1.10.15 worldly wise

2015/01/img_3381.jpg
Where to start today? Blogging always feels like a diary entry, doesn’t it? And all you snoops keep reading my super private thoughts!

Thanks to my favorite jeweler, Isabella Hutten who mended the assortment of bracelets my mom gave me recently (mostly pieces of my Grandmother’s) I am wearing day 2 of charm bracelets.The figuinhas for luck and the big guy that is actually my mom’s from when she was a girl.

My mom was raised in a military family but her mom was Brazilian (thus me being Brazilian and all- my mom was living with her Auntie and Uncle when my parents married and birthed yours truly)… So her early life she lived everywhere and saw much of the world. This bracelet is made up of all those places. Panama, Alaska, Brazil, Virginia, Maine, Italy, France. New York State which has an accent over the e in New for some inexplicable reason.

Anyway, my honey, too, was raised in a military family. I asked him over dinner last night if he ever thought of the fact that any kids we may have and I would share a very similar childhood, while his was so very different. I realized that this was something that connects my mom and him, tho his family was Air Force and my mom’s was Army. Both are so strange and alien to me. Back to my question though, his answer was yes, he had thought about it. That was just about the full extent of his reply.

So here’s the point: you know how they say women marry men who are like their fathers? Well, I think I married my mom.

11.7.14 yelp and the anonymous reviewer

IMG_2981.JPG
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts ahem, Full Dinosaur Disclosure I own a shop. One of the evils of being in a customer service business is Yelp. Most of the time I’m completely tickled by my reviews. Actually, most of the time it takes me three months to notice a review, and then I’m tickled. Every once in a while there’s somebody who’s annoyed with how I’ve handled a situation, and the lesson there is that you can’t make everyone happy. Hello? I’m not Nordstrom’s, I just cannot accept a return of a pair of PJs that has been washed, worn, and the size tags removed just because your grandchild no longer fits them. Regardless of rightness or wrongness I feel bad about this kind of Yelp review. But I brush it off. Yelp happens. I doubt it even effects my business.

I sometimes use Yelp myself. To get a phone number or to see the reviews of a new restaurant. I prefer to read the bad reviews to see if the complaints are legitimate (food poisoning) or not (bad date, location is happenstance). But again, this is rare, since I’m a creature of habit and usually frequent the same five restaurants.

What bums me out about Yelp is this Hutten Jewelers page. I’ve mentioned Hutten Jewelers before. They are the most amazing jewelers for so many reasons. Izabella, the owner, is a 60 year old Brigitte Bardot type lady with a heavy Polish accent. Not like the current Brigitte Bardot, mind you, but if Brigitte Bardot had aged the way we all expected her to. This is a picture of her below, usually she’s got this giant contraption strapped to her head that magnifies the gem stones she’s working on.

Izabella

Izabella’s customer service is amazing. My husband shopped around for a jeweler when he was preparing to pop the question. He had some vintage diamonds and needed a jeweler to set them. Most jewelry stores charge a “corkage” fee for supplying your own diamonds. Not Izabella. But the greatness of Izabella is more then this. We bring everything to her: engraving needs, mending, designing, appraising. The other day I dropped in with one of my Goodwill finds to ask her what kind of material it was. (Agate, it’s an agate bangle. I am such a pest.)

Hutten Jewelers

Her fees? So reasonable. Plus, as repeat customers she always knocks the price down for us to be even lower than reasonable. She nurtures our relationship. She can never retire, we need her too much!

But so what breaks my heart about Yelp is when Izabella, who is excellent at her job, but who does not use the internet, or really understand that a Yelp review is not such a big deal, when she gets herself all worked up over a bad review that is completely meritless in its criticisms. And she has no recourse to dealing with it. There’s no check and balance system in place where Yelp confirms “Yes, this is a legitimate complaint” or “No, this is a person who demanded the name of Izabella’s landlord and when Izabella did not feel comfortable providing this kind of info to a stranger on the sidewalk, they wrote her a terrible Yelp review.” She cares about what you think about her and her business when you read that review. She has three reviews. She really needs a freaking website already, but that’s a different pig to fry.

So I say fuck it! Fuck Yelp for making people feel bad about doing their jobs. Fuck the power of this anonymous stranger. You got a problem with a business, address them directly. Cut out this awful Yelp middle man. Yelp has far too much power for its own good. If you can’t cut out the Yelp? Then your complaint is probably ridiculous to begin with.

Today’s bangles are the North African hinge bangle, horn skinny bangles, Hermes Caleche in puke green (Just kidding! I think it’s Chartreuse), brass Goodwill feather which may or may not end up in my online shop, and four skinny brass bangles. I’m loving those guys this week, huh?

Anniversary tradition

My honey is so wonderful. Not to brag, or anything. Or actually yes, to brag and very much. I don’t know how I found him but we’ve been together for 8 years now and married 3. It feels like no time at all. For a bangle crazy girl like myself (ahem see below)

IMG_2549.JPG (that’s approximately half of my collection 🙀)

…so despite the size of my bangle collection I wear just three rings. My engagement ring, my wedding band, and this special beautiful ring my honey designed.

IMG_2625.JPG

Here is the original concept painting by Isabella at Hutten Jewelers

IMG_2642.JPG

Flattened out it would look like the infinity symbol, or two rings intersecting. Our tradition is that each year he adds a stone, the little diamonds are for our years before marriage, the colored stones after marriage. With each year, and each gem add on, the two rings meld together more and more to become one. This year’s add is the oval shaped sapphire. It’s very special, and it tickles me to think of my football-loving gear-head husband caring about the design of a piece of jewelry. 💗💘💗

I mean, look at these kids!

IMG_2626.JPG I’m pretty lucky. Happy anniversary, honey, I love you.

Verybangled, getting you the pressing bangle news first!

Today we address a highly controversial issue. Sterling silver polish. Now, I am not one to shy away from Hot Topic, which is why I decided it was time to address the monkey in the room. Because silver polish is exactly that, a monkey in the room. What kind? That’s not important. Or maybe it’s cute, with ear tufts, but that’s beside the point.

I roll deep in the silver bracelets. Polishing them this morning I realized I have a selection of polishes and I don’t actually know which ones are the best, or when to use them, if they’re safe with gems or anything.

IMG_2494.JPG

So practicing the scientific method I learned from 6th grade science fairs, I made an experiment. I tried each polish on a different tarnished bracelet.

IMG_2497.JPG

IMG_2499.JPG

IMG_2495.JPG
You’ll notice the left side is unpolished, the right is polished. Frankly, I didn’t find any real, quantifiable difference between the brands except the Goddard’sdip is easiest to use.

However, this Nancy Drew was not yet ready to call a draw. I needed to get the scoop from the pros, so I rang Robertino at Hutten Jewelers and asked for his recommendation. Well, firstly, because they are fantastic, they told me to bring my jewelry to their shop and they’d polish it free of charge. Excellent customer service, but that didn’t answer my questions. Evading the issue, aren’t you Robertino?!?

Robertino then explained to me that there is different polish for silverware versus jewelry. They currently use Wright’s polish for the silverware they sell, but for jewelry he uses baking soda!! He stressed the importance of properly washing off the items after using the baking soda because it will continue to eat away at the metals. His next recommendation is for Goddard’s Silver Dip and my face was like:

IMG_2502.PNG ERMAGAWD that’s exactly the one that I preferred! So there you have it, for jewelry use either baking soda (thoroughly rinsed off) or Goddard’s Silver Dip and for silverware use Wright’s. From the pros mouths to yours. Well, not to your mouth, maybe to your eyeballs.

Signing off, make each day (pause, whip off glasses) a silver one.

9.9.14 Poils!

Poils is my best Pop-eye imitation of pearls. Today I went all over pearls. Bracelets, necklaces, okay that’s it. But still! Quand même! I got pearls galore. On my wrist is an heirloom goldfish (apparently my autocorrect does not approve of goldish) bracelet, my 30th bday pearls from my honey, and my Cartier tank française from my mom. On my neck I have my pink pearls, more gold heirlooms, and another from the family blue lapis bead and pearl piece.

In 2007 I was wearing this blue and pearl necklace when I was run over by a truck, they cut it off me along with my clothes and scarf, and I figured it was gone. But the paramedics gave it and my other belongings to my dad who took it to a jeweler in his neighborhood, Hutten Jewelers, and Isabelle restrung it better than new. It’s a survivor necklace. Oh and? I really made an effort to not grimace in today’s selfie. How’d I do? Eh is what I thought as well.

IMG_2483-0.JPG

IMG_2484-0.JPG