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Tips and Tricks for Custom Made Jewelry
- Online Jewelry Store -

The Following topics are covered on this page:

  • Brooch Converter Technique
• Jewelry cleaning tips
• Selecting the right style for your custom made jewelry, brooch converter
• Instructions for sending in your picture
• Caring for and cleaning jewelry
Convert brooch to pendent necklace with Brooch Converter
1.brooch converter
2.brooch converter
3.pin converter
Buy brooch converter in gold-plate or silver-plate available here. String your favorite chain through converter's eye. Open pin back and thread it through converter's shaft. Close pin and put chain around neck. Shows best on a 16" - 20" chain.
Alternate way to convert a brooch to pendent necklace
1.brooch conversion for cat and dog jewelry

2.brooch converter for dog and cat jewelry 3.brooch converter for animal jewelry
Take an ordinary drinking straw or cocktail straw and cut off about 1 inch. Open pin back on brooch and string on one end of chain or necklace cord. Slide on pre-cut straw segment and close pin back. To wear, put necklace cord or chain around your neck and fasten clasp to closed pin back. Ends of necklace will be on opposite sides of pen back.
Store, Clean and Protect

Store your jewelry keepsake away from dust and avoid having it jumbled up with other pieces of jewelry that may scratch it's surface.

To clean the surface of the animal Diachroic cameostone, dampen the corner of a soft paper towel and rub clean.

Although the cabochon surface of your Animal brooch or pendant is durable it can still sustain scratches if subjected to sharp objects or is pushed face down across a rough surface. Should it become scratched:
1.) Clean surface as directed above.
2.) Dip a cotton swab into Future Floor Wax (a liquid acrylic used to polish vinyl floors) and paint a light coat over animal Diachroic cameostone Several light coats are better than one heavy coat.
3.) Dry for 60 minutes in a protected place.

Selecting the right style for your custom jewelry

So you have decided to have a custom pendant or brooch made with a photograph of your pet. Which style is right for you?

If you chose a pendant the first thing to consider is the color of your animal. Either color will go with any picture you send but a gray animal looks better in a silver frame, just as a golden colored animal looks better in a gold colored setting. Just a suggestion. The decision is up to you.

The same principles hold true for the custom pet brooches. Some Styles are delicate or pastel and look best with a petite or delicate boned animal. Several styles have a center pearl teardrop that can match with something in your pets picture. Green eyes, pink nose, blue collar, white or taupe fur, etc. . . . Or you can specify your preference that the teardrop be pastel pink, blue, green, white, champaign, yellow or peach.

Others brooches have dark Earthtone colors (two styles have a dog bone gem stone) and look better for big boned, powerful or dark colored animals. You are actually the designer of the piece, we're here to put it together for you. The suggestions in this section are guidelines, not rules.

The artist will be featuring a close up of the face and removing most of the background for several reasons, one being that the animal shows up better. Look at the photo gallery examples .

The Diachroic Cameostone settings are domed and the surfaces have a faux Mother-of-Pearl look for gold metals and a faux Ivory look for silver metals. The pictures are reproduced on a transparent film and treated with a multi-step glazing process. White areas are transparent and have the stone's surface color showing through. The colored areas have a dichro effect, where colors turn metallic when the light direction changes.

The final effect IS NOT like a paper decoupage picture with layers of lacquer. The final effect IS A STONE WITH A GLOWING DICHRO-LIKE IMAGE.

Finished brooch/pins are surrounded by crystals, beads & gem stones and necklace pendants are available in a variety of styles with both silver and gold plated frames and chains. Each is handcrafted, one at a time, and as with any natural gemstone or handmade item, slight variations make each one a tiny bit different than the next. You could say the one you receive will be unique.

Sending in Pictures

You have selected the custom piece you want - you have a favorite photo in mind, but before you click the " Add to Cart" button, you want to know just how we get that photograph from you onto the jewelry piece.

At Check Out - When you go to the secure check out page using your credit card or PayPal you first give the card info, shipping and billing address. The Tiger Cat Jewelry Store is operated by Creative Ideas and that is the name that will appear on your transaction. There is an optional phone number box that we request you fill in due to the customization of your order we would really like to be able to contact you with any questions that may arise. Your privacy is guaranteed. There is also a box for you to send comments to the designer. When you click the "Return to Merchant" button you will see a thank you page with instructions.

Once your order has been confirmed an auto response email is sent to you from the Payment Center. Within a few hours another email is sent from the designer which is explained on the thank you page.

About the Picture For Pendants & Brooches - The email from the designer will ask you questions about your pet. If you are using a digital photo it needs to be either a close up or a higher resolution and not be blurred. To send, attach it to the email from the designer and resend as a reply along with answers to the questions.
: If the picture you send is under 200 dpi resolution or has been greatly altered from it's original form - good results cannot be guaranteed. Be aware not all photos that look good on a computer screen look good in print.

About the Picture For Gift Items - The pictures for gift items need to be bigger or a high resolution of about 300 dpi. When we make you a larger item like a T shirt or tote bag, etc. the finished picture is rather large. To stretch out a little picture would make it fuzzy and "crummy" looking when printed. Remember that a computer screen shows a picture differently than a printer reproduces. Just because it looks good on screen does not mean it will look the same when printed. If you must send a small picture then the image on your gift will be small and not the size listed on the description under the item.

If you are sending a paper photo it needs to be a genuine lab produced photo. A picture printed from an inkjet printer will not work. Print out the email from the designer answering the questions and send it to us in the mail with the photo. I would advise you put a label on the back of the photo with your name and address or order number. Don't write on the picture itself as the indentation can come through to the front and show up when scanned.

The designer will do small corrections like fixing red eye, (that's why we asked the color of your pet's eyes) or adding fur to cover up another object blocking complete view. The background will be taken out. If you send black and white it is suggested for the silver colored settings. If a black and white is used for gold or bronze settings we can turn it into a sepia color (bronzish, like old fashioned photos).Remember the final picture on brooches and pendants is miniaturized to less than 2 inches around on a transparent film. White areas are transparent and have the stone's surface color showing through. The colored areas have a dichro effect, where colors turn metallic when the light direction changes.

If you have a very old damaged photo that needs to be restored there will be an additional charge which will be discussed with you.

Returning the Picture - I am a pet owner and have been most of my life. I know how treasured an old photo can be of a pet from the past. Every photo that is sent will be treated as gold, and everything humanly possible will be done to send it back to you as it was received. However, we have no control over the U.S. postal service coming and going, and there is always that chance something might happen. There are a few precautions you can take with the way you send the photo such as registered or priority where it can be traced. Or you can go to a local office supply store like Office Depot or Kinkos and have the picture scanned, then send the scanned version through email. I don't want to alarm you only warn you about a remote chance which cannot be guaranteed against.

The picture you send will be returned to you with your finished jewelry or pet gift.

How to Handle Tarnish

A few words on TARNISH When you deal with silver jewelry... you know about tarnish. Here are a few tips:
Keep silver away from sulfur. It's silver's main corrosive agent... there are sulfur-containing substances in the air and it occurs more quickly in damp and foggy weather. What else is corrosive? Ammonia...Think glass cleaner. Nair (Check the label, you'll see ammonia listed.)

OK, she forgot to take the rings off... what now? I am going to tell you a secret... Use vinegar to clean the discoloration. VINEGAR WILL NOT CLEAN SILVER, BUT IT IS OPPOSITE ON THE PH SCALE AND WILL NEGATE THE CAUSE - THEN - Use the polishing cloth to polish your silver.

Keeping your silver in an airtight plastic bag will also help; this will keep the sulfur and other corrosive agents in the air from coming in contact with your silver. The jewelry box may be a mass of plastic bags... but the jewelry will look good! If you keep jewelry in a box or drawer, your should consider a small bag of activated charcoal. It's an old fashioned remedy, but it helps.

When considering a silver dip, rethink it if your piece has a stone. Some stones cannot be dipped, soft stones like turquoise, lapis, malachite, amber and pearls are but a few. No problem with amethyst, garnet, onyx, moonstone, iolite, tourmaline and many others. Sterling silver jewelry should be worn and enjoyed...don't worry about the tarnish.

How To Care For Your Pearl Jewelry

Pearls are an investment which can provide many years of enjoyment if cared for properly. Below are a few tips to help you care for your pearls.

Store Pearls Separately

Pearls are much softer than the majority of gemstones and precious metals and can become easily scratched or damaged if stored with other jewelry. Ideally, you should store your pearls in a soft cloth pouch, linen cloth, or soft lined jewelry box. These will help prevent the pearls from being scratched or damaged.

Minimize Contact With Personal Products

Hairspray, makeup and perfume contain chemicals that can harm the pearl's surface and dull the luster. To minimize this type of contact, use personal care products first before putting on pearls.

Minimize Contact With Perspiration

Remove pearls before exercising or doing strenuous activity as perspiration contains natural acids that can harm the pearl's surface and dull the pearl's luster.

Clean Your Pearls After Wear

Gently wipe your pearls with a soft damp cloth after wear. This will help to remove any build-up on the pearls. Do not use anything abrasive as this may damage your pearls.

Periodically Wash Your Pearls

Periodically wash your pearls in soapy water using a mild liquid soap (not a detergent) to help remove harmful build-ups. Gently rinse and place on soft towel or cloth to dry. Do not hang pearls to dry as this may stretch the silk thread.

Restring Your Pearls

You should have your pearls restrung periodically to prevent breakage. If you wear your pearls frequently, you should have them restrung annually. Pearls should be restrung with silk thread and knotted between each pearl. The knot prevents the pearls from chafing each other and if the thread ever breaks the knots prevent the pearls from all falling of the thread.

Caring for Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry is often created with non-precious metals, usually gold or silver plated . . . with or without beads and stones. A large variety of materials are traditionally used to make beads such as wood, gemstones, pottery, ceramic, metals, horn, coral, ivory, tortoiseshell and pearls. Some modern materials such as plastics, nylon and resin are also used to make beads.

Cleaning costume jewelry is extremely simple but needs to be done on a regular basis to prevent tarnishing. Simply use a mild detergent mixed in water to keep your costume jewelry in good condition. It is important not to soak the jewelry and to make sure that you dry it thoroughly before storing it. You can buy anti-tarnish paper for wrapping your costume jewelry before you put it away for long periods of time but regular cleaning is the best defense against tarnishing. The tarnishing of costume jewelry is typically caused by the metal reacting with the atmosphere and oxidizing.

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