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Long time, no post

This is just a quick note to say yes, I am still making jewelry, even though I have not updated this blog in a blue moon. If you are interested in following updates, coupons, sales and offers, the two best places to look are now the official Sihaya Designs Facebook and my personal twitter feed, @sihayadesigns.  See you around the web!

Warmly,

Christina

Sihaya Designs Choose Your Stone Commissions!

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As I have done several times in the past, February is the perfect time to run a “choose your stone” commission run!  I have photographed all of my available labradorite and druzy. Here’s how it works:
1. You got to my flickr album and click on the individual pictures of stones you’re interested in. Each individual picture has a caption that describes the stone’s size and any other relevant details. Here’s the album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sihaya09/sets/72157632854027627/

2. You tell me you want it. First come, first served!

3. After you reserve, you convo me on Etsy to tell me what you’d like to do with it. This includes telling me what metal(s) you’d like, any design specifics, if you’d like other gemstone drops or accents. If you need some ideas, I have an album of previous labradorite jewelry here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sihaya09/sets/72157626883372409/

4. I will tell you a price. The minimum price will be $75, and will increase by how much metal I need, the complexity of the design, gemstone accents, special considerations, etc.

5. You pay up-front, and in 3 weeks or less you have your made-for-you Sihaya Designs original!

If you have any questions, you can tweet me, ask on facebook, or email me at christina@sihayadesigns.com !

Clearing the Cobwebs Sale 2013! 20% off Sihaya Designs Jewelry

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Exactly what it says on the tin! The Autumn update will be launching in approximately two weeks, and I need to make some room.  20% off all orders during the sale period, excluding custom orders. Have any questions? Please contact me at christina@sihayadesigns.com !

For those of you who have never used a coupon code via Etsy before, it can be a bit confusing to find it the first time. Hopefully this will help. Click to embiggen!

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Want 15% off at Sihaya Designs? July is Customer Appreciation Month!

Keys to the Summer Kingdom

 

Last week the first update of the summer landed, with many seaborne reliquaries, shimmering waves, and warm-weather greens.

If you’ve been a fan of Sihaya Designs for a year or more, you probably know that in July, we run a Customer Appreciation promo. This year, I’ll be upholding the tradition, running it again.

Here’s how it works: 

– You have from now until 11:59pm on July 31st to send a picture of you wearing a piece of your Sihaya Designs jewelry to christina@sihayadesigns.com. Please make sure “Customer Appreciation Photo” is in the subject of your email, so it doesn’t get eaten by spam filters. If you prefer, you can also send it to me in an Etsy convo.

– In return, I will email you a 15% off coupon, good on any one (non-custom) order until the end of August.

– Please keep in mind that I often publish pictures sent in to my blog; if you would prefer that I not publish yours, please let me know.

— You can also browse the Customers of Sihaya Designs gallery, which features some of the submissions from past years.

Thank you all so much for your support throughout the years! I hope you love your shinies!

Warmly,
Christina

Fuchsia Holographic Faery Wings!

Fuchsia Holographic Faery Wings

 

Have you seen these new fuchsia holographic faery wings?  While I was out and about in Ellicott City, MD with my husband last month, I came upon a store that had a dizzying array of interesting glitters. I fell in love with one that exactly matches my hair, and also has some lovely holographic sparkle, as well.

I just posted my first batch of the resulting wings over at the shop, with opalescent white crystals, aurora borealis crystals, and crystals that color-shift.  Of course, if you’d like a custom pair, those are available as well.

Here are a few quick snaps!

Fuchsia Holographic Faery Wings

Color-shifting crystals in the classic design.

Fuchsia Holographic Faery Wings

White opal crystals in the “fancy’ double-swirl design.

What do you think? Do these hot pink stunners call out to you?

Warmly,

Christina

A Few Notes on International Shipping

A few notes on international shipping: I use Etsy’s wonderful shipping widget, which both allows me to ship more cheaply to you (because it gives me a business rate) and more efficiently (because it fills out all my forms for me, like magic). The address you put in when you purchase an item is the address that goes on the envelope. The only thing I do is weigh the package and choose the mail class. Which I think is pretty cool– it saves me hours of time during my week, and allows me to pack my orders much more quickly.

What I charge for shipping covers only postage (which sadly has nearly doubled for international customers) plus about a dollar for gift packaging and a bubble mailer. It does not cover your country’s customs fees.

And tangentially related– since Etsy’s shipping widget is so marvelous, it fills out the customs forms for me. But what this means is that there is no way for me to edit the value of your item. If you made a $40 purchase, the customs form reads $40 value. I am sorry, but I cannot reduce this to avoid customs fees outside the US.

Please let me know if you have any other questions regarding international shipping. I’d love to answer your questions!

Warmly,

Christina

Tutorial! How to Seal Images for Resin

From time to time, I’ll be offering fun tutorials on my blog to inspire your own craftiness. Of course, if you’re not of a crafty bent, I am always available for custom work, and to put your beautiful images in a keepsake piece just for you.

Aisha Necklace

 

First up: how to seal images for use in resin pendants. One of the many ways you can use resin is to create a custom piece of jewelry using an interesting picture or a photo of a loved one. But watch out! It’s not quite as simple as just cutting out your picture and coating it with resin.

Before you begin, you want to make sure your photo will fit in the bezel. Many commercially-produced bezels come in standard sizes that correspond to common craft paper punches. For this tutorial, I am using a Nunn Design Grande bezel, which corresponds to a 1 1/2″ oval punch. If you are planning on creating several round or oval pendants, you may want to acquire a few, as they make matching your photo to the bezel super easy.

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If you don’t have a paper punch, that’s okay. Place your bezel to your image and use a pencil to lightly mark the shape you want to cut out. The tricky part is that you’ll have to cut slightly inside your markings, and you will likely have to trim several times to get a perfect match. Take your time with this step so you have a good fit.

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Once you have your image ready to go, there are two main ways to seal your image so that it won’t get ruined when you pour your resin over it.

The first way is the quickie way: you can sandwich the image between two pieces of clear packing tape. Once the image is secure between the tape pieces, trim around the edges, and then seal the edges with a white glue so that resin doesn’t seep in. Place a dot of glue at the bottom of your bezel, apply your image, and then pour the resin once it’s ready. I tend not to do this, as you can often see the shininess of the tape beneath the cured resin, and it’s not an effect I particularly care for.

The second way I’ve found looks a bit better once your resin has cured, but it takes a bit longer to complete.

First, place your image against a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil. Coat it with a thin layer of sealant. My favorite sealant is good old fashioned Mod Podge. I’ve tried lots of different sealants and nothing beats it. Don’t be worried if your sealant goes on white or opaque. It will dry clear.

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Wait ten minutes, and then coat the back of the image. It’s important to note that resin will seep in and discolor any part of the image that is not sealed completely watertight, so be careful to get a nice coating over everything.

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Wait another ten minutes, and coat the inside of your bezel. Place your image in, and then go over it with a final coat to make sure the edges of your image are completely sealed in.

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Wait a half-hour to make sure everything is completely dry. If your sealant isn’t dry, then the seal won’t hold, and your image will be discolored.

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Mix your resin per the package’s instructions, and then fill the bezel. While your resin is still fresh and pliable, you can add any inclusions you’d like. For this pendant, I’ve added three tiny Swarovski Crystal rhinestones.

A note about resin: my absolute favorite resin is Susan Lenart Kazmer’s Ice Resin– it’s the only resin I currently use. I tend to mix up an ounce at a time and do several pendants in a batch to minimize waste.

If you’d like a domed finish, pour a second thin layer of resin one day later, unless you are skilled at judging how to create the dome in one pour. It takes practice!

If you notice any bubbles, you can gently pop them with a toothpick or a pin. Another trick is to gently pass a flame a half-inch over the surface of your pendant. The heat will draw the bubbles closer to the surface, and they will either pop on their own or be much easier to pop with a pin. Be sure to work quickly here—you only have about 45 minutes before your resin becomes too goopy to work with.

After 24 hours, your piece will be at the “soft cure” stage, which means you can gently handle it and clean up any over-spill. Be careful not to press too hard on it, or you could dent your resin. After three days, it will be at the “full cure” stage, and should be rock-solid if you correctly mixed your resin.

 

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Enjoy your new pendant!

Warmly,

Chris