Fragrant Jewels Ring Reveal – Tranquility Lavender Bath Bomb

Each Fragrant Jewels Bath Bomb contains a beautiful ring and a code that gives you a chance to win a ring with a retail value between $100 and $10,000!

Today’s ring reveal came from the Tranquility Lavender Bath Bomb.
Fresh picked lavender mingles with notes of sweet chamomile and accents of jasmine, lily, sandalwood, and musk to calm and balance the senses.
Revitalize your bathing experience! Our effervescent Bath Bombs release relaxing, therapeutic fragrances as they hydrate your skin with oils. Each contains a gorgeous ring encased in a pod that floats to the surface…and the chance to win an additional ring worth up to $10,000!

The lavender bath bomb was amazing! It smelled so nice and relaxing. It turned the water a pretty purple color and dissolved so well. I felt like I was at the spa! My ring appraised for $10 and was a beautiful, unique ring.

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Slay in Sapphires from Arik Kastan

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip sapphire banner by Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip sapphire banner by Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip sapphire banner by Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip sapphire banner by Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip divider 3839Sapphire

A simple half eternity band in all sapphires is sometimes all you need! Arik Kastan makes all bands by hand using genuine gemstones and every detail is priority. The comfort of this band is something you need to see for yourself!

Half Eternity band in sapphires, Price: $1,166

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Love these drop earrings done in 14k rose gold and sapphires because they combine a few of my favorite aspects of jewelry. One, they have a vintage style–the filigree speaks for itself. Two, they are bold which is what we’re wanting for Fall. And lastly, they are easy to style and will stun with any outfit.

Arabesque drop earrings, Price: $1,890

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The newest baby within the Arik Kastan collection, the Flower Mandala ring, really calms and soothes both in design and gemstone choice. With sapphires being said to relieve stress and help clear the mind, this bold ring will be your guiding light. Sapphire petals and diamond details, all set in our signature 14k rose gold.

Flower Mandala ring, Price: $1,760

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In love with the aquamarine and sapphire color combo of these Nouveau Oval drop earrings. It is a juxtaposition between the soft, romantic aquamarine and the edgy, dark sapphires that has us swooning.

Nouveau Oval drop earrings, Price: $1,920

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The Framed Flower ring mixes some bohemian vibes with what every girl wants in a ring: stunning sparkle. I can’t think of a better gemstone than sapphire to pull this off. Simple yet powerful; love this ring!!

Framed Flower ring, Price: $660

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Jewels at my Doorstep: JewelStreet.com

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JewelStreet | Gem Gossip  JewelStreet | Gem Gossip  JewelStreet | Gem Gossip JewelStreet | Gem Gossip JewelStreet | Gem Gossip  JewelStreet | Gem Gossip

Taking the jewels of JewelStreet to the streets of Nashville! The online luxury jewelry marketplace prides itself as being the UK’s #1 website for designer fine jewelry, with an emphasis on seeking out brands that are doing amazing things with design. Browsing the pages of JewelStreet makes you feel as though you’re traveling the world through the lens of jewelry. Their virtual boutique is set up to feature jewelry designers by country, and this breakdown allows you to see everything from a global perspective. You can delve into Italy and see the rich gold designs from this country featured on JewelStreet, Brazil is fascinating and leading the way with unique design with several artisans featured, France has some great designers…the list goes on and on! Being from the United States, I felt some American pride seeing who is represented on this worldwide jewelry outlet–many names I recognized and familiar faces.

For this Jewels at my Doorstep shoot, I thought it would be neat to feature a few different countries. I chose these really neat pearl geode rings from Little H Jewelry based in the US, a bold out-of-this-world solar system inspired ring by Anakao out of London, UK, and last but not least some long black spinel earrings by MyriamSOS from Cyprus (which I honestly had to look on a map to figure out where exactly that country is located, FYI it’s an island south of Turkey). It is beautiful how jewelry from all over the globe can come together and complement one another, be a staple in someone’s jewelry box, and make memories for a lifetime.

Connecting people to jewelry from all over the globe is what makes JewelStreet so special. Imagine logging into the website from your laptop in a small town, in middle America. JewelStreet connects you with jewelry designers from places in all parts of this large globe we call home, that you may have never known about. So now a pendant from a jeweler in Greece is on its way to your jewelry box thanks to JewelStreet, and it will forever be a part of your story. I love that.

Make sure you check out JewelStreet and immerse yourself in their global world.

And here is the info on the jewels I’m wearing:

The Hallgrimur Earrings by MyriamSOS, 9k rose gold set with black spinel, Price: $990

Devoted Ring in yellow gold by Anakao, 18k yellow gold & diamonds, Price: $2,320

Three pearl ring–Tahitian, keshi, Golden South Sea pearl in 14k yellow gold, by Little H Jewelry, Price: $1,600

Three pearl ring–Fiji pearl, Akoya, Golden South Sea pearl in 14k yellow gold, by Little H Jewelry, Price: $2,500

Single point collection ring with Tahitian Keshi pearl and rubies in 14k yellow gold, by Little H Jewelry, Price: $1,100

Finestrino collection, black diamonds and Tahitian Keshi pearl in 14k black rhodium, by Little H Jewelry, Price: $2,200

 

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One day in New York City

If you are here for the We’re all ears Challenge reveal , then skip to the end of the post to see the earrings.

If you are here for the We‘re all ears Challenge reveal , then skip to the end of the post to see the earrings. But if you have five minutes, you could read about my recent travels and my “New York State of Mind”.

In a New York State of Mind

My USA journey began with a flight to JFK where I was picked by my Aunt and Uncle, and driven to their home in the picturesque Albertson. It was everything I had read about American suburbs – calm and quiet, yet not very far from the main road, surprisingly dotted with Indian and Pakistani stores. It might as well been a villa colony along the ECR if not for the American flag fluttering in the porch of many a house.

The next morning, after depositing my luggage at a charming place in Woodside, near Queens Blvd I left to board a train that would take me to Hudson yards station, wherein began my sightseeing Trip. They say that New Yorkers walk a lot – and by the time I reached Pier 83, near the Intrepid Air and Space Museum from Hudson yard, I realised the truth behind that remark. It was a long brutal walk, considered peanuts by NYC standards. Thankfully, the warehouses along the way provided much needed shade during that terribly hot day. I soon boarded a cruise boat and after securing a seat at the upper half covered deck, waited in anticipation to see Lady Liberty.

The Landmark cruise, a 90 minute ride on the Hudson river was a great and comfortable way to see the famed Manhattan skyline even on a very hot day. Within minutes of the cruise I could see the Skyscrapers – all concrete and glass. World Trade Center, 9/11 memorial, Empire State building, Battery park were on one side while the other side offered a peak into New Jersey. Contrary to the note on the Cruise website, the cruise neither goes around the Statue of Liberty nor do we get to see it twice. After a brief glimpse from a good distance we took a U Turn to see the famous Brooklyn Bridge and the Williamsburg bridge. I felt sorry for the folks who did not rush to the deck to take their pictures but waited patiently for the boat to turn around; they never got a chance to take pictures of the SOL after that. Sometimes, patience doesn’t pay.

The commentary was very informative to begin with, but it got boring towards the end with the guide going on and on about the 9/11 memorial, the great “New York rush hour” and Captain Sully’s landing on the Hudson. Maybe with the movie coming up (it has been released now) the guide thought it would be interesting to people, but people got bored and started talking really loudly during the return journey. Instead, we could have spent more time at the statue of liberty as 5 minutes is hardly enough to soak up her splendor. It was however, very interesting, to see people take ferry rides, helicopter rides, go yatching and yes go jet skiing on the river.

After a quick lunch consisting of a muffin and an apple, I ubered to the Met. The Metropolitan museum of art is heaven on earth for artists, designers and connoisseurs of beauty. I really missed my mom and wished that she got an opportunity to see it as well, so I called her (woke her up in the middle of the night) and described the exhibits as I was walking through the Greek section. People say that those who are not artistically inclined can see 4 sections in a day and those who love art can only see 2. I, on the other hand saw 8 exhibits. I rushed through them as FOMO (fear of missing out) gripped me until they basically threw me out at 5:30 PM. “When am I ever going to get an opportunity like this again”, I told myself, forcing my brain into absorbing everything I saw and wishing that I had skipped the cruise and been at the Met at the opening time instead. I will write soon about extraordinary jewelry exhibits and Manus Machina very soon.

I chose to see only three places in NYC and the last on my list was the “Sunset view from the Top pf Rock”. I had gotten a glimpse of Central Park earlier on my way over to the MET but as I travelled towards TOR, I was able to appreciate Central park once again, this time only for $5 as I was driven along the 5th avenue. Thank God for share -Uber that nobody wants to share 😀 My Driver turned out to be a freelance Graphic designer and so he was happy to point out signages and thematic displays of Fashion stores along the famous street.

fifth avenue new york

Even though I was late for my TOR appointment I took my time in seeing portions of the Rockefeller center and browsed at Anthropologie to my heart’s content. But I missed seeing the inside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and going through more high end stores on that street. If given an another chance, I would do it differently.
My image of New York city, like most other Indians is created based on stories of cousins or relatives who live abroad or is crafted through American Television shows. In my case it was the TV shows like “Sex and the City”, “White Collar” and “Castle” that made me visit TOR at sunset. I fell in love with how the Empire state building looked in the “so called evening light” in the shows but only when I actually reached TOR, I realised that the light in those scenes come from the opposite side, meaning that they could been shot during sunrise. I reached the 67th floor around 7 PM awaiting the 7:55 PM sunset but the sun tested all of us by setting at 8:20 PM. By then, both the 69th and 70th floors had become extremely crowded, filled with frustrated people who were disappointed with their dull, unsharp pictures on a very humid and cloudy day. I guess ‘just seeing’ the Empire state building in all its splendor doesn’t hold the magic that it once did in the minds of people.

empire state building

Ten minutes after the sunset, I gave the Empire state building one last look and left with a heavy heart for I was leaving New York without seeing my favourite Chrysler building properly. My return journey was full of drama for I got lost in the subway maze. New Yorkers, I realised much Chennaites are perfectly capable of giving contradicting directions. GPS was also useless considering the number of roads that had closed due to ongoing construction. One side of most roads were dug up and it took all of my Chennai street smartness to avoid falling into any of them. I was thankful that I had been a city mouse for a while now. After wandering around lost for nearly an hour I reached the Times square. Maybe I was extremely tired and hungry, but to me it looked like someone had setup huge TV screens in Ranganathan Street. I was once again transported to Chennai and quickly reversed my steps to the station. But in a way I was blessed for I got see another glimpse of the Chrysler building as though it was poking its head to say hello to me.

empire state building at night

After shopping for band aids for my bruised feet and inexpensive drugstore makeup (which is very good btw) I finally reached the alarmingly quiet Woodside by 10:40 PM and heated up some soup that was to be my dinner. My day however was far from being over. My Airbnb host turned out to be a FIT graduate of Indian Origin and we ended up talking about uptil midnight about design, fashion and our ethnicity despite my blasting headache. She was quite surprised at how much I had packed into one day in Manahattan.
The next morning I packed my bags, bid my host and New York adieu as I travelled to New Jersey and that my dear readers was my day in New York. We have come to the end of a long post, which was supposed to be the first in my US series. At some point during typing this post, I started imagining myself to be Carrie writing her column and got carried away, sorry!

New York Sunset earrings

Coincidentally, this month‘s We‘re all ears Challenge is all about skyscrapers and the inspiration post features quite a few from New York. So it only fair that I wrote about my New York experience. Both the earrings – New York Sunset and Boxed up sky scrapers were made using the Niobium components that I made in my Rainforest leaves earrings class with Marti Brown at Beadfest. I have used the boxy rectangular shapes of the buildings and the sunset colors for my earrings. The seed beads represent the lit up windows and the scrunched up textures (and folds) represent the repair and construction work happening in the streets and in the buildings.

That was my Day in New York City, I hope you found it interesting

PS: If you are like me and like Billy Joel pop over to listen to his famous In a New York State of Mind Tamil Folks can always listen to New York nagaram orangum neram
Cheers

[||||Thanks to:jewelsofsayuri blog|Special thanks to:jewelsofsayuri blog|Greetings to:jewelsofsayuri blog |Source: jewelsofsayuri|More at:jewelsofsayuri blog|

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Buying Vintage Engagement Rings

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So you know that she wants a vintage engagement ring, but what now? This handy and comprehensive guide, written by the experts at Estate Diamond Jewelry will hopefully shed some light on a journey fraught with potential pitfalls for the uninformed, and make the whole process much easier than it otherwise might be.

A Quick Rundown on the Vintage Eras

We believe that understanding the vintage jewelry eras is very important. These terms are repeated endlessly throughout the vintage jewelry scene, and recognizing the vintage jewelry eras is the first step to beginning to understand vintage jewelry.

The Victorian Era spanned from 1836 – 1901

Victorian-Rings

The Edwardian Era spanned from 1901 – 1915

Edwardian-Rings

The Art Deco Era spanned from 1920 – 1939

Art-Deco-Rings

The Retro Era spanned from 1935 – 1950

Retro-Rings

The earliest era is the Georgian Era, spanning from 1714 – 1835, unfortunately, there aren’t many genuine Georgian Rings available on the market anymore. Most of the genuine Georgian rings are not in a stable enough condition to wear on a daily basis. The Art Nouveau Era, spanned from 1895 – 1910, and partially overlapped the Victorian and Edwardian Era. The Art Nouveau designs and motifs however, didn’t really lend themselves to be easily adapted to the traditional vintage engagement ring. The rings shown above can be found here.

The Four C’s and Diamond Quality

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The Four ‘C’s of diamond classification are Carat (size), Clarity (flawlessness), Color (how “white” it is) and Cut (the quality of the cut and how the finished stone appears). A reputable dealer will happily go over each of these with you for any stone that catches your eye. Even if you have a modest budget, it is important that you feel comfortable and have a good understanding of the stone that you are interested in.

Also, bear in mind that compromising in one area will get you a strength in another. If size is important to you, you may have to compromise on clarity or color to find a diamond within your budget.

The Classes of Diamonds

Carat – The larger the number the heavier the diamond weighs. One carat weighs 200 mg.

Color – The whiteness of the diamond. The whitest diamonds are ranked as a D. The diamonds get more yellow as the letters move closer to Z.

Clarity – The clarity of a diamond ranges from F (no inclusions), IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, and I3 (included).

Cut – The cut measures the perfection of the facets of the diamond. There are four standard rankings: excellent, very good, good, and fair. (Please note that antique diamonds tend to rank lower on this scale because they were cut by hand.)

For a comprehensive walk-through on everything that you need to know about diamonds, click here.

Determining Antique Diamonds

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Determining the age of a diamond accurately is very hard, even for experts, but we can give you a few tips to help you at least determine if the diamond is old.

  • The culet. If you look down the center of the diamond and see a culet (a rounded facet at the bottom) there likelyhood of the diamond being old is extremely high.
  • The table. The table is the flat surface at the top of the diamond. Current GIA standards favor a larger table surface. Older diamonds will usually have much smaller tables.
  • The girdle. A frosted girdle is good indicator that the diamond is old.

For more information on dating antique diamonds and why antique diamonds are treasured, click here.

The Style and Design

Most people have heard the term “solitaire ring” without ever really fully understanding what it means. A solitaire ring is simply a ring with a single stone, usually but not exclusively a diamond, and has become an iconic representation of an engagement ring. But solitaires, as popular as they have become in recent years are just one in an almost endless array of designs for engagement rings.

There are several popular periods for antique engagement rings, many of which have gone on to influence modern day designs significantly. One of the most important periods for design generally, and which had a terrific impact on ring design was the Art Deco period of the early 20th Century. Art Deco is demonstrated by symmetrical, even at times quite aggressive designs that lend themselves perfectly to drawing the eye to the diamond of the engagement ring.

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Considered a little more “edgy” that earlier style periods, both in construction and intent, the symmetry of engagement rings from this period manages to stay clear of straying into what might otherwise have been early “bling” by the considered cut and placement of the stones. It isn’t unusual to see a center diamond surrounded by a pavement of small sapphires or rubies, or even other diamonds. This can allow the center diamond to be a little smaller and, therefore, a little less expensive whilst appearing bigger than it really is.

The fact is, though, that style is a very personal thing. Find something you like, and then ask yourself will your future fiancé like it. Actually looking at her current ring collection before you start shopping, or the ones she wears at least, will give you some idea of what to look for. If she has rings she wears all the time, don’t be afraid to look for an engagement ring that might compliment them, whether by color or design.

Platinum is the metal of choice for the band of the ring, due to it being hypoallergenic, but the choices extend to gold in many colors, giving a wide range of choices. Antique rings from the Victorian Era will very likely have silver in them as well.

To understand a little bit more about vintage motifs and styles, click here.

The Budget

Only you can decide how much your budget should be. Of all the questions that you and your fiancée will be asked about the ring, “How much was it” won’t – or at least shouldn’t – be one of them. As long as you stay within your budget, don’t be drawn into overpaying for a ring just so that you can brag about the cost.

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If your fiancée is really the one for you, you could put an old beer can ring pull on her finger and it wouldn’t matter. (Don’t do that, by the way, the tactic only works in movies.) Leave the cost boasts to the celebrities.

De Beers, the diamond mining and dealing giant first coined the phrase “A month’s salary that lasts a lifetime” to boost sales within a falling diamond market during the lean years of the 1930s. They upgraded it to “Two month’s salary…” by the 1980s, so it seems their campaign paid off.

So is two month’s salary a fair price? It all depends.

Will it be a single solitaire diamond, or one with more stones in the setting? Will it have different stones such as sapphires or rubies as well as the diamonds. How big will the stones be? What will the quality of the stones and the setting be?

Any one of them can make a huge difference to the cost of the ring. The key is NOT to see the vintage ring as an investment, although it will more than likely rise in value, but to see it as part of your life story. A permanent, irrefutable element in a story that now involves two people.

Set your budget and have a cast iron determination to stay within it. Or at least within 20% of the top end if you see something you really like. Whether this is two month’s salary or just enough so you can eat this week makes no difference. The main thing is to find a ring that you’ll both love. An engagement ring isn’t just a piece of jewelry, it is the guardian of a treasured moment that you will share forever.

Quality and Assurances

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This is where finding a reputable dealer with a sound background and credentials becomes crucial.

Most vintage engagement rings will have one primary (and possibly many accenting) diamonds within the setting. As mentioned above, diamonds come in a wide range of qualities and, by extension, values. The best diamonds sell for very high prices and have lots of nuances, but that doesn’t mean lower valued stones should be overlooked.

To all but the practised eye of an expert, many of the internal flaws and color tints that lower some value from the stone will be all but undetectable to an untrained eye, even yours. A trained and honest salesperson should be able to navigate you along the path, educating you along the way, and helping you make this important decision.

Certifications and Insurance

If you have a budget that allows you to consider a diamond in excess of 1 carat, you should get a certification or appraisal into the grading of the stone. These are independently produced and certify the quality of the diamond should you need it at any point for insurance or other purposes.

Speaking of insurance, make sure you get the right level of cover for the ring you buy. There are specialist jewelry insurers as well as cover being usually available from your home and contents insurer. Have the ring re-valued every couple of years and make sure you upgrade the cover if needed. Not that the emotional value of an engagement ring can ever be measured, but loss and damage does happen and a “free” replacement is better than paying twice.

For more information on how to insure your jewelry, click here.

A Final Thought

The value of an engagement ring can’t just be measured in dollars, it’s far too important to simply be a financial thing. What it signifies is a partnership that is taking a significant step forward and which will define you both for decades to come. Above all else, buy an engagement ring that shows the purchase wasn’t just about you. We all like, and need, to feel appreciated so keep that in mind when you make the single biggest “I appreciate you” statement of your life.

This post was written and brought to you by Estate Diamond Jewelry.

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Thanks to Gossip Gem

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Budget Shopping in USA

My last post on Beadfest beads was filled with photographs of colorful beads.

My last post on Beadfest beads was filled with photographs of colorful beads. This one on what I bought is a little duller – monochromatic as I mostly bought metal or metallic paints. You can buy anything and everything you want in USA but when you are on an extremely tight budget, shopping for art or jewelry supplies can be considered a frivolous pursuit. Still, I managed to shop and here is my haul – artsy/crafty and jewelry related things that I bought at Michaels and at Beadfest. Apart from these items I shopped only for food, Disney souvenirs, and yes “Foreign” Chocolates to feed 100 hungry mouths back home 😀

Michaels
Outside the US, the word ‘Michaels’ conjures strong images of a treasure filled cave like structure (from Alladin) in the minds of crafters. You imagine endless aisles of crafting supplies that are to be reverently bought and carefully used. So when you step in to the store, it is a sort of an anticlimax moment – it is after all, just a craft store, that is going to tempt you to spends three times your budget.
I loved the flowers and art materials (at the King of Prussia store) but felt that the beads were far too expensive. Most beads sold there are from India or China and even at 50% off they were atleast twice their original price. So I bought some artistic wire, wire gauge, mini canvases, Prismacolor pencils for coloring on metal, Pebeo paints (my biggest splurge there), metallic alcohol inks, some rhinestone connectors and metal texturing plates. I also found a really cute Mickey – Minnie T shirt in the kids coloring section for $3.5 that was surprisingly well made and I wore it to Disneyworld.

My friends later told me, that they never shop at Michaels without a coupon. I didn’t have one, so I checked the price of everything in Indian web stores, their availability or lack thereof and only when I found a bargain I bought it. I swear I have never made so many currency conversion calculations in a single day at the end of which I became fluent in the multiplication table of the number 69. Inspite of my crazy calculations, I still spent about $132 there, which was 2/3rds of my shopping budget for the entire US trip. I left Michaels thanking God for wonderful relatives, who believed in giving me cash gifts, that I could spend on art supplies.

Beadfest
Since I was at Beadfest the entire weekend, I was able to look through the booths more than once which translates into – going overboard my budget even though a lot of what I wanted to buy wasn’t available to. My first bead purchase were the decoupaged and resin beads. I have great plans for the Frieda beads and the banana fiber horn. I bought a Xuron cutter for 12g-18g, hard solder paste, a cup burr (which was quite difficult to find) Apart from these I spent bulk of my budget at the Metallaferous booth buying textured metal, chain, bracelet blanks and a locket and at the Parawire booth buying (yes) more wire and 5 in 1 texturing hammer which has been on my list for 3 years now.


I also bought some UV resin to try as my students keep asking me about it, some casted metal for coloring and really cool enamel headpins which was my “best buy”. The Artist was selling it for just a dollar a bunch on Sunday afternoon as end of show special. On the last day, I finally gave in and bought some beetle wings and Afghan coins. My mom has been behind my life to get myself some swarovski or cubic zirconia earrings that look like solitaires and not wanting to disappoint her I finally found some luscious earrings with Cubic Zirconia (mine look like solitaries and hers are snowflakes) for the both of us. Also, my parents were getting our apartment painted while I was away and in the middle of all that chaos my mom lost her new (aka my old phone) and was extremely upset. So I got her some swarovski pearls because I was feeling really bad for her and put away some cash for a new phone.


Amazon
My purchase list had ren wax, polishing pads and Clauss scissors in list none of which I could get at beadfest. So just before I left Philly I had this brainwave to order them on Amazon and get them delivered to my Disney Resort. Unfortunately, only the Ren wax qualified for Prime shipping and was delivered on the last night of my stay in the US. I am still looking for people who are likely to travel to India in the next couple of months and will be willing to carry the rest for me.


Freebies
What is a good haul post without some freebies thrown in? I got awesome swag from the Ice resin booth – you guys are the best !! (the full story on this later) and some really yummy beads made by Lori Schneider who along with Robin Showstack were my roommates for a couple of days. It was so much fun being with them.



Out of the three beads, the beetle is my favourite (the hieroglyphics beads is the back of the beetle) and I am so happy to have some really cool artisan beads that I can use for challenges and contests.

I realize that I have been incredibly slow in posting about my trip and even when I do, its not in the right order. But then, with one infection after the other, I am all wiped out. All my energy is spent on just preparing for class and getting there on time, that I just don’t feel like doing anything else. Finally I made some Jewelry the past weekend for the BNB “A day at the beach” Challenge Beach sparkle necklace and Color pops necklace. Do check them out and like them to vote for me


I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

[||||Thanks to:jewelsofsayuri blog|Special thanks to:jewelsofsayuri blog|Greetings to:jewelsofsayuri blog |Source: jewelsofsayuri|More at:jewelsofsayuri blog|

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Exclusive Animal Fetish Rings by Gem Gossip

Fetish Rings | Gem Gossip Fetish Rings | Gem Gossip Fetish Rings | Gem Gossip

Hello Gem Gossip readers! Today is a very special day…wanna know why?! It’s my birthday! As with most years, I always treat myself to an amazing piece of jewelry for my birthday. This year is a little different–I’m giving you the opportunity to buy a cool piece of jewelry! I’ve decided to launch this exclusive animal fetish bead ring collection on this day instead. The middle photo depicts a ring from my personal collection that I’ve had for awhile now. It is a mother of pearl bird bead ring that I created using 14k solid gold wire and the bead. Whenever I wear it, I get lots of comments asking about it, etc. I’ve been wanting to make these for awhile now, but it finally came together.

The first batch I am offering is a group of 15 unique beads, all genuine carved stones. There are birds, foxes, and bears in the mix. Each is numbered and offered as a first come, first serve basis. The band is made of 14k yellow gold wire, not gold-filled. And 10% of sales will go toward my local animal shelter.

 

 

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How to: Write a DIY Tutorial

Let me open with the disclaimer that I am not a tutorial expert and there are people who are far more experienced than me when it comes to writing design instructions. But as someone who has been writing DIY Jewelry and craft tutorials for both web as well as print, I thought I’ll share my learning with everyone.

Let me open with the disclaimer that I am not a tutorial expert and there are people who are far more experienced than me when it comes to writing design instructions. But as someone who has been writing DIY Jewelry and craft tutorials for both web as well as print, I thought I’ll share my learning with everyone.

Contrary to what people think creating a jewelry tutorial is a hard job. It hard enough when you get paid for it but harder still when you write it for free on your blog. You need to come up with an original idea (that well, will work!), create it, document it every step of the way using photographs, edit the photographs and then write the tutorial. That is just the first part; the second part is promoting it, responding to comments, answering questions, and updating it as you go. Also ,tutorials are slightly different from “How to” posts such as this one, in the sense that there is a definite product/ process that results from following the tutorial and how to is just a series of steps leading ot varied results.

When I started writing tutorials for my blog, I thought if everyone is doing it, why can’t I, it must be easy after all. I learned the hard way, that there is a big difference between writing a tutorial and writing an excellent tutorial and I cringe when I look at my old posts. So in this post, I’ll talk about the elements that make a tutorial stand out in a great way.


1. Show Finished product images:

This might sound like a no-brainer but there are hundreds (maybe 1000s) of tutorial on the net that do not show clear pictures of end products. Some of them have such tiny pictures enclosed in all sorts of fancy frames that I cannot see the details. Personally, I cannot follow text instructions and often learn how to make a product just by looking at the final picture and the material list. I look at the step wise pictures only if the product is very complicated or if the final product image is very small.
Also post at least 2 pictures (one full image showing the back, clasp or hook) and one close up. They must be in large size – one landscape and one portrait preferably as it makes your tutorial easily shareable across social media channels. Showing how the item is being used is an added bonus, though not a must.

2. Write a Detailed material list
The craziest part about writing for magazines is that they want a super detailed material list. Interweave specifies that name, size, finish, number, measurement and supplier name must be mentioned for every single consumable that it used. Also, all tools and equipment must be listed. When you write online, it doesn’t have to be that specific but it is good to have a clear material list so people know what exactly they need to create the item. When using Affiliate links, do not flood the entire list but use them only when the item is specific or uncommon as a common courtesy.

3. Take Step by Step pictures
A Majority of the craft world seems divided on this. Many say that a great tutorial must show every step (video tutorials might work better in that case) while others say that pictures showing the important or complicated steps are sufficient. I follow my “N-4 or above” rule for tutorials. That is, if there are 10 steps, I show a minimum of 6 steps visually. They can be separate images or a collage provided the images are clear and big enough. A tutorial is no place for tiny fudgy pictures. The idea is that a person who does not understand the language (in which the tutorial is written) must be able to comprehend the making process with just a rudimentary knowledge of the field.

4. Offer material or technique alternatives

When we write for an international audience, we must keep in mind that materials that are easily available to us might not be available to them. So suggest alternatives. For e.g, if the material list says Swarovski crystals, mention that it can also be created using glass, plastic or coated Chinese crystals. If the tutorial uses artistic wire mention how it can be created using base metal or other coated/plated wire. It might seem self-explanatory to an experienced person but a beginner coming across your post will require that support and guidance.

5. Discuss design Variations

Unlike Print, when we write for the web, basic courtesy demands that we discuss variations of the suggested idea. Apart from curbing plagiarism, it will encourage people to use your tutorial as a starting point to create new ideas and products.

Though there are many more good practices, I feel that the above five are an absolute must. As a bonus for all you tutorial newbies out there, here is a sample Tutorial template that I follow for every tutorial of mine. It is not restricted to jewelry making or crafts but can be adapted to any set of design instructions. So do download and share!


How to: Write a Jewelry Tutorial
A Sample Template

1. Introduction: Background of the design, your inspiration, how you chose the materials and what is the application of the idea or design
2. Finished product image no. 1
3. Material list, Material image optional
4. Method – numbered Step by step instructions with pictures
5. Finished product image no. 2, 3…..N
6.Conclusion – Summary if required (for complicated designs), any problems that you faced in the process and how they can be resolved, tips, suggestions, and variations. Add additional images if you have them as variations.
7. Call for action

That’s it for today folks, do add your tips on how to write a great tutorial in the comments section and tell me what you think of my tutorial template. If you find the template useful, please share on Social media (twitter, Instagram or Facebook) by tagging it to @jewelsofsayuri
I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

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The Ten Best Vintage Engagement Rings from Trumpet & Horn

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Tips & Tricks on Effectively Using Snapchat or Instagram Stories

Janna Conner Janna Conner

One way to “bring to life” your brand is through Snapchat or Instagram Stories. Over the last few years, Instagram has become such an integral part of business and branding, it sort of has become a place where jewelry designers, jewelry stores and influencers have gone to display their aesthetic and grow their following. Sometimes an Instagram account can grow stale–although photos that are pleasing to the eye may continue to grab your audience’s attention, how can you suplement this platform and bring your photos to life?? That’s where Snapchat and Instagram’s newly launched “Instagram Stories” comes into play. You can ignore them all you want, but these additions are fun ways of engaging fans and you may be missing out on a new, up-and-coming niche.

That’s why I’ve elicited the help of jewelry designer Janna Connor to share her tips and tricks to effectively using Snapchat and/or Instagram Stories. Her brand has no doubt grown because of social media and she is always ready to take on the next big thing. Janna’s use of both these platforms as one of the first and few jewelry designers to use them and DO IT WELL has gained a lot of attention. Her quirky snaps, glimpses of everyday life of a jewelry designer and peeks of her personal life are leaving her fans wanting more.

So without further ado, take it away Janna:

“Ok so you’re on Instagram, that’s great. But don’t kid yourself by saying you don’t need to be on Instagram Stories and/or Snapchat as well. According to Forbes, “Over 60% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 38 are Snapchat users.” What is so great about Snapchat and Instagram Stories? While Instagram is the glossy magazine editorial layout, Snapchat is the more personal behind the scenes look to Instagram’s manicured perfection. Instagram’s answer to Snapchat Instagram Stories came out earlier this month and has been a massive hit. Why? Because it’s so easy to use and easy to find people on it, both things that unfortunately Snapchat is not. But Snapchat can become easy if you spend a little time on it everyday.

Here are my 5 tips for killing it in the Insta-stories/Snapchat world:

1. Be consistent. That means you have to post everyday. Not just once a week, not just when you feel like it but everyday. If you are consistent about posting then people will expect and look forward to watching your content. If you’re erratic and all over the place with your posting schedule then people will get bored and move on. Even if you are overwhelmed by the prospect of posting on yet another social media channel, don’t over think it. Start simple. Enjoying a delicious cup of coffee? Snuggling with a favorite pet? Going for a walk in a scenic area? Checking out a new store? Post it. If there are some days when you just aren’t feeling it then give yourself a pass and post only a few times. Increase gradually and work up to posting more. As they say, fake it till you make it. The more you do it the more second hand it will become and the easier it will become.

2. Just like on regular Instagram, don’t dump all your content at one time. That’s a major pet peeve. Think about it: If you see 15 pictures in a row, by the time you get to 15 you are not nearly as excited/focused as you were on 1-3. We’re all busy, with limited time and a lot of people we follow and a lot of content to get through in a day. But if you post 5 times a day, 3 pics each, then chances are people will stick it out and see all of your content. And the whole reason for posting is so that people will see it, right? So make it easy for them. Also, by posting several times a day, you will continually be moved to the top of the feed and the chances that people will see your post will increase dramatically.

Janna Conner Janna Conner

3. So, really what’s so great about Snapchat and Instagram stories anyways? Everything. Until recently when they added the Camera Roll function to SC and currently with Insta Stories is that you have to take the picture/video solely within the app. That means no Facetune no Snapseed, no photo retouching (with the exception of Snapchat’s amazing filters!). Just what you snap is what you get. What’s great about this is that it enables you to be a lot freer with your content. It’s not going to be perfect but it doesn’t have to be…because it only lasts for 24 hours! So who cares if a snap isn’t taken at the most flattering angle or you have a blemish in another… Big deal! It’s only up for 24 hours and you can always delete it later. That’s not to say you should post completely indiscriminately. Of course not. I would advise against posting anything lewd, illegal and no drunk pics. If you are a public profile then keep in mind that anyone can see these, including your coworkers and employees. So have fun but keep it clean guys! Another thing I love about Snapchat is that nobody can see how many followers another account has or how many views their content received. It really evens the playing field so there isn’t this overt competition to posting. It’s just for fun and that’s something that I think people gloss over too quickly. Sometimes it’s good to just do things because they’re fun or silly, it can stimulate you in many unforeseen creative ways and you may not even know it!

4. Now, you know when to post and how to post but how about what to post? Coming up with new ideas for content can be challenging. I recommend doing a little research and checking out what those you admire are up to. Take notes on what you like and what you don’t like and try it out for yourself. If you have new product coming in, snap it. If you have new packaging in, take a snap. Trying out a new restaurant, take a snap. Traveling somewhere interesting, take a snap. Think about what things you would find interesting and include those. Now, please don’t take a million different snaps of the same restaurant or the same place, just a few will suffice. Less is more! I’m a jewelry designer, and I have access to tons of jewelry, so I often post a pic or a video of what I’m wearing everyday. I figure it might be interesting for others to see how I put my jewelry together and how I accessorize. If I have new interesting stones in, I snap them or if there is an interesting piece in progress, I take a snap. I try to keep it to things that wouldn’t necessarily look great as a finished image on Instagram but are still interesting. Insta stories and SC is a great way for people to see behind the scenes into what makes you, you. It doesn’t have to be perfect. This helps to personalize you and make you more relatable. I like to do seasonal style guides or cross promote blog posts, or just a day in the life at my design studio or out exploring the city. I love going to museums so I’m sure to snap any art that moves me or interesting architecture. There are so many inspiring things in the world, just take a look around! Doodle on your photos, use stickers in Snapchat (hopefully these will come soon to Insta stories) and use captions. Personally, I like when people provide context for their stories so you’re not just looking at random images.

Janna Conner Janna Conner

5. Last but not least, use the video option. Snapchat and Insta-stories can help connect your followers to who is really behind your brand. To get to know the real you. So for that to happen, they want to hear your voice and see you in action. Make sure to add videos at least once a day, it can’t all be photos. I’m personally wary of doing too many of these because it can be annoying when there are blasts of sound from one story to the next. Always keep it short and sweet. Essentially Instagram Stories is your Instagram come to life so make it fun!

>> I hope you enjoyed my tips! If you want to see what I’ve been up to check my out on Instagram @jannaconner and Snapchat at Janna_Conner I also do social media consulting, for both big and small companies. If interested in finding out more please contact me at [email protected]

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