Thursday, May 22, 2008

Caring for your silver jewellery

I often get asked how to maintain that fresh off the polishing wheel shine on sterling silver. The simple answer is that you can't. You can plate it in rhodium which will keep it really shiny a little longer, but the truth of the matter is that silver is an organic material and it is going to react to it's environment as you wear it. Silver is also an incredibly soft metal and even little things can scratch it.

In fact, sterling work is so susceptible to marks and scratches that once I take it from the polishing wheel I handle it, quite literally, with kid gloves. I clean of the polishing residue using dish-soap and an old piece of super-soft flannel. I try from then on to only handle it using gloves or soft cloths.

That being said, there are ways to keep your silver jewelery looking as good as possible.

The first thing to know is that tarnish, that black film that develops on sterling silver is perfectly normal and DOES NOT mean that you have lousy silver. Sterling silver is made up of 92.5% pure silver, and 7.5% copper. Tarnish is the copper reacting with the air around it. The best thing you can do to protect your sterling it to keep it from air.

The best way to do this is to wear it often! The oils from your skin will actually help to coat and protect your jewelery from the air around it.

When you are not wearing your jewelery, keep it in an airtight container. I recommend small size ziplock bags, 1 piece per bag so they do not scratch each other.

Most anti tarnish devices, be they bags, strips, or waxs work by being impregnated with a chemical that essentially eats the air around them essentially creating a "safe" place for the sterling silver. I hand a strip in my jewelery box, and use cases for my more special pieces (then put those into ziplocks... I am all for extra protection).

So what do you do with pieces you have that are already tarnished? For mild tarnish I do like the jewelery dips although not all jewelers do. For smooth pieces without and nooks and cranies I recommend the Hagardies spray on polish. Bad for the environment? Yep. Good for silver? Oh yeah.

Wait according to the directions, then wipe off with a soft cloth. Wash well to remove all traces of the polish.

I am a BUM by choice

My standard "uniform" over the summer is a skirt and a white t-shirt. Boring I know, but it works really well for me. I know... how the heck am I trying to maintain a fashion blog!

For years I have been buying t-shirts, finding one or two, some cheap, some expensive, liking them well enough, but never finding something I really love. Soon enough, I stain them with something at my workbench and out they go.

This week, I went to Walmart and bought not 1, not even 2 or 3, but 4 shirts, exactly the same, even the same colour.

I LOVE the plus sized BUM v-neck tshirts. The sleeves are just long enough to not feel like I am exposing too much upper arm flab, the v is nice and low without being too revealing, and the slight bit of stretch in them are incredibly flattering. They also wash like a dream. I bought a few of he 2/4 length ones almost 2 years ago and dthey still look brand new.

Now I need to find the money to buy a couple in every colour!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ooooh, I got another write up :)

Anna Lee at SassyDLite has written a lovely write up about me, my blog, and my work. Thanks so much :) Feel free to go take a look at the review here, and do not miss the rest of her blog that has both her own work (some lovely jewelery in her own right!) and, gasp (!), Fashion finds available for Canadians!

Congratulations Canada!

Yesterday Canada took another step towards admitting that fat people deserve equal treatment! Federal courts upheld the "one person, one fare" law aimed at ensuring that all people get equal service on airlines regardless of their size. This has been the law on busses, trains and ferries for a number of years already, but has only recently been applied to Canadian airliners including Air Canada, West Jet and Jazz.

I can not even begin to tell you how frightened I was that I was going to be totally embarrassed when I went on vacation last December. Our travel agent insisted on buying me 2 seats "just in case". It was humiliating.

Turned out I only needed one anyway, but that is not the point. I have not been on a plane in years because I was afraid that I would be humiliated by a stewardess over my size.

Now, as a Canadian, I need no longer worry about this problem.

Granted there are still a number of problems with the law in that it leaves the airlines to decide who is "entitled" to that extra seat free of charge and "needs it" and those who are "merely uncomfortable" in a single seat and should be "encouraged" to pay for a second seat, but it is certainly a lot better than the situation south of the border where anyone not stick thin flies in fear of being harassed by fellow passengers and staff.

Link to the official press release.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Technical difficulties.

Sorry everyone. Had to reformat my computer. It is taking me a bit to get everything back to normal. I should be up and posting normally again by midweek.

If I know you, would you mind sending me an email as I lost my entire address book and am trying to recreate it.


Monday, May 5, 2008

And now, another note on happy bra moments

Ok, so after 5 or so years I finally decided it was time to get my various body parts in gear and find the money to get me some new bras. Figured I would just go online and order me up some new ones the same as the old ones, just substantially less stretched out of shape.

Went to my drawer to grab an old faithful so I could get the info from the tag. Um... ooops... the ones in my drawer were so old the tags had gone blank. Ok, so as I was going to be completely pulling numbers out of thin air, I should probably just go to a store to find one that fits, thne use that size.

I figured it would be pretty straightforward. Went in to the store, grabbed a couple right around my guesstimate of size. Headed for the change room. Now, I certainly knew pretty much what size I was. I knew what I wanted. I knew where to go. Right? Well, okay, how bad is 0/3 really...?

Store 1. Picked what I thought my size was. Discovered that I could fit a whole 'nother set of boobs in there! Went down a size. Nope. Still way too much room even when things were adjusted to their smallest.

You know what the problem is with bra shopping? If you pick up a whole pile that turn out to be no-goes, you need to get completely dressed again in order to leave the stupid little cubby-hole they call a dressing room!

Ok, so out I go again. Grab a bunch more in a substantially smaller size that I anticipated.

Turns out that I size I *thought* I needed were actually 2 cup sizes and 4 inches bigger than I needed. No wonder the old ones were doing diddly-squat!

Ok, so I finally settled on a size with no buckling, no gabs, no spillage, and of course, no underwire. I hate underwire. Right. Well, unfortunately something still did not look quite right. No matter how well the bra fit, it was still sort of giving me that "uni-boob" look once I put on a t-shirt.

Ok, so we are now 0/4. Funny, but did you know that underwire is actually there for a reason? Who knew?

Ok, so 4 stores and almost $50 later I finally have 1 grandma-beige, 2 sizes smaller than I thought, underwired bra.

But boy did the girls look great! It is amazing how much better your clothes look when your chest is on your chest instead of tucked into to your waistband! I was happy.

Well, happy-ish. 1 bra does not a lingerie wardrobe make.

So as soon as I got home I went online and ordered 6 more, same size, from an online vendor with a much better price. I got red, pink, black, white, granny beige (sometimes, you just need them) and turquoise.

So, in the interm I have been wearing the one new one (and one older one that looks great but cuts off circulation in my ribcage when I wear it... I need to do laundry sometime though!) I rediscovered something I had totally forgotten about. Boning.

Boning - that stupid piece of plastic on the side of a bra designed to "help it lay flat" which actually serves to stab you repeatedly in the armpit all day long while constantly rolling up into a snail-like position that eats into the side of your torso until you want to fix it in public and John Q. Public be damned... ooops sorry for that little rant. I really, really hate boning).

Ok, so now I was all worried about will the new ones I ordered off line have the same problem. Did I just spend a bunch of money that I can on really afford to spend on bras that will spend the next 5 years digging in to my ribcage.

They got here today and guess what? NO BONING!

It never ceases to amaze me how small a thing it takes to truly make me giddy with pleasure.

Ok, so I could just have removed the boning, but who want to go to all the trouble taking apart new things and making them feel used... loses something for me.