Category Archives: jewelry

All that Glitters May Not Be Your Friend

This may surprise Marilyn, but diamonds are not a girl’s best friend and all that glitters is not gold, or green for that matter. Okay, I’ll stop, enough cliches for today.

Mining for minerals needed for jewelry is not an environmental practice. In fact, mining for these natural elements consumes huge amounts of energy, releases pollutants and greenhouse gases into the air, allows toxic chemicals to seep into groundwater, damages land, speeds up erosion and generates and unbelievable amount of waste. Metal mining was the number one toxic polluter in the United States in 2008 (as of 2010), responsible for more that 25 percent of all reported toxic releases.

In addition to the environmental hazards, mining is also associated with socially devastating practices. Diamonds fund violence against citizens, especially in African countries such as Angola and Sierra Leone. The United Nations defines conflict diamonds as, “diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council.”

    Gold-mining is one of the dirtiest practices in the world. Gold mining conditions are dangerous for workers, it is responsible for three percent of work deaths globally. Additionally, the average gold mine uses enough water to provide the basic water needs for a population equivalent to that of a large U.S. city for a year. The open pits are required to be enormous (the largest is the Bingham Canyon mine in Utah is visible from outer space) destroying beautiful landscapes, wildlife habitat and important ecosystems.

    Are you outraged? You probably should be, otherwise you must not like animals…

    No Dirty Gold is a campaign that is working toward stopping dirty mining practices around the world and to prevent the sale of gold that has been mined in an unsustainable way. 

    But don’t fret, you can still get your bling on and all that. Here’s the part in the blog post where I inform you of where you can buy earth-conscious jewelry:

    • The best option is always to buy used. Find jewelry at antique, consignment and thrift stores or your grandma’s jewelry box.
    • Green Karat – synthetic gems and recycled metals.
    • Brilliant Earth – recycled metals and conflict-free diamonds for engagement and wedding bands.
    • Leber Jeweler – Earthwise line of conflict-free gems and reclaimed metals.
    • Tiffany – conflict-free diamonds and responsible metal mining, oh and those little blue boxes are made from Forest Stewardship Council certified paper.

    Heart Friendship Bracelet

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Heart Pattern Friendship Bracelet

    When I was an adorable, little, red-headed girl, with fat cheeks, and freckles in numbers rivaling stars in the sky (okay I still look like that 😉 ) I was a Girl Scout. I went to Girl Scout day camp and Girl Scout overnight camp and Girl Scout meetings (and I sold Girl Scout cookies!). While I learned many the great things they teach you in Girl Scouts, one thing I will probably never be able to forget is how to make friendship bracelets. That muscle memory stuff is great isn’t it, especially considering friendship bracelets are now sold in store (what?) for $15 (what?!).

    So, since we all know just how much I love making things myself I will go through the mantra again:

    1. you get to choose your own preference…
    2. you spend less money… and
    3. you form a deeper connection with the things you own because you crafted it with your own two hands.

    This tutorial walks you through the steps of making a friendship bracelet with a heart pattern. Enjoy!

    To start you need to cut your strings. Pick two colors. Hold your arms straight out perpendicular to your body, from fingertip to fingertip is how long your string should be. Cut four strands, two for each color. Fold the string in half take the fold and make a knot close to the end. This loop will be used to clasp the bracelet, so make it small but big enough that a knot can go through.

    embroidery floss, heart pattern, friendship bracelet

    Tape your strings down to a flat surface (or if your old school  safety pin then to your jeans), so that it is tightly secured. Order your strings the same as in the image above. Whichever color is on the outside will be the color of your hearts. Number the position of the strings from left to right 1-8.

    Now, I would like to explain the knot… There is the going left knot and the going right knot.

    *Tip: The illustrations below show on top both knots going forward and below that one knot going forward and one going backward. I noticed that two of my heart strings got more use than the other two. When you are knotting one pink around another, you can switch the dominant strings using the bottom illustration knot.

    embroidery floss, heart pattern, friendship bracelet

    To go right take the string in the number one position, lay it over the second string take it back under the second string and pull it through the loop.

    embroidery floss, heart pattern, friendship bracelet

    Going left is the same process as going right; only you wrap the eighth string around the seventh string in the opposite direction.

    Each time you make a knot you will do this knot twice.

    embroidery floss, heart pattern, friendship bracelet

    1. Like I said you will have your string laid out in the order shown.

    2. Take string 1 and knot it twice around string 2 then string 3 and finally 4. Then, take string 8 and knot it around string 7, string 6 and finally string 5. Finally knot the middle strings together (going left or right, it doesn’t matter)

    3. Follow the same steps as above for the next row with the second color.

    4. Now take the second string and knot it going left around the first string and the seventh string going right around the eighth.

    5. Fill in the space by taking the second string and knotting it (going right) around strings 3 and 4 and the seventh string (going left) around strings 6 and 5.

    6. Now again take the second string and knot it going left around the first string and the seventh string going right around the eighth.

    7. Fill in the space again by taking the second string and knotting it (going right) around strings 3 and 4 and the seventh string (going left) around strings 6 and 5.

    8. Knot string 1 and 2-4 (going right) and string 8 around 7-5 (going left). This is step 1 again completing the heart.

    9. Repeat step 2-8 until the bracelet is the length you like (I usually do about 52 rows).

    Now that you know the basic you can do many patterns. Try one on the friendship bracelet website.

    “Make new Friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold. A circle’s round, it has no end. That’s how long I want to be your friend.”;dcadv=3632184;sz=180×150;lid=41000000028007181;pid=NMG30413;usg=AFHzDLtD2UgUSrjSE2Oo8UYrylzNx6DMGw;;pubid=575791;price=%2415.13;title=Iris+353255+Embroidery…;merc=FuntoyMall;;width=80;height=85;sz=180×150;ord=timestamp?;lid=41000000000342669;pid=1118818;usg=AFHzDLvKUQLe7F3Ao8C98O4WrJwnDdMpkw;;pubid=575791;price=%2419.79;title=Klutz+Friendship+Brace…;merc=Kohl%27s;;width=85;height=85;dcadv=3632184;sz=180×150;lid=41000000028007181;pid=NMG4991;usg=AFHzDLsTLKkI1Nxf8bRzkiosBaWOmcvizA;;pubid=575791;price=%2421.45;title=Crorey+Creations+MYFBM…;merc=FuntoyMall;;width=92;height=85