Branding/rebranding my youtube

Hey everyone! Hope everyone us doing A-Okay: safe, happy and healthy. I have decided to properly brand my YouTube, so do check it out. Please do subscribe and hit the like and notification buttons. Apart from my book trailers and podcasts I do, rarely, post tiny vlogs. So click on the link below and subscribe now.

My youtube channel

Advertisement

Stone & Steel (a title inspired by the label of a handmade jewelry by a friend’s friend)

Jewelry has been a favourite form of ornament for women for generation. From chunky wears to exquisite wear it’s all been there and still remain and will continue to remain a form of adornment for women. And each has it’s own charm. However, stones have always been an especial favourite to adorn the adornments. Instead of using solid metals, stones and crystals were added for that sparkle, that bling. And even today, stones are the main part of any jewelry, from rings to necklaces to bracelets and earrings.

In Pakistan gold and silver have forever been cheap until recently, thanks to the artificial US dollar rise which has all but destroyed the world economy. And Pakistan is not just rich in gold and silver, but in semi precious and some precious stones, too. So, working with steel or any other metal other than gold or silver was never liked or even considered. We all made our jewelry in gold and silver. Mostly gold. It was at that time that a few girls had started the craft of hand-making jewelry using steel and other metals with semi precious stones. And they worked on a very small scale, mostly selling to friends and acquaintances. Again, that was because gold was affordable and no one liked to work with semi precious stones on other metals: on artificial jewelry. Also, till date, jewelry in Pakistan is made by hand, not by machines. So all the jewelers in Pakistan working with gold or silver or imitation work with their own hands and it is all handmade.

In the early 2000s when I was teaching seniors at a school, a colleague of mine brought over some handmade jewelry made by her friend by hand of course. Her friend had labeled her work “Stone & Steel”. Her work was delicate and just beautiful. And to encourage her some of us bought her pieces of jewelry. I bought a pair of amethyst earrings and a jade pendant set.

amethyst earrings and jade pendant set

And then it was back to either buying delicate artificial jewelry or making them in gold. Recently I realised that since we no longer keep or wear gold anymore, it was perhaps a good idea to make or buy stuff in stainless steel and silver. And I found many real stone jewelry pieces made with steel, stainless steel and even 925 sterling silver that were much cheaper to buy than to get made. I found this extremely exquisitely delicate real garnet with pure silver threader earrings. I thought to myself that I had my Islamic birthstones in gold which i could no longer wear just casually, and I saw that I did not have my traditional December birthstones apart from zircon and topaz. So I bought a pair of lapis earrings made by a local jeweler (so cute with sapphire) and a bought a pair of turquoise earrings.

Then I decided to get off my bum and finally make the seashell jewelry I’d been meaning to make for decades since my dad brought home seashells from the shores of US beaches. And it is so much easier to make diy jewelry nowadays: I bought jump rings and kidney ear hooks. Then i decided since i got 6 (7 actually, they put in an extra pair) why not find more raw stones and make earrings. Which i did. I got Brazil citrine stones natural, in pendant form, and made them into earrings, and I got tiger eye necklaces, removed their chains and made them earrings and then I found this beautiful druzy green agate gold plated earrings a local vendor was selling and I got those. And i found a pair of handmade copper wired natural red coral earrings which would have been a little more expensive if i made them, so I bought those. I am getting my jeweler to make me some silver rings that i can wear using turquoise and lapis. But he is notorious for taking too much time.

I think what I am trying to say is, natural stones have a value of their own: and it is subjective. We cannot be dictated by the world as to the value of a stone or a gem, it’s value is automatically in it’s originality, and that is comes from nature. We should set the value of jewelry as we always have, based on our personal likes. Turquoise and Lapis are abundant in Pakistan and very cheap, but you will still find jewelers trying to hike the prices especially nowadays thanks to the USD which has always screwed things up. But why should the USD rate dictate how much what we produce locally should be charged? That amounts to fraud in my book. So, it is cheaper to buy ready made jewelry with these stones than actually go looking for the raw stones, like the green agate and the red coral earrings. Similarly a druzy is suddenly the craze now because of its crystalline surface that twinkles like water under the sun. So, although, being in its most raw form, it should be cheaper, some vendors all over the word have suddenly decided to hike the price up, again, because they can appreciate the original value and they know more and more people are getting attracted to raw forms of precious and semi precious stones. Although it started from reiki healing and just because it is growing in popularity the prices are getting hiked.

This proves my theory that the value of anything is subjective and cannot be dictated. And jewelry is a very personal item to us, it reflects us, it is purely for us, not to show off to others. It is something that makes us feel good, feel pretty and it just is too personal for it to be coldly calculated and dictated according to the terms of a minority of a society. So, enjoy the natural things, regardless of their cost, and enjoy artificial jewelry or handmade or both…they are all there for the same reason and to serve the same purpose.

PS: Since people ask me where I get my stuff from, here is the name of vendors…i got them mostly on daraz online shopping site some vendors are local Pakistanis and some are obviously from China. The garnet was bought from MONSTER (CN), turquoise earrings from BEUAQQT (CN), lapis lazuli earrings from Original Gem Store (PK), Natural coral earrings from Homei Assister Store (CN), Citrine Stones/pendants from Ubest (CN), Green agate druzy earrings from a local vendor in my own city Lahore, Bablu (PK), tiger eye necklaces from ILOVEDIY and I think that is all. And I bought it all from daraz.pk

Here’s a tip: always ask the vendor first to confirm what they are selling: if it is real or artificial. They are usually quite honest and that is how i chose some of these sellers as there were many others with the same items but in different material or artificial stones etc. Always better to confirm first. Then I get my jeweler to verify it for me just to make sure. But the Original Gem Store deals purely with real stones and gems and crystals because he is essentially not a jeweler but works with stones in healing and reiki etc. And because he lives up north in Pakistan, where we get our natural precious and semi precious stones from, it’s a given he would work with only original stones.

Last day today to get your free kindle ebook

Calling on all desis both overseas and in Pakistan…Calling out to all thriller lovers who love intrigue and suspense, a kick ass heroine, the entangled Web of espionage, conspiracy and politics with relationships. An intense and gripping fast paced action packed series which is not at all what you expect: challenging the stereotypes and the norms of spy Thrillers…grab The Mist Series bundle FREE on kindle this independence day. Offer lasts till 18th August. Hurry up then.

Do tell other book lovers and do post a review…the best way to support our writers is by posting a review: it doesn’t have to be long, just one word will do. But do post one. Enjoy this holiday with a new book

Get The Mist series bundle FREE on kindle Happy independence day LAST DAY TODAY

Calling on all desis both overseas and in Pakistan…Calling out to all thriller lovers who love intrigue and suspense, a kick ass heroine, the entangled Web of espionage, conspiracy and politics with relationships. An intense and gripping fast paced action packed series which is not at all what you expect: challenging the stereotypes and the norms of spy Thrillers…grab The Mist Series bundle FREE on kindle this independence day. Offer lasts till 18th August. Hurry up then.

Do tell other book lovers and do post a review…the best way to support our writers is by posting a review: it doesn’t have to be long, just one word will do. But do post one. Enjoy this holiday with a new book

The Mist series bundle Free on kindle

Calling on all desis both overseas and in Pakistan…Calling out to all thriller lovers who love intrigue and suspense, a kick ass heroine, the entangled Web of espionage, conspiracy and politics with relationships. An intense and gripping fast paced action packed series which is not at all what you expect: challenging the stereotypes and the norms of spy Thrillers…grab The Mist Series bundle FREE on kindle this independence day. Offer lasts till 18th August. Hurry up then.

Do tell other book lovers and do post a review…the best way to support our writers is by posting a review: it doesn’t have to be long, just one word will do. But do post one. Enjoy this holiday with a new book

Free kindle ebook today

Calling on all desis both overseas and in Pakistan…Calling out to all thriller lovers who love intrigue and suspense, a kick ass heroine, the entangled Web of espionage, conspiracy and politics with relationships. An intense and gripping fast paced action packed series which is not at all what you expect: challenging the stereotypes and the norms of spy Thrillers…grab The Mist Series bundle FREE on kindle this independence day. Offer lasts till 18th August. Hurry up then.

Do tell other book lovers and do post a review…the best way to support our writers is by posting a review: it doesn’t have to be long, just one word will do. But do post one. Enjoy this holiday with a new book

Independence day sale: Free kindle ebook

Calling on all desis both overseas and in Pakistan…Calling out to all thriller lovers who love intrigue and suspense, a kick ass heroine, the entangled Web of espionage, conspiracy and politics with relationships. An intense and gripping fast paced action packed series which is not at all what you expect: challenging the stereotypes and the norms of spy Thrillers…grab The Mist Series bundle FREE on kindle this independence day. Offer lasts till 18th August. Hurry up then.

Do tell other book lovers and do post a review…the best way to support our writers is by posting a review: it doesn’t have to be long, just one word will do. But do post one. Enjoy this holiday with a new book

Free kindle ebook…special 14th August sale

Calling on all desis both overseas and in Pakistan…Calling out to all thriller lovers who love intrigue and suspense, a kick ass heroine, the entangled Web of espionage, conspiracy and politics with relationships. An intense and gripping fast paced action packed series which is not at all what you expect: challenging the stereotypes and the norms of spy Thrillers…grab The Mist Series bundle FREE on kindle this independence day. Offer lasts till 18th August. Hurry up then.

Do tell other book lovers and do post a review…the best way to support our writers is by posting a review: it doesn’t have to be long, just one word will do. But do post one. Enjoy this holiday with a new book.