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Posts Tagged ‘Starbright Girl’

So, this time of year seems to be a bit quieter with shops – but I’ve been lucky enough to have been kept busy with some interesting custom orders 🙂

Here are some pics of some of them – a nice variety, I think!

PicMonkey Collage

Have a great day 🙂 xxx

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Phew, I have to say, I’m glad it’s Friday – even though I’ll be doing some work this weekend.. It’s been a super busy week – with stock finished off & sent off to both Fringe Arts Cape Town shops, as well as the new Lonehill shop (JHB), as well as stock being dropped off at the KZNSA gallery, and a number of smaller orders!

(Update: I’m publishing this on Saturday – have to wait until some of the gifts at the bottom have been given! 😉 )

But, the week has ended on a really good note – as I received some jewellery production tools, which I ordered from overseas, this morning..

New Jewellery Tools

My awesome new jewellery tools

On top, in the picture, you’ll see a brand new, aluminium saw-frame. This is absolutely wonderful, as it’s really light-weight & nicely balanced, which I think will definitely help reduce the strain my arms and wrists have been taking! I know some jeweller’s who use these, and only have good things to say about them – and, so far – so awesome! The other nice thing (a technical detail), is that you can set your tension for your saw-blades – which means my chest/shoulder can rest easy – as I used to have to push my old frame against myself to tension it!!

In the box, is another totally awesome tool – a mini belt-sander for the bench.. I’ve been trying it out today, and it really is great.. Basically, it clamps to the bench, and then you connect your pendant motor to it. As I have a Foredom, variable-speed, motor, I can control the speed it runs with my foot pedal, which means no hot/burnt or sanded-off-skin-fingers! I ordered a variety of sandpaper belts to use – but must say, I’m taking a while to get used to the different grits – here it’s all 400, 600, 800 etc, but these are American, and so are 320, 500, 1200.. Sigh, why can’t the world be more standardised! 😉

Anyhow – here’s a pic of me using the set-up sander (yes, I’m normally right-handed, but that would have been an awful picture!)

Using the Wolf Belt Sander

Trying out my new Wolf Belt Sander

I was honestly surprised by how beautiful and flat the pieces are sanded – which is just perfect for my style & designs! To be honest, it is a bit of a mission to change the sandpaper belts, but for assembly production sanding – I can tell this is my new best friend!! 😀

To end off, here are just a couple of pics of things I have been busy with this week.. The Converse pendant isn’t quite finished – but I’m just so stoked with how it’s looking – must make more! The others are mostly gift items, so I’m just hoping they have all been given to their recipients by now! 😉

Orders August 2013

August 2013 – some custom orders

And that’s all from me – hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend 🙂 Megs xx

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A week or so back, I had an email from a customer overseas, asking how to clean her little Africa pendant she had purchased from me. I sent quite a detailed response, and was thinking it’s something I should share with everyone 🙂

For cleaning silver jewellery, I use a product called Silvo, which is a silver polish, to clean my pieces if necessary.. You get it at the supermarket here in South Africa – it’s the same stuff your mom probably uses to clean silver cutlery! I’m sure there must be equivalents to this in different parts of the world! 😉
Basically, you just shake the tin, then pour a tiny amount on a soft cotton cloth, then rub the piece gently over it – then use a clean part of the cloth to rub the polish off 🙂 You’ll see the cloth go black when you rub the piece!

Silvo Polish

I do use a small amount of a metal called Indium in my alloying process, which helps retard the tarnishing process for a while, but if you’re slightly acidic, or live near the sea (like me in both cases!), the silver will eventually blacken..

If there is still some polish left on the edges – another nice cleaning trick is to pop it into a container of just boiled water, then add dishwashing liquid soap, and a tiny amount of ammonia. Then use a soft toothbrush to clean.
This is also great for rings (and gold jewellery) etc – especially with diamonds & other stones, where dirt gets trapped under the stones – you’ll see how shiny they come up!!

You can also use Silvo & a cloth to clean chains – but another nice tip is to put a little bit of washing powder & water into your cupped hand, and to rub the chain in your hands, this can also help clean it..

These are things that can help on a daily basis, just to clean your jewellery a little – but I’ll be 100% honest – there’s nothing for the home market that works as well as what’s in a jeweller’s studio! If you want your jewellery to look like new – take it to a local jeweller, and ask for a clean & polish.. Chains will be tumbled, and solid pieces polished by hand, and they will once again look like new! (This shouldn’t be expensive, but might be worth a small outlay, especially if you want to wear something for a special occasion!) 🙂

Tumbling & Polishing

Anyhow – hope this little bit of information has helped! Have a fantastic day everyone 🙂 Megs xx

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So, this has been an insanely busy week – a large new order sent off to Fringe Arts, Cape Town on Friday, a new order to be done by Tuesday for their new shop (it’s going to be in Lonehill, Johannesburg), and I’m going up to Joburg this week to visit my mom before she jets off to Germany to meet her new grand-daughter.. 🙂

On top of all of this, I had the wonderful fortune of going to the Etsy Craft Party (the only 1 in South Africa!) in Durban on Thursday night – a big thanks to Nadia van der Mescht for organising it!

Etsy Craft Party Collage

It was wonderful to be surrounded by other crafty people – and those who just wanted to try it out! (Mostly ladies, I must add – but apparently one of the male bartenders made a valiant effort!) Our craft for the evening was gift tags – and we had a lot of fun gluing & cutting the assorted items given to us.. I also discovered the joy of Washi tape – and will experimenting a lot more in the future!

Then, yesterday, I went to a full day’s creative business workshop, again with Nadia van der Mescht. This was really a wonderful learning experience, as it is tailored towards smaller creative businesses, with an emphasis on planning, setting goals, and social media.. As you can see, I’ve already made some changes – I’ve updated my blog a bit, set up categories (which I didn’t even know about before!), and have a new Pinterest page, too! http://pinterest.com/starbrightgirl7/boards/

NVDM Business Workshop Collage

The workshop was held at the Benjamin Hotel, in Florida Road (a big thanks to them for the lovely food supplied!), and was just a fantastic, intimate day (there were only 7 of us) – with lots of time to tell stories & ask questions.. I can honestly say I learnt so much – so hopefully can make many changes for the better whilst growing my little business 🙂

So, that’s me for now – time to bath & get ready for a full day’s work at my bench – the pendants don’t pierce themselves, alas! Hope everyone has a fantastic & inspired week! Megan xxx

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So – been a while since I last blogged – haven’t been feeling too great of late, but am getting myself sorted out (need to take more care with what I eat, & take my multi-vitamins etc!) Anyhow – just a little update on what I’ve been up to recently.. 🙂

I’ve been working on some new designs – I like to keep my work as fresh as possible, and will never stop working on new ideas! Here are a couple I’m quite happy with 😉

Image

I’ve also been working on a “Miniatures” range – of tiny sterling pendants – all hand-cut of course!

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They come on 45cm sterling silver chains (as seen in the pics above) – and are just so dainty & sweet on!

Apart from that, I have been doing a few orders – here are a couple of pics:

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I really do get a variety of requests, but just always try my best to make awesome silver jewellery 🙂

And that’s my small dose of news for now – will be back with more soon.. Have a great rest of your week! Megs xx

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