Michael C. Fina

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    Brilliant, romantic designs to celebrate your love. To view these designs in person, please visit our store at 500 Park Avenue.

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Meet Erica Courtney

 

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For 30 years, Erica Courtney has been designing feminine and elegant fine jewelry to suit every style and taste. After moving from Dallas to Los Angeles in 1989, Erica’s business blossomed and she continued to evolve, introducing fine gold and platinum gemstone jewelry to her collection. Each piece is designed personally by Erica to ensure that it fits flawlessly into her collection.

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1.  What inspired you to begin designing?  What influences your designs?

Truthfully, boredom inspired my first piece. It was snowing in Dallas and I was stranded at home so I started gluing Swarovski crystals on a pair of sunglasses.

2.  What is the first piece you designed?

Sunglasses hand-designed with Swarovski crystals

3.  How would you describe the style of your collections?

My collection is very feminine, sophisticated and has an assortment of the most magnificent colors in the world of gemstones.

4.  What is your signature piece?

My signature piece of jewelry would have to be my cocktail rings. Most designers don’t spend as much time as I do on the details…..I design every single millimeter of each of my rings!

5.  What materials do you use and why?

Right now, I’m mostly utilizing gold and lush gemstones. My passion is using gorgeous and colorful collector gemstones. necklaceandearrings

6.  What is an outfit incomplete without?

A ring! We express ourselves and communicate in so many ways and our hands are definitely a common source. I like having something fabulous and sparkly on my “talkative” hands.

7.  Name one thing a person should splurge on:

A cocktail ring because even cheap wine tastes better when there’s a gorgeous ring to stare at while you’re sipping it.

8.  What is your favorite gift to give?

Sweet treats that I personally bake.

9.  What is your best style tip?

As long as you have a stylish purse, killer shoes, and a gorgeous piece of jewelry, then the rest can come from Target because no one will know the difference.

10. What is the most fun piece of jewelry to redesign?

I like the challenge of redesigning outdated pieces that my clients have no hope for. Presenting them with their newly designed treasures and watching them fall in love again with their updated pieces is priceless.

Care Tips: China

Caring for china can be stressful, especially when you don’t know where to begin. But by following just a few simple tips, you can ensure that your china will continue to look brand new, forever.

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1. While most china can be cared for the same way, be sure to check the manufacturer’s specific instructions for any exceptions.

2. Most fine china can washed in the dishwasher but to prevent chips and cracks, position each piece in a way that prevents them from knocking into one another.

3. If your china has hand-applied decorations, avoid putting it in the dishwasher, as the heat can damage gold or platinum bands.

4. Let your china air dry when putting it in the dishwasher. If your dishwasher does not have an air dry setting, simply stop it before the dry cycle begins and leave the door open.

5. Place liners or paper plates in between fine china when stacking them for storage to keep them looking pristine.

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6. Instead of using scouring powders or steel wool on your china when you need to clean off dried-on food, soak each piece for several minutes. This will remove the food, while preventing scratches.

7. When hand washing your china, place a rubber mat or a towel at the bottom of the sink to avoid chips or cracks.

8. China can crack from temperature extremes, so avoid moving your pieces directly from the refrigerator to the oven.

China is special, and often something that you want to pass down from generation to generation. By following these simple care tips, you can ensure that your pieces will remain in perfect condition for years to come.

Locations: Engagement Sessions, Part II

Tips From Photomuse On Choosing Your Location

 

In the first part of this series,  I suggested choosing a location based upon your mutual activities or a location infused with meaning for you.  There are definitely plenty of times when in the absence of a location with meaning, I am asked for some assistance in thinking of a location.  When you first narrow down your season, it can help set the tone for the rest of the session.

 

Winter

Pros: Quite romantic if you can get snowfall.  Contrast of colors popping against white snow lends itself to graphic images. Playful, quiet – fewer people out and about if you are shy.  The wedding season is not as busy in the winter, so you’ll have more available dates to choose from.  You can also take advantage of a holiday theme (and use an image for a holiday card).

Cons: Cold, shorter amount of light in the day will mean a tighter frame of time to shoot.  Temperature might mean less time shooting. Clothing choices will be more restrictive.

Possible activities: sledding, making snowmen, snowball fights, quiet walks under a canopy of snow laden trees.

Photomuse Engagement Sessions - Winter

 

Spring

Pros: The abundance of blooming flowers and trees make for wonderful settings. Colors tend towards pastels and soft hues.  The temperature enables a wider selection of    wardrobe possibilities.  Cherry blossom season, wisteria, tulips to name a few.  Petals flying through the air.

Cons: You won’t be the only ones out and about enjoying the renewal of the season, so if you are shy, or if you are in a city area, you’ll be contending with others.  If you are   prone to allergies, you won’t be too comfortable.  The weather can be more unpredictable    with more possibilities of having a rainy day.

Possible activities: picnics, walking under a canopy of cherry blossom trees, laying in a bed of flowers together, riding bicycles.

Photomuse Engagement Photography Sessions - Spring

 

Summer

Pros: Warmer temperatures (this could lend itself to a con as well if it’s too warm).  Beaches become an option.  The day is longer, which will enable you to schedule a session for later in the day.  The weather is more predictable.  Sundresses and sandals become  possibilities.

Cons: If you live in NYC, you’ll be contending with many others who are also enjoying    what the summer has to bring.  Can sometimes be too hot which may affect your hair and makeup negatively.

Possible activities: water related activities like being on a boat or playing on the beach, walking along a boardwalk, carnivals and fairs.

Photomuse Engagement Photography Session - Summer

 

Fall

Pros: Fall foliage creates a stunning backdrop.  The temperature allows for a wider range   of clothing choices.  The colors reflecting off the autumn hues are warm and lush.  You can also take advantage of the fun activities at this time of the year.

Cons: Autumn is prime wedding season, so you might have a harder time scheduling your session (plan ahead!).  Weather could potentially work against you and the leaves might not be ready, or might even have all fallen.

Possible activities: hiking, playing in a leaf pile, Halloween themes, pumpkin and/or apple picking, hayrides.

Photomuse Engagement Session - Fall

To view more location images, be sure to follow Photomuse and Michael C. Fina on Pinterest!