Thursday, July 18, 2013
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Monday, July 8, 2013
This summer we finally took a vacation to Europe. This was a trip which was in the making for seven years. Our family had wanted to go to Europe, especially Italy and Paris, since I was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. Trip adviser was our tour guide and we did all our planning based on its reviews.
We loved Rome, Florence and Venice while in Italy and by the time we boarded the overnight train from Venice to Paris, we were convinced that Paris was going to fall short of our expectations. Rome, Florence and Venice all were so unique and different both from each other and from anything else we had seen. The trip was short but sweet and by the time we learned to say “Grazie,” it was time to learn “Merci.”
When we reached Paris early in the morning, we immediately fell in love. From the gourmet pastries to the crepes – the food was excellent. Don’t miss Passage Brady for great Indian food.
We started our evening with the Arc de Triomphe, followed by the Eiffel Tower. The Arc de Triomphe was full of people with different agendas. Some Canadian students were protesting the fact that there were not enough opportunities to study abroad. Lots of very talented artists were singing and dancing, entertaining the crowd. As we started to walk towards the Eiffel Tower, a bunch of hawkers wanted to sell us mini Eiffel Towers: 5 for 1 Euro. The deal was too good to pass on. We spent time eating munchies in the park by the Eiffel Tower. Even though we were done exploring by 7:30 PM, we wanted to hang around until it got dark because we HAD to see the blinking Eiffel Tower. Even at 9 PM, there was too much sunlight to enjoy the blinking Eiffel Tower in all its glory. We decided to pass the hour until 10 PM (it blinks on the hour) on a Seine River cruise. We enjoyed the cruise thoroughly – seeing the youth on the banks of the river, enjoying the warm weather in the Latin Quarters as it became dark was a mesmerizing moment. It was past 10 PM by the time we got off, but we knew we would be able to watch the 11 PM blinking of the Eiffel Tower.
When it actually happened on the dot at 11 PM, we were mesmerized by the sheer blinking of the Tower, which lit up the whole city. Who would have thought we could have the Eiffel Tower blink?! I wondered how we can make it blink 24/7!!! The next day while walking at Champs Elysees I found the answer at the Swarovski Store. Yes, it is possible… just bring down the Swarovski Factory from Austria! Do you agree? :)
Monday, July 1, 2013
If you a jewelry designer, you know you are short changing yourself if you do not know how to wire wrap. Though it’s easy to learn how to wire wrap, it takes some experience to pick the right wire and tools.
Factors to consider when choosing your wire are:
Once you have decided on the design of your favorite project, the above criteria will determine which wire you should use.
Wire comes in different material: sterling silver, silver filled, 14Kt. Gold, 14Kt. Gold-filled, Rose Gold-filled, and German Style Wire by Beadalon. If you are making jewelry where the metal used is Sterling it’s best to go with Sterling Silver wire. If the main components are Gold-Filled, then you want Gold-Filled wire. If you are mainly dealing with Gemstone beads and need a silver tone wire, but don’t want the plating to wear off, its best to use Silver-Filled wire, which is substantially cheaper than Sterling Silver but still holds pretty good. For jewelry that is gold tone it’s still best to use Gold-Filled wire because it will hold its color very well. The material you use will determine the cost of the jewelry since gold wire and silver wire are not cheap.
If you are a beginner we suggest you use German Style Wire, which is inexpensive. Since it takes a while to get the hang of wire wrapping there might be wastage as you perfect the technique. German Style Wire comes in many finishes.
The rule is the thicker the wire, the lower the gauge. The thickness of the wire comes into play when we weigh in the weight of the other materials (no pun intended). If the beads, chain or other components are heavy, use the thickest (lowest gauge) wire so that it can support the weight. The size of the loop or hole of the bead is important too. The wire should freely move through the wire or hole to give the jewelry fluidity.
Wire also comes as soft or half hard. If the wire is thick you want to use soft wire, as it’s easier to bend. For thinner wire, use half hard as it holds its shape better.
Wire comes round, half round and square. Depending on its application choose the right shape. Round wire is the most versatile and popular wire.
The same parameters will hold true for head pins and eye pins.
Basic tools for all wire wrapping are:
Round Nose Pliers
Chain nose PliersFlush cutter