Motivation, Part One: Twitter.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

Is there something that you really want?

I want Scarlet Robin to be as big as Texas. With an ever-increasing tenacity and passion. And because I need to sleep, and don’t know everything about everything, I need as much support, wisdom and motivation as I can get.

So after snoozing the alarm every morning, I lay in bed and read snippets from the entrepreneurs, business and life coaches, ministers, fitness experts and purveyors of inspiration that I follow on Twitter. When my 9 minute snooze is up, I am infinitely more in a frame of mind to make the day count.

I also wear tags with specific words on them that help me stay centered.  And the occasional week at Hilton Head helps in the motivation department as well :)

So tell us, what do you really, really want?  And how do you move toward it?  Leave a comment and share your own wisdom!

Thanks @GreatestQuotes on Twitter for the Zig Ziglar tweet above.

 

Kiyoko Kumai on Steel Wool

I fell head over heels in love with metal a few years back.  It was love at first every sense:  sight, touch, smell–I don’t even mind the taste of metal dust in my mouth at the end of a long day in the studio.  As with many great loves, I wasn’t looking to leave my previous medium of choice, paper, but I barely had time to apologize to my deliciously well-appointed paper studio before eloping with the torch and saw.

This phenomenon has happened to others I know as well.  Paulette stitches nearly invisible beads into crazily intricate patterns around tiny wooden balls. My father stacks a dozen types of rare wood and then turns breathtaking vessels from the block.  Every maker has a medium soul-mate out there.

So when I turned the corner in NYC’s Museum of Arts and Design and saw Kiyoko Kumai’s Sen Man Na Yu Ta, (which I call Steel Wool on the Wall), I laughed out loud.  (Alone, by the way).

And I further love the artist, Kiyoko Kumai, for saying here, “I have made what I like most from the materials that I like.”  No shame in loving the medium!  Check out other extraordinary explorations with steel on her fetchingly spare website.

One of the distinguishing features of a Scarlet Robin product is its brushed metal finish.  A tool in achieving that finish is little balls of steel wool–of which there are dozens floating around the studio at all times.

What’s your medium?  Words?  Cranberries?  Deep-knee bends? Throw it at us!

Win a Scarlet Robin Gift Certificate from Mom365’s Mother’s Day Treasure Hunt

When is the last time you did something just for you…a little pampering or ‘me time’?  That’s what we thought!  My mom would go to great lengths to do something special for us even if it meant she had to go without.  So when we were approached by Mom365 to donate a prize for their ‘Love Yourself Challenge‘, we were thrilled for the opportunity to give a lucky mom an excuse to spoil herself.

Head over to Mom365 Mother’s Day Treasure Hunt and play for your chance to win a $75 Scarlet Robin Gift Certificate (or one of their other four excellent prizes)!

Good luck!

Chain Upgrades

Sometimes you just desire a little extra boost for a special piece of jewelry. We have some great optional chains that can take your purchase to the next level. Whether it’s making the accessory a bit more luxe, or adding length, these chains are all fabulous upgrades. Often you will find these upgrades listed as options right on the item page, but if not, please send us an email with your request.

Camilla Cut Ball chains are similar to regular ball chains in how they drape, their excellent durability and modern feel. These chains can be requested as alternates on many designs at no charge, and for a slight upgrade fee on others. We regularly stock 18”, and can order 16”, 20” and 24”. See it here.

This Rolo Chain is my favorite chain. Of. All. Time. The only thing that would make it better would be making it from solid 18K gold. Which would cost $10,000. It’s long and it holds my favorite tags. Plus it’s heavy and feels oh, so luxe. It’s perfect for larger pieces, and especially excellent for multiple tags. The 24” length makes it perfect for layering as well.

A silver Butterfly Twist chain adds sparkle, richness and visual weight to your necklace. It is a thick chain, and it’s shine lights up certain designs particularly well. We stock 18”, but can order 16” as well.

 

 

 

The Gold Ball Chain has all the great features of our silver ball chain (link to Basic Chain Blog), with the warmth and richness of gold. It is available in 16”, 18” and 24” lengths. We regularly stock 18” and often 24” as well.  Although it doesn’t come standard on this tag, you can see it’s excellence in action.

This delicious Gold Rope Chain adds serious weight and class to your gold jewelry. For any pendant 1” or larger, this chain is a fabulous upgrade that will knock your socks off.

 

 

For gold tags, and other pendants (1” or larger), this long chain (24″) elevates a beautiful piece of jewelry to a spectacular one. A long chain rests lower on the chest, allowing the wearer to readily see the tags all day long!

 

We have a great supplier, so if you have a specific type of chain in mind that you’re not seeing here, please let us know. Nothing is more important to Scarlet Robin than your satisfaction, and we are constantly on the alert for the best new chains!

-xoxo, Jen

 

 

 

 

How to Wear Silicones

Scarlet Robin silicone bracelets are enormously popular with everyone from little girls to grammies. These stretchy, comfortable and durable black bracelets offer a modern take on classic charm bracelets, and are surprisingly versatile.

Here’s the DL on SR Silicones.

Q: What’s the best way to wear these bracelets?

A: While you certainly can wear each bracelet separately, we recommend snapping them end to end and wrapping as a continuous length. This allows for more flexibility in terms of conforming to your wrist’s precise size, prevents strain on the snaps and keeps the set together.

Q: Can I order silicone bracelets in multiple sizes?

A: The short answer is no. While our manufacturer only offers these in one size, there are ways to make the bracelets a bit larger if that’s what you need. By linking the bracelets end to end, you can create a bit more space throughout the set. If this doesn’t provide enough wiggle room, we can attach the charms to 16” silicones, which can then be double-wrapped as 8” bracelets. This solution has pleased many customers. With this option, we recommend adding sterling silver bead stops to hold the charms in place (see below).

Q: Is there any way to make the charms stay in the center of each bracelet?

A: During normal wear, the charms on these bracelets, whether single or multiple, migrate to the underside of the wrist, and congregate near the snaps. To make them stay on the stop of the wrist requires bead stops on either side of the charm set. We use sterling silver beads that wrap around the silicone, preventing the charms from sliding freely on the bands.

It’s purely personal preference whether you want the charms stationary or free-sliding. Our staff is about evenly split on the topic! I’m a definite yes.

Q: How do I put the bracelets on?

A: We recommend gently stretching the fully closed (snapped) bracelet over your hand, rather than open and closing the snap each time you put the bracelet on and off. As most customers wear more than one, we recommend snapping the bracelets end to end, wrapping your wrist in one continuous loop, then snapping the free ends. (see photos)

Q: Can I add more charms to a single bracelet?

A: Without adding the optional bead stops, we recommend no more than 3 charms (metal or bead), per bracelet. By adding 3 silver bead stops, 2 distinct segments are created, which can each hold 2 charms.

Q: How should I take care of the bracelets?

A: We generally tell customers that not much is required to care for these bracelets. We wear them running, at the beach, in the shower—for weeks at a time without removing them. However, it would be wise to use care when snapping and unsnapping the bracelets. If you put the bracelets on and off without using the clasps, be as gentle as you can when stretching the silicone.

To care for silver charms, use very fine steel wool to rub away tarnish as often as needed.

 

Love My Kids

Love My Kids GoldOne of those kind of sappy songs from the 80s that made such an impression on my young mind was “Russians”. Pre-Perestroika, our youthful fears were of nuclear holocaust, and in this song Sting looks for hope by saying “I hope the Russians love their children too.”  Watch the You Tube video.

Loving our kids is perhaps the world’s most universal feeling. It’s without a doubt the most defining and driving force in my own life. Definitely worth saying.

Why shouldn’t love for our children also help us overcome petty differences in our days? In the end, getting down to what matters can be really useful. Of course the Russians love their children—that moment has passed, and others have come.

Express What Matters Most.

 

Basic Chain Choices

Let me tell you that one of my favorite things to do is open a box from our chain supplier. There is something about the slinkiness, drapiness and luster of a silver chain that makes my heart beat a little faster. I love my job.

There are chains that show up time and again. Time-tested and worn by thousands of Scarlet Robin customers around the world, they are the all-time favorites. How a chain gets matched to a particular piece is just one of those mysterious unquantifiables that lurk in the domain of design.

Ball chains, of course, started out as the classic accompaniment to military dog tags. They started showing up in precious metal jewelry about 15 years ago, and their popularity has not waned. With good reason. Here are 5 reasons a ball chain deserves to be at the top: 1. Neither sweet nor edgy, it is insanely versatile. 2. It doesn’t tangle in your jewelry box. 3. Remarkably sturdy. 4. Holds a polish well, and is easy to clean. 5. Looks amazing in all sizes from teensy 1mm, to uber-pricey 4mm. Bonus: it doesn’t pull the baby hairs at the back of your neck. Favorites that use this chain are Fleur de Lis, Love My Kids in Silver, and I Really xoxo You.

Box chains feel so delicious it’s hard to explain. Other than snake chains, which essentially thread the long hairs on the nape of my neck*, nothing has an equivalent drape. They have a very particular presence of their own, and so don’t show up as often as I would like. The thinnest version is extremely versatile, as well as highly durable. (*If you’ve never had your eyebrows threaded, good for you.) Box chains can be found on the Micro Pop-up Heart.

Rope chains are the luxury standard of our house of design. They bring undeniable elegance and weight to whatever they hold and so are generally used on more substantial pieces. Both sizes convey richness and this style is a definite studio favorite. It graces two of our most popular necklaces the Pop-up Heart Shelli Stack and Silver Triple Stack.

Twisted Serpentine. Fun and sparkly and girly, this is a terribly charming chain. We come back to it time and again and personally use it on just about everything! It’s delicate without disappearing; sparkly without triteness and complementary to just about anything fairly lightweight. Love. See it on our First Bloom Necklace the Silver Half-shell Monogram.

Although we have ideas about what chains look best with certain pieces, we are open to your input, and are happy to help find the perfect chain for you!

 

Birthstones

Birthstones. So where did the custom of associating certain stones with months originate? Some believe that the tradition is linked to stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel that were set into Moses’ brother Aaron’s breastplate. Others prefer to think of birthstones as linked to the zodiac. While a few modern wearers may continue to cherish certain stones for their legendary mystical powers, most of us simply enjoy a pretty stone charm with a snippet of personal meaning.

The birthstone list used by American jewelers was codified in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers. At Scarlet Robin, we refer to this standard, substituting Swarovski crystals in certain months for cost or practicability. According to this chart, most months have a single, undisputed stone, while four months offer alternatives. Our decisions about which stones/crystals to use comes from our knowledge of the durability, availability and cost of all the stones. We stock one selection for each month, except for October for which we offer two: natural pink opal, or blue/green opal Swarovski crystal.

Birthstones appear most commonly in Scarlet Robin collections as single wire-wrapped charms, or double-stacked charms. When purchasing the stones we will use, we look for the highest quality, most richly colored examples we can find that also fit the cost parameters associated with each piece of jewelry. Many of our gems are mined and hand-cut by artisans in Africa, India and other parts of Asia. For this reason, your birthstone charm may not be the same shape as the ones you see on this page and on other item listings.

All birthstones are wrapped with either sterling silver or gold-filled wire.

For more information, google “History of Birthstones”.  You can also check out this article at AJSGEM.com.

December Birthstone

December. Family, generosity, good food—these are all identifying qualities of the year’s last month. Parents look forward to a toddler finally being able to open presents, and all the bonds of love are reinforced. Your industrious Scarlet Robin elves emerge, a bit stunned by daylight, around December 20, just in time to enjoy. . .my birthday! Well, not until the 26th. . .

Birthstone: Two stones are frequently used to represent December births: turquoise, and blue topaz or zircon. The word turquoise is derived from the Old French word for Turkish—as it was Turkish traders who first introduced the stone to western jewelers. Much of the finest turquoise used in jewelry comes from the Middle East, although a good bit is turned up incidentally during US copper-mining operations in the southwest. Scarlet Robin uses turquoise, because we can offer a genuine stone at a reasonable price, whereas blue topaz is cost prohibitive.

If you prefer the clarity of color offered by blue zircon, we would be happy to substitute a Swarovski crystal bead charm in the color below. Please indicate this clearly on your order.

* Image from Firemountain Gems

The availability of natural gemstones varies greatly, and the shape of gemstone shown above is not necessarily what you will receive. We do our best to offer consistent quality, and to obtain the best color possible at reasonable cost.

November Birthstone

November. On the East coast, fall is earnestly underway in November and the air is crisp and clean smelling. Thanksgiving brings us together, turtlenecks and boots emerge from the back of the closet and the birthstones for this month are warm and almost glowy.

Birthstone: Citrines are the most traditional and commonly used birthstone for November. In color, citrines can range from pale milky yellow to clear lemon yellow and are priced according to depth and clarity of color. Topaz while similar, is generally more golden-brown and clear. Both stones occur naturally across the globe, but generally only citrines are made into beads.

We love natural citrines, but in response to customer feedback, Scarlet Robin now offers topaz colored Swarovski crystals as the standard November birthstone. If you would like a natural citrine instead, please indicate your preference at the time you place your order. See what a natural citrine looks like on our Go-go Earrings.