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Holy Guacamole Collection

Guacamole is So Much More Appetizing

I had a feeling this was going to happen. While I like the whole Ketchup on Steak Collection concept and idea, the image isn’t exactly one that makes you want to buy jewelry. Especially when the jewelry is green. But, the name did get me over the hump of being reluctant to go forward with this collection.

I should have stuck with my original plan and waited it out until I got deeper into the collection before I named it. 

This Silver and Mosaic Turquoise Ring Did it For Me

I liked the sketch, and idea of this ring, but I had no idea how much I would like it until I saw it finished. I mean, look at that band!!! It’s a mosaic of tiny little sterling silver bits that have been hand-stamped with dots.

To be honest, I was skeptical because I’m not very fond of working with stones with squared corners. In fact, in my recent Tucson shopping spree I chose mostly stones that were rounded for that reason. But, a few did sneak in.

I guess I should know to never say never.

To say that I am loving the pieces that are coming out of this collection is an understatement. You know I had to do an eye, or two. I didn’t use texture as much in the last collection and I missed it. So, texture is back in full force…it just adds so much more, don’t you think?

I have a few smaller pairs of stones that I’d planned to use for earrings in the collection but as I started to show sneak peeks of finished pieces on my Instagram, I quickly realized that I needed more. Having spent my budget in Tucson, buying additional stones was out fo the question.

So, I put on my thinking cap and got out my lapidary saw and grinding equipment.

One Pair Becomes Two Pair

I took this pair of oval cabochons, cut them in half, then beveled and polished the edge to form two pair that worked perfectly as earrings. I had another Holy Guacamole! moment. 

They look substantial, but they’re still lightweight. And I was able to include matching mosaic and hand-ribbed elements without getting too big.

I’m still looking at these in disbelief that I made them.

Ketchup on Steak Jewelry Collection Inspiration

How's that for a Collection Title?

I’m going to be honest with you here…I’m nervous about putting this collection out into the world. But, in an effort to be true to myself, I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone and jumping off the cliff.

In reality, it’s not a big deal. The only thing I really have to lose is a bunch of my time that it will take to create it. I don’t know why I create these silly stories in my head.

Here’s the thing…the stones that I’m going to be using aren’t 100% formed naturally like a lot of other stones that I use. In fact, I cannot tell you exactly how they were made. I do know that they contain turquoise that has been reconstituted into a composite with copper, maybe another metal, and maybe even some dye. Cringe. There it is. I said it.

I was reassured that they don’t fade. My stone dealer is reputable, and I trust them.

I’ve really been struggling with this, y’all. When I create any type of art I’m all about durability and longevity. I want my pieces to be able to withstand anything that comes their way, short of being run over by a truck, or abused or mishandled in some other extreme way. I can also be kind of a purist when it comes to materials, which is kind of funny because I used to work with polymer clay, which is a plastic. (I still love polymer, though).

But when I started my shopping for the year at the Quartzsite show I saw these stones and fell in love with them. I resisted getting them because of my reservations. I also had never bought from this vendor, and they were from out of the country and I didn’t want to take a chance on something that I couldn’t return easily if they didn’t work out.

A couple weeks later I went to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and there they were again. This time I found them at my regular dealer’s booth, and the cuts and finishing was even better. I bit my lip, walked around and had a little conversation in my head. Then I heard my husband’s voice:

“If you like it, you like it. Who cares if they say you shouldn’t eat ketchup on steak? Eat what you like.”

That man can spit some pretty wise words sometimes when I’m being such a rule-follower. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t eat ketchup on steak at a fancy place because there are too many other good, expensive things I can get on top. But give me a regular old grocery store steak at home? I’m all about the Heinz 57.

So that’s how the collection name came about. It has me thinking a lot about why we do the things we do, and how we can miss out on things we like because we care too much about what other people think. My resounding conclusion has been, F%$@ it. Life’s too short. That seems to be a common theme with me these days.

I love these damn little stones, and if I want to put them into jewelry, I’m going to do it. I hope that you love what I come up with. I’ll be sharing more about the process and inspiration as the days go by, leading up to the collection debut.

Maybe You’re Not Allergic to Metals in Jewelry

Do Your Ears Itch When You Put in Earrings?

I had my ears pierced way back in high school and everything was OK. I won’t go into the time that my dad tried to pierce my ears with a needle and ice, with his giant fingers and my tiny ear lobes.

I even got a piercing way up on my ear in the cartilage and enjoyed that for a while. It was the late 70s and double-piercing your ear lobes was just starting to be a thing, so I did that too. That didn’t go so well.

They got really sore and I couldn’t wear earrings in those holes. I don’t know the exact progression of things but at some point I couldn’t even wear the first, regular piercings. As soon as I’d put earrings in my ear lobes would start to itch, and turn bright red.

I’d heard of people being allergic to metals and I thought that was what had happened to me, too. So I stopped wearing earrings. For about THIRTY years!

It wasn't an Allergy to Metals - And I Can Wear Earrings Again

Fast forward to the wonderful internet era. I was on a message board and the subject came up. A fellow artist, who was also a nurse, said it could be an infection, not an allergy. She suggested putting Bacitracin, or a triple antibiotic cream on my ear lobes and also on my ear wires before putting them in.

Would you believe that it worked? I did that and no itching!

At first it was a temporary fix because if I didn’t do the ointment, my ears would itch again. But, after I did it for a while, I tried without the ointment and would you believe that now I don’t even have to do that? I’ve only tried it with sterling silver ear wires that I make, so I don’t know what happens with base metals, or other metal compositions.

You Should Try It

If, at some point you started being unable to wear earrings, and think you’ve developed an allergy, you should give this a try. It can’t hurt you, other than the itchiness or other reaction you usually have if it truly is an allergy.

Of course, if you have big reactions, or if you’re sensitive to a Bacitracin or Triple Antibiotic ointment, don’t try this.

Good luck. I hope it works for you, and I’d love to hear if it does. I can say that I’m really happy that I can wear earrings again. 

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