This is a pretty common tip, but if you haven't heard it, it can be a life saver (and a tooth saver!)
When working on settings and you want to check to make sure the fit is just right - use some dental floss under the stone. That way if the stone gets a little stuck - very easy to pull it right out. Otherwise, you risk tearing the whole setting apart just to get the stone out. And THAT is no good. I usually keep a random piece floating around on my work bench just to keep it handy. Floss works great because it can flatten out to almost nothing, but is plenty strong enough that if the stone is quite tight, you don't risk having it break when pulling the stone out.
I'm a full time artist - mostly in jewelry but I consider myself an all around artist as I love painting, photography, ceramics, and screenprinting. My business has largely turned in to making custom wedding rings which is wonderfully meaningful. I'm also a yoga teacher!