Jewellery Jargon

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In beadwork and jewellery making there are some words that may be confusing in descriptions or statements.

This post will hopefully help you to understand what items I mention actually are and why I use them in my designs.

 

Clasp Styles

Parrot clasp

Parrot or Lobster Clasp

The most common clasp style is probably the parrot or lobster clasp.  They have these names as they look like a parrot beak or a lobster claw holding onto a ring from the opposite side of the piece.

They are very functional, generally sit discreetly in the design, and can be used with an extension chain to enable the piece to be lengthened if required.

They may be difficult for people with restricted motor skills (arthritis, tremors etc) to use by themselves. 

Spring Ring Clasp

These work similar to the parrot clasp but are a circular shape.  The latch springs back inside the circle to keep the piece secure.

This clasp is quite inconspicuous when used with chain designs as its appearance can resemble the links.

Toggle clasp

Toggle Clasp

A toggle clasp is often a little easier to use.  They consist of an open ring through which a bar passes and sits across the opening

The ring can be as simple as a small smooth circle but can come in many shapes, sizes and some are very ornate.

The larger ornate ones are great as a feature on a the front of a necklace or bracelet but the smaller ones would be more comfortable at the back of the neck.

screw clasp

Screw Clasp

Both sides of this clasp have a threaded section and to fasten they are screwed together.

They are mainly spherical, tube or barrel in shape and can be quite simple, patterned or embellished in crystals.

 

Magnetic clasp

Magnetic Clasp

Positive and negative magnets make up each side of these clasps and when brought together the magnetic properties create the clasp.

The strength of the magnet will determine what jewellery item they are appropriate for with only the very strong ones suitable for bracelets or many necklace styles.

This style of clasp can be found in many shapes including hearts, flowers, spherical, tube and barrel.  Some have a fold over style where there is a hinge between both sections of the magnet which folds over the other section of the clasp.  Some of this style can be very ornate.

Magnetic clasps are not recommended for people with pacemakers or other similar devices.

Ball or box clasp

Ball / Box Clasp

The receiving section of this clasp can come in many styles of ball or box including flowers, gem or crystal encrusted.  This side of the clasp has a internal hollow section to accept the opposite side of the clasp.  This clasp is sometimes called a Tab Clasp

The other side of the clasp is made of a folded “spring”.  To open or close the clasp the spring is pressed together and inserted into the hollow section.  Once in place the spring is released and the clasp is caught.  In the picture above, both clasps are open, but caught on the safety bar.

Some of this style include a bar across the opening of the hole.  This acts as a safety catch to lessen the chance of you loosing the piece if it should get caught or pulled.

Fish hook clasp

Fish Hook Clasp

This style of clasp is generally an oval or marquee shape and may be filigree, textured or encrusted with marcasite,  stones or crystals.

The mechanism of this clasp is similar to the ball / box clasp in that one section of the clasp is inserted into the other under tension.

The fish hook section is looped over the bar at the entry to the opening and then pushed into place.  The little cutout at the end of the hook locks the clasp into place.

To remove the clasp the ends are pressed together to release the hook which is then slide out and unlooped from the entrance bar.

In the above picture you can see how this entrance bar acts like a safety catch and how this clasp gets its name.

Hook & Eye Clasp

At its very basic design this style is a simple hook on one side of the clasp which catches into a ring connector (the eye) on the other and gravity keeps the piece in place.

In some styles the hook is shaped like the letter S and has rings on either end which are worked into the beaded design.  Each end of the S connects to one of the rings.  Generally one of the tails of the S sits a little firmer on the ring while the other one moves on and off with ease.

This style can be very ornate and look like the tails of animals or dragonflies or vines and flowers entwined with each other.  The can even look like ropes or ribbons.  The eye may be in the form of a fish which is caught on the hook or even the head of an animal with its tail used as the hook.

There are some self closing forms of this style which may have animal heads biting onto each side of a central ring.

Some of these styles may include a hinged safety latch which folds over the top of the S and connects one side to the other.

Slide clasp

Slide Lock Clasp

With this style of clasp, both sides look nearly identical to each other as cylindrical tubes each with an open end and a caped end.

On closer inspection one tube has a slightly larger diameter and it has a slit cut from one end to the other.  The other tube has a tension spring which when slid inside the larger tube catches to form the clasp.

This style may come with individual rings attached to the outside for single strands or be longer and include many rings for multi strands/

They are also found with one long section like a buckle instead of rings for attaching ribbon or leather.

 

Button clasp

Button Clasp

There are two individual styles under this name.

One is the common button, similar to those on our clothing.  They can be caught by passing through a buttonhole in the design or a ring of beads or fibres can pass over the button to form the clasp.

The other style that falls under this name has two sections of metal each with their own ring for attaching to the design.  One has a hole in the centre and the other a knob like feature which presses into the hole similar to a press-stud.

 

Wire Guardians

wire guardians

Wire guardians, Wire protectors, French wire, Bouillon , Gimp

Beading wire and threads can be damaged by the wear and tear of clasps and other components.

A wire guardian or wire protector is a little horseshoe-shaped tube through which beading wire or thread is passed. The arched section is open on one side for ease of threading, but the solid sections protect the wire from wear on clasps or connectors.

Sometimes I may use Bullion/French wire which does the same thing but is a different product and not as firm. (It looks like a little soft spring)

 

Crimps & Crimp Covers

Crimp beads and covers

Crimp beads, Crimp tubes, Crimp covers, Charlottes and Bead-tips

Crimp beads are generally round or tubed.  Once in position over the wire they are crimped or squashed into place to secure the wires.

The crimp covers are round beads that have an open seam. Once the wire has been crimped into place, a cover is positioned over the original crimp and is gently closed along its seam. This provides a neat appearance but also protects you or delicate clothing from the sharp edges that may be on some flattened crimps by covering them.

Similar covers are made to hide the knots in thread and cord.  This style is in the centre back of this picture.


Beading Wire

Beading wire

Nylon Coated Beading Wire

Beading wire is a stringing material made up of several thin stainless-steel strands . It’s generally coated with a layer of nylon that protects the wires from wear and tear and gives it a softer, more supple feel. The coating can be clear or coloured allowing a better match to the color of the beads or gemstones.

In general the larger the number of strands of wire strands the more flexible and string-like it will feel while a smaller number of strand gives a stiffer and more kinkable thread. 
The beading wire is usually made up of 7, 19 and 49 strands and range in diameter from fine to thick and like fishing wire each have a different “break” strength and a different cost factor.

 

I hope you found this page helpful.

Do you have any suggestions or requests for information on other terminology that you are unsure of.

I would love to hear from you 

Cleaning Specific Jewellery Pieces

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Jewellery consists of many different materials, metals, stones, gems and organic materials.

Each material brings its own cleaning challenges.  If in doubt please just wipe your piece over with a soft cloth after each wear.  This will remove dirt, grime and body oils before you place it back into storage which will keep it looking its best longer.

In some designs the stones or focal pieces are glued into position and some cleaners (even water) may loosen the hold over time causing the focal to fall out.

Stirling Silver

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Clean your sterling silver jewellery with a soft cotton or flannel cloth or a special sterling silver cleaning cloth. Remember, silver is very soft and can scratch if you aren’t careful so rub it gently. You may also use a very soft bristle brush, like a baby’s tooth brush or a horsehair silver brush.

Paper, polyester, and coarse fabrics can cause scratches on your sterling silver jewellery.

It’s recommended that you don’t use chemicals on your silver jewellery as it can leave tiny pits causing it to tarnish faster. Store your jewellery in an airtight container as silver will tarnish when exposed to air.

Cubic Zirconia

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Polish your jewellery with a soft cloth to remove any surface dirt and dust but don’t rub in a hard circular motion which may scratch the surface of some metals used in your jewellery.

Just like a diamond, cubic zirconia can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap. Use a soft brush to reach crevices. You can use a trusted jewellery cleaner on your cubic zirconia.

Another method to clean cubic zirconia is using steam. Hold your jewellery directly over the steam stream to loosen dirt. Holding it over a boiling kettle works well, but use caution and maybe tweezers or tongs to avoid burns. Dry and polish with a suitable cloth.

Cubic zirconia can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner.

  • These cleaning methods are suitable for Cubic Zirconia but not for many gemstones or crystals which can be damaged by heat or ultrasonic cleaners.

Rhodium Plated Jewellery

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Clean rhodium plated jewellery with warm water and a mild liquid soap.  Rinse and dry immediately with a soft polishing cloth to avoid leaving water marks.

Rhodium plating is not a permanent coating and will wear off over time.  Do not do the dishwashing or apply hand lotions when wearing a plated ring. This contact with chemicals will cause the rhodium to wear away faster.

Don’t use any chemicals on your rhodium items including those for silver or gold.  This includes specialized cleaning cloths. Rhodium plate should not be cleaned with abrasives of any kind including toothpaste and brushes. 

  • Ultrasonic cleaners are not suitable for use on this material.  

You can arrange with your jeweller to have your plating reapplied if the wear becomes too noticeable.

I was recently asked how to tell if a piece is Rhodium Plated.

  • Firstly your jeweller should be able to tell you if your piece is Rhodium plated or the more expensive Platinum.
  • Rhodium is plated over gold and commonly called “white gold”. It will generally be stamped 10k or 14k to indicate what type of gold it is. If a silver-coloured piece has a gold stamp then its Rhodium plated.
  • If it’s an older piece, you may be able to see the gold colour through any worn areas.

Gold and Vermeil Jewellery

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Gold jewellery doesn’t tarnish, but it can be dirtied or dulled by the oils in your skin, body lotion, makeup or other substances.

Gold, can be cleaned easily with a mild detergent in warm water and a soft cloth or brush (baby toothbrush).

Put the item into a bowl of warm soapy water and let sit for a few minutes. Use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the jewellery. Remove the item from the soapy water and rinse it.  Dry thoroughly with a soft polishing cloth.

Gold filled and Vermeil Jewellery (gold plating over sterling silver) can be cleaned in the same way.

Rings

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Never remove rings by pulling on the stone as that habit may result in a loose, then lost, gem. Most importantly, store each piece of gemstone jewellery separately so that harder stones don’t scratch softer ones. Many gemstones are  harder than the metal it is set in. Gems can scratch the finish on your gold, silver or platinum if you throw your jewellery in a heap in a drawer or jewellery box.

Rings in particular tend to collect dust and soap in the setting behind the gem, especially if worn often. Cleaning them regularly will let the light through for your gems to sparkle.

To clean transparent crystalline gemstones, simply soak them in water with a touch of gentle dish soap. Use a bowl of water rather than the sink to eliminate the risk of anything going down the drain. If necessary, use a soft toothbrush to scrub behind the stone. Rinse the soap off and pat dry with a lint-free cloth (you want to make sure threads won’t catch on the prongs).

Some ring like those in this photo may be glued into the setting so be careful when cleaning them.

  • Think twice before putting gems in an ultrasonic cleaner. Diamonds, rubies and sapphires will be fine but many other gems many not be, in particular emerald, opal, pearls, peridot: when in doubt, leave it out.

Organic Beads

Close up Elegant Pearl Necklace on Glossy Table, Emphasizing Reflection Image.

Organic gems like pearls, coral, and amber should only be wiped clean with moist cloth. Due to their organic nature, these gems are both soft and porous.

Be careful about chemicals in hairspray, cosmetics, or perfume which over time can damage pearls in particular. Opals also require special care, avoid heat and strong light.

Opaque gemstones like lapis lazuli, turquoise, malachite, require special care because they are rocks, not crystals of a single mineral like transparent gems. These gem materials should just be wiped clean gently with a moist cloth. These gemstones can be porous and may absorb chemicals, even soap, and they may build up inside the stone and discolour it.

  • Never use an ultrasonic cleaner or ammonia and any other chemical solution.

Stainless Steel

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Stainless steel jewellery does not generally tarnish as fast as silver jewellery but the rate of tarnishing depends on how often it’s used. 100% stainless steel will NOT rust.

Stainless steel jewellery is easy to clean using a mild dishwashing liquid in a bowl warm water, rinse and dry with a soft cloth. It will polish to a natural sheen in which you should be able to see your reflection.

Using a bowl will limit the chances of the item going down the drain.  If using a sink remember to remove all items before pulling the plug!

Stainless steel jewellery is very durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear, as opposed to silver which is a very soft metal. As with any jewellery it is best to avoid contact with chemicals (lotions, chlorine from pools etc.) in order to keep it cleaner longer. 

There are some unscrupulous traders out there who may sell a lighter aluminium or alloy material as stainless steel.  These are generally lighter in weight, may tarnish badly, have red/brown rust marks and can cause irritation to the skin. 

If in doubt, see if a magnet holds firmly to your piece.  If it does then it is likely stainless steel.  Another hint is to tap the piece with a brass key.  It should ring out, sometimes for an extended time.

If you have one of the alloy pieces you can try to clean the rust marks off with a paste of baking soda and lemon juice.  Apply it thickly to the affected spots and let dry.  Once dry rub the surface with a cut potato which has been dipped into salt.  Rinse and dry thoroughly. 

Gemstones

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Gemstones are literally thought to be as hard as rock, but they come in all ranges of hardness with some being quite soft and may be damaged from careless and rough handling.

Here are some tips for keeping your gems and jewelry looking fabulous for years to come.

Remember, even the hardest gemstone varieties can be vulnerable to breakage especially if it has inclusions that weaken the crystal structure.

Exercise common sense: if you have a ring set with a softer gem variety or an included stone, take it off before strenuous exercise. Even the hardest gem of them all, the diamond, can shatter a well-placed blow.

For tips on individual care of some stones please visit other pages on my blog.

I hope you found this page helpful.

Remember - please err on the side of caution when trying these and use your least loved items as a tester.

I would like to reiterate that the easiest way to care for your jewellery is to quickly wipe the pieces over after each use, that way you won’t need to spend extra time cleaning, rinsing and buffing.  It’s a bit like the “stitch in time” expression.

If you have successfully tried other methods, I would love to hear about them.

Caring for you Turquoise

Natural Turquoise is a porous stone so please treat with care

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Natural Turquoise is a phosphate mineral with a MOHS hardness which ranges from 4.5 to 6 and as such is easily damaged by hair and body cosmetics, even the oils from the skin can damage the stones surface.  To protect your turquoise, it is recommended you put your jewellery on after applying makeup, sunscreen or perfume, and never wear it in the shower, bath or swimming pool

Heat and sunlight can cause Natural Turquoise to discolour or dehydrate.  This is not a stone to be worn on a day at the beach.

Natural turquoise has no artificial changes made to the gem.  It is just cut and polished.  Only high-quality turquoise can be used in its natural state.  As you will see, most of what is sold as Turquoise may not be natural or even Turquoise.

The colour of the stone may change gradually as body oils and other sources of moisture are absorbed into the stones, creating a lovely patina.

The colour of natural Turquoise can range from a vibrant blue to a green to brownish green with the webbing being black, brown, yellow or a host of other colours.

Stabilized or Enhanced Turquoise?

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Most of the Turquoise found on today’s market has been treated or enhanced in some way which makes the stone more readily available to a wider customer base, otherwise it would generally be too expensive for most shoppers.

Stabilized Turquoise has an epoxy resin or similar infused into the pores of the stone. It’s no longer porous after treatment and will no longer discolour.

Stabilization allows the use of poorer-quality Turquoise that might otherwise not be suitable for jewellery.

Some dealers provide Turquoise in varying colours to the jewellery industry but be aware that much of this Turquoise has been dyed or manipulated in other ways or may not be Turquoise at all.

Dyed Howlite?

top view of many beads from white howlite gemstone on white background

It is thought that approximately 90% of Turquoise on the market today is actually dyed Howlite or Magnesite.  Howlite is an absorbent white mineral that can be dyed in almost any colour imaginable. It has a natural webbing or matrix which is almost identical to the webbing in natural Turquoise. Since this webbing is basically impossible to manufacture it is easier to use an existing mineral that has the same properties.   Magnesite is another soft, porous stone with similar natural veining to that of Turquoise. Magnesite can be found in a small variety of colours naturally but is mostly a milky white colour. The porousness of this stone makes it ideal for taking on dyes to imitate Turquoise.

There is nothing wrong with this if the customer is aware of what they are gettingLike all things with gemstones and fraudsters, it is far more profitable to sell something that looks like Turquoise than the actual stone.

Howlite is a softer stone with a MOHS hardness of about 3.5 while Magnesite ranges from 3.5 – 4.5 and this is one way to distinguish the difference from Turquoise.  Another way is to see if the stone has been dyed by wiping a small section with a cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover. 

Storage & Cleaning

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Store your natural Turquoise in a dark place away from harder stones or settings which may damage the stone.

Keep Turquoise away from high heat and chemicals such as oils, perfumes, and household cleaners. Even stabilized Turquoise can be affected by a constant bombardment of chemicals.

Clean your Turquoise with warm water and the addition of a gentle soap if needed.  Do not leave it to soak in the water and dry it immediately with a soft cloth. Turquoise is a porous gemstone that absorbs liquid.

Avoid using commercial jewellery cleaning liquids and never use steam or ultrasonic cleaners.

I hope you found this page helpful.

Even though it is disappointing if you find that you have been duped, both Howlite and Magnesite have interesting Metaphysical Properties.

If you would like to explore the Metaphysical benefits of Gemstones, Minerals, Crystals and Colour, please contact your local Colour or Gemstone Therapist.

Commissioned Jewellery

Together we can design an exclusive piece of beaded jewellery

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Bespoke and Custom-made designs can be arranged. Make an appointment and bring all your wonderful ideas to the table.

Do you want something exquisite for a special gift?
Don’t have the time to run all over town looking for it?

If you have a special piece in mind, contact me to arrange the design using, colours and beads of your choice and then sit back and relax.

Visit the website to see the work I have done previously and be inspired to join my mission of making the world a more beautiful place.

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Bespoke creations are wonderful for Gifts, Weddings, Balls or other special occasions.

Are you looking for an exquisite gift? Let me create it for you and you won’t have to run all over town looking for it?

Have you an accumulation of beads from your travels that you would like crafted into a fabulous piece for yourself or someone special?

Would you like duplicates of chosen designs made for Bridesmaids or family members

Most bespoke or custom-made designs can be made in multiples*

Some of my existing designs can be duplicated or remade in different materials or stones to suit your requirements.  This will depend on the availability (and suitability) of the materials and the original design.

Do you love one of my designs?

But need it altered to suit your requirements?

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I can often change the clasp style.  Do you find the basic lobster style difficult to use?  I can add a toggle or magnetic clasp.  As a result, it will be easier for you to wear.

Either due to different requirements or personal likes you may want an earwire changed.  I can change earrings from hook to stud or even lever-back.  Especially of interest to those without piercings, I can alter most designs to suit non-pierced ears by using clip-on or screw-on findings.

If you have allergies to some metals, earwires can be changed to surgical steel or niobium (which is physiologically inert and hypoallergenic)

Depending on the design of the original piece, I can at times reduce / increase existing designs if they are too large / small.

The Initial Consultation is Free!

And you are under no obligation to continue with the design.

All costs will be quoted on before you commit to the project and you will be asked to confirm your acceptance of the costs and the design in writing.

Bespoke designs or Commissions and large alterations will require a 50% deposit once the design has been finalised and the quote accepted.

This deposit is refundable, less any supplies specific for your design that have been ordered.  Under some circumstances an hourly fee may be deducted for time already spent on a complex design.

Crafting of the item will not commence until the quote has been accepted and the deposit paid.  (Please keep this in mind if the design is required by a certain date).

The item may not be collected or posted until final payment has cleared.

Let me Repair or Remodel

Your broken or damaged beadwork

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Although this style of elastic bracelets look good, and are often cheap, they are also my biggest request for repairs.  People buy them while on holidays or from Trash and Treasure markets and are then disappointed when they break.

I don’t make this style even if a customer insists.  I would rather miss out on the sale, that have the concern that their bracelet will not last lifetime I would expect of one of my designs.  

When customers bring them to me to repair, I generally thread the beads onto beading wire and add a clasp.  This can result in a couple of beads left over and these can be turned into simple earrings at no extra charge.

Other Repairs I Offer

I can mend broken strands by restringing.  I offer silk for Pearls and softer Gemstones as that will protect the delicate bead.  Because of wear and tear from the sharp edges of Glass or Crystal designs, a stronger thread or beading wire may be needed.

I can tidy up an existing design if it has damaged sections. The amount of repair will depend on the amount of damage to the original design and if you want to replicate it or remodel the design.

Altering earring wires either due to different requirements or personal likes is another thing I offer. I can change earrings from hook to stud or even lever-back.  Especially relevant for those without piercings, I can alter most designs to suit non-pierced ears by using clip-on or screw-on findings.  Also, if you have allergies to some metals, earwires can be changed to surgical steel or niobium (which is physiologically inert and hypoallergenic)

Would you like to change a style of clasp.  Do you find the basic lobster style difficult to use?  I can add a toggle or magnetic clasp.  As a result, wearing your jewellery will be easier.

Tired, Outdated or Unloved Designs?

Does your existing beaded jewellery need some TLC?

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Your old pieces of damaged or out-dated jewellery can be given a new lease on life because they can be mended or remodelled and consequently you will be able to wear them again.

Do you want to remodel your tired old designs?  Do you have some wonderful ideas of what you would like, but not sure how to go about it?  Have you been making a scrapbook or Pinterest board of designs you like?  Are you ready to get that design created?

Have you inherited or been gifted beaded jewellery that is just not right for you? Possibly it is too long or short for you?  Consequently, even though you love the piece you are unable to wear it.  This can be changed!

Request a Free Consultation

And tidy up your jewellery box

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Do you have a box of bits and pieces like this?.  Have you lost one of the earrings – do you know I can turn it into a charm for a bracelet or even a pendant.  Sometimes I may have similar beads and be able to make something suitable.

If you need extra beads or materials for your chosen design, you can either choose from a large range of beads and findings I have available, supply your own or I can order that “certain” bead in for you.

All costs will be quoted on before you commit to the project and you will be asked to confirm your acceptance of the costs and the design in writing.  Crafting of the item will not commence until the quote has been accepted and the deposit paid.

I hope you found this page helpful.

The initial consultation is free, and you are under no obligation to continue with the design.

I look forward to working with you and creating some magical designs or mending your existing loved pieces

Beautiful and Exclusive Jewellery?

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Are you looking for beautiful beaded jewellery which has been designed and crafted
with care & attention, by an award winning artisan?  Designs you know you won’t see anywhere else.

All my designs (other than Bespoke work) are one of a kind (OOAK), so you can be confident knowing you are the proud owner of an original design.

A Source of Inspiration

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I design and handcraft my original pieces at my home studio adjacent to the beautiful bush and wetlands of Bibra Lake Nature Reserve which is part of the much larger Beeliar Wetlands system. 

The colours and textures of our wonderful Australian landscapes provide loads of inspiration for my designs as do the beads themselves. 

Quality Techniques

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I use quality finishing techniques such as wire guardians to protect clasps and threads and crimp covers to offer a professional look, but also to reduce the sharp edges that a regular pressed crimp may offer.

Pearls and softer gemstones are generally knotted onto silk or cord to provide a buffer between each bead which protects them from wear and tear.

My Guarantee

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Delighting customers and building a base of trust are priorities of my business, therefore I offer efficient service, well-crafted designs and a 12-month money back guarantee on all original designs and repairs or remodelling.  This enables you to relax and buy from me with confidence.

My beadwork can be purchased from the website, Facebook, Instagram, local markets or from the Studio (by appointment).

Metaphysics

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Do you have an interest in Metaphysics and the benefits of Gemstones and Colours. 

Would you like to know which Stones or Colours may assist your well-being?

I have an advanced certificate in Colour Therapy through Aura Soma and write a blog on some of the benefits that colourcrystals, minerals & gemstones can bring to our wellbeing. 

I am interested in the natural benefits of vibrations from the colour, gemstones which is especially relevant to the materials I use in each design.

I hope you found this page helpful.

I would love to hear how you use colour and crystals. Do you have any favourites or any that you have an aversion to?

Visit the website to view some of the lovely things people say about my designs and service or read the reviews on Facebook.

Cleaning your Jewellery

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Cleaning plated jewellery has its challenges and one of the best things it to wipe it regularly with a soft cloth after each use to remove body oils and airborne dust or pollutants.

Sometimes we start with this intention, but soon it becomes hard work and we just remove the piece and pop it back into the drawer, jewellery box or display unit, but over time the piece will show signs of tarnish and dullness.  What to do?

One easy (and cheap) way to store jewellery is in a sealed container with one of those little silica gel bags that come in all sorts of things.  Think of it as recycling.  I save these little packets from all sorts of purchases – from shoes right through to bags of flatbread wraps – and pop them in with my jewellery or supplies.

Another simple idea (but you generally must purchase them) are little Anti-Tarnish Paper Strips.  They are treated to protect metals from tarnishing by absorbing sulphides and other pollutants in the air. They will protect silver, gold, copper, bronze, nickel, tin and plated metals; for everything from jewellery to musical instruments.

Oops, too late!

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The above will all protect your jewellery from tarnish, but how to get it gleaming again after the damage has been done?

Below are a few ideas for cleaning jewellery at home.  Please note that not every cleaning suggestion is suitable for every piece of jewellery. 

I am not affiliated with or have any connection to the companies or products mentioned in this post. 
This information is from my own personal use and observations.

Please err on the side of caution when trying these and use your least loved items as a tester.

Electrolytic Cleaning Plates

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Years ago, I was at one of the home shows and after watching the demonstration, bought a “o-so-Bright” plate for electrolytic cleaning of gold, silver, silver plate and jewellery. 

Now this does work and generally works well but NOT for jewellery that contains Pearls, Opal, other delicate stones or anything glued.  To activate the reaction, boiling water is used, and this is way to harmful for some stones and settings. 

Specific Jewellery Cleaning Solutions

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Another option is one of the delicate Jewellery Cleaners specifically made for Semi-Precious stones, Pearls and costume jewellery.

This comes in a tub with a little strainer inside.  You generally place an item at a time in the solution, wait 30 seconds, lift the strainer and remove the piece.  This piece then needs to be rinsed in lukewarm water (there is a little brush in the kit to remove any debris that hasn’t soaked off) and then dried with a lint free cloth. 

Again, this works, but if you many pieces to clean, this will take a while.

Jewellery Cleaning Cloths

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I also use a Selvyt RS polishing cloth

These multipurpose polishing cloths are manufactured from woven unbleached cotton with a raised surface. 

This surface lifts particles to leave a perfect finish on platinum, gold, silver, and fashion jewellery; silver plate and hollow ware; stainless steel; polished wood; optical lenses; computer screens; leather goods and more.

They can be washed and reused many times and work well, I just need to find the chambermaid to start polishing, there is some elbow grease required.

Rouge Polishing Compound

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If you have a lot of left-over elbow grease or an electronic buffer, you can use a red “Dialux Rouge” compound to polish with. 

This is good on larger or less intricate objects, but I find with beaded jewellery it tends to get stuck in all the nooks and crannies and I end up with a bigger mess than when I started.

DIY Cleaning Solution

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Another quick and easy one to try is Alka Seltzer

I read about this one last night and gave it a go.  Pop your items in a glass or cup, cover with water and add an Alka Seltzer tablet or sachet.  Leave for 5 min to do its bubbling then rinse and dry. 

I didn’t have any Alka Seltzer in the house, but did have some chemists own brand Ural style powder so I thought I would experiment as most of the ingredients were the same (without the aspirin – which I didn’t think the jewellery would benefit from anyway).  It worked pretty well on the glass and metal beads I experimented on. 

I haven’t tried on stones etc yet so will keep you up to date on that. 

I hope you found this page helpful.

Remember - please err on the side of caution when trying these and use your least loved items as a tester.

I have tried all these cleaning methods with varying degrees of success and ease but would like to reiterate that the easiest thing is to quickly wipe the pieces over after each use, that way you won’t need to spend extra time cleaning, rinsing and buffing.  It’s a bit like the “stitch in time” expression.

If you have successfully tried other methods, I would love to hear about them.

Beehive

A bit of random information

Beehive and chickens in the vege garden

Hubby has always had an interest in bees and is now an apiarist with one hive in the back yard and we are setting up a couple of native bee hives in other parts of the garden. While researching suitable spots for the hives we came across this information about some WA or Perth bees that live in the ground.

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As they apparently find it hard to burrow through the mulch, we have left a couple of sections in the garden free of it to encourage them in.

Among the exclusively Western Australian bees is the Dawson’s Burrowing Bee which inhabits areas of the north-west and mid-west of WA and is among the State’s largest bees.

The Green Burrowing Bee, notable for its wholly iridescent green body, is restricted to inland heaths of southern Western Australia. Females are ground-nesting and two species are known to burrow to depths of 2.7-3.2 metres, the deepest known burrows of any Australian bee. Males are `super bees’ that patrol areas of heath so fast that they may scarcely be glimpsed, although they are clearly audible.

At least fifty species of bees inhabit the bushlands around Perth and several occur quite commonly in suburban gardens and city parks.

Blue-banded bees are the most likely to be seen. About the size of a honeybee, they are distinguished by their rotund form and black-and-white-banded abdomen, the white bands often tinged with a bluish iridescence. They visit flowers of many garden ornamentals, both native and exotic, in spring and summer. Their flight is noisy and characterised by alternate hovering and darting. The commonest species makes its shallow nests in sandy soil while a related species in the Darling Range nests in harder soils and may colonize mud-brick walls.

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Leaf-cutter bees build linear nests in any suitable hollows using pieces of soft, thin leaves. They cut circular or oval pieces from leaves with their mandibles and curl them between their legs for the flight back to the nest. While nest sites are frequently existing holes above ground, some species excavate shallow burrows in the soil. Many other species chew the leaf-tissue into a paste or scrape resin from plant stems and use these materials to build their cells in borer holes in dead-wood or any other suitable holes they can locate.

Some Burrowing Bees push up conical heaps of loose soil at the entrances of their shafts as they burrow down to depths of up to a metre. They prefer bare ground and often nest close together. Their males may hover about over the nesting areas awaiting the emergence of unmated females. A species with a blue-black abdomen commonly nests in Perth lawns in spring creating volcano-like mounds of yellow sand.

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I hope you found this page interesting.

I would love to hear about your beekeeping journey and what pearls of wisdom you have to share.

 

Deep Magenta

The metaphysical properties of these colours

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Other information is similar to Magenta but deeper in nature both for potential and for the lessons to be addressed.

Divine love, Love from above, Love merged in service, Awakening, Deeply Caring, Love in the little things, Gentle, Dedicated, Compassionate, Instinctively know what others need – these are all aspects of these colours.

A love of beauty, Divine healing, Passionate – elevated above the desire of material things, Precision, Attention to detail, Caring in the doing, Enthusiastic, Power of imaging / visualisation / manifest the perfection of what you want, Awakening / awareness – these are all ways of describing the Metaphysical Properties of Magenta“.

The Lesson for Deep Magenta is

"Individuals may be unable to see themselves"

Under this colour one may have a lot of unfulfilled capabilities and hidden potential. Deep Magenta people are not always sure of their own value and can suffer burnout from helping others.

They can be completely in the dark and have no idea of their selves.

The need for Deep Magenta is

“for compassion - to others and for self”.

An affirmation suitable for this colour is

"My life is full of potential".

Of course, this won’t happen just by saying it once off. Each and every time you feel unworthy or stuck in the past, just focus on the affirmation of your choice.

Another affirmation that would be suitable for this colour is  “I am valued”.

Crystals / Gems

That may provide assistance with these issues

Black can be read as Deep Magenta.  Onyz, Opal, Tourmaline, Spinel, Jasper and other stones or crystals in their dark / black forms may be appropriate.

You may find wearing these stones, or dressing in clothing of these colours, provides assistance when dealing with any of these issues.

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I hope you found this page helpful.

Do not to use any information from this blog to diagnose yourself and others or to treat serious conditions or ailments.

If you would like to explore the Metaphysical benefits of Gemstones, Minerals, Crystals and Colour, please contact your local Colour or Gemstone Therapist.

 

Orange

More metaphysical properties of this colour

bright orange sunset

How can we benefit from this colour?

This is a follow-on post from an earlier post on the Metaphysical Properties of Orange.
It is from a series of posts about Colour Properties.

You may find reading these first, or at least referring to them will help you understand what I am talking about in this post.

To me, the flame of a campfire is symbolic of this colour. The enthusiasm and vitality of the flame dancing on the wood sparks gregarious and creative connections in the group. Think of all the fun times had around a communal fire.

As the flame settles is seems hypnotic and provides a focal point. Staring at the flame appears relaxing and meditational and allows you to connect to your being. It enables you to settle into yourself and gain deep insight into your aspirations or life purpose.

The duality of this colour can also be represented by a flame, but this time of a raging bushfire. The indecision of what to do when warned, then the hysteria and fear during the approach followed by the aftermath of melancholy and disappointment at what was lost.

This trauma can stay and cause one to be stuck in the past. To lack confidence and not move forward. This lack of self-worth can attribute to co-dependency issues or addictions.

After a bushfire though, especially in Australia, the bush rejuvenates. This natural occurrence is full of promise and brings forth optimism for the future.

Orange is associated with the lower abdomen or Sacral Chakra. This is from where we get our gut feelings or inner wisdom. It is also the site of our deepest feelings of bliss or rapture.

For the Metaphysical Properties of Carnelian see https://www.maxinefaye.com.au/c-gemstones/

How can these lessons be addressed?

People under the Orange energy may suffer from a lack of trust (in others and themselves). They may be indecisive and lack confidence. A lesson from Orange is to connect. To connect in a positive manner, not as a co-dependant.

Connecting or re-connecting to a group, community or cause enables them to move on from the past and regain their confidence. This, in turn, can reignite their enthusiasm and optimism.

An affirmation to say each day is

“I am breaking through my barriers"

Of course, this won’t happen just by saying it once off. Each and every time you feel unworthy or stuck in the past, just focus on the affirmation of your choice.

Chakra and Physical areas associated with Orange

The physical areas associated with Orange are the lower abdomen, kidneys, bladder, colon, spleen, abdomen, lower back, reproductive systems and sexuality. Puberty is also associated with Orange.

Menopause and hormonal changes may be assisted with Orange as can the absorption or digestion of food, balancing the acidity of the body and assisting with food cravings – to be disciplined not denied.

Orange sits in the Sacral Chakra (slightly above the genital area.

If any of the areas or conditions listed under the Chakra and Physical areas of the original post are causing concern, you can look at using the suggested crystals in their Orange form. Small pieces can be carried in your pocket or use larger specimens in your office or bedroom.

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Clothing is another easy way to benefit from the energy of colour.  Orange isn’t your favourite colour?   Use socks or underwear in this colour as a great way of reminding yourself that you are connected and have confidence – and no-one will know.

If that doesn’t suit you, how about orange sheets (or just the pillowcase) or bathe in bath-salts in this vibrant colour.

Drink an Orange juice, eat a Mandarin.   All these things will just hold your attention and remind you that you are on a journey to reconnect.

I hope you found this page helpful.

Do not to use any information from this blog to diagnose yourself and others or to treat serious conditions or ailments.

If you would like to explore the Metaphysical benefits of Gemstones, Minerals, Crystals and Colour, please contact your local Colour or Gemstone Therapist.