this excellent article by Blue Forest Jewellery http://blueforestjewellery.blogspot.com/2010/03/photography-tips-from-non-professional.html
My dining room has a big bay window which gets a lot of sun, I placed a piece of white card on the dining table and propped up another piece of card (I didn't have anything more transparent)vertically behind it to try and eliminate shadows. I set up a tall white coffee mug and hung a pair of earrings of it. The camera was set to macro and I turned the flash off and I snapped and snapped and snapped, lol.
The photo's came out quite dark but that was soon sorted out by adjusting the exposure in my photo editing software. I am quite happy with this pic and am actually hopeful that I may soon have consistently decent photo's!