13
Sep
09

September Challenge is Creepy Crawly!

We had a lot of fun with the August challenge-I’m on Fire.  And while some parts of the United States were pretty close to being on fire with the heat, Wisconsin had a nice mild summer.  However the gardens didn’t enjoy that.

But fall is in the air, and with the cooler breezes come the holiday festivities.  JAMs first fall festivity is the Creepy Crawly Challenge.  So let’s see what’cha got!

Bring on the scream…ah, I mean music!  Yeah, music.  Mewah haha…

08
Aug
09

I’m On Fire-August Challenge

We had another great month with the Sea Side Challenge.  Now August brings us I’m On Fire.

Funny, it’s been cold here in Wisconsin this summe.  Someone send me some FIRE!  Enjoy the slide show from our great jewelry designers at Jewelry Artisans’ Marketplace!

03
Jul
09

Down By the Seaside Challenge

Can you believe another month has come and gone already?  Don’t look now, but we’re into July!  And with that comes our Down By The Seaside Challenge.

This should be another great slide show!  Enjoy🙂

29
Jun
09

Where creativity happens…

It’s not just in our heads, although that’s where it starts!  It’s also on a table, or desk, or for me…a workstation made from an old door!!

I thought it would be fun to see where we all work.  I am always curious, and we can get some great ideas from each other!  So, let’s begin…

MannyBeads
MannyBeads

MannyBeads

Ocean Bay Designs
Ocean Bay Designs

Ocean Bay Designs

One Heart Jewelry
One Heart Jewelry

One Heart Jewelry

BonhomieJewelry
BonhomieJewelry

BonhomieJewelry

elenamary
elenamary

elenamary

abbyhorowitzdesigns
abbyhorowitzdesigns

abbyhorowitzdesigns

Silver River Metal
Silver River Metal

Silver River Metal

emilyclairecreations
emilyclairecreations

EmilyClaireCreations

GlasstasticTreasures
GlasstasticTreasures

GlasstasticTreasures

07
Jun
09

A Song you Love: June JAM Challenge

Just close your eyes, sing your favorite song (or hum it) and imagine….then create!  Ah, here we go!!

04
Jun
09

Managing your Time

time]Time management: Managing the use of daily schedules for the purpose of achieving maximum productivity; maximum time utilization; not wasting time. Hm, not wasting time. Well, that doesn’t sound like any fun!

But it’s true. One of my biggest downfalls is wasting time. I love to socialize and chat, even online: Twitter, Plurk, forums, you name it. It’s good marketing, but if you’re not getting anything done is it really worth it? Maybe, but maybe not.

One of my tried and true time management “must do” necessities is a task list. That list not only lets me see exactly how much I have to do, but checking off each task also shows me how long it’s taking, and if I’m getting distracted. Which often happens, what with the coffee pot and the internet.

But basically, what you have to do is be disciplined. Figure out what has to be done, and do it. I know that sounds easy, but sometimes figuring out what has to be done is the hard part, believe it or not. Another thing that distracts people is when the task seems daunting. A huge task can quickly take the wind from your sails. I like to brake things down.

Make the most of your down time.  EarthCharms takes her supplies with her and creates while she waits: Dr. Office, DMV, etc.   She also relaxes and creates while watching TV. SusanMWB has a tray handy to load her supplies on to easily transport her supplies so she can watch TV and create as well.

Believe it or not, organization can also help you accomplish your tasks in a timely manner. Ever spent a good part of a half hour looking for that special tool that you can’t work without? Set up your work area so that your tools are easily accessible to reach for, and put away. That way they will always be where they should be.

LibertyO has organized all her beads on a wall board. They’re easily accessible, and quickly found. And MannyBeads has a new shelving unit organizing all her necessary supplies.

Gerry, of gerryp918 , saves time by using Paypal to print shipping labels. And I have to agree. It’s much easier to hit print, and back the shipment. By the time my item is ready to go, the label is done. Great minds think alike!

mytreasures gets up early to get a little computer time, morning news and some alone time to create. I myself take a half hour each morning for coffee and to check my websites. Then I know if anything needs to be addressed throughout the day, or before I come home!

So, let’s hear it. How do you make it through your day?

07
May
09

Featured blog: Turquoise ~ the Shaman stone

Thank you to MountainDreamers, for this great blog on turquoise.

One of my favorites stones (is there really such a thing , they are all so fun) is Turquoise. It is a beautiful stone in shades from light greens to dark blue. It is a secondary mineral found near copper veins with the chemical formula of CuAl6 (PO4) 4 (OH) 8 – 4 (H2O) It has a hardness of 5-6 between apatite and orthoclase. Turquoise was named afer it’s origal source in Turkey as it traveled back to Europe.

Turquoise can also be a challenge to purchase as there are many choices, and not all are genuine turquoise. 95 % of genuine turquoise is stablelized to enhance the hardness of the stone. Only 5 % of turquoise is what we would call natural where it is mined , tumbled and ready to use for jewelry. This type of turquoise is fairly expensive and can be hundreds of dollars for a strand. There is plenty of stablelized genuine turquoise that has had a plastic resin to enhance the hardness for long wear. Even with stablelization, turquoise can change color over time from lotions, body oils and other chemicals it contacts. Turquoise is mined in the USA ( Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico) China, Peru, Mexico, Iran, Tibet, Siberia, Australia, Africa,and Europe (Turkey) . The stone forms when water passes thru Copper and other minerals to form the blue colored stone. Some turquoise has been dyed as well as stablelized.

There are the turquoise substitutes, howelite, magnesite, and dolomite which are white stones with a natural dark matrix that absorb dyes well to give the appearence of turquoise.

African turquoise is a nice stone but is a jasper by origin and not a genuine turquoise stone

Chinese turquoise from the Hubei and Anhui areas are stablelized with a parrafin wax treatment that only affects the outter layers. Other treatments can also include dyeing.

Simulated Block turquoise has small bits of rock , dyes and plastic resin. Block turquoise has no rock , it is only plastic and dyes and is made in large loaf size batches.

Lime turquoise is a magnesite from China that has been dyed green, it is harder than the natural turquoise from the Hubei mines.

Mexican Turquoise is similar to that found in Arizona in the Globe mine. Sonora is home to the Pino Chueco mine, this turquoise has been stablelized and some is sold under the Nazcori name.

Mojave or Apple Green turquoise is blue turquoise that is dyed a vibrant Apple green, it can be scraps of turquoise that is bound in resin and dyed.

Yellow turquoise is usually a hard howlite or jasper that has been dyed , from China , Soft yellow turquoise from China’s Hubei province has been stablelized and dyed a deep yellow

When selecting a stone , of course find stones that appeal to your taste, but try to get as much information about the origin and processing so you can accurately label your product for resale. Genuine turquoise dealers will give you a certificate in writing stating the value of your purchase.

Metaphysical properties: Turquoise is the stone of the Shaman, it opens all chakras, and allows us to feel at home in both the spiritual and physical worlds, it increases the flow of love and comunication, it opens particularly the 5th or throat chakra and aids with opening the 4th chakra (heart). It helps with improving the immune system and will detox poisons , alcohol , and radiation.

Pictures (top to bottom):

1.  Necklace made from Campo frio turquoise

2.  Earrings using Sleeping beauty turquoise

3.  Necklace featuring Kingman turquoise

4.  Necklace using Sleeping Beauty Turquoise

Thank you Mountain Dreamers!  This is a great article, and turquoise IS one of my favorites!!

Please visit Mountain Dreamers at her 1000 Markets shop!