Saturday, September 29, 2007

Harvest Moon...

It's that time of year again... the harvest moon. This amazingly huge full moon the hangs low in the sky and has the beautiful orange-red color. And what comes along with this full moon is insanely low tide and piles and bunches of sandbars.

Because of packing and the general insanity of my life, I missed the joy of the uber low tide... BUT it did remind me of last years low tide and the joy it brought my little wiener dogs...

Friday, September 28, 2007

I am such a girl!

I went to the Doctor's today for a general physical and she wanted to do a full blood workup (nothing exciting, totally routine.) Well, the doc ordered this test to see how long it takes my blood to clot.

So, after I had my 3 tubes of blood drawn out of my right arm, they put a blood pressure cuff (set to 40) around my left arm. They had to make a small incision on my forearm, then for the next 15 minutes they had to use a large paper disk to dab at the incision every 30 seconds to see how quickly i was clotting. It was fine... the site of the blood didn't bother me... but the cuff was really bothering me.

I sat there... making idol conversation. All of a sudden I started feeling hot. Then I started with the cold sweat. And I think it was pouring off of me. I told them I was alright... then about 30 seconds later I said I think I may blackout.

I woke up on the floor. I honestly thought I was sitting with my back against the wall... then I opened my eyes and there was like 7 women standing above me! Hahaha. So they told me I turned pale gray (that must have been attractive) and the poor phlebotomist was a tiny little woman, about 1/2 my size, and she had to pick my sorry ass up and lay me on the floor.

Well, as I started coming to, they were all talking about what great hair I have. Hahaha... guess that's something!

One Year... and going strong!

It's been a year since I've been tracking who looks at my blog with clustermaps... and I am so proud to say that right as I hit the 1 year mark (which was yesterday) I broke 7,000!

Okay, okay... I know people have a way bigger following, but I'm thrilled with this! So thank you! And I do have to laugh that when I post a new piece of jewelry with lots of photos my page views triple or quadruple or sometimes even more! You all are such dolls!

Keep peeking! I promise there will be way more to come!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

swirly-curly engagement ring!

Here is a new one I finished today...

It's platinum with a .70 center diamond and 8 melee diamonds set in the swirls...

Isn't it whirly-swirly goodness! Hehehe!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

wedding set

I made this Spinel and Platinum engagement ring back about a year ago... and it came back to me for a mate... the matching wedding band. Yay!

Then for the groom-to-be a soft 'nut and bolt' shape to match the facets in the engagement ring.

Monday, September 17, 2007

movie star photos

Why is it that old photos make everybody look like a movie star?

Is it the black and white or sepia tones? The way they dressed? The poses? The fact that they didn't smile?

I think it may be because they took so few photos (unlike today with digital cameras, camera phones, 1 hour photo processing, disposable cameras, etc) so they put so much more effort into them.

We having been going through piles and bunches of photos of the family this past week. And I had scanned in this one to print on note cards (for the thank you notes) and I thought I would share.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lino's Wallet...

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, but my grandpa Lino had been sick and passed away this morning. He was 90. So, as my version of a memorial, I will tell you a little of what we found in his wallet...

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Life Member (it was made out of metal!)

A photo of his family, when my mother was a new-born

His drivers license (yup... at 90 he still had his license!)

Town of Bridgewater Veteran's Council Card (he was supposed to be sworn in again this morning)

His Navy ID card from WWII (he served on the USS Orca)

My uncle's first business card, which was almost 40 years old

A photo of my grandmother from when he met her (they celebrated their 66th anniversary this past year)

Some pocket money (he always had some pocket money... so we're going to bury him with a few bucks... gotta have the pocket money!)

My business card :)

Golden Age Passport (a lifetime admission to National Parks)

Lists and lists of phones numbers

And my favorite...

I think if I was in an accident, I'd want somebody to call an ambulance... but that's just me :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

tales from the jeweler's box...

This past weekend, Sal and I were engaged in a conversation about jewelers that behave, shall we say, less than ethically. I was sharing a few horror stories that have come across my path recently, and at the end of every story I always finish with ‘and these flippin’ jackasses give me a bad name!’

As Sal always points out, it doesn’t give ME a bad name, per say, but I did have a client recently ask if I was going to switch out her diamonds for cubic zirconia. So, I feel it does reflect on me.

We thought I should share some of those stories… and I had the perfect one in mind… until yesterday’s events unfolded. I honestly couldn’t believe this happened!

SOOO… here is the first installment of ‘Tales from the Jeweler’s Box’…

(All major details and names have been omitted to protect the innocent and the smarmy bastards.)

A client had given me a diamond engagement ring that he no longer had use for. He wanted me to use the diamonds (a .68 ct, VVS2, H/I color, and 8 little melee to match) for one of my ‘big’ pieces. Then after it sold, I would pay him… he was in no rush for the money, he just wanted to see the stones get a cool new home.

Well, an opportunity came about that a client wants an engagement ring ASAP and really liked the idea of using an estate diamond. So, I worked out a great deal that both parties would really gain… and everybody was on board! Yay! Or so I thought.

For you that do not know, I am NOT a gemologist… I am a jeweler. This was the first time I had EVER gotten a stone from a civilian, I always get then from dealers. So, during this whole process I was going on the client’s info from his appraisal on the diamonds. On my way to meet the client that would be buying it for an engagement ring, I decided to get a verbal appraisal to make sure everything was in line. Well… thank the gods I did… BECAUSE IT WAS A FAKE!

I now how to go back and (1) tell the client that I need to find him another diamond for his engagement ring because it was a synthetic and (2) tell the other client that somebody switched his diamond.

You can’t even begin to understand how much this bites!!! I had recently been joking that a client asked me if I was going to switch her diamonds… and I honestly thought to myself that somebody would be so stupid to do that today, with all of the technology out there to tell fakes apart! Well, apparently some still do!

The ring had sat on consignment for 8 years at a jewelry store down south… then in a safety box. So, the only reasonable explanation is that the jewelry store, while it was sitting in the case on consignment, switched out the diamond. That, to be blunt, is pretty freeking ballzy!

Now, the really crappy part is the client really has NO legal recourse. He has no proof that they switched his diamond a couple of years ago. And that’s what these bastards hope for… time to pass. Makes it harder to prove. All my client can do is write a strongly worded letter to the jewelry store and the Better Business Bureau.

But the really crappy part for me… if this client didn’t realize that I had his best interest in mind throughout this entire process, he could have blamed me for the switch!

I am completely beside myself… I am just sick over this.

So… what did I learn from this…

1. I need to buy a diamond tester
2. After I pay off bills, I need to save money to become a gemologist
3. I need a new contract for dealing with clients stones to sell
4. I need to keep my clients as educated and informed as possible
5. Just stay me… always learning and ethical as possible.

Warren Buffet said it best…

“If you don’t know jewelry, know your jeweler.”

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

new engagement ring sketch...

this is a fun change from my clean and modern designs of late!

after lots of prodding and poking into the client's personal life, he told me that he loves his girlfriend's beautiful crazy curly hair. so, the design stemmed from there.

i started with twists of wire (to signify her long banana curls) BUT we moved more in the direction of swirls.

soooo... this is what i'm presenting to the client tonight!

There will be small diamonds set in the larger swirls near the head holding the center diamond. the rest will have negative space.

very soft, swirling, light... ooooo!
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