Got Some Semiprecious Gems To Play With  

Friday, October 21, 2011

I've participated in a Halloween Tarot exchange with a surprise partner, and I've just received my package yesterday. I guess my partner saw that I am making jewelry because along with tarot decks, a Zen music CD and some other goodies, she also put me a few gemstones to play with.

They're so beautiful, I can't wait to start wrapping them!

I've been a bit busy over summer with other things, but I should be back on track again soon. My fingers are itching to do some more wire wrapping with gemstones.

Here are three pictures of the goodies. The first is everything in the package, the second one shows only the gems and the last one the cab enlarged.

They are: garnet, amethyst, moon stone, quartz and the the cab is a beautiful jasper. I love the jasper cab!





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Being Aware and Safe When Buying Jewelry Online  

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Jewelry – especially when you select real and expensive pieces for your collection – is a major investment. As with any great investment, you want to know where your money is going and what you will be getting in return.

Since buying jewelry online is becoming increasingly popular, this post will detail the important aspects online shoppers should keep in mind before making any final purchase decisions.

Vetting Jewelry Sites

While there are multitudes of online jewelry shops, it is important to give your business to one that you can trust. Look around for independent reviews of the shop’s behavior and jewelry quality – reviews that are not on the site itself. If you can find a friend who has had experience with the particular site you are considering buying through, you can be sure of getting an honest opinion. Also check with the Better Business Bureau.

Finding Pieces That You Can Love

After you find a site that you can trust and a piece that you can’t live without, take a moment. Don’t whip out your credit card right away. Print out a picture of the piece or pieces of jewelry and visit local jewelry stores.

Chances are you’ll find better prices online, but that doesn’t matter if you discover that you don’t like the piece after you have it in your hands. Even an online store that has a great return policy won’t refund shipping and handling or insurance costs.

Trying on a similar piece of jewelry in person can help you to know whether it is worth your money.

Get What You Pay For

When shopping online, make sure that you are getting real precious metals and gems. Make sure that you will receive certification or some other form of official guarantee for any pieces purchased that are supposed to be real, such as diamonds and expensive precious metals.

Look out for creative gemstone names, as these are a big warning sign in regards to gems that are not exactly what they claim to be.

For example, blue tourmaline is often labeled as Brazilian sapphire and gems called Manchurian jade are really soapstone. This is true for many gems.

Emeraldine, while it might be a beautiful green, is really chalcedony that has been dyed, and an Alaska black diamond is simply a piece of hematite. If the price seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.

Return Policies and Warranties

Always be sure that the jewelry site you shop with – whether a US or a Canada jewelry store or a site based in another area of the world – has a good return policy. The most common length of time for returns is 30 days, but make sure before you make your purchase.

Some of the best, most well-known online jewelry stores also have lifetime warranties on the pieces that they sell. Not every shop has this feature, though, so look before you leap.

If the shop you are considering purchasing from has no provisions for item warranties, no return policy, or simply doesn’t feel right, reconsider making that buy. It might be wise to work with another online jewelry store.

Just a little research and careful thought can help you to buy jewelry online safely, meaning you won’t have to hesitate when buying in the future.

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NanoStyle Cubic Zirconia Jewelry - Gold With Crystal - Real Craftsmanship And Style  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Being an artisan silver jewelry designer, I don't usually go out of my own comfort zone to look at anything else but wire wrapping or chain mail pieces. However this time I had to make an exception, and I think you will agree with me when you see what I have to show you below.


I'm talking about a cubic zirconia piece that I recently got in the mail, which really caught my attention earlier on. The reason why I instantly loved this piece was twofold:

First, from the pictures alone I saw that it was an exquisite piece to wear on your neck, and second, well, Taurus is my astrological sign and I have a weakness for everything that has to do with my star sign.

I got the package in the mail just the day before going off for holidays (went to Peloponnisos in Greece, will post a few holiday pictures soon), so I only opened the package for a quick peek before heading off.

Fastforward 2 weeks. I'm back and eagerly opening the package and I start pulling out the things from it.

First the beautiful box with the amazing cubic zirconia taurus pendant. Next I have an adorable tiny magnifying glass, a very useful keychain and the only thing missing was a small sample of local sweets that I could not resist taking with me when I went off on my holidays (I'm a sucker for sweets, can you blame me?)

Upon examining and trying on the Taurus pendant, I realized how truly exquisite and unique it is. It is made using a new technique of engraving 24kt gold onto semi-precious stones, such as cubic zirconia and onyx. The engraving is tiny and when you use the magnifying glass to enlarge it, you see the wonderful craftsmanship that went into seamlessly merging gold with crystal into a final piece.

So without further ado, here are the pictures I took from everything that came into the mail.




Knowing my poor skills at taking great pictures and possibly not giving this piece justice, here is a link to the Taurus zirconia pendant that I received. The one I have is made of clear crystal, but look at the other mesmerizing colors available in blue topaz, opalite and light amethyst as well.

I had a tough time deciding between clear crystal and amethyst, but finally I went with crystal, figuring that this is the color that matches pretty much every top or dress that I will wear no matter the occasion.

Oh btw, don't forget to check out their Facebook fanpage and Twitter page and sign up to their newsletter which will keep you updated with any new collection that they bring out. It's worth keeping an eye on their new stuff.

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Chainmail Bracelet For Men - Sold  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The latest jewelry piece I've sold was one that really took me a lot of time and silver. Not sure if I'll ever attempt another one so detailed, intricate ... and heavy.

Made of pure sterling silver, the chainmail weave for the bracelet is called Turkish round, and I've saved some of the pictures of the piece before selling it off in my Dawanda shop.

The size is 20 cm (8.5 inches) and it's really one of the heaviest bracelets I've ever created. Each silver ring was hand-sawn by me and interlaced with each other to create this long bracelet chain.

 

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15% Sale Discount On Selected Jewelry In My Shop  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Now until end of July you can get 15% off from selected pieces in my shop.

It is extremely hot here in Cyprus this summer, we have our electricity cut off every day a couple of hours due to the explosion that happened here just a few weeks earlier (where several people also lost their lives), so the situation is rather grim.

In this extreme heat I simply can't keep working on making new pieces, it drains me physically and emotionally (try to do anything in 41C indoors and you'll see what I'm talking about).

So instead I've decided to let you have some of the custom jewelry I have crafted earlier at a super sales price. This way I still get to fondly touch the necklaces, earrings and other pieces, at least, as I pack them for you in a gift box before sending them to you with free shipping... all over the world.

Here is the direct link to the sales items in the shop for easy access: http://en.dawanda.com/shop/MarikaJewelry?in_sale=1

P.S. See you there and don't forget, in August the prices will go back up, so why not take advantage of the great prices while the sales lasts?

P.P.S. Somebody please send me over a bit of rain, some wind and a few degrees less...

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Freya Earrings - YOJ 2011 - Week 8  

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ok catching up. Just 2 weeks behind...

Following  Week 7, here is the new entry for week 8. This time the theme was about the Goddess Freya. Having looked online at some pictures of her, I've noticed that in many cases she is depicted with flaming red hair. Red earrings go well with read heads, hence the new pair of earrings. I've bought a while ago two gorgeous ruby red jade briolettes which just begged to be used somehow.

I based this pair on one of my previous earrings that I have listed in my shop, except I borrowed from KSJewellery's tutorial the idea of curling up the wire ends as they look neater this way, and added a cross-cross wire wrapping to fill up the inner side.

Measurements are 5.5 cm length including the earwires. I love this pair of brios, they're truly beautiful with their flaming red color.

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Honey Candy Earrings - YOJ 2011 - Week 7  

I'm a bit behind with this project due to lack of time, so I'm trying to play catch-up with this
This week's project is 'something to talk about'. Not quite sure how this pair of silver earrings fit the theme, but I definitely like to talk about the tutorial by Kristin Smith based on which I made this pair. It's a great tutorial and it's easy too. What I like about it is that it lends itself to many different possibilities. I think I'm going to use this more often in my pieces.

The earrings are made of sterling silver and honey colored glass briolettes. Hence the name, honey candy earrings. They are rather tiny at only 4.5 cm long including the earwires, so perfect for the most petites among us. Quite delicate, even though my picture taking skills don't show it fully.

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Recently Sold Jewelry  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Here are a few jewelry pieces that I have sold recently. I haven't really worked on my shop recently, so I am really glad for Dawanda that it exposed my jewelry pieces to people to see. Once I'll get some extra free time, I will spend more time and effort in promotions.
















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Week 6 - Year Of Jewelry Project 2001 - Amore  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm not quite sure of this pendant, to be honest. It started from an old pendant tutorial by Magda B. however I chose to wrap it differently in the end to match the theme of week 6, which is amore, or love. I call this piece Love Bound Heart. It features a green pillow prehnite bead (I think anyway) and a red Swarovski crystal which has a really deep red color. Finally it has a few different sizes of silver beads as adornment. I think I'll keep this piece for myself as I am not quite happy with the final result.




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Week 5 - Year Of Jewelry Project 2001 - Down and Dirty  

Monday, February 28, 2011

This is for week 5 at the YOJP 2011. I initially thought that the bead is a carnelian but it turns out it's a fire agate. Regardless, I quite like this stone. It's a rather big one with some gorgeous patterns on it. I chose to give it a rather simple border wrap and just a tad of eccentricity with an extra side pony tail :) I will add this piece to my shop soon.




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Week 4 - Year Of Jewelry Project 2001 - Wild And Wicked  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

For week 4 I made an experiment with a new tutorial that I bought recently made by Telia Formosa . However I'm not too happy about the border wrap as it's not very secure, so finally I've dismantled this wrap entirely and will try it again with something that keeps this heavy stone stronger.

The stone was cabbed by me with my Ameritool cabbing machine about 2 years ago. The stone is quite heavy and it comes from a slab that I got a while back from a friend. It's really a great stone but quite tough to cab nicely. Will present later on something else once I figure one how to keep it sturdy with a secure wrap.

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Week 3 - Year Of Jewelry Project 2011 - Mixed Media  

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Here is my week 3 entry for this jewelry project. Silver wire wrapped frame surrounded by bone beads purchased a while ago from Australia and with a nice yellow jade briolette. 

Not quite sure now I feel about it, it's a bit too funky for my taste.I was thinking of sunshine and of the spring that will come real soon.  I do miss spring a lot :)

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Week 2 - Year Of Jewelry Project 2001 - Eclipse  

Friday, January 28, 2011

Here is the belated upload for week two of Year of Jewelry Project 2011. A bit delayed due to some onion chopping (say finger tip chopping) accident the other day...Anyway here it is, using a beautiful handmade lampwork bead and silver wire and beads.



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Joined The Year Of Jewelry Project 2011 - New Beginnings  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

After watching from the sidelines for the last couple of years, I've decided to actually join in the fun at the Year of Jewelry Project 2011. My goal is to improve greatly my wire wrapping skills once I've finished the year. I just hope I can keep up with a project a week until then :)

The first week's theme is called New Beginnings, and I created this pendant with 2 new beginnings in mind. For one, I've actually used for the first time balled up wire for the pendant frame. Until now I only used it for silver headpins. Click here if you want to learn how to create your headpins using a simple gas stove technique.

Also for the first time I actually designed this pendant from scratch. I did a few designs on paper, then I created something in brass wire, measured it, created it again for about 2 times, and when I was satisfied that it was a workable idea, I've created it in sterling silver. So this is definitely something new for me. It's fun to go through the creative process and come up with something other than simply following some tutorials and apply your own twist to them.






The pendant is using chrysoprase as the focal briolette gem, silver stardust and some tiny green crystals which I'm not quite sure what they are. The are translucent when hold against the light. The entire silver pendant length is about 2 inches, around 4.5 cm long including the bail.

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Holidays work - 2 silver pendants  

Sunday, January 2, 2011




During the last few days I've worked on two new pendants, as I wanted to learn a few new techniques. Lots of places for improvement, I can see that, but as a first attempt, I could have done worse. The first pendant is using goldstone as focal bead and the second one has dyed purple freshwater pearls. Both pieces have been oxidized.

From tomorrow is regular work again, however I do intend to work more on wire wrapping this year. I'll try to do one new jewelry piece every weekend if I can get the time. I see that every time I leave jewelry making for a while, I always have to start from the basics as I get rusty.

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