Rings Are My Thing

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Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved rings. They were always my favorite items of jewelry, and would always catch my eye. My mother was aware of my fascination for rings, because every time we went to one particular toy store in a local mall, I would make a beeline for the collection of costume rings which were always by the register. Occasionally, she would tell me to pick one out, and she would buy it for me. I treasured those rings, and still have one crafted of faux aquamarine in a box of collectibles to this day.

My two core teachers during first through third grades (at Montessori, I had the same core teachers for the three years I was there), Miss Umholtz and Mrs. Austin, also loved rings. Miss Umholtz would change things up every week, so that a different group of unique silver rings would adorn her long, slender fingers. On my last day of school at Montessori, Mrs. Austin gave me a gift: a tiny cloisonne heart ring. That ring also sits in my collectibles box, along with the faux aquamarine ring.

As my own personal style began to emerge over the years, I discovered that I preferred wearing many rings at one time over just wearing one or two. By the time I was 20, I adopted the habit of wearing at least 3 rings at a time. The only exception to this was when I was married. During those years, at the stern suggestion of the man I married, I only wore my wedding ring on my left ring finger, and I wore my college ring (which was given to me by my mother) on my right hand. Once my marriage was over, however, my habit of stacking and adding rings slowly but surely crept back.

I now wear between five and seven rings at a time. At one point, before I got married, I wore ELEVEN rings on my fingers. I love the feel of silver or platinum around my fingers. Interesting or unique designs will always catch my eye, especially if they showcase a beautiful stone or crystal. Some of the rings in my collection have such powerful stones in them that I have to be in the right frame of mind to wear them. I also love wearing rings on different digits, like my thumb, or above my knuckles (aka midi rings).

It’s amusing to note that midi rings have become popular recently, because I have been wearing them since the 1990’s, when it was considered a bit odd to wear one. What is a midi ring? It is a ring that is worn between the first and second knuckles. I’ve got news for those of you who think this is a new or relatively new trend: midi rings, or above knuckle rings, have been worn since the Middle Ages. During Renaissance times, wealthy people wore midi rings to indicate that they didn’t have to perform manual labor.

Bernhard Strigel, Portrait of a Woman, ca. 1515

Bernhard Strigel, Portrait of a Woman, ca. 1515

I am such a creature of habit that I will wear the same group of rings everywhere. That includes the midi rings and the ring I wear on my left thumb. It doesn’t bother me that some people think I wear too many rings. I very rarely wear earrings, so I make up for it with embellishments on my hands. My rings have become little pieces of armor for me, and I am so accustomed to how they feel on my fingers that I feel strange when I have to remove them for a photo shoot or other event.

Only ONE Suit Left For Sale!

Stacey

This GORGEOUS gold competition suit is the last Bikini division bikini I have available! It is a heavily crystallized Ravish Sands suit with bubble luxe crystals, rhinestone xonnectors on the top, and rhinestone and gold chain connectors on the bottoms. This suit is unique and absolutely stunning! For fit reference, I am 5’5″ and 118 pounds onstage, 34D, 34 inch hips, size zero.

I wore this suit to only one Pro event. I have been reluctant to sell this suit, but I realize that my competition days may be over, so there is no sense holding onto so many suits. I have had a total of NINETEEN suits made, and I still have four of the suits I wore onstage in the past in my personal collection. One is in a shadowbox, one is in my bikini bin for photo shoots, and two are in rotation for any competitions in case I get bitten by the bug to step onstage.

Original price paid for this beauty was $550.

PRICE: $300

Serious inquiries, please message me either through here or via stacey@staceynaito.com

How To Bling Out Your Own Suit

Originally published on RxGirl on Saturday, 25 August 2012. The original post was published with white text on white background, so the only way to read it on the site is to highlight the text. To make things easier for everyone, I have copied and pasted the article here for you to read.

http://www.rxmuscle.com/rx-girl-articles/6387-how-to-bling-out-your-own-suit.html

How to Bling Out Your Own Suit

Most of us ladies love the dazzle of crystals and sequins when seen on competition suits, but such embellishments can be pretty expensive, especially when suits are custom made and crystallized by a professional suitmaker. However, it is possible to bling out your own suit at home as long as you have a somewhat creative hand and a lot of patience. I have endured the laborious process of applying crystals by hand on three suits. Despite the fact that this was very time-consuming, it was well worth it considering the fact that I saved hundreds of dollars by crystallizing the suits myself.

You may be wondering where to purchase a plain competition suit. Good sources are eBay, Jagware, Suits You Swimwear and Chynna Dolls, or you can have a suit made by a professional suit designer (examples are Passion Fruit, CJ’s Elite, TameeMarie) and then apply the crystals yourself. Once you have your suit, you can determine what design you would like to apply on the fabric. You can get ideas from looking at competition images of ladies in suits you like, or you can go to a site like http://www.Dreamstime.com and select a clip art image. After this is done you need to make a copy of the design so that it is the appropriate size for your suit, and also make copies of the mirror image so that your suit design is symmetrical. These prints will serve as templates when you are ready to start mapping out the design. If you are very artistic, you can sketch a freehand design.

The next step in the process is determining the colors, sizes and quantities of the crystals, beads or sequins you want to purchase for your suit design. Rhinestone Depot is an excellent wholesale online site for crystals. I also like Artbeads but the prices are higher. Make sure when you place your order that you order extra materials just in case some of the crystals pop off. Generally speaking, you should only purchase flat-backed stones as they are much easier to glue onto fabric and much less likely to pop off.

There are two options available to you with Swarovski crystals when you are trying to decide how to affix the stones to your suit. Swarovski crystals come in a “Hotfix” variety which already has adhesive on the back, but you will need to purchase the application tool (which looks like a soldering iron) in order to apply the stones. The other option is to get the regular flat-backed crystals and use a fabric glue such as E6000 or Aleene’s Flexible Stretchable Fabric Glue. If you are using very small stones, you should have a pair of small angled tweezers on hand to pick up the crystals. Other supplies to have on hand are toothpicks (for setting a crystal in the exact spot where you want it and for cleaning off excess glue) and a piece of sturdy cardboard large enough to stretch out the fabric in your suit while you are working on it.

To begin the process, line up the crystals on the design which you have printed out. This will give you a familiarity with the design and also ensure that you have enough crystals to create the design. You can also place marks on the fabric with a washable marker so you have some guidelines. Put your suit on the cardboard in such a way that the fabric is completely stretched out. KEEP FABRIC STRETCHED WHILE YOU GLUE RHINESTONES AND ALLOW GLUE TO DRY! If not, the crystals will pop off.

Start at one end of the design, placing a small amount of glue on the back of the crystal and then pressing into place. For smaller crystals, you can use angled tweezers and toothpicks to move the crystals into their exact spots. It is a good idea to switch back and forth from one side to another to ensure your pattern remains symmetrical.

Peacock Suit I Blinged Out!

Most importantly, TAKE YOUR TIME! This will take HOURS and HOURS to do. Trust me, it really takes a while. When I crystallized the peacock feathers on the suit I wore in 2011 (pictured above at the IFBB North American, where I took a First Place finish in Open and Second Place in Masters), it took me a total of 38 hours to complete the work. I had no choice but to keep returning to the project over a number of sessions until it was completed. Then again, there were over 3,000 crystals, so I created quite a challenge for myself.

Once you are finished, you can celebrate your creativity and rest in the knowledge that you have a one-of-a-kind suit!