Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Best Metals For those of Us With Metal Allergies

I have thought about this for a long time as I have allergies to some metals in ear wires. I have to wear metals with no nickel at all. I have read that even some sterling can have a bit of nickel in it so those of us who make jewelry for others have to be sure of our sources. Be sure to buy sterling from reputable sellers who verify that it is nickle free.  I found some great info online about the best metals to use especially for ear wires as they do more than just lay on the skin like a bracelet or necklace. I have decided to go with black niobium and copper as they are both 99.99% pure and have no nickel in them. When asked  I can also make sterling silver ear wires as I know my silver has no nickel in it. Here is some great info I found from a lovely artist who strives to create nickel-free jewelry as I do.

Safe Metals 

Niobium
Niobium is 99.99% pure. It does not react to skin chemistry, and will never corrode or tarnish. It is the safest metal for allergy sufferers to wear. It is used for surgical implants. From a jeweler’s point of view Niobium is fabulous because it can be easily shaped, is as strong as steel, and has a natural shine. It can be anodized to be a rainbow of colors. 

It is a pure element, not combined with any other metal. It does not cause problems that alloys may cause.  Even if you have never been able to wear metal jewelry comfortably, you will be able to wear Niobium. 

Argentium Sterling Silver
Argentium Sterling Silver, also called Argentium Silver or Non-Tarnish Silver, is made of 93.5% pure silver, even a little more than traditional Sterling Silver. It also contains about the same amount of copper, but it also has a small amount of germanium. Germanium acts as a hardener, and has the added benefit of making the silver tarnish-resistant. It is guaranteed to be nickel-free. It is actually whiter and brighter than Platinum and White Gold, and maintains its shine with very little care.

Brass and Bronze
Brass is made of copper and zinc. Bronze is made of copper and tin. These are nickel-free and beautiful all by themselves. Bare metals or oxidized metals are nickel-free, and beautiful to wear. 

Modern-day brass is not produced with lead, although it never hurts to ask. Avoid “antique” brass, or brass of uncertain origin. If it passes your questions, wear it and enjoy!

Pewter
Pewter might be considered to be the inverse of bronze. Instead of copper with a little tin, it is tin with a little copper. This may be an oversimplification since other minor ingredients may include antimony, bismuth, or silver, but it is decidedly nickel-free. Tin, itself has quite a noble history, and is actually classified as a precious metal. Although pewter used to be combined with lead, it no longer is. Avoid “antique” pewter, or pewter of uncertain origin. Ask your questions, and enjoy wearing this versatile metal.

99.9% Pure Copper
Pure copper is allergy-safe. If you can be certain it has not been alloyed with nickel, it’s lovely to wear. Enameled or oxidized copper is generally fine, though be cautious of “antique” plating, as I mentioned under Brass and Bronze. It does tarnish easily, and may turn your skin green.

Metals to be Cautious About 

Sterling Silver
Although 925 Sterling Silver is often nickel-free, it is not always nickel-free. To me, that is a big difference. What the number means is that 92.5% of the metal is pure silver, the remaining 7.5% is copper, and trace elements of some other metal that is used as a hardener. This trace metal may be zinc, tin, boron, lithium, germanium, platinum, indium, or it may be nickel. If it is guaranteed by the supplier to be free of nickel, you can enjoy it for years to come. 

Surgical Stainless Steel
Although Surgical Stainless Steel does not cause a reaction in many people, it does in fact contain 8% to 12% nickel. This nickel is chemically bound to the other metal that is there, so that, in theory, it does not leech out into the skin.  You may or may not have any problems with wearing Surgical Stainless Steel. If you can wear it without problems, it can be a nice option. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Art Elements Component of the Month Reveal

Woo hoo! I am excited about this reveal as the components are so unique and awesome. I love Lindsay's work! She said she was trying something new - making leather cabochons - but I can't tell she is new at it. They are fantastic! So, I entered and was selected to be a participant in the January component of the Month Reveal. Yay!

Here are some pics of the pieces she made. I hope you don't mind me sharing them, Lindsay. They are so awesome. When you see my work you will easily see which cabochon I got in the mail from Lindsay.




At first viewing of the cabs online I thought they would be perfect for a free form aboriginal design in seed beads. Can't you see that in the dotted designs on the cabs? But when I received my piece the rounded edges lent it to a more organic shape. Often times, I do let the focal decide where it wants to go. I had picked out all sorts of beads large and small in anticipation of the cab coming in the mail. All shades of browns and oranges and off white. Jaspers of all shapes and some dizi beads and bone.  I always gather more beads than I need and lots of choices. I had a plan! LOL
 But when I got it under my Ott light I realized it had more of a berry tone to it. So, I went back to digging in my beads and came out with some garnet rounds and some seed beads that blended with it. I had to order more garnet in a smaller size, too. I hope you all are not disappointed. So often the focal bead will direct the path of the creation.  I'm not sure if I will complete it as a bracelet, necklace or a brooch. Do you all have any ideas?  I thought maybe a necklace with flowing fringe at the bottom in small seed beads. But it would make a fab bracelet, too! Awesome work Lindsay. And thanks for selecting me to participate.
Without further ado......................





Niky

Sunday, October 2, 2016

2016 Beads of Courage Art Charm Exchange Blog Hop and Charity Auction!!

Please forgive me for posting late. I have had some household issues as well as a back injury. It has been crazy here! But here we go.

 Almost Almost every year, (2015 was skipped), Jen Cameron hosts The Art Charm Exchange which benefits Beads of Courage! We make 11 charms- 10 to swap and 1 Jen sells on ebay to benefit Beads of Courage. Beads of Courage is an AMAZING charity that gives beads as milestones to children who reach treatment milestones while they are staying or having a visit to the hospital. These patients then get to turn their beads or charms into necklaces. More beads = more treatment milestones = a longer necklace. I believe in 2014 we raised over $1,500 to donate to Beads of Courage! For more information on Beads of Courage, (BoC), please click here to visit their website

Each year a theme is chosen to work with, and Jen decided that for 2016 it was Fairytales. Each participant makes 11 themed charms. 1 charm is auctioned off with proceeds going to a chosen charity. The other 10 charms are sorted and exchanged by Jen among the other 10 participants.
 The Buried Moon  
So, my theme was the Moon. Lovely, sweet moon is on so many fairytales from the Cow Jumped Over The Moon to this one which is one of my faves.   The Buried Moon  
So, here are pics  of my moons made out of poly clay and dusted with glittery colors. and of the wonderful charms I received. I loved them all! They were all imaginative and wonderfully done. Enjoy the auction for a worthy cause. And thanks for having me as a participant.








Monday, October 26, 2015

Forgive My Forgetfulness

I forgot to update you all about Jessie who is fine! She had kidney failure last April for which the treatment ran into the next few months. I am just grateful to have found a doctor who was willing to give me the tools I needed to treat her. As well as doing research he provided me with saline fluid and blood pressure medicine to give her while her body righted itself. The saline fluids had to be given twice a day for the first two weeks then as she began to get better test results we went down to once a day the twice a week then weaned her off of fluids. It was truly a miracle as her urea levels were so high. She is the best dog I ever have had. She is just so silly and fun and sweet. So all the prayers and good energy and wishes sent her way were SO appreciated.   Thank you all who love dogs and sent us good will.

I am now readying my house for sale hopefully to downsize in preparation for retirement. Good thoughts on that account are greatly appreciated, too. Much love
Patty

Sunday, September 20, 2015

New Business Name

Hi all and thanks to everyone who has opted  to follow me over the years. <3
I have thought for a very long time that my old business name ( cabaribeads ) has been confusing to pronounce and to spell for lots of folks. So, today I have changed it to Miya Beads. Simple and sweet.
There are many spelling of the name Miya - the main one being Maya but that one was taken on Etsy so i chose another. This is a goddess name and the meanings of all the spelling are wonderful so I am happy with this change.  You can check out Miya meanings here.

I will need new business cards but the ease this simple spelling will bring will be worth it.

I still am not up to full speed in my shop - no made to order items yet. i am hoping to sell my house in the next few months and am working to get it ready. I need to downsize in preparation for retirement. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! So, I am running towards it. Maybe 3 years but I want to do everything I can to get ready. When my big house sells I can start saving $ and retire sooner. At which time I will open all facets of my Etsy store. Thanks to all for your kind patience and don't give up on me. More beads and copper etchings to come.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

One Huge Custom Order

For a wedding. Sigh....I love weddings.  I have a friend I met on my job and she told me one day that she was planning on buying some crystals to put on three chandeliers she had spray painted rubbed bronze. What a labor of love and boy did they  turn out beautiful. Well, I said I have lots of crystals that I am not using. Most of them are vintage and all are Swarovski crystals. Would she like some of them? When we got together I showed her some of my huge crystal stash and shared a few ideas I had on how they could be used and lo and behold she hired me to do 54 crystal dangles for 3 chandeliers for her daughter's wedding. So, far it has taken me about 14 hours to do all of these and I just realized I need 6 more for the burnt orange group! LOL
Here is a sneak preview. I will hopefully get photos when they are on the chandeliers. Her daughter is an artist so I hope she will like these.What do you think so far?

chandelier #1
 close up of #1
 potential centerpiece for #1
 2nd potential for #1
 chandelier #2
 close up #2
 chandelier #2

 chandelier #3
 close up #3
 potential center piece #3

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Update on Jessie

Thank you all for thinking of Jessie. She is home and is eating and drinking. The ultrasound of her kidneys that was done yesterday was normal in appearance. But last she was tested her urea levels were sky high. That means her system is being poisoned.I am taking her to a new vet today at 3:00 and hopefully he will find some answers. Thanks so much for your prayers. She is the love of my life. <3
Patty
 7 months old
 7 months old
 growing up?
 sweet baby Jessie
trouble maker Jessie