life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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well, I am DIY-ing my beads

While I wanted to add colored metal to my Pandora bracelet, I cannot shell out 9k plus for just one (1) solid gold Pandora spacer. Its just ridiculous. 

taken from Pandora’s website

I really like the twisted design though… and I wanted it in solid gold. Not like the new gold plated beads (Pandora Shine) that Pandora recently introduced. 

So, after some thought, I had a pair of gold spacers custom made. It took quite some time for trial and error, because I had one made and used it to cast the other.  I also used the old gold of my childhood earring to be recycled to add to my spacers.

my childhood earrings

While it is NOT from Pandora. I got good value for my money. Because instead of the initial plan of getting the spacers in 14k I had it made into 18K. And got the (2) pair for the price of 14,500php! -kind of like getting one 18k gold spacer for 7,250php that is still cheaper than one 14k spacer from Pandora. Its a good deal. And for the reveal… here are my custom made 18k solid gold spacers!  They might look small, but surprisingly they have a feel of weight to it.

My 18k gold twist spacers

So why did I choose to get 18k?

Gold is measured in karats. This unit of measurement tells us the percentage of gold in a piece. 18K gold (which is 75% gold) is the traditional mix of gold and other alloys, and it lends itself to making beautiful jewelry. This karat amount is less expensive than 24K but is very commonly used in fine jewelry making. Its coloring is a softer yellow than the deeper yellow of 24 karat, but the soft golden tone of the 18k is much more desirable in comparison to the paler 14K coloring.

To demonstrate the color here is a photo of 14k and 18k. 

see the color difference?

The most common type of gold used in jewelry in the U.S. is 14K and it was created to make a gold piece more affordable, at the expense of having less gold. This karat amount contains 58.3% gold, and similar to 18K, its strength is a good fit for rings and bracelets to necklaces and earrings.  14K was selected for a simple reason though… it is because it is just over half gold.  In addition to less gold and a smaller price, 14K tends to have less of a yellow color relative to 18K or higher.

Here is another photo in a different light.

On hand – the 14k pales in comparison to the 18k spacer.

And the beauty of getting solid gold is that should I get tired of the spacers I could get it melted and made into another trinket. 

My bracelet is now looking a bit put together and is now obviously looking two toned! I still haven’t decided if I am going to get clips. But right now I am pretty pleased with how it looks. I might add another pair of spacers once I decided if I wanted gold or go with rose gold for variation. I am very much indecisive, I know! If I could I would get all the stuff I like. I am limited only because I have budget to consider. Hahahaha! Help me decide?

two toned and loving it!

After all I still have a lot of room to spare on my bracelet. What do you think of my custom made spacers? Let me know your thoughts. 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with the product. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this (from) my own pocket. 

 

 


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kind of a DIY bracelet

I am so late to the party but better late than never right? In my case, I am quite late and slow on curating my Pandora charm bracelet! 

As children my best friend and I admired bracelets be it chains, bangles, half chain but we had a soft spot specially for charm bracelets –those chunky and dangly ones that has some round bells on it always catches our eyes. We got ours right before college. We wore it for quite a while and then, it got lost and that was that.

By 2014 (I think) Joanna showed me her new charm bracelet acquisition. A Pandora bracelet was on her arm and she already had some charms on it. I wanted one of course! But I controlled myself by saying I cannot spend money for a new bracelet since my wedding is eating up all my funds.

Pandora collier bracelet 

Come late 2015, Joanna surprised me with a Pandora bracelet on my bridal shower. It also has a language of love charm on it too!

to the left: Language of love charm that came with the bracelet Jo gave me. Right: A two tone Bearhugs charm -the first charm given to me by Kei

Then after the wedding Kei got me the Bearhugs and family heritage charm. All of my Pandora stuff are treasured gifts!

two tone Family heritage charm from Kei

I left it at that.

I did buy a charm to give though! (this was early 2016) I got Jo a Elsa Crown charm.

Elsa’s crown- from the Disney movie frozen

It reminds me of her (high school) uniform color that is blue, and fits with her being a December baby, and that it is a crown! So she got that added to her collection. Her bracelet has a blue/green theme to it that the Elsa crown fits in nicely.

So back to my collection. I wanted my bracelet to have a mix metal look. No glass. No color. Just all metals.

There was a charm that I really wanted though I cannot seem to find it. The Disney frozen snowflake charm. – It was exclusively sold in Disney parks, and we don’t have it here in the Philippines. I loved the geometric lines of the charm and I appreciate that it was kind of like a “special snowflake”, plus being born in winter also makes it a nice charm to have for me. So, thought I could find it from online sellers (this was on 2016), but I never did.

Last year (around the end of 2017) I really wanted to add something  to it and started looking for a safety chain. I have been indecisive as to get it or not since the charm was a bit pricey, so I went about looking for a pre-loved one –with a good “history” of course. The owner of the chain has her bracelet full of charms and wanted to free up some space to fit in one more charm. I mulled it over and went about my usual “window shopping” and still did not get any…It was Kei that got impatient and ended up getting the chain for me as part of my Christmas gift.

Love connection safety chain

Upon looking a lot at the net I discovered that I can get a online shopper to find that elusive Disney frozen snowflake! But I have to wait for a month for it to arrive. I excitedly told Kei and Jo and they teamed up to get it for me. I am lucky, I know. I am going to have that snowflake by the end of January.

Disney Frozen Snowflakes Charm

I just got the charm yesterday! -On the Blue blood moon day! And It was beautiful!

My bracelet is now most predominantly silver. So I am setting my sights to add a new metal to my bracelet to add variety. I wanted to get rose gold-because it is cheaper than the ridiculously priced gold charms. And I really, really like the color. I have set my sights on the shining path clip in rose gold. I wanted to get a pair, so my charms doesn’t slide around. (It is annoying when they do that.) And maybe a spacer or two? Any suggestions?

Update: I bit the gold bullet. I went to ask for a pair of custom made 14k gold spacers from my jeweler. I chose the design below as the inspiration. While mine won’t be legit Pandora, it is still 14k gold,  just more affordable for me – I can get it melted and re made into another trinket if I do get tired of it. *Will update once I get my hands on it. 

the 14 k twist gold spacer from Pandora

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with the product. This is not a sponsored post, we paid for this (from) our own pocket. 

 


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resize the bling

One day, I woke up to realize this.

sorry to let you see this.

sorry to let you guys see this 

That is my wedding band on my finger. I am now getting fatter! Yikes.

While I was not that bothered about getting a bit fat, I was real sad that I cannot wear my wedding band. I love my bling of course and I wouldn’t want to remove it. What was I to do?

Get my band resized! ASAP.

So, off we went to see our church mate Atchie Helen -who has a jewelry shop and also the one who made our wedding rings. *For those asking: Atchie means sister in Chinese.

We gave her our rings. Mine to be re-sized a size bigger, Kei had his ring cleaned. And because she made our rings, our re-size is free! Thank you so much! 

*But just to make it clear, she also does a re-size for rings that are not made by her for a fee. 

Then the stones of my wedding ring was counted, then the ring was weighted – all of that was recorded. -She explains to us that when the ring comes back they would check it for the stones and the weight – ensuring that there is no switching or getting a lesser gold/value. She is thorough, careful and clear like that. So, you can rest easy that you are not going to be deceived!

Next, I also asked her to create a ring for me. Gave her my tiny sapphire and a peg of what I wanted.

remember this? my tiny sapphire is about to be made into a ring!

remember this? my tiny sapphire is about to be made into a ring!

I was honestly worried that my sapphire is too small but contrary to what I fear, Atchie Helen told me that it would do well and is actually a big stone for the design I wanted. To compensate, she will make the whole design bigger. Atchie Helen then helped me with picking out the metal, we opted to make the ring in 14K rose gold (to contrast the blue color-14K gives a pink tint I wanted, going with 18k would give it a deep saturated pink that I did not like) with white gold bezel to clearly show off the navy blue of the sapphire. I appreciated this part as if it were all up to me, I wouldn’t have thought of all that. She even educated me about jewelry and jewelry design in the process. Awesome. 

The price of my made to order ring? The original peg has a price of almost 40K. 14K rose gold and a (smaller) sapphire. (*the peg was a British design hence, the huge price tag.) With all the customization and enlargement of the design, Atchie Helen gave us a price below 15k. Sure I have my own stone but, that was a huge price difference. *Even if you cut the price of the peg into half, the quoted price was still way more affordable! 

Then after a few weeks, we got a message from her telling us that our rings are ready to be picked up! Euphoria!!! 

I was excited to go get my rings and see her and also go to her new shop at Ongpin! I have been waiting for this! 

I could stay here all day!

I could stay here all day! 

We arrived to see this. I really dig the look of her shop! Bright, modern and it has the space a lot of jewelry stores lack. 

Full house. That is Atchie Helen, the one wearing glasses.

Full house. That is Atchie Helen, the one wearing glasses.

This is a normal scene at her shop. After all Atchie Helen gives the best price and the best quality. She is comes from a family of jewelers (her dad and grandpa are jewelers too) and very much knowledgeable in precious metals and colored stones, but her expertise is actually diamonds. She designs the pieces she sells and can do made to order pieces!

The shop carries jewelry for just about everyone, young and old, male and female. Necklace, bracelet, rings, earrings, pendants, pearls, gemstones, diamonds and even corals for babies! There are also statement pieces and sets that doubles as a good investment for the future.

Unlike other jewelry stores that feels so stuffy, so uptight and judgmental… more so, once you told them what your budget is. Here they ask you what you are looking for and what your budget is. Giving you all the options they have to match/maximize your budget. Sometimes if it is permissible, even give a discount instantly to help you get what you like! #nojudgment

*So guys if you are looking for engagement rings, you know who to look for. She can very much find you a diamond within your budget. Just show her your peg and you will be amazed at her selection! There are also colored stones that look absolutely pretty! Trust me. She even accepts repairs and  re-fashioning of old jewelry into modern settings.

After all that gushing, here is the big reveal! Here is our wedding rings!-Mine is re-sized and Kei’s was cleaned.

oh shiny!

oh shiny! looking brand new

Looking good, even better when worn. The photo does not do justice to the brilliance of the ring.

Feeling like a hand model. perfect fit! 

Feeling like a hand model. finally a perfect fit!

Just beautiful. Comfortable too! Now, on to the next ring!

Wow! I said that aloud when I saw the final product of my made to order ring.

absolutely in love with my new ring!

absolutely in love with my new ring! -14K rose gold ring with blue sapphire in white gold bezel

It was bigger and better than what I expected it to be!

And because I am pretentious, I stacked them together. #feelingrich #fancy

stacked rings #fancy

stacked rings #fancy

It looks good together but admittedly a bit much. hahahaha!

So I will be wearing the wedding band on my left hand and the sapphire ring on my right.

Before we leave the shop, we requested to have a photo with Atchie Helen.

meet our favorite jeweler Helen!

meet our favorite jeweler Helen! 

And because we visited her new shop and is considered as “friends of the shop”, she gave us a small gift!

here is our bunny modeling our gift

here is our bunny modeling the fan -that was given to us as gift with purchase

How apt! We are huge fans of her wearable artwork and investment pieces.

Till the next time! 

Just leaving Atchie Helen’s Contact details here in case you guys need it. Her shop is easy to look for! Its just across Mañosa Restaurant!hdr

Check out more of her creations on Facebook!

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on my own experience. This is not a sponsored post.

**Mention that you are a reader of Pam & Kei’s blog and you would be sure to get a good price.