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Small things count

June 10, 2011

“Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well- Jim Rohn”

I made my first piece of jewellery about 6 years ago. I remember it quite clearly. I was a necklace made of red coral coloured seed beads. It was a two strand necklace strung on ordinary sewing thread. I didn’t know where to get a clasp for so i used the clasp of an old broken necklace. I was so proud of my necklace when I finished it. I wore it to university the very next day. Unfortunately my necklace lasted only two days. I was in the bus and I I remember trying to take off scarf i had round my neck. All of a sudden there was a shower of beads all over the floor of the bus. Thank fully I was getting off at the last stop so i was saved from the embarrassing stares of my fellow passengers!

I’ve come a long way from my early beginnings but the lesson i learnt is one of the fundamental principles of  The Colour Couture: Quality. Everytime I’ve tried to cut corners, its had come back to bite me in the behind. When applying finishing touches to my creations, i always check to ensure things are finished properly: knots secured, wire end tucked in so it doesn’t snag on clothing, loops closed well e.t.c.    What ever it worth doing is worth doing well!!

I unearthed some pictures of  a collection i created in the early days of The Colour Couture. It’s given me great ideas for my autumn collection. Enjoy and Have a great weekend.

                               The Colour Couture Venice Collection, Spring/Summer 2008

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Jewellery Care tips

June 7, 2011
Last week, i shared some tips on how to keep your  jewellery tidy. I thought we’d talk a bit more about jewellery care. Here are more tips on how to preserve the life of your jewellery so you can keep wearing them for year to come.(Extract from thecolour couture.com)
Even diamonds if not looked after properly will not last forever. Our jewellery is made from high quality materials and good care is essential to maintain them in good state. Here are some tips on how to maintain the beauty of your colour couture jewellery.
General CareApply make-up and spray perfume before putting your jewellery on. This minimises the exposure to these chemical which overtime can cause damage.

Remove your jewellery when doing strenuous or high-impact activites. Take your jewellery off before swimming. Immersing some gemstones in water can cause permanent damage and chlorine wrecks havoc on jewellery.

care 3 Sterling Silver Storing silver in the open air and humidity for extended period of time can cause it to tarnish quickly. This is caused by oxidation and warm moisture in air.
It is important to regularly clean your silver items to minimise tarnishing and retain the silver shine. We would recommend a silver cleaning cloth. If using cleaning solution ensure it is intended for use on sterling silver. Don’t leave your jewellery exposed to the air when not in use; store them in jewellery boxes or pouches.
GemstonesClean your semi-precious gemstones using a moist soft cloth. Avoid using chemical cleaning fluids and ultrasonic cleaners.

Have you got any top tips on how to care for your jewellery? Do share with my readers!  Have a great week ahead! I hope the weather stay lovely. Heres to a sun filled week

Care

Keep it in “tip-top” Shape!

June 3, 2011

When ever a client buys jewellery from The Colour Couture, I often give them tips on how to store their jewellery. It’s no good  spending  money on your jewellery only to leave them all tangled up on the dressing table.  Hard gemstones and metals can easily scratch on softer stones such as pearls.  Not only is it very frustrating trying to untangle piles of jewellery, you also run the risk of  breaking  and damaging them.Dust and moisture will damage many semi-precious and precious gemstones. Also, sterling silver will tarnish if left exposed to the air.

If your jewellery box looks like this……..

 

….then here are a few suggestions on how to store your jewellery and keep them in tip top shape.

 

Hand Painted Earrings Holder On a Stand - Its All In The Frame ( from tammnoony's etsy store)

 

Build your jewellery box using Stackers jewellery trays

 

Stackers jewellery box

Earring jewellery box. You could keep studs earrings as well as chandelier type earrings

 

Cleverest Jewellery Box: Quite an interesting concept: You buy the jewellery box with comes with different types of inserts that fit into the box.

 

 

You pick the inserts you want, and they fit nicely in the box

 

Printers Drawer Jewelry Display: I love the elegance of this storage system. Shame it wound fit in my tiny bedroom (from bluebirdheaven's etsy shop)

There are many other ways to keep your jewellery tidy. How do you keep your tidy?  Are your more of a jewellery box person? Have you found a unique way of storing your jewellery? Do share with us we’d love to know. Here’s to a tidy dressing table and goodbye to tangled jewellery!

Stylish Blogger Award

May 27, 2011

In my last post Imentioned that this blog was given the Stylish Blogger by Zuri perle.

The rules for the award recipient are; – Thank and link back to the person giving you the award – Share seven things about yourself – Select 10-15 blogs who you think deserve this award – Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

So here goes

  • I looooove tea. My obsession with tea started when i was a student and i would drink loads of tea to help keep me awake during late night study sessions. Now i drink tea for pleasure!  I’ve tried all different types of tea, earl grey and Twininigs English breakfast is my favourite. Heres my current selection of tea I’ve got in my cupboard.

My tea stash!! I bought the two big boxes of English breakfast and Earl grey yesterday and i was quite pleased!

  • In August, i’ll start training to become an eye surgeon!! It will take 7 years to complete my training, i hope time goes by quickly. But i’m really looking forward to it
  • I love traveling. During my final year as a student i did a round the world trip and worked in hospitals in Australia and New Zealand. It  was the most amazing experience.  Top 3 places i would like to visit in the next year is Vietnam,Venice and Costa Rica .
  •  I love colours ( no surprise there!) . I’m not the most stylish dresser but many people comment on my colourful outfit.  Once i wore a bright yellow dress to work and the consultant who normally never says a word to any of the junior doctor  actually commented on my dress!
  • I sing all the time. In tune, off-key, in the shower, walking on the road, at work, anywhere anytime. When i’m happy i sing, when i ‘m sad i sing. I drive my brother(and probably my neighbour) up the wall with my singing especially when i’m singing at 1am.
  • I’m an extremely picky eater.In particular i hate raw tomatoes and olives *yuck*. I  absolutely love seafood. My dad is a  big seafood lover.  Whenever he went for a trip out-of-town, he would bring back some crabs which we would cook and eat whilst watching random tv programme.
  •  I would love to go sky diving. Few years ago on holiday i had the chance to do it but i chickened out at the last minute! Next time i get the opportunity i’ll take it.
The last part of the award is proving a bit difficult. It says I’ve got to nominate 10-15 bloggers. I know I’ve got some readers( let me take this moment to say THANK YOU for reading my posts).  But i’ve got no idea who many of my readers are  So if you have a blog(or even if you don’t) do leave a comment or subscribe.(see subscribe button at the top). I’d love to get to know my readers more.
I would like to give The Stylish blogger to my newest subscriber at Tink Jewellery’s blog. Till next time have a great weekend.
ps follow me on twitter or join my facebook group 🙂

What goes into your jewellery?

May 23, 2011

When I first started working with metals, I encountered a staggering amount of various types of metals. I had to learn the difference between silver-plated and sterling silver. Then I found out that sterling silver can also vary depending on the amount of silver.

When I started using gold wire, I discovered there are different types of gold wire.  ‘the difference between gold finished and gold-plated? How does gold-filled differ from vermeil?

I often explain to my customer about the various types of metal I use and why. I feel that clients deserve to know exactly what they are paying for

Here’s a little guide into the world of metals. I hope it is useful!

Sterling Silver:   Sterling silver is made up of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5 copper. The copper is added to make the silver soft and easier to use. This type of silver is often called 925 Silver.

Fine Silver: This has a higher silver content of between 99.5% and 99.9% , making it softer than 925 silver. This make it more malleable and it can be used to form intricate designs. It is famously used by the Hill tribes in Thailand to make spectacular designs. Watch this video to find out more.

Silver-plated/silver-finish/Nickel  silver/German Silver: These metal are made of a base metal such as copper, nickel or brass with a silver layer on top.  The thickness of the silver coating  can vary but the bulk of the wire is made of the base metal. This type of metal is not very durable as the silver coating will  wear away over time exposing the  base metal underneath.  People with metal allergy to metals should avoid these as it may cause skin reactions.

Carat Gold:  This is a mixture of pure gold and various other metals alloys. The amount of pure gold is fixed. 24 carat gold is pure 100% gold. 18 carat contains 75% Gold. Gold is very durable, it will not tarnish or wear away over time. It is also a gold investment as it can be resold.

Gold-filled: This type of metal is also called “Rolled Gold”. It is made of a solid layer of gold bonded by heat and pressure to a base metal. The way in which the gold layer is bonded to the base metal make it very durable. Gold filled metal will last for a long time (between 5-30 years) and is suitable for people with allergies.

Gold-filled

Vermeil: This type of metal is sometimes called “Silver gilt”. It is consists of a layer of gold bounded to a  base of sterling silver.  This metal is very durable as it made up of only pure gold and sterling silver.

Gold-platted/gold-finished: This is made up of a thin coat of gold on a base metal layer. Like  silver plated, the gold layer is very thin and will wear away quickly.

Niobium is an inert metal which makes it a suitable choice for people who are hypoallergenic(react to certain metals). Widely used in the aerospace  and steel industry, Niobium has found a place in jewellery making as it can be  oxidised to create  beautiful colours.

Crocheted jewellery using Niobium wire. Check out thoes beautiful colours!

Pewter: This is an alloy made up of 90-94% lead and other metals such as In the past, lead was also used to make pewter though the use of lead in modern pewter materials have been banned.Its is a nice metal to make jewellery from as it has an antique look. Be sure to check that any pewter used for jewellery making is lead-free as lead can be toxic to the body.

Don't you just love this pewter necklace (from http://www.fashionising.com)

Other metals commonly used include stainless steel, Titanium and platinum. For my designs I tend to use sterling silver, gold-filled,copper and vermeil metals to create jewellery clients will treasure for years to come. I might try incorporating some Niobium in my work as i just love the colours.

My blog has been given the Stylish Blogger award by Zuri perle! I have to share seven things about myself and nominate my favourite bloggers; more on this in my next post. Before you rush off do check out Zuri perle, she makes beautiful jewellery. Have a lovely week ahead; Till next time

Busy bee

April 20, 2011

Wish there was more hours in the day to get things done. I’ve got a bit to many things going on at the moment.   Studying for my exam which is drawing  close has sapped all the creativity in me. For the past two weeks I’ve not had the desire  or the time to make any thing. I’ve not even had time to sort out the new stock i bought at a bead fair i went to few weeks ago.

I’ve book a stall at the Thurmaston Exclusive Arts, Crafts and Gifts Event on the 22nd of May. I’m really looking forward to creating new design to showcase at this event. I’ve got lots of ideas floating in my head and I can’t wait to making  new designs. If you are in Leicestershire area, do come along, it will be a lovely day, you never know what treasure you may find and above all, you’ll be supporting hand-made crafts!

Wishing you lots of sunshine and fun this week! See you soon 🙂

Gemstone of the Week: Sodalite

April 15, 2011

Sodalite got its name from its high sodium content. Most commonly a deep royal blue colour, various other colours such as grey, yellow, green, or pink also exist.

Sodalite was first discovered in Greenland, it can also be found in places such as Canada, United stated of America, Portugal, Romania and Brazil.  Its beautiful blue colour lends its self well to creating ornament, it is also used in creating jewellery.

I finally created something  with a string of Sodalite  I’ve had for quite a long time.  When shopping for beads, I try to buy beads that are distinct and different. When I’m designing, I lay all my beads out and  start creating a design on my bead boar. I’ve tried incorporating the sodalite nuggets i had into a few designs but it never really worked out.

Misty Blue: Sodalite and Cat's eye beads necklace. See more of our collection on the website or email us:thecolourcouture@yahoo.co.uk

A while back I found some left over cat eye beads (the blue shiny beads). I put the two beads my bead board and started designing, two  hours later……my work was finished. I was quite pleased with results. I thing the different shade of blue really complemented each other.  What do you thing ?

Did you know we are also on face book? Well know you know, do join our group page, let us know what you think about our jewellery, or just drop a note and say hi!

And we are on twitter too, add  us @dColourCouture to your twitter followers, we promise to follow right back 🙂