Saturday, January 14, 2017

Just What is Gunmetal Jewelry and How Do You Clean It?




Have you ever wondered exactly what gunmetal jewelry is made of?   I design and make jewelry like the earrings shown here.  When I opened the drawer of my gunmetal components some had a green corrosion on them.  I started to throw them away but thought perhaps I could find out if they could be saved.  I snooped around some to see what I could find out about what gunmetal actually is and if it can be cleaned.

Gunmetal jewelry is an alloy of 90% copper and 10% tin.  Gunmetal also refers to a blue-black finish caused by electroplating a coat of iron on an item and coloring it in a chemical solution. Electroplate is a thin coating of metal applied to the outside of a base metal through an electrical process.  The item is suspended in a chemical solution and current flows from a piece of metal to the item depositing a layer of metal onto the item.

So how does one clean gunmetal jewelry you ask?  Believe it or not, it is very easy to do with an everyday object.  A pencil eraser!  Yes, it is true.  Use a pencil eraser to rub away the corrosion on your gunmetal items and it will disappear!

I hope you find this tidbit of information helpful in cleaning any of your gunmetal jewelry.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The December holidays are over now and cold weather has set in for most of us.  January is a time to sit back, relax and enjoy a less hectic time of the year.  It is a time to enjoy your family and cold weather activities.  You have a couple of weeks before you need to think about the next event on the calendar.  That event is Valentine's Day!

Here is a little bit of information you may find interesting concerning the lover's day.  Did you know that Americans began exchanging handmade valentines in the 1700's?  A woman named Esther Howland began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in the United States.  Some people called her the "Mother of the Valentine".  She created elaborate cards made with ribbons, lace and colorful pictures.

According to the Greeting Card Association, there are an estimated 1 billion Valentine's Day cards sent each year.  Approximately 85 percent of the valentines are purchased by women.  Guess that isn't too surprising!

I found this fun map of the US on the Estately blog that shows by state what Valentine gifts are most popular.


If you are looking for a gift for someone special you might want to check out some of these beautiful items:

Red Lampwork Heart Earrings













Sunday, October 16, 2016

Each year Julie of Blue Morning Expressions hosts a Countdown to Christmas where artists can promote some of their beautiful things they have for sale.  It is week 5 of the countdown and lots of people are listings their products.

I would like to share some of them with you here.  But first, I thought it would be interesting to give you a little "Christmas" information.  So many of us associate snow with Christmas. Probably because so many of the holiday songs and movies include snow in them.

I happen to live in a southern state, Georgia, where snow in December is rare.  That made me start wondering how many states in the US have a white Christmas.  According to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the states most likely to see snow on December 25 are Maine, Minnesota, New York, Idaho, West Virginia and the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. States not likely to see snow are Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and alas Georgia.  Aspen, Colorado is one of only around 12 locations in the Northwest that has a 100 per cent probability of receiving snow on December 25.

On rare occasions, like the year of 2004, a surprise snowstorm brought snow to Houston, Texas (the first one ever recorded) and the first in 50 years to New Orleans, Louisiana.

In 1989 a winter storm brought snow to very unusual places like Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida on Christmas day.  Don't you know they were surprised!

I do remember it snowing here several years ago on Christmas Eve.  It did not stick but it was so magical seeing the beautiful snowflakes falling as we celebrated the event with friends and family.

Okay, now let's take a look at some of the great items you can find in the shops of these very talented people!

This pretty bag is made by Ennadoolf.


A cute little penguin zipper case offered by SewAmazin.


The Singing Beader offers lovely musical jewelry and other pieces of very nice jewelry.


Kevs Krafts offers delightful items made from wood.


Look for beautiful handmade jewelry from Shadow Dog Designs.


Linor Store features lots of pretty things like this Kippah.


You will find gorgeous handmade lampwork glass beads at Covergirlbeads.


Treasures of Jewels offers wonderful handmade jewelry.


Fantastic handmade jewelry is what you will find at Kats All That.


RSS Designs in Fiber has such pretty handmade items like this pretty basket.


You will find a marvelous selection of handmade cards, stickers, banners and more at AdorebyNat.


Resetar Glass Art has just that, beautiful items made of glass!


If you are looking for art prints and more, you will find them at Butterfly in the Attic.


Blue Morning Expressions has lovely polymer clay items that I know you will love!




You will find so many cute things to choose from when you visit Wyvern Designs Home.


Pretty Gonzo Jewelry has so many great pieces of jewelry that you will not know where to start!


If you are looking for a great gift idea you should check Crafting Memories.



I think you will agree that you could do a lot of your holiday shopping in these wonderful shops.  I hope you will take the opportunity to check them out!

These beautiful things are sure to leave a smile on your face but I would like to end my post with a little holiday joke.

Me:  What do you get if you cross an Ipad with a Christmas tree?

You:  I don't know.  What?

Me:  A pineapple!




























Sunday, July 24, 2016


Necklace Standard Lengths for Women



Blue Lace Agate Statement Necklace Baroque Pearl
Unless you make jewelry, necklace lengths for women can sometimes be confusing for people so I wanted to share some information here with you.  The following graphic lists the lengths for women's necklaces and how they will look on.


Listed below is the length and name of each necklace shown on the graphic.  You can click on the name of the lengths to see an example of each one in my shop at Blonde Peach Jewelry on Etsy.

Choker - 14 to 16 inches long - The necklace falls around the base of the neck.  An open collar or a strapless top would look best with this choice.

Princess - 17 to 19 inches long - The most common length of a necklace is 18 inches and falls at the collarbone.  A high neckline would look best with this style necklace.

Matinee  - 20 to 24 inches long - The necklace falls at or below the neckline.

Opera - 28 to 36 inches long - This style necklace can be worn as a single long strand or doubled to wear as a shorter necklace.  This length is a very versatile length.

Bridal - 17 inches long is the average length but obviously it would depend on the style dress.



Saturday, July 23, 2016


The Beautiful Meaning of the Lotus Flower





A few years back I made a necklace with a silver lotus flower pendant.  I accented the pendant with small white pearls and attached it to a sterling silver chain.  A customer saw the necklace on my website and really liked it.  She purchased it and after she received the necklace she asked me to make a matching bracelet and a pair of earrings to go with the necklace.  I was so happy that she liked my work!  We emailed back and forth for a while and she told me she had always been interested in the symbolism of the lotus flower.  I had always admired the beauty of the flower but didn't know really anything about them.  Her interest in the symbolism of the flower inspired me to do a little online research.  At that point, I decided to share what I had discovered in a blog post.  The post was well received so I decided to add it to my new blog here.

The lotus flower is an Asian water lily that bears delicate white flowers.  The flower opens every morning and closes each night.  It is the only plant that can fruit and flower at the same time.

In Buddhism, the lotus flower can represent many things.  Different colors, stage of growth and where the flower grows can all represent different things.  It is a symbol of purity, faithfulness and enlightenment.

According to the Buddhist, the lotus flower represents a symbol of fortune.  The most literal meaning is the rise and bloom of enlightenment.  Lotus flowers grow in muddy water.  So the muddy water represents our enlightenment or correct path in life.

I mentioned that color is important and can represent different things according to Buddhism.  White flowers refer to purity of mind and spirit.  Blue flowers represent common sense.  A red bloom refers to compassion and love.  Representing the history of Buddha and the historical legends of the Buddha is the pink lotus flower.  A purple flower represents mysticism and spirituality.  A gold flower represents all achievement of all enlightenment.

A closed lotus flower represents the time before a Buddhist follower found enlightenment.  A full bloom represents self-awareness and full enlightenment.  The flower can represent rebirth.  This could be an acceptance of Buddha, a change of ideas or the ability to see past wrongs.

I found this beautiful quote while doing my research that I would like to share with you here.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

"If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong." - Masaru Emoto, The Secret Life of Water

If you are interested in purchasing a silver lotus flower necklace, please visit my shop at Blonde Peach Jewelry on Etsy.




Fabulous Handmade Artisans

I have become familiar with a wonderful group of women who make beautiful handmade items.  I would like to share some of their work here with you so you can see how fabulous it is.

Look at this gorgeous bracelet made by Kathy of Kats All That on ArtFire.  She must have the patience of Job!



Natalie of Adore by Nat makes the cutest little favor tags and other items for parties.  See how fun these tags are?

This beautiful Sodalite necklace was created by Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs.  She also has a dog rescue line of jewelry that she makes and donates 1/2 of the proceeds to the local Humane Society.  You will drool over her pieces!

If you are interested in lovely hand-knitted items you should check out Nancy's shop at Jazz It Up With Designs by Nancy.  She also makes jewelry and other items like fun pony tail scrunchies.


Mary of Pretty Gonzo makes gorgeous jewelry that includes a line of awareness jewelry like these earrings and also a line of chaplet bracelets.  You can't go wrong with her pieces!


Maybe you make jewelry yourself or know someone who does and might be interested in some eye-catching polymer clay beads like the ones that Julie of Blue Morning Expressions makes.  She makes lovely jewelry with them and has other exciting items in her shop.


Roxanne of ST Bridal is another jewelry artisan that has very stylish jewelry like this ankle bracelet in her shop.  She also makes necklaces, earrings and bracelets!


This very talented lady apparently sings and also enjoys creating musical related jewelry like this harmonica necklace.  Her name is Connie and her shop name is The Singing Beader!


Crafted by a skilled artisan, Ruth, of RSS Fibers in Design this enchanting, crocheted drawstring bag is delightful.  She also makes some beautiful dollies.


I don't know which one is cuter, the dog or the scarf - okay I have to admit the model is adorable! Donna of Sew Amazin is the owner of the terrific dog and the creator of the fun dog bandanas.


We all love the sublime lampwork glass beads that Charlotte of Covergirl Beads produces.  The only problem we all have with them is which ones to buy!


I probably do not have to tell you to visit their splendid shops because the charming pieces will call your name but if you click on the shop names you will be taken directly to their shops and the pictured items here.

Now for my shameless self promotion - please visit my shop, Blonde Peach Jewelry, to see some of my creations like the re-purposed jewelry that I love to put together!  My name is Sharon and I am the creator, photographer, editor, customer service, shipping and listing person in my shop.  This is my purple amethyst re-purposed jewelry necklace.


I hope you enjoy the visual treats that I have included in this post!











Saturday, May 14, 2016

Chihuly in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Chihuly

I recently had the pleasure of touring the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with a couple of girlfriends.  I had read in the paper that there would be a Chihuly glass exhibit in the gardens so I called my friends up and said, “Let’s go!”

              


What a fabulous time we had that day!  The weather was perfect, even though it had been predicted earlier in the week to rain.  The sun was warm, the skies were blue and there was a gentle breeze to cool us off.
             



If you are unfamiliar with Chihuly glass, I will tell you a little about the artist, Dale Chihuly.  He was born in 1941 in Tacoma, WA.  He was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington.  He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and ultimately taught a glass class there for more than 10 years.


He received a Fulbright Fellowship in 1968 and went to work at Venini Glass Factory in Venice, Italy.

His glass work is included in over 200 museums.  His last exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens was in 2004 and was very well received. To help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the gardens, he agreed to exhibit his work again.  



There are about 19 installations throughout the gardens.  Each exhibit is designed to be site specific with a third of them created uniquely for the gardens.  At night, the glass is bathed in light and is truly spectacular!
I was there during the day and each piece was fantastic.


                      
        
The green and yellow installation is in the orchid house and I believe is his interpretation of the orchids in glass.  Speaking of orchids, here are some of the fabulous ones we saw that day.
         





         

The vibrant colors of the blown glass and gorgeous flowers will be an inspiration for me with my handmade jewelry when I walk into my studio!