Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What is Amber?

I recently sourced some beautiful amber cabochons for the store.  I LOVE amber, and I thought I would look into what it actually is, and the best ways to take care of it.  


"Amber is fossilized resin from Ancient forests.  Amber is not produced from tree sap, but rather
from plant resin.  This aromatic resin can drip from and ooze down trees, as well as fill internal
fissures, trapping debris such as seeds, leaves, feathers and insects.  The resin becomes buried and
fossilized through a natural polymerization of the original organic compounds."

"Amber is formed as a result of the fossilization of resin that that takes millions of years and involves a progressive oxidation and polymerization of the original organic compounds. Although a specific time interval has not been established for this process, the majority of amber is found within Cretaceous and Tertiary sedimentary rocks (approximately 30-90 million years old)."


Care of Amber

"Amber has retained its beauty for million years and the polished luster can be retained indefinitely, if a few precautions are observed. The softness, brittleness, and susceptibility to attack by chemicals of amber requires some special care in handling and storing. Do not put your amber jewelry on before hairspray and perfume is applied, because it will likely create a whitish coating on the amber that may be permanent.

Never put amber jewelry in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner, which would shatter the gem. Never let amber come in contact with strong solutions, soaps, detergents, commercial jewelry cleaning solutions, perfume, or hairspray. All of these can dull the finish and/or give a whitish coating. Keep the amber away from common kitchen substances such as lard, salad oil, butter and excessive heat of ovens and burners.

Dust and perspiration can be removed with clean, lukewarm (never hot!) water and a soft flannel cloth. The amber can be dried and rubbed with clear olive oil, then rubbed with a soft cloth to remove excess oil and restore the polish.

Do not place amber art objects near heating ducts or in direct sunshine. Displays in lighted showcases should be properly ventilated. Avoid exposure to sudden changes of temperature, such as hot tubs, very cold water, and reaching into ovens, followed by a cold sink. Remember never to wear jewelry you value when doing strenuous, physical activity (e.g. gardening)"

***Information for this post borrowed from the website, World of Amber.

Etsy, What's Going On?


I don't know about you, but since Etsy went public and started selling stock options in April of 2015, the Etsy that I used to know when I began my business in 2007 changed.  Of course, change is inevitable in life and business, but it seems to me they sold out from their original vision.  When Rob Kalin started Etsy in 2007,  he was dismayed with Ebay and felt they were too corporate and so he wanted to change the way commerce worked with a mission to promote sustainable products, handmade products and the supplies to make them, online.  (Here is a good article from 2007 where Kalin talks about his beginning vision for Etsy -  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/184996).

Since "going corporate," Etsy seems to have left the handmade model behind.  Yes, there are still many small handmade businesses on Etsy, but there are also MANY resellers selling products that they are purchasing all ready made from other countries, and trying to pass them off as products they have created themselves.  Seems like Etsy no longer cares who sells on their platform.  They are just looking to make a sale to anyone, from any seller, and they are even willing to set up competition between their sellers with their new "see similar items" link that pops up when your mouse hovers over a listing.

And now they are running tests continually that they say are going to help bring in more buyers, and consequently, bring in more sales for their sellers.  Uh, sorry, not seeing any results there.  Quite the opposite.

One thing I noticed recently that I find really disturbing is the results I get when I do a search on Google using my most popular keywords.  I am not sure if you have tried this.  I would recommend  that you do.  This is what I found.

So I clicked on four different listings of mine.  Here are the results: 

-  one Etsy Studio listing was for Amethyst cabochons - when I clicked on the listing, it went to another suppliers listing, and for Peridot cabochons.

-  another Etsy Studio listing for Amethyst cabochons took me to another suppliers listing, not mine, but at least this time it was for amethyst cabs

- another listing for Amethyst cabochons took me to the home page of my Etsy store, not the listing

- and the last listing I checked was for Smokey Quartz cabochons.  When I clicked on that listing, it took me to a listing of mine for Rainbow Moonstone cabochons.  And when you scroll to the bottom of that page, Etsy has "you may also like," suggestions for other sellers cabochons.

I don't know about you, as I stated above, but I really feel Etsy has lost it's way.  Or just changed it's way.  And as a long time seller, I feel like the changes Etsy has made and continue to make are for the benefit of themselves and their stock holders.  My own personal opinion is that Etsy has lost the heart and soul of what made Etsy a unique platform for artisans. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Colored Gemstone Choices for Fall and Winter 2017

After studying Pantone's color choices for Fall and Winter 2017, I selected the best gems for you that match the color palette.  These are gems that will compliment Fall and Winter's fashions in clothing and accessories; colors you may want to consider while planning your jewelry creations for later in the year.

Color Chart from Pantone.com
Grenadine - Red Coral

Tawny Port - Deep, Dark Ruby

Ballet Slipper - Rose Quartz, Pink Amethyst

Butterum - Browner Shades of Peach Moonstone,  Golden Moonstone

Navy Peony - Lapis, Sapphire

Neutral Gray - Gray Moonstone

Golden Lime - Peridot, Prehnite

Marina - Kyanite, Blue Topaz

Autumn Maple - Golden Moonstone

Friday, July 7, 2017

Color Trends for Fall and Winter 2017

Here we are, summer is just beginning, and I would like to share color trends for Fall.  Actually, these colors were announced by Pantone in February. Amazing. 

For more than 20 years, Pantone has been considered the global authority on color.  Each season, Pantone surveys the designers of New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week, to collect feedback on prominent collection colors, color inspiration and color philosophy. This information is used to create the Pantone Fashion Color Report, which serves as a reference tool throughout the year for fashion enthusiasts, reporters and retailers.  

This Fall, Pantone is highlighting London's color choices separately.  Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, has said this about the separate color palettes, “There is a commonality between the colors we are seeing on the runway in New York and London.  However, individuality is evident and we are seeing a distinct difference between the shows in the two cities in the way these same colors are being combined.”

In total 10 colors are chosen as part of Fall and Winter's color palette.  Here are two color charts to show you what you will be seeing in fashion and decor.  These charts may also helpful for you, as a jewelry designer, to know what gems to choose in your jewelry creations, that will compliment the current fashions. 

Top 10 Choices from New York - Color Chart borrowed from Pantone.com
Top 10 Choices from London - Color Chart borrowed from Pantone.com

Here is a brief description of each of the New York color choices:

Grenadine - "A powerful, evocative, dynamic red, Grenadine is a confident and self-assured attention-getter."

Tawny Port - "Taking the Red family to new depths, Tawny Port is elegant, sophisticated, and tasteful."

Ballet Slipper - "Descended from the Red family but with a softer touch, Ballet Slipper is always flattering and reminiscent of the rosy glow of health."

Butter Rum - "This snug, warming, and toasty shade is evocative of drinking a glass of Butterrum by a roaring fire on a cool autumn evening."

Navy Peony - "A mainstay for the season for both palettes, Navy Peony is a dependable and an anchoring shade. Solid and stable, the hue takes some of the load off of black as a go-to neutral."

Neutral Gray - "The standard bearer of all neutrals, Neutral Gray shares the anchoring role with Navy Peony in this palette. It can be used as an accent or a head-to-toe statement shade."

Shaded Spruce - "This is a green you might see in the forest – sheltering and protective as evergreen trees."

Golden Lime - "Earthy tones with a twist, the golden undertones of Golden Lime makes this yellow-green shade a refreshing complement to fall classics."

Marina - "Cool with an enhanced vitality, Marina is the only truly cool color in the fall palette that brings with it freshness and brightness."

Autumn Maple - "A quintessential autumn color, Autumn Maple is tawny and russet, introducing warmth into the palette."

(***All color descriptions are quoited from Leatrice Eiseman,  Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.)