Archive for December, 2013

Dec 18 2013

Christmas with older kids

Published by under amy's head

This year our very old camcorder died. Probably right in the middle of me doing some video tutorial. But as soon as it died, my heart screamed, “NOOOOOOOOOO!” because it takes those miniDV tapes and there was a whole box of those tapes waiting to be transferred from tape to computer. How does one transfer miniDV tapes to the computer you ask? Oh, by inserting them into your camcorder and plugging it into your computer and letting windows slowly (real time) play them and record them into files on your desktop! In order to do this though — that’s right — you MUST have the camcorder.

Had I done any of that? Why no of course not! There’s always tomorrow to do that sort of thing!

Once the ability to move those tapes to a digital form had been removed, I desperately wanted to watch EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, of course. I debating looking on craigslist for a cheap minidv camcorder, but ended up borrowing one from a friend for the weekend, and spent it going over every 90 minutes switching to a new tape.

I ended up sitting and watching quite a bit of our kids when they were wee little tykes, playing, interacting, being ADORABLE. It made me realize that those days of wonder around Christmas are nearly at an end. OK, it kind of IS at an end for the boy child — he’s 11, and way too cool for excitement around decorating the tree, making gingerbread houses, and general Christmasy merriment. It’s not that he doesn’t want a tree, or want gingerbread cookies — it’s just that he’s MUCH too old to show ANY sort of childish glee in doing these things.

Jocelyn the 9 year old is still got a bit of it. OK, a lot of it. She loves helping me make gingerbread, pestered me to “let’s decorate the tree NOW” and is generally up for any crafty (let’s face it, Christmas can be a super crafty holiday) endeavor.

I’m hoping we get to keep some of the wonder of Christmas this year — and hopefully for a few more years to come — crossing my fingers that Christmas never becomes blase in this household. If it does.. at least I can watch our home movies of Christmas when they were 3 and 5, completely wide eyed and jumping up and down with Christmas excitement.

Jocelyn at 4 years old, Christmas 2006

Ethan at 6 years old, Christmas 2006

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Dec 04 2013

Will copper jewelry turn my skin green or black? How do I clean copper jewelry?

Published by under jewelry

I get asked this question alot — especially on the hammered copper stacking rings that I make:

hammered copper stacking rings

And I gotta say, YES, turning your skin green is a distinct possibility when you wear raw copper – it depends on your body chemistry whether it will or not. However, I have found that it doesn’t turn your skin green forever — it may do so for a week or two, and then it stops — I’m not sure why — it could be that the body’s pH changes after consistent contact with the copper.

Also, in the pro-raw-copper column, many people rave about healing or helpful properties of raw copper. Now, I am a skeptic at heart (show me the data! where are the blind studies?!) (there are none!) so I don’t actually hold with this, but many people purchase the raw copper jewelry because of potential helpful properties that come from direct contact skin-to-copper, one I know off the top of my head is for arthritis — again, I don’t really believe any of it, but you could google for more info if you are interested.

A barrier between the copper and your skin can prevent any greenish smudge — one cheap way to do so would be to apply clear nail polish on the inside of the ring. However, it won’t last long — even with professional lacquers and such, the constant skin contact makes any blocking affect these have to be brief. This is why I don’t do it — also because I have lots of customers who WANT the copper to skin contact with no barrier.

If you want to be sure of no green skin completely, I’d stick with sterling or gold filled. Personally, I wear my copper ring all the time, and it’s been so long I don’t get any green fingers anymore.


Rings generally don’t need a lot of polishing, any tarnish is cleaned up by the rubbing against your skin. Bracelets, necklaces, pendants can be a different story. If you prefer a bright almost pink glow to your copper, rather than an old coppery penny look, it’s easy to clean.

My favorite way is with ketchup – mostly because with children under the age of 12 in the house, we have plenty of it! A quick dunk in ketchup for a few minutes will get rid of any tarnish.

Another way is with lemon juice (vinegar works too) and a bit of salt (1 teaspoon is plenty) in a small jar or tupperware. Place your jewelry in, making sure it’s covered, and let sit for a minute or two. VERY IMPORTANT — it only needs a minute or two — don’t walk away for a half hour — or even 5 minutes. The acid in the lemon juice which cleans away the tarnish, can also damage the surface of the metal.

Rinse and dry VERY well, and buff it up with a cloth. If the cloth doesn’t shine it up enough to your liking, you can rub with salt or baking powder to bring up the shine as well.

I hope this helps answer any questions about copper jewelry!

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