Friday, February 14, 2014

Jewelry Cleaning and Care Tips

It can be frustrating for a favorite piece of jewelry to become soiled and not know how to clean it.  Or for a lovely piece of sterling silver to tarnish and be fearful to clean it.

Ice Blue Silver Rhodium and Cubic Zirconia Dangles

Here's a quick and easy guide, courtesy of Tiffany, to help care for your precious metals, semi-precious, and precious gemstones. 

Antique Silver Iolite & Citrine Dangle

General Care
Over time, fine jewelry can become a treasured family heirloom if it is cared for properly. Dust, pollution and daily wear all conspire to cloud the brilliance of gemstones. The surface of gold, platinum and silver jewelry can become dulled. Timeworn prongs and clasps can result in the loss of a stone or an entire piece of jewelry.

Professional cleanings are recommended as often as once a year. 

Tangerine Orange, Rhodium Silver, and Cubic Zirconia Dangles

Sterling Silver
Sterling silver, one of the most beautiful and lustrous of all metals will tarnish over time. With proper care, your silver will retain its beauty and character for many generations to come.  Other options are rhodium which protects the silver from tarnish.
The First Rule Of Silver Care
Sterling silver tarnishes, especially when exposed to salt air and products containing sulfur, such as rubber bands and some papers. However, silver that is regularly used typically needs less care.  Use or wear your silver every day.
Washing Silver
Wash silver by hand in warm water with a mild detergent. Because many food acids and gases in the air can have a corrosive effect, we suggest that you wash your silver immediately after use. To avoid spotting, it is important to dry your silver immediately after washing. 

Sapphire Blue Rhodium Silver, Cubic Zirconia Dangles

Gold, Platinum
Between professional servicing, most gold and platinum jewelry can be maintained with a non-abrasive cleaner. Examine your jewelry regularly to make sure settings are snug and clasps and joints are secure.

Avoid exposing gold jewelry to household bleach, which will quickly cause gold to discolor and possibly disintegrate.

Jewelry storage is important as well. Use a protective box, case, or tarnish-resistant pouch. Between wearings, place it back in its original case or another suitably lined box or pouch. 

Various Gemstone and Gold-Filled Bangles

Certain basic precautions should be taken with all of your jewelry. However, some gemstones, as outlined in this section, require special care.

Take care to protect your jewelry from impact against hard surfaces and avoid contact with abrasive surfaces. Even a diamond can chip if hit with enough force or at just the right angle. Many stones such as amethyst, emerald, kunzite, opal, pearl, peridot, tanzanite and tourmaline are very delicate and easily abraded. Enamel can also chip or scratch when struck. Gemstones can scratch other gemstones and wear away at precious metals. Therefore, avoid stacking those rings and bracelets that would be vulnerable to such abrasion. Extreme temperatures, perfumes, cosmetics, ultrasonic cleaning and household chemicals can also damage jewelry.

To clean diamonds, use a mild solution of six parts water to one part ammonia and apply with a soft bristle brush.

If worn often, pearls should be cleaned and restrung professionally once a year. Between cleanings, wipe pearls gently with a damp cloth.

External elements such as excessive heat or moisture can affect the overall look of your accessory. Following proper care and storage guidelines will ensure the longevity of this exceptional product. When not in use, store your item in the protective dust bag provided.
Calf And Grain Leather
Leather has inherent slight variations and imperfections, which are normal and add to the beauty of each piece. The grain leather is treated naturally, so color and texture may change over time, darkening and softening to create an elegant patina. If scuffs or bruises occur, rub the affected area with a soft, dry white cloth. 
Now wear that jewelry and look stunning!

Friday, February 7, 2014


Love is in the air.  With Valentine's Day next week I wanted to do some decorating but make it versatile enough for every day.

This is a fun and easy project.  Wood letters, scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, ribbon, and Xacto knife.  That's it!

I found this great scrapbook paper and the letters at Michaels.  The paper matches the colors of my kitchen perfectly.

I just applied Mod Podge to the letters and placed a sheet of scrapbook paper over the letter.  Make sure you place the paper where you want it on the letter.  You'll see why.  Then I applied a coat of Mod Podge over the paper.

I went back and added another coat and let it dry.  Using my Xacto knife I carefully trimmed the paper by tracing the letter (from the back) with my knife.  This is where placing your paper where you want it is important.  I made sure to place the graphic on my letter "L" so it would stay.

Make sure you put something thick onto your surface before cutting!

After removing the excess paper I applied another coat of Mod Podge and 2 more coats on the edges of the letters (to make sure the edges adhered nice and good).

When the letters were dry I added some cute, Valentine's Day ribbon.

I L.O.V.E. these letters and I know they will look great in my living room or kitchen year round.

I may even do these in our family mantra "Forever Young".  

Cheers --