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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Livery Buttons - A Short History


Bunny Livery Button  Your Daily Jewels Necklace
Happy Bunny on Labradorite Chain - 1850's  Your Daily Jewels

Livery Buttons

Invicta Pendant Livery Button
Invicta -" Undefeatable" - estim. 1790.

Sometime in the 13th century the idea of a buttonhole and button was conceived.

In the 18th century, buttons were truly tiny works of art. Button making became a profitable sideline for many of the starving artists of the day. Typically, the most exquisite of these buttons was about the size of a 50- cent piece. 

A “livery” is an insignia, symbol, or uniform button worn by one who provided service to a noble or aristocrat to represent their relationship to their employer.

My passion, my quest, my contribution to history:

As a card-carrying member of the National Button Society, one of my favorite pastimes is scouring the earth for 18th and 19th Century relics in order to preserve them. I cast from them, in order to create beautiful modern heirlooms for you, to be worn and passed on for centuries more.

Livery Initial Button
Initial Pendants are Made from Wax Seal Stamps and Livery Buttons at Your Daily Jewels

The word itself comes from the French “livrée”, meaning delivered. Most often it would indicate that the wearer of the livery was a servant, depend-ent, follower, or friend of the owner of the “livery.” Like heraldic Crests, a livery button was a fast way to identify friend or foe in a time of war.

Notre Dame Pendant by Your Daily Jewels Religous Medal
Notre Dame - Early 1800's - Made to Order at Your Daily Jewels

The fashion for livery buttons started among the upper classes in the mid-eighteenth century, and lasted as an accepted practice into the Edwardian era of the early twentieth century. 

After the first World War, new income tax and changing social and economic conditions quietly put an end to the era of the livered servant among the wealthy upper class. 

latin Livery Coin
Scottish Livery, "I Ready Myself with Arms"

Beyond the prevalent use of Latin, there is a whole cryptic language  and symbolism to livery buttons, heraldry, and crests & shields. I am having fun learning the meaning behind many of them. 

For fascinating history you can read The Big Book of Buttons by Hughs & Lester, http://www.ukdfd.co.uk, and Fairbairns Book of Crests, London : T. C. & E. C. Jack.  I will be more sharing as I learn.

latin Livery Coin
Scottish, Cuff button

Thank you for reading,

Visit Your Daily Jewels on Etsy, here:

Latin Livery Coin Pendant Your Daily Jewels
Spero Melior - Hope for Better Things - 1832


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Earth Day 2013

Ok, green stuff aside. Can I be really superficial now and talk about celebrities if I  promise to talk about Earth Day and Climate change closer to the day (April 22)?

I have been chosen to be a part of a great gifting opportunity. I will be giving my 100% recycled silver compass pendant to a small group of celebrities at this year's Earth Day event that will be covered by
-->Valerie Guerrero of The Artisan Group (TAG) of which I am a member.

This is just the start! So far, I know I will be giving one to #LeonardoDiCaprio,  #CameronDiaz, #SherylCrow, #OrlandoBloom, #Sting, and #Pink. More names to come!

I have more compasses in the tumbler right now. I will be back to show you some in golden bronze in a day or so.

For info. on Earth day check out the official website:
If you are local in NY:   http://www.earthdayny.org/
Each state has their own Earth Day activies you can become involved in.

For more info. on Valerie and the Artisan Group, check out her website above or visit the TAG Facebook page 

Thank you so much for reading!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What the .GIF?!!

Add http://cargocollective.com/matthewdivito
Amazing Animated Graphic Art:
(The Graphics Interchange Format)

The Internet's favorite file format is an old friend at this point, having just celebrated its 25th birthday in 2012.

The GIF — an acronym from Graphics Interchange Format — is still  living it up, even scoring the coveted honor of word of the year in 2012.

Though no one can deny the success of the GIF's career, people often don't know its humble beginnings as a dancing baby in 1987.

According to The Urban Dictionary, the proper pronunciation of the acronym is a soft "g" sound: like JIF.




Why Gifs? GIF fits extraordinarily in this web environment that never takes itself too seriously. Animated GIFs are the true artistic medium of Internet with an inherent sense silliness and playfulness.  Whether you're conveying humor, irony, or trying to drive a point home, there is a Gif out there to enhance your content.

Or, take a few minutes and make your own.

WHAT?!!!! I can't do this I am an internet moron.

Don't believe it. I did it. I am living proof that you can make one. Look at all you have learned so far! Did you ever think you would be reading such a snazzy 'blog' just a few years ago? Or blogging yourself? Or knowing, and even more fascinating, caring what SEO is? You can do this! (just to be clear: I did not make the GIF below)


So where do they come from and where do they go?
To make the best GIF possible on a desktop or laptop you're going to need Photoshop. Those are the ones I showed you up top, before Honey Poo-poo dancing. They are super graphic and beautiful little pieces of artwork

But to just have fun there are lots of options. There are even apps so you can make them on your phone!  ( Flixel and Cinemagram, Fotodanz.)

There are a zillion tutorials on the web, most claiming it should not take you more than a few minutes to make. http://gizmodo.com/5941436/how-to-make-a-gif-in-five-easy-steps
Then use a free file hosting site like Imgur to upload and distribute your new craze across the web. Or post it to you blog, FB, Tweet it, etc. You can google for more sites like Imgur too. Maybe it'll become a hit viral sensation!

Basically, many come from Youtube videos.
GIF Makers stop videos and "clip" a photo out, run it again, then stop and clip, etc. You don't want them too long because they take too long to load and this clogs up the internet and makes viewers annoyed. Then they take their clips to one of the many .GIF making sites and, Voila!

Make some for promo!!
You can also use the still photos you have of your jewelry,  i.e. You could use a series of three photos, (beginning, middle, final product) of a piece of jewelry you're making. Post it on Facebook to catch eyes. Or apply movement to a pendant, as above. www.Picasion.com is perfect for this:  Picasion lets you upload a maximum of 10 images, or alternatively, import up to 50 images directly from Flickr or Picasa. Once you’ve chosen your images, simply select the size (up to 400 pixels) and the speed (from slower to faster) and click Create animation. You’re then shown the GIF and given code that you can use on your website or blog.

Here is a free and easy to navigate GIF making site: http://www.myspacegens.com/handler.php?gen=animatedimage 

Other super simple GIF making sites:

Those are just a few of many GIF generators. They literally walk you through the process once you upload your images. So that is where many come from.

Where they go? Well, I'll leave you to ponder this on your own...

This is my favorite GIF to date:


Want to see a lot of them? Start on tumblr.com. This is where you will find the best of the best, artistically speaking. They have a list here:
Head Like an Orange
If We Don’t, Remember Me
I'm warning you, they are addictive.

 addendum  (added 3-22)
Fantastic article from Techhive on importance of  Gifs. and how they are here to stay


Thanks for reading!

 April 10, I am so easily amused. These are funny

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bronze Beauty



Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper,  and usually with tin as the main additive.

It is such a hard metal that when I hammer it,  am jarred from the top of my head to my feet. It takes my whole body to move it a millimeter. It is harder than wrought iron on the Vickers Hardness scale. 

My Initial Pendants  - in Fine Silver and Bronze

The Bronze Age in the  Near East began in the 4th millennium BC.  This period  is often called, "the cradle of civilization,” for good reason.


  Cultures  practiced year-round agriculture, developed a writing system, invented the potter's wheel, created a centralized government, law codes, and empires;  and introduced social stratification, slavery, and organized warfare. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and mathematics.

Different Tones of My Bronze Initials Ranging from Copper to Gold

The Bronze Age gave way to the Iron Age. Bronze required trade and iron was easier to find and less expensive to make into a useable metal.

It truly takes my breathe away. The beauty of the bronze I work with. The variable textures and subtle changes in color. Each piece surprises me. It polishes up to a mirror shine that gives pure gold a run for its money.

Bellezza - Yellow Bronze - I found this on HSN! $70.00

 And left rough and rugged, a modern  pendant may look as if it is a thousand years old. 

See for yourself. There will be lots more coming as I build my new website,  TheModernHeirloom.com. Many  pieces will be cast from historic relics that are hundreds of years old and bronze is the perfect medium to showcase their soulful beauty.

Bronze Fleur de Lis, Available at Your Daily Jewels

Bronze Heraldry Pieces - Not Yet Available for Sale

I will be writing much more about bronze, and the history of heraldry and livery, as these are the pieces that I draw my inspiration from for my newest line. I can't wait to unveil The Modern Heirloom  to you within the next two months. For now, it is still, "Under Construction".

Thank you for reading,