How our Etsy shop is doing!

Our etsy shop has been opened for a little more than two years.  It has been so fun to see our Etsy shop grow and have more products added to it.  Every time we have an order, I still get SUPER EXCITED.  And I have a feeling that will never change:)  There are so many wonderful jewelers and products out there, that it is a blessing every time someone chooses us.  All I can say is Thank you! Read more

Our Top Ten Youtube Videos

It is so exciting to be able to make a Top Ten Youtube Count.  A special tribute goes out to my family who made all of these videos.  It is fun to see these youtube videos and the story that goes behind them.  The countdown will begin from the least viewed to the most viewed video.

101 Link Parties!

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All I Want for Christmas…

All I Want for Christmas…

101 Link Parties!Christmas when I was a kid seemed to take forever to arrive, but as I grow older it comes here before I know it!  So I already know what I am getting for Christmas.  The main reason is because I get the presents myself.  Surprises are not my favorite, never have been and probably never will…  So for next year I would like for Christmas is…


Last week I talked about Semi precious gems that look a lot like the Precious stones, Emerald, Sapphire, Ruby and Diamond, but are a lot cheaper.  So this week my quest was to find out the durability of these Semi precious gem copycats and then find a beautiful jewelry piece to go along with it.

The Emerald Look a like

Chrome Diopside has a brilliant green color that resembles an Emerald.  It is a soft gem and can be easily scratched.  But with this ring, I think that it can be well protected by having the Chrome Diopside be a smaller stone and then being protected by Diamonds (probably not real diamonds, because the ring is not that expensive:))

The Tourmaline can be several colors it can range from a pretty Emerald like color to a Ruby color.  In fact the only drawback it has is that it is rarely found to be colorless.  They can be multicolored and even dichronic which means that depending upon the angle of how you look at the gem it can appear to be a different color.  Add to the durability of this gem, and you’ve got your perfect gem!

Here is what I would choose for the Chrome Tourmaline  I do not have a lot of necklaces.  Probably because I have three boys that like to grab anything they can touch.  But for this I will make an exception.  I will wear it when my boys go to bed:)

Now to the Ruby look a likes:

The Sunstone Gem – is more of an orange color, but the darker the orange is like this ring you can pretend it has a little tint of red in it!  It is a beautiful gem regardless.  And it is the official gemstone of Oregon because there is a lot of Sunstone Gem available there.  This gem literally sparkles because of the beautiful copper in it.

With the ever versatile Tourmaline, it can also appear like a ruby, but with a much lower price tag.  I was drawn to this Rubellite Tourmaline ring just because it is from the 1960s.  How I love vintage.  Call me an old soul, but I believe I should have been born in the Cary Grant age.  So yes, I LOVE this ring. And it is an original, there will not be a copy cat of it, which I love:)

Sapphire Look a lite

This Sapphire look a like is also a Tourmaline.  This is a cool ring, it is not listed yet on etsy, but don’t you worry it will be!  Just keep on scrolling down and find the Afghan Tourmaline.  There are a lot of cool designs.  What a talented lady:)

Diamond look a likes

White Zircon is hard and durable.  It will not be as hard as a diamond, but nothing is!  This ring is quite the deal and if I wore it I would definitely be stepping out of my comfort zone, but it is stunning!  And just think if it was a diamond ring, how much more the price would have been?

White Sapphire – It is hard, and not just blue, Sapphire can be pink, pink-orange (which is really rare), yellow, or can change colors, blue outdoors, purple in doors, green gray or black.  I chose a wedding ring to show you how closely it resembles a diamond.  Isn’t this beautiful and for a fraction of the price.  Not only is it cheaper but a sapphire is also a precious stone, so you can’t go wrong:)

Goshenite Beryle got it name from being found in Goshen Massachusetts.  It is a hard material and in the past has been used for eyeglasses and lenses.  It comes from the same family as the Emerald which is also from the beryl family.  This Wire Ring is literally an artistic creation.  I love all the wires being wrapped around continuously around this gem to keep it safe.

Petalite – Was discovered in 1800 and can be grey, yellowish brown or pink.  It is also very durable.  I went with this simple, elegant and classic teardrop pendant.  It seems like it could be kid proof as well!

Danburite is durable and can be pale yellow, yellowish brown or pink.  It is named for being found in Danbury, Connecticut in 1839.  I chose another pendant that is artistic.  What she did was take the Danburite as it was and then created a beautiful wire setting to compliment the raw beautiful gem that it already is!

So there you have it!  May you have a Merry Christmas!

Tales from the Shop:

Everyone will be there this year except for me!  How I love my family.  I am one lucky girl:)

I asked everyone what there most memorable Christmas present was:

Angela – I got my favorite print from Storytellers festival and dad made a frame for it.  It is hanging up in my boys room.  And whenever I see it I think of my dad and the awesome Storytellers festival!

Nicole – Speed bag I secretly wanted it but didn’t dare ask it was a great surprise for my 15th Christmas.

Thomas – My most memorable was the year I got a tennis ball machine!

Lisa – Doll house I got with pops.  It was supposed to be one you build together, I was sooooo so soooo excited.  We opened it up and saw it was basically in pieces the size of popsicle sticks.  I think we spent two times on it.  And one of the times dad claims he waited in the garage for an hour waiting for me to come work on it with him.  I do not recall this, but it was a nice dream.:)

Dad – My first sleeping bag.

Mom – a doll that came with a bed, high chair and stroller.  I kept looking around at my siblings and wondered how come I got so much stuff!




Jewelry Organization

Jewelry Organization

Hoops By Hand LogoI  asked my sister Nicole if she would join me in the challenge of organizing our jewelry for the blog post this week.  She was kind enough to do it with me.  Nicole is very organized, and so what she considers unorganized is what I would love my jewelry to look like on a good day.  She also did a clever thing and put her jewelry in bags.  By doing that her jewelry will not be tarnished.  Here is what her jewelry looks like!



How my jewelry looked for many years on my dresser.


Had used this for pictures for many years and decided it would work great for jewelry that is kept in a bag to keep from tarnishing.

I would be happy if my unorganized jewelry looked like that!  I was in far worse shape.  Here is my unorganized jewelry.

Here is a what not to do!  Put all your earrings on a ribbon that can get tangled up.  It took a while to get this mess untangled!

I ran into a lot of surprises while organizing my jewelry.  First of all I saw a lot of hair things, buttons, small nails, safety pins coins and other randomness.  I didn’t realize that there was even a small horseshoe in there, where in the world did that come from?

I also found a lot of my middle school jewelry.  Thank heavens I still have my sweet golden horse earrings, that I have been able to keep track of through several moves in my life.  I am glad to know that I have my priorities on what jewelry is important and what is not!

And finally the pile of the single earrings.  It seems like jewelry are like lost pairs of socks.  No matter how hard you try to keep the pairs together, they just part there ways.  But I still will keep them, because I know one day I will find their match…

And here is the final result.  The jewelry box was a present from my sweet brother Daniel when I was in Middle School.  The clear folding jewelry holder I got from Bed Bath and Beyond.

I encourage everyone to go through their jewelry.  I went from having one pair of earrings to a lot more than that!  Now I will try to keep it organized…

Tales of the Shop:

My brothers and sisters are fairly very organized.  The most organized would be Collette and Nicole.  They are immaculate at all times.  And when they come to visit me, my house is sparkling.

The brothers are next.  Thomas has always been a clean one, and Daniel who was once messy has had quite a comeback and not only takes great care of his things but also knows how to keep his room clean.

Then Lisa and I are the non organized ones.  Lisa is cleaner than I am…So I guess I am the least organized.  Oh man, at least my jewelry is organized as of last night!

Celebrate your Anniversary with a Birth Stone!

Celebrate your Anniversary with a Birth Stone!

I have finally found a way to accumulate all the birthstones!   And that is through celebrating your Wedding Anniversary or any anniversary.  I focused on the Birthstones.  But there are several lists out there that has something for every year.  It will take time to get all of the birth stones…but it is possible!


January – Garnet – the stone of “Passion” -18th year

February – Amethyst – the stone of “Sincerity” – 4th and 6th year

March – Aquamarine – stone of “Beauty and Loyalty” – 16th and 19th year

April – Diamond stone of “Love around the world” – 30th and 60th year

May – Emeraldstone of “Everlasting love” – 20th, 35th and 55th year

June – Pearlstone of “Love and Happiness” – 1st, 12th, and 30th year

July – Rubystone of “Fire and Passion” 40th year

August – Peridotstone of “Dignity and Protection” 16th year

September – Sapphirestone of “Loyalty and Fidelity” 45th year

October – Opal stone of “Hope, Happiness and Truth” 14th and 18th year

November – Topaz –  Stone of “Strength” – 4 and 19th year, 23rd year will get an Imperial Topaz

December – Tanzanite stone of “Healing and Spirituality” 24th year

There are several lists out there of Anniversary gifts and meanings, like this one, this one.  or this one.  So the best strategy to receive as many jewels as possible, is to go through all the lists on google and start adding up all the jewelry that you definitely deserve!

So have fun looking and dreaming of all the fun pieces of jewelry out there.  My husband and I have been married for six wonderful years.  So according to this list, the jewelry items I qualify for are an Amethyst, Pearl and Topaz.  I also know that if I  search long enough, there are some more jewels that I could add!

Tales of the Shop!

My parents have been married 31 years.  They are wonderful and my brothers and sisters are lucky to have them as parents!

Nicole will have been married three years when January comes.  Her husband actually proposed to her on Halloween day!

Thomas will have been married two years when March comes.

They are wonderful additions to the family and we are so grateful to have them!

*Every birthstone is highlighted, when you click on it, that is the jewelry piece that I would love to receive!

** The pictures at the beginning of the post are of my husband and I at our reception.  Then fast forward six years, this is our family now.  I am one lucky girl!




Gold-Filled 101

I recently asked my dad what gold filled means and he said that it is the exact opposite of what you would think according to the name. The gold filled wire has gold on the outside and another type of metal is on the inside like copper, silver or brass.
The outside coating of gold is very strong and holds up really well.  The types of gold filled wire we use is 12 karat and 14 karat.  I have started to research where they came up with the term karat for a measurement and from the wikipedia source it states ‘karat’ is a variant of ‘carat’. First attested in English in the mid-15th century, the word ‘carat’ came from Middle French carat, which came from Greek kerát meaning carobseed (literally “small horn”) and was a unit of weight though it was not likely used to measure gold in classical times.

Now ‘karat’ is used to measure the quality of gold, not to be confused with ‘carat’ which is the measurement of a gem or diamond.  24 karat gold is 100% gold and would be too soft to work with or wear.  12 karat gold, the type of gold filled wire my dad uses to make hoops, is 50% gold and the rest is made of an another metal.  14 Karat is 57.3% gold.  It is important to know that it is required by law to have gold filled jewelry stamped.  10 karat gold is the lowest gold that needs to be stamped in the US, because beyond that gold is worth less than the other secondary metals (brass, copper, silver).  While you are looking at a piece of jewelry to see the value of it, be aware if it says electroplated gold. Electroplated means is that it has covered the jewelry with a thin layer of gold that will eventually rub or fade away.

Gold is a very soft substance that does not hold its shape very well.  That is why it is helpful to have another metal or alloy, including copper, silver, and brass, in the gold to help fabricate the metal.  To fabricate means is to pound, twist, or solder.  The reason why my dad uses 12 karat gold is because it still has a substantial amount of gold on the outside to look nice and enough of the other metal to allow fabricating.  12 karat gold will hold up well, and will not tarnish, it may get darker over time, but if you rub it off with a jewelry cloth it will be as good as new.