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Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Specialty Class

Ogallala Butterfly Necklace Class

Group Class
September 14, 2010
10:30 - 1:30
Instructor: Eliza Huskey

$35.00 + Materials.
Material fee:
 $16.00 with chip stones
$25.00 with crystal

Call today to reserve your spot in the class! 50% class deposit due at registration.
(251) 929-3620

New Instructor

Please meet our newest instructor:

Eliza Huskey
Jewelry designer, teacher

I have always been "crafty" since as far back as I can remember. My mother, Harriet, inspired me with her paintings and carpentry to "create" at an early age. And so I did using various items available to me in our home. One of my first creations was a coke bottle doll I fashioned with an old glass coca-cola bottle, Kleenex and magic markers. My mother's quiet marvel over my handcrafted doll gave me such satisfaction to to this day I look forward to that same feeling every time I unveil a new creation.

My fascination and love for beads happened around age seven when I made my first necklace, a simple string-a-bead type of necklace for my cabbage patch doll, Bonnie. I used a gold thread string and those little white single letter beads to string her name closing it with a screw clasp. A simple yet meaningful start to my life as a beader.

I started getting serious about beading while finishing college in Mobile, Alabama during the early 2000's. I lived near a small bead shop in mid-town named Knot Just Beads where I learned a great many skills from a truly gifted designer, Melody MacDuffee, who showed me how to wire wrap for the first time. Thanks Melody!

I began teaching seed bead and wire wrapping classes in 2003 at Knot Just Beads. In addition to Ogalalla Butterfly, my favorite seed bead pattern, I taught my own original wire design known as the Easy Loop Wire Necklace. I eventually went on to teach in Gulfport, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana.

Aside from teaching, I make and sell jewelry in local boutiques, art galleries and the Internet.

Eliza Huskey lives with her husband and their son in Gulf Shores, Alabama. For many years she has created bead jewelry in her spare time. In recent years she has dedicated herself full-time to selling her jewelry via the Internet and renewing her passion to teach and inspire others.
We look forward to Eliza teaching future classes in our store. New class options will be posted at the store and on the blog site. Also remember to check the interactive calendar at the bottom of this page for more info.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tips for Proper Jewelry Care

Your jewelry is too beautiful to allow it to be damaged!  Below are several helpful tips to keep your jewelry beautiful for years.

Beaded Jewelry Care

  • Try to store your jewelry separately so it doesn't scratch other jewelry.
  • Jewelry should only be put on after bathing and applying any makeup, hair spray, gels, lotions or perfume.
  • Try to protect any jewelry from harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures and sunlight.
  • Always try to store beaded necklaces and bracelets flat.
  • Do not wear beaded jewelry when doing household or outdoor chores.
  • Never wear any jewelry when swimming or showering.  The chlorine can cause damage to various gemstones and gold.  Soap scum can become embedded in the back of stones or between beads causing discoloration and pitting of metals.
  • Store your jewelry in a clean, dry place.
Care of Gemstone Jewelry (Many of the beaded jewelry tips apply to gemstone jewelry as well)

Natural colored gemstones are often treated to improve their appearance.  These treatments are permanent and require no special care.  The information below will ensure that your colored gemstone jewelry remains beautiful for years to come.
  • Wipe your precious gemstone jewelry wit a clean, soft, damp cloth after wearing.  This will enhance the luster and assure that your jewelry is clean before being stored.
  • Do not expose your gemstone jewelry to salt water or harsh chemicals, such as chlorine and detergents.  These chemicals may slowly erode the finish and polish of gems.
  • A blow could damage the beauty of any gemstone.  So it is best to store gemstone jewelry while engaging in any activity where it might be subject to high impact.
  • Gemstone jewelry should only be put on after bathing and applying any makeup, hair spray, gels, lotions or perfume.  These agents may cause the gemstones to dull.
  • DO NOT use standard jewelry cleaner as it will cause damage to gemstones.  Analece carries jewelry cleaner that is safe to use on gemstones and precious metals.
  • Ensure that all gemstone jewelry stays out of the sun.  This does not mean that you cannot wear your jewelry on sunny days, just use precaution and do not leave the jewelry laying in the direct sunlight for long periods of time, or the gemstones may fade from the exposure.
  • Store gemstone jewelry in a clean, dry place.
Sterling Silver Jewelry Care
  • All silver tarnishes naturally.  To help prevent tarnishing, store your beaded and sterling jewelry in a cool dry place or inside an air tight plastic bag.  Some jewelry boxes are lined with anti-tarnish fabric, or you can store jewelry in a plastic zip lock bag with a piece of sidewalk chalk.  Or, you may purchase small carbon paper squares from us to slip into the bag to prevent tarnish from forming. 
  • If a jewelry piece should tarnish, you can clean off the tarnish by using a regular cloth or special anti-tarnish cloth.  Do not use standard jewelry cleaner as it may pit or remove dark oxidation in the recesses of the jewelry which is supposed to be there.
  • If you wish to remove all the tarnish from a piece that is highly polished, you may used jewelry grade cleaner which we carry in our store, or you can soak the piece in baking soda and warm water, then brush with a very soft toothbrush.  Use caution, however, if there are stones set in the piece.
Gold and other Precious Metals

  • The same principals apply to gold and other precious metals.  Chlorine and chemicals are very bad for alloyed metals such as gold, because they can cause pitting and discoloration.  Gold plated pieces are especially susceptible.  If there is any copper content in the base metal under the plating, it will come to the surface if scratched, causing green discoloration and darkening of skin where the metal touches.  The best way to avoid this is to remove jewelry when participating in sports activities, gardening etc.
We hope these tips are helpful.  Don't forget that we carry a full range of cleaning products for your jewelry, and we do repairs and restringing onsite.    Have a great summer and wear your beautiful jewelry!