Saturday, July 31, 2010
A unique, edgy, urban chic ring with a message all its own, BE FREE!
This awesome ring has a sparkly, multi-faceted quartz crystal bead that stands a full half an inch above your finger! Its unique construction consists of a brass screw and bolt that holds the crystal and the sterling silver band ring together! The shank of the ring is stamped with the message BE FREE and just a few swirl flourishes to complete the chic look!
The Be Free ring is complete and ready to ship to its free spirited owner who wears a size 10-1/2 (US).
Thank you for looking!
Friday, July 30, 2010
What is a Fibula?
In the Shop section of my website you may have noticed a section call Fibulas and More, and wondered what a bone has to do with jewelry? The word fibula actually has three meanings according to the dictionary on Ask.com, and they are as follows:
1. The outer and narrower of two bones of the human lower leg, extending
from the knee to the ankle.
2. The corresponding bone in the hind leg of an animal.
3. An ornamented clasp or brooch used in ancient Greece and Rome to
Of course the third definition of an ornamented brooch is what you will find made there!
The modern fibula is perfect for dressing up sweaters, shawls and loosely woven scarves. Most of these brooches are bold and unique in design, and are considered statement pieces of jewelry!
Over the years of creating jewelry, I have found several books and tutorials with instructions on creating different styles of fibulas. If you want to try your hand at one of these wonderful pins, try these sources for great instructions:
1. Bead On a Wire, by Sharilyn Miller
2. Heart Fibula, by Julie Sigmund (a tutorial found in her Etsy shop called
3. Creating Wire and Beaded Jewelry, by Linda Jones
4. Contemporary Copper Jewelry, by Sharilyn Miller
Thank you for stopping by to read this musing on life and jewelry at Heart’s Desire Beading Company!
P.S. The heart fibula in the pictures is made from Julie Sigmund's turtorial on Etsy!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sterling Silver Jewelry
Since ancient time, silver has been mined and used for making jewelry, and items for daily use like eating implements, serving items, rattles and much more! Silver alloy surgical instruments have been found in the ancient cities of Er, and Rome as well as in Egypt during the Hellenistic era. From 1840 to 1940, sterling silver flatware was all the rage, and was always a part of any proper table setting. Silver has great conductivity, which is only rivaled by copper. So with the onset of World War II, silver became an important part of the creation of the electricity used to make enriched uranium in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
In its natural state, silver is a very soft metal, so to give it strength an alloy is created by adding copper and other metals. You may noticed the numbers 925 stamped on jewelry and other items, this signifies that the metal alloy is 92.5% silver by weight and 7.5% other metals by weight.
Silver by itself is a relatively non-reactive metal and does not change when exposed to oxygen or water at normal temperatures. But because sterling silver has some copper added to it, it does react to air causing the metal to darken or tarnish. So, at first you may notice your items will turn brown and then eventually become very black with tarnish. Unfortunately, when it has reached this point your jewelry will have to be professionally cleaned. Hopefully, some of the following information will prevent that from happening to your treasures!
Care and Storage
The best way to keep your sterling silver jewelry clean is to wear it often! The oils from your body actually help to prevent tarnish, so wearing your jewelry is good for you and your jewelry! Remember, the copper in the sterling silver alloy cause it reacts to many everyday items, making it darken or tarnish. The best way to prevent this is to not expose your jewelry to cosmetics, hair spray, perfume, bleach, and chlorine. You should not wear it while swimming, cleaning, washing dishes or exercising! Just like pearls, it is best to put it on last when getting ready for the day and take it off first when getting ready for bed.
I find that periodically rinsing your jewelry off with water and patting it dry with a soft towel before putting will go a long way in keeping your jewelry in good condition! Using a polish cloth from time to time will also help in preserving that beautiful shiny look!
Be sure to store any pieces you will not be wearing regularly in a dry Ziplock bag with a small strip of non-tarnish paper. You can also purchase tarnish prevention cloths and bags to store your jewelry in. Silica gel pouches, what you get in shoe boxes, can be added to the jewelry box to keep additional moisture away from your jewelry.
Since silver is soft, store it separate from other jewelry to prevent scratching. Never clean your sterling silver with toothpaste, it is just too abrasive and will scratch the surface, making it dull. Do not store it in newspaper or aluminum foil or allow it to touch a wood surface directly during storage.
Your sterling silver jewelry when cared for properly should last you a lifetime! It is my hope that you have found this information useful, and you will keep your sterling silver jewelry clean and in pristine condition to pass on to future generations of jewelry lovers in your family!
Sources: Sterling Silver on Wikipedia and
How to Care for Sterling Silver Jewelry, by Mariet Smart
Monday, July 26, 2010
The bracelet in the picture above is my very own, and I wear it on a regular basis. As you can see, it has been quite a while since I've polished it and it is very dull! When it is in this state and I wear it on a extremely hot day, the combination of perspiration and the copper will discolor my wrist. If this happens to you, simply wash the discoloration off your wrist with soap and water! It also helps to wash the copper jewelry as well and will help prevent this from happening again until you can clean it at home.
Now to the home remedy for dull copper! It is anything with a high acidic content such as lemon juice, tomato ketchup, or even Worcestershire sauce. Yes, I have tried all of these and they really do work! Lemon juice is my favorite, it seems to work the quickest of the three and with just a little (and I stress just a little) elbow grease your jewelry with be bright and shiny in no time! Just follow these simple steps.
Supplies: a small glass or ceramic dish, the acidic cleaning agent of your choice, a old toothbrush, soap and a drying towel
Gather your supplies and your copper jewelry. Place one piece of jewelry in the dish and pour the cleaning agent over the item and allow it to set for a short time in the liquid, about 10 to 20 minutes. I usually use a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and turn the copper over every few minutes to assure an even cleaning. NOTE: You may have to change the cleaning liquid a couple of times if the copper is extremely dirty. To move the process along, you may use your old toothbrush to gently scrub into the cracks and crevasses of the design. When you have achieved the desired cleaning, run clear water over the jewelry to rinse. Then use a little soap and the toothbrush to clean just a little more, rinse and pat dry with a towel.
Please DO NOT leave your jewelry in the acid soak for and extended period of time OR if your copper jewelry has pearls, or any other soft stone DO NOT use any of these ways of cleaning!
The picture below is my bracelet after a 10 minute soaking in lemon juice! As you can see, it really does work with very little effort! So when you want to purchase of lovely piece of copper jewelry, don't let the worry how you will keep your copper clean stop you from purchasing! You can confidently clean your copper jewelry with items you already have!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Here are some lovelies for you to enjoy!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Whew! I don't know about you, but life sure has been very busy! Over the last few months I have learned several metal smithing techniques, and made some big changes to my website!
Back in the spring, I took a two day metal smithing class at a local art center and now I am totally into working with a torch! In the classes I learned how to bezel set stones, as well as refresh my memory on soldering! It was a wonderful weekend and I came way with a rose quartz ring and a pair of turquoise earrings as well as lots of information and ideas for more jewelry!
I also purchased letter and design stamps for metal and have tried my hand at personalizing rings, necklaces and earrings! So in the near future, you will see some initial necklaces with birthstones, rings with initials and much more!
Last week, I started working on changes to Heart's Desires website and am pleased with the new look so far! This design is a breeze to work with and I definitely want to spend more time adding new pieces of jewelry to sell!
Some of the changes you will find on the website is a gallery of pictures, a blog page and best of all, many new pieces of jewelry! I hope you will take some time to browse through each section and leave a comment about what you think. Please be honest, if there is something you do not care for let me know! Here is the link: http://heartsdesirebead.com
In the mean time, here is some eye candy to get you started! Enjoy!