Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011: Year in Review

2011 was quite a year for Pretty Sensitive Ears

Throughout the spring I had spent quite a bit of time reading about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) online and in library books and working to apply the concepts to my sites. 

It was in May / June time frame that I began to offer Niobium post earrings with freshwater pearls.  Also around that time I reached 100 sales in my shop.

Since then it has been a steady increase in orders / sales.  Over the summer I began to introduce the gemstone niobium post earrings.   By fall I was also offering many different colors of crystal niobium post earrings.  I also reached 200 sales shortly thereafter.  I found my sites to be in the top 10 google search results for "earrings for sensitive ears" (all the SEO work paid off!).

During the fall I also spent quite a bit of time working to edit my listing titles and tags to enable my shop to show up in the "relevancy search" results that etsy had made default.  Additionally, I realized my shop was eligible long ago for being sent to google shopping but was not showing up.  After contacting etsy administrators, my shop was set up to allow this.  These efforts give my shop more visibility.  But I am still learning!  There is still work to be done to improve this even more!

By December I was amidst the 300 sales milestone and Christmas orders pushed me to 350!  So this latter half of 2011 has been busy!  My husband began helping me in the late summer time with shipping orders.  Then he started helping me process orders.  From there he worked on helping me finish up pairs to totally making pairs.  He's learned quickly and has been an invaluable helper.  December found us spending many long evenings, after our kids had gone to sleep, sitting in our work space with the local Christmas radio station on while we worked away.  It felt so much like "Santa's workshop."

I am looking forward to 2012!  I look forward to the new styles, colors, and getting to order some new materials!  Looking forward to restocking my shop with lots of fresh new styles!  Looking forward to continuing to learn and improve my online small business.  And looking forward to helping other folks with sensitive ears be able to wear pretty / stylish / fashionable earrings.

Thank you to all who have helped to support Pretty Sensitive Ears!  Please visit again soon to see what's NEW!

Many Thanks,

Amanda & Brian Jensen ~ Pretty Sensitive Ears

Friday, December 9, 2011

Amber Niobium Posts Video Now on YouTube

I just got the video for the Amber Niobium Post Earrings uploaded to YouTube to show a little better the intricacies of the color in natural daylight and in this case, the interior features as well.  Sometimes it helps to get kind of a dynamic "live" look at a product!

Visit the following link to view the video on YouTube:

You can find these Amber Niobium Post Earrings in 4mm or 6mm for sale in my etsy shop in the Niobium Post Earrings section.

Thank you.

Niobium Treasury Feature

LOVE this treasury and the curator's description:  "Niobium is physiologically inert which makes it a metal of choice for people sensitive to metals. But it is also quite beautiful which makes it a metal of choice for everyone."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

2011 Holiday Sale!

Free Shipping on all items in my etsy shop.  AND 15% off all dangle style earrings.  Today, Thursday, November 24, 2011 through Monday, November 28, 2011. 

The great thing about hypoallergenic earrings is that you can confidently give them without worrying whether or not your recipient CAN wear them comfortably.  I have a wide range of styles available too. 

I also offer gift wrapping!

Visit today and see what's new and take advantage of this great holiday sale spanning Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday!

Jewelry is such a special gift to give.  And your recipient will be impressed and appreciative for materials that are easy on the body without sacrificing style!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Heads Up! New crystal faced Niobium Post Earrings on their way!

My husband and I sat down in our workshop last night after the kiddos were asleep and turned on the local holiday music station on the radio and worked hard on more nickel free hypoallergenic niobium post earrings for sensitive ears!  We created some round 3.9mm crystal niobium post earrings in a multitude of colors (emerald, siam red, indian pink, amethyst, white opal, name a few).  We also have some larger diameter crystal niobium post earrings too.

I also was able to finally experiment with making the niobium post earring with a loop for attaching a dangle.  So I have two versions of this to try out and see how they work out.  Another new possibility for nickel free earring style!

They are all nearly ready to be photographed and will then be available for a sneak peak on my Pretty Sensitive Ear's facebook page until I can get them listed for sale in my etsy shop.

I am so excited to be able to offer a wider range of colors and sizes on crystals.  Some bold, some girly, some unisex, some funky and fun - but all hypoallergenic, nickel free, and totally sparkling!

Friday, November 11, 2011

11% off for 11/11/11

On a whim I've set up all prices in my shop to be 11% off for today only, 11/11/11.  It's a fun date - so thought I'd celebrate that with a fun discount!  Additionally, here in the US, it is Veteran's Day.  Another great reason to celebrate.  Many people have given much of their time and lives - a time to be grateful for their sacrifices. 

So happy 11/11/11!  And Happy Veteran's Day!

Enjoy this special discount, today only!

Hypoallergenic, Nickel Free Niobium Earrings and Hypoallergenic Surgical Steel Earrings all found at:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Short Video of Classic Pearls Niobium Post Earrings

We have recorded a short video showing the Classic Pearls - Niobium Post Earrings in both white and purple in natural daylight.  This way you can get a better feel for size, color, and how they look with light variation dynamically.

Take a peak! (it's less than one minute)

We've also included the link for this in the current etsy shop listings for these earrings, here and here.

Visit my shop to see more new styles!

Also, remember to like my facebook page to be eligible for special discounts! (right now, through the end of Oct 2011, there's a code for free shipping for facebook fans!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meet the Newest Gemstone Niobium Post Earrings!

Here are the newest members of my 100% hypoallergenic Niobium post earring family!  
They will be posted very soon for sale in the Pretty Sensitive Ears' Etsy Shop.

 6mm Sodalite - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
 6mm Carnelian - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
 6mm Aventurine - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
 6mm Amber - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
 6mm Turquoise - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
6mm Blue Onyx - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
  6mm Rose Quartz - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
 6mm Wyoming Jade - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
 6mm Goldstone - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
 4mm Hematite - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
4mm Garnet - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
 4mm Amethyst - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
 4mm Malachite - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
 4mm Turquoise - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!
4mm Amber - 100% hypoallergenic niobium post earrings!

Which is / are your favorite?
Remember, Niobium is a pure elemental metal that is hypoallergenic.  It is super comfortable.  A wonderful metal for those of us with sensitive ears!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Caught a Fever

I am doing a "Five Minute Friday" post inspired by  Her word for today is "Catch."

I've definitely caught a fever - a fever for jewelry and creativity!  I am excited about my "job" that I have created for myself with this little hobby turned home business.  It began trying to find pretty jewelry for my sensitive ears and turned into the thought that maybe I could try making my own.  From there it spawned and spawned...  The more I learn, the more I want to learn and discover and explore the materials and processes.  I've got more ideas than I have time for!  And it's a marvelous feeling!  Some things I'm meaning to get to include: resin bead / cabachon making using silicon molds and dyes (for my hypoallergenic niobium post earrings and surgical steel post earrings), wire wrapping of gemstones I've put through my rock tumbler, experimenting with my dremel tool so I can get comfortable with using it, and working with the titanium wire I ordered in order to also offer it as another hypoallergenic option.  And there's more buzzing around in my head!  I try to write it down and pin it up on my inspiration board.  So, I've definitely caught a fever - and I think the only cure is to feed it!  ;)

Thank you for visiting!

Amanda J ~ Pretty Sensitive Ears

If interested in checking out my latest styles in my etsy shop, including the crystal faced niobium post earrings that I'm so excited about, please visit:

Also, you can visit my facebook page to find a special discount offer valid for the remainder of October for fans of my page:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Crystal faced Niobium post earrings

I received a custom order via my website (at for a pair of niobium post earrings with clear round crystals recently. I've been meaning to make more crystal faced niobium post earrings for a bit now...and sometimes it takes that extra little kick in the pants!
So, last night I sat down and worked on the custom order and made six extra pairs. Working my pliers on the wire for these identified some places where building up calluses might be nice! Felt like I nearly formed blisters! It takes a lot of work to get the wire to do what I want it to! ;)

Anyway, I got 4mm clear and light blue Swarovski crystal niobium post earrings made, clear princess cut Swarovski crystal in 4mm made, and 6mm jet black Swarovksi crystals made. Also some montees in a light topaz.

They are difficult to get just right when I mount the crystals. They have a tendency to want to slip off-center before the epoxy sets - so I have to keep an eye on them!

I'm excited to get them posted. Check my store soon to see how they turned out! (Right now there are tons of great choices in surgical steel post earrings too!)

Star earrings featured in treasury

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Moved & Setting up

Well, we are moved and settling in box by box.  Our office is our dedicated arts & crafts space in the house.  It was a bedroom for the previous owners' daughter so one wall is bubblegum pink.  After painting our daughters' bedrooms I didn't have any more "oomph" in me to paint over the pink wall in the office.  So for now, it will remain until a later point in time.  It's nice and peppy though!

My husband made it down to Seattle to the University of Washington's Surplus Store and snagged a great deal on a 6 ft work table and a ginormous bulletin board for the wall.  Those pieces in there are so awesome!  (You can find some incredible stuff there!  I plan to use a portion of the cork board as an "Inspiration Board" and the rest for business needs and/or storing baggies of findings or beads even!  For the inspiration board I plan to pin up projected colors for the upcoming seasons along with clippings from magazines / catalogs and sketches of ideas.  I'm very excited about this. 

Shortly after we moved in I was sent a request for custom pearls and flowers on post earrings.  I had been overdue to order more pearls, so I finally got to that.  I received last week the whole order and they are darling.  White and purple 6mm button pearls.  Perfect for a post earring.  They are so versatile...dress up or down.  The white ones have been posted for sale on my etsy shop ( and the purple ones will be up soon - once I am able to get a good photo showing their color.  (We haven't found our point & click camera yet in all the "stuff" and so I will have to use my digital video camera to get a picture, which is a bit more challenging.)

I also ordered resin dye - in white, transparent red, and transparent amber - and a silicone flower mold to try out making my own resin flower cabachons for post earrings.  I had bought a set of small enameled metal flower beads awhile back on a clearance rack and sadly, cannot find these again ANYwhere.  I have scoured and scoured the internet.  So, I'm going to try this resin route and see how it turns out.  I am actually quite excited!

So, the focus for now in "Pretty Sensitive Ears" land is setting up the workspace, putting together and listing the new pearl post earrings, and trying out the resin cabachon making!  Fun fun fun!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


We are moving into a new house this next week and I am so excited!  I will have a whole office dedicated to crafting!  I plan on setting up my light box and camera in one location so that it will always be up and ready for pictures to be taken.  That way I won't have to do one long marathon of item photos...which is followed by long batches of photo editing...and catching up on listing items for sale.  This way I can list items for sale as I complete them!

I am planning on going to the University of Washington Surplus Store (open to the public on Tuesday afternoons) to purchase a $10 work table - which I am soooo excited about!  (Side note - they have lots of great deals on fun stuff and very entertaining item explanations:

In the mean time, I may be in and out, as we are now packing, then moving, and unpacking!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Giveaway Contest Results

Thank you to everyone who participated!  I had a handful of guesses submitted via email in addition to the comments left on the blog entry with all the contest details!

My dear hubbie sat down and counted and counted...and counted!  I believe his first response was, "Man!  These are tiny!"  ;)

And...the number of seed beads within the tube came to a grand total of 1,566!

Looking throughout the guesses left via comment and those received via email, the closest guess without going over the total number, is blogger account holder "bubblegum" with a guess of 1,300!

Unfortunately, I do not have an email address for this commenter.  So, if you are "bubblegum," please contact me by sending an email to me at by 11:59 pm PST on Sunday, August 7, 2011, to claim your winnings (any one pair of earrings in my etsy shop located at  In your email, please include your choice of earrings along with your name and mailing address!

If I do not receive an email from bubblegum by Sunday night, then I will go through and identify the next closest guesser and announce them here and contact them via email.

Thank you again, everyone, for participating!  I am really excited about surpassing that 100 sales milestone mark.  Onward and upward!

**Edit on Tuesday, August 9, 2011...  I did not receive an email from the initial winner, so the next closest guesser was blogger user "Jonathan and Jamie" with a guess of 1225 seed beads!  Congratulations!  I will be contacting you via email to arrange details for your prize (one free pair of earrings from my etsy shop!!).

Thanks again, everyone!

Friday, July 22, 2011

100 Sales Milestone Giveaway Contest

My Etsy shop reached 100 sales during the second week of July and to celebrate I have been brainstorming a fun (and simple) giveaway contest.  I have finally finished scheming and here are the details!

100 Sales Milestone Giveaway Contest by Pretty Sensitive Ears

NOTE: If you do not have a google / blogger account and do not want to set one up, please email your guess to me at  Thank you!!  (edit on August 1st)

The winner of this contest will receive one free pair of earrings for sensitive ears (either Surgical Steel or 100% hypoallergenic Niobium) from my Etsy shop found at  Shipping will be free.  The winner gets to choose any one pair listed for sale in my Etsy shop!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog posting with your numerical guess of how many seed beads are in the tube of beads pictured below.  Please be sure your email address is included in your comment (unless you have a blogger account with your email address included).  If you are the winner, but I don't have an email address to contact you at, I will have to choose the next closest guesser!

I have included a US dime (10 cent coin) for size reference in the photo.

The closest guess without going over the number of beads actually in the tube will be the winner!  You can only guess once to be eligible.  Repeat numbers will not be eligible; so, guess early so that your number won't be taken by someone else!

The winner will be announced on August 5th, 2011.  I will have my husband count the beads in the tube twice through (lucky guy!  hehehe) and give me the official count.  Then I will announce the number of seed beads here on my blog along with the lucky winner, and contact them via email!  The winner will then be able to send me the name of their favorite pair of earrings along with their mailing address.

This fun contest is a way to celebrate the 100 Sales Milestone in my Etsy shop.  Thank you for the support and best of luck to everyone!  A fun, simple way to win a free pair of handmade earrings for sensitive ears (either for yourself or as a gift) - pretty wonderful, huh?

While you're waiting to hear if you've guessed the correct number (or come the closest!), please stop by and take a look at the wide variety of earring styles for sensitive ears I offer in my shop.  Take a peak at the surgical steel hooks, posts, and posts with dangles, AND the niobium hooks, posts, and hoops, to get a feel for your favorite silhouette and material!  Also, remember that I can work with customers to create customized jewelry - never hesitate to contact me!

More information on materials can be found at my website at

I can be contacted through my website, my Etsy shop, or email via

You can also join me on my facebook page, twitter, or tumblr!

Thanks very much for your visit!

~ Amanda J

Monday, July 18, 2011


Featured right now on the Heart Handmade Blog, is an interview that I completed that explores my inspirations, motivations, etc.  To learn more about me and my handmade jewelry for sensitive skin, please visit the following link:

You can share the interview on facebook quite easily from the top of the page too, if interested! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Online Ganoksin Exhibition Feature - "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder"

 My wire wrapped ring called "The Black Flower," made using 100% hypoallergenic Niobium wire, a mother of pearl button, and vintage black flower button, is featured in this online exhibition of jewelry items all made without using precious materials.  Here are a few photos of my featured ring: 

There are some amazingly beautiful items featured - and all are made without using gold, silver, or platinum.   Here is the press release regarding the online exhibition.  I hope that you will check it out and share with others!   ~ Amanda Jensen

 Online Exhibition: "Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder"

   "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder" showcases 247 images chosen
   from entries from over 55 artists representing North America, South
   America, Europe, Australia, Central America, Africa and Eurasia.

   The drive to adorn the human body is surely as old as human kind.
   From pre-historic times this drive has led humans to use the
   materials at hand, combined with the technologies and tools
   available, to create objects to adorn the human body. The oldest
   jewelry found to date goes back to at least 75,000 years ago in

   Early jewelry was made of bones, shells, sticks, and whatever other
   materials the people could find and shape. Over time the ability to
   mine and shape metal developed, and jewelry was made from bronze,
   silver, gold, platinum and other metals. Gold has long been thought
   of as a "precious" metal, and today it is joined by silver and
   platinum as the three main materials modern jewelry is made from.

   While much jewelry today is made from these three main metals, a
   large body of jewelry world-wide is still made from a much wider
   range of materials. This exhibition, "Beauty is in the Eye of the
   Beholder", focuses on jewelry made primarily of materials other than
   gold, platinum and silver.

   Jewelers today are still using found objects such as shell and bone;
   they are using "green" materials - upcycled and recycled objects and
   materials; they are using cutting edge plastics and newly developed
   technology; and they are using older metals such as copper, brass
   and bronze.

   Some of the more unusual materials include vinyl LP's, velvet, VCR
   components, rattlesnake vertebrae, corian, canvas, paper, crab
  claws, magnets, synthetic rubber electrical insulation tubing, and
   aluminum grounding wire.

   More traditional materials used include copper, bronze, brass,
   glass, various types of wood, gemstones, pearls and seeds.

   Techniques range from traditional metalsmithing, through a range of
   beading techniques, textile techniques, photography techniques and
   cutting edge industrial fabrication.

   Participants range from professional jewelers with international
   reputations to students just learning their craft.

   Hosted on the Ganoksin website, the world's largest internet site
   devoted to jewelry- related topics, the exhibition is a snapshot of
   what jewelers around the world are exploring, and an inspiration to
   all. The exhibition was conceived Beth Wicker, an artist from South
   Carolina, in the USA, and curated by Beth and Hanuman Aspler, founder
   of the Ganoksin Project.

   Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder

   For more information about the Exhibition please contact: Beth Wicker or Dr. E. Aspler (Hanuman)

Monday, June 27, 2011

As Promised - More Photos of Niobium Post Earrings

6mm Amethyst Niobium Posts

6mm Malachite Niobium Posts

6mm Tiger Eye Niobium Posts

4mm Nephrite Jade Niobium Posts

6mm Lavender Amethyst Niobium Posts
4mm Powder Green Swarovski Pearl Niobium Posts
2mm Stainless Steel Ball Niobium Posts
4mm Onyx Niobium Posts
4mm Lapis Lazuli Niobium Posts
All are currently listed for sale in my etsy shop at  100% hypoallergenic post earrings for sensitive ears made out of Niobium and all come with rounded silicone backs.

Monday, June 20, 2011

More Niobium Posts

I showed pictures of my very first pair of 100% hypoallergenic Niobium post earrings for sensitive ears in a previous post here on my blog.  That post can be found here.

Since then I've sold several pairs of Niobium post earrings with freshwater button pearls.  Here is a photo of these:

I also had a custom order request for another pair of Niobium posts with crystals.  The customer requested dark green.  Here is a photo of how these turned out:

Up next, I have a variety of gemstones that I will be mounting on to Niobium posts.  Included in the lineup are:  amethyst, tiger eye, onyx, lapis lazuli, nephrite, malachite, and more!  These gemstones range in size from 4 mm for those who prefer their post earrings to be more of a subtle accessory to 6 mm for those who love to have their posts stand out more.

I also have the concept in mind for how to create a dangle element to these Niobium posts.  My first shortcut method did not work.  But, method number two is more complicated, but should just do the trick!  Stay tuned!  :)

P.S.  I do like to work with individuals to create custom earrings that are in your preferred color and/or material.  Don't hesitate to contact me either by email:  prettysensitive at gmail dot com  Or via the contact page on my website:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dremel & Bloggie

My 30th birthday has arrived!  And I have to say, I feel just fine.  ;) 

My parents gave to me this birthday a gift of a Dremel tool which I have long wanted!  I am so excited (and also a little intimidated!)  I perused the owner's manual and took a look through all of the various attachments and am now working on dreaming up its inaugural project!  I think that once I can start playing around with it I will learn quickly what I can do with it.  (hopefully without doing much damage to any of the attachments!  but, you know, sometimes you just gotta learn by making mistakes!)

My husband gave me an amazing little techie device called a Sony Bloggie.  It is a small digital video camera with dual screens:  one on the back as we've all typically seen with digital cameras, and another screen on the front!  It's so I can set it up on a tripod and video myself and be able to see what I'm recording (my kids love this feature - lol)  He got it so I can record videos of earring making to share online!  I think it's going to be sort of fun - whether it's for making brief tutorials or for sharing the inspiration and work behind a particular pair that I've made.  This camera is so sleek too - and can take still pictures while video recording too. 

A few more sentimental thoughts on turning 30 before I end this blog post...

I have had my dearest family and friends nearby to help me welcome this new decade of my life - and it really means a lot to me.  I've always been a "quality" not "quantity" type of girl when it comes to friends, and I feel really blessed to have the real, supportive, quality friendships that I do.  In general the last few months have been ones filled with thought and reflection on life thus far and onward, and I am sincerely thankful to be where I am in my life.  Each day I grow more and more comfortable in my own skin, I keep learning more and more, and gain more and more wisdom.  There's nothing quite like experience to help you truly understand the wisdom our elders try to pass on to us at a young age.  I see this quite simply with my own children, and feel it myself when I have an 'ah-ha!' moment of realization about advice given to me by elder loved ones since passed. 

Sentimentality aside, I know my 30's are going to be grand!  :) 

And back on the topic of Pretty Sensitive Ears...  ;)  I have really enjoyed so far the handful of feedback I have received from customers who are having great success with earrings they've purchased from me.  It's a great feeling to help people out.  Thanks for the feedback and support.  I am enjoying this "job" much more than any other I've ever had!

Friday, May 20, 2011


I spent a bit of time (through three episodes of 30 Rock on Netflix) experimenting with some weaving techniques.
The first used small seed beads and a french weaving technique to create beaded leaves or petals. I first tried with these pretty iridescent ivory colored seed beads that are more chunky and have sort of a square perimeter. I found that it was very difficult to get the strands to wrap close together.

So then I tried again using small (very small!) pink seed beads and found it was much easier to keep the weaving tighter and more to the size I preferred. When I got done I added an extra shiny gold iris glass bead on top and twisted the wires below and created an open spiral out of them. I really liked the multiple textures that were created overall.

The next weaving technique used just wire to create a herringbone weave. I saw this done around a pearl on a listing on Etsy and thought it was so beautiful. I found that it coincidentally is the same process as the french bead weaving from above, but without the seed beads! It was a bit difficult to keep the wires where I wanted them, but ultimately, once I got it going, it was pretty smooth going and turned out very pretty! I used it to create pendants for earrings, but I also thought it would look really pretty as the top of a wire wrapped ring too!

I am sitting now with my girls finishing up an episode of The Backyardigans (oh how they can sing a harmony!), but once I have a moment I will definitely be adding pictures to this post so that my descriptions will make more sense.
Happy Friday!

Edit:  Pictures now added!  :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I happened upon the following website a few days ago which has a really great guide to gemstones. It's alphabetically ordered and has photographs of each gemstone right there in the list. I really liked its clear and concise layout and so I thought I would share this here on my blog.

What is your favorite gemstone? Or, rather, what are your favorites? (cause, really, I think it might be difficult to just choose one!)

There are so many more than the handful that we readily hear about - sapphire, ruby, topaz, etc. Many I've never heard of before. I look forward to experimenting with more of these amazing gemstones in the (hopefully near) future!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Birth Stones

I've been looking for a good summary of birth stones by month. The following excerpt is from the farmer's almanac online and was a pretty good succinct summary.

Birthstone Meanings by Month

January's birthstone, the garnet, is thought to keep the wearer safe during travel.

February's birthstone, the amethyst, is said to strengthen relationships and give its wearer courage. At one time, only royalty could wear the gem. Ancient Greeks thought that the amethyst guarded against intoxication. In fact, amethyst comes from amethystos, a Greek word meaning "sober."

March's birthstone, the aquamarine, was thought to cure heart, liver, and stomach diseases—all one had to do was drink the water in which the gem had been soaking. Early sailors believed that aquamarine talismans, etched with the likeness of the sea god Neptune, protected them against ocean dangers.

April's birthstone, the diamond, in addition to being a symbol of everlasting love, was once thought to bring courage. In Sanskrit, the diamond is called "vajra," which also means lightning; in Hindu mythology, vajra was the weapon of Indra, the king of gods.

May's birthstone, the emerald, was one of Cleopatra's favorite gems. It has long been associated with fertility, rebirth, and love. Ancient Romans went so far as to dedicate this stone to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Today, it is thought that emeralds signify wisdom, growth, and patience.

June's birthstone, the pearl, has long been a symbol of purity. The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

July's birthstone, the ruby, was regarded by ancient Hindus as the "king of gems." It was believed to protect its wearer from evil. Today, the ruby's deep-red color signifies love and passion.

August's birthstone, the peridot, symbolizes strength. It is sometimes called the evening emerald for its light green color. It was once believed that the green peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. When set in gold, this gem was said to protect the wearer from nightmares.

September's birthstone, the sapphire, was once thought to guard against evil and poisoning. It was believed that a venomous snake would die if placed in a vessel made of sapphire. Traditionally a favorite stone of priests and kings, the sapphire symbolizes purity and wisdom.

October's birthstone, the opal, symbolizes faithfulness and confidence. The word comes from the Latin opalus, meaning "precious jewel." Necklaces with opals set in them were worn to repel evil and to protect eyesight.

November's birthstone, the topaz, symbolizes love and affection. It is believed to give the wearer increased strength and intellect.

December's birthstone, turquoise, is regarded as a love charm. It is also a symbol of good fortune and success, and it is believed to relax the mind and to protect its wearer from harm. Turquoise rings, in particular, are thought to keep away evil spirits.

Did you know that each month also has an associated birth flower? There's a list with their meanings at:

Fun Stuff!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


One of the fantastic things about jewelry making is the endless possibilities! I've been reading oodles of blogs and online tutorials lately and as a result have learned and seen lots of inspiring techniques and ideas.

I have been a bit under the weather the last few days, but sitting in bed with all my gear spread around me has been a great distraction. A few new things I've tried include punching out of sheet metal, stamping sheet metal, and creating coiled shapes and filling in the centers with wrapped embroidery floss. I received a resin kit I ordered from (after receiving a discount as a fun prize from their totally captivating digital Easter egg hunt throughout their website! it was such a fun idea and so well executed!). So I did some reading up on resin bead creation and am excited to give that a try!

Photos will follow soon! And meanwhile, there are several other new pairs of earrings newly listed on my etsy shop - with new photography taken in my homemade light box.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Niobium Post Earrings = SUCCESS!

I made a pair of Niobium post earrings a week or so ago and affixed clear princess cut Swarovski flat back crystals to them.  For backs I used silicon backs as I wanted to maintain the 100% hypoallergenic nature of the Niobium for these earrings.  I finally got around to cleaning them up and trying them on yesterday.  I cannot emphasize enough how comfortable these post earrings were!  I felt like I was wearing nothing at all.  The backs held on and didn't budge all day AND all night!  That's right, I tried sleeping in them too just to see how that would go.  As I mentioned, the backs stayed in place and they were incredibly comfortable to sleep in.  No poking at all.  The rounded silicon backs are brilliant!

So after a very successful test of their wear-ability, comfort, durability, and look, I am pleased to say that I will be able to start offering these in my etsy shop!  I have several different color options in round flat back Swarovski crystals in the 4 mm size that can be affixed to the Niobium posts.  If anyone has any special requests, please don't hesitate to contact me!

The next thing for me to explore is how to be able to add a dangle to these Niobium posts...  Once I've tried out the concept I have in mind, I will post to let everyone know.

This is one thing I love about jewelry making...the possibilities are endless!

Here are some pictures of the Niobium posts with clear Swarovski princess cut crystals that I made for myself: 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Light Box!

My husband and I sat down last night with a cardboard box, scissors, tape, ruler, pencil, heavy duty white paper, and a white tshirt and made an inexpensive light box for taking pictures!  After contacting a fellow Etsian about her amazing photos, she referred me to a website about digital photography with a simple method for constructing your own light box at home (rather than spending hundreds of dollars on one).

So, it is all put together and I am very excited to put it to good use!  I plan on re-taking many of the pictures from my shop to repost.  I just don't feel that the lighting in many of my current photos does the jewelry any justice!  Maybe I'll post some before and after photos here to show the MUCH improved images!

I can hardly wait!

Note:  Caroline @ Khalliah Design has been so helpful in referring me to the light box tutorial.  Her website is at:  
Etsy shop at:
And facebook page at:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paper Bead Etsy Team Treasury Feature

"Spring Into a Fresher You!" Sales Event

Spring Into a Fresher You! with 25% off!

Spring's about to bloom & Summer's around the corner! Give yourself a quick & inexpensive make-over by treating yourself to new, ultra-comfortable jewelry made of Surgical Steel & Niobium meant for sensitive skin! On sale now for 25% off!


~ use code SPRING25 at checkout ~


This promotion will be running for a limited time. This is a great opportunity to pick up some new pieces that can help inspire a fresh look and fresh attitude for the spring and summer sunshine! Surgical Steel is a great, affordable option for sensitive ears. Niobium is a 100% hypoallergenic elemental metal that is a gray color in its natural form. It contains no nickel and is very comfortable to wear! Don't let the name be intimidating. This is an up & coming jewelry material!

Thanks so much! Happy Spring! Happy Summer! Happy New You! :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ring - with cute buttons

With two little ones in my house - a preschooler and a toddler - life gets busy busy busy!  So I have not had as much time lately to work on new earrings.  I'd really like to sit down during my next large chunk of free-time and set up a light box to take my photos in.  That is one of my major downfalls - my photos are just not as bright and clear as they could be to showcase the jewelry as best as possible for those browsing through etsy. 
I have recently been taking a beginners folk guitar class - something I've long wanted to do.  I really am enjoying it.  It's odd though - the calluses forming on the tips of my fingers on my left hand make playing the guitar hurt a lot less, but it also makes them a bit desensitized.  So when I'm working with ultra-small beads it's kind of strange - I don't immediately know whether I've really picked anything up at all!  It does however come in handy with wire-wrapping.  The ends of the wires don't hurt as much if they poke or scratch me there!  :)
An awesome friend of ours helped to upgrade our laptop hard drive and operating system over the weekend.  My computer is a million times faster (approximately - lol).  It is going to be so much easier to work through editing photos and posting styles now!!
Finally, I used my gold craft wire tonight to experiment again with wire wrapping to make a wire-wrapped ring.  It turned out sooo pretty!  I put two blue buttons on the top of it.  I am now wishing I made it out of hypoallergenic metal so I could keep it!  Instead of having to take it apart, I am thinking of photographing it and offering it as a give-away to one of my facebook fans who doesn't have sensitivities.  Because it is darn cute!
That is all for now - a quick update!

Edit on March 23rd:  Here are a few photos of the button ring - size 10.5.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Musical Inspiration - Rumours

I read the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer and thought it was very interesting that she credited bands and music for aiding in inspiring the books.  When I listen to Muse, who was one of these bands, I can totally see how their music helped to set the tone of the writing.

Music to me is totally inspiring.  I recall in college taking drawing and painting classes.  And the music certainly helped me to get beyond any sort of difficult spots in the drawings / paintings.  To this day, Live's albums, Throwing Copper and Secret Samadhi, take me right back to those assignments.

In fact, music helped me through most of my college career!

So on that note, I thought I would share that my last intense jewelry-making session's creativity was helped along by Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.  Such a great album!

Notes from Facebook

I have a Facebook page over at:  I try to post new styles, ideas, and discounts there from time to time.  I recently set up my page to show my blog posts as well once they've been published.  So in an effort to consolidate, I am transferring any content that was in the Notes tab of my facebook page here to this blog entry.  (And then deleting the Notes tab on there - from now on Notes will be written as a blog entry instead!)

Also, I've set up a Polls tab on the page with fun little one-click-to-vote polls about earrings, etc.  Your votes will help give me an idea of what you'd like to see more of in my shop!  Plus they're kinda fun!

And don't miss the Discounts tab where anyone who likes the page can find great discount / free shipping codes!

Sorry for the repeat Notes info - but some might enjoy re-reading these.  Have a great day!

Materials from February 17, 2010 (updated March 10, 2011)

Surgical Steel
Surgical Steel is a surgical grade stainless steel that contains a very small amount of nickel as compared to other metal alloys typically used in jewelry.  Surgical Steel is utilized in body piercings and surgical devices.  For people with sensitive ears, this can be an affordable solution to wearing earrings that will not be irritating and can work when gold and/or silver do not.  Most Surgical Steel earrings available are of a more "alternative" style, so it is our mission to provide pretty options for those of us with metal sensitivities.

Niobium is 100% hypo-allergenic and does not contain any nickel.  Niobium is not a metal alloy; it is a pure element.  This is offered as an option for those with severe nickel allergies and/or metal sensitivities.  Due to the nature of the material, the cost for Niobium earrings is slightly higher than for the Surgical Steel earrings.

Whichever material you choose, you have 15 days to try them out to see how they work for you. Please send me an email or fill in the Contact Form to submit
any questions / comments / requests.

The Right Earring Style for Your Face Shape from February 28, 2011

Excerpt from "The Right Earring Style for Your Face ShapeBy Louise McClure for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

There are three basic earring styles designers depart from -- linear, chandelier and hoop. Each of the three earring styles can accentuate and enhance your features and also balance areas you wish to downplay. For example, as with clothing, vertical lines in earring styles will draw the eye upwards and visually elongate features. Horizontal lines will draw the eye from side to side and accent the width of your face.

Face Shapes and Earring Style:

Round Face: Vertical lines of elongated, linear, drop-style and narrow chandelier earrings will add height and provide an overall slimming effect for your face, emphasizing vertical lines.

Square Face: Round contours of hoops, long teardrops and long, narrow chandelier earrings will visually soften the edges of a square face while adding visual height.

Oval Face: Hoops in circles, triangles and ovals as well as teardrops and chandeliers enhance an oval face.

Heart-Shaped Face: Horizontal lines of hoops, teardrop-shaped linear forms and chandeliers that are wider at the bottom than the top will add width to your face and soften the effects of a pointed chin.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Tribute to an Inspiration

I have been wanting to write this for a long time.  A tribute to someone who played a large part in my childhood and influenced me in many ways.  She passed away nearly five and a half years ago now.  Not a day goes by that I do not think about her.

She was my Auntie Terrye.  The more I reflect on her relationship with me and others around me, the more I am awed by the amount of unconditional love she gave.  She loved, cared, encouraged, influenced, reinforced, supported, helped, inspired, created, beautified, and conquered.  I believe that she planted seeds in all of us around her.  Seeds that have helped us to grow to be more courageous, more confident, more aware of our own worth, potential, and capabilities.  I believe she had an ability to sense when someone needed a little encouragement or a little guidance or direction.  She was an angel here on Earth - and now an angel up in heaven.  She was 50 years young when she passed away, taken by a very swift and aggressive cancer.

I am thankful that in my childhood she saw potential and handed me a kaboodle kit stocked FULL of crafting supplies, including my very first glue gun.  I am thankful that in my adolescence she always inquired as to how I was doing socially and romantically.  In that awkward phase of life she helped me to feel like I was a "normal" teenage kid.  I am thankful that she gave me a beading kit out of the blue, supplying me with something new for me to explore creatively.  I am thankful that she helped to pull me out of my shell, when I meekly did not want to draw attention to myself, having me join the girls in doing hair highlights in her living room one afternoon.  I am thankful that she gave me love, shared her love of the holidays, treated tradition so importantly, loved puzzles and a good competitive game, loved the peace and beauty of Camano Island, and sometimes shared a birthday party with me.  I am also thankful that she helped to create such beautiful decor at my wedding.

She could look at any old thing - be it a thrift store find or dollar store item and envision how it could be beautified.  I believe that this capability extended too to being able to see the beauty and strength in the people around her and knowing how to draw it out.

She had an amazing craft supply room.  After her death when we helped to clean out her home, one item that I did take home was a simple navy blue rectangular table cloth that would fit our dining room table at the time.  I was particularly touched when I found on one side a smear of hot glue.  It made me smile!  

Anyway, whenever I pull out a glue gun now, I think of her.  Whenever I sit down to bead and work on earrings now, I think of her.  I still have the same bead trays she gave me.  Her belief in me has brought me to where I am.  I am forever thankful.  I wish she could see all that I have created (including my two little girls).  I wish I could hear her thoughts, ideas, and advice for my creations.  I can imagine what she would say and can still hear a trace of her voice and laugh.  I can still see her sparkling eyes and genuine, bright smile.  And, as a side, a part of me thinks that she'd be a top seller on Etsy by now too.  :)

Thank you, dear Auntie Terrye.  The world is truly not the same without you.  I miss you immensely and am sorry I never voiced my gratitude to you prior to your death.  I hope someday we will be reunited in warm embraces.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tweet Tweet!

I finally joined Twitter!  I am @prettysensitive on there, just in case you'd like to "Follow" me!  :)

Also, I'm running a special discount during the month of February for Facebook Fans.  The coupon code is located on the fan page which can be found at:  (FYI - it is for 15% off!!)

And finally, I ventured into my local 1/2 Price Books store this evening to do a little browsing and picked up two very interesting books on jewelry making.  One is titled "Jewelry Making Techniques Book" and the other is "Great Wire Jewelry Projects & Techniques."  I am oh so excited about all of the marvelous *Techniques* that I will get to read about!!  Maybe I'll share my favorites here!

I cleaned up my laptop's hard drive a bit yesterday so that I had enough room to load more earring photos to crop and save for posting to Etsy and was able to do that processing on most of them tonight.  So, now I'm off to bed, and hopefully tomorrow I will be able to post my newest styles for everyone to see!  "There's a few of them that I'm particularly psyched out of my mind for."  (that is a quote in some movie I've seen.....which is not coming to mind right now.  I am far too tired to be up right now!)  Aaand, goodnight!  :)

Monday, January 31, 2011


Well, 2011 has been busy for me so far.  So much so that I haven't had the chance to sit down and create yet at all!  I did however sit down with my tools and supplies and re-organize them.  Things had begun to get a bit chaotic with bits and pieces of ideas scattered, well, everywhere.  So now, things are re-organized.  I stopped by my local craft shop a week or so ago and loaded up on some new tools and more beads that I thought were lovely.  I ventured into gemstone territory and picked up some amazonite and I'm very excited to start working with it. 
I have been saving up several small projects that need jewelry glue applied to them.  It of course says to use it in a well ventilated area - which I do not really have.  And with my two very young daughters in the house I thought it'd be best to heed their warning.  Today finally the sun is shining in the Pacific Northwest, so I think when my hubby arrives home this afternoon I will either a) open the windows to let some crisp fresh air inside and glue my projects or b) take my projects out on to the balcony - for which I may need to bundle up a bit.  (It may be sunny, but it's still chilly!)
Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will have several new items ready to list for sale!  I have not worked much with this glue so have not found the best way to apply it without using too hopefully I'll get that figured out without gluing my fingers together.  That would be a sticky situation!