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Friday, September 10, 2010

All that glitters is Goldstone?? May be!!

I have always been fond of things which have slight glitter in them. So there is no wonder why I like this beautiful stone called ‘GoldStone’ so much. Their glittery glow that comes from within, makes them look so gorgeous without being gaudy. The stone almost looks like a clear star studded night.

Goldstone is often mistaken as a natural gemstone. It is, rather, a glass with copper flecks in it. Goldstone was created accidentally in the European Renaissance period, when alchemists were trying to create gold.

Goldstone was originally made by monks in Italy, and due to this association with monastery, it is often used in religious jewelry.

For making Goldstone, copper salts are added to brown colored liquid glass in low oxygen atmosphere. As the glass cools, salts turn into copper crystals.

It is abundantly available in reddish goldstone and dark blue goldstone, but there is a relatively less available green goldstone as well.

Goldstone is said to promote calmness and stability.
My nature inspired Goldstone jewelry collection is available for sale at ETSY.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tutorial - How to make your own ETSY shop Banner with your pictures using Picasa

A banner speaks a lot about a seller's personality and its products. Keeping it simple, tidy, and beautiful would generate more customer interest. Some people might not like to go further down when the first thing they see in your shop doesn’t look very inviting. So, without any further delay, lets make a simple shop banner using Picasa.

Picasa is a very helpful photo editing tool that can be used very easily to make a banner. I’ll try to explain all steps in detail, but if there is something that u don’t understand or if I have missed any step, write down in the comments below.

  1. Before you start, you must have Picasa set up on your computer. You would also need your favourite picture saved on the desktop of your computer. I prefer to use a picture of my own jewelry.
  2. The picture should be larger than 100 pixels high X 760 pixels wide, else the banner would come out blurred. Set your camera to high picture size before taking the pic.
  3. Open the Picasa application and add your pic to picasa. For this go to file --> add file to picasa. Select your photo from the desktop. I'll be using my favorite flowers photo as an example. The pic will open in the right hand side.
  4. Double click the pic to open the editing tool. Following window will open, ofcourse with your own picture :-)
  5. Click on ‘CROP’ in the left hand side panel.
  6. Select ‘Add Custom Aspect ratio’ from the drop down menu.
  7. In the window that appears, put the dimensions as 760 x 100. For your reference, you can even put ‘ETSY BANNER’ in the name.
  8. Select any one of the horizontal selections that come and click ‘Apply’.
  9. If you want, you can move the selected portion up or down by holding the left key of the mouse and moving the mouse up or down.
  10. Now select ‘TEXT’ from the left hand side panel.
  11. Select your favourite font and font size from the drop down menu. I like to use ‘Pristina’ and font size 96. You can also do other style adjustments like Bold, Italics, Underline and alignment. You can also change text color.
  12. Click anywhere on the picture and print your text there.
  13. Hover your mouse over the text until u see a small hand and a circle. Hold your mouse over the arrow and you can adjust the size and location of your text by moving ur mouse. Play around with it to find your perfect selection.
  14. Click on 'APPLY' to embed this text to your picture.
  15. Your new shop banner is ready. Save it on desktop to upload it to your shop. For saving, click on File --> Save as . Then save it on your desktop or any other favourite location.

Yippie, you just made to your shop banner with your favourite photo and your favourite text. Upload it to your shop like any other banner.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Treasure of Ammolite

On my recent trip to Alaska and Canada, one color drenched thing that really caught my eye was a gemstone called Ammolite. Without a doubt, I had never seen such a beautiful stone, such bright rainbow colors in one stone. It resembled an Opal, but much more color intensified. I have found some fun facts about this beautiful stone and the reason why it is so expensive.

1) It is one on only three organic gemstones (Ammolite, Pearl, and Amber).
2) Ammolite is a very soft gemstone, only 4.5-5 on the Mohs Scale.
3) It is arguably the rarest gemstone on earth, rivaling the rarity of such gemstones as alexandrite and red diamonds.
4) The gemstone is found primarily along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains of the United States and Canada.
5) The price of this gemstone is rapidly rising (between 2000 and 2005 it averaged about a 40% increase per year) and its limited quantities make this gem a great investment.
6) Feng Shui followers believe Ammolite has the power to detoxify the body and improve overall well being by improving the body’s flow if energy.
7) Ammolite is sold in four grades according to its color and brilliance.
AA - exhibits three or more brilliant sharp colors.
A+ - a stone that displays two or three bright colors.
A - exhibits two or more play of colors.
Standard - exhibits one or more distinct colors