The iPod Nano Watch Strap: Geek And Fashionista Compatible

Since the release of the tiny square-shaped media player, several third-party manufacturers have been releasing cases, holders and accessories to take advantage of its teeny size and crowd-pleasing functionality – and the most useful and quirky of the bunch has to be the iPod Nano watch strap. Not only is this snazzy accessory cute, it is practical and several models include ways to increase the functionality of the Nano itself.

The utility of the accessory is pretty obvious. While the Nano does have a sturdy belt clip, you simply may not always wear a belt or other apparel that you can use this clip with. It is also useful for people who may be engaged in activities where the device needs extra protection from falls and subsequent damage – like many types of gym exercises and outdoor activities. The size of the gadget also makes toting it in a handbag impractical, as its bound to cost you a few minutes searching amongst wallet, keys, pens, make up and other handbag contents.

For the fashion-conscious, iPod watchbands are available in every color and style – you can even get packs of several colors. Some providers even specialize in offering personalization and custom logo-design services. It is possible to find a matching band for pretty much any kind of outfit, and the variety of clasps, grips and buckles is amazing. You will even find straps decked out in bling. Materials range from silicons, plastics and rubbers to leather, canvas and metals.

Those that require accessories to add value to the base unit will be pleased by the various function-adding/enhancing wrist-bands available. There is a model that takes advantage of the built-in pedometer and, with a special dongle, interfaces with a certain brand of high-tech athletic shoes – it even has a handy add-on accessory for the perfect gym experience: an arm-belt for securing your headphone cable and avoiding tangles while you lunge, jog or weight-lift your way to fitness.

Of course, several models tap into certain built-in features to turn your device into a high-tech wristwatch. The addition of Bluetooth functionality or earbud-cord holders in some versions is also to be expected.

Added protection is another obvious bonus to toting your media player around in this fashion. Some manufacturers go to great lengths in terms of materials, fastenings and fit to ensure that the device is protected from accidental damage. Using the accessory as a way to waterproof your device is also a popular feature.

There are also some not-so-obvious added functions on some versions that may surprise, delight or bemuse you. For instance, bar tenders (or college students, for that matter) may find a built-in bottle opener a boon. For some reason you may want a strap that glows in the dark. Whatever your flavor, there is a strap for you.

The ‘iPod as watch’ idea has caught the imagination of many designers and manufacturers. So if you are looking for a handy new way of toting your media player, look no further than an iPod Nano watch strap.

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How to Clean and Polish Your Jewelry

How to Clean and Care for Your Jewelry

The most effective way to clean your jewelry is to bring it to your local jeweler. That may not always be possible. It always seems that on a Saturday night, before going to dinner or while getting dressed for a wedding, you realize that your jewelry is lacking a bit of its glisten and luster.

Jewelry Maintenance Schedule
Since most people keep their jewelry in a central location, such as a jewelry box or safe, it is easy to keep a basic checklist along with it. It is commonplace for one to let time pass before noticing one day when examining their jewelry that a diamond is missing from their ring or bracelet. Keeping a simple checklist in your jewelry box can act as a reminder. All fine jewelry that is worn regularly and is mounted with gemstones should be brought to a jeweler to be inspected for wear on prongs and closures on a routine basis. Over time, frequently worn jewelry often comes in contact with coarse surfaces during everyday wear, making it prone to erosion and metal fatigue.

Jewelry Erosion
“Erosion” takes place when gold or a precious metal rubs against itself or other surfaces. As precious metals rub against counter tops, stone, or mineral surfaces the soft precious metal slowly erodes. Your jeweler can advise you of needed repair before an item becomes broken and is lost. This recommended preventive measure can prolong the life of your precious jewelry.

Jewelry Metal Fatigue
“Metal fatigue” takes place when metal is stressed by constant knocking or bending. The easiest way to understand this is to envision a coat hanger being bent back and forth several times until it breaks. The impact of hitting a ring or bracelet on a doorknob or the constant depression of a spring clasp on your jewelry latches slowly contributes to its “metal fatigue”.

Professional Jewelry Maintenance
We recommend that everyday items such as engagement rings and tennis bracelets be viewed by a professional jeweler every 6 months, and annually for jewelry that is worn less frequently. A trained jewelry professional will inspect prongs and clasps for wear and tear. The jeweler will detect loose stones and arrange to tighten your prongs and repair or replace worn areas.

Professional Jewelry Cleaning
Most jewelers will clean and polish your jewelry while you wait and the more advanced jewelers will be able to machine polish your jewelry with several stages of compounds to restore its original luster. They may also be able to restore a rhodium finish on your white gold. The more highly qualified jewelers will also be able to steam clean and ultrasonically clean your jewelry. Your jewelry professional should understand the nature of delicate materials, gemstones, and patinas in order to avoid damaging your precious items while working on them.

Home Jewelry Cleaning
In order to properly clean your jewelry at home you should first have an understanding of what your jewelry is made of.

Jewelry Cleaning No No’s
Many materials should not be cleaned at home. Below are a few examples of jewelry that should be handled cautiously.

Organic stones or materials such as pearl, ivory, bone, coral, wood, leather, cord, or string should not be exposed to harsh detergents or soaked in liquids or ultrasonically cleaned. These commonly used jewelry materials may absorb the fluids and be damaged or stained permanently.

Antique or rare artist jewelry should not be tampered with at home. Polishing and cleaning can destroy the patina and integrity of some rare jewelry.

Coins should never be polished and cleaned by a non-professional.

Some gemstones are treated with or have natural oils that can be disturbed by detergents. Some stones are porous and can absorb detergents or moisture. Here are a few gems that caution should be used with: Emerald, Opal, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, and all of the organic stones and materials listed above.

Chemical exposure can lead to disaster. Soaking jewelry in chlorine-based cleaners can completely dissolve a piece of jewelry, leaving behind only the stones. Likewise, constant exposure to pool chlorine can decay the solders used to make jewelry. A small bead of mercury from a broken thermometer can attract to gold and contaminate all other jewelry that it comes in contact with, turning the gold white. This has been known to render entire jewelry boxes of valuable jewelry useless. As a rule, any corrosive product in household use containing acids, lye, or chemicals that you yourself should not be exposed to is probably not good for your jewelry.

Polishing plated metals with abrasive compounds can wear through the plating. The micron plating solution used on many pieces of costume jewelry is thin and abrasive compounds can wear through to the underlying metals. Once the base metals are exposed, they may vary in color or tarnish with time.

Caution should be taken when using ultrasonic cleaners. Ultrasonic cleaners use high frequency waves to release makeup grime and dirt from your jewelry. The process involves vibration.

* Vibration causes erosion when two items are rubbing against one another or the side of an ultrasonic tank.
* Vibration can also loosen stones and epoxy or glue.
* Vibration can also shatter fragile materials such as amber and enamel.
* Vibration can change the color or remove the surface enhancement on many of the novelty gems in the market place today.
* Vibration can dislodge fills from stones that have additives.

Once you have determined that your jewelry can be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner, the tips below can help you with your safe cleaning.

* Use only recommended ultrasonic cleaning solutions.
* Be sure that your items are positioned so that they do not rub on one another or the bottom and side of the ultrasonic tank.
* Do not leave jewelry unattended in an ultrasonic cleaner for extended periods of time.

Proper Jewelry Cleaning at Home
Now that you have an understanding of what you need to be careful with, let’s review the many things you can do to take care of your jewelry and make it look great. The easiest way to keep your jewelry looking terrific is by cleaning it regularly. It is much easier to remove a thin layer of hairspray, lotion, or makeup than a long-term build up. The more often you clean your jewelry the easier the process.

Polishing Precious Metals
You can brighten your jewelry by obtaining a jewelers rouge cloth or a velvet cloth from your local jeweler. These are soft cloths charged with mild polishing compounds used to brighten jewelry. The polishing materials on the cloths are not abrasive enough to damage your stones or metal, but when rubbed vigorously against gold or silver will provide a nice luster. When you are finished polishing your jewelry, you can clean it to remove any of the compounds left behind. Be sure to put your jeweler’s cloth in a dust free container such as a poly bag when you are finished. This will prevent the cloth from picking up grit and foreign matter that may scratch your items on it next use.

Cleaning Diamonds Gold and Platinum
Gold, diamonds, platinum, sapphire, ruby, and most durable stones not listed above in the “Don’ts” section can be easily cleaned. Simply mix a solution of 1/2 Windex and 1/2 warm water. It is not necessary to create a large batch; a half cup is usually sufficient. Make sure the room is ventilated. Soak the items for as long as it takes to loosen the buildup. Remove the items and simply scrub them with a soft toothbrush. Be sure to press the bristles gently between the prongs and in all of the creases of the jewelry. If the residue is stubborn repeat the process. Be sure to rinse your jewelry thoroughly and dry to avoid irritation of the skin. Some people like to dry the stones on the underside with canned air, in order to avoid water spots. Once again, the more frequently you clean your jewelry, the easier the process.

Jewelry Ultrasonic Cleaners
It is very important to read the above warnings about the use of ultrasonic cleaners, as they are very aggressive. That being said, aggressive can be good if you follow the rules. Use only ultrasonic cleaning devices that are designed for home use and read the instructions thoroughly. It is wise to use the solutions that are sold to be used for ultrasonic jewelry cleaning, however, small units can be used with 1/2 Windex and 1/2 warm water. Make sure the room is ventilated.

Cleaning Pearls and Other Organic Jewelry
Pearls, coral, ivory, bone, and other organics can absorb moisture and chemicals. It is for this reason that all make up and hairspray should be applied before putting on your pearls. It is also wise to wipe them down with a soft clean moist cloth when you remove them. In the case of pearls and beads, try not to get the cord and knots wet to avoid staining and rotting of the string. * Never use chemicals or detergents to clean your pearls

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Unique Gifts For The Sophisticated Man

Men are often difficult to shop for, especially sophisticated men who have more refined tastes. Here are some ideas for unique and thoughtful gifts for that sophisticated man in your life, appropriate for any occasion.

Gadgets

What man doesn’t love gadgets? From electronic handheld games to MP3 players, from GPS to cell phones, to expensive gifts like HDTV’s and high end headphones. There are thousands of electronics gifts to choose from. Looking for the most thoughtful gadget? Try purchasing an MP3 player, like the iPod Nano, and load it up with all the recipients favorite songs and albums. For the serious audiophile, consider high end Shure earbuds or Sennheiser professional headphones. Also consider the Nintendo DS Lite, bundle it with Clubhouse Games, Brain Age and Tetris DS and you’ll have a great gift for any man of any age, without breaking the bank.

Vintage Cufflinks

Cufflinks are a great gift for any man who wears suits and wants a traditional look. Vintage cufflinks will also provide a sense of class and nostalgia. There are many styles of vintage cufflinks available, including some with precious stones, set in luxurious gold or silver, as well as cufflinks with themes including nautical themed, fraternal order themed, equestrian themed, military themed and more. The best makers of vintage cufflinks are Swank, Krementz and Hickock. Get your man a vintage set from one of these brands and they’ll be very happy.

Vintage Tie Accessories

Tie accessories including tie clips, tie tacs, tie studs, tie clasps and tie chains are available at some vintage jewelry stores. These make for great accents to a well tailored suit.

Gourmet Food & Wine

There are many choices in gourmet foods nowadays, including chocolate, cheese, wine, popcorn, fruit and other sweets. Consider a French wine and cheese gift set for the man with a very discerning palette. Also consider the many gourmet confections now available online including fancy gourmet popcorn, gourmet carmel apples, gourmet pretzels and cookies and hard to find sodas. For the health nut, consider a fancy fruit and nut assortment.

Vintage Art

For the man who goes to the office everyday or who has a home office, consider vintage wall art. From pop art to landscapes to movie and theater posters from the early to mid 20th century. Wall art will make a great addition to any office and every time they look at it hanging on their office wall, they’ll think of you.

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The Online Shopping Deals Guy

We all need to buy stuff online. It is simply a fact of our modern lives. I for one am so glad that I am not married to going out to the store for my goods (and on occasion services). Look I’m not going to stand here insulting the outdoors but why bother with them when you can get online shopping deals.

Every year people, my family, my friends, my coworkers, rush home after Thanksgiving dinner with plans to get up and in to stores on Black Friday. But online shopping deals happen every day and I never have to worried about getting trampled by people desperate for a slightly discounted pair of headphones at Best Buy. It is not worth the loss of sleep, the trouble, or the potential medical bills after you get injured in the stampede. Honestly, I go to this one site where I’ve managed to get $50 headphones for less than $10. What’s better than all of that is the internet tells me exactly how much money I am saving so I can spout fancy assessments, like I just did, at will. Saving money is great and being able to brag about how much money I saved makes it even better. I used to save receipts to brag about savings, now I just send mass emails with bundles of links to savings for everyone I know!

It’s not just electronic deals either. There are great savings to be had on housewares, toys, even great jewelry deals if that’s what you are in to. And to be honest I am in to it all. Lately some people have said I may have an online shopping deal addiction, which is looking truer and truer as the mail carrier stacks piles of packages on my front porch. Honestly, though, I love getting mail. I remember being enamored with the amount of mail my parents used to receive. As I got older I realized it was mostly bills. For me, I get bills to my email which makes room for all the great stuff I’m ordering. While I’ve been typing I cork screw and a new cell phone, both at huge discounts! (Saved $40 on the cork screw and $50 on the cell phone for those keeping score.)

So that’s my deal. I’m the guy who hunts down online shopping deals like a hound dog. My friends have mostly come around on all of this. After all, those emails I send out save them quite a bit of money themselves.

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Andrew Hamilton Crawford Jewelry – Who Is Behind It?

The Andrew Hamilton Crawford jewelry line has gained popularity in the world of fashion jewelry in recent years, proudly presented at leading boutiques, fashion museums and department stroes around the world. But who is behing it? Well, there are actually two founding visionaries behind this jewelry line: Drew Tessier, and Chad Crawford. These two Southern-born masters of creativity joined forces to create a line that pays homage to classic jewelry forms, but also is modern, exuding whimsy and pure fun. Born and raised in Georgia, Chad Crawford was born into a family of jewelers, and decided to continue the family legacy by pursuing a career in fine jewelry. Concurrently, Drew Tessier earned a fine arts degree and launched his career as a costume designer. Both transitioned from the south to true city life when they moved to New York City, where they met, and their visions for a luxurious, versatile, feminine, and avant-garde collection, called Andrew Hamilton Crawford, was born. This was the start of the Andrew Hamilton Crawford jewelry collection.

Andrew Hamilton Crawford has gained a large following. In the press, Andrew Hamilton Crawford has been featured in Lucky Magazine, Real Simple, Marie Claire, Henri Bendel catalogue, and Elle, just to name a few publications. Obviously, this jewelry is particularly alluring, of-the-moment, and fabulous!

Setty Gallery carries a large assortment of Andrew Hamilton Crawford jewelry. When first perusing the collection, it is clear that the two have a passion for animals. With necklaces bearing pendants such as posh golden princess pig necklace dressed up in pink crystals and an elephant decorated with ocean blue, regal red, and iridescent purple Swarovski crystals, these items are perfect for any animal lover who likes classy and sassy jewelry that can be worn casually for work, or dressed up for a night on the town wearing a dress and heels.

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