Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Rings Adventure Continues

Hello :-) I have more update on my rings.

First of all, I have new rings and I moved my Claddagh ring:

In other words, I'm engaged! :-) yay! For about a month now, almost. To MyJohn. ♥

^here's both my rings, after they were sized down.
At first they were way too big, 'cause I have really small fingers and there's a standard size that jewelry stores sell rings in without having the wearer's size known. (I mean if you know what size you need you can get it sized right after you buy it, but if not you have to go back for the sizing; they keep them at size 6 or 7, I think.)

^too big, before resizing
And when we went to get them sized the saleslady at the jewelry store said the jeweler wouldn't size my rings down to my tiny size because the stones on the sides would fall out. I kind of expected that, because I've seen that before. Fortunately, my brother's a jeweler (that's how I'd seen that problem before) and he wasn't afraid to adjust the rings all the way down to my 3.5 size, since he knows how to secure the stones so they don't fall out. :-) Probably the other jeweler does too but he wants to avoid liability with a customer that he doesn't know.
Now my new rings actually fit better than my other ones, so I was thinking about having my brother resize my other rings, but I still want to try to gain just a little bit of weight and if I do then I hopefully don't need my rings to be smaller. Of course then I'll need him to size my new rings back up a little. I might have more on that topic later.

So I'm still using "the white stuff" i.e. Liquid Ring Guard. But I'm starting to like it less, because it only lasts a few weeks instead of months before it starts rubbing off. Since my knuckles are bigger than my fingers, taking the rings on and off rubs the white stuff off. Last time I redid my Claddagh ring I put a thinner layer pretty much all the way around the inside of the ring, and it seems to be lasting longer; but I'm really tired of redoing the white stuff every few weeks and waiting a day and a night for it to dry. My brother gave me a new package of Ring Snuggies because he says jewelers don't like it when people put stuff on their rings (like tape) to make them fit. So I've started using a Snuggie on my amethyst ring.
I guess I could've zoomed in more on that, but oh well.

It's sort of a compromise between the white stuff and the clasp thing I was doing before. It's like the clasp because I have to put it on the ring after I put the ring on my finger, and take it off before I take the ring off; but it's better than the clasp and more like the white stuff because it keeps the ring from slipping around and from slipping up and down my finger. It's somewhat uncomfortable though, especially when my finger swells slightly (or stops shrinking) and the snuggie pulls the top of the ring against the top of my finger. It was doing that the other day so I pulled the snuggie off, and it flew out of my fingers and into the pantry which I happened to be standing in front of, and disappeared. Fortunately I still have a couple more of the same size but all the rest are bigger. I think I'll have to cut one of the small ones in half and use each half for my Claddagh and birthstone rings, hoping that won't be any more uncomfortable. Or I can get more snuggies but a whole one might be uncomfortable on my small rings. Snuggies are also more difficult to put on and off of the rings than the clasps. But once it's on it's better.

I have to put the snuggie on before I put my handflower on because the finger chain gets in the way, and sometimes the chain gets caught on the outside of the snuggie, but once I fix that it's fine.

Oh I also have a new chainmaille ring in my shop:

This is the first chainmaille ring with a bead that I've made, and I'm pretty happy with it. I'll make more of these with other colors and stones, if I can remember how I did it. ;-) First I'm working on eyeglass chains and more handflowers, 'cause those have been selling. :-)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lost Rings Revisited

About a year ago I wrote a blog post about how I'd lost two of my rings and started clasping my rings to my handflowers. This is an update with answers to some problems I had and some variations to what I did before.

So I started clasping my rings to my handflower finger chains, which worked to keep them on my fingers. I also decided to start wearing another ring on my right ring finger, which is a gold birthstone ring (aquamarine) that I got for my 13th birthday and hadn't worn in awhile. So I attached a second clasp to my handflower for that ring.

The rings are slightly up on my fingers because they're so loose at the base of my fingers they slip around to the back. That's one of the issues I still wanted to solve although I was quite happy just to not let them slip off. Another issue is that if I get a job that's basically like any of the jobs I've had before, I won't be able or allowed to wear my handflowers to work. I'm pretty used to that although I'll appreciate it if I find a job where I can wear them, because it's good advertizement for my shop as well as my personal style. But even if I can't wear my handflowers to work I most likely can wear my rings, and would definitely want to wear at least my Claddagh. So I needed to solve that problem.

My brother's a jeweler so he could resize my rings for me, or put sizing beads on them, but I would actually like to gain a little bit of weight and if I do I'll need to size them back up or take the beads off. So I'd rather have something slightly more temporary.

So recently I found an Etsy shop that sells jewelry supplies, like displays and tools and things, and they have this ring guard stuff:


I decided to order it and try it.
What you do is clean your ring band with rubbing alcohol (I also had my brother polish and clean my rings first) and then put a band of this white stuff on the inside of the band, and let it dry for about 24 hours or so. The instructions say to let it dry for 3 hours, but I read reviews of this product (not connected to the Etsy shop) that said it needed 24-48 hours to really dry.

I had a slightly rough start using this; first it came out clear and liquidy when I first opened it, and then it was white after that. I hoped that didn't mean I was supposed to shake it up before I opened it, because the instructions didn't say to. But after that it seemed fine. The second slight problem was that you're supposed to smooth the stuff out with a toothpick, which is a bit difficult because the stuff sticks to the toothpick. It seems that once you get the hang of it it's ok though.

When I put my rings on after the stuff dried I discovered that I hadn't put enough on, because my fingers are so thin the rings were still slipping around. So I put more on and let it dry. Then I found another problem, which is that the second layer was only stuck to the first layer instead of the ring itself, and because of this it started coming off after a few days, when it's supposed to last at least a few months. So I peeled/pulled/scraped the stuff off of my amethyst and birthstone rings and started over, putting more stuff on than I did the first time. I haven't redone the Claddagh yet 'cause it seems ok so far. After this second attempt my rings fit much better. Well, I may have put a little too much stuff on the birthstone ring, 'cause my knuckle tries to pull it off when I slide it on and off of my finger. So maybe that one needs a slight adjustment next time I redo it. All in all I'm pretty happy with this product and with my rings.

(sorry for the dark pics, I just took them at my brother's jewelry bench)

I've been offering an attachment of clasps to handflowers in my Etsy shop for attaching rings, and my last handflower buyer was actually interested, but her ring is larger and thicker than mine, so I needed to figure out another attachment. I used my boyfriend's class ring (which he gave me because I lost mine ♥) and figured out a chain-clasp combination:

This also worked out; the buyer is very happy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What's happened to DesignedbyLucinda

reposted from amystreasures on facebook:

In case anyone else is having problems finding the information on what's going on with Lucinda and how to help, here's the information.

It is with deep sadness we must share the news of the tragic loss suffered by Cindy Boardman, known here as designedbylucinda, a UEF moderator and long time member of the Etsy community.

On Thursday, February 3rd an accidental fire took her home, pets, and claimed the life of her 11 year old son, Kevin. No words can convey the shock and sadness we feel, Cindy is an active and valued member of our community and we share in her grief during this incredibly difficult time. Our thoughts, prayers and most profound sympathies are with Cindy and her family.

Her husband Robert Boardman's co-workers have set up a fund to assist the family with medical and living expenses. Donations and care packages can be sent here:

Boardman Family Fund

Knight Communications

10150 Mallard Creek Rd.

Suite 201

Charlotte, NC 28262

Update from Cindy's friend: Please do not send clothes or household items at the moment, as they have some donations already and will be living at a temporary location for a while.

DONATIONS UPDATE: PayPal donations for our contribution can be sent to: forboardmanfamily@gmail.com

All excess donations will be transferred to the family's fund.

For those that wish to donate, please note that if you send the money as personal>gift, no fees will be deducted IF the funds are transferred from another paypal account... if using a credit card to donate, it is our understanding that a fee will be applied.

Please direct any questions about the paypal fund to punch or admin (quirke).

See here for more:


Read more: http://unofficialetsyforums.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=announcements&action=display&thread=1581#ixzz1DQoUhUDR

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Handflower or Slave Bracelet?

What's the Difference?

The terms "handflower" and "slave bracelet" are often used interchangeably, although some people know only one or the other. Some people don't know what to call them, and some think of different things when they hear these terms. Other terms are used as well, such as "ring bracelet", "maille bracelet", and "panja" or "hath panja". Although these can all refer to the same thing, I've observed some general differences through Google searches.

Slave Bracelet 1:
Usually a slave bracelet is a combination of a bracelet and ring (therefore also called a "ring bracelet"), attached with one piece of chain or string of beads, or some type of charm or pendant-like thing in the center which lays on the back of the hand. It's called a "slave bracelet" because the ring is "slave" to the bracelet. Usually the bracelet and ring are solid metal pieces such as a cuff bracelet and adjustable finger ring. It's sometimes also called a handflower, because it is worn on the back of the hand. These are from Medieval styles.

Pewter Butterfly Slave Bracelet

Slave Bracelet 2:
Sometimes an item named "slave bracelet" is a single cuff bracelet by itself, which used to be worn by slaves, mostly in Egypt or West Africa. Also it could refer to a bracelet made of coins and worn by Nigerian slavers. This is not related to the ring bracelet in any modern way, except maybe in the relationship between the Nigerian slavers and the gypsy/ belly dancer coin handflower.

African Slave Bracelet

Men's Slave Bracelet

also called a slave bracelet or ring bracelet, but usually designed in a triangular shape made of chainmaille, beads, chains, or knitted or crocheted string. Usually has a chain or string around the finger instead of a solid or adjustable ring. These are also based on Medieval styles, although not always approved by the SCA.

Chainmaille Handflower Bead & Chain Handflower Bead-maille handflower

Maille bracelet:
although handflowers are often made of chainmaille, they can also be made of other things such as chains or bead-work, so not all of them can really be called maille. Also, other types of bracelets can be made of chainmaille. The term could more accurately be used for a regular wrist-only bracelet made of chainmaille.

Chainmaille Bracelet

Panja/ Hath Panja:
The Asian and Indian version of the handflower is like a slave bracelet with the charms and solid rings, but usually with 3 or 5 rings instead of 1. Often used as bridal jewelry. The name is Hindi; I think "hath" means "hand" and "panja" means "five".

Panja Bridal Hath Panja Panja

Other "slave bracelet" use: I want to keep this blog rated G to PG, so I won't be too specific, but some people think of a certain adult practice when they hear of "slave bracelets". I don't know a whole lot about that, but from what I do understand, it doesn't use handflowers so much as handcuffs. Perhaps the relation between the handflower/slave bracelet and the cuff-style slave bracelet (although it's only the name) causes the confusion between the handflower and the handcuffs. Some people who use that practice might wear handflowers as symbols of ownership, but I believe that is not what they were originally designed for and is not the meaning of the bracelets themselves. Most people who make or wear handflowers do not mean it that way.

Harem Bracelet: This name seems to refer to belly dancing, which uses handflowers made with coins and bells. I made two of these once (one for the hand and one for the foot) for someone at my church who does belly dancing for fun and exercise. I haven't found a specific connection between harem bracelets and actual harems, unless people do belly dancing in harems, which I think is it. I think the reason belly dancers wear this style is that gypsies would wear bracelets made of coins as a way to carry money, similar to the Nigerian slavers, and also because of the flashy and jingly effects.

Foot Slave Bracelet
(Harem Bracelet)

Monday, September 13, 2010

9/11 tribute

I'm sorry this is late, I was out on Saturday.

I found this video posted on a friend's Facebook page. I hadn't seen it before. I had to watch it twice because I didn't recognize the area (I'm pretty sure it's New York, but I haven't been there), and it made me cry. In fact it still makes me cry just to remember the video, let alone watch it.

This is one of the Budweiser commercials with the Clydesdale horses.

9/11 Bud Commercial - AIRED ONLY ONCE

I remember that day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Furry Friday

My sister works at the Balcom Agency and they have a Four-Legged Friday every week when they can bring their dogs in. My sister doesn't bring our dog 'cause he would get too excited in the car, but I thought I should do a Furry Friday post. Our dog Rolo recently got a new toy with a squeeker in it, and the spueeky is really exciting for him. In the first week or so he wouldn't let it out of his sight (or his paws):

some of the "newness" has worn off for him now, but he still loves the squeek.

Here's a video of another happy dog with a squeeky toy:

Happy Friday!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thoughts on Medians, Sleep, and oh yeah...

So last night was Face to Face, and it was in Azle which is about half an hour away from my house. In general a half hour isn't a really big deal, and although I don't have air conditioning I did manage to stay cool with various things including Powerade. Also it helped that the weather was a bit rainy/stormy although it didn't actually rain on me. That made it a little cooler. The problem I had was driving home in the dark. I don't know the area, so even with ok headlights and the occasional use of my brights (when there's no cars coming at me), it was a bit difficult since I can't exactly see medians at night. I'm not even sure what happened exactly but I think I had trouble with two different ones. I don't understand why they don't have reflectors or at least neon paint on the edges. I hope I didn't hurt my car... not that you could tell if I did... but we're lucky I didn't have a nasty wreck, and not just by running over the median itself if you know what I mean.

So I guess it's from the stress of that drive home, but even though I was really tired and went to bed around 11:30 or 12, I didn't get to sleep until after 2:30 or so. And then because there was a big storm here at home last night we suddenly had to get up at 7 to clean up the pears that had fallen from the pear tree. So far I've had two cups of coffee... which is no substitute for sleep... but it kinda makes it tolerable...

But yeah, medians are invisible at night. Makes night driving not fun. I'm just really glad it wasn't raining on me.

anyway, I think this turned out well:

Now what I'm wondering is if the style can be considered Victorian. I think maybe it is.
hmm... I also wonder if it'll look better with the keys on the inside of the outer chain, attached at the top corners of the triangle. If I change that I'll have to retake all the photos, but still... that
might work.