Sterling new friends!

You know what they say… new friends are silver… but what kind of silver?  Typically I like to think of them as sterling.

Sterling silver is an alloy (a mix of metals) of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of another metal, usually copper, although other metals can be used, too.  Why do we do this?  Like gold, silver in its pure form is very soft and not suitable for jewelry or other hard-wearing accessories.  Just that little bit of other metal will make for a harder substance, and thus a more durable piece.  That 925 you see stamped or otherwise marked on silver jewelry?  That denotes it as sterling silver – 925 is just short for the 92.5% of silver metal in the alloy.

Sterling silver stamping blanks available for purchase on Etsy.

Sterling silver stamping blanks available for purchase on Etsy.

Fine silver is 99.9%, and can be seen in jewelry usually as a final plate (a thin layer chemically or electrically bonded to the outside of a piece) around sterling silver.  Like gold, it can eventually wear off and need to be re-plated.  Almost any jeweler can do this for you.

I love working with sterling silver.  Silver has the unique quality of being a very bright, white-color metal.  Other metals that mimic silver just don’t have that bright white shine and the true depth of silver.  It’s a great material for heirloom pieces, because silver retains value in the same way as gold and platinum (if not as MUCH value).

A sterling silver necklace from Charmedseed Studios available for purchase on Etsy.

A sterling silver necklace from Charmedseed Studios available for purchase on Etsy.

Silver will absolutely tarnish!  All metals will tarnish or oxidize because of normal chemical processes.  Sterling silver will tarnish a little more if the alloy is made with copper.  Fortunately said tarnish can be cleaned easily with a polishing cloth, chemical cleanser, or abrasive physical polishing – that’s right, the old elbow grease.

Do you have a metal allergy?  Sterling silver will probably be okay for you to wear, as long as the other metal in the alloy isn’t your allergy-metal (such as nickel, a common allergy-inducing metal.  Fortunately since most sterling silver is made with copper, you’re okay).

Got questions about sterling silver jewelry or other metals?  Ask me!

Ever have one of those days?

When you just feel like cussing?  Swearing?  Sharing a few choice expletives?  Well, try this on instead.

 

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Five round, polished copper charms feature individual stamped characters @#&*!! humorously suspended on copper chain. Lobster clasp, adjustable 15″-18″ length. Perfect way to express your frustration or make people laugh!

Would you like one in another metal (or several metals)? Contact me for a custom piece – it’s the same price as this version!

Love this one?  Pick it up for just $32.00 USD at our etsy.com store.

Review: Heroes of Cosplay, Episode One

(As compiled from several Facebook posts and subsequently edited to make more sense and follow some kind of grammatical logic.  Hurhur.)

I love it. I love the vast variation of skills and experience and perceptions and behaviors. All the feelings, all the experiences, all the perceptions, it was all so VALID. It honestly reminded me of my earlier days in cosplay, when competing was a priority for me.

No, it wasn’t all pretty. Anyone who’s cosplayed for any amount of time KNOWS it’s not always pretty. No, I wouldn’t have made the choices that others would have made, but that’s why it’s so awesome – it’s another perspective! And each one of them is valid. The joy of success. The tragedy of disappointment. Priorities and perspective are totally different for each person.  That’s real.  Some of it was hard to watch because I KNOW THOSE FEELS.

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My first costume, Super Sailormoon from Sailormoon, made in 1998 (Photo from NDK 1999).  I had on two wigs. For realies.

I swear I’ve been every one of the competitors shown over the last 15 years that I have been cosplaying. I felt like I got gypped, I felt like a performer, I felt successful, I felt like I swept, I felt like I had a rockin’ good time and that was all I cared about. All of those things. All of them.

And I’ve been the bitch. And I’ve been the one hurt by the bitch (or bastard, as it were). I’ve been the grown-up princess with the little girl who loved me for who SHE thought I was. I’VE been the little girl meeting a princess I love. I’ve been incomplete, overdrawn, stressed, blissful, grateful, exhilarated. I think HoC portrayed that perfectly, honestly.

And on top of that, there were any numbers of really amazing tips and tricks – costuming at a professional level!  Automotive paint, head moulds, embroidery machines.  So much to learn and try.

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Rosa of Final Fantasy IV (DS) done in 2008 for Dragon*Con.

It was inspiring. I want to go up to my studio and work. I want the back yard to be done so I can convert the garage into a shop. I want to compete again. I want to be on stage. Yaya Han & company, you should be proud. I am.  I am proud to be a part of this beautiful, fun, dysfunctional, nutty and nerdy community.  I love it.  All of it.

Also love DJ Spider’s take, and I can’t agree more.  Read it here!

Watch the show Mondays on SyFy.

An event and a coupon!

Charmedseed will be a featured accessories designer at the RAW Expressions Showcase!  It happens May 10th from 7-11 pm at City Hall in Denver. There will be 40 featured Artists, including 3 bands, 2 performance artists, 4 Fashion Designers, 4 Accessory Designers, 24 Visual Artists, Hair and Makeup Artists, and even a Nail Salon.


What’s better than to spend an evening by checking out and mingling with the local artists community?  Tickets for this exclusive event are only $15!  Please click here to get your tickets now!

Jewelry is BACK!

Being home with my vestibular disorder (see Icarus Falling) is opening up a set of needs and opportunities for me.  To make the best of the situation, I’ve come back full force with Charmedseed Jewelry in all its splendor! 

Of course I’m offering my Anne Boleyn replica necklaces, as well as continuing the wordspell line of stamped charm necklaces.  Custom orders are of course always welcome!

We’re all over the web now, too!  Check us out at any of the following places: Etsy | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

A new studio…

Nick and I are planning on purchasing a new home in the next year, and one of the most exciting projects for me is developing my studio space.  I expect to locate it in a ‘loft’ space immediately off the stairs on the second floor of the home, and it is subsequently open to the rest of the upstairs.  I want to be able to keep it very tidy and clean things up in a jiffy when I’m finished working, but I also want the space to be pretty!  I checked out a few options on a recent trip to Ikea and here’s my plan!

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The majority of items are from Ikea, with a few accents thrown in from Urban Outfitters.  The curtains are pieces that I already have (and got lucky finding images of the patterns online!).  I really want the space to be more than just a work space, also a place to enjoy relaxing, reading, playing games, whatever I’d like to do! The sofa is also a sleeper, great for those extra guests we may have.  I’m sure I’ll also be able to find lots of places for the kitsch I already have and any extra small storage I may need.

What do you find that you need in a studio space?

Sparkle and shine!

Recently a purchased a FABULOUS pair of gold glitter shoes for a friend’s wedding (who doesn’t love a bride who asks you to wear GLITTER shoes?), and I am just SO in love with them!  Check out the finds I’ve made by continuing the search!

source: endless.com

These are similar to the Steve Maddens I bought, but the glitter here is darker and multi-colored!  The sparkle really makes this classic style exciting!

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Who doesn’t love the Dorothy-style magic of a pair of red glitter shoes?  I think the strap makes it that much more fun!

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If you’re a little more budget-conscious, don’t worry!  Our friends at Target have a great collection of shimmering shoes to sate our appetites for sparkle.

source: target.com

No need for heels?  Try these super simple ballet flats – comfort and style all in one!

Which are your favorites?

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I’m back!

You missed me SO MUCH, didn’t you?  And I know you’re just DYING to know, what did I do these last two weeks?  Well, here, I’ll show you:

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First, there was a lot of this (including stats.  I’ve never had to do stats before.  It is painful in the extreme).  I’ve written several papers, read about 800 pages (that is not an exaggeration), and collaborated with many wonderful classmates!  I have a test to take this week, and then things will be settled out for a while.

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We got the carpet cleaned.  I’ve promised myself since this that I will vacuum at least once a week, more if I have the time and energy.  The accumulation of long brunette hairs in the carpet is just no longer acceptable.

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I sanded and painted this charming antique schooldesk.  I’m hoping to make it  fixture in my future classroom, but after living on the porch for two years, it needed some serious TLC.  It’s cleaned up and painted a base coat, but I kind of like the whitewashed look and may leave it!  What do you think?

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I also finally finished cutting all the flags for my wedding bunting, and created this test string to use at our engagement party next month.  I’d planned to serge each flag, but after testing one of the flags, I thought they might be better without.  We’ll see how this one stands up when used outside in the park pavilion for the party, and then I’ll decide.

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I did have a LITTLE fun!  Last week I went to Live@5, Alice 105.9’s summer patio concert series.  My friend Mara and I have done this for many summers past, and it’s always been fun, but this one got crazy really fast!  My name was drawn for a trip to Vegas, so Mara and I will be going together at the end of the summer!  It was SO crazy!  I am also no longer allowed to say “I never win anything!”  Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Denver?  Check out the ball park in the background of the photo!

I have a lot of fun little projects planned for this week, and I’m excited to share them!  Stay tuned!

They’re here!

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The wedding shoes have arrived!  These are the Seychelles Women’s Aquamarine Pump (a decidedly unimaginative name for such a charming pair of shoes!), and I have to say, they are fantastic.  Super comfy, just the right height, and just really impressively crafted.  I’m going to be hard pressed to not wear them before the wedding!

In love with some shoes?  Share it!

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Totally in Love!

With Nick, of course, but I recently found a new clothing store that I’m totally enamored of… Ruche!  They held a Polyvore contest last week, and here’s what I came up with:

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Based on their “Unending Love” collection, I used Polyvore to put together a fun collection of my favorites!  The new "remember darling" dress is one of my absolute FAVORITES! I wanted to highlight the delicate, romantic feel of it with warm, sweet accessories and colors, and make it suitable for any occasion, professional or personal. The focus is on warm peach and gold to accent the warm white of the dress’ lace, but with a cool surprise in the shoe color. With your hair up, the earrings would really sparkle, but no necklace to interrupt the cute buttons and high neckline. All the focus here is onwards and upwards!

What’s your recent favorite shopping find?