Thursday, April 30, 2015

Treasures of the Earth Gem Show

Today our JET Team member Wanda, of GemstonesOnMyMind reports back on her recent visit to a bead show.

"Who doesn’t love a good bead show? I recently had the opportunity to spend a day at one of our local shows, managed by “Treasures of the Earth”. This was a new venue for them so there was an undercurrent of excitement for both the exhibitors and visitors. Throughout the hall there was a generous mix of gems, minerals, beads, fossils and jewelry, so this was playing out to be a fun day!

I quickly spotted one of my favorite bead vendors and made my way to their booth. The strands were as beautiful as ever, so I took my time carefully choosing a few of my favorites. Next I came across quite a large exhibit of minerals and fossils, with a few local finds here and there. I even found a whale vertebrae fossil that was very similar to one my son had found when he was a young boy. The vendor had it listed as being found in Surry, VA., the very same area where my son found his - Amazing!

I really needed to spend a lot more time at this show than I had actually planned for. Each time I entered a booth, I had to tear myself away from it, so that I would have time to visit them all! There was estate jewelry, both precious and costume, and modern day artisans each with their own unique style. I even spotted a couple of shop owners from Etsy.

As it turned out, in addition to the vendors, The Gem and Mineral Society of the Virginia Peninsula had brought in their members to do demonstrations throughout the day. One of the most interesting demos available was their Geode cutting operations. If you’ve ever cut a geode yourself, you know about the magnificent display of druzy crystals that hide in the inner pockets of these earthy stones. The proceeds from their operations went to charity so I thought I would splurge and buy a large one.

After handling, listening to and smelling a few geodes, I picked out one that for some unknown reason, seemed to be my “lucky rock”. So, with a promise to bring back my treasure for all to view later, I headed across the hall to the huge machinery.

Being a friendly bunch and eager to share their knowledge, the members allowed me to take photos of them at work. Lots of water spray, noise and fumes later, my 2 pound geode was cut to reveal beautiful purply brown hued crystals inside the hollowed area. Isn't it beautiful?!

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this small bead show with the variety of vendors and displays. I’m seriously thinking about taking them up on their kind invitation to join their local Gem and Mineral Society. After all, who doesn’t love a good “rock” hunting field trip?!"

Wanda of GemstonesOnMyMind

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday Kitchen - Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Welcome to another Wednesday Kitchen, featuring favourite recipes from members of the JET Team! This week team leader Ida, of AdroitJewelers, shares a really quick and easy cake recipe. We can't wait to try this one, Ida!

I actually like making cakes from scratch, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for quick and easy - especially when it’s good. I wanted to share one such recipe with you, for Pineapple Angel Food Cake. There are only 2 ingredients, but no one will ever suspect just how simple it actually is. Shhh, it will be our little secret!


  • 1 x box Angel Food cake mix
  • 1 x 20 ounce can crushed pineapple

To Make

  1. Pour the contents of the box of Angel Food cake mix into a mixing bowl.
    Don’t bother to follow the directions on the box, just add the can of crushed pineapple. See, I told you it was easy!

  2. You won’t need to use a mixer either - just stir it.
    As you do this, the mixture will grow, filling your mixing bowl.

  3. Once it's all mixed up, pour it into a greased pan (I use an angel food cake pan).

  4. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. If you use a different size pan, just keep watch because the cooking time may vary. When it’s done, the top will be brown and have cracks.

  5. And before long it will look like this... Enjoy!

P.S. A little whipped cream on top makes a delicious addition.

If you have a quick and easy recipe I’d love for you to share it in the comments!
Ida of AdroitJewelers

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Getting to Grips with #Hashtags - Part 1

These days, all the main social media platforms support hashtags - Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and so on. Being rather a late starter when it comes to social media, hashtags were something of a mystery to me - until recently I was unsure how, when or where to use them! It turns out they are everywhere - on the radio, on TV, on social media, on product packaging - you just can't ignore them any longer!

What Is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is a # (hash) symbol followed by a word, a nmemonic, or several words strung together without any spaces or punctuation between them. For example, the following are all examples of what a hashtag might look like: #hash, #tag, #ht, #hashtag and #thisisahashtag. Depending on how and where they are used, they may appear quite cryptic, but they will always mean something to someone, somewhere! You may find the definition below helpful:

Why Use Hashtags?

Quite simply, hashtags help in sharing and finding information and conversations on social media. Think about how you store files on your laptop or tablet so you can find them again easily - you probably have different types of files grouped together in different folders, each with their own unique name. Hashtags work in a similar sort of way on social media, making it easier and quicker to access information you are interested in.

What Hashtags Are In Use?

Lots of different hashtags are in use at any given moment in time. If you see a hashtag you don't understand or that doesn't seem to make sense to you, and would like to know what it means, you can check it out on This handy website will even translate the meaning into other languages for you!

The most popular current hashtags are referred to as "Trending". To see what I mean, let's check out what people are currently chatting about on Twitter. First of all, navigate to your Twitter homepage. On the left side of the screen, underneath your name and photo, you will see a list of words and phrases. This is the list of currently trending subjects - in other words, this list tells you the most popular conversation topics on Twitter right now.

Some of the items in Twitter's trending list will be hashtags, and these are easily identifiable because they start with a hash sign. They are also clickable links, and if you click on one of the items in the list, all the relevant discussions on that subject will appear on your screen. You'll notice that the currently trending list tends to be things that are in the news right now, plus other current events of general interest such as what's happening in a particular sport or on a very popular TV programme.

How do I use a Hashtag?

You can always reply to a specific tweet in the usual way, but to join in a current discussion on Twitter you simply add the hashtag everyone else is using for that discussion to one of your tweets. You can also add a hashtag to your Instagram photo to share information about that photo, or you can start your own conversation by including a hashtag in a Facebook status.

In this way, hashtags can be used to share things like #photographs or #recipes. You can also search for hashtags on social media, to find discussions and images that you are interested in. Once you start to use them, you'll notice that hashtags are also used to market products and services, to seek solutions to questions or problems, to complain about something - the possibilities are endless!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Style - Gingham

In this edition of Sunday Style with the JET Team we will look at a very versatile pattern for spring and summer - gingham!

When I think of "The Wizard of Oz", I don’t just picture the creepy flying monkeys of my nightmares, but also Dorothy’s iconic light blue gingham dress. Because of this association, gingham outfits can seem a little too costumey or young for me. However, I’ve searched through Etsy and found some very wearable outfits that feature gingham and won’t have you worrying about the flying monkeys kidnapping you!

Gingham is a ideal for a tomboy look. A camp shirt tied at the waist in a gingham color, paired with a rolled up pair of boyfriend jeans, is a great weekend look. Add a pair of canvas sneakers and some simple handmade jewelry pieces and you are ready to walk the trail at the lake or hang out at your bestie’s barbeque party. It’s easy living wear!

This outfit starts with a sleeveless top (1) from theethicalpetal and vintage Levis (2) from PastReferenceUS. Add a cute double wrap bracelet (3) from malves1009 and an industrial bike chain pendant (4) from WanderingJeweler.

If you like to fidget with your rings, you will love this set of stack rings (5) from LoveStoneArts with a spinner ring. To keep you on your feet, treat them well in a pair of canvas shoes. How about a pair with a cute little dog (6) handpainted on them by ByGThatsMe? Adorable! Add a big red gingham tote (7) by marketbags to stow all your stuff for a busy day.

Gingham can be seen as the sweet version of plaid, but add some lace to it, and it seems very modern. This amazing open back dress (8) of black gingham and lace from chrystalshop is a great place to start. I decided to add peridot jewelry because I was feeling the spring green color. This accent color comes in the form of shoulder duster earrings (9) from EarthEnergyWeddings, SilverSmack's peridot silver bypass ring (10), and a peridot stone and druzy necklace (11) from JemsbyJBandCompany.

Also add the shade of green with a cute clutch (12) from aylla. Finish the outfit with 2 inch patent leather wedges with gingham bows (13) from QuieroJune. Add a little of BonefeathersPeridot natural perfume (14) to your pulse points for a great evening out!

See you next week!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Whats on My Bench

Welcome to another edition of Whats on My Bench with the JET Team. This week Gaetana of SatinDollCo tells us what she's been working on...

A couple of weeks back, on a cold and rainy day, several new additions to our Luxe Collection were born. Every jewelry designer will have some excess chain and charms hanging around at any given time and, since I put myself on a "NO more supplies!" buying freeze, I decided I must be more resourceful and use up some of my existing supplies.

I knew I wanted my new pieces to be simple, yet chic. And what's more chic than a lariat or y necklace?! So, using nothing more than chains, jump rings, clasps and a charm for one piece, I set to work.

The results were pieces that I will keep for myself, which is always a temptation when you are creating! One piece features just one type of chain, while another combines two different types. And let's not forget the one with the edgy dagger, or the rose gold one!

I had set myself the challenge of using the supplies I already had to hand, rather than buying more, and I'm delighted with the results and my new Luxe Collection creations! Which just goes to show, you don't always need to "buy, buy, buy" - just shop from your existing supply stash!

Thank you for sharing with us, Gaetana! See you all soon for another Whats on My Bench!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Finds - Summer Brights

At long last the sun has started to peep through the clouds here, and perhaps summer is finally on its way! To make the most of the sunshine, today's selection comprises bold, bright and colorful jewelry - all perfect for summer, and all handcrafted by members of the JET Team...

Lampwork Glass Bracelets

Colourful Earrings

Eyecatching Pendants

Bold Flowers

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Favorite Hobby

Hello and welcome to our JET Team blog! Today sees the first of an occasional series, in which members tell us about what they love to do best - when not designing and making jewellery, of course! To start us off, Erin of ErinAustin is here to tell us a little about what she gets up to in her spare time...

"Hi, I'm Erin, and my favorite hobby is gardening. I had such a great time in the garden last year that I created a raised bed for a fall garden, increase our vegetable growing area. Now seems like the perfect time of year to share it with you, as I recently finished a second one to expand my spring garden!

To construct the bed I started with overlapping layers of chicken wire and several layers of cardboard boxes to act as a barrier to weeds and gophers. I then spent a couple of hours building the box from recycled untreated fencing materials - it's 9.5' x 3.5' x 11" and it took me a couple of hours to make.

Then, I laid down about six inches of hay in the bottom of the box, and topped it off with a 1:1:1 mixture of perlite, peat moss, and compost. To help ward off pests, I surrounded the bed in the traditional way, with nasturtiums, chives, and marigolds. Occasionally I also sprinkle "Sluggo", a pet friendly snail and slug bait, around the base of the bed and between the plants.

My most successful plants last fall were Kale and Beets, and so far everything is doing well this spring - I love the changing seasons and spending time in the garden!

Erin of ErinAustin

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday Kitchen - Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

On this week's Wednesday Kitchen, JET Team leader Lynn of UrbanPearlStudio shares a terrific Breakfast Casserole recipe she created, using Trader Joe's hash browns!

Trader Joe's makes the most fun hash brown patties and I was hoping to find a recipe to incorporate the delicious oval delights combined with the standard breakfast foods, eggs, bacon and cheese.

After searching for nearly an hour, I finally found several recipes to use as a basis for a new one. I took the basic ingredients and methods and created a new, easy dish which is perfect for a Sunday morning or weeknight supper.

Photo credit:

This baked dish is somewhat quiche-like on steroids, having the generous hash brown patties deep under the bacon and cheese. You can tweak this recipe to add or replace your own favorite ingredients, like sausage and red peppers, but this is what I had to hand and the flavor profile my brain was craving at the time!


  • 1 x Pack of Trader Joe's Frozen Hash Brown Patties
  • 1 x Package of Lean Bacon
  • 1 x 8 oz Package of Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 x Onion, Chopped and Lightly Sautéed
  • 3 x Raw Green Onions, Chopped
  • 8 x Extra Large or Jumbo Eggs
  • 2 x Cups of Milk

To Make

  1. Spray a casserole dish lightly with cooking oil. Ideally, the dish will measure 7"x9" to hold 4 hash brown patties as a base, and will be deep enough to double stack them with other ingredients (if you use too large a pan, you will end up with a "Flat Stanley" - far too thin!)
  2. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Place 8 frozen hash browns on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning them carefully after 10 minutes

  4. Roughly chop and brown the bacon, then drain on paper towel
  5. Whisk the eggs in a bowl, then add the milk and green onions

  6. Season to taste with pepper, herbs and just a small dash of salt (bacon is salty)
  7. When the hash browns are browned, lay 4 on the bottom of your casserole dish.
  8. Top with ½ of the sautéed onions, then top with ⅓ of the cooked bacon, then top with ⅓ of the cheese
  9. Place the other 4 hash browns on top, and top with the rest of the sautéed onions
  10. Top with ⅓ of the cooked bacon, then top with ⅓ of the cheese. Reserve the remaining ⅓ of bacon and ⅓ of cheese)
  11. Pour the beaten egg mixture over the top of the casserole
  12. Cover the dish with foil and place on a foil lined baking sheet, to mop up any spills
  13. Bake at 350 degrees. Check the center after 1 hour. If it is still very wet, recover the dish and bake for another 20 min. Keep checking it every 20 mins until the casserole is starting to firm up. Then add the last of the bacon and cheddar cheese, and return the uncovered dish to the oven until done

  14. The casserole is ready when you poke a knife in the center and it comes out clean. Each oven is different and the dish may take a shorter or longer time to cook, so you need to watch it carefully to ensure it's not underdone or overdone
  15. Stand for 5 minutes to set, then cut into generous servings. Serve with fresh fruit and/or a mini muffin.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday Treasures!

Tuesday Treasures with the JET TeamWelcome to another Tuesday Treasure shopping experience with the JET Team on Etsy.

We have a veritable cornucopia of treasures for you today, based on two interesting and unusual themes - Stacked, and What's New Pussycat? Plus, of course, there are lots of jewelry gift ideas for Mothers Day!

Stacked by RoughMagicCreations

Stackable Rings or Knuckle Rings - Midi Rings - Sterling Silver and Brass Handmade Rings - Minimalist Pretty Rings - Christina GuentherYoscar Ola Vintage Russian Nesting DollFamily Names Sign. Custom Art. Personalized Gifts. Family Name Artwork. Stacking Stones. Hostess Ideas. Housewarming Gifts Personalized.vintage suitcase set luggage matching suitcases*RARE* tweed striped gift vintage wedding decor film 1940s 1950s mid century stacking antique
Sterling Silver Wave Bracelet, Modern Bangle Bracelet Set, Contemporary Stacking BangleBook Stack Home Decor ~ Cream Grey Black 4 Hard Copy Books ~ Silver Gilt Lettering ~ Sleek Style Prop ~ Instant Collection Decorative BooksVintage 1980 Illustrations, Men, A Pictorial Archive From Nineteenth-Century Sources by Dover Publications Inc Paperback Book by Jim HarterNatural Stacking Doll's Family, DIY wood toy, Wooden Stacking Toy, Natural Wooden Beads
Ribbed Silverplate or Chrome Plated Stacked Teapot Set, Creamer and Lidded Sugar Vintage from India unique Raj Tea PotVintage PYREX Cinderella Woodland Nesting Mixing Bowls Brown Tan White Flowers Glass Stacking Mod Beach Retro Country Cottage 750ml 2 LitersWhite Modern Beaded Bracelet / Stack / Stretch / Smaller Beads / Neutral / NaturalMid Century Stacking Tables, Small Mid Century Side Tables, Faux Marble Skinny Leg Tables
VintageWooden Bangle Bracelet TrioRainbow Moonstone Stack Earrings, Moonstone and Sterling Silver, White Earrings, Bridal EarringsFelted Teething Ring: Stackable 100% Virgin Un-Dyed Wool Eco Friendly Teether Toy - Monochromatic, Made To Order1960s Vintage Spectator Heels, Stacked Heel by Life Stride, Size 7 AA

Jewelry For Mom by LeesEarringBoutique

Labradorite Earrings - Blue Gemstone - Short Dangle - Lever back earrings - 14K Gold filled - Bezel set teardropsRose Pink Necklace, 1950s Vintage Swarovski Crystal Flower Pendant, Bridal Jewelry, Floral Mothers Day Gift, Victorian InspiredWhite Wedding Bridal Earrings Long Dangle Drops, Mother of Pearl Hearts, Sterling SilverAqua Blue Shell Flower And Crystal Necklace
Red Steampunk Heart Necklace Mended Heart Pendant polymer clay Handmade GiftCream Pearl and Black Crystal Necklace with Swarovski Drop Pendant, Bridal, Prom, Mothers DayRhinestone Circle Brooch, Double Hearts, Goldfilled Brooch Mothers Pin Grandmothers PinPink Tourmaline Ring-Alternative Engagement Ring-Wedding Ring-Silver and Gold Ring-Pink Ring
Butterfly Necklace, Butterfly Pendant, Triangle Pendant Necklace, Silver Tone, Digital ArtUpcycled Cluster Earrings Bracelet, Neutral Cafe au Lait, Repurposed Vintage  Pearls and Earrings, Eco Friendly BraceletPeridot Earrings, Crystal Quartz Earrings, Dangle Earrings, August Birthstone, Stone EarringsMothers Day Gift, Cross Stitch Poem for Mother with Pink Roses Framed Wall Art or Easel for Standing
Alexandrite Crystal & Pearl Necklace Silver Morning Glory Floral Pendant Handmade Jewelry - June Birthday Mother's Day Gift for HerAngel earrings, celtic jewelry, wire knot, aluminum wire heartHydrangea and Silver BangleLabradorite Earrings, Fine Silver Wave Dangles, Faceted Gemstone, Eco Friendly Silver

What's New, Pussycat? by NancysCrystalFantasy

Vintage Cat Brooch, Wire Work Body in Gold Tone with Red Eyes, 1960sFranz Marc Cat medallion, glass cabochon, bronze tone necklace, art print, artistic jewelry, yellow pillowWhat's New Pussycat Postcard Set of 10 / Cat Postcards, Cat Postcard SetCustom Furry Kitty Amigurumi - Hand Crocheted - made to order
Rustic Copper Kitty Cat Pendant, Adjustable Chain Necklace, Hand Forged MetalTom Jones Buttons - One of a Kind Music Fash Badges What's New Pussycat PinsDesigner Vintage Cat Fish Brooch, Collectible 1928 Jewelry CompanySteampunk dragon eye heart necklace Handmade Gift
Leopard Necklace, Gunmetal Black, Fine Art Print, Photo Jewelry, Big Cat NecklacePearl Cat Collar with Magnetic Safety ClaspOriginal cat painting Custom Cat Painting custom cat portrait Siamese cat painting, Acrylic paintingCat bed/cat house/cat cave/ houseleek felted cat bed
Cat Appliques Rhinestone Pink Blue Purple Embroidered (18)Personalized Pet Earrings, Custom Photo Dog Cat Jewelry, Nickel FreePink kitty charm bracelet - as seen in Seventeen Magazine - sparkly pink cat charm bracelet - kawaii, cute, harajuku girlNails, 3D nails, cat nails, cats, kawaii nails, blue, polka dots, heart, bows, deco nails, decora, Harajuku, pastel fashion, cute nails,