Sunday, October 21, 2012

Guide on Buying Custom Mother's Birthstone Jewelry

grandmothers and mothers birthstone jewelry, mommy birthstone necklace

The holidays are fast approaching,  so I thought I would do a post to help you select the perfect birthstone jewelry design for yourself or your loved ones.

The Process
My custom birthstone jewelry designs are created with genuine gemstones and precious metal (sterling silver or 14k gold filled). These pieces are handcrafted from scratch using wires of different thickness, and no glue is used. Except for Family Nest necklaces, all of my birthstone necklace designs have a hand formed wire frame, on to which genuine gemstone beads are wrapped using thin wire.

Selection of Gemstones
Instead of man made crystal or lab created gemstones, my birthstone jewelry designs are made with genuine natural gemstones. Most of these gemstones are hand cut and purchased directly from my suppliers in India and Hong Kong. Being "natural" means they may have slightly different cut and size, and the shade may also vary depending on the current inventory. I spend significant amount of capital on the gemstones every year to ensure I use the highest quality gemstones that work for my designs and match in cut and size as much as possible. Matching different birthstones for my birthstone jewelry is a time consuming process, but it gives me immense joy to know this is a gift the wearer will cherish.

Option of Substituting Natural Gemstones With Swarovski Crystal
Most of my birthstone jewelry photos are taken under natural daylight and only edited very minimally. While 99% of my customers are happy with the quality of the gemstones, a small percent of customers feel the stones are "dull". Direct sunlight and artificial spotlight will give the stones the sparkle you see in my pictures. If it's not enough for you, remember natural gemstones are usually not as sparkly as man made stones. If it is more important for you to have the sparkle, I also offer Swarovski crystal as a substitute.

Possibility of Adding New Stones in the Future
Many customers have asked whether new stones can be added in the future, and the answer depends on your choice of design. Circle of Love and Open Heart are the recommended designs to order if your (or the gift recipient's) family is still expanding (although you need to keep in mind the maximum capacity of the pendant frame). Family Nest , Family Line and We Are Family cannot be altered in the future to add new stones.

How Many Birthstones Do You Need ?
For families with a single child, I recommend adding parents' birthstones to your choice of design. For families with multiple children, whether to add parents' birthstones is usually optional and based on personal preferences. If you are uncertain, always go with your intuition. Most of my designs look the best with 3~7 stones, while certain designs, such as Family Line necklace and the charm bracelet, look the best with 6 or more stones.

How Should The Stones Be Arranged?
You will need to specify the preferred stone arrangement in the message box. If not specified, I will arrange the stones based on the order they are listed in the message box. Some people prefer arranging the stones based on the order of birth, while some people prefer arranging them aesthetically (please specify if you would like me to arrange them for you). Some people also prefer having the parents birthstones on the ends, surrounding the children's.

Gifts for Mothers, Sisters, Best Friends
Even though my birthstone jewelry is originally designed as jewelry for mothers and grandmothers, they also make great gifts for many other occasions. Purchasing multiples of the same design for your sisters or best friends.

Well, I guess that is it for now. Questions? Post in the comment box below. Or if you are are ready to become my next happy customer, you can order them here. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

heart shaped inclusion

While making some blue opal rings I discovered this bead with a heart shaped inclusion -- or a "mickey shaped" inclusion, if you prefer :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

    Today is my 34th birthday. Mike got me an awesome chocolate and cream cake from Publix, which we decided to start eating yesterday, since technically it was already my birthday at Taiwan time and my friends and family across the globe all wished me happy birthday already. I worked overtime yesterday so that I could take today off. In the past I always worked on my birthday if fell on a weekday, but this year I decided to do something different. I felt it was simply a better idea to give myself a day off to reflect on things in the past year and plan for the next year.
    I did promise myself to write a blog post, so here I am, writing.
    It gets very hot here in SC in the Summer, so I usually stay indoors for almost 6 months straight (from May through October) to hide from the heat. Imagine how excited I was to wake up and find it to be a gorgeous beautiful cool day with a nice breeze. I had some leftovers for lunch and went out for a short day trip to Drayton Hall Plantation.

   Well, that was pretty much my celebration for today. All of my friends are working today. I had a early birthday dinner last weekend with our friends April and Josh already, so it's just me by myself today, and I enjoyed walking the Drayton Hall tour with the tourists. I thought about what a wonderful year it has been... my jewelry business really took off, and I am starting to find the balance between my multiple artistic passions. I started doing home recordings of my piano playing, started a new blog in Chinese, and also built a new website. I have been performing locally with my piano ensemble group, and also started teaching the piano. It's not easy to juggle between jewelry making, music, reading and writing, but I'm getting better and better as time goes on.
    In the 34th year of my life,  I will make a small effort everyday to get closer to my dreams, and I will learn to love myself and be happy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Website!

After months of preparation and hard work, I was finally able to launch my new website this week! The original plan was to launch in April, but I got swamped by Mother's Day orders much sooner than I expected, so I had to postpone the launch. The new site has a wider layout and bigger images and is loaded with features. My main goal is to provide you with a pleasant shopping experience with easy navigation and more customization options.  The image above shows what the home page looks like. A click anywhere on the large main image will take you right to the shop area. Below the main image are featured items.

Once you enter the shop, select the category on the left, or click any image to go to the category --

The drop down menu is now on the right of product images. It shows the current production time, and some customization options also have a little question mark bubble next to it which provide some simple suggestions and reference on how to customize your jewelry -- 

Other than the regular descriptions, many items also have a tiny "Spec" tab that shows the most important details of the design (such as measurement and the type of stones used). Below the description is a list of recommended designs, and below that shows your browsing history, which can be turned on or off with one click. --

While there are still a few details that I'm hoping to fix as soon as possible, the majority of the site is now complete and ready to go. I'm super duper excited and hope you are too!

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