Spring Cleaning Your Jewelry Box: Gem Gossip’s Tips!

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It’s that time of year–spring cleaning! I tried Googling some spring cleaning facts and came up with 77% of people say they spring clean every year. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but I would think that is a decent amount and glad to know that. I guess the other 23% are either lazy or have a hoarding problem…? I am definitely in the percentage that spring cleans…and I actually like to do a deep cleaning a couple times a year, not just once. When people mention spring cleaning, most think of their house–but I’d like to focus in on spring cleaning jewelry for this article. And just like spring cleaning your house, there are several similarities to spring cleaning your jewelry and the end results will have you feeling revitalized and happy.

Let’s get started:

1. Storage Solutions:

Keeping your jewelry safe, all in one place and consistently visible are three key points for a superb storage solution. I highly recommend the jewelry box that I own, however I did make a lot of changes to it–like ripping out shelves and swapping them out for more ring storage. The jewelry box that I have is from Lori Greiner and I bought mine off QVC about 8 years ago. Since then, they have made a few modifications to the design, but overall it is the same: a mirrored “cabinet” that has built-in everything! Here’s a similar one for sale at Target. It’s ok to have other jewelry boxes–I have several antique ones that I use for either travel or taking photos with–but for the most part, I keep everything in one home base.

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2. Clean Your Actual Jewelry:

After you’ve established your storing options, it wouldn’t be called “spring cleaning” unless we actually cleaned our jewelry! I will admit that I don’t clean my jewelry daily…or weekly…or even monthly for that matter. The only exception to this would be my engagement ring which I make sure to clean monthly and earrings that I wear often. Because I have so many rings, there are very many that get worn only a handful of times in one year, so I often wear and return back to its storing spot without cleaning.

An occasion like spring cleaning is the best time to give all your jewelry a good soak. For this step, I want to stress that many antique pieces should not be cleaned at all. Items like foiled backed gemstones, hair jewelry, mourning pieces, tiny rose cut diamonds that are often irreplaceable, pearls and seed pearls, and other soft gemstone jewelry. This cleaning step I mostly do with my all gold pieces, 80% of my diamond jewelry, sapphire and ruby pieces. First, I get a soft toothbrush and run warm water and dunk the brush in Mr. Clean. I gently brush over each piece and then stick it in my ultrasonic cleaner. I have one I bought from Gesswein–the one that has a steamer and cleaner in one (but my steamer broke after one year of working beautifully). Those who know the power and strength of a steam cleaner will never go back to cleaning diamonds any other way–so sadly my broken steamer is also breaking my heart. Need a new one! I usually use water and either a small cap full of Mr. Clean or whatever cleaning solution your machine comes with.

Depending on how dirty each piece is would equal how long you put each item in the cleaner, but I would say 15-20 minutes is plenty. Another perk of having a jewelry background is having a really handy tool at my grasp–a microscope! I usually take a peek at my gemstone jewelry pieces and check all the stones before throwing them into the cleaner. Loose stones will only get looser, or even worse–fall out in the cleaner. That’s my only other pre-caution.

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3. Go Through Each Item:

Now that you have all your jewelry out of storage and mystery boxes, under beds, and out of old socks (yes, people stash things everywhere), it is a great idea to give each item a thorough evaluation. This is when you decide if you want to keep, trade, or sell–maybe even redesign. You should also take some photos of all your jewelry for inventory purposes and insurance purposes. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve looked through old photos and said, “hey, whatever happened to THAT ring??”

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4. Clean Your Actual Jewelry Box:

Day in and day out you open up your jewelry box, make your selections and then move on with your daily routine. A lot of dust, debris and dirty fingers can add up on your jewelry box, so it is just as important to clean your jewelry storage solution. I made a video of myself doing this and posted it on Instagram–it got a lot of attention because I was using a vaccuum hose attachment and using it without taking any of my rings out of the case. Of course I was being careful, but it is much smarter to do this step when everything is out. My biggest problem is Chiefy’s white hairs that somehow get on the black velvet padding of my jewelry cabinet. Using a hose attachment on my vaccuum is the best solution for this, but you can also use a lint roller. I also make sure to Windex the mirror on the front of my jewelry box and dust/polish the outer wood.

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5. The Finishing Touch:

You’re now on the last and final step to spring cleaning your jewelry box! You should feel really good by now and the best part is about to start. I suggest you put on your favorite tunes (obviously I will suggest Girl Talk Radio on Pandora) and get to work.

Start with organizing within each category–earrings, necklaces, bracelets, charms, and rings. I organize my earrings by studs, dangles, ear cuffs, etc. I have a row of pearl studs, a row of diamond studs…even yellow gold and white gold are separated. I used to organize my rings by how I acquired them–so I would just add my newest acquistion in the next available spot. I realized this wasn’t working out very well and one day I took everything out and organized it differently. I put similar styles together, similar stones together and motifs together. All my moonstone rings are together and they look way cooler that way. You can group by color of gemstone if you’d like–similar to how a closet is organized (definitely not my closet, but coveted closets). I have all my baby rings in a section of their own. I don’t have a particular way of organizing my bracelets or necklaces because I simply don’t have that many.

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I hope these tips will help you and motivate you to SPRING CLEAN your jewelry box! If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me–you can email me at [email protected] or Tweet me! @gemgossip

I’d love to see your photos or videos of you spring cleaning your jewelry box–please tag me!!

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out my tips on how to EDIT your collection

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New Items Added to @shopGemGossip

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New stash alert!

Wanted to let you know–if you haven’t already seen the newest additions to the @shopGEMGOSSIP page, here they all are! So many gorgeous rings–some fun opals, lots of sparkly diamonds, even a yummy green chyrsoprase. A few have already been sold and are sitting pretty in their new homes.

I do offer layaway–if you see something you might want, but don’t currently have the money you can put it on layaway. You can pay 1/3 every thirty days for 3 months–no fees! All purchases this month receive a quartz geode and a Gem Gossip pen. If you follow on Instagram @shopGEMGOSSIP I’ve also posted videos of all these rings as well–you just need to have the latest version of Instagram to view the sliding image function.

I accept PayPal, money order, checks, Venmo and credit cards. Email [email protected] for all inquiries!

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out what is in MY jewel box!

Source: GossipGem.com

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My Jewel Box: Five Ring Additions to Round Out 2016

My Jewel Box | Gem Gossip

I was giving myself a good chuckle yesterday because I’ve gotten a few comments from people asking why I stopped my YouTube videos–especially my main series Gem Gossip Read & Wear. The point of the series was to try to keep in tact a New Year’s Resolution I made last year–which was to only buy one ring per month, and also read one jewelry book per month. As with most resolutions, I started out strong–almost too strong. I knew my demise was near. Sure enough, I couldn’t keep up and bought way too many rings. Also my sister who edits and creates all the video content was having health difficulties, so that contributed to my sudden drop off from YouTube as well. Hopefully I’ll be back with something new and exciting, so stay tuned.

As the year came to a close (nearly 20 days ago, are you kidding me?!) I kind of went over board with the additions to my collection. So much so that I haven’t been keeping up with the My Jewel Box posts–so I’m compiling a bunch of my acquisitions into this one post! Five rings, to be exact–all acquired in November/December. Wanted to share the stories behind and details for those interested–BECAUSE I LOVE READING STUFF LIKE THAT. Hope you do too! ūüėČ

My Jewel Box | Gem Gossip

This beauty was my Christmas gift from my husband this year–yes, another antique elongated diamond ring. “Don’t you have enough of those kinds of rings?!” Umm, no. I seriously cannot get enough of this style–something about it. This particular ring was found at auction from Hampton Estate Auction. It’s platinum and set with Old European cut diamonds, a 1920s piece through and through. Most of my other elongated rings are from earlier than that–so this was fun to add to the collection.

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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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What is iced enamelling

As a kid my mom would tell me stories of palaces and forts in places like Agra and Jaipur but instead of focusing on the prince- princess part, she would talk to me about architecture and ornamentation. Years later, at the age of 12, on my first trip to Agra and Jaipur I fell in love with inlaid stones, marble and enamelling (meenakari) and the stories I heard before started to come to life.I have been enthralled with the richness and smoothness of colour that meenakari gives jewelry and I have tried more than once to find tutors who would teach and have failed.

As a kid my mom would tell me stories of palaces and forts in places like Agra and Jaipur but instead of focusing on the prince- princess part, she would talk to me about architecture and ornamentation. Years later, at the age of 12, on my first trip to Agra and Jaipur I fell in love with inlaid stones, marble and enamelling (meenakari) and the stories I heard before started to come to life.
I have been enthralled with the richness and smoothness of colour that meenakari gives jewelry and I have tried more than once to find tutors who would teach and have failed. But after every such attempt, I would ask myself if I could do such fine, precise work and even if I could, did I want to do it? I realised that I wanted something more organic, something that would flow and merge without being held down by conventional rules. I wanted a medium that would resonate with my free spirited nature and after a lot of search I found Relique powders

Before moving on into the technique let me give you a bit of background here. I came across the Iced Enamelling process in 2013 via videos and was fascinated. As it was a bit expensive then, I let it go. Then in 2014, as fate would have it, I became a part of the Ice resin Creative team and was soon sent Iced enamels relique powders to try.

What is iced enamelling

Iced enamelling is the process of using ICED enamel relique powders to color metal in a fun way. Though it comes under cold enamelling process (which requires the use of neither the kiln nor the torch), it does require a little heat to fully form. There are 14 available colors out of which three are glitz metallic (fine glitter), three are matt metallic and the rest are solid colors. Watch the video by Sun Lenart Kazmer for a simple DIY



Materials required for iced enamelling
Apart from the Relique powders, you will also require a bottle of Enamels Medium, a heat gun, a tile to work with, a two part epoxy resin (preferably Ice resin) and ofcourse the metal piece that you want to enamel. It is interesting to note that though enamelling is a technique that is commonly associated with metal and the powders have been specifically developed for this purpose, they also work well with a resin or a plastic base. I did try this technique in my Nouveau roses necklace‘s pendant which won the ABS monthly challenge for Art beads. The butterflies and leaves shown in this post were made by participants in my recent resin workshops. Arent they pretty sweet?

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