way the person will be confident that you are handling the question.

2) Social Media: respond to comments on your posts in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others. If someone has taken the time to comment, they are important. Let them know that.

3) Say THANK YOU as often as possible. Thank them for the EMAIL. Thank them for the comment. Thank them for the order. Thank them for their support.  Everyone appreciates hearing these words!

4) ‘Coffee’ them literally. If your client is local you can take them out for a cup or bring a cup to their office or home. If your customer is anywhere else in the world, email them a gift card. 

Having been in direct sales for the last 30+ years, I know these strategies work. Plus this is the way you would like to be treated too, right?

Do Unto Others as You would have Them Do Unto You.  Remember this from Sunday School? It applies in business as well as in every aspect of our lives.

Go out there today and ‘COFFEE’ Someone.

If you enjoyed this post you might like  You Had the Power All Along
Posted by: alenegeed | January 16, 2015

5 Friday Inspirations


It’s Friday again.
If you are like me you have had a busy week and need a little pick me up at this point. be who you are

Inspirational quotes and images have such an impact on my life… especially when I am feeling overwhelmed; like now!

Those who know me better are aware that I am a quote maniac! I have been collecting meaningful quotes for many years. I keep a file folder, a note book and of course my Pinterest Quote board. (almost 700 quotes there alone). Follow the board and see them all.

Beginning today I will provide 5 quotes every Friday. (OK 6 this week counting the graphic from Dr Zeuss.

These are not just random quotes from a list. They will always be quotes that speak to me that day. Maybe you can use these tidbits to brighten your day and weekend too!

Enjoy

  1. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”  C.S. Lewis
  2. Anything is possible if you have enough nerve.”  J.K. Rowling
  3. “How to begin the journey? You need only take the first step. When? there is always now.”  George Leonard
  4. Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart instead of a piece of our mind.”
  5. “Always trust your gut. It knows what your head has not figured out yet.”

If you liked this post you may like my Inspiration blog page

Posted by: alenegeed | January 7, 2015

MARSALA: 2015 Pantone Color of the Year


Ever heard of the color Marsala?  I had not. These days new names keep emerging for color blendPantone_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_ChipDrives. (very hard to keep up) This one is named after a wine.

Turns out Marsala is a blend of brown and red.  So pretty!  Here is a swatch to show you. Officially it is PMS 18-1438. (just in case you were wondering!)

Here is the detail the Pantone site offers:

  • Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
  • An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury.

Lucky for me, I work with many gemstones that embody this rich color. Red Creek Jasper Antiqued

Red Creek J3 Red Creek Jasper antique1asper gems are perfect for 2015. One version of this gem features the rich red/brown Marsala color while adding in hints of green, caramel and black. What could be better?

Shown here are two examples of the gemstone in these deeper tones. 

So break out the wine, shop for a new ensemble and check out my Red Creek Jasper jewelry line!

If you enjoyed this post you may like Red Creek Jasper; Fascinating Facts.

Posted by: alenegeed | December 30, 2014

An Inside Peek… How I create my Designs


Did you ever wonder how a design is born? Is there some secret to the way artists create and conceive their designs?

turquoise pendant finished

I suspect every artist has their own unique process.. After all by definition we think outside the box mostly and are constantly morphing with some new concept or idea.

Many start with a sketch or drawing. I for one am challenged in that regard. My sketches tend to look like stick figures and don’t look at ALL like what I am envisioning! 

I like to start with a gemstone or metal design and work around that. So here is my proceturquoise cabachonss for this turquoise pendant.

I purchased an amazing turquoise gem and decided to make it the focal point of my new pendant.  Here is the original stone.

I knew I wanted to encase this in Silver, so created the bezel as shown.This particular bezel features a scalloped design.. which I feel enhances the stone so much.

The next step was to create the backing. I forged (hammered) the design into stturquoise original designerling silver and soldered the scalloped bezel to it. Then came the creative steps. First I drew a potential shape onto the silver.  I use sharpies for this since they will dissolve once I apply heat.

Then I thouturquoise 2nd revisionght that adding a smaller turquoise stone onto the bail (the part that attaches the piece to the chain).  this seemed like a good option but it felt that something was still not right.

The piece felt bulky and did not have enough pizazz for me. 

So I changed the entire design AGAIN! I scrapped the idea of the smaller stone, trimmed down the whole silver casing.. and then had the bright idea to add a glitzy CZ gemstone! See top of blog for the finished design.

I LOVE it! 

Such is the evolution of a design.. (at least ones by Alene’s Adornments)

Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this.. Please!

For more design inspiration check out Jewelry Processes

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